Deuteronomy and Jesus’ Farewell Discourse: Not a Parallel Coincidence

Not only do Exodus themes run throughout John’s Gospel, they are concentrated in Jesus’ farewell discourse.

“Most obvious is the fact that both [Moses’ final speech and Jesus’] are composed as fare well discourses, spoken by leaders who are about to be separated from those they have led.  Conversely, they are spoken to groups who are about to lose the leaders on whom they depended.  The immediate future of these groups is also similar: the Israelites are about to enter Canaan to establish themselves as Yahweh’s chosen people; the disciples of Jesus are about to become his definitive community.  Both the Israelites and the disciples are in need of consolation in their loss, and of encouragement in the struggle against their enemies that is about to begin.  Finally, both groups require instruction and warning about how they are to act towards one another within each group (the bases of their social structure), and toward the enemies who will surround them: the ‘nations’ for the Israelites, the ‘world’ for the disciples.”

Of course, there are more parallels; this is but a small taste.

The entire excellent article is by Aelred Lacomara “Deuteronomy and the Farewell Discourse (Jn 13:31-16:33)” Catholic Biblical Quarterly (1974), 36, p. 66.

shane lems

sunnyside wa