« ÎnapoiContinuați »
lived at that place, and whose sisters, Martha and Mary, earnestly requested the Lord to come thither and save him, for they believed on Jesụs, 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 çame 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 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, he told them the hour was come that the Son of man should be glorified, and said that a grain of wheat, unless it died, was useless for purposes of fructification ; but if it died, it bore much fruit—thus alluding to his own approaching death. Then he told them his soul was troubled; but should he then ask God to save him from the hour of death? No; it was for that he came. For being lifted up (on the cross), he would draw all men to him. He would not ask, therefore, to be saved from that death-hour, but would rather ask his Father to glorify his name, which he did ask. A voice then came from heaven in the hearing of the people, for whose sake indeed it was given : "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." Jesus told them the time had arrived to judge the world, and that the prince of this world would be cast out.
Some time after this, but before the commencement of the Passover feast, Jesus, being at supper with his disciples, washed their feet, as an example to them to perform similar acts of kindness to each other; and told them to love each other as he had loved them, and to show their discipleship by their love. He predicted the denial of Peter, and again his betrayal by Judas, who retired from the room.
Jesus then spoke to them many words of comfort, and blessed them, telling them that they would hereafter understand the spiritual union that subsisted between himself and the Father, for they would share it, and be able to perform as mighty miracles as he had
done, and yet greater. The spirit of truth would come to them after he had gone, would cause them to remember his teachings, and would lead them into all truth, revealing things to come. If they remembered and obeyed, they would thereby show their love, and the love would be mutual, as it is with himself and the Father. His chief command is that they love one another. The world will hate them, and persecute them, as it does himself. But they are to be of good cheer: he has overcome the world; he came from God, and is going to God. His disciples see that he knows all things, and confess their belief that he came from God (John xvi. 30).
Jesus then prayed to the Father, the only true God, saying, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that he may give life everlasting to those whom thou hast given him; that is, the knowledge of thyself, and of Jesus the Christ whom thou hast sent. This knowledge, Jesus said, he had communicated, and had finished the work given him to do, and he was therefore glorified in his disciples. He went on to pray
for them, that after his departure they might be kept from the evil of the world ; and he prayed not only for his present disciples, but for all who should hereafter believe through their teaching, that they also should be sharers in the mystic union, "as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may
that they may be one, even as we are one" (John xvii. 21, 22).
Then Jesus went across a brook to a garden, where
be in us;
he had often resorted, he and his disciples, and while there, Judas conducted to this retreat the officers and soldiers sent to arrest him. But Jesus went forth to meet them, and asked whom they sought. And on their answering, “ Jesus of Nazareth,” he said to them distinctly, “I am he;" and his resolute bearing so awed them, that they went backward and fell to the ground. Jesus told them, if they wanted himself, to let his disciples go. Peter, however, drew his sword, and cut off the ear of a slave of the high priest, on which Jesus commanded him to sheathe his sword, saying, “The cup which the Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?"
And when Jesus was bound and conducted to the palace of the high priest, Peter and another disciple followed. This disciple was known to the high priest, and he took Peter with him into the palace where Jesus was, who had been brought first before Annas, the high priest's father-in-law, and from him to the high priest Caiaphas; Peter three times denying all knowledge of his Master before cockcrowing, as had been predicted by him.
In the morning Jesus was led into the Roman fortress, before Pontius Pilate ; but the Jews did not go in, for fear of defilement, as the Passover was near at hand. Pilate therefore went out, and asked them of what they accused Jesus. Having had an evasive reply, he returned and asked the Lord if he claimed to be King of the Jews. Jesus replied that his kingdom was not of this world, else his servants would have