john [locke] 3:16

oh man episode 316 was biblical. no, i mean it. it was very bible-like.

(although it was also biblical as in “epic” , “monumental”, “bodacious” etc. but let’s focus, shall we?)

as you smarty-pantses out there have probably already surmised, “316” is not only the number of the flight  that eloise “time-travelling badass” hawking instructs the o6 to go on. it is also the the chapter and verse of what is one of the the most widely known passages of the bible. 316 comes from chapter 3 of the gospel of john, who is known for being the most divine-minded of the evangelists (thanks, sister alice! you once threatened that i would “fail religion” if i didn’t do my homework. but clearly something from your 9th grade new testament class stuck).

in chapter three, jesus is talking with nicodemus, who is convinced of jesus’ divinity by virtue of the miracles he has perfomed. but it’s that tricky “born again” thing that’s got nicodemus a little twisted:

“How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

born again as an adult, eh (coughlockecough)? a spirit you can hear but do not know from whence it comes or goes (coughsmokeycough)? INTERESTING THOUGHTS, NICKY D! [i also like the thought of the “new life” as a spirit; if john returns to the island and is somehow resurrected, he will no longer be locke of the flesh, but locke of the spirit a la christian shepherd. notice how christian can be seen and heard but is not tangible. he cannot help john up. he is the daddy issue ethereal– “born of Spirit”].

but the title verse, 3:16, reads as follows:

john 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

this phrase has oft been called the “Gospel in  a nutshell”: christinanity simplified. the cornerstone of the faith. the new testament itself is like one big father-son tale: father has dreams for his son; son is sent to father’s old stomping grounds to bring renown to the family name; son suffers for what pops teaches him is the greater good. but if there is some island god (the island  itself? jacob?) then who is his son (ben? locke? widmore?)? how is he being given? is there a promise of eternal life (richard alpert?)? does becoming a man of faith guarantee eternal life?

john 3:16 is also ubiquitous in pop culture, most notably making appearances on neon posterboards at sporting events. (remember stone cold steve austin’s “austin 3:16”? how i retained that piece of information at all is a mystery to me). the “john 3:16” sign, if i call correctly, is often associated with a last ditch effort; a half-court shot; a hail mary pass. you could say that the oceanic 6’s flight on ajira airways was one of these: a last minute shot in the dark at getting back to the island.

a final biblical note:  i just wrote out a long, convoluted comparison between john/jesus and ben/judas. but it’s a mess of ideas without much cohesion**. so suffice to say that ben may be well aware that he must play the role of master betrayer in order to save the island. that he must doest, he must doest quickly.

(although notice the reversal: john, like judas, hangs himself. who is the martyr, who is the mastermind? i guess we’ll have to see what happens in “the life and death of jeremy bentham” aka “the new testament of john locke.”)

**if you really want to read the crazy judas thing, shoot me an e-mail.


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