Episode 336 The Executed King (John 12:12-19 and 19:16b-22)

April 3, 2022

This week BibleWorm is pairing the Palm Sunday story in John 12:12-19 with the continuation of the crucifixion story in John 19:16b-22. We wrestle with the image of kingship in John’s Gospel, with the crowds hailing Jesus as “king of the Jews” even as Pilate sneeringly executes him as king of the Jews. We contrast Rome’s militant view of kingship with Zechariah’s vision of an anti-militarist king ultimately embodied in Jesus. We talk about the Empire’s way of violence and Jesus’s way of self-giving love that refuses to exercise power over others but instead lifts up even the ones who have betrayed him. And we discuss the danger these texts have posed throughout the centuries, especially for our Jewish siblings, and recognize the urgency of biblical interpretation that brings more love to the world rather than more violence.

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