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The emotion in Jesus which supported every contention with the rulers of the Jews, was that the world might know the power of God the Father manifested in holy men. 11To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. 12 For this purpose was the Son of God manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil, and that we henceforth should not be servants to the law, but of Christ. 18The power of God, and the wisdom of God, has been manifested by the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ. 14God who commanded the light to shine cut of darkness, hath shined into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ. 15 This is life eternal, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. Our regeneration is by assimulation. 16We shall be like him when we shall see him as he is. To know Jesus Christ aright, is to see our great salvation, which is life eternal. 17For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosover should have faith like him, should not perish, but should have everlasting life.
Jesus was God's perfected man. 18 In him dwelt the fulness of Jehovah bodily; and we are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power. He was the visible expression, of what God by inspiration had taught the patriarchs and the prophets. 19My Father worketh hitherto and
I work. The entire force of the life of Jesus Christ was in appeals to the consciousness of truth in men. In his last and great struggle with his stoutest enemies, he rested the contention with the statement, that he could not make them turn from their evil ways, because they would not. God cannot make men do what they will not. His power over men, is in making them willing. 201 have called and ye refused, I have stretched out my arm and no man regarded. The triumphs of Jehovah over the wills of men have been with more lasting effect, than victories on the battle field, or the achievements of civilization by the operations of the law. Profane history is a recital of wars and upheavals of dissatisfied peoples. But the Bible is a life-giving power, because in it is the manna, upon which men may feed and gain power to rise above the sorrows and the corruption of sin.
The greatness of Jesus is not that he was a scholar, nor a statesman, nor an orator, nor a philosopher, but it was in his love for men. 21 He made himself of no reputation, but took upon him the form of a servant. His birthplace was with peasants, but in a pious, respectable family. He accepted no official position, as a citadel of authority. His sayings were not conclusions from premises by logical inferences; but were the announcements of the intuitions of truth. He announced no system of philosophy. He gave no confession of faith, to maintain orthodoxy of belief among his followers; and upon which they might rest a profession of religion. He gave no rules for righteous living. He formulated no creed, and gave authority for none. He anchored his cause in no organization, neither civil nor ecclesiastic. He regarded not his own interests, nor even the individuality of the great
-Prov. 1:24. *Phil. 2:7.
movement of which he was the head, save in its effects to bring the people into the kingdom of heaven.
He compounded with none of the powers of the flesh. His words are beyond refutation, because their strength and the power of his life is the living truth. He was above legalism in all its forms, whether in civil laws, or ecclesiastic forms of thought. In all Jesus ever said or did, he never made a rule to dominate over the consciences of men, nor did he ever attempt to coerce their wills. He inveighed against the entire principle of being under the authority of law, especially as touching righteous living. 22In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. Rising higher than the ten commandments, he declared that the sole dominion for men, including the entire transactions of the business world, religion both in belief and practice, rests on two great principles, which in fact are one, namely, 23 Thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Thou shalt love Jehovah, who is God with all the powers of thy life. There is nothing that we should appreciate as we do the Jehovic life in us, and quicken it into its fullness by communion with the great fountain of all life, and in love for the same life in men about us.
The absolute empire of the divinity in men through its holiness of life, as taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ, renders him at once unique, and to transcend all others. He waked mightier emotions in men than self-interest, and the lesson of his life is, that the strength of men is not in their natural powers. 24 Deny thyself, take up thy cross to follow me, and no one has had the following he has.
* Math. 15:9. * Math. 22:37.
25During his ministry the multitude thronged, and the people pressed one against another wondering at the gracious words which proceeded from his lips. When his talks were ended they went away saying, Never man spake like this man; for he spoke with authority, and not as the scribes. Yet he was not regarded as an orator by the scholars of his day, nor has he been so cannonized by classics since. He did not use the speech of the orators of Rome, nor the language of the philosophers of Greece. He used the words of the common people, and the authority by the living truth, with which he spoke, men have not been blasphemous enough to style, either eloquence, or philosophy.
Though not understood by his own disciples, and bitterly opposed by the rulers, yet his life was so potent that in a few months he had more followers than John the Baptist. It seemed as if the whole world would believe on him. The common people were so thoroughly aroused under his preaching, that Paul speaks of Jesus having been seen by over five hundred at one time. These were people living in Galilee, probably in one neighborhood, and who had been sincere followers of Jesus before his crucifixion. As many might have been found in the other neighborhoods of Galilee, or in Judea, or in parts of Samaria, or in the countries round about. Indeed it hardly could have been otherwise, for the thousands who were healed by him, busy from morning till night, seemed to have been on the condition, 28 If thou canst believe? 27Thy faith hath made thee whole.
*Mark 8:34 **Luke 4:22. %Mark 9:23. *Mark 5:34.
The Pharisees the last men to concede his popularity and admit his influence, when convened in their highest council said, 28 Perceive ye, how ye prevail nothing? Behold the world has gone after him. And declared, 29If we let this man alone, all the world will believe on him, and the Romans shall come, and take away both our place and nation.
The Jews were the wealthy men, the money lenders of the world. The Romans had conquered the nations of the earth, and held the political dominion of the world. The Emperor at Rome held the scepter, and was the civil governor of the world, but the Jews at Jerusalem dictated the economic movements. The two great powers were with unfriendly demeanor, the one to the other. The social world surged in the agitation from the influence of the contending parties, and rocked between the two great centralized forces, striving for the mastery over men.
The influence of Jesus became so great that the board of trade at Jerusalem, became alarmed to such an extent for the safety of their holdings, and their positions of authority by the law, that they went to Pilate, the Roman Governor saying, If thou let this man go thou art not Caesar's friend; and forgetting their religious prejudice against the Gentile government, openly declared themselves, as willing servants of Caesar, if Pilate would put Jesus to death. Men of wealth and high official position, often have foregone religious and political tenets to save their property, and hold their positions. 30 The same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together. The two great powers by the authority of the law, laid aside their fierce contentions to unite their forces against a
**John 12:19 "John 11:48 "Luke 23:12