Follow Jesus in the text

To read the Gospel according to Saint John

by Jean-Pierre Lémonon

Deer, 626 p., € 34

The Passion of Jesus throughout the four Gospels

by Bishop Albert Rouet

L’Atelier, 494 p., 24,90 €

These two books, intended for the general public, nevertheless expect an investment from the reader, who is invited to keep his Bible open. Jean-Pierre Lémonon offers his translation of the Gospel of John, which he accompanies with historical or theological insights, but also with questions that “Must be worked on before reading the commentary that we are proposing. Indeed, they make it possible to appropriate the text ”, indicates the one who was a professor at the Catholic University of Lyon.

The identity of Jesus

The comments help the reader to welcome the text as an expression of faith, like these lines on the famous sentence:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. ” “These terms evoke the identity of Jesus and what he provides for his own. Jesus is the way to the Father; if his disciples follow the path he traces, they will go to the Father. For his disciples, Jesus is the truth, for he reveals the Father to them; they can count on him, as suggested by the original Hebrew meaning of the term which is translated as truth; the term, in fact, evokes solidity. He is life for his disciples and for every man, for he brings life in abundance (10, 10). And faith in Christ is an invitation to life. Jesus came not to condemn, but so that his disciples may have eternal life (3:16). From now on, moreover, the truth comes through him (1, 17) and he gives eternal life to those who follow him (3, 15-16) ”, comments Jean-Pierre Lémonon.

→ CRITICAL. “After Jesus”, the encyclopedia which goes back to the origins of the Christian fact

Several dense passages of the Fourth Gospel are particularly illuminated, such as the “Resuscitation of Lazarus”, where the author articulates a comparison of the faith paths of Martha and Mary with a comparison between the reanimation of Lazarus and the resurrection of Jesus. Reader’s questions are taken into account, such as about washing the feet: “Does John ignore the account of the institution of the Eucharist? “ ; or : “In ancient Judaism, who washes their feet and whose feet are they washed? “

The commentary is sometimes amplified on the scale of a synthesis like the course of the identity and the role of the Holy Spirit in the Fourth Gospel. The conclusion of the work deploys the theological answer that the Fourth Gospel gives to the question: “Who is Jesus? “

Go beyond the imagination that covers the text

Adopting the tone of a spiritual retreat, Bishop Albert Rouet’s book, constructed from questions, also appeals to the reader and makes him attentive to the details of the text. The passage devoted to blood in the Passion admirably illustrates the method of the Archbishop Emeritus of Poitiers.

→ READ. “Believe, but in what? »By Bishop Albert Rouet

It starts from a question rarely asked, so much the imagination covers the text: “Should the blood be flowing?” “ Its conclusion opens up deep perspectives: “Physically and historically, the blood of Christ has not shed. Blood, the principle of life, is shed in a non-violent way through speech and self-giving. God himself is loosed from any suspicion of any thirst for blood. This very topical remark obliges us to question the attraction, even love, of violence. We no longer manage to forget ourselves, to open ourselves to the Other – which constructs the exact opposite of the offering of Christ to his Father. “

“Whether we want to or not, we are in the hands of others”

Albert Rouet’s commentary goes beyond the strict framework of the Passion stories. It offers a tour of the Gospels: “The life of Christ is a Passion. “ Many comments are fascinating, including his reading of parables like “Literature of combat, but of a fight to undermine the walls of rejection and fear”. The topicality of the world and of the Church is never far away. Albert Rouet comments on the sentence “The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men” : “Whether we want to or not, we are delivered to hands others. And why would we think a priori that others want to hurt us? “

These two works will interest any reader curious about the person of Jesus. To believing readers, they will be a help in their disciple life. The attentive, humble reading of the Gospels is a way of following Jesus received from the first Christian communities.


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