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men.'' But in thus setting forth for the first time the real character of traditionalism, and setting Himself in open opposition to its fundamental principles, the Christ enunciated also for the first time the fundamental principle of His own interpretation of the Law. That Law was not a system of externalism, in which outward things affected the inner man. It was moral, and addressed itself to man as moral being—to his heart and conscience. As the spring of all moral action was within, so the mode of affecting it would be inward. Not from without inwards, but from within outwards : such was the principle of the new Kingdom, as setting forth the Law in its fulness and fulfilling it. There is nothing from without the ? man, that, entering into him, can defile him; but the things which proceed out of the man, those are they that defile the ? man.'3 Not only negatively, but positively, was this the fundamental principle of Christian practice in direct contrast to that of Pharisaic Judaism. It is in this essential contrariety of principle, rather than in any details, that the unspeakable difference between Christ and all contemporary teachers appears. Nor is even this all. For, the principle laid down by Christ concerning that which entereth from without and that which cometh from within, covers, in its full application, not only the principle of Christian liberty in regard to the Mosaic Law, but touches far deeper and eternal questions, affecting not only the Jew, but all men and to all times.
As we read it, the discussion, to which such full reference has been made, had taken place between the Scribes and the Lord, while the multitude perhaps stood aside. But when enunciating the grand principle of what constituted real defilement, 'He called to Him the
multitude.'& It was probably while pursuing their way to CaperSt. Mark vii. naum, when this conversation had taken place, that His disciples after
wards reported, that the Pharisees had been offended by that saying of His to the multitude. Even this implies the weakness of the disciples : that they were not only influenced by the good or evil opinion of these religious leaders of the people, but in some measure sympathised with their views. All this is quite natural, and, as bringing before us real not imaginary persons, so far evidential of the narrative. The answer which the Lord gave the disciples bore a twofold aspect: that of solemn warning concerning the inevitable fate of every plant which God had not planted, and that of warning
a St. Matt. xv. 10;
| The quotation is a · Targum,' which in the last clause follows almost entirely the LXX.
? Mark the definite article.
3 The words in St. Mark vii. 16 are of very doubtful authenticity.
FROM WITHIN OUTWARDS, NOT FROM WITHOUT INWARDS.
concerning the character and issue of Pharisaic teaching, as being CHAP. the leadership of the blind by the blind," which must end in ruin to both.
But even so the words of Christ are represented in the Gospel as sounding strange and difficult to the disciples-so truthful and natural is the narrative. But they were earnest, genuine men; and when they reached the home in Capernaum, Peter, as the most courageous of them, broke the reserve-half of fear and half of reverence—which, despite their necessary familiarity, seems to have subsisted between the Master and His disciples. And the existence of such reverential reserve in such circumstances appears, the more it is considered, yet another evidence of Christ's Divine Character, just as the implied allusion to it in the narrative is another undesigned proof of its truthfulness. And so Peter would seek for himself and his fellowdisciples an explanation of what still seemed to him only parabolic in the Master's teaching. He received it in the fullest manner. There was, indeed, one part even in the teaching of the Lord, which accorded with the higher views of the Rabbis. Those sins which Christ set before them as sins of the outward and inward man, and of what connects the two: our relation to others, were the outcome of evil thoughts. And this, at least, the Rabbis also taught ; explaining, with much detail, how the heart was alike the source of strength and of weakness, of good and of evil thoughts, loved and hated, envied, lusted and deceived, proving each statement from Scripture. But never before could they have realised, that anything Midr. on entering from without could not defile a man. Least of all could they perceive the final inference which St. Mark long afterwards derived from this teaching of the Lord: “This He said, making all bista Mark meats clean.'b
Eccles. 1, 16
vii. 19 clause
Both these sayings seem to have been words,first propounded by St. Chrysostom, proverbial at the time, although I am and now adopted in the Revised VerDot able to quote any passage in Jewish sion, although not without much miswritings in which they occur in exactly giving. For there is strong objection to it the same form.
from the Jewish usus and views. The ? In St. Mark vii. 21 these outcomings statement in Ber. 61 a, last line, The of evil thoughts' are arranged in three csophagus into which entereth and, groups of four, characterised as in the text; which casteth out all manner of meat while in St. Matt. xv. 19 the order of the
) ten commandments seems followed. The
seems to imply that the words of Christ account of St. Mark is the fuller. In both
were a proverbial expression. The Talaccounts the expression 'blasphemy? mudic idea is based on the curious physio(Blao onuía)-rendered in the Revised
logical notion (Midr. on Eccles. vii. 19), Version by railing'-seems to refer to
that the food passed from the oesophagus calumnious and evil speaking about our
first into the larger intestine (Hemses, fellow-men.
DDD), perhaps = omasum), where the I have accepted this rendering of the
food was supposed to be crushed as in a
(ושט מכניס ומוציא כל מיני מאכל)
Yet another time had Peter to learn that lesson, when his resistance to the teaching of the vision of the sheet let down from heaven
was silenced by this: What God hath cleansed, make not thou * Acts x 14 common. Not only the spirit of legalism, but the very terms
'common' in reference to the unwashen hands) and making clean' are the same. Nor can we wonder at this, if the vision of Peter was real, and not, as negative criticism would have it, invented so as to make an imaginary Peter-Apostle of the Jews--speak and act like Paul. On that hypothesis, the correspondence of thought and expression would seem, indeed, inexplicable; on the former, the Peter, who has had that vision, is telling through St. Mark the teaching that underlay it all, and, as he looked back upon it, drawing from it the inference which he understood not at the time : This He said, making all meats clean.'
A most difficult lesson this for a Jew, and for one like Peter, nay, for us all, to learn. And still a third time had Peter to learn it, when, in his fear of the Judaisers from Jerusalem, he made that common which God had made clean, had care of the unwashen hands, but forgot that the Lord had made clean all meats. Terrible, indeed, must have been that contention which followed between Paul and Peter. Eighteen centuries have passed, and that fatal strife is still the ground of theological contention against the truth.' Eighteen centuries, and within the Church also the strife still continues. Brethren sharply contend and are separated, because they will insist on that as of necessity which should be treated as of indifference : because of the not eating with unwashen hands, forgetful that He has made all meats clean to him who is inwardly and spiritually cleansed.
mill (Vajjik R. 4; 18; Midr. on Eccl.
Rabbinic Aphidra (8770x), which Levy renders by the floor of a stable formed by the excrements of the animals which are soaked and stamped into a hard mass.'
It is, of course, well known that the reasoning of the Tübingen school and of kindred negative theology is based on a supposed contrariety between the Petrine and Pauline direction, and that this again is chiefly based on the occurrence in Antioch recorded in Gal. ii. 11 &c.
THE GREAT CRISIS IN POPULAR FEELING.
THE GREAT CRISIS IN POPULAR FEELING-THE LAST DISCOURSES IN THE
SYNAGOGUE OF CAPERNAUM-CHRIST THE BREAD OF LIFE, WILL YE
(St. John vi. 22–71.)'
The narrative now returns to those who, on the previous evening, had, after the miraculous meal, been “sent away' to their homes. We remember, that this had been after an abortive attempt on their part to take Jesus by force and make Him their Messiah-King. We can understand how the effectual resistance of Jesus to their purpose not only weakened, but in great measure neutralised, the effect of the miracle which they had witnessed. In fact, we look upon this check as the first turning of the tide of popular enthusiasm. Let us bear in mind what ideas and expectations of an altogether external character those men connected with the Messiah of their dreams. At last, by some miracle more notable even than the giving of the Manna in the wilderness, enthusiasm had been raised to the highest pitch, and thousands were determined to give up their pilgrimage to the Passover, and then and there proclaim the Galilean Teacher Israel's King. If He were the Messiah, such was His rightful title. Why then did He so strenuously and effectually resist it? In ignorance of His real views concerning the Kingship, they would naturally conclude that it must have been from fear, from misgiving, from want of belief in Himself. At any rate, He could not be the Messiah, Who would not be Israel's King. Enthusiasm of this kind, once repressed, could never be kindled again. Henceforth there was continuous misunderstanding, doubt, and defection among former adherents, growing into opposition and hatred unto death. Even to those who took not this position, Jesus, His Words and Works, Were henceforth a constant mystery. And so it came, that the morn' It is specially requested, that this of the fate of Elijah on the morning chapter be read along with the text of after the miracle on Mount Carmel. Yet Scripture.
how different the bearing of Christ from . We are here involuntarily reminded that of the great Prophet !
ing after the miraculous meal found the vast majority of those who had been fed, either in their homes or on their pilgrim-way to the Passover at Jerusalem. Only comparatively few came back to seek Him, where they had eaten bread at His Hand. And even to them, as the after-conversation shows, Jesus was a mystery. They could not disbelieve, and yet they could not believe; and they sought both • a sign’ to guide, and an explanation to give them its understanding. Yet out of them was there such selection of grace, that all that the Father had given would reach Him, and that they who, by a personal act of believing choice and by determination of conviction, would come, should in nowise be rejected of Him.
It is this view of the mental and moral state of those who, on the morning after the meal, came to seek Jesus, which alone explains the questions and answers of the interview at Capernaum. As we read it: 'the day following, the multitude which stood on the other [the eastern) side of the sea'“saw that Jesus was not there, neither His disciples.'& But of two facts they were cognisant. They knew that, on the evening before, only one boat had come over, bringing Jesus and His disciples; and that Jesus had not returned in it with His disciples, for they had seen them depart, while Jesus remained to dismiss the people. In these circumstances they probably imagined, that Christ had returned on foot by land, being, of course, ignorant of the miracle of that night. But the wind which had been contrary to the disciples, had also driven over to the eastern shore a number of fishing-boats from Tiberias (and this is one of the undesigned confirmations of the narrative). These they now hired, and came to Capernaum, making inquiry for Jesus. Whether on that Friday afternoon they went to meet Him on His way from Gennesaret (which the wording of St. John vi. 25 makes likely), or awaited His arrival at Capernaum, is of little importance. Similarly, it is difficult to determine whether the conversation and outlined address of Christ took place on one or partly on several occasions : on the Friday afternoon and Sabbath morning, or only on the Sabbath. All that we know for certain is, that the last part (at any rate b) was spoken 'in Synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum.'° It has been well observed, that there are evident breaks after verse 40 and verse 51.'? Probably the succession of events may have been, that part of what is here recorded by St. John d had taken place when those from across the Lake had first met Jesus; e part on the way to, and entering, the Synagogue;' and part as what He spoke in His
• vv. 22, 24
I Westcott, ad loc.
b St. John vi. 53-58
e ver. 59
d vi. 25-65
e vy. 25-36
I vv. 41-52