Imagini ale paginilor

Passing along, he saw a beggar who had been

a blind from birth, whom he caused to receive sight, having made clay and anointed his eyes, though the Sabbath day. The people who knew him brought him to the Pharisees, who had determined to expel from the synagogue any person who should affirm Jesus to be the Christ, and they questioned the beggar as to how he obtained sight. He replied that Jesus, who was a prophet, had cured him. They would not, however, believe that he had been born blind, but sent for the parents, who, not wishing to commit themselves to any acknowledgment of Jesus, confined themselves to stating the fact that he had been born blind, and professed ignorance of the means by which he now saw, referring them to their son himself for further information. The Pharisees, therefore, again questioned the beggar, and told him to give the glory to God, for Jesus was a sinner and could have had no part in the miracle. But the man insisted it was Jesus who had caused him to see, and that therefore he could not be the sinner they represented him, but a man of God; whereupon they expelled him. But Jesus met him, and asked him if he believed on the Son of God. On his inquiring who the Son of God was, Jesus replied, “ Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that speaketh with thee." ” Whereupon the beggar believed and worshipped him.

Jesus, again teaching in the presence of the Pharisees, announced that he was the Good Shepherd, and the door of the sheepfold, through whom the sheep were to go in and out and find pasture. The Father loved him because he was going voluntarily to lay down his life, that he might take it again. His hearers were again divided in their opinions respecting him.

It was now winter, and the Feast of Dedication, and as the Lord was walking about the temple, the Jews came to him, at Solomon's porch, and asked him not to keep them in doubt, but to say plainly whether he was the Christ. Jesus answered that he had already told them he was, and that the miracles he had done also witnessed to the fact; the reason they did not believe was that they were not of the sheep which God had given him, who follow and obey him, and would therefore never perish, for none could pluck them out of his Father's hand, nor out of his hand, for he and his Father were one (John x. 24-30).

Then the Jews tried again to stone him for blasphemy, because, they said, he represented himself as God. But Jesus denied that his words could bear the construction they sought to put on them. If he had applied the title “God” to himself, it would only be in the subordinate sense in which the word has sometimes been used in the Scriptures, as, for example, in the eighty-second Psalm, where the title is given to judges, even unjust ones (see verses 1, 2, 6, 7). standeth in the congregation of the mighty ; he judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked ? ... I have said, ye are gods, and all of you are children of

[ocr errors]

“ God

the Most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.” *

Now, the Scripture itself, which cannot be broken, calls these men gods, much more, then, would the Messiah, whom God has sanctified and sent into the world, have a claim to the title, in the subordinate sense of having a divine right to rule and judge ; nevertheless, what Jesus did say, as he told them, was only that he was a Son of God, or the Son of God, i.e. the Christ. "If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do them, . . . believe the works; that ye may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father” (John x. 37, 38). Then they again tried to take him, but he escaped.

Then Jesus left Jerusalem and went out of Judea across the Jordan, stopping for some time at the place where John had at first baptized, and many came to him there and believed on him, both because of the miracles he had wrought, and because of John's testimony. While there, word came from Bethany a suburb of Jerusalem, of the illness of Lazarus, who

According to Ewald (translated by Rev. E. Johnson, M.A.), it reads thus :

“God stands in divine assembly,
Judging in the midst of gods.
• How long will ye to judge unrighteousness,
And with the wicked to be pleased ?'


[blocks in formation]

“I thought ye were gods,

Sons of the Highest, all of ye :
But as men shall ye die,
And at once, ye princes fall !”

“ Commentary on the Psalms,” vol. ii. p. 142.

lived at that place, and whose sisters, Martha and Mary, earnestly requested the Lord to come thither and save him, for they believed on Jesus, and were beloved by him, as was also their brother. But the Saviour delayed his visit till Lazarus died, on purpose that his disciples' faith might be confirmed by a striking display of his power. Accordingly, he did not arrive till his friend had been four days dead; and Martha reproved him for not having come in time, yet intimated her belief, that even now if Jesus prayed for his restoration to life, the prayer would be granted.

Jesus told her her brother would rise again. She answered that she knew he would at the general resurrection ; to which the Lord replied, “I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die. Believest thou this?” “Yes, Lord,” returned she. “ I have believed that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, even he that cometh into the world." Mary also came weeping, and, falling down before Jesus, said, “ Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” Many Jews, friends of the family, gathered round, were also weeping, and Jesus wept with them. But going to the tomb, and having prayed silently, Jesus then audibly thanked God that his prayer was heard, for the sake of the bystanders (that they might know the power to raise the dead was divine, and not diabolic), and he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” And the dead man came to life, and

[ocr errors]

was restored to his friends. This striking miracle caused many of the Jews who were present to believe on Jesus; but others, apparently sceptical, went and told the Pharisees what had been done.

Thereupon a grand council was held, and though it was admitted many miracles had been wrought by Jesus, yet they feared that if all the people believed on him, and made him king, the Romans would utterly destroy their separate nationality. But the high priest Caiaphas uttered a prophecy that it was necessary for Jesus to die to save the nation, and to gather together the scattered children of God from all parts of the world.

From that time it became a question how to procure the death of Jesus, who therefore withdrew into the country with his disciples, where he remained till six days before the Passover, when he came again to Bethany. Many Jews came to see him there, and to see Lazarus, who had been raised from the dead. On the day after his return, the Lord rode into Jerusalem on a young ass, and crowds of people came to meet him with palm-branches, hailing him as the King of Israel (Mary of Bethany had anointed his feet with very costly ointment, but only for his burial Jesus said), chiefly because of the great miracle of the raising of Lazarus. The Pharisees saw that their influence was quite powerless against the enthusiasm of the whole people.

Among those who came to the feast were some Greeks, who wished to see Jesus. When he saw them,

« ÎnapoiContinuați »