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Befriending the Beloved Disciple: A Jewish Reading of the Gospel of John

By Adele Reinhartz

“The garden setting in which Jesus and Mary are alone together calls to mind other Biblical gardens, in particular the primordial Garden of Eden in Gen 2-3 and the garden that symbolizes the female lover in Song of Songs. A Genesis connection is perceived by many scholars. Sandra Sneiders points out that God walks around in the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:15-17; 3:8 ) just as the risen Jesus walks about the garden that holds his tomb. Nicholas Wyatt argues from Biblical and post-biblical literature that the Garden of Eden was profoundly associated with royal motifs. He suggests that from a Christian perspective the cross is the tree of life from which the first man had been driven away. After his death Jesus becomes the new gardener of Eden reversing the decree of banishment that had been passed on the first Adam. The allusion to Eden in John 20 also recalls the creation symbolism and imagery of the Johannine prologue. (1:1-18 )

Does reading Jesus as the new Adam transform Mary into the new Eve? The passage does not portray her using the familiar Genesis images. She does not evoke the woman who was made from Adam’s body, converses with the serpent, eats the forbidden fruit, offers it to Adam, and is banished with him from the garden. Nevertheless, some echoes of Genesis may be heard. Jesus calls her “woman”, just as the first man called his mate “woman” in Gen 2:23. Jesus then called her by name, just as Adam called the first woman by name (Gen 3:20). Jesus directive that Mary not cleave to him challenges the physical basis of the male-female relationship described in Genesis 2:24, according to which a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife and they become one flesh. This echo suggests a contrast between the sexual relationship that developed between the first man and woman and the relationship of devotion between Jesus and Mary”

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The first commandment- according to Jesus- is to LOVE the Lord your GOD.
NOT just with the mind
but with the heart, soul, strength

HEARTlessness is a problem which I think is rampant in the church
Romans 1:31
(NIV)they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
(KJV)Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Matt 24:12Because of the increase of wickedness,

the love of most will grow cold, Sad

“The heart is deceitful…”
logismos is deceitful too

2 Cor 10:4-5 (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds) Casting down logismos, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

“sets itself up against the knowledge of God
KNOWing God is not just about the mind
any more than biblical KNOWing my husband in marriage is merely about a mental “connection”
“adam KNEW his wife Eve and she conceived”
That is why I compare contemplative prayer with sex
I make an intimate deep connection EMOTIONALLY with God
I FEEL God
and I feel sorry for those who don’t. I wish everyone could FEEL God.
I believe this is available to ALL the saints, but logismos gets in the way:

Eph 3:16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19And to know the love of Christ,
which passeth knowledge
,
that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

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Mary Magdalene has
an intensely intimate encounter
with the Risen Lord
in the Garden.
HE calls her “woman”.
She thinks he is “the gardener”
HE calls her “Mary” and she KNOWS…

Whoosh, I suddenly realized that the moment harks back to the first Adam and the first woman in the Garden.
Adam was assigned to be the KEEPER of the garden
He failed 😦
Jesus is the KEEPER who fulfills the assignment flawlessly.

Biblically, I don not consider accidental that the term “KEEPER” is used of man, woman, God, Jesus in the Garden…

Adam’s assignment:
Gen 2:15 08104 shamar {shaw-mar’}
AV – keep 283, observe 46, heed 35, keeper 28, preserve 21, beware 9,
mark 8, watchman 8, wait 7, watch 7, regard 5, save 2,

~~~~~~~

of a wife:
Titus 2:5– “keeper at home”
3626 oikouros from 3624 and ouros (a guard, be “ware”)

~~~~~~~

of God:
1 Peter 1:5kept/guarded/protected
5432 phroureo {froo-reh’-o} AV – keep
from a compound of 4253 and 3708 horao {hor-ah’-o}

~~~~~~~

Mary Magdalene thinks of Jesus is:
John 20:15– “a keeper of the garden”
2780 kepouros {kay-poo-ros’}
from 2779 and ouros (a warden);; n m

I identify with walking in Mary Magdelene’s sandals.
I can walk in the Garden with JESUS, the second Adam, the KEEPER who will not fail.
I can partake of intimacy with my risen Lord in the garden.
I can feel the intense gratitude for His mercy,
the intense security of His perfect love.
I can wash His feet with my tears and wipe them with my hair,
I can pour out my inheritance, my alabaster box of precious ointment… upon my Lord.
HE is worthy
HE is good

I LOVE YOU, LORD!

John 20:11 but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

17Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them,

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1 Tim 2:12–And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
1 Tim 2:13–For Adam was formed first, then Eve.
1 Tim 2:14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman, having been deceived, into transgression came,

“Adam was not deceived”

“not deceived” does not translate into “innocent”:

Job 31:33 (NASB)
“Have I covered my transgressions like Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom,”

Hosea 6:7 (NASB)
But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant;There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

Gen 3:22-24 describes who was expelled from the garden. Only Adam was expelled. Eve fulfilled the prophetic utterance of God in Gen 3:16 when she chose to follow him out of the Garden 😦

Now what?
Are all women doomed to fulfill the pain of Genesis 3:16 without mercy, redemption, or restoration? I don’t think so, and I think Paul is preaching HOPE and RESTORATION in 1 Tim 2:11-15

1 Timothy 2:15 and she shall be saved through the child-bearing, if they remain in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety. (YLT)

She can be restored through “the child-bearing”!

–>restored to her position beside Adam in dominion over creation per Genesis 1:26-28
–>restored to her inheritance as a joint heir with Christ
–>restored to intimacy with the LORD which was severed by Eve when she left the Garden.

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Love

from Suzanne’s Bookshelf

1 Cor. 13

If with the tongues of humans,
I talk, and even of angels –
but love, I have not,
I am become a timbring gong
or a tinkling cymbal.

And if I have prophesy
and fathom all mysteries
and all knowledge
and if I have faith
to remove mountains

But do not have love

I am nothing.

And if I give away all my belongings
And surrender my body to suffering
for the sake of self glory

But do not have love

I gain nothing.

Love is generosity of spirit
Love is acts of kindness. Kindness in deed is love.

It does not envy

Love

does not brag
does not puff up
does not act shamefully
does not seek self
does not get irritated
does not find fault

does not delight at injustice
but rejoices along with truth

always sustains
always trusts
always hopes
always supports

love

never fails.

Whether prophesies, they will be left aside
or tongues they will end
or knowledge it will be left aside.

For in part we know
and in part we prophesy
but when that which is complete comes the end comes
that which is in part will be left aside.

When I was a child
I talked like a child
I thought like a child
I argued like a child

But when I became an adult
The things of a child I left aside.

Now we see
through the looking glass
in riddles
but then face to face.

Now we know in part
But then we will know
Even as we are known.

As so remain faith, hope and love,
these three things
but the greatest of these

is

love.

I translated this some time last summer and Kurk has posted it alongside the Greek for Valentine’s day. It was an exercise to demonstrate a translation which maintained a fair degree of formal equivalence, certainly more than any of the published translations IMO. It is intended to maintain a consistent literary style and reveal some of the word play derived from this chapter. (I forget if this is where Lewis Carrol got the title for his second Alice book.)

I have been posting here over the last few days

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Foundational to the recovery of our spiritual inheritance in Christ is that we “become as little children” (Matt 18:3). My children are equally valuable, equally loved, equally respected, and equally heard. God has chosen to adopt us to be co-heirs with Christ and to be conformed to HIS image “that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” Rom 8

Eph 1:18-2:6 talks about “the riches of His glorious inheritance” and goes on to describe how we are (RIGHT NOW-see Eph 2:6) seated with Christ “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” (see Eph 1:21).

Doesn’t that mean that God intends for us to be dwelling above earthly “power struggles”? I believe it does, and I believe He will empower me to do that as I become like a little child with HIM, trust HIM completely, and walk hand in hand with HIM throughout each day.

One of the promises for overcomers is: “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Rev. 3:21
That strikes me as intimacy. I can sit in His lap… “as a little child”.

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