Die Familie in Betanien (Joh 11,1‒12,19) als narrativ inszenierte Modellgemeinde


  • Andrea Taschl-Erber Universität Graz


Family Imagery, Love, House, Anointment


Since the Fourth Gospel’s metaphorical language plays on several levels of meaning, the image of the family in Bethany reveals symbolic overtones hinting at the Johannine idea of a community consisting of siblings and friends of Jesus. Before Passion, the Gospel’s love imagery gets intensified in the raising of Lazarus, which means life for the “brother”, but death for Jesus, who gives himself for the life of his friends. At the dinner in Bethany with his beloved, Jesus is anointed for his burial, and simultaneously as the messianic king, as can be seen, for example, from the motif of fragrance filling the “house”, which distinguishes the Johannine story from the Synoptic anointment narratives. Lazarus who is raised to life, Martha as the spokesperson of the Johannine confession, and Mary with her prophetic love service represent several aspects of discipleship. The familia Dei substituting former familial bonds is actually constituted in the “hour” of Jesus’ exaltation which enables the believers to become children of God. In the community of brothers and sisters, in which divine love takes residence, he remains present.