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standing, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, that is more than all burnt-offerings and sacrifices.' And Jesus, when He saw that he answered discreetly, said unto him, 'Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.'
After that durst no one ask Him any question. On the other hand, Jesus now submitted to them as an answer—to all that had been said the counter-question, whilst He taught in the temple, 'How say the scribes how can they say—that Christ is the son of David? for David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit Thou on my right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. David therefore himself calleth Him Lord; how is He then his son?'
And a great part of the people heard Him gladly; and in His discourse He now spoke unto them as follows: Beware of the scribes, who love to go about in long garments, and love salutations in the market-places, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost seats at feasts: they who devour widows' houses, and for appearance make long prayers-these shall receive the greater damnation.'
Then Jesus set Himself over against the chest for the offerings, and beheld how the people cast money into it. And many that were rich cast in much. And there came a poor widow and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans (farthing1). Jesus called His disciples unto Him, and said, 'Verily I say unto you, This poor woman hath cast in more than all they which have cast into the treasury. For they all cast in of their abundance; but she of her poverty hath cast in all that she had, her whole living.'
When the Lord now went out of the temple, one of His disciples said unto Him, 'Master, behold what stones and what buildings!' Jesus answered him, 'Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.'
These were the two last days which Jesus spent in the temple. They had pre-eminently the character of judgment. This judgment was anticipated by the solemn silent inspection of the temple, which Jesus had made the day previously. It
The fourth part of an as. The as was equivalent to three farthings. The quadrans is the sixteenth part of a denarius.
was introduced by the curse pronounced on the fig-tree, and by the stern character of the cleansing of the temple by Jesus. It then unfolded itself immediately, on the second morning, in the great contest of the whole Sanhedrim with the Lord. Yet even in this contest was one nobler character among the scribes to be found, the scribe who had the last conversation with the Lord. Before taking farewell of the temple, the Lord depicts the character of His enemies. Its worst feature is, that they devour widows' houses, whilst, for the sake of good appearance, they make long prayers. The verdict of Jesus, however, regarding the widow's mite shows that He takes leave of the temple in the spirit of perfect peace, although the judgment that must fall on it already stands so sure before His soul, that it is as if the beautiful buildings of the temple were even now only like a dream of the night before His eyes, and the eyes of His disciples; and He can ask him who shows them to Him, Seest thou them indeed, these great buildings?
We owe to the Evangelist Mark the intelligence, that Jesus visited the temple three days in succession; that the cursing of the fig-tree took place on the morning of the second day; and the remark of the disciples, that it was dried up on the morning of the third. This historical distinctness Gfrörer, without ground, seeks to explain from an endeavour on the part of Mark to make an interval of time to elapse between the cursing of the fig-tree and its withering (179). Mark alone, in noticing that the figtree was without fruit, observes: It was not yet the time of figs; by which he gives occasion to the right apprehension of this fact (see Ebrard, Gospel History 377). In the cleansing of the temple, he makes the special observation: Jesus permitted not that any one should carry a vessel through the temple; that is, Christ suffered that day no vessels which served for common use eating utensils, and the like, within the precincts of the temple. In quoting the words of Christ, My house shall be called a house of prayer,' he has the important supplementfor all people (according to Isa. lvi. 7). The fig-tree, according to his life-like representation, is dried up from the roots. The application which Jesus makes of the withering of the fig-tree to the faith of the disciples, is most fully given by him;
and especially, he alone has the two remarks, that in the work of faith one must entertain no doubt in his heart, and that in the prayer of faith he must purify his heart from all ill will to his neighbour (ver. 23 et seq.). Among the Jewish hierarchy, who ask the Lord for His credentials, he quotes specially also the scribes. A fine precision, again, is observable in the abrupt termination of the sentence, ver. 32: Shall we say, of men-as chap. vii. 11. Chap. xii. 1, he has the more exact vπoλýviov, trough of the wine-press (instead of the term Aŋvós in Matthew). As regards the despatching of the servants in the parable of the lord of the vineyard, he follows a more exact order than Matthew. According to Mark, the killing of the heir precedes the casting him out of the vineyard; whilst Matthew and Luke place these in the opposite order. The latter results from the reference of the parable to the crucifixion of Christ: the former is more accordant with the idea of the occurrence, which forms the basis of the parable. Mark makes the Lord Himself answer the question, what the lord of the vineyard shall do to the wicked husbandmen. The second question addressed to the Lord by His enemies, who came to tempt Him, among whom the Evangelist quotes also the Herodians, chap. xii. 15: Shall we give (tribute), or shall we not give? is quite in the spirit of his narrative. He calls the wickedness of these men hypocrisy. The temptation on the part of the Sadducees is given by him with special detail. At the conclusion Jesus says to them once more, Ye do greatly err. Very peculiar is the statement of the third discussion, in which the scribe who addresses the Lord appears in a favourable light (vers. 28-34). The tracing back of the unity of the commandments to the unity of God (by which, consequently, their inward sameness in the chief commandment is expressed), ver. 32, is here of special importance. As Mark has preserved only one of the last parables of Jesus addressed to His enemies, he has also mentioned from the rebuke administered by the Lord only one reproof, the sharpest of all, ver. 40. He makes the whole weight of it fall on the scribes (ver. 38). The significant account, how the Lord placed Himself opposite to the chest of the offerings, he gives in more detail than Luke. Characteristic is the application of the disciples in behalf of the temple, as given by the Evangelist. A disciple says: TOTAжOÌ λίθοι, καὶ ποταπαὶ οἰκοδομαί!
GENERAL FEATURES OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE END OF THE WORLD.
(Chap. xiii. 3-37.)
Immediately afterwards, we find the Lord sitting on the Mount of Olives, over against the temple-probably still on the same evening. Here the four disciples, Peter, James, John, and Andrew, asked Him privately, 'Tell us, when shall these things be? and what is the sign when all these things shall be accomplished?' Then Jesus, in order to give them an answer, began to speak-expressed Himself in the following words: "Take heed that no man deceive you! For many shall come and say, I am he! and shall deceive many. And when ye shall hear of wars, and rumours of wars, be not troubled: for thus it must be; but that is not yet the end. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be earthquakes from place to place, and there shall be famines and commotions: these are the beginning of throes-the pains of the world's travail. But take ye heed only to yourselves. For they shall deliver you up (over) to the sanhedrims, and to the synagogues; ye shall be (there) beaten (scourged); and ye shall stand before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony unto them. And among all nations must first (before the end) the Gospel be published. But when they shall lead you away, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, and trouble not yourselves; but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and the children shall rise up against the parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake. But he that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved.'
So much, regarding the whole course of human history to the end of the world.
As regards, however, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the judgments therewith connected in particular: 'When ye shall see the abomination of desolation, of which the prophet Daniel
hath spoken, standing where it ought not (let him that readeth understand), then let them (the disciples) that be in Judea (in contradistinction from those of Galilee) flee to the mountains (to Perea); and let him that is on the house-top not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take anything out of his house; and let him that is in the field not turn back again to his house, to fetch his upper garment. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. For in those days shall be affliction, such as hath not been from the beginning of the creation, which God created, unto this time, and such as shall no more be. And except that the Lord shortened those days, no flesh should be saved; but for the elect's sake, whom He hath chosen, the days shall be shortened (made more tolerable). And then, if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, Lo, He is there; believe it not. For false messiahs (Christs) and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed; behold! I have foretold you it all.'
This is the judgment in the course of the world's history, as it begins with the destruction of Jerusalem.
The conclusion of it is the end of the world, and this makes its appearance in the form described as follows: 'But in those days -of silently advancing judgment,-after that tribulation-the destruction of Jerusalem-the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall -appear as falling stars,—and the powers of heaven shall be shaken-and thereby transformed. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds, with great power and glory. And then shall He send His angels, and shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.'
In reference to the signs preceding the divine judgments, Jesus expressed Himself in the following parable: 'From the fig-tree learn this parable: When its branch is now full of sap, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near. in like manner, when ye shall see these things-the signs already mentioned come to pass, know that it-the judgment itself—is nigh, even at the door."