Jesus, moral regeneration and crime in the Gospel of John

  • JMJ Ras University of Zululand
Keywords: Jesus, moral regeneration, gospel of St John, crime, South Africa


A structural and text-immanent approach to the Gospel of John reveals that Jesus of Nazareth came to earth to do the will of God his Father and to take away the sins of the world. The author/s makes/make it clear that Jesus taught Nicodemus that one needs to be born again in order to enter the kingdom of God. To be born again means that one must be born out of water and Spirit, that is, through becoming a follower or disciple of Jesus Christ, one’s life has to change. This change, also called regeneration, is, anthropologically-speaking, according to the rational-choice theory, a deliberate choice made by man to become a follower or disciple of Jesus and to do his Father’s will. The disciples are not called upon to be like robbers and thieves, focused on the accumulation of earthly wealth, but to love one another. Although Jesus was crucified because of an allegation of high treason, a crime against the state, He instructed his followers to forgive others and to remain in His love. In terms of the explicatio-applicatio model, the intended kerygmatic message of John to his intended readers is clear: he wants all people, including criminals, to believe in Jesus and to follow Him, because, according to the Johannine author/s, when one follows Jesus, one does not commit crime, because one has been morally regenerated. Keywords: Jesus, moral regeneration, gospel of St John, crime, South Africa

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2077-2815