« ÎnapoiContinuați »
others than the Jews; but this is not an inevitable inference, for the reference may be simply to the extension of privilege to the outcast classes of Jewish society. To hold that no one of these three parables has any outlook beyond the Jewish people is certainly to keep their meaning well within the very narrowest of possible interpretations.
That it may have been the intention of Jesus to suggest through one or more of these parables the extension of the kingdom of God beyond his own people has the indirect support of one apparently very explicit statement of a positive kind which is recorded by
DOCUMENT P $40
And they shall come from the east and west, and from the north and south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
While it is to be held with conviction that none of the parables of "the mystery of the kingdom of God" explicitly defines the limits of that kingdom, it is at the same time to be recognized that the future of the kingdom portrayed by them, especially by the parable of the Mustard Seed and by that of the Leaven, implies perhaps that the limits of the kingdom were to be set somewhat beyond that people to whom the message of the kingdom was brought by Jesus.
It is not surprising that in this hour of outlook, this hour of inspiration and sweep of vision beyond the present, there should be borne in upon Jesus the sense of the immeasurable importance to the individual of his own participation in the privileges of the kingdom. It is to this feeling apparently that Jesus gives free and strong expression in the other parables spoken, as it seems, on this occasion, and reported by
DOCUMENT M §§16, 17
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in the field; which a man found, and hid; and in his joy he goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a merchant seeking goodly pearls: and having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
There has been brought under review in one or another of the preceding sections of the present chapter every reference in the Synoptic Gospels to the future of the kingdom of God, except three brief sayings on the coming of the kingdom. These constitute the material for examination in this concluding section on the kingdom of God.
This paragraph comes under consideration in the present study because of the appearance in portion A of the phrase, "until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God," and in the Lukan portion E of the phrase "until the kingdom of God shall come," especially on account of the latter, because of its suggestion of some single, decisive event, some appearance, some emergence of phenomena, some observable and definable crisis. The words "the kingdom of God shall come" suggest not so much a process as a result, not so much a gradual unfolding as a climax; they suggest less an evolution than a catastrophe. None of these apocalyptic notions, however, are conveyed by the document MK parallel in portion E through the words "until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God." The intended thought in "new" is probably attained when this saying is read with a knowledge of the belief of Jesus as to the form of the resurrection life, that is, "when they shall rise from the dead, they . . . . are as angels in heaven."
It is not necessary to determine whether in this portion of gospel LK we are dealing with what Luke drew from document MK, or with what came from some minor source, or with what is the product of his editorial activity. Were one to surmise that all of the above 1 See pp. 82, 83.
Lukan paragraph was taken by Luke from some other document than MK, it would then be a case of document against document in the portion E instead of gospel against document. The originality of document MK here will hardly be called in question, and therefore the phrases, "until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God" and "until the kingdom of God shall come," must apparently be given the sense of the phrase, "until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God." From this document MK phrase there is nothing to be learned, either explicitly or implicitly considered, as to the form of the time of the coming of the kingdom of God. By the saying Jesus does no more, it seems, than announce in a new and most impressive way to his disciples that dread event, his death in the immediate future, belief in the certainty of which he found it so difficult to lodge in the minds of his followers. What the phrase does reveal about the future of the kingdom is that the life of the righteous after death is thought of as "in the kingdom of God," and that this life is of such form that in it all things are "new." This accords with the teaching of Jesus about the nature of the resurrection life as recorded in document MK 12:18-27.1
GOSPEL MT 16:24-28
A Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?
B For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then shall he render unto every man according to his deeds.
Verily I say unto you, There be some of them that stand here, which shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
DOCUMENT MK 8:34-9:1
A And he called unto him the
GOSPEL LK 9:23-27
A And he said unto all, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose or forfeit his own self?
For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in his own glory, and the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels.
But I tell you of a truth, There be some of them that stand here, which shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
In the comparison of document with document in chap. i, §4, the saying in portion B above was set in parallelism with the similar say
I See chap. vi, §1.
ing in document P §20, and the endeavor made to determine the historical probabilities as to the original occasion of the saying.1 It was concluded that the appropriate setting is found in document P rather than in document MK. In the comparison of gospel with document in chap. i, §6, the divergences of gospels MT and LK from document MK in portion B, and the evidences of minor accretions in document MK itself, were considered. The saying was ultimately traced back to the more original form in the Matthaean P $20. There was made also a similar study of the above portion C, the marked modifications of gospel MT being especially observed and their significance estimated.3 The ground covered in those preceding studies need not be retraversed at this point, except in summary. The conclusions were: (1) That the sayings in portions A, B, C of document MK must be regarded as more or less accurate records of words uttered by Jesus himself; (2) That since there is no documentary evidence to the contrary, the sayings in portions A, C of document MK must be regarded as substantially the original words of Jesus; (3) That the more original form of the saying in portion B is found in the Matthaean P §20;4 (4) That the true context of the saying in portion B is had when it is placed as a part of a body of sayings about the future mission and its attendant persecutions as combined in document P §20; (5) That the historical occasion of the saying in portion B, in common with the rest of document P §20, was the final discourse on the future;5 (6) That the saying in portion B became attached in document MK to those of portion A through the placing of a wrong emphasis in the interpretation of portion A, by which the sayings of portion A were regarded as referring solely to the death of the body in persecution; (7) That this combination of the sayings in A with that in B was effected under the stress of the persecutions of the early community, experiences which have left their mark at many points in the records; (8) That the saying in portion C found lodgment in this document MK paragraph because it was interpreted as a promise of speedy relief from persecution by divine intervention, hence was forceful in staying the defection and
1 See pp. 41, 42.
2 See pp. 79-81.
3 See pp. 81, 82.
4 See p. 80.
5 See pp. 202-5.
6 See summary II on p. 98.
denial of which portion B treats; (9) That, though we are able to determine from another document what is the true context and occasion of the saying in portion B, it is not now possible to do the same for the saying in portion C; (10) That the meaning of the saying in portion C of document MK is not necessarily revealed correctly by its Matthaean rewriting in gospel MT, the latter phraseology being one of many expressions of the Matthaean eschatological tendency; (11) That the meaning of Jesus in the saying in portion C must be determined in the light of other sayings of Jesus about the essential nature of the future of the kingdom of God.
Since every saying of Jesus on the future of the kingdom of God as recorded in the Synoptic Gospels, except one, has been examined, and since the testimony of all those that can be supported as original with Jesus converge on one conception of the future of the kingdom, the meaning of the saying in the portion C of the above document MK paragraph seems beyond doubt. By it Jesus apparently asserted that before all of the hearers of his message had passed away that kingdom which he regarded as already present among men, in some measure, would become actual to an extent not at all suggested by its present unimpressive, obscure, and, for his contemporaries, mean beginnings. It is seemingly the statement of the confidence of Jesus not only in the ultimate, but also in the early, triumph of the ideals as to the messianic vocation and the kingdom of God for which he constantly and resolutely stood during his ministry and in his death.
Though Jesus spoke with confidence as to the development of the kingdom of God in the near future, he would not have his disciples regard that unhesitating forecast as certain of realization independent of the fulfilment of conditions by them as the future representatives of the kingdom. It is to one phase of their responsibility for the actual future of the kingdom that Jesus seems to refer in his only other reference to the future coming of the kingdom:
DOCUMENT P $13
To summarize the evidence as to Jesus' thought of the kingdom of God: (1) He regarded it as already present in some degree, initiated and exemplified by himself; (2) He forecast its extensive spread