The "children of God" in John 11:51,52

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by tileeba, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. tileeba

    tileeba
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    Greetings!

    In John 11:51,52, Caiaphas prophesizes “that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.”

    I believe that this verse is saying that Jesus would die for the nation of Israel (NOT limited atonement), but that He also died for the purpose of “gathering together in one” the children of God.

    Who do you consider these “children of God” to be?

    1. the Jews that were scattered around the world.
    2. God’s people in his foreknowledge.
    3. ? (any other suggestion)

    And why do you think John wrote “who *ARE* scattered abroad”. If it is all saved of all time, why would the present tense be used?

    Your suggestions will be most welcome.

    NOTE: I know that the Calvinists would say that it is "God's elect", in the sense of people those whom God determined to save and consideres (according to Calvinism) his "children" already even though they were not saved yet; but I am interested in hearing other points of view other than Calvinism's.


    Thank you!
     
  2. MB

    MB
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    There is no such scripture as John 11:51-52
    MB
     
  3. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Hmmm, I found it in my Bible.

    John 10:16 may help shed some light on the OP question.
    I think a case can be made that the "other sheep" are Gentiles. But I've also seen the argument that the "other sheep" are those of the other tribes of Israel, beyond Judah.

    And Jesus himself said his first mission was to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.

    Either way, Jesus was describing as sheep those who were not yet saved. Later on in John 10, he says his sheep will recognize his voice and will follow him. These sheep were not yet following him.

    Their salvation, in the mind of God, was assured and would be accomplished in time.

    It's sort of like this same John, who wrote the Revelation, seeing visions of future events as if they were present or past tense.
     
  4. mont974x4

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    There is indeed such a verse. In fact, that chapter goes on to verse 57.




    Chapter 10 is helpful for understanding what is being said in chapter 11.


    As a Calvinist I'll refrain from further comment.
     
  5. tileeba

    tileeba
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    Thank you Tom Butler and mont974x4.

    Yes, I am familiar with chapter 10, and I also know what Calvinists say about it. So let me ask you, if you don't mind, how you see the past tense of "which were abroad" - regardless of the fact of their being elect according to God's decree or by His foreknowledge (seeing them "in Christ").
     
  6. mont974x4

    mont974x4
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    The past tense seems to be a translation issue. Some use the word "were" and others "are".

    In any case, it does not really change anything. His people are scattered and have been since long before John wrote his Gospel. He is, and He will, gather them to Himself.
     
  7. tileeba

    tileeba
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    Thank you for your answer, mont974x4. So you see the term as atemporal, meaning the children of God of all places and ages - past, present, and future - which he will gather in one?
     
  8. MB

    MB
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    I have to disagree because Christ calls them His and we simply are not His until Salvation. I believe the Lost Sheep were those who had lost there way for what ever reason.
    This idea isn't scriptural. No one Salvation is assured until they are saved.
    Again this isn't scriptural. It's only speculation.
    MB
     
  9. MB

    MB
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    I apologize you are right. I must have had a glitch in my Bible program.
    MB
     
  10. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Here's the way I see it, and it makes no difference whether you see it from a Calvinist or non-Calvinist perspective/

    The Calvinist believes God has chosen his own from the beginning. They will be saved, and there is no possibility that they will not, in time. Thus, in the mind of God, they are already sheep. It is correct that they are in a lost condition until they are saved. But there is no possibility that they will die in that condition. God will employ the means to bring them to repentance and faith.

    The non-Calvinist holds that God chooses based on foreseen faith. God knows from eternity who will receive him by repentance and faith. There is no possibility that they won't. Thus, their salvation is assured from eternity. And in the mind of God, he may rightly call them His sheep.

    So Jesus' reference to the "lost sheep" makes sense. They are not yet saved in time, but will be, thus he calls them sheep.

    Some of this is based on God's immutability and omnipotence. God doesn't change. he never has a new thought. What He knows today, He has always known. What He decides today, He has always decided.
     
  11. OldRegular

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    The “Children of God” are the Children of God.? God does not leave us in the dark.

    Matthew 5:9. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

    Romans 8:16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

    Romans 8:17. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

    Romans 9:8. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

    Romans 9:26. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

    Galatians 3:26. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
     
  12. HankD

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    "were scattered" - (koine) - a perfect participle indicating the result of a completed action in past time.

    But, "to gather together" (infinitive) means that the result has lasted to the very day of the writing.

    This passage may have the implication of:

    1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.​

    Also, there is a very real sense in which everyone is God's possession:

    Proverbs 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.​

    HankD​
     
  13. convicted1

    convicted1
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    Brother Tom, I'm a non-cal, yet I don't agree with the foreseen faith thingy. God, imo, offers salvation to all, yet, those who heed His calling, will be saved. I think this is consistent with the "corporate election" view.
     
  14. Herald

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    Caiaphas has a lot in common with the serpent of Genesis 3.

    Both the serpent and Caiaphas displayed a lack of regard for those they addressed. The serpent did this by purposefully pointing Eve towards sin. Caiaphas acted similarly by his haughty, condescending attitude: "You know nothing at all..."

    Caiaphas' prophecy, while ultimately turned on its head by God, was anything but a God-given prophetic utterance.

    Nowhere in the O.T. was the high priest given prophesorial responsibility. This became a custom of ritualistic Judaism not commanded by God. Caiaphas was acting in his official capacity as high priest, while at the same time exceeding his clearly delineated duties.

    Undoubtedly Caiaphas' reference to "children of God who are scattered abroad" refers to the diaspora; the Jews spread throughout all the known world after the fall of Israel and Judah. Israel was looking for a political Messiah, and Caiaphas was a shrewd politician. He saw in Jesus an opportunity to advance his political agenda. If Caiaphas truly knew the redemptive nature of Christ's ministry on earth he wouldn't have been plotting to kill him:

    But as only our God can do, He turned what Caiaphas meant for evil for good. The "children of God" in John 11:52 dovetails nicely with Acts 2:38-40:

    The "children of God" in John 11 are the same as those whom the promise of "the forgiveness of sins" extends to in Acts 2; "as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself." Past, present, future; Christ's redemptive act links all believers together in Him.
     
  15. kyredneck

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    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: and they shall become one flock, one shepherd. Jn 10:16

    13 for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified:
    14 (for when Gentiles that have not the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are the law unto themselves;
    15 in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them); Ro 2

    Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith Jehovah. Isa
    54:1
     
    #15 kyredneck, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2012
  16. Tom Butler

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    I understand, although I do think you are a rare bird---a non-cal who doesn't hold that election is based on foreseen faith.

    And as a Cal, of course, I understand foreseen faith differently--that is is a result of God's choice; that God knows who will have faith because he has determined that they will, and will use means to accomplish his will.

    So, let me make sure I understand. Your view is corporate election, which I take to mean, that God has purposed to save all those who repent and believe. Everybody within that class or group is elected. Is that right?

    I see your view and the foreseen faith view as our electing ourselves, independently of any work of God. I'll rely on you to set me straight on anything I've mis-stated.
     
  17. SovereignMercy

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    And they sang a new song, saying: " You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth."
     
  18. tileeba

    tileeba
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    Thank you, everyone for your answers! I appreciate everyone who took the time to write.

    I guess it basically boils down to...

    - God's elect - either by sovereign decree (Calvinism) or those whom God foresaw "in Christ" from all ages.

    - the Jews who were scattered all over the world.

    I am still a little confused about the past tense of "those who *were* scattered". If it is God's elect, why would the past tense be used? That wouldn't seem to include the elect (whether Calvinists or not) who are living today; would it? Or is this just a typicial way that phrophecies are worded?
     
  19. Herald

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    The diaspora was a past event. Therefore, Caiaphas was commenting on historical fact.
     
  20. Herald

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    btw a second diaspora would occur around AD 70 with the sacking of Jerusalem by Titus.
     

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