John field notes 3c: Sequitur

They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? (John 6:30, KJV)

Signs blind. If you really want to see, Jesus suggests to Nicodemus, you have to lose everything, deny your birth, start over:

“Rabbi, we know that you’ve come from God a teacher since none could do these signs you do unless God is with you.”

“Jesus answered “Amen amen I tell you unless a person is born from above he can’t see the reign of God.” (Reynolds Price, Three Gospels)

Earlier in John, Jesus turns the Jews’ request for a sign into confusion, demonstrating what seeing (understanding, walking) by signs leads to.  Here with Nicodemus he implies that signs will (help) keep one from seeing the way Jesus sees.

[I’m reading John’s gospel. My reactions here vacillate between notes — a list of impressions — and something less sketchy. A note on nomenclature: the note number in my post’s title indicates the chapter of John’s material I’m reacting to. A title’s letter, though, differentiates the post from earlier posts about that chapter. “John field note 2c,” then, is my third post about something in John’s second chapter. N.B.: 12a may precede 3d: I skip around.]

By Peter

After stints as a trial lawyer and a church worker, Peter Stephens has settled in as a Virginia high school English teacher. Peter has read several books and poems. He wrote none of the posts below filed under "Passages." Click the link at the end of each post to see it in the context of the author's original post.