Jesus, the master of life : a study of John 11:1-44 utilizing the tri- polar exegetical model of Draper, Gernholm and Patte.
What is the real meaning of life and death; the absence and presence of Jesus at Bethany? These fundamental biblical questions, which constitute the theological concern ofthe Lazarus story, not only tortured the Johannine Community, the Community of Eternal Life but they still challenge each believer who goes through the same experience today. Could sickness, suffering and death be a way of glory and life? The present study is concerned with these very harsh issues through a contextual exegesis of John 11:1-44 based on the Tri-Polar Exegetical model of Draper, Grenholm and Patte. Considering the disastrous consequences caused by sickness and death, divisions, distress, fear, weakness of faith, especially in the context of crisis of values in Congo-Brazzaville, this work stands as a help. The study would like to be an appeal, a challenge for each believer in order to overcome and make the reality of death part of his/her life, as well as the fear this phenomenon generates. In other words, the findings of the exegesis of the Lazarus story challenge each C-hristian in Congo-Brazzaville to a true meta-noia which allows one to give a human response of high quality to God's initiative, God's presence and action which are revealed in "the signs of the times." In this process, the Church could help believers by referring to African values as a precious treasure of African wisdom and proverbs as dynamic elements of the language capable to strengthen faith and hope, thanks to their rhetorical dimension.