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The Life of Jesus of Nazareth by Rush Rhees

Part 3 out of 5

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In his first announcement of his death as necessary he had also declared
that it would not be a tragedy, but would be followed by a resurrection.
This the disciples could not appreciate, as they found the idea of the
Messiah's death unthinkable. Jesus, however, saw in it the general law,
that life must ever win its goal by disregard of itself, and called his
disciples also to walk in the path of self-sacrifice. In order that the
new lesson might not quite overwhelm the yet feeble faith of these
followers, Jesus assured them that after his death and resurrection he
would come as Messianic Judge and fulfil the hopes which his prediction of
death seemed to blot out utterly (Mark viii. 34 to ix. 1).

160. That this new lesson was a difficult one for master as well as
disciple seems to be shown by the experience which came a few days later
to Jesus and his three closest friends. He had withdrawn with them to a
"high mountain" for prayer (Luke ix. 28f.). While he prayed the light of
heaven came into his face, and his disciples were granted a vision of him
in celestial glory, conversing with Moses and Elijah, representatives of
Old Testament law and prophecy. The theme of the discourse was that death
which had so troubled the disciples, and which then and later weighed
heavily on Jesus' own spirit (Luke ix. 31). At the conclusion of the
vision came a divine injunction to hear him who now was superseding law
and prophets. The effect of the transfiguration can only be inferred. It
doubtless brought strengthening to Jesus for his difficult task (compare
Heb. v. 7), and at least a silencing of remonstrance when he spoke again
to his disciples of his approaching death. This he did while the little
company was making its way back towards Capernaum (Mark ix. 30-32), and
repeatedly later before the end came (Mark x. 32-34; Matt. xxvi. 1f.).

161. On Jesus' return from the mountain, he was met by the despairing plea
of a father and healed his epileptic son, out of whom the disciples were
unable to cast the demon (Mark ix. 14-29; compare vi. 7, 13). It may have
been the shock which the new lesson had given the disciples that accounted
for the reproof of their lack of faith. The new evidence of Jesus' power,
coupled with this reproof, seems to have restored their confidence in him.
Perhaps, too, there was something contagious about the spirit of hope with
which the three came from their vision of the Master's glory. For,
although they were not free to tell what they had seen (Mark ix. 9), they
could not have concealed the fact that their faith had received great
encouragement. Whatever the cause, hope revived for the disciples, for on
the way back to Capernaum a dispute arose among them concerning personal
precedence in the kingdom which their Master should soon set up. In this
rapid reaction from unbelief to faith the disciples seem to have forgotten
the lesson of self-denial recently given them (Mark viii. 34, 35). In
Peter's confession the corner-stone of the church was laid; but the
superstructure was yet far out of sight. Although his own soul, taking its
way down into the valley of shadows, might rightly have asked for sympathy
and complained of its lack, Jesus simply set a little child in the midst
of them, and taught them again the first lessons of faith,--gentle
humility and trust. Thereby he rebuked the spirit of rivalry and asked of
his disciples a generous, unselfish, and forgiving spirit (Matt, xviii.

162. It was possibly at this time, certainly near the end of the Galilean
ministry, that Jesus was approached by his own brethren, who urged him to
try to win the capital. Their attitude was not one of indifference, though
clearly not one of actual faith in his claim (John vii. 2-5). They seem to
have felt that Jesus had not made adequate effort to secure a following in
Jerusalem, and that he could not hope for success in his work if he
continued to confine his attention to Galilee. Jesus knew conditions in
Jerusalem far better than they did, and had no idea as yet of resuming a
general ministry there. He therefore dismissed the suggestion, and left
his brethren to go up to the feast disappointed in their desire that he
make a demonstration at that time. Yet Jesus still yearned over Jerusalem.
He knew in what organized opposition a general demonstration would result.
There were some, however, in the capital who had real faith in him. His
repeated efforts to win Jerusalem mean nothing if we do not recognize that
he hoped against hope that many of the people might yet turn and let him
lead them. With some such purpose, therefore, he went up a little later
without ostentation, and quietly appeared in the temple teaching. The
effect of this unannounced arrival was that the opposition was not ready
for him. The multitude was compelled to form an opinion of him for itself,
and he had opportunity to make his own impression for a time,
independently of official suggestion as to what ought to be thought of
him. This course resulted in a division of sentiment among the people, so
much so that when the leaders, both secular and religious, sought to
compass his arrest, the officers sent to take Jesus were themselves
entranced by his teaching. In spite of the wish of the leaders Jesus
continued to teach, and many of the people began to think of him with
favor. When, however, he tried to lead them on to become "disciples
indeed," they took offence, and showed that they were not ready yet to
follow him. This effort to "gather the children of Jerusalem" resulted in
new proof that they preferred his death to his message (John vii. 2 to
viii. 59).

163. Interesting evidence of the fact that "Jesus did many other signs
which are not written" in our accepted gospels is found in the story of
his dealing with an adulteress whom the Pharisees brought to him for
judgment (John vii. 53 to viii. 11). This narrative had no secure place in
any of the gospels in the earliest days, yet was so highly regarded that
men would not let it go. Hence in the manuscripts which contain it, it is
found in various places. Some give it in Luke after chapter xxi., some at
the end of the Gospel of John, one placing it after John vii. 36. Many
considerations combine to prove that it was no part of the Gospel of John,
but as many show that it preserves a true incident in the ministry of
Jesus. In scene it belongs to the temple, therefore in time to one of the
Jerusalem visits. To which of those visits it should he assigned is not
now discoverable. The ancient copyists who assigned it to this feast of
Tabernacles, chose as well as later students can. If the incident belongs
to this visit, it illustrates the patience and the keen insight of Jesus
in his effort to win self-satisfied Jerusalem.

164. John is silent concerning the doings of Jesus after the feast of
Tabernacles. In x. 22 he notes that Jesus was at Jerusalem at the feast of
Dedication, which followed two months later. It seems probable that after
his hurried and private journey to the feast of Tabernacles (John vii. 10)
he returned to Galilee and gathered to himself again the little company of
his loyal followers, preparatory to that final journey to Jerusalem which
should bring the end foreseen, unless, perchance, Israel should yet repent
and turn unto the Lord. As the shadow deepened over his own life, and the
persistency of the unbelief of his people appeared more and more clearly,
the teachings of Jesus took on a new note of tragedy which was not
characteristic of the earlier preaching in Galilee. Even when his topic
was similar and his treatment of it not unlike some earlier discourse,
there appeared in it here and there a warning of impending judgment. This
is seen as early as the reply to the criticism of the disciples for
disregard of traditions (Matt. xv. 13f.). Many discourses in the section
peculiar to Luke show by the presence of this note of doom that they
belong to this later time rather than to the Galilean period proper. (See
the table prefixed to Chapter V.)

165. Two years had nearly passed since Jesus withdrew from Judea to start
his ministry anew in a different region and following a different method.
The fruit of that ministry was small, but significant. His proclamation of
the coming kingdom and his call to a deeper righteousness, coupled as they
were with his works of heavenly power, had won at first an enthusiastic
following. Realizing that an uncontrolled enthusiasm would thwart his
purpose to introduce a kingdom of the spirit, Jesus had kept his Messianic
claim in the background, seeking first to win disciples to the kingdom
that he was proclaiming. Yet emphasize his message as he would, he could
not conceal his personal significance. In fact he wished by winning
disciples to his doctrine of the kingdom to attach followers to himself,
the bearer of the words of eternal life. The great development of popular
enthusiasm did not deceive him, nor did he hesitate, when the multitude
would force him to do its will, to show clearly how far he was from being
a fulfiller of their desires. By successive disappointments of the popular
ideas he sifted his followers until a few were ready to follow him
whithersoever he might lead. With these he allowed time for the fact of
his unpopularity to appear, giving them opportunity to consider the
relentless hostility of their national leaders to the teacher from
Galilee. Then when the time was ripe he drew from the loyal few their
declaration that they would follow him in spite of disappointments and
unpopularity, their confession that he had come to be to them more than
their cherished preconceptions, that he had won the mastery over their
thought and life. He began then to prepare them for the end he had long
foreseen, and at length, after giving them time for that perplexing
mystery to find place in their hearts, he was ready to move on toward the
crisis which he knew his public appearance in Jerusalem would precipitate.
Before setting out on this journey his desire still to seek to win
Jerusalem, if perchance it would repent, led him to visit the capital
unannounced at the feast of Tabernacles. This taught him that, however
ready some might be superficially to believe in him, he could as yet win
in Jerusalem only hatred and plots against his life, and he returned to
his faithful friends in Galilee.

Outline of Events in the Journey through Perea to Jerusalem

The final departure from Galilee--Matt. xix. 1, 2; viii. 19-22; Mark x.
1; Luke ix. 51-62.

The mission of the seventy--Matt. xi. 20-30; Luke x. 1-24.

The visit to the feast of Dedication--John ix. 1 to x. 39.

Possibly at this time: The parable of the Good Samaritan--Luke x.
25-37. The visit to Mary and Martha--Luke x. 38-42.

Return to Perea--John x. 40-42.

The visit to Bethany and the raising of Lazarus--John xi. 1-46.

The withdrawal to Ephraim--John xi. 47-54.

Events connected with the last journey to Jerusalem, which cannot be
more definitely located:

The question whether few are saved--Luke xiii. 22-30.

Reply to the warning against Herod, probably near the close--Luke xiii.

The cure of ten lepers--Luke xvii. 11-19.

The question of the Pharisees concerning divorce--Matt. xix. 3-12; Mark
x. 2-12.

The blessing of little children--Matt. xix. 13-15; Mark x. 13-16; Luke
xviii. 15-17.

The question of the rich young ruler--Matt. xix. 16 to xx. 16; Mark x.
17-31; Luke xviii. 18-30.

The third prediction of death and resurrection--Matt xx. 17-19; Mark x.
32-34; Luke xviii. 31-34.

The ambitious request of the sons of Zebedee--Matt. xx. 20-28; Mark x.

The last stage, Jericho to Jerusalem:

The blind men near Jericho--Matt. xx. 29-34; Mark x. 46-52; Luke xviii.

The visit to Zacchaeus--Luke xix. 1-10.

The parable of the pounds (minae)--Luke xix. 11-28. Events and
discourses found in Luke ix. 51 to xviii. 14, which probably belong
after the confession of Peter, and very likely to some stage of the
journey to Jerusalem:

Woes against the Pharisees, uttered at a Pharisee's table--Luke xi.

Warnings against the spirit of pharisaism--Luke xii. 1-59.

Comment on the slaughter of Galileans by Pilate--Luke xiii. 1-9.

Discourse on counting the cost of discipleship--Luke xiv. 25-35.

Discourse on the coming of the kingdom--Luke xvii. 20-37.

Parable of the Unjust Judge--Luke xviii. 1-8.

Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican--Luke xviii. 9-14.


The Journey through Perea to Jerusalem

166. The fourth gospel says that after the visit to Jerusalem at the feast
of Dedication Jesus withdrew beyond Jordan to the place where John at the
first was baptizing (x. 40). Matthew and Mark also say that at the close
of the ministry in Galilee Jesus departed and came into the borders of
Judea and beyond Jordan, and that in this new region the multitudes again
flocked to him, and he resumed his ministry of teaching (Matt. xix. 1f.;
Mark x. 1). What he did and taught at this time is not shown at all by
John, and only in scant fashion by the other two. They tell of a
discussion with the Pharisees concerning divorce (Mark x. 2-12); of the
welcome extended by Jesus to certain little children (Mark x. 13-16); of
the disappointment of a rich young ruler, who wished to learn from Jesus
the way of life, but loved better his great possessions (Mark x. 17-31);
of a further manifestation of the unlovely spirit of rivalry among the
disciples in the request of James and John for the best places in the
kingdom (Mark x. 35-45),--a request following in the records directly
after another prediction by Jesus of his death and resurrection (Mark x.
32-34). Then, after a visit to Jericho (Luke xviii. 35 to xix. 28), these
records come into coincidence with John in the account of the Messianic
entry into Jerusalem just before the last Passover.

167. The fourth gospel tells in addition of a considerable activity of
Jesus in and near Jerusalem during this period. In making the journey
beyond Jordan start from Jerusalem (x. 40), John shows that Jesus must
have returned to the capital after his withdrawal from the feast of
Tabernacles. When and how this took place is not indicated. Later, after
his retirement from the feast of Dedication Jesus hastened at the summons
of his friends from beyond Jordan to Bethany when Lazarus died (xi. 1-7).
From Bethany he went not to the other side of Jordan again, but to Ephraim
(xi. 54), a town on the border between Judea and Samaria, and from there
he started towards Jerusalem when the Passover drew near. This record of
John has, as Dr. Sanday has recently remarked (HastBD II. 630), so many
marks of verisimilitude that it must be accepted as a true tradition. It
demands thus that in our conception of the last journey from Galilee room
be found for several excursions to Jerusalem or its neighborhood. One of
these at least--to the feast of Dedication (x. 22)--represents another
effort to "gather the children of Jerusalem." While not without success,
for at least the blind man restored by Jesus gave him the full faith he
sought (ix. 35-38), it showed with fuller clearness the determined
hostility to Jesus of the influential class (x. 39).

168. It has been customary to find in the long section peculiar to Luke
(ix. 51 to xviii. 14) a fuller account of the Perean ministry, as it has
been called. For it opens with a final departure from Galilee, and comes
at its close into parallelism with the record of Matthew and Mark. Yet
some parts of this section in Luke belong in the earlier Galilean
ministry. The blasphemy of the Pharisees (xi. 14-36) is clearly identical
with the incident recorded in Mark iii. 22-30, and Matt. xii. 22-45; while
several incidents and discourses (see outline prefixed to Chapter III.)
bear so plainly the marks of the ministry before the revulsion of popular
favor, that it is easiest to think of them as actually belonging to the
earlier time, but assigned by Luke to this peculiar section because he
found no clear place offered for them in the record of Mark. Not a little,
however, of what Luke records here manifestly belongs to the time when
Jesus referred openly to his rejection by the Jewish people. The note of
tragedy characteristic of later discourses appears in the replies of Jesus
to certain would-be disciples (ix. 57-62), and in his warning that his
followers count the cost of discipleship (xiv. 25-35). The woes spoken at
a Pharisee's table (xi. 37-52), the warning to the disciples against
pharisaism (xii. 1-12), and the encouragement of the "little flock" (xii.
22-34), with many other paragraphs from this part of the gospel (see
outline at the head of this chapter), evidently were spoken at the time
of the approaching end. Some narratives reflect the neighborhood of
Jerusalem, and naturally corroborate the indications in the fourth gospel
that Jesus was repeatedly at the capital during this time. The parable of
the good Samaritan, for instance, must have been spoken in Judea, else why
choose the road from Jerusalem to Jericho for the illustration? The visit
to Mary and Martha shows Jesus at Bethany, and the parable of the Pharisee
and the Publican, naming the temple as the place of prayer, belongs
naturally to Judea.

169. The effort to find the definite progress of events in this part of
Luke has not been successful. There are three hints of movement towards
Jerusalem,--the introductory mention of the departure from Galilee (ix.
51); a statement that Jesus went on his way through cities and villages,
journeying on unto Jerusalem (xiii. 22); and again a reference to passing
through the midst of Samaria and Galilee on the way to Jerusalem (xvii.
11). The attempt to make the third of these belong actually to the last
stages of the final journey seems artificial. Confessedly the expression
"through the midst of Samaria and Galilee" is obscure. It is much easier
to understand, however, if the journey so described is identified with the
visit to Samaria with which the departure from Galilee opened. It seems
probable that Luke found these records of events and teachings in Jesus'
life, and was unable to learn exactly their connection in time and place,
so placed them after the close of the Galilean story and before the
account of the passion, much as later some copyist found the story of the
adulteress (John vii. 53 to viii. 11), and, certain that it was a true
incident, gave it a place in connection with the visit to the feast of
Tabernacles (perhaps influenced by John viii. 15). It must always be
remembered that the earliest apostolic writing--Matthew's Logia--probably
consisted of just such disconnected records (see sects. 28, 42), and that,
as Juelicher (Einleitung i. d. NT. 235) has said, the early church was not
interested in _when_ Jesus said or did anything. Its interest was in
_what_ he said and did.

170. The time of the departure from Galilee for Jerusalem may be set with
much probability not long before the feast of the Dedication in December;
for at that feast Jesus was again in Jerusalem, and from it he returned to
Perea (John x. 22, 40-42). He started southward through Samaria (Luke ix.
51 ff.), and probably in connection with the early stages of the journey
he sent out the seventy "into every city and place whither he himself was
about to come" (Luke x. 1). It is not unlikely that, after the sending out
of these heralds, he went with a few disciples to make one more effort to
turn the heart of Jerusalem to himself (John ix., x.). It is impossible to
determine whither the seventy were sent. The "towns and cities" whither
Jesus was about to come may have included some from all portions of the
land, not excepting Judea. The matter must be left in considerable
obscurity. This, however, may be said, that the reasons offered for
holding that the story of the sending out of the seventy is only a
"doublet" of the mission of the twelve are not conclusive (see sect. A
68). The connection in Luke of the woes against Capernaum, Bethsaida, and
Chorazin with the instruction of the seventy is very natural, and marks
this mission as belonging to the close of the Galilean period, while the
mission of the twelve belongs to the height of Jesus' popularity.

171. Our knowledge of Jesus' visit to the feast of Dedication is due to
John's interest in the cure at about that time of one born blind (John
ix., x.). The prejudice of the sanhedrists who excommunicated the man for
his loyalty to Jesus led him in indignation to contrast their method of
caring for God's "sheep" with his own love and sympathy and genuine
ministry to their needs. He saw clearly that his course must end in death,
unless a great change should come over his enemies; yet, as the Good
Shepherd, he was ready to lay down his life for the sheep, rather than
leave them to the heartlessness of leaders who cared only for themselves
(x. 11-18). The critics of Jesus could not, or would not, understand his
charge against them, and accused him of madness for his extraordinary
claims. There were some, however, who could not credit the notion that
Jesus had a devil (John x. 21). It is possible that it was at this time
that the lawyer questioned him about the breadth of interpretation to be
given to the word "neighbor" in the law of love, and was answered by the
parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke x. 25-37). Possibly the parable of the
Pharisee and the Publican (Luke xviii. 9-14) belongs also to this time. In
general, however, the visit proved anew that Jerusalem was in no mood to
accept Jesus (John x. 24-39). His enemies sought to draw from him a
declaration of his claim to be the Messiah, and Jesus appealed to his
works, asserting that only their incorrigible prejudice prevented their
recognizing his claims. He added that his Father, with whom he was ever in
perfect accord, had drawn some faithful followers to him, and thereupon,
angered by his claim to close kinship with God, they appealed to the rough
logic of violence (John x. 31-39; compare viii. 59).

172. After this added attempt to win Jerusalem Jesus withdrew to the
region beyond Jordan, where John had carried on his ministry to the eager
multitudes. Here he anew attracted great attention, causing people to
contrast his ministry with the less remarkable work of John, and to
acknowledge that John's testimony to him was true (John x. 40-42).
Possibly it was in this place that the seventy found Jesus when they
returned to report the success of their mission (Luke x. 17-24), for the
thanksgiving which Jesus rendered for the faith of the common people in
contrast with the unbelief of the "wise and prudent" might well express
his feeling after the fresh evidence he had at the feast of Dedication
that Jerusalem would none of his mission. The invitation to all the heavy
laden to take his yoke illustrates, though under another figure, his claim
to be the Good Shepherd (Matt. xi. 28-30). We have no means of knowing how
much more of what the gospels assign to the last journey to Jerusalem
should be put in connection with this sojourn across the Jordan. The
multitudes that came to him there may have included the Pharisees who
questioned him about divorce (Mark x. 2-12), and the young ruler who loved
his great possessions (Mark x. 17-31), as well as the parents who eagerly
sought the Lord's blessing for their children (Mark x. 13-16). Some parts
of Luke's narrative seem to belong still later in this journey, yet such a
section as the reply of Jesus to the report of Pilate's slaughter of the
Galileans (xiii. 1-9), or the parable of the Great Supper (xiv. 15-24), is
suitable to any stage of it.

173. This sojourn on the other side of Jordan was brought to a close by
the summons to come to the aid of his friends in Bethany (John xi.). It is
not strange that the disciples feared his return to Judea, nor that Jesus
did not hesitate when he recognized the call of duty as well as of
friendship. In no recorded miracle of Jesus is his power more signally set
forth, yet here more clearly than anywhere else he is represented as
dependent on his Father in his exercise of that power. The words of Jesus
at the grave (John xi. 41, 42) show that he was confident of the
resurrection of Lazarus, because he had prayed and was sure he was heard.
It may be that his delay after hearing of the sickness of his friend (xi.
6) was a time of waiting for answer, and that this explains his confidence
of safety when the time came for him to expose himself again to the
hostility of Judea. Jesus indicated not only that on this occasion he had
help from above in doing his miracles, but that it was the rule in his
life to seek such help and guidance (xi. 42). In fact, at a later time he
ascribed all his works to the Father abiding in him (John xiv. 10; compare
x. 25). The effect of the resurrection of Lazarus was such as to intensify
the determination of the leaders in Jerusalem--both Pharisees and
Sadducees--to get rid of Jesus as dangerous to the quiet of the nation
(John xi. 47-54). In this it simply served to fix a determination already
present (John vii. 25, 32; viii. 59; x. 31, 39). The miracle does not
appear in John as the cause of the apprehension of Jesus, but rather as
one influence leading to it. It was indeed the total contradiction between
Jesus and all current and cherished ideas that led to his condemnation;
the raising of Lazarus only showed that he was becoming dangerously
popular, and made the priestly leaders feel the necessity of haste. The
silence of the first three gospels concerning this event is truly
perplexing, yet it is not any more difficult of explanation, as Beyschlag
(LJ I. 495) has shown, than the silence of all four evangelists concerning
the appearance of the risen Jesus to James, or to the five hundred
brethren (I. Cor. xv. 6, 7). Room must be allowed in our conception of the
life of Jesus for many things of which no record remains, all the more,
therefore, for incidents to which but one of the gospels is witness.
Moreover, after the collapse of popularity in Galilee, the great
enthusiasm of the multitudes over Jesus when he entered Jerusalem (Luke
xix. 37-40; Mark xi. 8-10) is most easily understood if he had made some
such manifestation of power as the restoration of Lazarus.

174. After the visit to Bethany Jesus withdrew to a little town named
Ephraim, on the border between Judea and Samaria, and spent some time
there in seclusion with his disciples (John xi. 54), doubtless
strengthening his personal hold on them preparatory to the shock their
faith was about to receive. Of the length of this sojourn nothing is told
us, nor of the road by which Jesus left Ephraim for Jerusalem (John xii.
1). The first three gospels show that he began his final approach to the
Holy City at Jericho (Mark x. 46). It may be that he descended from
Ephraim direct to Jericho some days before the Passover, rejoining there
some of the people who had been impressed by his recent ministry in the
region "where John at the first was baptizing." It is natural to suppose
that it was on this journey to Jericho that he warned his disciples again
of the fate which he saw before him in Jerusalem (Mark x. 32-34), and
quite probably it was at this time that he rebuked the crude ambition of
the sons of Zebedee by reminding them that his disciples must be more
ambitious to serve than to rule, since even "the Son of Man came not to be
ministered unto but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many"
(Mark x. 35-45). At Jericho he was at once crowded upon by enthusiastic
multitudes. The feeling they had for him may perhaps be inferred from the
cry of blind Bartimeus, "Thou son of David, have mercy on me" (Mark x.
48). This enthusiasm received a shock when Jesus chose to be guest in
Jericho of a chief of the publicans, a shock which Jesus probably intended
to give, for much the same reason that led him afterwards on his way up to
Jerusalem to teach his followers in the parable of the pounds that they
must be ready for long delay in his actual assumption of his kingly right
(Luke xix. 11-28). Finally, six days before the Passover, he and his
disciples left Jericho and went up to Bethany preparatory to his final
appearance in Jerusalem (John xii. 1).

175. The interval between the final departure from Galilee and the public
entry into Jerusalem was given to three different tasks: the renewed
proclamation of the coming of the kingdom, further efforts to win
acceptance in Jerusalem, if perchance she might learn to know the things
that belonged to her peace; and continued training of the disciples,
specially needed because of the ill-considered enthusiasm with which they
were inclined to view the probable issue of this journey to Jerusalem. The
first of these tasks was conducted as the earlier work in Galilee had
been, both by teaching and healing, in which Jesus used his disciples even
more extensively than before. It proved that here as in Galilee the common
people were ready to hear him gladly, until he showed too radical a
disappointment of their hopes. In this new ministry to the people Jesus
spoke very frankly of the seriousness of the opposition which the leaders
of the people were manifesting, and of the need that those who would be
his disciples should count the cost of their allegiance (Luke xiii. 22-30;
xiv. 25-35; xii. 1-59). He did not hesitate to administer the most
scathing rebuke to the Pharisees for the superficiality and hypocrisy of
their religious life and teaching (Luke xi. 37-54),--a rebuke which is
emphasized by the parable in which, on another occasion, he taught God's
preference for a contrite sinner over a complacent saint (Luke xviii.
9-14). When reminded of Pilate's outrage upon certain Galilean
worshippers, he used the calamity to warn his hearers that personal
godliness was the only protection which could secure them against a more
serious outbreak of the hostility of the Roman power (Luke xiii. 1-9); and
it was probably in reply to such an appeal as accompanied this report of
Pilate's cruelty that Jesus spoke the parable of the Unjust Judge (Luke
xviii. 1-8), teaching that God's love may be trusted to be no less
regardful of his people's cry than a selfish man's love of ease would be.

176. The second of these tasks must not be held to be perfunctory, even
though each new effort for Jerusalem proved that genuine acceptance of its
saviour was increasingly improbable. As the denunciations of the older
prophets ever left open a way of escape _if _ Israel would return and seek
the Lord, so the anticipation of rejection and death which filled the
heart of Jesus does not banish a like _if_ from his own thought of
Jerusalem in his repeated efforts to "gather her children." The
combination of the new popular enthusiasm and the fresh proofs of the
hopelessness of winning Jerusalem made more important the third task,--the
founding of the faith of the disciples on the rock of personal certainty,
from which the rising floods of hatred and seeming ruin for the Master's
cause could not sweep it. It was for them that much of his instruction of
the multitudes was doubtless primarily intended; they needed above all
others to count the cost of discipleship (Luke xiv. 25-35), and the
warnings against the spirit of Pharisaism (Luke xii.) were addressed
principally to them, even as it was to them that Jesus confessed the
"straitening" of his own soul in view of the "fire which he had come to
cast upon the earth" (Luke xii. 49-53),--a confession which had another
expression when he found it needful to rebuke the personal ambition of the
sons of Zebedee (Mark x. 35-45). As for Jesus himself, the popular
enthusiasm had not deceived him, nor the obdurate unbelief of Jerusalem
daunted him, nor his disciples' misconception of his kingdom disheartened
him; he still steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.

Outline of Events in the Last Week of Jesus' Life

_Saturday_ (?). The anointing in Bethany six days before the
Passover--Matt. xxvi. 6-13; Mark xiv. 3-9; John xi. 55 to xii. 11.

_Sunday_ (?). The Messianic entry--Matt. xxi. 1-11; Mark xi. 1-11; Luke
six. 29-44; John xii. 12-19.

_Monday_ (?). Visit to the temple: the cursing of the barren
fig-tree--Matt. xxi. 18-19, 12-17; Mark xi. 12-14, 15-18; Luke xix. 45,
47, 48.

Return to Bethany for the night--Matt. xxi. 17; Mark xi. 19; Luke xxi.
37, 38.

_Tuesday_ (?). Visit to the temple: the fig-tree found withered--Matt,
xxi 20-23; Mark xi. 20-27; Luke xx. 1.

Challenge of Jesus' authority--Matt. xxi. 23-27; Mark xi. 27-33; Luke
xx. 1-8.

Three parables against the religious leaders--Matt. xxi. 28 to xxii.
14; Mark xii. 1-12; Luke xx. 9-19.

The question about tribute--Matt. xxii. 15-22; Mark xii. 13-17; Luke
xx. 20-26.

The question of the Sadducees about the resurrection--Matt. xxii.
23-33; Mark xii. 18-27; Luke xx. 27-40.

The question of the Pharisees about the great commandment--Matt. xxii.
34-40; Mark xii. 28-34.

Jesus' counter-question about David's son and Lord--Matt. xxii. 41-46;
Mark xii. 35-37; Luke xx. 41-44.

Jesus' denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees--Matt, xxiii. 1-39;
Mark xii. 38-40; Luke xx. 45-47.

The widow's two mites--Mark xii. 41-44; Luke xxi. 1-4.

The visit of the Greeks--John xii. 20-36^a.

Final departure from the temple--John xii. 36^b (-50).

Discourse concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the
world--Matt. xxiv. 1 to xxvi. 2; Mark xiii. 1-37; Luke xxi. 5-38.

Plot of Judas to betray Jesus--Matt. xxvi. 3-5, 14-16; Mark xiv. 1, 2,
10, 11; Luke xxii. 1-6.

_Wednesday_. Retirement at Bethany. (?)

_Thursday_. The Last Supper--Matt. xxvi. 17-30; Mark xiv. 12-26; Luke
xxii. 7-30; John xiii. 1-30.

The farewell words of admonition and comfort--John xiii. 31 to xvi. 33.

The intercessory prayer--John xvii. 1-26.

_Friday_. The agony in Gethsemane--Matt. xxvi. 30, 36-46; Mark xiv. 26,
32-42; Luke xxii. 39-46; John xviii. 1.

The betrayal and arrest--Matt xxvi. 47-56; Mark xiv. 43-52; Luke xxii.
47-53; John xviii. 1-12.

Trial before the high-priests and sanhedrin--Matt. xxvi. 57 to xxvii.
10; Mark xiv. 53 to xv. 1^a; Luke xxii. 54-71; John xviii. 12-27.

Trial before Pilate--Matt, xxvii. 11-31; Mark xv. 1-20; Luke xxiii.
1-25; John xviii. 28 to xix. 16^a.

The crucifixion--Matt, xxvii. 32-56; Mark xv. 21-41; Luke xxiii. 26-49;
John xix. 16-37.

The burial--Matt, xxvii. 57-61; Mark xv. 42-47; Luke xxiii. 50-56; John
xix. 38-42.

_Saturday_. The Sabbath rest--Luke xxiii. 56^b.

The watch at the tomb--Matt, xxvii. 62-66.


The Final Controversies in Jerusalem

177. The early Christians were greatly interested in the teachings of
Jesus and in his deeds, but they thought oftenest of the victory which by
his resurrection he won out of seeming defeat. This is proved by the fact
that of the first two gospels over one third, of Luke over one fifth, and
of the fourth gospel nearly one half are devoted to the story of the
passion and resurrection. This preponderance is not strange in view of the
shock which the death of Jesus caused his disciples, and the new life
which the resurrection brought to their hearts. The resurrection was the
fundamental theme of apostolic preaching, the supreme evidence that Jesus
was the Messiah. Hence the cross early became the object of exultant
Christian joy and boasting; and in this the church entered actually into
the Lord's own thought, for through the cross he looked for his exaltation
and glory (Mark viii. 31; John xii. 23-36). From the time of the
confession at Caesarea Philippi, he had had his death avowedly in view, and
had repeatedly checked the ambitious and unthinking enthusiasm of his
disciples by reminding them of what he must receive at the hands of the
leaders of the people. The few months preceding his final appearance in
Jerusalem had been devoted to the journey to the cross. This explains the
note of tragedy which appears in his teachings at this period. The people
had shown that they would none of his ministry. In this they had written
their national and religious death warrant, and as he approached Jerusalem
for the final crisis he declared, though with almost breaking heart, "Your
house is left unto you desolate" (Luke xiii. 31-35). Each new effort of
Jesus to turn aside the impending judgment of his people by winning their
acceptance of himself and his message resulted in a new certainty of his
ultimate rejection, and thus in confirmation of the early recognized
necessity, that, if he continued the work God had given him to do, he
should suffer many things, and die at the hands of his own people.

178. The last chapter in his public ministry began with his arrival at
Bethany six days before the Passover. It is probable that the caravan with
which Jesus was travelling reached Bethany not far from the sunset which
marked the beginning of the Sabbath preceding the feast. Jesus had friends
there who gladly gave him entertainment, and the Sabbath was doubtless
spent quietly in this retreat. The holy day closed with the setting sun,
and then his hosts were able to show him the special attention which they
desired. The general cordiality of welcome expressed itself in a feast
given in the house of one Simon, a leper who had probably experienced the
power of Jesus to heal. He may have been a relative also of Lazarus, for
Martha assisted in the entertainment, and Lazarus was one of the guests of
honor (Mark xiv. 3; John xii. 2). During the feast, Mary, the sister of
Lazarus, poured forth on the head and feet of Jesus a box of the rarest
perfume. This act of costly adoration seemed extravagant to some,
particularly to one of Jesus' disciples, who complained that the money
could have been better spent. This criticism of one who had not counted
cost in her service was rebuked by Jesus, who defended and commended Mary;
for in the act he recognized her fear that he might not be long with her
(Mark xiv. 8; John xii. 7). It is probable that this rebuke, with the
clear reference to his approaching death, led Judas to decide to abandon
the apparently waning cause of his Master, and bargain with the leaders in
Jerusalem to betray him (Mark xiv. 3-11).

179. The day following the supper at Bethany--that is, the first day of
the week--witnessed the welcome of Jesus to Jerusalem by the jubilant
multitudes. His mode of entering the city affords a marked contrast to
his treatment of the determination to make him king after he had fed the
multitudes in Galilee (John vi. 15). In some respects the circumstances
were similar. A multitude of the visitors to the feast, hearing that Jesus
was at Bethany on his way to Jerusalem, went out to meet him with a
welcome that showed their enthusiastic confidence that at last he would
assume Messianic power and redeem Israel (John xii. 12, 13). Jesus was now
ready for a popular demonstration, for the rulers were unwilling longer to
tolerate his work and his teaching. He had never hesitated to assert his
superiority to official criticism, and at length the hour had come to
proclaim the full significance of his independence. In fact it was for
this that some months before he had set his face steadfastly to go to
Jerusalem. When, therefore, the crowd from Jerusalem appeared, Jesus took
the initiative in a genuine Messianic demonstration. He sent two of his
disciples to a place near by to borrow an ass's colt, on which he might
ride into the city, fulfilling Zechariah's prophecy of the "king that
cometh meek, and riding upon an ass" (see Matt. xxi. 4, 5). At this, the
enthusiasm of his followers, and of those who had come to meet him, became
unbounded, and without rebuke from Jesus they proceeded towards Jerusalem
crying, "Hosanna; Blessed _is_ he that cometh in the name of the Lord"
(Mark xi. 9, 10). Notwithstanding the remonstrances of certain Pharisees
among the multitude (Luke xix. 39), Jesus accepted the hosannas, for they
served to emphasize the claim which he now wished, without reserve or
ambiguity, to make in Jerusalem. The time for reserve had passed. The
mass of the people with their leaders had shown clearly that for his
truth, and himself as bearer of it, they had no liking; while the few had
become attached to him sufficiently to warrant the supreme test of their
faith. He could not continue longer his efforts to win the people, for
both Galilee and Judea were closed to him. Even if he had been content,
without contradicting popular ideas, to work wonders and proclaim promises
of coming good, he could with difficulty have continued this work, for
Herod had already been regarding him with suspicion (Luke xiii. 31). He
had run his course and must measure strength with the hostile forces in
Jerusalem. For the last encounter he assumed the aggressive, and entered
the city as its promised deliverer, the Prince of Peace. The very method
of his Messianic proclamation was a challenge of current Jewish ideas, for
they were not looking for so meek and peaceful a leader as Zechariah had
conceived; this entrance emphasized the old contradiction between Jesus
and his people's expectations. He accepted the popular welcome with full
knowledge of the transitoriness of the present enthusiasm. As he advanced
he saw in thought the fate to which the city and people were blindly
hurrying, and his day of popular triumph was a day of tears (Luke xix.
41-44). The city was stirred when the prophet of Nazareth thus entered it;
but he simply went into the temple, looked about with heavy heart, and, as
it was late, returned to Bethany with the twelve for the night.

180. On the following day Jesus furnished to his disciples a parable in
action illustrating the fate awaiting the nation; for it is only as a
parable that the curse of the barren fig-tree can be understood. The idea
that Jesus showed resentment at disappointment of his hunger when he found
no figs on the tree out of season is too petty for consideration. He was
drawn to it by the early foliage, for it was not yet the season for either
fruit or leaves. One is tempted to believe, as Dr. Bruce has suggested,
that he had small expectation of finding fruit, and that even before he
reached the tree with its early leaves he felt a likeness between it and
the nation of hypocrites whose fate was so clear in his mind. The
withering of the fig-tree set his disciples thinking; and Jesus showed
that it was an object lesson, promising that the disciples, by the
exercise of but a little faith, could do more, even remove
mountains,--such mountains of difficulty as the opposition of the whole
Jewish nation would offer to the success of their work in their Master's

181. The curse upon the barren fig-tree was spoken as Jesus was going from
Bethany to Jerusalem on the morning after his Messianic entry, that is, on
Monday, and it was Tuesday when the disciples found it withered away (Mark
xi. 12-14, 20-25). On Monday Jesus entered into the temple and taught and
healed (Luke xix. 47; Matt. xxi. 14-16). It is at this point that Mark
inserts the cleansing of the temple which John shows to belong rather to
Jesus' first public visit to Jerusalem. The place which this incident
holds in the first three gospels has already been explained by the fact
that it furnished one cause for the official hostility to Jesus, and that
Mark's story included no earlier visit to the holy city (sect. 116; see A

182. Tuesday, the last day of public activity, exhibits Jesus in four
different lights, according as he had to do with his critics, with the
devout widow, with the inquiring Greeks, and with his own disciples. The
opposition to him expressed itself, after the general challenge of his
authority, in three questions put in succession by Pharisees and
Herodians, by Sadducees, and by a scribe, more earnest than most, whom the
Pharisees put forward after they had seen how Jesus silenced the
Sadducees. Jesus met the opening challenge by a question about John's
baptism (Mark xi. 29-33) which completely destroyed the complacency of his
critics, putting them on the defensive. This was more than a clever
stroke, they could not know what his authority was unless they had a quick
sense for spiritual things. His question would have served to bring this
to the surface if they had possessed it. Their reply showed them incapable
of receiving a real answer to their question. It also gave him opportunity
to say in three significant parables (Matt. xxi. 28 to xxii. 14) what
their spiritual blindness signified for them and their nation, giving thus
a turn to the interview not at all to their minds. As Jesus' rebuke was
spoken in the hearing of the people, a determined effort was at once made
to discredit him in the popular mind. The question (Mark xii. 13-17) with
which the Pharisees and Herodians hoped to ensnare him was most subtle,
for the popular feeling was as sensitive to the mark of subserviency which
the payment of tribute kept ever before them as the Roman authorities were
to the slightest suspicion of revolt against their sway. In none of his
words had Jesus so clearly asserted the simple other-worldliness of his
doctrine of the kingdom of God as in his answer to the question about
tribute. For him loyalty to the actual earthly sovereign was quite
compatible with loyalty to God, the lower obligation was in fact a summons
to be scrupulous also to render to God his due,--a duty in which this
nation was sadly delinquent. The reply gave no ground for an accusation
before the governor; but the popular feeling against Rome was so strong
that it is not unlikely that it contributed somewhat to the readiness of
the multitude a few days later to prefer Barabbas to Jesus.

183. A second assault was made by some Sadducees who put to him a crude
question about the relations of a seven-times married woman in the
resurrection (Mark xii. 18-27). If this question was asked with the
expectation of making Jesus ridiculous in the sight of the people it was a
marked failure, for his reply was so simple and straightforward that he
won the admiration even of some of the Pharisees. The most significant
feature of it was his argument from God's reference to himself as God of
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; for in that he taught that the fact of
fellowship with God implies that God's servants share with him a life that
death cannot vanquish. The skill with which Jesus met these two questions
interested some of his hearers and showed to his opponents that they must
put forward their ablest champions to cope with him. The next test was
more purely academic in character,--as to what class of commands is
greatest in the law (Mark xii. 28-34). For the pharisaic scholars this was
a favorite problem. For Jesus, however, the question contained no problem,
since all the law is summed up in the two commandments of love. His
contemporaries were not without power to see the truth of his
generalization, and their champion in this last attack was moved with
admiration for the fineness and sufficiency of Jesus' answer.

184. All of the assaults served only to show freshly the clearness and
profoundness of his thought; his critics were quite discomfited in their
effort to entangle him. They had done with him, but he had still a word
for them. The business of these scribes was the study of the scriptures.
They furnished the people with authoritative statements of truth. One of
the common-places of the current thought was that the Messiah should be
David's son. Jesus did not deny the truth of this view, yet he showed them
how partial their ideas were by quoting a word of scripture in which the
Messiah is shown as David's Lord. If they had been open-minded they might
have inferred from this that perhaps the man before them was not so
impossible a Messiah as they thought. This last question closed the
colloquy; there awaited yet, however, Jesus' calm, scathing arraignment of
the hypocrisy of these religious leaders. There was no longer any need for
prudence and every reason for a clear indication of the difference between
himself and the scribes in motive, in teaching, and in character. The
final conflict was on, and Jesus freely spoke his mind concerning their
whole life of piety without godliness. Never have sharper words of
reproach fallen from human lips than these which Jesus directed against
the scribes and Pharisees; they are burdened with indignation for the
misleading of the people, with rebuke for the misrepresentation of God's
truth, and with scorn for their hollow pretence of righteousness. Through
it all breathes a note of sorrow for the city whose house was now left to
her desolate. The change of scene which introduces the widow offering her
gift in the temple treasury heightens the significance of the
controversies through which Jesus had just passed. In his comment on the
worth of her two mites we hear again the preacher of the sermon on the
mount, and are assured that it is indeed from him that the severe rebukes
which have fallen on the scribes have come. There is again a reference to
the insight of him who sees in secret, and who judges as he sees; while
allusion is not lacking to the others whose larger gifts attracted a wider
attention. The whole scene is like a commentary on Matt. vi. 2-4.

185. Still a different side of Jesus' life appears when the Greeks seek
him in the temple. They were probably proselytes from some of the Greek
cities about the Mediterranean where the synagogue offered to the
earnest-minded a welcome relief from the foolishness and corruption of
what was left of religion in the heathen world. Having visited Jerusalem
for the feast, they heard on every hand about the new teacher. They were
not so bound to rabbinic traditions as the Jews themselves, they had been
drawn by the finer features of Judaism,--its high morality and its noble
idea of God. What they heard of Jesus might well attract them, and they
sought out Philip, a disciple with a Greek name, to request an interview
with his Master. The evangelist who has preserved the incident (John xii.
20-36) evidently introduced it because of what it showed of Jesus' inner
life; hence we have no report of the conversation between him and his
visitors. The effect of their seeking him was marked, however, for it
offered sharp contrast to the rejection which he already felt in his
dealings with the people who but two days before had hailed him as
Messiah. This foreign interest in him did not suggest a new avenue for
Messianic work, it only brought before his mind the influence which was to
be his in the world which these inquirers represented, and immediately
with the thought of his glorification came that of the means thereto,--the
cross whose shadow was already darkening his path. Excepting Gethsemane,
no more solemn moment in Jesus' life is reported for us. A glimpse is
given into the inner currents of his soul, and the storm which tossed them
is seen. It is in marked contrast to the calmness of his controversy with
the leaders, and to the gentleness of his commendation of the widow. The
agitation passed almost at once, but it left Jesus in a mood which he had
not shown before on that day; in it his own thoughts had their way, and
the doctrine of the grain of wheat dying to appear in larger life, of the
Son of Man lifted up to draw all men unto him, had utterance, greatly to
the perplexity of his hearers. It seems to have been one of the few times
when Jesus spoke for his own soul's relief.

186. In all the earlier events of the day the disciples of Jesus appear
but little. He is occupied with others, accepting the challenge of the
leaders, and completing his testimony to the truth they refused to hear.
The quieter hours of the later part of the day gave time for further words
with his friends. The comment on the widow's gift was meant for them, and
the uncovering of his own soul when the Greeks sought him was in their
presence. After he had left the temple and the city he gave himself to
them more exclusively. His disciples were perplexed by what they saw and
felt, for the temper of the people toward their Master could not be
mistaken. Yet they were sure of him. The leaders among them, therefore,
asked him privately to tell them when the catastrophe should come, to
which during the day he had made repeated reference. The conversation
which followed is reported for us in the discourse on the destruction of
Jerusalem and the end of the world (Mark xiii. and parallels), in which
Jesus taught his disciples to expect trouble in their ministry, as he was
meeting trouble in his; and to be ready for complete disappointment of
their inherited hopes for the glory of their holy city. He also taught
them to expect that his work would shortly be carried to perfection, and
to live in expectancy of his coming to complete all that he was now
seeming to leave undone. This lesson of patience and expectancy is
enforced in a group of parables preserved for us in Matthew (chap. xxv.),
closing with the remarkable picture of the end of all things when the
Master should return in glory as judge of all to make final announcement
of the simplicity of God's requirement of righteousness, as it had been
exhibited in the life which by the despite of men was now drawing to its

187. The bargain made by Judas to betray his Lord has always been
difficult to understand. The man must have had fine possibilities or Jesus
would not have chosen him for an apostle, nor would the little company
have made him its treasurer (John xii. 6; xiii. 29). The fact that Jesus
early discovered his character (John vi. 64) does not compel us to think
that his selection as an apostle was not perfectly sincere; the man must
have seemed to be still savable and worthy thus to be associated with the
eleven others who were Jesus' nearest companions. It has often been
noticed that he was probably the only Judean among the twelve, for
Kerioth, his home, was a town in southern Judea. The effort has frequently
been made to redeem his reputation by attributing his betrayal to some
high motive--such as a desire to force his Master to use his Messianic
power, and confound his opponents by escaping from their hands and setting
up the hoped-for kingdom. But the remorse of Judas, in which De Quincey
finds support for this theory of the betrayal, must be more simply and
sadly understood. It is more likely that the traitor illustrates Jesus'
words: "No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and
love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye
cannot serve God and mammon" (Matt. vi. 24). The beginning of his fall may
have been his disappointment when Jesus showed clearly that he would not
establish a kingdom conformed to the popular ideas. As the enthusiasm
which drew him to Jesus cooled, personal greed, with something of
resentment at the cause of his disappointment, seem to have taken
possession of him, and they led him on until the stinging rebuke which
Jesus administered to the criticism of Mary at Bethany prompted the man to
seek a bargain with the authorities which should insure him at least some
profit in the general wreck of his hopes. His remorse after he saw in its
bald hideousness what he had done was psychologically inevitable. Although
Jesus was aware of Judas' character from the beginning (John vi. 64), he
that came to seek and to save that which was lost was no fatalist; and
this knowledge was doubtless--like that which he had of the fate hanging
over Jerusalem--subject to the possibility that repentance might change
what was otherwise a certain destiny. As the event turned he could only
say, "Good were it for that man if he had not been born" (Mark xiv. 21).

188. With this the curtain falls on the public ministry of Jesus. The
gospels suggest a day of quiet retirement following these controversies
and warnings, with their fresh demonstration of the irreconcilable
hostility of people of all classes to him and his work. After the
seclusion of that day, he returned to give final proof of complete
obedience to his Father's will.


The Last Supper

189. On Thursday Jesus and his disciples returned to Jerusalem for the
last time. Knowing the temper of the leaders, and the danger of arrest at
any time, Jesus was particularly eager to eat the Passover with his
disciples (Luke xxii. 15), and he sent two of them--Luke names them as
Peter and John--to prepare for the supper. In a way which would give no
information to such a one as Judas, he directed them carefully how to find
the house where a friend would provide them the upper room that was needed
for an undisturbed meeting of the little band, and the two went on in
advance to make ready. When the hour was come Jesus with the others went
to the appointed place and sat down for the supper (Mark xiv. 17; Luke
xxii. 14; Matt. xxvi. 20).

190. The gospels all report the last evening which the little company
spent together. There is a perplexing divergence, however, between John
and the others concerning the relation of this supper to the feast of the
Passover. In their introduction of the story, Mark and his companion
gospels indicate that the supper which Jesus ate was the Passover meal
itself. John, on the other hand, declares that it was "before the feast of
the Passover" (xiii. 1) that Jesus took this meal with his disciples.
John's account is consistent throughout, for he states that on the next
day the desire of the Jews to "eat the Passover" forbade them to enter the
house of the governor lest they should incur defilement (xviii. 28). The
other gospels, moreover, hint in several ways that the day of Jesus' death
could not have been the day after the Passover; that is, the first day of
the feast of unleavened bread. Dr. Sanday has recently enumerated these
afresh, remarking that "the Synoptists make the Sanhedrin say beforehand
that they will not arrest Jesus 'on the feast day,' and then actually
arrest him on that day; that not only the guards, but one of the disciples
(Mark xiv. 47), carries arms, which on the feast day was not allowed; that
the trial was also held on the feast day, which would be unlawful; that
the feast day would not be called simply Preparation (see Mark xv. 42, and
compare John xix. 31); that the phrase 'coming from the field' (Mark xv.
21 [Greek]) means properly 'coming from work;' that Joseph of Arimathea is
represented as buying a linen cloth (Mark xv. 46) and the women as
preparing spices and ointments (Luke xxiii. 56), all of which would be
contrary to law and custom" (HastBD ii. 634). In these particulars the
first three gospels seem to confirm the representation of the fourth that
the day of the last supper was earlier than the regular Jewish Passover.
On the other hand, a strong argument, though one that has not commended
itself to other specialists in Jewish archaeology, has been put forth by
Dr. Edersheim (LJM ii. 567f.) to prove that John also indicates that the
last supper was eaten at the time of the regular Passover. In the present
condition of our knowledge certainty is impossible. If John does differ
from the others, his testimony has the greatest weight. While not
conclusive, it has some significance that Paul identified Christ with the
sacrifice of the passover (I. Cor. v. 7), a statement which may indicate
that he held that Jesus died about the time of the killing of the paschal
lamb. If John be taken to prove that the last supper occurred a day before
the regular Passover, Jesus must have felt that the anticipation was
necessary in order to avoid the publicity and consequent danger of a
celebration at the same time with all the rest of the city.

191. Whatever the conclusion concerning the date of the last supper, and
consequently of the crucifixion, the last meal of Jesus with his disciples
was for that little company the equivalent of the Passover supper. Luke
states that the desire of Jesus had looked specially to eating this feast
with his disciples (xxii. 15). The reason must be found in his certainty
of the very near end, and in his wish to make the meal a preparation for
the bitter experiences which were overhanging him and them.

192. It is customary to connect as occasion and consequence the dispute
concerning precedence which Luke reports (xxii. 24-30), and the rebuke
which Jesus administered by washing the disciples' feet (John xiii. 1-20).
The jealousies of the disciples may have arisen over the allotment of
seats at the table, as Dr. Edersheim has most fully shown (LJM ii.
492-503); such a controversy would be the natural sequel of earlier
disputes concerning greatness, and particularly of the request of James
and John for the best places in the coming kingdom (Mark x. 35-45), and
would lead as naturally to the distress of heart with which Jesus declared
that one of the disciples should betray him, and that another of them
should deny him. The narrative in Mark favors the withdrawal of Judas
before the new rite was appointed. This must seem to be the probability in
the case, for the presence of Judas would be most incongruous at such a
memorial service. John's mention of his departure before the announcement
of Peter's approaching fall confirms this interpretation of Mark (Mark
xiv. 18-21; John xiii. 21-30).

193. The paschal memories furnished to Jesus an opportunity to establish
for his disciples an institution which should symbolize the new covenant
which he was soon to seal with his blood. Jesus regarded this new covenant
as that which was promised by the prophets, especially Jeremiah (xxxi.
31-34), and his thought, like that of the prophets, goes back to the story
of the covenant established at Sinai (Ex. xxiv. 1-11). In this way he gave
to his disciples a conception of his death, which later, if not
immediately, would help them to regard it as a necessary part of his work
as Messiah. They were now oppressed by the evident certainty that the near
future would bring their Master to death; he accordingly gave them a
sacred reminder of himself and of his death as an essential part of his
self-giving "for them;" for whatever the conclusion concerning the
disputed text of Luke (xxii. 19), the institutional character of the act
and words of Jesus is clear. As Holtzmann remarks (NtTh i. 304): "The
words 'this do in remembrance of me' were perhaps not spoken; all the more
certainly do they of themselves express what lay in the situation and made
itself felt with incontestable conclusiveness."

194. Several hints in the records seem to connect the meal in various
details with what is known of ancient custom in the celebration of the
Passover. The hymn with which according to Mark and Matthew the supper
closed is easily identified with the last part (Psalms cxv. to cxviii.) of
the so called _Hallel_, which was sung at the close of the Passover meal.
The mention of two cups in the familiar text of Luke (xxii. 17-20) agrees
with the repeated cups of the Passover ritual; so also do the sop and the
dipping of it with which Jesus indicated to John who the traitor was (John
xiii. 23-26; Mark xiv. 20). If it could be proved that the customs
recorded in the Talmud correctly represent the usage in Jesus' time it
would be of extreme interest to seek to connect what is told us of the
last supper with that Passover ritual as Dr. Edersheim has done (LJM ii.
490-512). The antiquity of the rabbinic record is so uncertain, however,
that it is only useful as showing what possibly may have been the case.
All that can be asserted is that the rabbinic ritual probably originated
long before it was recorded, and that as the last supper was a meal which
Jesus and his disciples celebrated as a Passover, it is probable that some
such ritual was more or less closely followed.

195. Luke and John give the fullest reports of what was said at the table.
All the gospels tell of Peter's declaration of superior loyalty and the
prediction of his threefold denial; Luke, however, adds that in connection
with it Jesus assured Peter of his restoration, and charged him to
strengthen his brethren (Luke xxii. 31-34). John alone gives the long and
full discourse of admonition and comfort, followed by Jesus' prayer for
his disciples (xiii. 31 to xvii. 26). It is evident from the words of
Jesus as he entered the garden of Gethsemane (Mark xiv. 33, 34), as from
those which had escaped him when the Greeks sought him the last day in the
temple (John xii. 27), that his own heart was greatly troubled during the
supper by the apparent defeat which was now close at hand. His quietness
and self-possession during the supper, particularly when tenderly
reproving his disciples for petty ambition, or when solemnly dismissing
the traitor, or warning Peter of his denials, must not blind us to the
depth of the emotion which was stirring his own soul. It is only as we
remember his trouble of heart that it is possible justly to value the
ministry which in varied ways he rendered to his disciples that night. In
the discourses reported by John he showed that he realized that the
approaching separation would sorely try the faith of his followers, and he
sought to strengthen them by showing his own calmness in view of it, and
by promising them another who should abide with them spiritually as his
representative, and continue for them the work which he had begun. He
therefore urged them to maintain their devotion to him, still to seek and
find the source of their life and secret of their strength in fellowship
with him--present, though unseen among them. He sought to convince them
that his departure was to be for their advantage, that fellowship with him
spiritually would be far more real and efficacious than the intercourse
they had already enjoyed. He whose own heart was "exceeding sorrowful even
unto death" bade his disciples not to let their hearts be troubled nor
afraid. How long the conversation continued, of when the company left the
upper chamber, cannot be told. At some time before the arrival at
Gethsemane Jesus turned to God in prayer for the disciples whom he was
about to leave to the severe trial of their faith, asking for them that
realization of eternal life which he had enjoyed and exemplified in his
own intimate life with his Father. With this his ministry to them closed
for the time, and, crossing the Kidron, he entered the garden of
Gethsemane weighed down by the sorrow of his own soul.


The Shadow of Death

196. Of the garden of Gethsemane it is only known that it was across the
Kidron, on the slope of the Mount of Olives. Tradition has long pointed to
an enclosure some fifty yards beyond the bridge that crosses the ravine on
the road leading eastward from St. Stephen's gate. Most students feel that
this is too near the city and the highway for the place of retreat chosen
by Jesus. Archaeologically and sentimentally the identification of places
connected with the life of Jesus is of great interest. Practically,
however, it is easy to over-emphasize the importance of such an
identification. Granted the fact that in some olive grove on the
mountain-side, where an oil-press gave a name to the place (Gethsemane),
Jesus withdrew with his disciples on that last night, and all that is
important is known. It is of far higher importance to see rightly the
relation of what took place in that garden to the things which preceded
and followed it in the life of Jesus. At that time Jesus saw pressed to
his lips the "cup" from the bitterness of which his whole soul shrank. It
was not an unlooked-for trial; some time earlier he had sought to cool the
ardor of the ambition of James and John by telling them that they should
drink of his cup, and declared that even the Son of Man came not to be
ministered unto but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
The fourth gospel, whose representation omits the agony of Gethsemane and
only reports its victory, tells how Jesus rebuked the violent impulse of
Peter with the word, "The cup which my Father hath given me to drink shall
I not drink it?" (John xviii. 11^b); and all the gospels exhibit the
marvellous quietness of spirit and dignity of self-surrender which
characterized Jesus throughout his trial and execution. In Gethsemane,
however, we see the struggle in which that calmness and self-mastery were

197. It is unbecoming to consider that scene with any vulgar curiosity to
know what it was that made Jesus so draw back from the drinking of his
"cup." It is not unfitting, however, to recognize that in his cry, "Abba,
Father, all things are possible unto thee; remove this cup from me" (Mark
xiv. 36), an intense longing of his own soul's life had expression. There
was something in the fate which he saw before him from which his whole
being shrank. But stronger than this was his fixed desire to do his
Father's will. Here was supremely illustrated the truth that "he came down
from heaven, not to do his own will, but the will of him that sent him"
(John vi. 38). The fullest allowance for the shrinking of the most
delicately constituted nature from pain and death completely fails to
account for this dread of Jesus. He was no coward, drawing back from
sufferings which for simple physical pain were over and again more than
matched by many of the martyrs to truth who preceded and followed him. He
himself declared to the sons of Zebedee that they should share a cup in
kind like unto his, suffering for the kingdom of God, for the salvation
of the world. Yet there is a difference evident between what others have
had to bear and the cup from which Jesus shrank. The death which now stood
before him in the path of obedience had in it a bitterness quite
unexplained by the pain and disappointment it entailed. That excess of
bitterness can probably never be understood by us. A hint of its nature
may be found in the "shame of the cross" which the author of Hebrews (xii.
2; xiii. 13) emphasizes, and in the "curse" of the cross which made it a
stumbling block to Paul and his Jewish brethren (Gal. iii. 13; I. Cor. i.
23). Jesus came from the garden ready to endure the cross in obedience to
his Father's will; but it was a costly obedience, a complete emptying of
himself (Phil. ii. 7, 8).

198. The loneliness of Jesus in his struggle is emphasized in the gospels
of Mark and Matthew. In search of sympathy he had confessed to the
disciples his trouble of heart, and had taken his three intimates with him
when he withdrew from the others for prayer, asking them to watch with
him. They were too heavy of heart and weary of body to stand by in his
bitter hour, and instead of being in readiness to warn him of the approach
of the hostile band, he had to awake them to their danger. The fourth
gospel reports that after the struggle Jesus bore marks of majesty which
astonished and overawed his foes when he calmly told them that he was the
one they were seeking. Their fear was overcome, however, when Judas gave
the appointed sign by kissing his Master (Mark xiv. 45). The thought for
the disciples' safety which John records (xviii. 8) is another proof that
the fight had been won, and Jesus had fully resumed the self-emptying
ministry appointed to him by his Father.

199. The band that arrested Jesus was accompanied by a Roman cohort from
the garrison of the city, but it was not needed, for the disciples offered
no appreciable resistance; on the contrary, "they all forsook him and
fled" (Mark xiv. 50). Having arrested Jesus, the band took him to Annas,
the actual leader of Jewish affairs, though not at the time the official
high-priest. He had held that office some time before, but had been
deposed by the Roman governor of Syria after being in power for nine
years. His influence continued, however, for although he was never
reinstated, he seems to have been able to secure the appointment for
members of his own family during a period of many years. Caiaphas, the
legal high-priest, was his son-in-law. Annas, as the leader of
aristocratic opinion in Jerusalem, had doubtless been foremost in the
secret counsels which led to the decision to get rid of Jesus, hence the
captive was, as a matter of course, taken first to his house. The trial by
the Jewish authorities was irregular. There seems to have been an informal
examination of Jesus and various witnesses, first before Annas, and then
before Caiaphas and a group of members of the sanhedrin, the outcome of
which was complete failure to secure evidence against Jesus from their
false witnesses, and the formulation of a charge of blasphemy in
consequence of his answer to the high-priest acknowledging himself to be
the Messiah (Mark xiv. 61-64). The early hours before the day were given
over to mockery and ill-usage of the captive Jesus. When morning was
come, the sanhedrin was convened, and he was condemned to death on the
charge of blasphemy (Mark xv. 1; Luke xxii. 66-71), and then was led in
bonds to the Roman governor for execution, since the Romans had taken from
the sanhedrin the authority to execute a death sentence (John xviii. 31).
Before Pilate the Jews had to name an offence recognized by Roman law; his
accusers therefore falsified his claim and made him out a political
Messiah, hostile to Roman rule (Luke xxiii. 1, 2). Pilate soon saw that
the charge was trumped up, and sought in every way, while keeping the
good-will of the people, to escape the responsibility of giving sentence
against Jesus. His first effort was a simple declaration that he found no
fault in the prisoner (Luke xxiii. 4); then, having heard that he was a
Galilean, he tried to transfer the case to Herod, who happened to be in
the city at the time (Luke xxiii. 5-12); he then sought to compromise by
agreeing to chastise Jesus and then release him (Luke xxiii. 13-16); next
he offered the people their choice between the innocent Jesus and
Barabbas, a convicted insurrectionist (Mark xv. 6-15; Luke xxiii. 16-24),
and the people, instructed by the priests, chose Barabbas, caring nothing
for a Messiah who would allow himself to be arrested without resistance;
the fourth gospel tells of Pilate's still further effort, by appealing to
the people's sympathy, to escape giving sentence, even after he had
delivered Jesus to the soldiers for the preliminary scourging. Finding the
Jews ready to urge, at length, a religious charge, Pilate's superstitious
fear was roused (John xix. 7-12), and he sought again to release him, but
was finally cowed by the threat of an accusation against him at Rome,
and, mocking the people by sitting in judgment to condemn Jesus as their
king, he gave sentence against the man whom he knew to be innocent (John
xix. 12-16).

200. Some of Jesus' disciples and friends were witnesses of the early
stages of the informal trial, in particular, John (John xviii. 15) and
Peter. It was during the progress of the early examination that Peter was
drawn into his denials by the comments made by the bystanders on his
connection with the accused. It has been suggested that the house of the
high-priest where Jesus was tried was built, like other Oriental houses,
about a court so that the room where Jesus was examined was open to view
from the court. In this case it is easy to see how Jesus could overhear
his disciple's strenuous denials of any acquaintance with him, and could
turn and give him that look which sent him out to weep bitterly (Luke
xxii. 61, 62). If it be further assumed that Annas and Caiaphas occupied
different sides of the same high-priestly palace, the double examination
reported by John would still be within hearing from the one court in which
the faithless disciple was a fascinated witness of his Master's trial.

201. Humanly speaking, it may be said that the fate of Jesus was sealed
when the Sadducean leaders came to look on him seriously as a danger to
the State (John xi. 47-50, note the mention of chief priests). The
religious opposition was serious, and might have brought trouble, in some
such way as it seems to have done to John the Baptist (see Matt. xvii.
10-13; Luke xiii. 31, 32); but it is doubtful whether the governor would
have given much attention to a charge not urged by the men of influence in
Jerusalem. The notable thing in connection with the last days of Jesus'
life is the joint opposition of Sadducean priests and Pharisaic scribes.
That the populace easily changed their cry from "hosanna" to "crucify him"
is not surprising. Their hosannas were due to a complete misconception of
Jesus' aim and purpose; disappointed in him, they would be the earliest to
cry out against him, especially when the choice lay between him and a
genuine insurrectionist.

202. Each fresh study of the trial of Jesus gives a fresh impression of
his greatness. He who but a few hours before was pouring out his soul in
prayer that his cup might pass, stands forth as the one calm and
undisturbed actor among all those who took part in the tragic doings of
that day. His judges and foes were all swayed by passion and self-interest
and were ready to make travesty of justice, from the leaders of the
sanhedrin who condemned him on one charge and accused him to the governor
on another, to the governor himself, who appeared determined to release
him if he could do it without risk of personal popularity, and who yet, in
order to avoid accusation at Rome, gave sentence according to the people's
will. The fickle populace crying "crucify him," the disciples who forsook
him, the rock-apostle who denied even so much as knowledge of the man,
show how all the currents of life about him were stirred and full of
tumult. In all this, of which he was the occasion and centre, he stands
the supreme example of dignity, self-mastery, and quietness. This is seen
in his silence in the presence of Annas and Caiaphas, and later before
Pilate; in his frank avowal of his Messianic claim in reply to the
high-priest's challenge, and of his kingly rank in answer to the
governor's question; and in the look of reproof which he turned upon
Peter. Not that he was without feeling. There is strong sense of outrage
in his words, "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil, but if
well, why smitest thou me?" It was not the quietness of stoic
indifference, but of perfect self-devotion to the Father's will. He
maintained it from the time of his arrest to the last cry of trust with
which he committed his spirit to his Father.

203. The scourging over, the mock homage of the soldiers done, he was led
out beyond the city wall to be crucified. The exact place of the
crucifixion can be determined as little as that of Gethsemane, though
there is a tradition from the fourth century, and in addition there are
many conjectures. Jesus was led, apparently, to the ordinary place of
criminal execution, and with two others, probably insurrectionary robbers
like those with whom Barabbas had been associated, he was crucified. Two
episodes in the journey to the place of crucifixion are recorded,--the
help which Simon of Cyrene was compelled to give to Jesus in carrying his
cross (Mark xv. 21), and the word of Jesus to those who, following him,
bewailed his fate (Luke xxiii. 27-31).

204. Of the cruelty and torture of crucifixion much has been written and
often. It would be difficult to exaggerate it. The death by the cross was
a death by hunger and exhaustion in ordinary cases; it was thus torture
prolonged for many hours. It is noticeable, however, that it is not the
suffering but the disgrace and shame of the cross that occupied the
thought of the apostolic days. Indeed, were physical suffering chiefly to
be considered, it would have to be owned that the fact that Jesus died
within a few hours released him from the most excruciating pains incident
to this barbarous form of execution. The later ascetic thought loved, and
still loves, to dwell on the physical torments of the Lord's death. They
were severe enough to give us awe; but the biblical writers show a much
healthier mind, and their thought does not invite comparison between the
pains endured by the Master and those which some of his martyred followers
bore with great fortitude. The disgrace of the cross was the uttermost;
for the Romans it was the death of a slave, for the Jews it was patent
proof of the curse of God (Deut. xxi. 23). The obedience of Jesus was
unlimited when he submitted to death (Phil. ii. 8). It is on the shame of
the cross, and on the sacrifice of himself for the life of the world when
in obedience to his Father's will he "despised the shame," that the
thought of the apostolic day laid emphasis. In this experience Jesus found
himself in truth numbered with the transgressors; he was the object of
scorn for all them that passed by, they mocked at him, at his works, and
at his confident trust in God. In this last extremity the darkness of
Gethsemane again swept over Jesus' soul, when he cried out "My God, my
God," recalling the words of one of the saints of old in his hour of
distress (Ps. xxii.). Yet, like him, Jesus kept hold on the certainty of
deliverance; the darkness passed at length.

205. The evangelists preserve several sayings of Jesus from the cross, the
records of the different gospels being remarkably diverse. Mark and
Matthew record the exclamation, "My God, my God _(Eloi, Eloi_), why hast
thou forsaken me," which the bystander misconstrued as a call for Elijah,
thinking this pseudo-Messiah was reproaching Elijah for failing to come to
his help. The same gospels tell of the loud cry with which Jesus died.
Luke omits the call _Eloi_, and gives in place of the last expiring cry
the prayer of trust, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (xxiii.
46). Earlier, however, this gospel tells of Jesus' word to the penitent
robber, "To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise" (xxiii. 43), and of the
prayer for his foes, that is, for the Jewish people who blindly condemned
him (xxiii. 34). The oldest manuscripts cause some doubt whether this last
saying was originally a part of the Gospel of Luke. If it was not it would
belong in the same class with the story of the sinful woman which we now
find in John, both being authentic records of the life of Jesus, though
from some other source than that in which we now find them. The fourth
gospel gives quite an independent group of sayings. It interprets the
dying cry as, "It is finished" (xix. 30), and preceding this it gives the
cry, "I thirst" (xix. 28), which led to the offering of the vinegar of
which the first two gospels speak. Earlier it tells of the committal of
Mary to the care of the beloved disciple (xix. 26, 27). Of these seven
sayings, "Eloi," "I thirst," "Father, into thy hand I commend my spirit,"
and "It is finished" belong to the last hours of the life of the crucified
one, after the darkness of which the first three gospels speak had
overshadowed the land. Of the cause of that darkness they give no hint,
for Luke's expression cannot mean an eclipse, since an eclipse at Passover
time, that is, at full moon, is an impossibility. The conjecture that
dense clouds hid the sun is common, and is as suitable as any other.
Whatever the cause, the evangelists saw in it a token of nature's awe at
the death of the Son of God. During the hours of the darkness the waves
swept over his soul, as the cry "my God" shows to our reverent thought.
But the last word of trust proves that the dying Jesus was not forsaken,
and that Calvary, like Gethsemane, was a battle won. The earlier sayings
all express Jesus' continued spirit of ministry, showing even in his
bitter pain his accustomed thoughtfulness for others' need.

206. It is futile to speculate on the cause of Jesus' early death. He
certainly suffered a much shorter time than was ordinarily the case, as
appears in the fact that at sunset it was necessary to break the legs of
the robbers so as to hasten death, Jesus having already been some time
dead. There is something attractive in the theory of Dr. Stroud (The
Physical Cause of Christ's Death) that Jesus died of rupture of the heart.
It may have been true, but the evidences on which he based his argument
are insufficient for proof. To the Jews the death of their victim did not
give all the satisfaction they desired. In the first place, Pilate
insisted on mocking them by posting over the head of Jesus the placard,
"The King of the Jews" (see John xix. 19-22); moreover, their haste had
brought the crime into close proximity to the feast which they were eager
to keep from defilement; so that they had still to beg of Pilate that he
would hasten the death of the victims, that their bodies might not remain
to desecrate the following Sabbath sanctity (John xix. 31-37); while for
those who witnessed it the death of Jesus deepened the impression that a
hideous crime had been committed in the slaughter of an innocent man (Mark
xv. 39).

207. Among the bystanders few of the disciples of Jesus were to be
found--they were hiding in fear. Yet some faithful women, and two
courageous councillors of Jerusalem, were bold enough to make their
loyalty known. These two men, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, were
members of the sanhedrin, but they had had no part in the condemnation of
Jesus; and after knowing that he was dead, Joseph begged of Pilate the
body, and he and Nicodemus took Jesus down from the cross and laid him in
a tomb which Joseph owned near the place of crucifixion, rendering such
tender ministries as were possible in the closing hours of the day. The
women who had witnessed his end meanwhile were arranging also to anoint
the body. They took notice where the two friends had laid him, and then
went away to rest on the Sabbath day, according to the commandment.

208. To the Jews it was a high day, the first Sabbath in the eight days of
their holy feast (John xix. 31). They had eagerly guarded their conduct
that no ceremonial defilement might prevent their sharing in the paschal
feast. They believed that they had rid their nation of a dangerous
disturber of its peace, and men whose conscience shrank not from making
God's house a house of merchandise, who would punish one who ventured to
cure a mortal disease if it chanced to cross their Sabbath traditions, who
had condemned to death the holiest man and godliest teacher the world had
ever seen because he did not square with their heartless formalism,--such
men hardly had conscience enough to feel repentance or remorse for the
cowardly injustice and crime with which of their own choice they had
reddened their hands (Matt, xxvii. 25). They doubtless kept their feast
with satisfaction. Not a few hearts, however, were heavy with grief and
disappointed hope. They had believed that Jesus "was he that should redeem
Israel" (Luke xxiv. 21). Stunned, they could not throw away the faith
which he had kindled in their hearts. Yet he was dead, and only faintly,
if at all, did they recall his prediction of suffering and his certainty
of triumph through it all (John xx. 9). What remained for them was the
last tender ministry to their dead Lord.

Outline of Events after the Resurrection

_The day of the resurrection--Sunday_. The visit of the women to the
tomb--Matt. xxviii. 1-8; Mark xvi. 1-8; Luke xxiv. 1-12; John xx. 1-10.

Jesus' first appearance; to Mary--Matt. xxviii. 9 10; [Mark xvi. 9-11];
John xx. 11-18.

The report of the watch--Matt. xxviii. 11-15.

The appearance to Simon Peter--I. Cor. xv. 5.

The walk to Emmaus--[Mark xvi 12,13]; Luke xxiv. 13-35.

The appearance to the ten in the evening--[Mark xvi. 14]; Luke xxiv.
36-43; John xx. 19-25; I. Cor. xv. 5.

_One week later--Sunday_. The appearance to the eleven, with
Thomas--John xx. 26-29.

_Later appearances_. To seven disciples by the sea of Galilee--John
xxi. 1-24.

To a company of disciples in. Galilee--Matt, xxviii. 16-20; [Mark xvi.
15-18]; I. Cor. xv. 6.

The appearance to James--I. Cor. xv. 7.

To the disciples in Jerusalem, followed by the ascension--Mark xvi. 19,
20; Luke xxiv. 44-53; Acts i. 1-12; I. Cor. xv. 7.


The Resurrection

209. Christianity as a historic religious movement starts from the
resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This is very clear in the preaching
and writings of Paul. The first distinctively Christian feature in his
address at Athens is his statement that God had designated Jesus to be
the judge of men by having "raised him from the dead" (Acts xvii. 31), and
for him the resurrection was the demonstration of the divinity of Christ
(Rom. i. 4), and the confirmation of the Christian hope (I. Cor. xv.).
With him the prime qualification for an apostle was that he should have
seen the risen Lord (I. Cor. ix. 1). The early preaching as recorded in
Acts shows the same feature, for after repeated testimony to the fact that
God had raised up Jesus, Peter summed up his address with the declaration,
"Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made
him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified" (Acts ii. 36). In
fact the buoyancy of hope and confidence of faith which gave to the
despised followers of the Nazarene their strength resulted directly from
the experiences of the days which followed the deep gloom that settled
over the disciples when Jesus died.

210. It can but seem strange to us that after Jesus had so often foretold
his death and the resurrection which should follow it, his disciples were
thrown into despair by the cross. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus when
they embalmed his body may not have known of these teachings which Jesus
gave to the nearer circle of his followers, but it is difficult to believe
that the women who prepared their spices to anoint his body (Mark xvi. 1)
had heard nothing of these predictions, and it is certain that the
apostles who received with incredulity the first news of the resurrection
were the men whom Jesus had sought to prepare for this glorious victory.
The disciples do not seem to have finished "questioning among themselves
what the rising again from the dead should mean" (Mark ix. 10, compare
Luke xviii. 34) until Jesus himself explained it by his return to them
after his crucifixion. It was formerly common to conclude from the
scepticism of the disciples that Jesus could not have told them, as he is
reported to have done, that he would rise again the third day. It is now
widely conceded, however, that if he foresaw and foretold his death, he
surely coupled with it a promise of resurrection, otherwise he must have
surrendered his own conviction that he was Messiah; for a Messiah taken
and held captive by death was apparently as foreign to Jesus' thought as
it was unthinkable for the men of his generation. The inability of the
disciples to adjust their Messianic ideas to the death of their Master was
not removed by the rebuke Jesus administered to Peter at Caesarea Philippi;
their objections were only silenced. It would seem that even when they saw
his death to be inevitable, they were simply dumb with hope that in some
way he would come off victor; the cross and the tomb crushed out that
hope--at least from most of them. If one disciple, his closest friend,
recalled and believed his words when he saw the empty tomb (John xx. 8),
others were cast into still deeper sorrow by the report, and could only
say, "But we hoped that it was he which should redeem Israel" (Luke xxiv.

211. The light which banished the gloom from the hearts of Jesus'
followers dawned suddenly. There was no time for gradual readjustment of
ideas and the springing of hope from a faith which would not die. The
uniform early tradition is that Jesus showed himself alive to his
disciples "on the third day," that is, a little over thirty-six hours from
the time of his death. Not only the gospels, but Paul, who wrote many
years before our evangelists, testify to this (I. Cor. xv. 4), as does the
very early observance of the first day of the week as "the Lord's day,"
and the substitution of "the third day" for "after three days" in the
gospels which made use of our Gospel of Mark (compare parallels with Mark
viii. 81; ix. 31; x. 34, and see Holtzmann, NtTh I. 309). Of the events
which occurred on that third day and after, our earliest account is that
of Paul. He gives a simple catalogue of the appearances of the risen Lord,
referring to them as well known, in fact as the familiar subject matter of
his earliest teaching (I. Cor. xv. 4-8). He gives definite date to none of
these appearances, indicating only their sequence. He tells of six
different manifestations, beginning with an appearance to Cephas on the
third day, then to the twelve, then to a large company of
disciples,--above five hundred,--then to James, then to all the apostles.
The sixth in the list is his own experience, which he puts in the same
class with the appearances of the first Easter morning. Two of these
instances are found only in Paul's account, the appearance to James and to
the five hundred brethren, though this last may probably be the same as is
referred to in the Gospel of Matthew (xxviii. 16-20).

212. The gospel records are much fuller, but they differ from each other
even more than they do from Paul. Mark is unhappily incomplete, for the
last twelve verses in that gospel, as we have it, are lacking in the
oldest manuscripts, and were probably written by a second-century
Christian named Aristion, as a substitute for the proper end of the gospel
which seems by some accident to have been lost. These twelve verses are
clearly compiled from our other gospels. They have value as indicating the
currency of the complete tradition in the early second century, but they
contribute nothing to our knowledge of the resurrection. All, then, that
Mark tells is that the women who came early on the first day of the week
to anoint the body of Jesus found the tomb open and empty, and saw an
angel who bade them tell the disciples that the Lord had risen. How the
record originally continued no one knows, for Matthew and Luke use the
same general testimony up to the point where Mark breaks off, and then go
quite different ways. Of the two Matthew is closer to Mark than is Luke.
The first gospel adds to the record of the second an account of an
appearance of Jesus to the women as they went to report to the disciples,
and then tells of the meeting of Jesus with the disciples on a mountain in
Galilee, and his parting commission to them. It gives no account of the
ascension. Luke agrees with Mark in general concerning the visit of the
women to the tomb, the angelic vision, and the report to the disciples. He
says nothing of an appearance of Jesus to the women on their flight from
the tomb, but, if xxiv. 12 is genuine (see R.V. margin), he, like John,
tells of Peter's visit to the sepulchre.

213. Luke further reports the appearances of Jesus to two on their way to
Emmaus, to Simon, and to the eleven in Jerusalem,--this last being blended
consciously or unconsciously with the final meeting of Jesus with the
disciples before his ascension. The genuine text of the gospel (xxiv. 50)
says nothing of the ascension itself, but clearly implies it. In contrast
with Matthew it is noticeable that Luke shows no knowledge of any
appearance of Jesus to his disciples in Galilee. John is quite independent
of Mark, as well as of Matthew and Luke. He mentions only Mary Magdalene
in connection with the early visit to the tomb, though perhaps he implies
the presence of others with her ("we" in xx. 2). He tells of a visit of
Peter and John to the tomb, of an appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene,
of an appearance to ten of the disciples in the evening, and a week later
to the eleven, including Thomas. So far this gospel makes no reference to
appearances in Galilee; but in the appendix (chapter xxi.) there is added
a manifestation to seven disciples as they were fishing on the Sea of

214. Criticism which seeks to discredit the gospels, for instance most
recently Reville in his "Jesus de Nazareth," discovers two separate and
mutually exclusive lines of tradition,--one telling of appearances in
Galilee, represented by Mark and the last chapter in John, the other
telling of appearances in or near Jerusalem, and found in Luke and the
twentieth chapter of John. It is said that the gospels have sought to
blend the two cycles, as when Matthew tells of an appearance to the women
in Jerusalem on their way from the tomb, and when the last chapter of John
adds to the original gospel a Galilean appearance. Luke, however, who
makes no reference at all to Galilean manifestations, is taken to prove
that originally the one cycle knew nothing of the other. This theory
falls, however, before the uniform tradition of appearances on the third
day, which must have been in Jerusalem, and the very early testimony of
Paul to an appearance to above five hundred brethren at once, which could
not have been in Judea. It need not surprise us that there should have
been two cycles of tradition, not however mutually exclusive, if Jesus did
appear both in Jerusalem and in Galilee. The same kind of local interest
which is supposed to explain the one-sidedness of the synoptic story of
the public ministry would easily account for one line of tradition which
reported Galilean appearances, and another which reported those in
Jerusalem. Luke may have had access to information which furnished him
only the Jerusalem story. John and Peter, however, must have known the
wider facts. The very divergences and seeming contradictions of the
gospels, troublesome as they are, indicate how completely certainty
regarding the fact of the resurrection removed from the thought of the
apostolic day nice carefulness concerning the testimony to individual
manifestations of the risen Lord. Doubtless the first preaching rested, as
in the case of Paul, on a simple "I have seen the Lord." When later the
detailed testimony was wanted for written gospels, it had suffered the lot
common to orally transmitted records, and divergences had sprung up which
it is no longer possible for us to resolve. They do not, however,
challenge the fact which lies behind all the varied testimony.

215. A general view of the events of that third day and those which
followed can be constructed from our gospels and Paul. Early on the first
day of the week certain women, including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother
of James and Joses, Salome, Joanna, and others, came to anoint the body of
Jesus. On their arrival they found that the stone had been rolled back
from the tomb. Mary Magdalene saw that the grave was empty and ran to tell
Peter and John. The others saw also a vision of angels which said that
Jesus was alive and would see his disciples in Galilee, and ran to report
this to the disciples. Meanwhile Mary Magdalene returned, following Peter
and John who ran to see the tomb, and found it empty as she had said. She
lingered after they left, and Jesus appeared to her, she mistaking him at
first for the gardener. She then went to tell the disciples that she had
seen the Lord. These events evidently occurred in the early morning. The
next incident reported is that of the walk of two disciples, not of the
twelve, to Emmaus, and the appearance of Jesus to them. At first they did
not recognize him, not even when he taught them out of the scriptures the
necessity that the Messiah should die. He was made known when at evening
he sat down with them to a familiar meal. Either before or after this
event he had shown himself to Peter. This is the first manifestation
reported by Paul. If Luke xxiv. 12 is genuine (see R.V. margin), he also
tells that when the two again reached Jerusalem the apostles received them
with the news that Peter had seen the Lord. That same evening Jesus
appeared suddenly among the disciples in their well-guarded upper room.
His coming was such that he had to convince the disciples that he was not
simply a disembodied spirit. Luke says that he did this by bidding them
handle him, and by eating part of a fish before them. According to John,
Thomas was not with the others at this first meeting with the disciples. A
week later, presumably in Jerusalem, Jesus again manifested himself to the
little company, Thomas being with them, and dispelled the doubt of that
disciple who loved too deeply to indulge a hope which might only
disappoint. He had but to see in order to believe, and make supreme
confession of his faith. The next appearance was probably that to the
seven disciples by the Sea of Galilee, when Peter, who denied thrice, was
thrice tested concerning his love for his Lord. Then apparently followed
the meeting on the mountain reported in Matthew, which was probably the
same as the appearance to the five hundred brethren; then, probably still
in Galilee, Jesus appeared to his brother James, who from that time on was
a leader among the disciples. The next manifestation of which record is
preserved was the final one in Jerusalem, after which Jesus led his
disciples out as far as Bethany and was separated from them, henceforth to
be thought of by them as seated at the right hand of God.

216. This construction of the story as given in the New Testament does
violence to the accounts in one particular. It holds that Matthew's report
of the meeting of Jesus with the women on their way from the tomb on
Easter morning is to be identified with his meeting with Mary Magdalene.
This can be done only if it is supposed that in the transmission of the
tradition the commission given the women by the angel (Mark xvi. 6f.)
became blended with the message given to Mary by the Lord (John xx. 17),
the result being virtually the same for the religious interest of the
first Christians, while for the historic interest of our days it
constitutes a discrepancy. The difficulty is less on this supposition than
on any other. It is highly significant that the account of the most
indubitable fact in the view of the early Christians is the most difficult
portion of the gospels for the exact harmonist to deal with. This is not
of serious moment for the historical student. It is rather a warning
against theoretical ideas of inspiration.

217. The universal acknowledgment that the early Christians firmly
believed in the resurrection of their Lord has made the origin of that
firm conviction a question of primary importance. The simple facts as set
forth in the New Testament serve abundantly to account for the faith of
the early church, but they not only involve a large recognition of the
miraculous, they also contain perplexities for those who do not stumble at
the supernatural; hence there have been many attempts to find other
solutions of the problem. Some of the explanations offered may be
dismissed with a word: for instance, those which, in one form or other,
renew the old charge found in the first gospel, that the disciples stole
the body of Jesus, and then declared that he had risen; and those which
assume that the death of Jesus was apparent only, that he fainted on the
cross, and then the chill of the night air and of the sepulchre served to
revive him, so that in the morning he was able to leave the tomb and
appear to his disciples as one risen from the dead. This apparent-death
theory involves Jesus in an ugly deception, while the theory that the
disciples or any group of them removed the body of Jesus and then gave
currency to the notion that he had risen, builds the greatest ethical and
religious movement known to history on a lie. A slightly different
explanation which was very early suggested was that the Jews themselves,
or perhaps the gardener, had the body removed, and that when Mary found
the tomb empty she let her faith conclude that his absence must be due to
his resurrection.

218. This last explanation has in recent times been revived in connection
with the so-called vision-hypothesis by Renan and Reville. Mary found the
tomb empty, and being herself of a highly strung nervous nature--she had
been cured by Jesus of seven devils--by thinking about the empty tomb she
soon worked herself into an ecstasy in which her eyes seemed to behold
what her heart desired to see. She communicated her vision to the others,
and by a sort of nervous contagion, they, too, fell to seeing visions, and
it is the report of these that we have in the gospels. The
vision-hypothesis takes with some, Strauss for instance, a different form.
These deny that the tomb was found empty at all, and regard this story as
a contribution of the later legend-making spirit. They hold that the
disciples fled from Jerusalem as soon as the death of Jesus was an assured
fact, and not until after they found themselves amid the familiar scenes
of Galilee, did their faith recover from the shock it had received in
Jerusalem. In Galilee the experiences of their life with Jesus were lived
over again, and the old confidence in him as Messiah revived. Thus
thinking about the Lord, their hearts would say, "He cannot have died,"
and after a while their faith rose to the conviction which declared, "He
is not dead;" then they passed into an ecstatic mood and visions followed
which are the germ out of which the gospel stories have grown.

219. These different forms of the vision-hypothesis have been subjected to
most searching criticism by Keim, who is all the more severe because his
own thought has so much that is akin to them. There are two objections
which refute the hypothesis. The first is that the uniform tradition
which connects the resurrection and the first appearances with the "third
day" after the crucifixion leaves far too short a time for the recovery of
faith and the growth of ecstatic feeling which are requisite for these
visions, even supposing that the disciples' faith had such recuperative
powers. The second is that once such an ecstatic mood was acquired it
would be according to experience in analogous cases for the visions to
continue, if not to increase, as the thought of the risen Lord grew more
clear and familiar; yet the tradition is uniform that the appearances of
the risen Christ ceased after, at most, a few weeks. The only later one
was that which led to the conversion of Paul; and though Paul was a man
somewhat given to ecstatic experiences (see II. Cor. xii.), he carefully
distinguishes in his own thought his seeing of the Lord and his heavenly
visions. In a word, the disciples of Jesus never showed a more healthy,
normal life than that which gave them strength to found a church of
believers in the resurrection in the face of persecution and scorn.

220. Keim seeks to avoid the difficulties which his own acute criticism
disclosed in the ordinary vision-theory, by another which rejects the
gospel stories as legendary, yet frankly acknowledges that the faith of
the apostles in the resurrection was based on a miracle. Their certainty
was so unshakable, so uniform, so abiding, that it can be accounted for
only by acknowledging that they did actually see the Lord. This seeing,
however, was not with the eyes of sense, but with the spiritual vision,
which properly perceives what pertains to the spirit world into which the
glorified Lord had withdrawn when he died. In his spiritual estate he
manifested himself to his disciples, by a series of divinely caused and
therefore essentially objective visions, in which he proved to them
abundantly that he was alive, was victor over death, and had been exalted
by God to his right hand. This theory is not in itself offensive to faith.
It concedes that the belief of the disciples rested on actual disclosures
of himself to them by the glorified Lord. The difficulty with the theory
is that it relegates the empty tomb to the limbo of legend, though it is a
feature of the tradition which is found in all the gospels and clearly
implied in Paul (I. Cor. xv. 4; compare Rom. vi. 4); it also fails to show
how this glorified Christ came to be thought of by the disciples as
_risen_, rather than simply glorified in spirit. This criticism brings us
back to the necessity of recognizing a resurrection which was in some real
sense corporeal, difficult as that conception is for us. The gospels
assert this with great simplicity and delicate reserve. They represent
Jesus as returning to his disciples with a body which was superior to the
limitations which hedge our lives about. It may be well described by
Paul's words, "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body."
Yet the records indicate that when he willed Jesus could offer himself to
the perception of other senses than sight and hearing--"handle me and see"
is not an invitation that we expect from a spiritual presence. If,
however, we have to confess an unsolved mystery here, and still more in
the record of his eating in the presence of the disciples (Luke xxiv.
41-43), it is permitted us to own that our knowledge of the possible
conditions of the fully perfected life are not such as to warrant great
dogmatism in criticising the account. The empty tomb, the objective
presence of the risen Jesus, the renewed faith of his followers, and their
new power are established data for our thought. With these, many of the
details may be left in mystery, because we have not yet light sufficient
to reveal to us all that we should like to know.

221. The ascension of the risen Christ to his Father is the presupposition
of all the New Testament teaching. The Acts, the Epistles, and the
Apocalypse join in the representation that he is now at the right hand of
God. In fact it may be said that such a view is involved in the doctrine
of the resurrection, for the very idea of that victory was that death had
no more dominion over him. It is a fact, however, that none of our gospels
in their correct text (see Luke xxiv. 51, R.V. margin) tell of the
ascension. Luke clearly implies it, and John says that Jesus told Mary to
tell the disciples that he was about to ascend to his Father and their
Father. In Luke's later book, however (Acts i. 1-11), he gives a full
account of a last meeting of Jesus with the disciples, and of
his ascension to heaven before their eyes. This withdrawal in the cloud
must be understood as an acted parable; for, in reality, there is no
reason for thinking that the clouds which hung over Olivet that day were
any nearer God's presence than the ground on which the disciples stood.
For them, however, such a disappearance would signify vividly the
cessation of their earthly intercourse with their Lord, and his return to
his home with the Father. The word of Jesus to Mary (John xx. 17) may
fairly be interpreted to mean that Jesus had ascended to the Father on
the day of the resurrection, and that each of his subsequent
manifestations of himself were like that which later he granted to Paul
near Damascus. In fact it is easier to view the matter in this way than to
conceive of Jesus as sojourning in some hidden place for forty days after
his resurrection. What the disciples witnessed ten days before Pentecost
was a withdrawal similar to those which had separated him from them
frequently during the recent weeks, only now set before their eyes in such
a way as to tell them that these manifestations had reached an end; they
must henceforth wait for the other representative of God and Christ, the
Spirit, given to them at Pentecost.

222. The faith with which the disciples waited for the promised spirit was
a very different faith from that which Peter confessed for his fellows at
Caesarea Philippi. It had the same supreme attachment to a personal friend
who had proved to be God's Anointed; the same readiness to let him lead
whithersoever he would; the same firm expectation of a restitution of all
things, in which God should set up his kingdom visibly, with Jesus as the
King of men. Now, however, their trust was much fuller than before, and
they looked for a still more glorious kingdom when their friend and Lord
should come from heaven to assume his reign. They expected Christ to
return soon in glory, yet his death and victory made them ready to endure
any persecution for him, certain that, like the sufferings which he
endured, it would lead to victory. These disciples had no idea that in
preaching a religion of personal attachment to their Master, in filling
all men's thoughts with his name, in building all hope on his return, and
guiding all life by his teaching and spirit, they were cutting their
moorings from the religion of their fathers. They remained loyal to the
law, they were constant in the worship; but they had poured new wine into
the bottles, and in time it proved the inadequacy of the old forms and
revolutionized the world's religious life.

Part III

The Minister


The Friend of Men

223. In nothing does the contrast between Jesus and John the Baptist
appear more clearly than in their attitude towards common social life.
John had his training and did his work apart from the homes of men. The
wilderness was his chosen and fit scene of labor. From this solitude he
sent forth his summons and warning to his people. They who sought him for
fuller teaching went after him and found him where he was. They then
returned to their homes and their work, leaving the prophet with his few
disciples in their seclusion. With Jesus it was otherwise. His first act,
after attaching to himself a few followers, was to go into Galilee to the
town of Cana, and there with them to partake in the festivities of a
wedding. While it is true that most of his teaching was by the wayside,
among the hills, or by the sea, it is still a surprise to discover how
often his ministry found its occasion as he was sitting at table in the
house of some friend, real or feigned. The genuine friendships of Jesus as
they appear in the gospels are among the most characteristic features of
his life--witness the home at Bethany, the women who followed him even to
the cross, and ministered to him of their substance, and the "beloved
disciple." Jesus calls attention to this contrast between himself and
John, reminding the people how some of the scornful pointed the finger at
himself as "a gluttonous man and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and
sinners." He received his training as a carpenter while John was in his
wilderness solitude. Men who would probably have stood with admiration
before John had he visited their synagogue, found Jesus too much one of
themselves, and would none of him as a prophet (Mark vi. 2, 3).

224. A like contrast sets Jesus apart from the scribes of his day. These
were revered by the people, in part perhaps because they held the common
folk in such contempt. Their attitude was frank--"this multitude which
knoweth not the law is accursed" (John vii. 49). The popular enthusiasm
for Jesus filled them with scorn, until it began to give them alarm. They
were glad to be reverenced by the people, to interpret the law for them
"binding heavy burdens and grievous to be borne;" but showed little
genuine interest in them. Jesus, on the other hand, not only had the
reverence of the multitudes, but welcomed them. First his words and his
works drew them, then he himself enchained their hearts. Outcasts, rich
and poor, crowded into his company, and found him not only a teacher, a
prophet of righteousness rebuking their sins and calling to repentance,
but a friend, who was not ashamed to be seen in their homes, to have them
among his closest attendants, and to be known as their champion. It was
when such as these were pressing upon him to hear him that Jesus replied
to the criticism of the scribes in the three parables of recovered
treasure which stand among the rarest gems of the Master's teaching (Luke

225. One class only in the community failed of his sympathy,--the
self-righteous hypocrites, who thought that godliness consisted in
scrupulous regard for pious ceremonies, and that zeal was most laudable
when directed to the removal of motes from their brothers' eyes. For these
Jesus had words of rebuke and burning scorn. It has been common with some
to emphasize his friendship for the poor as if he chose them for their
poverty, and the unlettered for their ignorance. Yet Jesus had no faster
friends than the women who followed from Galilee and ministered to him of
their substance, and the two sanhedrists, Joseph whose new tomb received
his body, and Nicodemus whose liberality provided the spices which
embalmed him; for these, and not the Galilean fishermen, were faithful to
the last at the cross and at the grave. In no home did Jesus find a fuller
or more welcome friendship than in Bethany, where all that is told us of
its conditions suggests the opposite of poverty. The rich young ruler, who
showed his too great devotion to his possessions, would hardly have sought
out Jesus with his question, if he was known as the champion of poverty as
in itself essential to godliness. The demand made of him surprised him,
and was suited to his special case. Jesus saw clearly the difficulties
which wealth puts in the way of faith, but he recognized the power of God
to overcome them, and when Zaccheus turned disciple, the demand for
complete surrender of possessions was not repeated. On the contrary Jesus
taught his disciples that even "the unrighteous mammon" should be used to
win friends (Luke xvi. 9), so ministering unto some of "the least of these
my brethren" (Matt. xxv. 40). The beatitude in Luke's report of the
sermon on the mount (Luke vi. 20) was not for the poor as poor simply, but
for those poor folk lightly esteemed who had spiritual sense enough to
follow Jesus, while the well-to-do as a class were content with the
"consolation" already in hand. Jesus' interest was in character, wherever
it was manifest, whether in the repentance of a chief of the publicans, or
in the widow woman's gift of "all her living;" whether it appeared in the
hunger for truth shown by Nicodemus, a teacher of Israel, or in the woman
that was a sinner who washed his feet with her tears. He was the great
revealer of the worth of simple humanity, in man, woman, or child. Our
world has never seen another who so surely penetrated all masks or
disguising circumstances and found the man himself, and having found him
loved him.

226. This sympathy for simple manhood was manifested in a genuine interest
in the common life of men in business, pleasure, or trouble. It is
significant that the first exercise of his miraculous power should have
been to relieve the embarrassment of his host at a wedding feast.
Doubtless we are to understand that the miracle had a deeper purpose than
simply supplying the needed wine (John ii. 11); but the significant thing
is that Jesus should choose to manifest his glory in this way. It shows a
genuine appreciation of social life quite impossible to an ascetic like
the Baptist. The same appears in the way Jesus allowed his publican
apostle to introduce him to his former associates, to the great scandal of
the Pharisees; for a feast at which Jesus and a number of publicans were
the chief guests accorded not with religion as they understood it. Jesus,
however, seems to have found it a welcome opportunity to seek some of his
lost sheep. The illustrations which he used in his teaching were often his
best introduction to the common heart, for they were drawn from the
occupations of the people who came to listen; while the aid Jesus gave to
his disciples in their fishing showed not only his power, but also his
respect for their work, a respect further proved when he called them to be
fishers of men.

227. Beyond this interest in life's joy and its occupations was that
unfailing sympathy with its troubles which drew the multitudes to him. He
was far more than a healer; he studied to rid the people of the idea that
he was a mere miracle-monger. He healed them because he loved them, and he
asked of those who sought his help that they too should feel the personal
relation into which his power had brought them. This seems to be in part
the significance of his uniform demand for faith. Doubtless Mary, out of
whom he had cast seven devils, and Simon the leper, who seems to have
experienced his power to heal, are only single instances of many who found
in him far more than at first they sought. No further record remains of
the paralytic who carried off his bed, but left the burden of his sins
behind, nor of the woman who loved much because she had been forgiven
much, nor of the Samaritan whose life he uncovered that he might be able
to give her the living water. Some who had his help for body or heart may
have gone away forgetful, after the fashion of men, but in the company of
those who were bold to bear his name after his resurrection there must
have been many who could not forget.

228. Jesus' interest in common life was genuine, and he entered into it
with his heart. The incident of the anointing of his feet as he sat a
guest in a Pharisee's house shows that he was keenly sensitive to the
treatment he received at the hands of men. He had nothing to say of the
slights his host had shown him, until that host began mentally to
criticise the woman who was ministering to him in her love and penitence.
Then with quiet dignity Jesus mentioned the several omissions of courtesy
which he had noticed since he came in, contrasting the woman's attention
with Simon's neglect (Luke vii. 36-50). One of the saddest things about
Gethsemane was Jesus' vain pleading with his disciples for sympathy in his
awful hour. They were too much dazed with awe and fear to lend him their
hearts' support. He recognized indeed that it was only a weakness of the
flesh; yet he craved their friendship's help, and repeatedly asked them to
watch with him, for his soul was exceeding sorrowful. In contrast with
this disappointment stands the joy with which Jesus heard from Peter the
confession which proved that the falling off of popular enthusiasm had not
shaken the loyalty of his chosen companions,--"Blessed art thou, Simon
Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood have not revealed it unto thee, but my
Father which is in heaven" (Matt. xvi. 17). There is the sorrow of
loneliness as well as rebuke in his complaint, "O faithless generation,
how long shall I be with you? how long shall I bear with you?" (Mark ix.
19), and the lamentation over Jerusalem comes from a longing heart (Luke
xiii. 34).

229. The independence of human sympathy which Jesus often showed is all
the more glorious for the evidence the gospels give of his longing for
it. When he put the question to the twelve, "Would ye also go away?" (John
vi. 67), there is no hint in his manner that their defection with the rest
would turn him at all from faithfully fulfilling the task appointed to him
by his Father. In fact only now and then did he allow his own hunger to
appear. Ordinarily he showed himself as the friend longing to help, but
not seeking ministry from others; he rather sought to win his disciples to
unselfishness by showing as well as saying that he came not to be
ministered unto but to minister. He washed the feet of his disciples to
rebuke their petty jealousies, but we have no hint that he showed that he
felt personal neglect. His own heart was full of "sorrow even unto death,"
but his word was, "Let not your heart be troubled;" he asked in vain for
the sympathy of his nearest friends in Gethsemane, yet when the band came
to arrest him he pleaded, "Let these, the disciples, go their way."


The Teacher with Authority

230. To his contemporaries Jesus was primarily a teacher. The name by
which he is oftenest named in the gospels is Teacher,--translated Master
in the English versions and the equivalent of Rabbi in the language used
by Jesus (John i. 38). People thought of him as a rabbi approved of God by
his power to work miracles (John iii. 2), but it was not the miracles that
most impressed them. The popular comment was, "He taught them as one
having authority, and not as the scribes" (Matt. vii. 29). Two leading
characteristics of the scribes were their pride of learning, and their
bondage to tradition. In fact the learning of which they were proud was
knowledge of the body of tradition on whose sanctity they insisted; their
teaching was scholastic and pedantic, an endless citing of precedents and
discussion of trifles. To all this Jesus presented a refreshing contrast.
In commending truth to the people, he was content with a simple "verily,"
and in defining duty he rested on his unsupported "I say unto you," even

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