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divine power, and explicitly acknowledged his high character as the Messiah. Mary seems to have been more overwhelmed with grief; but when Jesus called for her, she also shewed him honour by rising hastily and coming to him. Her words shewed a like persuasion of our Lord's supernatural power ; and yet that he would restore one to life who had lain in the grave during four days, and had seen corruption, was too great and stupendous a miracle to enter their imaginations. We also read that, when Simon the leper received Jesus at Bethany, Lazarus sat at meat, Martha served, and Mary anointed our Lord with very precious ointment, and even wiped his feet with her hair: which act of respect, and of gratitude for raising her brother from the dead, our Lord not only graciously received but extolled, and expressed a lively sense of it. The evangelist St. John informs us that towards these three disciples Jesus had conceived a m friendship ; which was founded, no doubt, on their eminently good qualities. His regard for Lazarus appears to have been well known : for, when he wept as he was going to Lazarus's tomb, the Jews mistook the cause of his tears, and said, “n Behold how he loved him."
Our Lord's benevolent disciple St. John, whose writings breathe so remarkable a spirit of love, has • five times mentioned himself under the description of“ the disciple whom Jesus loved ;” and has P thrice
c. xiii. 23.
Jolin xii. 2-8. and p. p. xix. 26. xx.2. xxi. 7, 20.
in John xi. 3, 5. np. 36.
recorded the circumstance that he reclined in the
circumstance by which it was expressed. And we may observe that, when our Lord's mother was committed to his care, duty and friendship seem to have jointly operated on his mind : for“ from 9 that hour,” in the day of his Lord's abasement, and before the triumph of his resurrection, this “ disci. ple” as he humbly styles himself, “ took her to his own home."
Worthiness of character always struck and engaged our Lord. When a person, whom St. Matthew twice calls a ' youth, declared that he had kept the commandments from his earliest years, we read that Jesus s beheld and loved him.
Our Lord acted towards all his immediate followers as his friends : " I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body.” And particularly his language of comfort and support at leaving them was the language of friendship : my " friends, if ye do whatever I command you." Though I am your lord and master, and my disciples may be properly called my servants and God's; if ye obey me“ I no longer call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his master doeth : but I call you friends : for all things [expedient for you] which I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you.”
" Ye are
9 John xix. 27. ic. xix. 20, 22. • Mark x. 21. Luke xii. 4. • John xy. 14, 15. w See same further remarks on this subject, p. i. c.... sect. 10, p. 50, 1,
OF OUR LORD'S CONDUCT TOWARDS THOSE IN AUTHORITY, AND
TOWARDS HIS COUNTRY.
AFTER having viewed our Lord in his domestic and private connections ; let us now consider him as a member of civil society, and as a part of a great community together with his other countrymen the Jews.
And here we may observe that he did not exceed the limits of his commission as a prophet and relig. ious teacher. When one said to him, “Lord command my brother to divide with me the inheritance;" his reply was, “ Man, who appointed me a judge or a divider over you ?” And he proceeded, as his proper province required, to deliver precepts against covetousness, and against anxiety in worldly affairs. Again : when an b adulteress was brought to him in the temple, and the Pharisees thus addressed him, “ Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned; but what sayest thou ?” he wisely answer. ed them, “Let him that is without sin among you, first cast a stone at her.” And though
And though he did not condemn the woman judicially, which would have been involving himself in civil affairs, he directly condemned her as a divine teacher, “Go, and sin no more."
a Luke xij. 13, 14.
b John viji, 1–11. See p. i, c. ü. sect. 8, p. 130
When the è didrachm for the service of the temple was required of him under the authority of the Jewish rulers, though he might have pleaded an exemption as the lineal descendant of king David, yet not to offend them, as irreverent towards the temple, either by this plea or by that of poverty and his want of a settled habitation, he wrought a miracle to pay the accustomed tribute money. On another occasion, when he was questioned about the lawfulness of paying tribute to Cesar, he raised the wonder of those who asked him by the fitness of his reply : “ Render to Cesar the things that are Cesar's, and to God the things that are God's.”
With respect to religious teachers, though as a prophet he very freely reproved those among the Jews who were unworthy of that character, yet he enforced the proper kind of repect due even to such : “ The e Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' chair : All things therefore whatsoever they command you to observe, [meaning such things as were agreeable to the law of Moses,] those things observe and do.”
But though our Lord's conduct was reverent to all in authority, it was not slavish. While he was in Galilee, a province under Herod's jurisdiction, some Pharisees said to him, “Depart and go hence ; for Herod seeketh to kill thee. And he said unto them, Go and tell that ' fox, [that crafty and cruel prince,] Behold I cast out demons, and I do cures, to day and to morrow ; and the third day I shall be
e Matt. xvii. 24.
dib. xxii. 21.
eib. xxiii. 2.
Luke xiii. 31,2
When“ the & high priest asked Jesus of his disci. ples and of his doctrine; Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world ; I always taught in the syna. gogue and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort ; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me ? ask them who heard me what I spake unto them; behold they know what I have said.” This is the language of prophetic authority, of conscious innocence, and of just wonder that his judge made no regular appeal to the testimony of witnesses : and throughout the whole of his trial we must bear in mind that, agreeably to the singular circumstances in which he was placed, he had previously determined not to use the natural means of averting death. When he was afterwards adjured by the liv. ing God to say whether he were the Christ or not ; he answered with dignity as a prophet, “ If I tell you, ye will not believe ; and if I also ask you (such questions, as should lead you to a conviction of my Messiahship,] ye will not answer me nor release me.” He then added, in deference to the high priest's adjuration, “ I am: and hereafter ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the powerful God, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” When Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? conscious that the most vigilant governor could not have discovered any thing seditious in his conduct, he first i observed that the suggestion came from his accusers, and that his kingdom was of a spiritual nature : he then confessed that he was a King, and
h Luke xsji. 67, 8, 9. and p. p.
& John xviii. 19, 20, 21. John xvii. 34