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out for Jerusalem and awakened fresh hopes, a greater cold. ness than ever when those hopes were disappointed,
such was the inevitable future that lay before him.
Jesus never conquered this passion for miracles. At the cosi of his life he triumphed over many obstacles; but this hostile power, this faithless demand for signs, soon crept into his own community. We have seen already how that same want of spiritual perception which contributed so powerfully to his fall threatened to undermine his cause when he was lead.
Jesus was well aware that his great foe was this incapacity 10 perceive the truth. The same want of faith blocked up his path which had poured out the blood of the ancient prophets. He saw more and more clearly that he too must share the common fate of prophets, and be rejected by the men of his own generation. He declared it plainly enough at Jerusalem :1.
“Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for you build the graves of the prophets and adorn the tombs of the righteous, and say, “If we had lived in the days of our fathers we would not have been guilty with them of the blood of the prophets.' So you yourselves bear witness that you are the sons of those who murdered the prophets. Then do you fill up your fathers' measure ! ”
JESUS AND THE SAMARITANS AND HEATHEN.
Matthew XX. 1-16, XII. 38–42, XXII. 1-14; LUKE X. 25–37, XIII.
28-30, VII. 1-10, XVII. 11-19,2
"HE apostolic age was torn by a fierce controversy as to into the community of the Christ, and so into the Messianic kingdom, without being first circumcised and otherwise incorporated into the people of Israel. Now, in this dispute, both parties appealed directly to their common Master in confirmatuon of their passionate assertions. Which of the two had
1 Matthew xxiii. 29-32.
misuưderstood him, and which was in the right? After what we have already seen of Jesus we cannot be at a loss for an answer a single moment. When Jesus himself transgressed the laws that referred to clean and unclean food, to ceremonial purity, and other such things; when he declared that they were of no importance, and robbed the external Jewish religion in general of its binding authority, - then he threw down the partition wall between Israel and “the peoples." Nay more, his God was not the King of Israel, but the benefactor and the father of all mankind, even the idolaters themselves ; and he required his followers to love the enemies of their faith, and pray for their heathen persecutors. In fact, the whole question was virtually, or rather practically, decided by his coming to make sinners, who stood on the same footing as heathen, members of the kingdom of God. The only question that can still be asked is whether he shrank from the consequences, obvious as they were, of his own principles. When he came into contact with heathen, as he must have done in Galilee with its heathen surroundings and its mingled population, did he shrink back? If not, how was it possible for the Jewish-Christians to appeal to him with perfect confidence ?
If we look to the Gospels for a solution, we find the various accounts so completely contradictory that we are simply tewildered. On the one hand, the Twelve are strictly enjoined to beware above all things of turning to the heathen or Samaritans, and Jesus rejects a suppliant heathen woman with the words, It is not right to take the bread of the children [Israelites) and throw it to the dogs [heathen.]”? How could a Paulinist call Jesus “ Lord ” after this? But elsewhere we find it repeatedly declared, and expressly urged upon the Apostles personally, that the gospel must be preached all over the world as a witness to all peoples.? How could the faithful friends of Jesus so completely forget this command? It is easy to see, however, that Jesus cannot really have said these things, and that they were only put into his mouth afterwards in consequence of the dispute itself, and at a time when it was raging Some scholars have even gone so far as to say that, since the Apostles confined their activity to Israel, none of the sayings ascribed to Jesus which seem to favor the heathen can be genuine. But we have no right to go so far as this, for we know that the Twelve were not always the
See pp. 182, 184, and chap. iii. p. 502. ? Matthew xxiv. 14, xxvi. 13, xxviii. 19; Mark xvi. 15; Luke xxiv. 47
best of hearers, and never fully grasped their Master's free ideas. Besides, they actually did recognize, or at least tolerate, the preaching of Heathen-Christianity. All we can be sure of is that they never received any definite command to go and preach to the heathen. On the other hand, it is equally certain that words of such rigid Jewish exclusiveness as those cited above never passed the lips of Jesus.
The question still remains, How are we to explain the fact that the orthodox members of the first Christian communities conscientiously believed themselves to be acting in the Master's spirit? Had he never expressed himself distinctly on the subject of the admission of the heathen? We must bear in mind that the question was not whether the heathen were to be admitted at all. No one disputed that; and many of the prophets long ago had foretold the conversion of the heathen to faith in Israel's God. It was a question of the terms of admission. Now Jesus had never distinctly expressed an opinion on this subject, simply because he had never thought of any definite terms of admission at all, and the question had not arisen during the brief period of his public ministry. His conduct towards the publicans may seem conclusive to an unprejudiced observer ; but the Jewish-Christians perhaps reflected that, after all, even these lost ones were sons of Abraham, and were not quite the same as positive heathen. And then principles, however clear and definite, can only appeal successfully to minds in sympathy with them; and it was impossible to produce any definite action or express command of Jesus with which to silence the champions of Israel's exclusive privileges ; for, from the nature of the case, Jesus had confined his personal activity to his own nation, — besides which he cherished a very natural partiality for his own country and his own people. Finally, the heathen world was really at that time far below the moral and religious level of Jewish society; so that Jesus, however ready to acknowledge all that was good in the heathen, yet warned his followers, from time to time, against their worldliness and want of faith.' On the other hand, the heathen with whom he came in contact, and who impressed him favorably with the spiritual capabilities of the heathen world, had doubtless already embraced the Jewish religion more or less completely. At least 80 we should gather, not so much from their being settled
i See pp. 18, 19.
in the territory of Israel, as from their approaching Jesus of their own accord. His dealings with the heathen, then, may have given him the opportunity of shaming and threatening his own countrymen, without, after all, conclusively proving to the Jewish-Christians that a heathen might hope to become a member of the kingdom of God without first turning Jew.
We shall presently return for a moment to this point. Another question is, how far the ideas of Jesus with regard to the relations of the kingdom of God to the heathen and Samaritans were modified in the course of his public career? Here, too, the Gospels leave us in the lurch by their neglect of the order of time. But we may remedy the defect to some extent ourselves, for it stands almost to reason that he could not have begun by including the heathen in his survey ; at any rate, he cannot at first have expected them to take the place of his own countrymen. Let us try, therefore, to form some conception of the successive stages of conviction on this point which Jesus went through under his varying experiences. In doing so we shall not always mention the Samaritans separately, but shall use the word “heathen” as including them, for we know that in the eyes of a Jew the two were on precisely the same footing.
In the first place, then, we may safely start from the fact that Jesus himself an Israelite in heart and soul · began his work among his people with a view to hastening the Messianic kingdom ; that is to say, with a view to helping on the realization of a purely Israelitish ideal for the benefit of Israel. Like the prophets, from whom he borrowed this conception, he thought in the first place of the salvation of his own people, and originally the work of redemption which he personally hoped to accomplish did not extend beyond them. But even then he believed, in common again with his great predecessors, that in the Messianic age Israel would be the light of the world and the teacher of the peoples, who in their turn would share all its privileges. From the very first Jesus was absolutely free from the narrow exclusiveness of his contemporaries, an exclusiveness which sprang from national pride and religious rancor, and found utterance in anticipations of vengeance and unworthy conceptions of God. Two parables are still preserved which contain an phatic protest against this exclusive spirit. The first most likely belongs to the earlier half of his career, and
is an emblematic history of the kingdom of heaven. It runs as follows:
Autumn had come, and had brought the grape-harvest with it. It was a time of general rejoicing, as the grape-gatherers carried the clusters in baskets, with shouts of joy, to be trodden out at the wine-press. It was a time of rejoicing, but a time of the busiest labor too. The owner of a certain vineyard, seeing that his grapes were ripe and ought to be gathered without delay, went out at sunrise to engage laborers for the work. He had soon secured a number of men at the usual rate of wages, one denarius (about eightpence) for the day, and he sent them to his bailiff who set them to work. But he soon saw that more hands were wanted; so about nine o'clock, when a quarter of the day was gone, he went into the market-place again, and there he found some laborers waiting with their implements to see if any one would employ them. So he engaged them too, but without making any special agreement about wages. He merely said, “Go to my vineyard, and I will pay you fairly:" Meanwhile the sun had climbed the sky and was now blazing down upon the laborers from the mid-heavens, and the work was heavy and the hands still short, and all the grapes must be gathered that day, or it would be too late. So the master, who came now and then to see how the work was going on, went to the market-place again at midday, and yet again at three in the afternoon, and each time he engaged more laborers, promising fair wages, but not stating the amount, and sending them to his bailiff who was anxiously expecting help. At last, when the sun was drawing to the west, at five o'clock in the evening, the master saw some laborers still standing in the market-place.
Why have you been standing here all day doing nothing?” he asked. "Because no one has engaged us," they answered gloomily. So he took them also into his service, though he said nothing about wages for the one hour left for work ; 1 and they came in fresh at the close of the day, and helped to finish the work.
The harvest was all got in, and evening came. Then the master told his bailiff
' to pay the men, “ beginning with those that had come last, and going through to the first.” So those that were set to work at five o'clock came first, and each of them received a denarius. The men who had been at work since six in the morning now expected to get more ; but they were disappointed, for they too received a denarius each.
1 After an amended text.