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JESUS CHRIST BEFORE HIS MINISTRY .
JESUS CHRIST BEFORE HIS MINISTRY BY EDMOND STAFFER PROFESSOR IN THE FACULTY OF PROTESTANT THEOLOGY AT PARIS STraiislatfti bg LOUISE SEYMOUR HOUGHTON NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 1896 .
1896. Cambridge. By Charles Scribner's Sons.Copyright. . SnifafrsitD Preaa: John Wilson and Son.
his title of " his Person. I In the first volume.. of Jesus I shall endeavor to relate the before his ministry. his is Authe Ministry. facts we know only so much Matthew and Luke have But it is not from the to light that I shall which they bring draw the pages which Jesus follow. Of the time which passed over him until his thirtieth year as the evangelists preserved for us. To is their touching narratives of the childhood of it seems to me that there nothing to add. and from them nothing to subtract and the deep poetry which breathes in these marvellous stories defies all criticism. which now life publish. PREFACE TESUS CHRIST: thority." — such I a work which purpose to write. .
surprised at the sobriety of the gospel narratives. is More my is aim not to repeat the the youth of that . and and permitting myself only to relate. to observe . we know about to Jesus it seek for that which has not been told us. tried to make up Infancy. The early Christians. sort.VI PREFACE is To touch them than that. and composed the apocryphal Gospels of the I I am attempting a study of this but have no intention of writing a work of pure imagination. for the silence of history. by deducing from known facts facts unknown. like that of the I authors of the antique legends. fain say would life what must have been the some of Jesus until his thirtieth year. little to spoil them.
Conclusion 175 .. 19 III. v ix The Childhood of Jesus Early Beliefs . 109 121 Jesus and John the Baptist IX. .. Jesus VII. The Originality of Jesus . VIII... Studies and Reading 75 VI. ... 93 Jesus and the Essenes . .. 137 161 X. 3 II. . and the Pharisees ... IV".CONTENTS Pack Preface Introduction Chapter I. Jesus at Twelve Years of Age First Impressions AND Experiences 39 57 V... The Messianic Ideal of Jesus at Thirty Years of Age .
the question was answered lieved himself to Jesus never be- be the Messiah.INTRODUCTION TTOW Messiah ? could Jesus have believed him- self and proclaimed himself the In the tury. But this solution of the question quickly became antiquated. addressed self to the Gospels for the : first time. attributed to faith him in good acts which he had not done and words which he had not spoken. who. its Criticism kept on in work. after the death of their Master. first half of the nineteenth cencriticism. He owed his career only to the enthusiasm of excited disciples. and forty years of patient and . when historical with its it- severe and certain methods.
that Mesof and. and under the do- minion of an illusion of which he was only in part the dupe. and he died the victim of religious madness. first Jesus of preached the pure religion the Spirit. and then. He persuaded himself that the apocaljrptic hopes of his people would soon be realized in his own person. Next came Kenan's explanation. Son of David.X INTRODUCTION compelled the conscientious labors have impartial historian to refuse this explanation. little by little. this holy and . to be called . he permitted himself is. expected by his and that he announced himself as such. the reign of charity and happiness by a universal brotherhood . by a sort unconscious deceit. It has been demonstrated with the most rigorous certainty that Jesus gave the most surprising witness that he believed himself to be really the Messiah people. he believed in his own Messiahship. carried away by siah his success. — love to God and love to man.
sick. this is to be explained in a — charm. He charmed women. Contact with his person. the ing himself. . the sound thing of his voice. Then came those the evil days. Jesus single word. word charm he spoke.INTRODUCTION xi To Renan. his face as well. his words charmed. Envy and hatred pursued him as they always pursue who succeed and are greatly loved. In the his early months of the Galilean ministry full words were precepts exquisite ful of gentleness. every- about of him was exquisite charming. parables which enchanted the mulhis cures titudes. his life. — his — and he ended by charmpious and gentle Rabbi The was before all things a charmer. he incontestably did per- form cures. delight- words that consoled. and every- thing becomes clear into all that this If when we " see deeply " includes. everygentleness thing was and suave kindness. By charm for are to be explained. He thought that of word solved the enigma the multitudes. disjciples.
Such a memory. the circumstances being favorable. he was crucified and died. he had the simplicity believe himself the Messiah. with ever-growing charm. The of starting-point of the the invisible Christ was the hallucination of the Mary Magdalen. give him a Church. giving himself up to this idea even to martyi'dom. and insisted that she Now. — for death always magnifies and transfigures. felt his confidence in himself increasing. Her devotion was had seen him.xii INTRODUCTION Jesus. the at that period a resurrection dead appeared to be a highly pos- . from such that she believed that she saw him again. must inevitably beget for him disciples. and. But the memory which he its left behind remained. trated as Pene- much with the enthusiasm which he continued to breathe as with the opposition to himself which continually became to more pronounced. Then by a natural reaction. conquer the triumphs of world for him. one women who had most loved him.
xiii Mary Magdalen's exclamarisen tion. has rendered a very great service to ence. no half-way. the dilemma is inexorable and Kenan. That proved it is certain.INTRODUCTION sible tiling. He called himself the Messiah. of the scientific imperfections of his book. sci- He has shown that is the problem that concerns Christ logical problem. How did he reach that point ? Was he crazy. This explanation — " charm " — may be is evi- dently the only one which accepted. — for there . is — and they in spite are legion. and the Christian Church was founded. . The question to know is what was taking place in the soul of Jesus. is — yes or no ? Such it seems to us the sole alternative itself which henceforth forces lievers between be- and unbelievers. and is in fact that of those of our contem- poraries who are not Christians. entirely a psychois. It can only be solved by a third supposi- . The question appears to us absolutely clear and precise. " He is from the dead ! " soon became every one's word.
Was he mad. and to make them known. To this question. was he And this second question historian. no ? we shall try to reply. for it is possible to reach only partial results. the eternal question of the Christ? in general. this purely historic method. a wholly nega- tive result. hope completely to solve. This penury of documents will always be the cause of a continual return to the . which leads then. We task shall not draw from them the dogmatic consequences which they may Our is simply that of the historian. is at once to another ? question.XIV tion. to ascertain the facts. and herein the entire scientific value of his work. not mad . Our to observe. — he was What. Do by we. INTRO J) UCTION Renan has very lies clearly shown this. unanswerable by the because the documents which it might solve are wanting. bear. and we deavor to do plan is — yes or shall en- it purely as a historian. then. For everybody no . or rather only one result.
he spoke truly . We enter here upon a moral question. and incompre- one of the most certain marks of his divinity. the moral character of the historian becomes the involved. because the ing. the — the Son of MesGod. he was what he said he was. of He is no longer on facts ground demonstrated and historic verifications. was he ? no longer for history to reply. If Jesus was not led away by a monstrous illusion. the In this reply. and a religious belief cannot be scientifically demonstrated. What. can never exhaust To it is question. siah. it. The pure is historian will always say: Jesus not explained by science.INTROD UCTION examination of science Cliiist's XV Pure this character. for it cannot. if he spoke truly. Saviour of men. documents are wantsufficient data con- and we have not . The believer says : Jesus will never be is explained by science. then. because he the Revelation of hensibility is God himself. but upon that of religious faith and personal conviction.
To second. sensible or an intellectual cer- For in questions of faith there can be neither sensible nor intellectual evidence. is called sight. Faith is not to be demonstrated itself. . it simply aifirms simply shows itself under pain of ceasing to be faith and be- coming what either a titude. But this dilemma does not embarrass the It is believer.XVI IN TROD UC Tl ON cerning him to solve the enigma of his appearance by historic methods. At the bottom the believer and the non-believer are divided only upon one point. but only moral evidence. — that is. moral evidence does not suffice. true. lish his faith. for demonstration opposed to his he asks not of science to estabprove it. to to show it to be . to the first it (and we are of this number) does suffice. enough for liim to is know that no scientific faith.
JESUS CHRIST HIS PERSON. HIS WORK JESUS CHRIST BEFORE HIS MINISTRY . HIS AUTHORITY.
THE CHILDHOOD OF JESUS .
The first ten oT twelve years of Jesus' life must have lain be- tween the years of Rome 750 and 765.CHAPTER I THE CHILDHOOD OF JESUS JESUS was brought up at Nazareth. built in terraces in the hollow of an amphitheatre Irregularly disposed. the corre^'t Greek transliteration of this word is Nazara but we retain the name Nazareth. 2 According to the best manuscripts. In the middle of the eighth century of Rome. consecrated by usage. Nazareth was a cluster of cubical houses without character or elegance. about 1890 years ago. they of rocky hills. formed a confused medley of small white 1 It is impossible to fix the exact date. Its general aspect was dull and mean. . It was twenty-five leagues north of Jerusalem. . and making part of the Roman province of Sjo-ia.i this was the name 2 of a small town hidden away among the hills of Galilee. and eight or nine hours' walk from Capernaum.
and steep. narrow. one fountain. the cac- grew everjnyhere. who come twice a day to draw the water needed for — the household. We are told that three or four thousand inhabitants. and now and then. The streets were rough and uneven and the lanes. but we cannot credit more than fifteen hundred or two thousand inhabitants to a village which had only one synagogue. the gathering-place what it always was. crooked. of the women and young girls. threshing-floors and Here were pits hollowed out of the ground there tombs hewn out of wine-presses. Let us imagine ourselves in the first . The fountain is still there.4 JESUS CHRIST flat-roofed dwellings. Nazareth was a mere village. a tiny field of wheat. Springs do That of Nazareth is to-day not change. tus The fig-tree. It is true that in the Orient men and beasts can huddle themselves into a very small space. . between the houses. the olive. vines in the hills north of the town. the rock. Nazareth contained This Judging estimate is certainly excessive. and one public square. by the small area which it covered. were often crossed by streamlets from the ra.
BEFORE HIS MINISTRY
century. Here they come, with alert step; and among them Mary, the wife of Joseph the carpenter, carrying her empty waterShe waits for jar crosswise on her head.
her turn, chats with her companions,
her pitcher, and goes away, with the graceflexible step
that of all the
of her country.
wide trousers which leave hare the lower part of the leg, and a robe with open sleeves which leave her arms also exposed. A few coins gleam among the braids of her hair.
Jesus, her eldest son, has
older, he will
grown a come with his mother help her to fill and carry her Later he will come alone, to
and, to quote from
the simple-hearted chronicler of 1187
fontaine lavait Nostre
drapels de coi
envelopet Nostre Sei-
envoiait querre Nosil
Nostre Seigneur^ quant
the stream from this fountain
washed the linen
which she wrapped Our Lord. To this fountain Our Lady sent Our Lord to bring water, when he was a little grown and he went willingly."
Citez de Jerusalem.
Mary retui'iis home. Her house is low and square, with a court before it and a terrace on the roof. Let us enter. We are in a large room without windows, and
all sorts of utensils.
wide, and by day
always open, and
the brilliant light of the Orient enters in
There are no tables, but there are rugs, and on the walls are hung a few garments, robes and veils. The dwelling is narrow, and the family Joseph and Mary have at numerous. There are, to begin least seven children.
with, five sons: the eldest bears the
and the others are Yakob, that is, Jesus, Joseph, Youda, Shimeon, James, Joseph, Jude, and Simon. As to
names nor their number; but Joseph and Mary have at least two.^ These nine people, perhaps more, all live in the one
of this house
for all purposes. 2
and this room serves Here Joseph works at
his carpenter's trade; here all the family
" His sisters." "
This was the usual condition but it is very possible that Joseph and Mary had a house of two or three rooms.
The one room."
BEFORE HIS MINISTRY
sleep; they all take their meals here,
does the cooking.
walls of this poor dwelling are not
not even of brick.
of sun-dried clay.
case gives access to the roof,
a terrace, the floor of which, a mixture of chalk and sand with small pebbles and
become a sort of hardened soil which shows here and there a sparse vegeIn summer, on fine starlight tation.
nights, all the family sleep here, each one
rolled in his blanket, for the heat of the
able to stay there.
goods would show, first of all, a carpenter's bench like our own, and its tools; a kitchen furnace with two places, a sheet of iron for roasting wheat or baking bread
a few leathern bottles, some
one or two
wooden bowls, some goblets
and cups; and that is all. Joseph and Mary have no plates, no forks or spoons. The beds are mere pallets, rolled up every morning and placed upon an elevated plank running along the walls.
few mats and cushions upon which people squat after the oriental fashion, and a Durgreat chest, complete the furniture.
season this chest holds the
rugs and blankets.
Besides these articles
Joseph and Mary possess a lamp, a bushel, The lamp is very a broom, and a mill. It is made of tall, and stands on the floor. clay, has two or three wicks, and burns
serves as a measure, a
Turned bottom upward on the floor, it takes the place of the Sometimes they table which is not there. place the lamp upon it when they wish to raise the light and illuminate the whole
drawer, and a bag.
for the mill,
every morning Mary, with the help of one
of her daughters,
must turn the crank and
the hour of the
to table, the
ablution has a religious character, and
would be more exact
to say they purify
a later day Jesus will
declare these purifications useless,
Before fashion. squatting down in oriental Joseph gives thanks. dips his morsel in the dish before eating. the children must have are locusts. 9 no longer practise theui but he is now a child he submits to the regulations of his pious parents. If any is Sometimes. scarce honey. dinner. flat It is round cake which serves also and on which each puts his Furtheris portion of butter or of cheese. parched grain. and each one at table. there If so. a sort of as plate. it is beef. Each one has a loaf before him. after having broken his bread. What is there in this dish? Usually curdled milk or a porridge made of barley In addition to butter and or wheat. which are those of the Law : of his people. in the season. more. Meat is bought on In feast days. At the close of the meal another thanksgiving will be pronounced. and Jesus. summer a few grapes and figs complete the and dear. .BEFORE HIS MINISTRY . and These form the ordinary food of the carpenter's family. or kid. cheese there are also eggs. child. mutton. the eldest repeats a part of his prayer. there a dish on the bottom of the upturned bushel.
comforts which have become necessary to us. and Joseph. even more frugal than the earlier one. is In the goblet.10 gathered JESUS CHRIST them. were not in the least missed by the carpenter and his . which each passed around one drinking in turn. Mary. which very the mingled with flour to make a sort of cake. there wine is sometimes water mingled with but the ordinary drink of the family made of wheat and and called shechar. when another meal. appreciated. much circle. each resumes his work until evening. but they did not suffer They were poor from poverty. brings the family together. for among Jews of that time the word " poverty " was never synonyor "want. Things which we could with difficulty do without. is . The meal ended. in the house of the Nazareth carpenter." The were very few. Such conveniences as we are accustomed to did not exist. again a sort of small beer fruits. and needs created by modern civilization were mous with "indigence" life requirements of unknown. They are prepared by is reducing the body to a powder. and their children suffered no privation.
family, for they
knew nothing about them no need of them. What were the first religious notions received by the child Jesus ? Very early he knew by heart certain verses of the Bible. As soon as he began to speak, his mother made a point of repeating to him
verses of the Law; and first of all she taught him those which proclaim the unity
the election of Israel
Lord thy God is One Lord. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might."! "The Lord did not set his love upon you nor choose you because ye were more in number than any people,
were the fewest of all peoples but because the Lord lovethyou."^ When the child could repeat these two verses perfor ye
his mother taught him others. After a while she put into his hands strips
parchment upon which were written knew by heart. Thus he finally came to know his letters, and,
the words which he
repeating these verses often with his playmates, he soon learned to read.
vi. 4, 5.
The day came when his mother explained him the meaning of the words he was
She told him of God and of She related to him the
glorious history of the past,
willing to offer up Isaac; Jacob and the ladder of light; Moses and the burning bush; the coming up out of Egypt and
the passage of the
Red Sea; David and Judas Maccabaeus and the
these marvellous stories of
triumph of national independence.
Old Testament. The commandments Jehovah, his promises, his warnings,
were graven on
His family was assuredly very pious, adhering closely to the strictest Judaism, for every year his father and mother made part of the little caravan of Nazarenes who
Jerusalem to celebrate
Passover; and James, the next younger
brother of Jesus, remained in manhood,
even after his conversion to Christianity, a rigid and austere Jew, practising a narrow and minute piety, careful to omit no rite and
to observe all the purifications.
question this was due to impressions
BEFORE HIS MINISTRY
ceived in infancy in a
home which was very bound up in the
piety of Jesus
no doubt of another character; and therefore it early began to distress his mother and brothers. The day was to come when they would try to hold him back, to keep him with them would even go so far as to
suspect him of insanity.
may conclude with
certainty that the
scrupulous attachment to pharisaical observances, and an entire submission to all
Law, were the
fixed rule of daily life in the carpenter's
When Jesus was six years
old, his parents
was held in the synagogue, the audienceroom serving for schoolroom during the
The schoolmaster was the perwho had charge of the building and
of the manuscripts of the Sacred Books,
and watched over the orderly conduct of the service on the Sabbath days.
^ This was the custom in the villages. In cities and large towns (and perhaps Nazareth was of this number) the school probably occupied a building
contiguous to the synagogue.
Jesus attended this school until he was
ten or twelve years old.
to read, write,
became a "Son of the Comthat is, he began to be subEvery ject to the discipline of the Law. morning and evening he must recite the Shema,^ a few verses of which he had known since infancy; for every morning and night, over the whole extent of Palestinian territory, the Jews hastily muttered
Jesus never approved
of these " vain repe-
The day came when he formally condemned them. But at twelve years of age he recited the Shema like every one else; and these nineteen verses certainly became the subject of his first religious
To this must be added what he learned on Saturdays (the Sabbath) at a synagogue
designed especially for
a sort of catechizing to
which Mary It was had been especially advised to send him
Therefore, next to his mother,
The Shema contains nineteen verses, Deut. vi. 4-9 Num. xv. 37-41. The name comes from the first word, Shema, which means Hear.
. who attended funeral — what sweet and peaceful memories of the time when he had only to let himself be loved Such was the placid and humble cliildhood of him who holds the first place in the liistory of humanity. history of our race into and whose life divides the two parts which nothing can ever blend together. 1 Matt.! BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 15 it was the schoolmaster who first initiated him in the reading of the Old Testament. his brothers and sisters. "^ village boys with whom in he had played at marriages and burials. the annals of the past have bequeathed to our meditation . the family life in which he had been so happy How often he must have recalled them to mind at a ! later time : the paternal home. his parents. vii. and who has exercised a decisive influence upon the destinies of the world of him whose work is. the most remarkable which . 11. when he imitating amused himself with them the lamentations of the village wedding-dances or in uttering the hired mourners services. the " father who gave good the little things to his children. Thus passed the early years of Jesus. What impressions must have been made upon his soul by his home. without contradiction.
II EARLY BELIEFS .
he his at accepts that teachers tell He is surprised nothing. Brought up in a pious family. was Joseph and Mary. brought up by believing parents he actheir religious all and clung to them in good This Avas certainly the case with Jesus. but he unquestioning submission. and never dreams of raising a doubt concerning such affirmations as are given him as truths. and cepted all must have begun with if he was teachings. At a later time he examines his early beliefs. that of simple. perhaps he abandons them. child believes all upon authority. faith of his childhood. and if he keeps them it is as changed into deliberate personal con- indisputable victions. The artless. he believed what every young Israelite of that time believed. that of the pious circles . confident.CHAPTER II EARLY BELIEFS TpHE him. faith.
We have said that even after becoming a Christian he retained an ineffaceable stamp of Judaism. he never ceased to expect the glorious Messiah of the . and what were the beliefs which he on authority and for which he in was not sible. He was very faithful to the temple and the synagogue. and by some of the representative characters whose memory has been preserved to us. Jesus have received the same religious education.20 JESUS CHRIST It is of Galilee at that time. to us made known by the Jewish books of that epoch. James energetically defended the Jewish law and privileges. and that which later James became and remained until the end of his life may show us what that education was. must stand things ? The two eldest. the slightest degree respon- What son did Joseph and to when he began Mary teach their grow up and underand James. for his nature was essentially conservative. We can know then with sufficient accuin his racy what Jesus believed received child- hood. In many respects he remained All his life what he had always been.
and against which Jesus was one day to struggle ? Two facts govern here. in which James permitted himself to be carried along. But can we that age recoils create anew the atmosphere which Jesus lived. of beliefs and practices. half Ebionite. adds to these authentic characteristics the statements that he was holy before his drank wine nor fershaved his head nor anointed himself with oil. that he never mented liquor. and was in his 21 own person an Legend ascetic. a fancy picture. — the expectation Messiah. Joseph and justified man Mary taught . never — . and the doctrine of a glorious that the fulfilling of the before Law God. and that he passed his time always on his knees in prayer. a few lines of which may be historic nor is it assuming too much to draw from it the conclusion at which we have already arrived.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY Pharisees. half Essene. at of this family life in when one accepts everything and from nothing? Can we say what was the current of ideas and facts. that the family of the carpenter of Nazareth was in all probability one of profound and ardent birth. piety.
first of all. Underlying these beliefs. in the very depths of the child's soul. the Torah. That his people were the chosen people there was no room to doubt. These were certainly the first religious notions which the child — — received. there was a primitive religious teach- Jews of his time without exception. She taught him. all common to the people Israel to be his people. dictated by God to Moses from the first word to — . and very faithful in looking for "the Consolation of Israel." Now. own preferred and who would one day a day not far off give Israel the supremacy over all nations. which became the very gromid of the opposition which he aroused and struck out — ideas its reason for being. if one may so speak. who chose ing. to believe in a single God who is the only true God. which Mary must have given to her son somewhat on this wise. these two beliefs were precisely those upon which Jesus at a later time new and entirely original ideas. for there Avas a book which said so. creator of heaven and earth.22 JESUS CHRIST Jesus that he must be very scrupulous in the practice of the rites.
and the stars. Abraham was the highest of them all. whose vast extent no one knew. 23 More centre than of that. lay the sea. Jerusalem was other the the world. From thence he ruled the world and its inhabitants. beyond the blue surface which we see over our heads. the child was told. Israel and that was not the land of Israel.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY the last. around which revolved the sun. Men were divided into two classes. — the land of is. In heaven were all the righteous people who had hitherto lived. in heaven." . that those who " are " within and those who are "without." Beyond the land occupied by the Gentiles. and God was up above the sky. and all countries surrounded that Palestine. An everlasting feast was carried on. Jev/s and in The two child learned also that the world parts. that is. The earth was a very large flat disk. was wliich — Gentiles . "lying in Abraham's bosom. and the best people were at the table." and that was the Jews were destined to rule over all peoples. the moon. which showed Palestine the "Holy Land.
Every guardian angels. surrounded by hundreds of legions of angels. sometimes when they were awake. who appeared to them sometimes in dreams. who made known to God the dangers which tlireatened him over whom he was watching. in heaven was the throne God. and carried their prayers to the throne of God. They watched over and protected good people. When a good man died. in There were angels who remained always heaven to contemplate the glory of God or pray for men. could enter into relations with a sinful world only by means of intermediaries. The high- those who were nearest the Almighty. Now and again men saw angels. to heaven. and were .24 Besides of JESUS CHRIST this. who dwelt in light inaccessible. All of them sang Some of them were the praises of God. own. each in his est. Angels had played an important part in the history of the . angels came and carried him If his piety had been great. and imtherefore true his one had plored for him divine aid. own rank. he was laid in the very bosom of Abraham. and shared with him the everlasting feast. were the archangels. also his messengers to man for God.
And indeed there was a very close relation between moral evil and physical . — the that.BEFORE n/S MINISTRY chosen people. especially such as were arid. and it was they who always guarded the Temple Law More than its force had angel." They usually wandered in deserts and uninhabited places. This was the name of its prince. For this reason the demons were sometimes called "the powers of the air. by whom people were constantly surrounded. These demons were the cause of nearly all disease. Belial. the wind. who was also called Asmodeus. Only the Sadducees did not believe in angels. the Every one was sure of all tliis. called the Kingdom of Darkness. the hail. or Kingdom of Satan. etc. They also made men fall into sin. every natural rain. Beelzebub. the fire. who ruled with the permission of God. was a very real and living personage. invisible and maleficent spirits. He had innumerable hosts of demons under his orders. Devil. was they who built the to Moses. the fog. who tormented men and led them into evil. It 25 ark and gave the treasure. This Satan. dew. There was also another invisible world.
that There were also " signs " which of God. these . JESUS C HEIST It sometimes happened that a demon. They for this alone knew had how of and their well-defined procedure.26 evil. — they laying on hands. took entire possession of a person. Satan. Each one had his own. These divers potencies. that of the Devil. prayers. these invisible "powers. God had given to pious men. or rather of the one superior beneficent power. body and souL The wretched man might even be the prey of several demons at the same time. unfamiliar. especially to Doctors to cast to and Rabbis." unceasingly made their presence known. or rather of the one superior evil-working power. It was always possible to expel them. extravagant. fasts. and for this reason the Rabbis were to be held in the greatest respect. the power out demons. heal." that is. were the tokens of the presence of a superior evil-working power. marks of the presence of a superior power which was beneficent. or even the chief of demons. These healings were called "signs. sible. and therefore nothing extraordinary. etc. was impos- Many had seen these signs.
— that is 1 1 Cor. like every one the strangest forms. else. known or unknown. we should not for a moment admit that a true resurrection had taken place in our own time. in an invisible world which in all places and at all times made known its presence and its activities. cer- tainly believed in the supernatural under — for example. or in angels of fire. we always It of natural forces. of water and of wind. The Jews ask for signs . even if we had seen it ourselves. we should immediately explain it either by a lethargic slumber or in some other way. that a resurrection from the dead had taken place among our contemporaries. but even if we could not explain it. is nature which has acted. this we do not If any one told us for an instant doubt.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY miracles. holds beliefs of this kind. i. . 22. " 27 to " ^ and everybody desired see them. that is. sudden cure taking place we however surprising it time. are told of a If. and Joseph and Mary. inspirits which had never had bodies. It is difficult for us at this day to picture to ourselves the exact state of mind which for example. own in our explain it by the action may be.
28 JESUS CHRIST had returned to a to say. son. any less certainty that it does when Jesus was growing up was entirely the other way. In short. Perhaps we are wrong. tability of natural laws. In our day we declare everything that is out of the natural order of things to be a jjriori impossible. no matter what. at least no one was very exacting as to the proof. day we always. for there Everything was possible. — asking for proofs of was nothing im- the fact. for — the resurrection of a dead perexample. at the present hesitation. absolutely everything. and find it perfectly easy to admit. that life body seek actually dead. Though one might not at once admit. without for a natural explanation of everything if we do we do not that seems to be a miracle. and not find such an explanation. and it is highly possible that the future may bring a cor- rective to the inflexible rigor with which we reject all that does not appear to us to be conformable to the known order of the . perhaps we are too much carried away with the notion of the immupossible in the prodigy itself. affirm with exist. the most surprising In the time it miracle.
The order of the firm persuasion of the speedy appearance of the Messiah belonged to this supernatural beliefs. and under the Roman yoke the people felt severely the loss of that Uberty which the Maccabees had formerly conquered for them. The present was a time of great calamity. and every one had his own. Without in slightest doubt the parents of Jesus had told their son that there would be the very near future a sudden revolution which would be marked by the appearance of a Deliverer. Nothing more was to be expected of man. The science of medicine did not exist. thus is.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY universe. and therefore we find some difficulty in representing to ourselves the effect which a miracle had upon the tant of Palestine in the mind first of an inhabi- century. The nation was in humiliation. 29 it But for the time. and contrasted with the present sad condition. Resurrection from the dead was held to be a perfectly possible and even a very probable tiling. but everj^thing might be . cal remedies Empiri- were the only ones employed. The great events of that glorious epoch were certainly often related to the child Jesus.
His days will be days of consolation. Elias will first appear. and the kings of the earth would prostrate themthe good selves before the Jews. the last They Avere living in times. cypress. there will be signs at the last moment." 1 Cor. and will commit no sin. . xvi. Jerusalem. the world to come should begin. then will come the Messiah. and cedar. would have a new body. with strict atha^^ attention to the Pharisaic observances. and the words Maran which Paul has preserved in their original form. but a superior man. must often have been sounded in the child's ears. which would have become the capital of the world. He will be a prophet. who will be only a man. the Anointed of the Lord.30 JESUS CHRIST expected of God. 1 When " The Lord is at hand. For he is to remain hidden until the day of his manifestation. an ideal being. What if the Messiah is already born? they would say. would be all of gold. the King of Israel. A perpetual Sabbath would be celebrated in the Temple. While awaiting him. 22. and the wicked would be eternally punished. we must lead a pious and austere life. However.
conflict between Gog and Magog. this vision of the eternal Jerusalem. looked forward with great fear to era." Let them observe the Law and the traditions they would thus acquire merits which would confer upon them rights before intending God. Farther on. which would form the transition between "the present age " and "the age to come. "But. and these words brought comfort again to the suffering and the poor." For this reason the humble folk. earthquakes. cannot have done it without to make compensation. God." they would add. and then the last should be first. righteousness will reign." we . famines.. the coming of the Messianic tell The fiery-tongued Pharisaic preachers used to come and the them of frightful calamities. in the chapter entitled " Studies and Reading. "after that. BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 31 This era of prosperity would be established only after a series of terrible woes. who has laid the burden of life upon the lowly. wars. the villagers.! ^ Here we simply set forth the current ideas of the populace concerning the expected Messiah. the humble folk would resume their tasks with patience after this glimpse of And future triumph.
other books very important for those to read who wish to be is informed concern- ing "that which soon to come to pass. prevalent the people second." These distinctions are essential to the understanding of the development of Jesus' his childish beliefs." Finally. what his own reading taught him and finally. and we shall again return to the subject in the chapter entitled " The Messianic Ideal of Jesus at Thirty Years of Age. and meditate upon the prophecies in the volume entitled "The Prophets. the artless notions .32 JESUS CHRIST To study learn it. according to their sacred books. to obey tlie Law one must But the Law was not the only All the writings bequeathed divine book. ideas on this important subject." There were. — here To expect of the two words was the whole duty The to practice of the Law was God. first. practise the Law. But the Law in Avas before all the others. among received at thirty years of age. for there was in his experience. . essential justification before The moral shall give a fuller account of the Messianic ideas of the Jews of that period. the Messiah and believing Jew. by the past were such. when he became convinced that he was himself the expected Messiah. besides. the notions which he . the traditions of the fathers were themselves divinely inspired. and one should read the history of the nation.
on the Sabbath day. to all the minutiae of Pharisaic devotion. to recite the Shema. to and not take more than the permitted number of steps abstain from eating pork. but was precisely as impor- tant to give the tithe of one's harvest. and to which his brother James gave himself with the most rigorous obedience. and the breath of resistance with which from the first day his teacliings were inspired had perhaps its origin in the the prescriptions narrow and petty character of to which he had submitted in his early home. love To one's neighbor was it no doubt important. It is easy to understand that Jesus must from the first have felt the need of recoil from this position. though certainly with true piety and profoundly religious feeling. The Pharisees had regulated and every one knew what was 3 everything. It is extremely probable that Joseph and Mary submitted. his duty in . For in his parents' house Jesus must above all things have learned to perform the rites. not to omit a single purification.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY life 33 inhered solely in legal prescriptions. to have the sacred fringes on his mantle and the phylacteries on his arms.
They believed without discussing and without understanding.. eating. that wealth was a sin. " They belonged to the humble they had been taught that poverty was a merit. Such was the strange mixture of truth and error with which the soul of the child Jesus was first imbued. Galileans. still. the regular . resting. 34 the JESUS CHRIST matter of walking. jour- We Mary Scribes picture as to ourselves Joseph and trustful two simple-hearted. that the lower classes alone were true patriots. working. and that the rich were impious because they were rich. doing that everything himself that the ordained because they sincerely believed ordained. waiting in faith for him who would "exalt the humble and cast down the proud. and submission in all which went beyond that. Did he at once reject the error by that profound and unerring intuition which he had all his life ? We do not doubt it for dren a respect practice. neying. God for had thus They inculcated in their chil- religious belief and and assiduous accomplishment of ritual duty. standing sleeping.
he was. that Father whose " things " always occupied him. to study by every means which God might put within his reach. and that legal purifications can take the place of conversion. to form his own convictions. He believed that the angels and demons. obeying his God. but he never admitted rites that the performance of makes man right with God. and he at first believed that the Messiah would reign on earth. The religious instruction which was imposed upon him by authority awakened in his soul a great desire. an imperative need. first of all. to think things out for himself.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY a 35 moment. Law was dictated by God. If he submitted to the rites and observed them as he ought to have done at the age when a child should submit. in a word." wliile . and the disquietude into which his conduct in the Temple was one day to plunge the minds of his parents was certainly only one incident in the disquietude which from that day forward he was often to cause them by the independence of mind which he early showed in the face of No doubt he believed in manifest error. and to occupy himself with ''the things of his Father.
36 still JESUS CHRIST remaining an obedient and respectful For he felt something within him- son. He felt himself to be superior to them. self which transcended and dominated all religion of his parents. something which protested. What was this about to take place in the soul of this child? . which understood what they did not understand.
Ill JESUS AT TWELVE YEARS OF AGE .
does not him who initiates a movement necessary that the also moment when in genius can put forth cisely the its full moment a Luther. does a great work and is strongly influences his time ahvays often by as circumstances. What the . to use the picturesque expression of the Gospel. Jesus was not an exception to this common law. created by them. it He is were. hundred years earlier. completed religious had and Paganism had reached the limit of its speculations and experiments. suffice to it is . would not have made the Reformation." Judaism evolution. "was its fulfilled. the time. Genius. When he was born. and Napoleon was served by events even more than by his own genius.CHAPTER III JESUS AT TWELVE YEARS OF AfiE 'T^HE man who aided indeed. born powers shall be prewhich he lives. however great.
Luke has preserved to us. To take Jesus with them as soon as he was twelve years old was considered by his parents an imperative duty. we must place in the front rank the scene that St. which took when the child was twelve years Every year Joseph and Mary made the journey to the Holy City for the Feast of the Passover. for which his parents had such great respect. enlightened him. was inaugurated by him whose youth and among the number of the events which taught him. and for which they made such sacrifices. place old. hastened the efflorescence of his religious consciousness. To leave home to see Jerusalem and the Tem. ple. to be initiated into the sacred rite of Lamb. The child had certainly been prepared by his mother for the coming of this great day. joining the little group of pious folk of Nazareth strict who held to the accomplishment of the Law. It we are trying to describe . how often had he the Paschal — it not looked forward to The route which the little caravan took .! 40 first JESUS CHRIST centiuy needed was a great social and religious renovation.
that of Tabernacles and must have drawn him to Jerusalem and therefore it comes to pass that this road. and passed the night. the Jordan valley opened before them. set up Scythotheir tents. is of all the roads of Palestine that which Jesus most often traversed. From the Jezreel the travellers went to Beth- shan. which still exists. Nine hours of walking lay between them and Nazareth. BEFORE was from this rilS MINISTRY 41 time forth traversed by Besides the Feast of still Jesus every year. On quitting Nazareth the little band of worshippers turned their steps toward the Jordan valley. Here they halted. 8-37. filled with 1 1 Kings iv. They therefore went toward the southeast. for they must not pass through Samaria. home of Elisha's Shunamite^ and Jezreel. . they passed Shunem. Beisan. others the Passover. polis was a great foi-tified town..^ crossing the valley of that name. and after having crossed the great caravan route between the Egypt and Damascus. also called Scythopolis.^ first This was stage. 2 3 Now Now Zerin.
heathen buildings, temples, theatres, places It overlooked the river of amusement.
from an eminence of a hundred metres. On the morrow the pilgrims, who had been most careful not to enter the city so as not to incur uncleanness by contact with heathen, resumed their march, following the valley, which was covered with rich pasturage and crossed by many brooks. They passed Succoth ^ and Archelais,^ an entirely new city lately built by Archelaus, Herod's son. This second stage was of about twelve Again the caravan camped in the hours. fields to avoid entering a heathen town.
the third day,
in about four hours,
they reached Phasaelis, also a
had been founded by Herod the
Great in honor of his son Phasael.
hours more they were in Jericho.
Jericho to Jerusalem was only a
six hours' journey, for the fourth
and this had to be left and last day. This final stage of the journey was rendered extremely difficult by the stifling heat, due to the For the depression of the Jordan valley.
BEFORE HIS MINISTRY
shut in between two and the temperature someIt is true that
times becomes intolerable.
was now springtime, about Easter, and
the season when the journey could be made under the least unfavorable
Let us add that the road was not safe. to Jericho and all along the Jordan valley attacks of robbers were frequent, and the men of the Nazareth party were certainlj- all armed. By day, when the travellers had nothing to fear, they sang the Pilgrim Psalms,^ and we can picture to ourselves Jesus, at the evening halt, helping Joseph to set up the tent, while Mary prepared supper, and all, before retiring, reciting Psalm cxxi., which was the hymn for the close of day,
up mine eyes
to the hills,
From whence cometh my
My help cometh from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
He will not permit thy foot to stumble He who keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He will not slumber nor sleep
The The The Nor The
thy shade on thy right hand. snn shall not smite thee by day,
shall preserve thee
shall preserve thy going out
thy coming in From this time forth and for evermore.
Jericho, the city of
pilgrims could take a
was a which our rest, for it was
the only one not infested with Gentiles.
The whole surrounding country was
with palm groves mingled gardens and cultivated fields.
Between Jericho and Jerusalem
crossed a wide,
like a desert.
ascended rapidly, and forced
tween two almost vertical walls of gigantic rocks. The road, the remains of which still exist and are easy to folloAv, continued to ascend, and becoming steeper and steeper was at times nothing less than a veritable
of the rock.
were bare and fissured
time to time, in a yawning gulf far below.
BEFORE HIS MINISTRY
was seen the torrent of Kidron,
a thread of foam.
After this toilsome march by wild and
steep paths which
justify the expression Jerusalem," they arrived at
Bethany, one of the villages best loved by Jesus, and the acquaintance of which he
for the first time.
Jerusalem was near at hand; but it could not yet be seen, being hidden by the Mount of Olives. Just this hill to climb, and within ten minutes after leaving Bethany, suddenly the plain unrolled,
revealing the splendid panorama of the city
crowned by its gigantic Temple. They from Nazareth stood still and gazed. There, fii'st of all, was the height of Mount Zion next that of Moriah, crowned with the walls which encircle the sanctuary. The majestic scene was new to Jesus. The city seemed like an almost impregnable place. A thick and high wall, fur;
nished with sixty towers, completely surrounded it. Within the enclosure appeared a mass of flat-roofed buildings
multitude of small cubes of white stone standing out against the blue sky, at
for the city is built upon hills. O Jerusalem!" entered the city . Did he think on that Palm Sunday of his childish impres- and of that other day which also preceded by a very little the Paschal Feast. and he was standing on the spot where he would then weep over the city and its people. this sacred place had appeared before him for the first time? At last he was looking upon the Temple. with its golden roof sparkling in the sunlight! But they must keep on to the end of journey.46 unequal JESUS CHRIST altitudes. The panorama which the was to child Jesus had before his eyes was the very one which he have on Palm Sunday. when. crossed the Kidron. The path descended obliquely. They were all singing the One Hundred and Twenty-second Psalm. which he had so often pictured to sions. They went through the valley of their Gethsemane. twenty-one years before. five days before his death. and minutes later five by the Sheep Gate. the very gate by which Jesus was to go out on that Thursday night which was the last before his death. " Our feet shall stand within thy gates. himself.
" where Mount of Olives. who had there a farmstead serving as country-house. incredible proportions. childhood. . Who knows whether the habit later of which he formed always passing the night outside of the city. whose simple and ardent piety provokes Places. the The latter did not lodge in the town. smiles among those who surfeited with the emotions of the Holy Their devotion certainly reproits duces in essential features that of the Galileans of the early time.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 47 These poor folk from Nazareth must have very much resembled the pilgrims of the present day who come from the heart of Russia or elsewhere to kneel in the Holy are Sepulchre. did not date springing tant of this place? However this may have been. was increased fore at feast-times to unheard-of. which for in general was from sixty to eighty thousand. Mount of Olives. obliged to camp They were thereoutside upon the Oil-press. Joseph. The garden of "the Jesus was arrested. upon the from his from time-honored relations of his family with some inhabi-. belonged to a friend. number of its inhabitants.
accompanied. 44. moneychangers. all The Temple.48 JESUS CHRIST Mary. and all in one moment the child had before his eyes soldiers 1 Luke ii. for it was situated on one of the hills enclosed by the wall of the city. no doubt. "their kinsfolk and acquaintance. In the midst Jesus saw venders. above fixed their attention. father and mother of James and John. were compelled to make a considerable ascent. Joseph. for the first time he heard the insulting remarks of Sadducees and the vociferations of Pharisees. Mary. and found themselves in an immense court. and the child made no delay in To do this they going to the Temple. It resembled a forof for a formidable wall it defence surrounded on all sides. " 1 entered the enclosure by a great arched gate. although these questions of relationship are difficult to solve. other things. were cousins-german of Jesus. These relatives may have been Zebedee and Salome. We believe. tress. and that James and John. that Salome was Mary's sister. by other Nazarenes. with porticos running around the inner side of the walls. and buyers inveighing against one another. the sons of Zebedee. Impassible were mounting guard just as Turkish soldiers do to-day. and the child. Roman .
It was the first contact of Jesus with the priests. and the oppression of the foreigner who held it in custody under a yoke of iron. The pilgrims. still beyond. they were not permitted to go farther. of the great altar of sacrifice. the narrowness religious parties and hatred of the who directed the nation. His religious and patriotic feelings were at once excited and wounded. smoke and. Behind it arose the. the door of the Holy 4 . It was the Court of the Women. court without pausing they were in haste to pass through the Beautiful Gate. Here Mary remained. and. Before them was the Platform of the Benedictions. and enter the enclosure into which none but Israelites might come. however." the place reserved for men. the poor pilgrims displeasing an Nazarenes from to offer their ardent devotion. from which the priest blessed the assembled people. accent. who looked down upon coming Galileans.— BEFORE ins MINISTRY 49 a view of the profanation of the Holy Place. crossed the great . a village out of which nothing good could come. who spoke with so worse still. Joseph and Jesus went on into the court called "Of Israel.
which only the priests might enter. cliild bowed themselves and come not merely to But the pilgrims had to see. a blast of the trumpet giving the signal for the sacrifice. they had come . They took it from him and offered it upon the altar. lamb. Joseph's first care was to procure a lamb for the sacrifice. But the price was high for one in his circumstances. for months past. it money necessary for the purchase The animal chosen. At the entrance of the Court of the Priests he handed it over to those who conducted the sacrifice. followed by the child. At the birth of Jesus his mother was able to offer only the turtle-doves of the poor and no doubt the carpenter of Nazareth had been laying aside. the . tival this Jesus already knew what was he knew every one of the details place. This was easy. . they were for sale everywhere. of the solemnity about to take and the great memories which it celebrated had long been familiar to him.50 JESUS CHRIST Place. celebrate the fes- Passover. Father and worshipped. We may imagine the child's emotion. Joseph of the carried on his shoulders to the Temple.
Not one of its bones was broken. on cushions and carpets. ready for departure. and all that might not be eaten was to be burned in the fire.BEFORE ins MINISTRY the questions that he asked. and not boiled. steeped in vinegar. with Mary's help. Its entrails and its fat Avere thrown upon the fire. In earlier days it had been the custom flayed to The animal was partake of this feast standing. After the the departure from were brought to ])e These bitter herbs. according to cus- . the sacred feast. The sacred feast was celebrated after a ritual order. Four times the cup made the round of the table. But this custom had long since fallen into disuse. and drawn. Every one was seated. The animal was roasted. first round bitter herbs eaten with the unleavened bread. with staff in hand. in oriental fashion. At this moment Jesus. and all 51 that tliis passed in his soul at the sight of sacrifice. thus to all its reproduce in details the scene of Egypt on the night of deliverance. Joseph lifted up the carcass and carried it away to prepare. were a reminder of the sufferings formerly endured in Egypt.
from sorrow to joy. The memory effaceable of this evening left an in- impression upon Jesus' mind. sweetness in celebrating Avith those He it found a great year after year whom I he loved. JESUS CHRIST asked Joseph the meaning of his eyes. all that was passing before He repeated the question twice. Of all the rites of his people the Paschal Feast was certainly that one to which he was the most attached.. cxvii. cxvi. and cxiv... us then ! say 'Hallelujah! Praise the Lord ' " At these words the whole family sang Psalms cxiii. Let ought to praise. and his father replied with the story of the exodus from Egypt. This was the end.52 torn. . and after the fourth and last cup those present sang Psalms ex v. Then the meal went on. from darkness to a great light. and the even- ing before his death he said to his apostles. cxviii. and led them from bondage to libert}^. celebrate." The next day was 1 the first and great Liike xxii. 15. "With desire have desired to eat ^ this Passover with you before I suffer. honor. closing his narrative with the words : " We and magnify Him who did these great and marvellous things for our fathers.
without being disturbed by the absence of " When they found him not. During the seven days of the festival every On the last day one ate unleavened bread. "The boy Jesus tarried behind parents to Jerusalem. . and knew in it him be the company.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY day of the the feast. 44. but supposing they went a day's journey. for Jews did not count the day from midnight to midnight. and perhaps farther. Jesus."^ it ^ Luke ii. ^ Luke ii. 53 which had been begun the evening before by the Paschal Feast. in not. It was not permitted to work on either of these days."^ came about that they had gone as far as Jericho. 45. as we do. On the the next day but one they offered in Temple a sheaf of the new harvest. Joseph and Mary set off with the Nazareth caravan. be still obligatory to it was expressly forbidden to depart from Jerusa- lem before the seven days were completed. but from six in the evening until six in the evening of the next day. retui-ned to Jerusalem seeking for him. We his know what happened. When all had been done. they. It was present. and their kinsfolk they sought him among So and acquaintance.
And when : they saw him his mother said unto him. dangerous. And he went down with them. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And he said unto them. rocky road which between Jericho and Jerusalem. 47-52. 1 Luke ii. . why hast thou thus dealt with us ? Behold."i heart. Son. they were astonished and How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be in the things of my Father? And they understood not the saying wliich he spake unto them. both hearing them and asking them his questions. thy father and I sought thee sorrowing. and came to Nazareth. and which they had passed over with Jesus only eight days previously.54 JESUS CHRIST BEFORE HIS MINISTRY With fore hearts torn by anguish they there- retraced their steps up that lies steep. and in favor with God and men. and his mother kept all these sayings in her And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature. sitting in the midst of the doctors. " And after three days they found him in the Temple. and was subject unto them.
IV FIRST IMPRESSIONS AND EXPERIENCES .
"2 1 Matt. 55. in the East. and Jesus. 2 Mark vi. modern world. sharing his severe toil. xiii. and he ^-^ to /^N their return to Nazareth Jesus learn his trade must his toil to aid his parents in bringing up younger brothers and sisters. 3. for he was the eldest. as well developed. physically and intellectually.CHAPTER IV FIRST IMPRESSIONS AND EXPERIENCES began under Joseph's direction. as a child of fifteen is to-day in oui' western. A child of twelve was at that time. the carpenter's son. for he is no longer spoken of. . father. leads us to believe that after it everything was not long tliis. becomes "the carpenter."i and people would see him accompanying his sible being. and early learning to feel himself a respon- After a time Joseph died. Jesus would later be called "the carpenter's son.
squaring beams. the Master. A few indications permit us to divine something of what he was among his own people. himself this humble From this we may conclude that readiness to serve and to do acts of service must have been a in feature of his character childhood. took upon office. the only carpenter in the village. he. and a turban upon his head. Clothed in the humble garments of the working-man. wielding the hatchet and axe.58 JESUS CHRIST went on with the paternal and soon became the support of his mother and the head of the family. . When in the upper chamber not one of ^villing to his disciples was wash the feet of the others. no doubt. being. directing the eat the bread men who helped him. For long years he worked at this most laborious of trades. He would put roofs upon new houses and mend the old ones. He — — his work. returning home at evening to and hard-boiled eggs which mother had prepared before taking from the wall the pallet and coverlid in which his weary limbs would gain a few hours his of rest. a simple woollen tunic. in the bosom of his family. he went about therefore calling.
from tion and prayer. Who will dare to say that these precepts were not inspired in him by the sweet and vivid memory of the love which he had shown to every one at Nazareth ? And finally. 52. reached the age when the attention . In one of his first public preachings he spoke of lov- ing one's enemies. of giving without hoping to receive again. ^ Luke ii. and his twofold utterance. passing we not catch- ing a glimpse of a long habit ? Had not prayer been in his youth "the breath of his soul"? third indication is A which forces itself upon us tolerance. charity. the beginning of his public entire nights in prayer. . are life. of pardoning those who harm one. "Behold thy son!" "Behold "1 speak plainly enough of mother! thy the tenderness with wliich he had always surrounded her. 27. the solicitude with which he concerned himself with his mother in his dpng moments. Thus Jesus stature. increased in men He and in favor he passed from childhood to youth. wisdom and with God and ^ 1 John xix.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 59 Another indication is his love of meditaWhen we see him.
been his only religious teachers. To occupy himself with " the things of his Father " must have been. great empires. and that his curious and questioning gaze took in everything which claimed religious authority. also. For example. he certainly never quitted Palestine. as his attitude in Jerusalem showed. some ruler of the synagogue had. Immediately after his first journey to Jerusalem. What he had not He had not seen great capitals. until this time. whatever may have been his manual labors. he put questions to himself. owed his entire practical theory of seen he did not know. to interrogate the Doctors and ask them questions. he observed what he saw." The Chazzan.60 JESUS CHRIST awakes.^ his mother. From this we conclude with certainty that he studied the religious parties of his people. and perhaps. he reflected upon what he heard. it was to observation that he life. . and he had only ^ This was the name given to the functionary in charge of the synagogue and of the holy books. Observation was an important factor in the education of Jesus. he began to occupy himself with "the things of his Father. They no longer sufficed for him.
going in their behalf summon the people whom they have invited to dinner. 2 ff. Matt. the relations of and proprietors the price of vari. which were of extraordinary intensity. laborers 1 on the farms. 8 . xi. None the less is it certain that he had never seen a king. He had a gift of penetration. with many slaves to do their bidding. xviii. etc. and was everything seen unaware of nothing which went on in that village. the of the animals in the woods." No doubt. The habits manner of life the fields. . of men and of beasts .BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 61 an imperfect notion of the Roman Empire and the power of "Csesar. in Nazareth. 1 he used this childish language simply to put himself on the level of his hearers. a power and keenness of vision. xxii. and that he knew no other sovereign than the tetrarch Herod Antipas. and the profundity of observation which the least of his parables He had presupposes is truly prodigious. 23 . . He therefore could speak of the great ones of earth only by hearsay. live who to in palaces. it may be said that when he describes kings as personages clothed in fine apparel. But whatever he had seen he knew.
the necessity of a careful choice of ground . the making of bread. 62 JESUS CHRIST . the time required for a grain of mustard seed to become a great tree. the schools He of certainly never attended the rabbis Jerusalem. to the religious customs which prevailed in around him. when men heard him speak. the destiny of different handfuls of seed cast by the sower.. ous commodities the habits of villagers the fold in which the flocks are gathered by night the shepherd who seeks the stray sheep. and later. The people of Nazareth knew him as such. and nothing in daily life was reasons. He was never seen among their pupils. they marvelled precisely because he knew so many things and had . above all things. the difference between old wine and new. the rest dying in — foreign to him. the hen calling her chickens to her. for building . He was a carpenter. the way to mend clothes. some lost for divers good ground in order to live again. He carried this gift of observation and of learning by observation. he was familiar with them all. that of Hillel or that of Shammai. and the importance of washing the inside as well as the outside of a dish.
who healed the sick. He was too well acquainted with them for anything else to have been possible and. that is But he was a Rabbi to say. every yoimg man who intended to sound these things even for a little way carried on such studies. was a sort of profession. . he could nevertheless only do it in good earnest work. he was autodidact." a long way from to these facts to the conclusion that Jesus ied. a career into which it was necessary to be initiated by the acquisition of a certain amount of knowledge.. had dis- pronounced aphorisms and max- . Though any one might call that this — himself Rabbi. No doubt Jesus possessed neither parchments nor diplomas. the traditional law and the minute regulations of Israelitish life. self-taught. Now. in the school at Nazareth. BEFORE HIS MINISTRY SO 63 only " the much wisdom. is. after preparing him- self for his A Rabbi was a personage whom people consulted. Rabbi Jesus of Nazareth. ciples. he was called Rabbi Jehoshua Natserieh. besides. though he was But there is carpenter. It is certain had not studus that from his tenth to his fifteenth year he studied.
JESUS CHRIST What had been the studies of Jesus? Certainly none which followed a well-defined programme. observed Who the will believe that Jesus. to discuss and argue. after his fifteenth year. after having acquired a certain knowledge and this knowledge Jesus this ascendant. passing in re- Rabbis. he was entirely free. of the Doctors of them services. certainly had. Rabbi was a name given by the people to whoever took the ascendant over them and rendered the Law. He knew too well the strength and the weakness of the parties of his time not to have very narrowly these parties. tificates. degree. and lived with them in closest contact. beginning with Leviticus. never went to this school of they gave themselves thorough study of the Scriptures. Every Sabbath day after the Synagogue the pious men of the town came together to read and meditate. But one could only gain and the authority which conferred upon a man the honor of being called Rabbi. terminating a title in examinations which confer or a cer- Such studies. where up to a . . examinations. in fact. were the affair The Rabbi was more free.64 ims.
ff. Luke xx. Matt. 18 Mark xii. xxii. 38. xxii. 23 Matt. 5 . 32. . 31. We may. because he learned it by hearing the Doctors expounding the Law and the Prophets. He did more he learned to speak. 37. 45 Mark xii. 27. Luke xx. . 26. 37. . who denied a future life. It was by arguments like theirs that he demonstrated that the resurrection of the dead is taught in the Pentateuch ^ that he answered the Sadducees. hold it as certain that Jesus prepared liis ministry by a very serious and attentive study of and acquaintance with the Judaism of the schools. . The proof that he frequented the places where the Scribes carried on their arguments is found in the fact that he learned their method of the meetings of this reasoning. and Prophets ? 65 after that the Jesus certainly was present at nature which must have been held in Nazareth. Mark xii. 1 Matt. then. 2 8 ff.^ The rabbinical exegesis was familiar to him. The splendid habit of public speech which he himself for .BEFORE HIS MINISTRY view the entire Torah. 2 and asked how the Messiah could be at the same time the Son of David and his Lord. 27 flf. xxii.
had the aid of Jesus. made tests preparation. — with circumstances he had created for himself fought out. not even in his parables. his mind. and was taught by it. patriotic or religious. is so perfect. then. his His character. but it is none the less certain that he did prepare himself.66 JESUS CHRIST had from the very first argues a preparation which was not a matter of a day. his . like every other man. is evident that he had learned his how to do it. This preparation was so complete that during his ministry he always gave to his words the most admirably finished form. the structure of which appeared. If at a later it time he was often compelled to improvise. whole soul were incessantly growing during these eighteen years. He lent an ear to the lessons given by the events of the day. I hold it also to be highly probable that within his reach. he became aware of the hostility of men. so finished that all trace of effort has dis- We can discover none. of and struggles which he must have He profited by all the methods self-instruction which God had put intelligence. It is therefore impossible to say here what was the nature of Jesus' preparation .
" the first visit memory wliich he kept of his first — Jerusalem. years he lived amid wine-presses. The features this landscape were graven on his memory in lines never to be effaced. He must have continued to go up to the Paschal feasts he That of perhaps went to other feasts. For thirty years For thirty he had before his eyes the meagre and nar- row horizon floors. threshing- For thirty years he looked upon those mountains whose most minute outlines had been familiar to him from his tenderest infancy. among these shrubs and roses. he never made distant journeys.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 67 Jesus passed some time in Jerusalem during the eighteen years that lay between him and public life. Tabernacles was very popular. he never again left But his absenceswere never long. Here. for it is difficult to believe that after returning to Nazareth. he had of . cottages. and his . of his own its village. lead me to believe that his steps were often turned toward the holy city. at twelve years of age. desire to learn. constant place of abode. and Nazareth was certainly his it. his all sight of the Temple. the ardent interest which to he felt in the "things of his Father.
not one of the hills near Nazareth upon which he has not prayed. " but There is. awake to a sympathy with nature which had been always growing stronger. In the brilliancy of the red anemones. and felt his soul .i 1 From hence is is seen one of the finest Naza- Now Jebel-es-Sikh. and 100 metres . Among life acts preparatory to his public include prayer. who seeth in secret. the we must hours to spent with his Father. We have already remarked that if during his ministry he loved to withdraw to the mountain and pass sometimes the whole night there alone with the Father. during the long and fruitful years of his preparation. which he called lilies. perhaps. he cerit. He knew how "close his door" and "pray to the Father it was especially upon the heights which encircle the vil•lage that he found solitude and isolation. 542 metres in height. and often. reth itself 273 metres above the sea. There is one of the heights overlooking the village which must often have attracted tainly did him.68 received his JESUS CHRIST first impression of the world. he had seen the resplendent glory of his Father and upon these silent hills he had felt his presence and had passed long nights in prayer.
Such was the view which Jesus looked upon. From that hill. the double peak dominating Megiddo. melting away tance into the sea . and it is beyond all doubt that Jesus often looked upon it. on the contrary. which was later to Jebel-es-Sikh At the summit of above the plain of Esdraelon. is found the little Waly of Nebi Ishmael. the and snow peak in the farthest disof great Hermon. the blue waters of the the Mediterranean. At northward may be seen the mountains of Jafed. the panorama is immense. Then. At the south are the mountains of Samaria. . out to infinity. On the west lies the Carmel range. Tins height is at the north it is the most elevated of the immediate environs of Nazareth. At Nazareth the view is very much shut in but here. and in the distance.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 69 views in all Palestine. the eye is fixed by the rounded and graceful forms of the mountains of the land of Shechem and Mount Tabor. after a night of deep thought and prayer. . turning to the east. he would catch a glimpse of the Jordan valley. on the side toward the sunrise. beyond which may be pictured the dark and unattractive Judea. stretching .
the habits of animals. He had known this Father. of plants. the river. all his soul. in that nature which encompassed him. and all his thought. — everything and attracted him. Perea with all look Nazareth. all things. everything served as mate- . was spread a prodigious wealth of rich vegetation. from the day when his pious mother taught him to lisp his name. Descending from the hill. and the serene and benevolent face of the Father appeared to him through again. the slow development interested the arduous task of shepherds and laborers. at his very feet. In this nature Jesus unceasingly saw the face of his Father. he found it again on the solitary heights which over. he found it everywhere and always.70 JESUS CHRIST be the scene of his activity. It reflected the invisible world. in the marvellous story of the deliverances of his people. and loved him with all his heart. all his strength. The labors of the country. and lands of such fertility that they were compared with Paradise. it was as if transparent. and beyond its high plains while around him. and after having found his Fatherhood in the Old Testament.
He had read the Prophets. he occupied himself with the things that concerned Him. one question included all the others. a perpetual revelation.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY rial for instruction. and the mission of his But people had been revealed to him. at the unalterable con" I myself am he viction. and he arrived slowly. " The Messiah ! ! . which preserved him from the hard and dry Rabbinism of his contemporaries. and had not answered one of them. to him. He collected facts. heavenly Father Finally. in his hours of solitude. accumulated experiences. The Synagogue had revealed to him the exist- ence of a multitude of religious questions. of which he was later to open the inexhaustible treasure to those whom he would teach. 71 everything was to him a proof of the incessant activity of the and his infinite love. the itself: question of his destiny formulated Why am mission? I in the world? to What is be What is my my life? He asked his Father. There was in it. but surely. and forced itself upon him: Who would be the Messiah? When would he appear? What work would he accomplish? Thus passed eighteen years.
V STUDIES AND READING .
called "The Prophets. . Judges." included the five books attributed to Moses. Kings. The second volume. — Isaiah. — Joshua. two volumes.CHAPTER V STUDIES AND READING "DEADING was certainly one of the principal sources of Jesus' education. First of all must be named the Old Testament. in the following the order given: Part First. Jonah. Amos. word by word. The one which he read was less complete than our own. It is not diflScult to divine what books he knew and pondered. Jeremiah. as we have already had occasion to say. 1 Part Second. 2 Kings. Hosea." books. Ezekiel. called "The Law. They had a It consisted of more particularly sacred character than all the others. contained 1 Samuel. and every one believed. Obadiah. The first. 2 Samuel. Joel. Micah. that God himself had dictated their contents to the Hebrew Lawgiver.
Zephaniah. Nehemiah. had the modern notion He read the Book of Daniel with the same veneration as those and Jeremiah. for every writing bearing the name of one of the great men of the past was Jesus certainly never of a closed. Haggai.76 JESUS CHRIST Nahum. 44. the less considered as having They were none come from God. and yet this book was not in the collection which included the writings of Isaiah and Jeremiah. but this was considered by the whole people as divine. Zechariah. The same was the case with the Psalms. it was sometimes named in connection with the Law and the Prophets. of the collection of sacred songs 1 Hymn Book Luke xxiv."^ On the other hand. Malachi. there are certain books like Ezra. The other books which we fmd in our Old Testament to-day were not yet gathered into a sacred collection. and his book conof Isaiah tained revelations of capital importance. In the time of Jesus these were simply the Synagogue. men added "and the Psalms. . tively fixed canon. defini- held to be divine. But Daniel had been one of the most remarkable seers of the Exile. Habakkuk.
ask himself how he himself would have explained such a passage. to be present at its services and never. — — one thing. during his whole life. provoked him to reflection. and because he heard it read in the Synagogue every Sabbath day. 16. because this was the work most respected by the people. It would happen that these sermons. which were explanations of the text. ^ The sermons which he heard there every week for regular sermons were preached there aroused him to thought. as a young man. The first book which he knew was certainly the Law. .BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 77 Esther. and there are some among the number of whose existence he was probably always unaware. above of all the scholasticism things recoiling from which was the canker Judaism 1 in his time. He had early begun to attend it mth all his veneration and childish piety. were contradictory. which Jesus never quoted. For that matter." Luke iv. reject another. Ecclesiastes. and Jesus would assimilate . without any doubt. his "As custom was. did he fail to take part in the Synagogue worship. the Synagogue was. He continued. the Song of Songs. his first religious school and his first inspiring influence.
the seats in the first rows and on the platform being paid for. for the sexes were always separated. The hall was furnished with benches. ^ the congregation. and consequently of the synagogue of Nazareth. 17. — the men kept on their turbans. where he was one day to read a fragment from Isaiah. and . a person who had been selected beforehand mounted the platform and recited the Shema and the Shemone Esre. standing. at the end an elevated semicircular rostrum. 375 . These were the seats of the wealthy. and in front of it was a small pulpit. p. Amen at the These were the architectural features of all synagogues. A great chest contained the sacred manuscripts. ^ For the Shemone Esre see my work " Palestine ff. in the Time of Jesus Christ. The women were veiled. When the sermon began." 5th ed. ^ "^ responded with a loud Luke iv. 1 was a very large rectangular building..^ 78 JESUS CHRIST The Synagogue of Nazareth. in the free seats Mary and her daughters on the other side. upon which were seated the readers and the Scribes. Joseph and his sons would have places on one side of the hall. In the interior there were four columns on each side.
The Chazzan. probable for not that he never spoke fluently. one of those utterances of his which the Gospels have preserved in their original in Hebrew. he never used any other in conversation. the original language. . a sort of sacristan. Between his twelfth and thirtieth years Jesus must have heard it read six times in Each verse the Synagogue of Nazareth. 79 No doubt Jesus had more than once been called to repeat these two prayers. had taken from the chest the case containing the sacred texts and seven men read. three or four verses apiece. After this the Law was read that is to . in monotonous and nasal tones.BEFORE BIS MINISTRY close of each prayer. Every three years the entire Pentateuch was thus read through. for the people of Nazareth did not under- stand Hebrew. and immediately translated into Syriac. They were all uttered his mother tongue. and even text is in Syi'iac. say. about fifty verses of the Pentateuch. by turn. . and he was obliged when he undertook It it to is make a private study of the text. more than the lo learn it In his childhood Jesus understood it no others. was read in Hebrew.
Most generally they were forced puerile observations. one of readers made an or a sort oral comment. the individual who had recited the opening prayers read a passage from the Book of the Prophets.80 JESUS CHRIST the when he quoted from he quoted it Old Testament. an exposition. These various readings and recitations were alternated with the singing of Psalms. As a child Jesus long accepted as a matter of authority. only as translated into Syriac. Every three verses were translated by an interpreter. the benediction was pronounced. the the Torah. in order to read over again the passage commented upon the previous Sabbath. and the assembly dispersed. Thus he became thoroughly acquainted . reconcilia- This commentary finished. trivial and unintelligent remarks. with no thought of questioning them. of which the Talmudic commentaries may give us an idea. of homily. tions. roll of during week days. and three deacons gathered the gifts of the worshippers for the poor. finally. One tion of the first steps in the self-educa- of Jesus was certainly to borrow. these interpretations. When the the reading was finished.
all Moses and his mighty patriarchs. procured for themselves sheets of parchment. Abel. Elijah. — the Creation. Elisha were his favorite heroes. and the Mosaic books became very familiar to him. which he would not need to return to the Synagogue after having become acquainted with them for the very poorest. Isaac. .BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 81 stories in the with the history of his people. The handwriting of these manuscripts which Jesus read. Isaiah appears to have been and perhaps the Psalms alone were more familiar to him It is probable that he than this prophecy. among the writing He seems not to have enjoyed them equally. the Fall. the collection of the Prophets. or caused to be copied by some obliging Scribe. Abraham. in deeds. his favorites He had prophets. then. upon which they copied. was precisely that of our Hebrew the author of his choice. . David. Jacob. Solomon. if they were pious. Bibles to-day. the texts which they most cared to read often. succeeded in procuring copies of the Scriptures for himself. the Noah. after having had them copied or copying them himself. The Law was to him the Word of God.
everything that was written was entirely authentic and veracious. 21. 1 Matt. by an unerring. and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. word was the ground never put a single regard to authority. "^ He accepted. shalt not kill. secret." And . it. for example. "he did and showed that it imp] ies hatred and wrath he rose from the act to the sentiment which dicbut he explained . The formula " It is written " was for him the synonym for " God said. a passage from to it. But I say unto you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment. It all came from God it was all true.82 JESUS CHRIST In his eyes this of neither more nor less. . He critical question with it. yet he felt that in very many respects this Word was immediate surpassed in his intuition of own case by and which he bore within him. He presented this unique phenomenon. truth : mandment "Thou not reject it. V. that he was at the same time obedient to the Word of God and superior Take. 22. the comhis conscience. For him. Thou shalt not kill. his Sermon on the Mount " Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time. therefore.
shall show. and at the same time it was lie who spoke. which he was ever afterward to preach. BEFORE niS MINISTRY tates it. He affirmed that his way of seeing is the true interpretation of tlie text. independent of rites and formulas. later. eternal from that which is and we his. that in this he was only applying a method which was always a method which he always made use of " Abolish nothing in all circumstances. was in them. worship in and in truth. we see that is it Law which temporary. that he discovered that worship which spirit no time nor fatherland. He from loved to repeat sentences drawn one or another of these . — fulfil everything. now. that men are brothers. If." We It have said that it was especially Isaiah and the Psalms which inspired him. and he knew it well for he thus speaks . " But / say unto you. in separates that in the itself. indeed. that he found unihe learned that all versality. The Books of Jeremiah and Hosea also made a part of his favorite of — reading. — /. we study this interpretation given by Jesus." : . that God is the father of all men is . 83 This exegesis appeared to him legitimate.
and his faith in himself and in an exceptional mission awakened and grew strong. of Daniel and that of Enoch. and feeling within himself the growth of a religious and moral strength which surpassed to come. a final redemption that of the best among his contemporaries. he had recourse to those who had specially treated the sub- ject. 6. in particular two Apocalypses much valued by his contemporaries. for JESUS CHRIST example.84 prophets. this future happiness with the woes of his time and people. Desirous of studying more closely the Messianic hopes of his time. Men must have talked 1 politics in the small Hosea vi."^ The prophets also spoke to him toration in the future. and kept alive the hope of a speedy deliverance. Of this profoundly disturbed situation Nazareth certainly felt the reflex influence. comparing these visions with the wretchedness which surrounded him. — the Book reli- He was led to study them by the gious and political condition of his nation. this: "I desire of a res- mercy and not sacriifice. a glorious era soon which would be the triumph of Jehovah. . Continual seditions agitated the people.
for God alone is our Master. Ought one Yes. But Judas. Some said we to pay it? ought not. He had revolted and refused to pay the tax. "What news is there? Has any eagerly questioned every one Has the Procurator comcrime?" One day some new mitted any zealot risen? one told Jesus that Archelaus had been deposed by the Romans. or no. asking them. who had come from Jerusalem during the week. but he also learned that such their a death was sought after by them as a triumph. who wills that we should render unto Csesar the things that are Csesar's? Jesus lis- tened to all these impassioned discussions. and that enthusiasts made it . was put down by the Procui'ator Coponius. and to pay it is to consent to servitude and recognize the power of the Romans. He learned that the death of agitators was certain. and that they had reduced Judea to the rank of a province another day he learned from the lips of some ardent patriot of the uprising of Judas the Gaulonite. said others. ought they not to see in his defeat the finger of God.. BEFORE HIS MINISTRY village square 85 on Sabbath days on coming they must have out of the Synagogue.
glory to have no care for provided they could defend to the last the sacred cause. subordinating everything to the Jewish people. coming. x. 10. and. In every line of the Old Testament they saw the announcement of the future kingdom they .86 JESUS CHRIST life. . Daniel was the work of all others most widely read and venerated by Jews of the first century. that Jesus would wish to be familiar with the Books of Daniel and Enoch. therefore." by 1 Josephus. last analysis all In the minds were agi- tated with the Messianic hope. Ant. 17. It summed up the opinions of the best theologians of the preceding centuries. We can understand. — the cause of God. calculated the period of the Messiah's and their calculations brought them precisely to the troubled time in which they were living. saw in the succession of empires only the accom- plishment of the will of to his chosen people. It gave a true philosophy of history. God with regard In the Book of Daniel Jesus read for the first time the name "Son of man. ^ This book impressed him strongly. The Messiah is about to appear! was the universal cry.
Jesus did not read it in the form in which we possess it. All the Gentiles will pray to him. repulsed by God. To the reading of these books Jesus per- . The author expects a last assault of Gentile Syrian — power. and more than one of them is later than But it is easy to distinguish Jesus Christ. — that is. Jesus read those passages which are apparently of Essenian origin. these and the Palestinian origin of many these predictions . is Then will appear the Messiah. also. A new Jerusalem will be built by God. and pious Israelites will there receive the homage of the Gentiles. and will be converted to the true God. This assault. made more definite. He represented under the image of a white bull. will be followed by a judgment. mation of and positive affirthe resurrection from the dead. He found of the preof diction the universal empire clear the righteous.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY which he at a himself. The fallen angels and faithless Jews will be cast into the pit. for this book is composed of fragments. 87 later time chose to designate there. in its turn. passages certainly anterior to Christianity is to-day beyond all dispute. and the of The Book Enoch.
This king would be righteous. it assuredly must have been Jesus. Still from tastic. of the all sin. fanexaggerated side of these apocalyptic we cannot but visions. lost to we are which spoke of the glorious things which the Jewish people would perform. and announcement of the pure from us. What a distance between his sim- . full of the Spirit of God. he would be the Anointed of the Lord.88 JESUS CHRIST haps added that of the Psahns of Solomon. and the perpetuity of this kingdom in the house of David. if any one was able to draw from them the fragments of truth which they contained. A king descended from David should be raised up by God to destroy the enemies of Israel and drive out the Gentiles from Jerusalem. about sixty-three it In he found the kingdom of God. — a collection composed years before his birth. very existence of which ignorant. . Did Jesus know any other works. and of the eternal kingdom which God would set up in a near future ? It is lawful to suppose so for if any one was eager to become acquainted with all predictions and search out their meaning. his notice how remote thought was all the strange.
but Jesus. complicated. all his own and it is certain that he alone of repelled people was distinctly by this pretentious allegorism. for example. BEFORE HIS MINISTRY pie. indeed. Cataclysms succeed one another. with all the tremendous and terrifying events which come with him. and the books of his people. with their tissues of false and fantastical symbolism In these books everything is allegorical and. of which one of the greatest merits is that it is marvellously natural and simple. while in the — a sort of Book of Enoch. of exaggerated. 89 popular teachings. the Messiah there The advent predicted. His exegesis of the Old Testament itself has a sobriety and discernment which sinrgularly cut loose from the exegesis of his time. reare to mained always independent of them. each more extraordinary than the preceding. The Doctors and Scribes excelled . comparison. but with figures always quiet and cohe- rent. In the matter of allegory he had only parables. is all is strange. figurative no doubt. who was familiar with these high-flown descriptions. in the time of Jesus allegory was used by everybody there in his is in all cases. But not a trace of this sort of metaphor teachings.! .
but day. nothing indicates that he found in his others like them. Notliing indicates that Jesus ever underScriptures otherwise than in their veritable sense. recognizing the Mesand clearly announced. distinctly separated himself from those who had been his guides. at finding in the Scriptures there. The Law was for what was not them the object In the of the most subtle interpretations. writings anything which was not there. Prophets and the Psahns they discovered a great to number of characteristics referable the Messiah. and claimed that they recognized him in tures. or that he accepted the subtle explanations and forced exegesis stood the of his contemporaries. all parts of the Scripthat Now. and his support day by Isaiah was one of his masters. siah where he is refusing to discover him where he certainly is not to be found. . These books.90 JESUS CHRIST BEFORE HIS MINISTRY. and were the principal aliment of his piety. it does not appear Jesus was ever led astray by these soUpon this point he called discoveries. Without reserve he admired the sublime poetry of the Psalms and the magnificent disclosures of Isaiah.
VI JESUS AND THE PHARISEES .
They were only a small. far from being secitself.CHAPTER VI JESUS AND THE PHARISEES TT is generally admitted that among the Jews in the time of Jesus Christ there the Pharisees. ducees. confined to the sanctuary. uninfluential group. if one may . he completely misrepresents Palestinian Judaism in the first — century. first cen- Every pious Jew was. alone preferred Sadduceeism. the pontiffs in the Temple. But when Josephus makes this statement. certain Essenes of strict It ob- servance were the only sectaries. taries. the Sadwere three sects. The priests of Jerusalem. they were the nation They reli- represented the general condition of gious minds in Palestine in the tury. party. As to the Pharisees. and the Essenes. but may be said that the Sadducees also formed a it was of very trifling moment. Of these three categories of religionists.
"Woe unto you. that Jesus also. Who Chris- would conclude from 1 this that all Matt. was under Pharisaic influence. who make a point of attending the services of the Church. .^ Jesus said these words exactly as a preacher of our days might say from his pulpit. session of the The Pharisees had taken posThey directed the synagogues.94 JESUS CHRIST modelled after use the expression. It may be said. there and hence whoever among the Jews was seriously concerned with religion. isees. xxiii. not practising during the week what you hear on Sunday " No doubt modern preachers are in the habit of expressing themselves in more moderate ! terms . but. eight times repeated. Pharisees. Scribes But and Pharisees. proud and hypocritical Christians. in consequence. in his youth. the form apart. they continually say similar things to their hearers. The opposition which is always assumed between Pharisaism and Christianity rests in part upon the celebrated invective. and yet are formalists. " Woe unto you. was of the number of the Pharthe teachings given. hypocrites. whoever had any piety." etc.
" Many are the historical errors. and day his Church was very largely recruited from among the Pharisees. The Pharisees and the Essenes — of whom we represented two sides of the same tendency which Jesus thoroughly knew. he had a at a later number of them among his friends. 95 that the preacher who thus speaks one. Let me attempt to show the true character of Pharisaism in the time of Jesus Christ. and all Pharisees enemies.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY tians are of this sort . received as indisputable truths. . Far from considering Pharisaism. toward which he felt himself in many respects drawn. and that they are his irreconcilable enemies? No Yet from the invectives of Jesus men have concluded that all Pharisees were hypocrites. and from which he borrowed not a little. of Pharisees. which rest upon misunderstandings of this sort. as a whole. he often ate with them. is their adversary. The Talmud distinguishes several classes and only one among the seven it which mentions was tlie object of the merited reprobation of Jesus. — shall speak in the next chapter dangerous. and the word "Pharisee " has become a synonym for the word "Jesuit.
the sacrifices. and apart from a few regrettable exceptions. not without . He imitated the Pharisees. whose influence over the people was naught. and concerned themselves not Jesus never at all with ideas and beliefs. rich aristocrats who lived in the Temple and by the Temple. never left the Temple.96 JESUS CHRIST The work of the Pharisees. consisted in spiritualizing Judaism by detaching it from the Temple. in the first century who had long stood aloof from them. these aristocrats without either faith or good faith. and the whole sacerdotal ritual. their ancient political foes. Jesus never opposed them in words. they thinking. It was these formalists without piety. and at bottom they were his only real enemies. so to speak. This part of the Jewish religion was in the hands of the Sadducees. as a whole. were the incarnation of the narrowest formalism. With the Sadducees They the rite alone was of importance. who — condemned him to death. and even a profound and legitimate repugnance for The Sadducees returned it Sadduceeism. and. felt anything but aversion. to him with interest. and who were to be found only at Jerusalem.
as we have said. ^ another warned him that Herod desired to kill him ^ some of them majority of true. but more than one of them had secret relations with him." he adopted one of their favorite maxims. One came to liim by night. a work of which Jesus certainly approved. were masters of the synagogues. . formed the great it. 31. and not sacrifice. but who. The Pharisees. during his entire youth Jesus knew nothing about the Sadducees. 2 Luke xiii. Very few of them.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY reason. I believe. During the early part of his ministry Jesus had intimate and frequent relations with this class of Pharisees. with Hosea. Furthermore. 97 the who had habits without the convictions of religion. and without danger to true Judaism. "I desire mercy. the entire body. His visits to Jerusalem were too infrequent and too brief for it to be possible for him to come into relations with them. 7 . it is had the courage to approve him openly. who were not. that these sceptics. 1. There they spiritualized Judaism. ^ Jolm iii. and when the latter said. in the name of Jehovah. were at once despicable. I admit.
however. This day would be one of the most solemn of his life. although Sadducees. 37."^ counsel to : men — — 1 Luke Matt. therefore. sees The Phari- go so far as to concert together to compass the destruction of If some among them remained Jesus. . ^ The day was to come. We shall speak of it in detail when we study the ministry of Jesus Christ. they hid themselves. when there would be a rupture between Jesus and the Pharisees. and receive him at their tables. whatsoever they say unto you. ple. were the the peo- moderate party. the majority were evidently If the Pharisees. these do and observe. 2 xxiii. and not one of them dared to undertake his defence at length would at the time of his trial. It is even very possible that in the Sanhedrin which condemned Jesus there were a few Pharisees. as a whole. resisting the corruption if of the Sadducees and impiety Jesus was one day to do all that they said. "The Scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses' seat all things. xi. true to him.98 JESUS CHRIST were not afraid to invite him to their houses. much beloved by . 2.
and that. deprecate bloody sacrifices. far from having been from the first the adversary of the PhariHe sees. to replace the Temple worship with a more spiritual adoration. "They say and do not. How should he not have approved of them. he who was to — give precisely this teaching in the earlier days of his ministry? It saic must not be forgotten that the Pharidoctors had gained much in spirituality Hillel during the time immediately preceding the Christian era. proclaim the imperious duty of obedience to the Law in order to be perfect in this world and to receive the reward of the kingdom of heaven. he began by being their friend. From all these facts I think we may conclude that during the years wliich preceded his public life Jesus studied the Pharisaic doctrines closely and with much sympathy. had undertaken to defend the moral law against the corruption of the times. heard them preach the love of God and of one's neighbor.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 99 he would nevertheless acid that they acted otherwise than they taught." and he was the irreconcilable adversary of that which is to-day called Pharisaism. .
make an external devotion a means of influence over the people. by all that he had received in the strictly orthodox surroundings in which he had grown up. . the Talmud condemned faced this: it rejected the it "painted" Pharisees. And what did he at first purpose to do? He purposed. was one In fact. but that in a sense he of them. time was. in fact.100 JESUS CHRIST in the love It and to sum up the whole Law of God and one's neighbor. 1 Mark xii. Although many did. with the best among the Pharisees. the authentic and loyal Judaism. by innermost conviction. to spiritualize the old Mosaism. as And Jesus was a Jew by birth. but the other Pharisees also blamed them. 33. the Pharisaism of the we have shown. by belief. Pharisee was a all who declared that to love one's offerings neighbor as oneself was "more than and sacrifices." ^ Jesus would one day blame the hypocritiwhole burnt cal Pharisees . affected to be true Pharisees and were It may even be affirmed not only that Jesus associated with Pharisees before his ministry. as called them. — the double- men who not. the true Judaism.
^ citing the Torah as they did.. and replying to the Sadducees as the Pharisees might have done. Therefore we see him imme- and all his life preach. It dogmas. the resurrection of the body. xxii. diately adopt. to any school he never gave up his independence. that we fuid him making use of the arguments of fication in the written they did . . BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 101 to fulfil it. Jesus did as and so certain is it that he held this doctrine from the Pharisees. We have just shown in what sense it may be said that Jesus was a Pharisee. by bringing it out from the narrow rut in which the Sadducees were stifling it. and in affirming it the Doctors of the second Temple had made an important innovation. 1 Matt. then. and never accepted the party cry of any one. but he never belonged to any party. 23 £E. only to abandon the party at a later day? Certainly not. for which it is difficult to find justiof their essential was one Law. What. the fundamental belief of the Pharisees. was definitely the attitude of Jesus in face of Pharisaism? Was he a Pharisee in youth. the Pharisees to justify himself. namely.
party. studied. . for it supposes a predetermined system consciously applied to men and things while with Jesus it was .102 JESUS CHRIST only to his Father and He was amenable himself. no party was a stranger to him. the word one which reveals that which was the conAnd yet the term stant method of Jesus. the very essence better term of what for want of a we will dare to call his genius. He knew. Still It may be applied to his attitude toward all parties and all doctrines is more. All that we have hitherto said tends to prove If Jesus belonged to no the contrary. Not learn that he isolated himself. " method " is not exact. whether to the Old Testament. understood them all. with a penetration whose power and depth cannot be too much admired. and would nothing that his contemporaries might have been able to teach him. Everywhere and with regard to in all things. of his time. and with regard to each of them he fulfilled all and destroyed nothing. Let us rather say he had assimilated them all. The day would come when he would use this expression to characterize his attitude toward the Law.
he preserved the seed and let fall the husk. the age to come. that which is perishable and that which is eternal. Scrupulous observer of the beliefs of his people and their religious traditions.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 103 Moses and the prophets. conservator of the past. in any place. or with regard to what was to be understood by the King- God. with regard to the religious parties which surrounded him. he accepted. assimilated them all. and it was certainly thus durhis time. created them all anew. Jesus therefore kept a complete independence with regard to all the parties of Never. do we see him enrolling himself under any banner whatsoever. he trans- formed and spiritualized it. Pharisees or Essenes. He made the partition between that which passes away and that which remains. It is therefore . comprehended. the advent of the MesJudgment. while before all else remaining himself. renewed. the dom transformed. penetrated. and at the same time of siah. regenerated. ing that long portion of his life which is not known to us. or with regard simply to such a detail as the adoption of the term " Son of man " or the rule for the observance of the Sabbath.
His sympathy helped him to understand but it never blinded him. but he never per- mitted himself to be led away by them. Such. for he was subject to nothing. was the unique feature which made the invariable character of the line of conduct followed by Jesus with regard to every idea. He was often in sympathy with the ideas that surrounded him. and either rejected or adopted them. and he never accepted any doctrine ready made. and the proclaiming the of . he yet was both. eternal from that which value tran- taking no notice of the absolute latter. itself its belief. bringing about the greatest revolution of history wliile conserving the past. and rejected the that was transitory. He retained nent element. institution which presented to him for examination. but making it entirely new. permaelement the en- He tore off velope and kept the contents. then. he judged all these ideas. He examined. them. With is sure and swift is glance he distinguished that wliich sitory.104 J£SUS CHRIST not exact to say that he was subject to the influence of the religious parties of his time. Neither conservative nor revolutionary. principle.
the prophets.BEFORE former. al- everywhere. the sacrifices. the : If IS MINISTRY 105 I repeat whether the subject were Law. . ^vays. the Essenes. thus he acted. the Pharisees. the Temple. without a single variation.
VII JESUS AND THE ESSENES .
side coming work. and in many respects he must have felt himself himself — a suggestive Among drawn toward them. which could not fail to impress gances. a moral grandeur. No doubt he asked if there was not something here. by side with impossible caprices and veritable extrava- was an elevation. He has been pictured as leaving Nazareth to study the Essenian practices and going in the convents of the oasis of Engedi. in view of his the Essenes. done other than study these strange sectaries. in .: CHAPTER VII JESUS AND THE ESSENES A FTER Jesus Pharisaism comes could not have Essenism. on our guard against these which there is more imagiBut one fact remains nation than reality. line of conduct. shall be We descriptions. there Jesus. an initia- tion to receive.
itics. We shall meet men in white garments. . whose life is pure and who are much loved by the people. Their preferences lead them among the poor and the sick. only on what of is For that matter. They are believed to have the gift of prophecy and of miracles. and every one attaches great importance to their words and actions. Let us transport ourselves to the first century. mon little purse. They love solitude and prayer.110 Jesus JESUS CHRIST and pracEssenism to a great degree. and being concerned with the material details they feel no anxiety for the mor- life. They enjoy an authority which the Scribes the Essenes well. systematically abstain from poland carefully separate that which belongs to Csesar from that which belongs to God. they live given to them. They they partake of only a single dish at a is their custom to go from place surrounded by disciples. Of the greatest sobriety. Let us walk along the shores of the Lake of Tiberias and through the villages of Galilee. but at the same time are active and zealous. tised knew never succeed in gaining. It to place. and one member of the little group carries the com- meal.
the their lives better to consecrate to their work. nor a change of garments. carry with them neither gold nor neither wallet nor provisions. or is not occupied by Many of them renounce marriage. and they acquire a great reputation by their supernatural cures. of probity. 111 They silver.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY row. of slavery. of disinterestedness. A certain number perform miracles. nay. nay. they disapprove so. their disciples to do and forbid confining themor selves to saying yea. They apply . yea. and more respected than the oaths of other men. but marriage is by no means forbidden them. Finally. They also baptize and permit their disciples to baptize. and they perceive by manner is which is their salutation of peace received. they celebrate in common a religious meal of a sacred their is word character. to supply them with what- ever they may in need. they never take oath. Models of virtue. They count which upon finding brethren they the in the houses may enter. whether the house they have entered friends. Many Essenes occupy themselves in preaching and healing diseases.
and they make it announcement the call foundation of their preaching. they have sold their goods. blessed time To hasten the arrival of this men should sell their goods They and give the money to the poor. themselves have put in practice this pre- which were unrighteous riches. and they are held to be most successful in the practice of exorcism. and Jesus did not practise Essenism. To tliat recall these details is to show which nascent Christianity had in to say that common with Essenism.112 JESUS CHRIST particularly to themselves more casting out demons. while the Pharisees therefore the Essenes at once accuse the latter of being hypocrites. especially in the beginning of his ministry. the They kingdom of heaven (Malchuth-hasliThey say that men must prepare themselves for this event. . and they have this advantage over the Pharisees that what they say they say and do not: do. cept. Messiah. and that Judaism is on the verge of a terrible crisis. after which will come the times of the shamayim). One of their fundamental this beliefs is the near appearance of the kingdom of God. and when he was in relations with John the Baptist.
. and he could not do otherwise than love the virtues. he separated himself squarely from them upon that which was the very foundation of their purpose. Their incessant concern was to avoid by exterior purifications the uncleannesses for- bidden by Moses. morality. and to practise Levitical purity in all its austere rigor. held doctrines against which Jesus constantly protested. 8 Hence their . and he treated plete detachment. The customs of Essenism were his own the customs. and even which is undeniable. who went here and there. ing the kingdom of God and surroimding themselves with disciples. the disinterestedness of the Essenes but those preach- whom those he resembled in outward practice. to den}^ the very evidence- would be a grave mistake to undertake to explain Jesus by saying he was an Essene. for he no more belonged He was to this party than to any other. of their customs If it as he treated Pharisaism.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY whose words and mode of life 1V6 offered many points of resemblance to those of the is Essenes. with entire liberty and com- he adopted certain of their ideas. it But always at an incomparable height above Essenism.
but which he early repudiated. . ^ is But it probable that he to did not long permit them do it.. their baptisms. Besides. All that took place at the his ministry and that of John the Baptist were still mingled with one another. which Jesus did not immediately reject. iv. 22. consistent Es- those who were convinced of the impossibility of subjecting all themselves to into the exigencies of the Law. of which the Evangelist John has preserved the echo ^ and then Jesus entirely and completely separated himself beginning.2. then he himself left but per- mitted the disciples to baptize. iii. The}^ retired monasteries built on the west of the Red In the oasis of Engedi they lived 1 2 8 John John John iii. perhaps. 1. true senes. when . 25 &. ^ Jesus at first baptized. which we the says .114 batliings. Essenes. But discussions about baptism arose. The fourth gospel sage which is tells us this in a pas- certainly historic. did not rein main Sea. shall return in speaking of and to John it Baptist. JESUS CHRIST their ablutions. the world. off. from these practices.
a pure aliment. here more than elsewhere. 115 and plunged times a mystical day. Here again. it was in regard to all ful- other things. The entire chapter is the condemnation of Essenism. pure water several to Poor dreamers. and let husk which enveloped it idea and kept imprisoned in the nar- rowest and most superannuated legalism. 14. he kept only that which abides. who cried. and energetically cast away all that is perishable and outworn. but that which cometh out of a man. They were never more severely condemned than by Jesus. He kept of Essenism only the fall its moral the life coarse which animated it. — destroying in order to During his ministry he retained only a superficial resemblance to the Essenes."^ Jesus certainly adopted notliing but their outall other respects he always stood aloof from them. and believed that thus they avoided those of the soul. his conduct ward customs. in was the same that fil.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY upon into dates. "Not that which goeth into a man can defile a man. esoteric given and tlie speculations. With regard to Essenism. they avoided stains of the body. 15. ^ Mark vii. .
of The Essenes preached the}' kingdom God and announced the Messianic times. upon the the first time the sublime thought came to if I him. little about to and to strike for Yet a wliile him ? and he was to make the acquaintance of the extraordinary man under whose influence he would pronounce John the Baptist was the definitive Yes. The Messiah was of supreme interest. in one of his Jebel-es-Sikli. of helping him to hear God. the imperishable of glory. and death!" heard? haps. revealing Jesus to himself. about to appear ! Who could he be ? hours of that for Was retreat it. and the hour for action has come. occupied him. tlien. — to Oh." The . to have the signal honor. of forcing upon liim the conviction: ''I am the Messiah. to overtlu'ow sin. " if What were the Messiah ! What / should accomplish the expected What if I were the One sent by work I the Father! throne. Was not that a call which he Was it the divine call? PerWas the hour marked by the Father strike.116 JESUS CHRIST other thoughts the Fui'thermore. Satan's vanquish sorrow. but never spoke of the person of the With Jesus this was the matter Messiah.
BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 117 Father's hour was to strike at the never to be forgotten moment of his baptism. . . about to move the very soul of Jesus. John the Baptist was on the banks of the Jordan he was moving the people he was .
VIII JESUS AND JOHN THE BAPTIST .
and whose moral and religious influence had in a short time become remarkable. Jesus kept the best that the had given him. Jesus immediately had a very clear intuition that he had much to learn heard about this . who was called John the Baptist.CHAPTER VIII JESUS AND JOHN THE BAPTIST T^HE only lasting influence which was exerted upon Jesus was that of John the above latter all Baptist. separating from John. As he Jesus drew near to his thirtieth year. to be surpassed some day in but just here. himself things. full of ardor. and there are few men who have exerted a great influence who have not had their precursors. and through his whole life he retained a remembrance of John full of gratitude and admiration. young and pious ascetic. Certainly he also was . Behind Luther was Staupitz.
2.122 JESUS CHRIST from tliis man. and made no pretension of kingdom of doing any. did no miracles. John or. he performed one religious act. quitting Nazareth with a few disciples. was preaching there. and parallel passages. — — to hear him. He in the midst of tamarisks and willows. Those among though only one. in words of a rough and aggressive eloquence which exerted a People came in crowds strange influence. his relatives or his friends. in a sequestered valley. iii. Neveronly with a moral regeneration. the principal theme being the oft repeated words. for the heaven is at handl''^ No John miracle accompanied these words. and. baptism. he set out to see and hear him. more correctly. theless. Johanan was on the banks of the Jordan. covered with a vigorous vegetation. impassioned and fiery. At first Jesus mingled with the crowd and listened like the others. "Repent. It is not said that sick people were brought to him or that he busied He was concerned himself with healing. He heard John pronounce long discourses. — 1 Matt. . at the boundary of the wilderness of Judea as one comes from Galilee.
it impression that he received from 1 iii. vinced that the hour of to strike. them. M'hich was imminent. but also a preparation and consecration for the kingdom of God. It testified life. He said. While contin- uing to be a Jew. he foresaw and preached a reaction against the narrowness of certain Pharisees. water." 1 up children unto Abrawhich was the same as saying that one could be the son of Abraham without descending from Abraham. he effected a complete immersion of their whole body in the It was his only rite. designed to make an impression on the multitude. This baptism was not a mere sign. of life. The was 8.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY his auditors 123 who desired moral their sins regeneration were led by him There he baptized to the river Jordan. It created a bond between and confessed all John's disciples. above of the Messianic hope. to the renunciation into a the former entrance the ardor new and. All this Jesus saw and Luke heard. all. . John was conJehovah was about John was a Universalist. " God is able of these stones to raise ham. that is to say.
Elias that was to come. and parallel passages."^ Upon this point he never important wavered. John 21. 14. everything in the person and work 1 2 Matt. John himself refused to be taken for Elias. Next he was impressed by the conviction with which the soul of John was filled. and declared that he was not Elias." he said. that he held it from God alone. he retained his opinion. him was that John was not an ordinaryFor he was not concerned with anchorite. that he had a mission to accomplish. and that only he could do the prediction Elias of Jesus was not long in arriving at the certainty that the second coming of Scribes made by the had received its accomplishment in the person of John the "This is he. to the end of his life he was persuaded that John had been the personification of This is the more remarkable since Elias. "who is Baptist. ^ We do not know whether or not Jesus was aware of this denial by John the Baptist. In any case. xi. . his own sanctification. Very soon he felt himself entirely won over.124 JESUS CHRIST That which first struck very profound. i. but solely with the sins of his nation. it.
which harmonized so well with all that he himself experienced. he borrowed much from it. He was too independent and too original to affiliate himself with a sect and an estab. into relations with John. even going so far as to advocate a sort of community of goods ^ but he had never desired to be of their number. rich priests. Baptist had certainly known and studied Essenism. he loved his preaching.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY of this reraarkal)le 125 man tlie inspired him with entered confidence. He expressed with un- equalled boldness and courage that which Jesus had long been thinking. Jesus found in John's utterances all that was best in Essenian doctrine. From place of hearer he passed into that of friend. He and their associa- tion at once affectionate. official prevaricating Pharisees. 11. . against John spoke against Doctors of the Law. against formalist — against the whole community. 10. asleep in a false and delusive security. 1 Luke iii. became very close and very Jesus loved his suhstitntion of a private rite for legal ceremonial. and he found in them nothing of that which had disJohn the pleased him in that doctrine.
He eas}^ 1 Eph. baptism Avas to be administered "one baptism. JESUS CHRIST He indignantly repelled the formalism and legalism of the Essenes. In his view. Essene. detaching himself from cloistered — Essenism.! 126 lished order. and the author appears to consider it quite as important for those who would approach God to have tlie bodj' washed in pure water as to have the heart and conscience purified from all evil (x. the good news to come began to Everything here was instructive and suggestive. 22). Jesus of took lessons in preaching and in popular his ideas about the kingdom God and ripen. for to this and received baptism. Nevertheless. and uttering his magnificent cry of alarm and hope Listening to oratory. iv." At last He asked was urged Jesus took the decisive step.^ Jesus loved and admired this free only once. "baptisms" are spoken of in the plural (vi. by divers motives. . issuing from his retreat out of the fulness of his compassion for perishing souls. and how he was impelled to say. " this also became the Christian doctrine. 5. John the Baptist. we can understand the great emotion which took possession of him. 2). "This is Elias that was to come. in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
What he had already foreboded was now affirmed. to leave baptized. for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY to 127 place. understand. taking his place in all simplicity and love of sinners in the ranks of those who confess their faults. And finally. At the precise moment when he was coming up out of the water his Messianic dignity was revealed to him. and a new era about to begin. sapng. This act which he purposed. In his the first he show More than this. desired to entire adherence to John's work. "Repent. this humiliation which he was about to impose on himself. " Might it be I ? crisis its answer. like the Baptist. was to receive at once a magnificent reward. declaring that the time was fulfilled. The inward through wliich he was passing came " received . Jesus had decided to preach Nazareth and go up and down the country. he desired to take his place also among the insignificant and humble ones who were breaking with the past." Therefore he must be like John. The question Avhich for some time he had been asking himself. In fact. his baptism marks the awakening of his Messianic consciousness.
We cannot for an inthis for from sacred hour It his conviction Avas not to be shaken. feeling himself the child of the Father. nothing could it. "Thou art my well beloved son." The voice resounded to the depths of his soul. to imitate John.128 to its JESUS CHRIST acme and reached of its end. and went on More and more to seek for its answer. was an absolute certainty. he in his turn conferred it. But what kind of Messiah was he to be ? What work was he to accomplish ? This question he put to himself. thenceforth weaken He had come to the point where he could say. he immediately began After receiving baptism. The few from disciples whom he had brought . he experienced an irresistible desire to realize among men this divine sonship. "I am the Messiah. to a certitude which to him bore the marks of absolute evidence." because. He heard the voice God saying to him clearly. The development of his moral consciousness had brought him to this definite conviction. Jesus heard God. and carrying on a work convinced that in listening to the Baptist like his he would be in the right way. stant doubt it.
and what his work. with all his greatness. He perceived that. and a reign of iron. certainly John could never go to the end of the way. John was still the and of a past which he could not break with. of vengeance.2. He was compelled to leave him behind. iv. did the John's work farther. and that he must carry tized. and the banks of the Jordan were covered with baptizers. In his predictions of the work and office of the coming Messiah there were features which Jesus could not accept. he began to understand. 22-26. riority The Baptist's infe- became apparent to him.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY Nazareth. 129 and who also had been bapsame thing.^ It was not long before a new light shone Asking himself into the soul of Jesus. John could not and would not break with the traditional notion of the Messiah. man of the past. . what kind of Messiah he should be. 1. He looked he was always talking Judgment. though not yet able to answer his own question. But the idea of a Messiah reigning by force inspired in Jesus an invincible repug1 John iii. that John's preaching no longer sufficed for him. for a king of glory of a .
But he must put an end to these hesitamust examine John's ideas concerning the Messiah. longer. and terrible conwhich preceded the victory that we have now to speak. 2. feeling himself in accord with first care was to baptize no Nevertheless he permitted his disbaptize.^ —a slight indication of his which well reveals the hesitations soul. know what would struggle. — that he should not issue from the Messiah whom John No longer John. he a conflict and achieve a victory which the Baptist could neither enter upon nor achieve. ciples to his persisted in preaching. he must spend forty days in the desert. and knowing that he was the It is of the agonizing flict Messiah. He must enter upon tions. John . felt that the question of questions was being put 1 to him with ever-growing iv. having given up baptizing. JESUS CHRIST He must work this out. he well and though he did not yet be the outcome of this knew one it thing.130 nance. 1. he must ask his Father. Jesus. and he must ask himself seriously what sort of Messiah he himself ought to be.
John is is Elias. . he my forerunner. Jesus then parted from John. The vision of the desert where he had gone to see and hear this man was never effaced from his memory. 1 Matt. Among the sons of the men of the past there has not been born one greater than he. He is more But he would not see than a prophet. He is not of the kingdom God. 11. The day would come Avhen Jesus would pronounce the final opinion concerning John: "Verily I say unto you.: BEFORE HIS MINISTRY urgency. xi. and the temptation began. my of disciples. in me the Messiah whom he himself anHe is lower than the least of nounced. he that is but little in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 131 I be ? " "What And so he kind of Messiah shall retired to the desert. I deny nothing of our long associaand our close intimacy. Among them that are born of woman there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist nevertheless. but he never forgot him. tract nothing from my early admiration of him tion . for he has found in me an occa- sion for scandal."* That is to say I admire him still I sub: .
xxiii. '^ 1 Matt. which were ready to burst. " Eeliold the Lamb of God. had discerned the eternal element in the Baptist's preaching and work. 34 . he also felt most vividly all in which he was wanting. and he always clung too closely to ritual. but while he the greatness of John the Baptist. Jesus. xii. etc.33 . me. reported in the fourth Gospel. and when he applied to him his ordinary method he perceived that John was sewing new cloth upon old garments. on his part.^ He was therefore always grateful to him. for example. which taketh away the sins of the world. . that utterance of his. putting new wine into old and worn-out wine-skins. John the Baptist belonged entirely to a past which must inevitably disappear. based upon the ancient theocracy of Israel.132 JESUS CHRIST his death A few days before he was still speaking to the Pharisees of John's baptism. 2 Some persons this to more than to no doubt think that there is say about the Baptist they will cite will . and his preaching made such an impression upon him that to the very close of his life bits of phrases and some of the favorite expressions of the Baptist appeared here and there in his own felt discourses. He had preached only a moral reformation." I reply to these .
Matt. and they remained independent of the Christian movement. 33. xix.xri. ff. Mark . kept his disciples. John the 1 iii. 12 Acts xviii. . ix. ^ persons in advance that write a complete that I my intention has not been to monograph on the Forerunner. 2 ff. moment had simply to ask what Jesus thought of 14. Baptist.. on his side. xiv. . Luke 24 v. John 26 Matt. 1.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 133 John the Baptist. 18. and had no occasion to say what John the Baptist thouglit of Jesus at one or another I may have of his life. ii.
IX THE MESSIANIC IDEAL OF JESUS AT THIRTY YEARS OF AGE .
And now he in his turn had received the He was to follow in dreadful heritage.CHAPTER IX THE MESSIANIC IDEAL OF JESUS AT THIRTY YEARS OF AGE T MMEDIATELY the after the revelation of baptism the the temptation began. . the great word " Messiah " had led astray more than one ill-balanced mind. these ? Was he to be one of he in his turn to be the subject of a tremendous illusion? And if he Was was not mad. He was Messiah! But others had believed themselves to be the Messiah and had been mistaken The great " Hope of Israel " had thrown many of his contem! poraries into frenzy. and they had ended in insanity. was he not to become so ? The minds of his compatriots were becoming excited. their imaginations inflamed. Some had dared to appropriate it to themselves.
days. The picturesque narrative of the Evangelists admirably describes the conflict through which his soul was passing. During forty and no doubt a much longer time. undergo a great conflict. The Gospel stories ^ have brought down to us its sublime and magnificent echo. 1 ff. .138 I JESUS CHRIST the same way The temptation. It was to be an inward battle. It. from which he was to come off conqueror." Before his baptism. . were supreme. Luke ir. isolated For indeed the temptation was not an and momentary experience. narrative. It all extended over that part of Jesus' life which immediately followed of forty days. and triumph But for tliis he must over the temptation. For some time past he had been gradually assuming an attitude of growing reserve with respect of the "Hope of Israel. 1 ff. during the years of 1 Matt. like his baptism. He would avoid the danger. the danger. Jesus had been asking himself what kind of Messiah he should be. and the struggles which he underwent. it is The Evangelists assign to The number the whole a duration symbolical.
Next we must ask what he did with it this dazzling during those days of conflict in the desert. over entire people. it . was a gigantic battle. Over what did he triumph? ideas. out of which he came forth conqueror. the temptation never again assailed him. whose vision had been haunting his nation for so many years. and we sliall see that. and " Messianic Idea " which the Jewish Apocalypses had taught the truth him as — what was this wild hope. waited because he dis- — trusted himself. It was terrible.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY solitude 139 spent at Nazareth. faithful to his constant method. that he had behis lieved and expected in common with At state this point we must what was the itself. the thought had presented itself to him: What if I were the Messiah! It had pursued him. dream. over Over false the erroneous notions of his all contemporaries. he had rejected one part of . and he could no longer escape It came. he had sought to avoid it. be precise. Now he knew he was the Messiah. and he had waited with a prudence that cannot be too much admired. His conscience was its battlefield his triumph in it such that the struggle.
. and Want. 1. whose privilege Esre : "Be King over us. It was an ideal for the future. in common with all his fellow- his soul at the precise countrymen. had he up time believed." and the kingdom of God was not what it was When the Romans were intended to be. 1. O Lord! "2 Like all the pious men of his time." "the wicked. Here again he to this abolished nothing. he fulfilled everything. See Josephus. the at be established. but the time 1 was hand Psalter of Solomon. ii. 8. 1. and what was taking place in moment when he had just learned that he was the Messiah ? He had to believed that the Jews were a it was have God himself for king. had for a time given over his rights to the Gentiles. the true kingdom of God would God. "sinners.. 140 it JESUS CHRIST and preserved another.^ The Jewish people were therefore the kingdom of God but they had fallen into the power of the Gentiles. xviii. then. King.^ Every day he recited these words of the Shemone privileged people. he had certainly often said that God was the only King of Israel. Ant. 61. xvii. driven out. ^ ' Eleventh Benediction. Thou alone. What. 6.
46. Mace. 14.^ Daniel had said.^ in bility clearly 1 taught it. 2 Jews of the first century that. 41 2 Mace. book was pondered more than and Ave have already said that during long years it had certainly been the any Jesus' constant studj*. vii. 9. as all we have Pseudproba- shown. ruler of the world. xiv. in his prophecies. Again. and these may be posterior to Christ. . 1. least those 2 Dan. 8 At . who would have at their head a mysterious personage come down from the skies. 67. to be the head of the new Israel. and the sovereignty should be exercised by pious and believing Jews. . vii. In every case (and this is the essential thing) they express ideas which were popular in 1 tiie time of Jesus.* Dan. and Jesus believed what object of future this the book taught.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 141 cease. vii.3-28. which were composed before is his day but the date of some of them still undeter- mined. xiii. the Apocrj-phas and all epigraphs which Jesus read. All peoples of the earth Avould be subject to This idea of Daniel had so thoroughly penetrated the minds of the the Jews. Daniel said that Gentile kingdoms should disappear. ii. iv. The kingdom would be universal. when this state of things it would Daniel had affirmed therefore his other.
31. and the Messiah was must. 12 Eccl. . . etc. Orac. 49 Wisdom iii. 26. seealsoLukexix. Sol. 26. 2-4.. 652-056 Psal. Jesus. He was not mistaken. 16 the oldest fragment of the Book of Enoch xc. and not it. v. First the Judgment. Luke iii. xvii. XXV. and would man- by a Judgment which would John the Baptist had come. after 4 . then. xci. Not only did Jesus believe that John the Baptist was not mistaken. . 27. that the history of his the people and of the world was just at the moment when was already already born. 12. in fact. 17 Judith . he was persuaded that he was the Elias who was to have come. V.il. travail pangs of the Messianic epoch were to begin. v. 7-9. .^ by the defeat of the Gentiles and the supremacy of the Jews.''' ix. and that he himself. precede establishment. since Elias there. 1-8. He be born before the Messianic Judgment.5-51. Similitudes xxxix. was the Messiah. 8. . 29-42. 41. iii. 142 JESUS CHRIST of this The advent ifest itself its kingdom would in- augurate the coming age. xlvii. . and this Judgment It would be marked was imminent. 10-12 in. 38. 23. ^ Matt. 2 Syb. and had preached this with the ardor and conviction of a Seer. 39. 13 Baruch iv. 24. For he had said. He thought.
and their people . that was On the contrary. 143 to take place ? A last assault of the Gentiles against the Mes- But they would not he impossible. men would be rich and happy. and then alone. When all the scenes which have just been described should have been carried out. An no injustice committed among the elect all men would be holy. entirely The to earth would be subject era of the supreme children of Israel. would ground felicity would begin: the be of surprising fertility. life a perpetual worship. then. the Renewal of all things. . and from there it would extend itself over the whole world. the harvesters would no longer suffer weariness. what was about siah. Its seat would be Palestine. there would be . It would be the Palingenesis. the survivors would be converted and the dispersed Jews Thus were all the brought back again. they would be terrible but blotted out by a Judgment. would the kingdom of God be founded. all victorious.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY Now. acts of the great drama fixed in a rigorous order. and would live a thousand women would bring forth children years without pain.
4. Mark xiii. divergence are to be found in the New Sometimes it is said that the Kingdom shall be founded in the present age. for some.144 JESUS CHRIST to the exact epoch As when as the Palin- genesis was to begin. He also ^vould proclaim the 1 kingdom of Luke xix. a definitive attitude with respect to these Messianic beliefs which every one accepted . Some made said. for others. 3 . the age to come. it coincide. others placed it later.^ In any case. Testament. 11 . . condemnation and torment in dead. xxiv. . 2 Matt. It was necessary that he should divide between the true and the false. all were not in accord. the result of which would be. we have just with the Messianic Kingdom. and take. as indisputable verities. 21. in what they called AolamTraces of this aha. one of the characteristics of the Palingenesis would be the Resurrection of the accompanied by a final. universal judgment. Gehenna. as Messiah. xxiv. life eternal and rewards in the kingdom of God. This teaching Jesus had received he was now called to judge of it. in the actual world ^ at others it is placed in the age to come.
In this he would simply imitate his contemporaries. or even the names Elohim and Adonai. 10 Luke vi. "kingdom of heaven. V. Matt. . ^ We say the same in Frcncli — " Heaven keep me are for .BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 145 of God. all the rewards promised to those worthy of the kingdom are reserved them in the future. ." was very happily chosen. 10 ." In the Sermon on the Mount. Matt. He would as to come. . also consider the king- dom He would say. Let us add that this expression. you shall laugh they shall see God. never signified the abode of the blessed after this life." etc. "The kingdom of heaven is at hand. from which we must date the precepts of the first part of his ministry. and he would call it the kingdom of heaven (Malekat hash-shamayim). 2. with whom the two expressions were absolutely synonymous." for " God keep me from it " " Would to God that " and the word " heaven " in the expression " kingdom of heaven " ! ! ." and his kingdom to come must come down to be established on earth a 8 by the Messiah. vi.^ Jesus would do the same. who from it " " Would to Heaven that." ^ dom of heaven was therefore not yet come. since " the Father is in heaven. and who used the second simply to avoid pronouncing the sacred name of Jehovah. ff. 4 ff. He would teach his disciples The kingto say " Thy kingdom come. 21 Luke xi. "You shall be filled.
Jesus did not announce the kingdom as present. ^ the time which we are considering. In the first Satan counselled Jesus to make stones into bread. the evidence shows that in the mind of Jesus the kingdom was still to come. was temptation? What was the victory achieved by him in the terrible conflict in which he triumphed ? The Gospels expressly conflicts distinguish three and three victories. rejected nothing of what his contemporaries taught. in the midst of his ministry. seek his own glory. make things subservient to him. the all time of the Temptation. he was to be a Master and a King: to come to dable because his throne through blood. Up to this time Jesus had. Luke . by which he should establish the kingdom of God on the earth. xi. then. 1 if necessar}^ and. 28 . xii. a glorious coming.146 JESUS CHRIST have not here to ask if We At at a later day. to live for himself. Matt. that is to say. 20. The temptation was formiit accords with what the Jewish Messiah was expected to be. Nothing indicates that he did not connect this kingdom to come with a second coming of his own. at least to all appearance. the What.
BEFORE HIS MINISTRY in 147 veritable any case. and which a multitude of his He opposed to the popprecepts attest. He declared that he would not seek to he served. and parallel passages. Jesus had read and nate and awe. Here he had a greatness. he would clear notion of true of all.. whatever might be his will. . But now comes the second temptation. for the Jewish Messiah was expected to domiNow. tion — that of renunciaobedience to the and sacrifice. the world. gave it to the This truth. Jesus repelled such but. 20 f."^ life. to seat himself upon a throne. and he. XX." dazzle — that it is to say. ular ideal another ideal. on the contrary. By triumphing over this temptation Jesus conquered a place which he will always keep. " Throw thyself from a pinnacle of the Temple. by your genius. Satan said to him. serve. fascinate reread Apocalypses full of transparent alle1 Matt. that the great man is not he who is served but he who renders service. overawe it by your power. first world. a thought. to-day so elementary. that of Father. was fii-st affirmed by Jesus in his words and in his "Whosoever would become great among you let liim be your servant.
were found. should be wherof the soul ever repentance and a new birth There should be no sudden and startling appearance. Ah this temptation much allured him to dazzle by prodigies. but the slow and blessed action of the mere word of the Messiah. It was first of all necessary that hearts should be changed after that exterior reforms would come of themselves as a natural consequence. no other talisman than reign love.! 148 gories to be JESUS CHRIST and obvious imagery whence it was drawn that the expected Liberator was. . and thus to them He repelled it. only over hearts. in- purely moral. of to be the for undisputed master the humble. he would have no other weapon than words. and put his enemies beneath his feet. . to use constraint and even violence. The Messiah would work no magical transformation. It The of God should be spiritual. to command belief by ! : sensible or intellectual evidence. no other prestige than persuasion. for it was not exterior reforms that would save the world. whom he feels himself full of such an serve infinite compassion. in fact. as the Jews would have it. He would kingdom visible.
Jesus asked himself if it absolutely repudiated all political preten^ Daniel. all: he had a third victory In a dazzling vision Satan showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. popular. for his people were ex- And then ought not to be thus with his kingdom. far self to 149 Jesus put himself in absolute opposition to the ideas from permitting himIt be led away by the Messianic beliefs of his people.^ He did not even make use of allegorical language. Save the evident allusions to the allegories of Mark xiii. for he loved his people. and. his speech was always simple.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY Here. and ardently desired that they might be delivered from the Romans. unpretentious. of his time. Should he then mingle politics and religion ? Never. the earth. and parallel passages. . he resisted them. and at the who should inherit time when he prohe made no claimed with greatest energy his kingdom and his Messianic dignity. He would separate them. to the allegories with which the Apocalypses of his people were filled. for the second time. He pecting a political power. allusion. This was not to achicA^e. should be the meek. not the slightest. the gentle.
The latter had announced that a divine messenger would come to establish the reign of Jehovah at Jerusalem and upon He was this divine messenger. and will the when the day should come he should perceive the accursed tree. he was the Son of the Father who is in heaven. not have a terrestrial kingdom of Satan. Might it be even to martyrdom? He knew not. on the contrary. the earth. he would more than ever insist that he was the Messiah. If the Jews rejected him. At the present hour he as yet knew nothing of this. But if such should be of life ? of the Father. then. was about to offer himself as the Messiah promised by the prophets. he would carry. . to think of it was a suggestion dom. Jesus.150 sions. Did he see a cross uprising at the end of the pathway Not yet. if they wrought his destruction. wliich divine kingdom of the love would go whithersoever his Father might judge good. even to the cross. he firmly hoped to deliver his people by some other — the He would accept one sole king- means. he was ready. JESUS CHRIST He would . and he would realize his kingdom by asking for faith in himself.
he would be the hero of those Jewish Apocalypses whose reading had nourished his youth. he was not yet the suffering and crucified Messiah. only a religious work. but after long deliberation. His work would be the sublime coronation of prophecy. he had achieved a victory. with ripe reflection. and he had decided to undertake the conversion of his people. It was thus without enthusiasm or exhe took vipon himself citement. On these three points He came forth triple unscathed from this conflict. his Father and in Even in the face of death he woukl still be convinced that he should one day return in the clouds to judge the living and the dead. he would realize the national hopes. in thus undertaking he knew not that his mission would one day tliis of him. . He was simply the and moral Messiah. that to carry out the Messianic work. and . He would serve his kingdom should be established in men's hearts he would accomplish require spiritual . But though he was ready even it for death itself. had transformed The temptation was ended.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY his his 151 unshaken trust in work. for he it.
and yet that it could be at the same time the national kingdom predicted by the prophets. notion how the Romans could be done away with without the employment of — — force. if it If his kingdom Avas purely spir- he separated politics from religion. The Jewish Messianic idea vanished. swallowed up in his three- Yet let us not misconstrue Jesus' true thought. itual. fold victory. and in consequence . by pacific means. He cherished the hope that the nation would understand that the kingdom was solely religious. a kingdom whose would be acclaimed by himself head No doubt he had no the Pharisees. heart of his nation. which nothing could abate. that he chose twelve apostles because he looked forward to the national restoration of the twelve tribes. like his contemporaries. was not that Jesus had hot a profound sympathy with the national hope of his people. he counted upon a miraculous intervention But it is evident of the Heavenly Father. by persuasion and love. perhaps. and which they He hoped to found in the all expected. a sublime strength.152 his JESnS CHRIST triumph put him in possession of a new grandeur.
saying to himself. " ^ promis- ing him a brilliant and public reward in the present time as well as in the age to come. XX."^ this prayer had no meaning if it did not signify that he hoped against all hope that his kingdom would be founded without the cross: incomparably more must he have hoped this in the days of his temptation. Luke xviii. Matt. 20 ff. said. 39. xxvi. "Father.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY the foundation of a tliis 153 kingdom on earth. xix. * Matt. Matt. when his death was He did not oppose the request of the sons of Zebedee..^ nor did he deny that he should one day be enthroned in glory. . and parallel passages. He afterward said to Peter. I will go farther. My people may recognize and welcome me. and say that this hope did not leave him even certain. " now in this time . on his right his Father would in Gethsemane he seats And he said 1 '^ tliis to himself until the end. 27-29. 30 . His martyrwith liis apostles beside him. to precede this glorifica- would be hand and on his left. if it be possible. let this cup pass from me. and parallel passages. — in sense a visible kingdom. dom was no doubt tion . and but there When bestow them.
15. for he was "he who should come. in wliich he displayed an indeHe was not yet saying. Jesus. Therefore he gave himself entirely to this fatigable activity. " The time is fulfilled. present in the person of its head." for he did say." and in no particular broke with the Pharisees. yet preach himself he preached only " the Gospel of the kingdom. to found But it by his merciful and holy activity. tried hard to gain the Jews. for them must remember that the Pharisees 1 — The rup- we Mark i. "The Son life. with Judaism. . always thought that he might be recognized as the national Messiah and To the last day he religious Liberator. and cherished that his people would hope the deathless escape the catastrophe of the year 70 by submitting themselves to him." i The kingdom was imminent it was even already ." but he did not .154 JESUS CHRIST of always believing in a possible change feeling. of man has come to give his he believed that he had come to found his kingdom in his lifetime. then. work. From first the beginning he himself had the place in the kingdom. ture with that is.
— best Pharisaic by preaching a large spiritualization of the kingdom of God. V. He closed the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount. of his baptism. from the time in a word.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 165 was not to come were the true Judaism he magnified moment For the until later. did not as yet preach his own person.* his reply to the emissaries he bore in his person the realization of the "Hope of Israel. that by John the Baptist. 4 * ff. as is shown by the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount. in the first part of his ministry. ment to come with the same vigor. I never knew 1 8 Matt. xi. . by the enBut if he tire first part of his ministry. he fulfilled it by the great current of the ideas . 2 ff. ^ 3 by the parable of the Sower. he must one day return to judge the life his entire public world and during he affirmed the Judg." Since he was the Messiah. iv. Matt. which he of cites Isaiah. 16 2 ff. he was none the less convinced. xiii. 3 ff. 1 by the sermon at Nazareth in that is. "Depart from me. by declaring that in the last day he would say to those who had not done the will of the Father. remaining in Judaism. the same unalterable conviction. Luke Matt.
Later. that he should one day preside at the solemn assizes in which all humanity would Returning in his glory in be judged. minimize the immense force of this testimony which Jesus gave to himself. . conviction with which he spoke of himself and asserted himself. he was never more positive than in the hour when the cross confronted him. necessary de1 Matt. It is impossible to others on his left."^ and and its parables. and put some on his right hand. when ignominy were distinctly before him. inevitable. 31 ff.156 JES[TS CHRIST in one of his last you. he declared. men would explain this councils would bring new elements to the doctrine : of Jesus concerning himself. the all his life.^ the clouds of heaven. that is to say. 23. he would sit upon a throne. Quite the contrary. his cross when he was about to die. '^ Matt. with the same certitude. He insisted upon his Messianic authority His confidence in himself. vii. the hour when overwhelming defeat appeared to — himself to be inevitable. It is for ele- theologians to ask whether these new ments which the Church has contributed are simply a logical. xxv. never weakened.
they are only a dej)lorable deviation from it. to be created. a Christian Pantheon would come angels. and martyrs would take popular devotion the place of and of his Son. This defiance tuated. son. . in which saints. virgins. good sense was to be still more accenIt would come to be taught that one substance could be transformed into another without losing the properties which reveal it to our senses . God himself. or whether. and a in secondary order of worship.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY cluction 157 from what Jesus has said of his peron the contrary. of three Gods who are each God and yet constitute to only one God. finally. There was to grow up a doctrine of the Trinity.
THE ORIGINALITY OF JESUS .
according to which there is in every great individuality a deep. his environment. and are not to be entirely explained by heredity. But not one of the assimilating great personalities of history tirely explained less may be en- in this If way. environthat every shall be determined race. exception to the general law which ordains by his and the age in which he is born.CHAPTER X THE ORIGINALITY OF JESUS "I^ZE have endeavored to show in Jesus. studying them. and yet obliged to reckon with them. a Luther. and Jesus he was not an than any other. If a Shakespeare. a Napoleon have their own originality. as a man of his time. a Jew growing up in the midst of the religious beliefs of his contemporaries. or rejecting them. no more was he an exception to that other mysterious and hidden law. 11 man . always independent of them. hidden force which remains beyond the pale of all appreciation.
Between God and him there was a constant and mysterious interchange God was his Father. and which nothing troubled in The Old Testament taught the present. much less is Jesus. The longings of ancient humanity were than theirs. realized in him. its religious pilgrimage . history speaks to us in The reality of nobler language we remain upon the we see in Jesus the supreme revelation of God upon earth. nature disclosed him to him. In what consists the originality of Jesus ? What is its very essence ? To this question we think the impartial historian must clear unhesitatingly answer: The very and full consciousness of a union with God. and was never disturbed. Let us leave the .162 JESUS CHRIST ment. as nothing compared with the permanent inward vision which illuminated his soul. he was his Son. and the time in which they lived. At a later day theologians might speak of two natures. and territory if of facts. him about God. and he saw him in the Old Testament But this exterior vision was as in nature. theologians to themselves. which nothing in the past had ever troubled. and this communion was alive.
nothing else than a consciousness of his . the true man. Without doubt there have been visionaries. and it was because the consciousness which he had of his own value was never separated from his consciousness of God that he could say.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY was ended. illumijiati. it 163 of Paganism." It was thus that he attained to faith in his divine mission. mystics. but their own personality while with Jesus the consciousness of God was never apart from his consciousness of himself. the stronger his assurance that he was himself man. There is nothing beyond the religious consciousness of Jesus. and to the conviction that he was in the world for its salvation. whom it had tried all the religions and now he had appeared in could rest. "Come unto me. who also lost possessed God. the more evident became his own personality. the Son of God. selves in have them- him. The more he possessed God the more he possessed himself. The more he felt God in and with him. His faith in his Messianic vocation and his faith in his own perfect holiness were disappeared. lived in him. and man can conceive of nothing. such as man should be." "Believe in me.
164 union with Divinity. for and that in the name of facts we would here give simply a historical verification. — those only believed himself to be in constant relations with God. these convictions. impartially observed. The other alternative alone seems to us possible. It thus. we have said. believe that of his it We was the inward development moral consciousness which led Jesus to declare himself the Saviour of the world. for the events can . JESUS CHRIST God. If Jesus there are which we Accordpointed out in our Introduction. he was the victim of a strange and prodigious delusion when he possible suppositions. ing to the first. or faith in his own had two Let us try to be exact. havthe multitudes. first His exquisite charm. ended by seduced ing seducing himself. and. it was not events which made Jesus the Son of God. he ended at last in madness. His vocation did not come to him from without. that Renau under- stood Jesus. in delusion when he permitted himself to be acclaimed as Messiah and he . in delusion when he had faith in himself. intoxicated with success. died the victim of this is mad mistake.
for this was nothing culpable facts. Not long ago we wrote the words " perfect holiness of Jesus. prove directly his perfect for documents are wanting. . God. and that he was never known to repent." It is impossible to holiness. was ashamed of nothing. may be legitimately inferred from these two This is why we defined as holiness his perfect union with the entire approval of . But it can be proved that he always had a consciousness of integrity. and his victories were Jesus had a very vivid and profound feeling with regard to tion in sin. The story of the tempta- the desert shows him to us as it struggling against e\dl just such as pre- . was guilty of nothing. the consciousness of a cloudless integrity. It is therefore permitted to in affirm that there his life.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY only be explained by the 165 consciousness which Jesus had of being the Son of God. But he knew our temptations not achieved without suffering. The peace of his soul was never disturbed. and the life of Jesus is too little known. he must have conquered them. his constant and unalterable feeling of Him whom he called the Father in a word. he regretted nothing.
ing the goal attain it. But he had never yielded for so much as an instant. The ideal appeared to them ever higher and more distant. who are nearest to reachwho fear they may never Such was the experience of men those Cyran. And yet it is the best among the children of men who . Adolphe Monod. He had been haunted by the dream of an easy success. sure of his own holiness.166 JESUS CHRIST sents itself to us. St. Therefore we never find in him the slightest feeling of moral powerlessness. al- ways feel themselves the most weak the most advanced in the right way who believe first themselves to have taken only the steps . he had divined the allurements of the flesh. Pascal. His soul bore no scars. he had known what was the intoxication of pride. their will without strenofth. which manifests itself with an incontestable historic verity. sure of like St. his efforts had always been victorious. and he had never weakened in his incessant conflict. for it had never received a wound. God. and their conflict without success. never suffered a moral defeat. With Jesus there was nothing of the kind. Strange fact. he knew . Paul. He was sure of himself.
in consequence. that he did the law that he gave to himself. in works of the imagination. then he is had none — which impossible. the ideal which presented itself to liim he realized. and yet his ideal of holiness. and the had never rent his plaints soul. But Jesus is . Is it possible to define the character of Jesus ? tion to be We cannot arrive at such a defini- by showing that all good qualities are found united in him. The good which he willed. For if he had good qualities of the most and.BEFORE BIS MINISTRY not what it 167 was to feel himself pardoned and ing restored. his ideal of moral perfection. all characters. There had of great never been an interval between his will and saints duty. If we could show this. of uprightness and love. we should only have made more impossible the description of his character. A person without charac- would be an abstraction \vith neither interest nor life. opposite kinds. . is the highest that ever was. Nothing is so tedious as ter the story of so-called perfect persons. He had never trembled in humiliation at the secret and overwhelm- memory his of a moral fall. at all. that he fulfilled.
His reason was his always firm and enlightened."^ In consequence. it seems to us that though a complete definition of the character of personality in history. always open to all heart sympathies. an individuality of clearest. . we find in him neither the thoughtless 1 Matt. The exterior world was never closed to him he always had his eyes open to all that surrounded him. . He loved retirement and solitude because there he found the Father. who "is in secret. there are yet two characteristics which dominate this: all others." and we have said that he was the first to put in practice his precept. " When thou prayest. Jesus is impossible. the most captivating We always come back to him the enigma of his person and life is always before us. The first is The faculties of his soul were always alert. shut thy door. his will always of a heroic energy. Nevertheless. . and at every moment he gave himself without reserve.168 JESUS CHRIST the most interesting. most well-defined outlines. 6. vi. He therefore had a character. The second is self-collectedness. This is the first feature which strikes us in the character of Jesus.
and constituted his personality. ." There was therefore in him inward harmony. and. ing ever broke ing ever greatest down that decision. His life of history. During his ministry he was never guided by external fatalism everything was with him the product of a free decision. on one side. at the same time. that which he called " the hour appointed by the Father. Jesus shows us. the perfect. whose moral sole factor. noth- made drama most it flinch. He was always ready. the .troubled union with God. dramatic progress. They were complementary to each other. complete harmony between the Father and the Son. and. at the time. We have already made them manifest when defining his holiness.BEFORE BIS M/X/STRy 169 enthusiasm which anticipates the hour of duty. deep coherence. These seem to us to have been the two dominant features of Jesus' character. and always was liis heroic will. —a was the same moral drama. but he awaited the decisive hour. whose personal active. stature is complete. man such as he ought to be. man who is a true Son of God and on the other side a deep and never. Noth. nor the cowardice which lets pass the moment for doing it.
. possible. Now. we confine ourselves to setting forth the facts. Here is originality. during his ministry. in any case. if any fact is certain. the love. we cannot pursue farther. — the historic facts which alone are beyond all dispute. it Jesus. they will. faithful to the method which we imposed upon ourselves. Men may Christian show us. here also his power. declared that he was the object of the Christian religion. it is that in Helnone the less certain Greek philosophy remained sterile.170 JESUS CHRIST have endeavored in the preceding We pages to separate the figure of Jesus from the theological and dogmatic notions which were formulated by the Church at a later The task was difficult. and. give eternal it is life. that all morals were already to be found lenic morality. perhaps imday. that he would restore the sinner. We leave on one side these hecmises. — that the faith. console the his is if afflicted. and undeni- able. Later the Church that would say: Jesus said we must believe on him because he was this or that. and the worship of believers ought to be concentrated upon him. it is that Jesus declared that he would reconcile earth with heaven.
BEFORE HIS MINISTRY
and that Christianity has transformed the
Without doubt, Jesus Christ was horn and hour. We have said that Luther, born a hundred years earlier, would not have been Luther; any
at a propitious day
Reformation who died
obscure might, perhaps, have been as great
he had been born in the same time
It matters not, for the personality
of Jesus towers far above all that he can have owed to his time and his eiivironment. Here is one proof among a thousand, and it also is from facts. The notion of sin is closely
connected with the apChrist carried war into
pearance of Jesus.
the hearts of
men by awakening
purely moral sense,
— the sense of sin
he laid no stress upon the
mind and matter.
characteristic feature of Christian doctrine,
the most profound cause of the world, comes from
notion of holi-
thirst for purity
appeared upon the earth with Jesus. No doubt he did not create it. The notion of
a Hebraic notion; nevertheless,
only from the time of Jesus Christ that
men have carried on an interior struggle, have gone down into themselves and discovered in their souls hidden treasures and unknown springs, an immense fact, inex-
by the mere preaching of holiness upon the lips of the Christ, and to be explained only by the moral perfection of the
person of Jesus.
St. Augustine, Luther, Pascal, have not chosen for themselves the defilements and
degradations of the world;
gered for the
were athirst for
they smote upon their breasts and
implored the pardon of
was because Jesus had shown them what is the perfection which God requires. If, finally, Jesus brought about the most formidable
cause he was perfectly holy.
conscience has become the conscience of
aspirations were realized in
He was the normal man, man such was intended to be. There was no weakness in his life, and none will ever be discovered there. The tradition of sin was vanquished, and it is he who conquered it.
and about is to begin his J ministry. 2 ]\iatt. the tunic and the mantle. He will dwell in a house which will become his own. . His tunic is of linen.^ he definitively leaving Nazareth. His first preaching will be the pure and simple repetition of the call of John the Baptist " Repent. 2o. 2. a large city on the border of the Lake of Tiberias. iii. his : 1 Luke iii. with sleeves." ^ Let us try to picture him to ourselves as he was then. is He about thirty years himself in old.CONCLUSION ESUS is ready. and reaching to the feet. for the kingdom of God is at hand. fitted to the body. His dress is composed of two garments. deciding to establish Caper- 4= naum. and will gather around him numerous disciples. From it he will travel about in Galilee.
he prays with covered head. . to the exterior aspect of we have no if it information. but he often binds it close to his waist with a girdle. His feet are shod with leather sandals. the writings any informaThe most tion as to his exterior aspect. striped with brown or dark blue ^ it is wide and floating when he walks. in the house With regard Jesus. . Fastened under the chin by a cord. Jusancient Fathers who speak of him of the apostles. of the skin of the camel or He has a staff in his hand. The writ- ings of those who knew Jesus. and on his head a turban. his face. it falls down on either side over his shoulders and his tunic. but it is possible that Jesus had adopted the white garment of the Essenes. fastened with thongs. type is purely conventional. We should be glad the traditional pic- ture were historic. and puts on every morning he wears it and in the synagogues. and made hyena. to picture would be difficult Jesus to ourselves under any Nevertheless. without which he is never seen. this traditional other form.176 JESUS CHRIST mantle is white. He removes it only at night. never give — 1 These were the usual colors . it .
. lii. of the pictures representing the pre- One tended sketch by Pilate was placed by Alexander Severus in his Oratory. Pilate was so much struck with the face of Jesus at the time of his judgment. 177 Origen — all af- firm that he was small of stature and Let us hasten to add that this assertion rests on nothing historical. is This entirely fabulous assertion reported by Irenseus and Hippolytus. drawn from plain of face. as ancient as that are prophetic: they us exactly how The Gnostic tury. heretics of the second cenis whose witness of the Fathers whom we have just named. 12 ." etc. sketched the face of Jesus. tell "He has no form nor These passages. said. but is an a priori conclusion." comeliness. and asserted that in these pictures they reproduced a portrait made by Pilate himself. Tertiillian. liii. Accord- ing to them.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY tin Martyr. Isa. hovah Isaiah's description of the servant of Je" There is no beauty in him that we : 1 should desire him. it was must therefore Jesus looked. that even while proceeding with his interrogatory he at once sketched his picture. beside the portraits of Abraham and I Apollo.
there applied to Jesus Christ. but we do not know under what form he was However. which Jesus himself had sent him. takes its origin from a passage in the Old Testa- ment. but without other guide than his imagination. like that. tion rests historic no more than the other upon but. an ecclesiastical writer of the eighth century undertook to describe Jesus Christ. data. that there are in Palestine several portraits and even . King Abgar of Edessa possessed this portrait. Roman describing the exterior aspect of 1 Psalm xlv. This asserthere portrayed. says his statue Eusebius. and made a portrait of Jesus. According to this passage. The veil of St. Veronica had also preserved the imprint of the face of Christ. . Finally. he must have been "the ing. in the of Jesus Christ." ^ About this time we find legends appear- According to them. In the twelfth century was fabricated a so-called letter of Lentulus to the senate. 3. fairest among the sons of men. at this epoch they began to represent Jesus as the perfect type of physical beauty. Luke was a painter.178 JESUS CHRIST fourth century.
The moral perfection of his soul certainly appeared in the habitual expression of his features. and invented out of may be authentic. Finally. . relatively recent. and the simple fact that Judas was obliged to kiss him in order to point him out shows that when he was with the twelve apostles nothing distinguished him from any one of them. of grace and strength. neither his height. and in the fourteenth century Nicephorus Calixtus also made a description of Jesus. but tliis fact does not warrant a precise conclusion as to the face of Jesus. was invented the letter which Pilate wrote to Herod when sending Jesus Christ to him. The Jews wore it the it beard undivided and the hair long. Some features of this portrait. — nor his garments. and shone in his glance . therefore exact to say that is was thus with Jesus. nor his face. whole cloth.BEFORE HIS MINISTRY 179 Christ. — a young man with abundant full that time the type of Christ was curl- ing hair and undivided beard. From fixed. since those who knew him not might take him for one of the twelve and not for the Master himself. But we know nothing more than this. resembling a young god.
and when first of his the Christ is in question. that in striking. It would be better worth while to give up the word. never to use it. and example of submission and renunciation. and to believe himIn the precedto be the Messiah? ing pages we have tried to answer this question in part. let no one say any more about the charm of Jesus. or of finding a charm in the spectacle of Jesus putting the giving precepts into practice. and obedience. and in particular to show that there was no trace of madness in Jesus. to some of the we put in our Introduction. and first. devotion. Doubtless no one dreams of characterizing as charming his precepts which call for self-sacrius to be very ill fice.180 JESUS CHRIST Let us return. On most the contrary. the him which is more closely . That there emanated from his person a questions which very great charm is not to be doubted. in closing. How did Jesus come announce himself. We to self also asked. To explain the enigma offered by his life by saying he was a charmer is notoriously insufficient. provided we give this word a very ele. vated meaning but even then it seems to chosen.
and rule nations of the earth. was false. though he were not understood. It appears. and should die with the approbation of his own conscience and the approval of God. that though he were met by outbreaks of hatred. is his possession of his clear-sightedness. And now let us pursue our task. that Jesus. con- ceived the idea of a universal salvation achieved by a purely spiritual work. the — was because he never felt in the least degree the influence of the beliefs of his people. that the doctrine of a Messiah who should seek his own astonish the all it world by his miracles. then. to the very end. his complete freedom from If he perceived that Jewish theology was taking the wrong glory. way. in the midst of a hostile world. though he succumbed in the struggle.BEFORE niS MINISTRY one studies self. it We have to . And he said to himself. in advance. that he had made the right choice. and may God on with give us time and strength to go to the very end. far from being led away by the ideas of his time. 181 him- liim. illusion. he struggled against and conquered them. and because. he should be none the less convinced. by himself alone.
Henceforth we shall not need to conjecture. we shall describe death.182 JESUS CHRIST BEFORE HIS MINISTRY speak of Jesus during his ministry. his resurrection. that. We first have already borrowed from them at times. his his trial. for there are existing sources. . What is their value ? The answer to this question will be the object of our study in the following book. in a third After volume.
Date Due W^^W .
S793 Jesus Christ before His ministry Princeton Theological Semmary-Speer Library 1 1012 00029 0207 ->«3-.BS2423 .„.2. v*f^ -*^v* .
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