Working through a study of John has brought me to a couple of passages (I anticipate more) where Jesus’ exchanges with his loyal opposition are, let’s just say, less than stellar. A case in point: John 5:12-20. Here’s a paraphrase of the exchange [with an editorial comment added for clarification]:
Jesus: I am the light of the world (v12)
Pharisees: Says you (v13)
Jesus: Even though my testimony is enough, my Father also bears witness to my claim (vv14-18)
Pharisees: Where is your father? [Point him out. Let’s hear his testimony.] (v19)
Jesus: You don’t know either one of us. If you knew me you would know my Father also. (v20)
If I’m reading this exchange right I’d say that Jesus is guilty of some serious question begging here. Small wonder that the reader ends up with this Gordian knot: if the Pharisees knew the Father they would believe Jesus but they can’t know the Father until they believe Jesus.
Can this circular logic be broken? Better yet, how will a man standing outside this circle of knowledge come to find himself inside the circle?