"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Jesus' Last Words
John 19:23-30 Commentary
by Thomas B. Slater
It was customary for Roman soldiers to keep the garments of persons they had just executed.
They divided Jesus’ garments as a prize among themselves. The tunic was so well made that they thought it better not to tear it but to gamble for it. Surely, gambling for the clothes of the condemned constituted the final indignity for the prisoner who sees this while he is slowly, helplessly, and painfully dying.
John sees this as a fulfillment of Psalm 22:18, the same psalm quoted in the Synoptic Gospels but at a different point: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me” (Psalm 22:1). Evidently, this psalm played a major role in the early church’s understanding of the mission and ministry of Jesus. Moreover, while the fulfillment of Scripture has been primarily associated with Matthew’s Gospel, this reference tells us that fulfillment of the Old Testament was important in early Christianity beyond Matthew’s church.
Reflections on John 19:25-27
In this section, Jesus shows concern for his mother. In first century Judaism, a woman was considered the ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 126: Jesus' Last Words
April 17, 2014
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Cameron Howard for "I Love to Tell the Story," a conversation on Year 4 of the narrative lectionary. This podcast covers the text for April 17, 2014: John 19:23-30. Accompanying reading: Psalm 26:3.