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was day, Simon and his other friends of course perceived that he was gone.
They went in search of him, and when they found him urged him to return. “Every one is asking for you,” they eagerly exclaimed. But Jesus refused to go back. He had left the city so early because he had determined to go and preach in other places in the neighborhood; and he now began to carry out his resolution.
Such is the account in Mark. Now, according to this Gospel, Jesus only came to Capernaum the day before, and had therefore only spent that single Sabbath day in the city. That would be the reason why he did not get a house of his own, but spent the night in Simon's. This brings us to observe the extraordinary rapidity of motion which characterizes the narrative of the second Evangelist. His representations are generally hurried, and in the first chapter alone the word " immediately." occurs eleven or twelve times. Luke also mentions the departure of Jesus in the early morning, and Matthew tells us that after healing Simon's mother-in-law and other people he left Capernaum.' But Matthew clearly and expressly states, and Luke certainly implies, that Jesus had already definitely settled at the place, so that he must have made a longer stay than Mark allows. Such a supposition is certainly nearer the truth than the inexplicable haste which Mark implies. Since Luke has told us nothing of the calling of the four disciples, he makes the multitudes themselves seek out Jesus and endeavor to bring him back. This is highly improbable. He also makes Jesus answer, “ I must bear the glad tidings of the approach of the Messianic age to other cities also. This is my mission.”
Jesus, accordingly, now began his journey through Galilee. He entered the synagogues of the various places, and took every opportunity of proclaiming the kingdom of God. Magdala, Chorazin, and Bethsaida are especially mentioned among the places he visited, but we never find any allusion to his having been at the capital, Tiberias. He did not confine his visits to the cities on the shore of the lake, but travelled inland, came to Nazareth, and raised the voice of his preaching everywhere.? His field of labor was wide, brought him into contact with all kinds of people, and was all the more exJiausting because he could not as yet share it with any fellowworkers. In this way we shall see him toiling on till he leaves Galilee on that journey to Jerusalem which was to cost his life. He always returned from these excursions to Caper1 Matthew viii. 18.
Matthew iv. 23 (Mark i. 39; Luke iv. 44).
alone to pray.
naum, perhaps in search of that rest which was not to be found, however, even here; perhaps simply because he had chosen this place as his abode, as the headquarters of his work, and his point of departure on each fresh journey.' Accordingly we shall often find him here again.
What gave him strength to bear the perpetual strain he found himself compelled to undergo? We shall deal expressly with this question further on, but cannot refrain from observing here how beautifully and fittingly the second Gospel closes the account of his first public appearance, when it says that the next morning at the dawn of day Jesus went
We cannot tell whence the writer derived this detail. He may have supplied it froin his own imagination ; but, if so, we are willing to believe that his conjecture was a true one. We may well suppose that Jesus could not sleep that night. The day that had just closed was of such deep import for the cause to which he had consecrated his life! llis first public utterances had been crowned with so rich a promise of good results, and his success, for the time at least, was now made sure! The strain upon his powers liad been so great that both head and heart were too full for rest, and thoughts innumerable rushed in upon him in the stillness of the night. He must rise and go out into the open scenes of Nature. Then he bowed down his head and raised his heart to God with the prayer that this first success might be crowned by His richest blessing ; that he himself might not be too much elated by the enthusiasm he had inspired ; that the power to work unceasingly might never fail or leave him.
Such prayers as his are never left unanswered.
1 Matthew ix. 1, xiii. 1, 36; Mark ii. 1, iii. 19, vii. 17.
JESUS AS THE TEACHER OF HIS PEOPLE.
MATTHEW VII. 24–27, XIII. 1-23. 31–35, 44-48, 51, 52, XIV. 13-21;
MARK IV. 26-29.1
What is the sacred place where thou dost teach?
The lowliest threshold and the busiest street
Are holy ground when trodden by thy feet,
nor even asked for any specially holy place, any consecrated pulpit, but accepted every occasion offered him by daily life and every place in any degree suited to his purpose, and made it a holy temple by his presence and his words. Cer tainly this new teacher, who had first appeared at Capernaum, and was now journeying through the cities of Galilee, had not a touch of that consequential and pompous solemnity of manner upon which some orators rely for half their power. He took the fullest advantage of the ease and freedom rendered possible by the climate and the social institutions of the East; and we find him sometimes addressing a little knot of hearers, sometimes preaching to a more or less numerous assembly, at one time speaking in his own house,o at another in a neighbor's, perhaps at the friendly meal to which he has come as a guest ; * and yet again in the highways, or in the ample market-place, at the gate of a city, or on a quiet walk through the open country, ou the picturesque shores of the lake, or in a boat that rides at anchor. He even seems to prefer some place at a distance from the tumult of the cities, such as a grassy plain or the slope of a mountain,10 where he can address a tolerably numerous audience. 11
1 Matthew xv. 32–38; Mark iv. 1-20, 30-34, vi. 30-44, viii. 1-9; Luke vi. 47-49, viji. 4-15, ix. 10-17, xii. 18-21. ? Mark ii. 1, ini. 19, &c.
3 Matthew viii. 14; Luke x. 38, &c. 4 Luke vii. 36, xiv. 1, &c.
5 Luke xiii. 26; compare x. 10. 6 Mark vi. 56.
7 Matthew xvi. 13; Luke xi. 1, &c. & Matthew xiii. 1, 2; Mark ii. 13; Luke v. 1. See, also, p. 128. . Matthew xiv. 15, 19; compare vi. 30; Mark vi. 39. 10 Matthew v. 1, xv. 29.
11 Matthew xiv. 21, xv. 38.
All this, however, does not alter the fact that the synagogues those academies of Israel, those centres of the people's religious life — must have presented themselves to Jesus as the usual and the most appropriate places in which to speak of religious subjects, especially as hardly a hamlet was without one, while each of the larger towns had several. It was in the synagogue that he uttered that «liscourse to which he owed his first success at Capernaum. The structure of these synagogues varied considerably, and some of them were splendidly adorned. Those of the little cities of Galilee, to which the visits of Jesus were almost entirely confined, were probably oblong buildings, varying in size, and generally provided with a colonnade. By far the greater part of the interior was occupied by the seats for the men and women, carefully separated from each other; then, further on, came the pulpit, and probably seats for the ruler of the synagogue and the elders ; lastly, sunk into the wall that looked towards Jerusalem, or fixed upon it, was the chest which contained the sacred rolls. To these synagognies any one might come at the appointed hours (nine, twelve, and three o'clock) to offer his daily prayers. Here the Law was read aloud, not only on the Sabbath, but on Mondays and Thursdays, when the markets were held, the courts of justice sat, the country people came into the cities, and the Pharisees kept fast. But the service of Saturday was, out of all comparison, the most important. First of all the prayers were uttered, in a standing posture, and in the language of the people; then a passage was read out of one of the five rolls of the Law, followed by a section from one of the eight prophetic rolls (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings,' Isaiali, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the minor prophets from Hosea to Malachi). These passages of Scripture were expounded and applied, as well as read, and it was usual for one to read and another to interpret. In the afternoon the worshippers assembled again to read a shorter passage of Scripture, and often stayed on into the evening with lighted lamps. The congregation said amen to the prayers ; : and, though it was forbidden to interrupt the speaker, we may be sure that Oriental vivacity found some means of expressing occasional approval or dissent clearly enough. Of course the Scribes, who had studied at the University of Jerusalem, who had sat at the feet of celebrated teachers, and who still de
1 See pp. 130, 131, 137.
2 Matthew vi. 5.
Foted their time and strength to the constant study of the Scripture, or perhaps of the Law alone, were most frequently requested to address the people after the reading of Scripture; but every Israelite who had reached manhood, and was in full enjoyment of his ecclesiastical and civil rights, was qualified to speak in the synagogue. In the time of Jesus there was no trace as yet of any academical title or diploma which the leader of public worship must hold. Any one who frequently spoke in the synagogue,' especially if he gained some celebrity as a teacher, was saluted by the title of honor, Rabbi,” or "Master," whether he had had a learned education or not.
Jesus, then, took every occasion that came in his way, and especially availed himself of the admirable opportunities afforded by the synagogue, to preach what he had at heart to the people. With this general statement we must rest content, for his discourses and detached sayings have been preserved, collected, handed down to us thout any strict observance of time and place in their arrangement. This is only what we might fairly have expected. The oral tradition preceded the written ; and what could be more natural than to collect the similar discourses without reference to the intervals of time or space which separated them? Indeed, our Evangelists themselves make very free with the time and place of the discourses in fitting thein into their own framework. We will take a remarkable example. In the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters of Matthew we possess an inestimable collection of short sayings and more extended discourses which the first Evangelist, or perhaps to a great extent the Apostle from whom his Gospel takes its name, had woven together; but they were really uttered at various times and under vari ous circumstances, and have no connection with each other. Matthew, however, represents Jesus as having delivered the whole collection at once on a mountain. Hence the name of “Sermon on the Mount” is given to this precious monument of the teaching of Jesus, and the legend has fixed upon “the horns of Chattin ” 4 as the place from which the sermon was delivered. Now the Evangelist had a special motive for fixing upon a mountain for this purpose.
He intended to represent Jesus laying down the fundamental laws of the kingdom of heaven as the counterpart of Moses, who promulgated the constitution of the Old Covenant from Mount Sinai. Luke,
1 Matthew xxiii, 7.
2 Matthew viii. 19, ix. 11, xvii. 24, xxii. 16. 4 See the plan of Gennesareth in Map V.