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Lord on His heavenly throne wrought with them, and confirmed the word with accompanying signs.
Thus in the announcements of the Risen One, sounds forth in practical form the word: Behold! the Lion of the tribe of Juda hath prevailed. This Gospel is the Gospel of His all-conquering divine power, which subdues the world, which delivers it from all evil, which forms it into a new paradise, where a blessed fulness of the Spirit's gifts, inviolability, and unadulterated happiness and well-being prevail.
1. After the delineation given of the fundamental idea of the second Gospel, the living connection of the last chapter with the whole, its organic unity, and its peculiar characteristics, reflecting in every part the individuality of Mark, are so evident, that there is no need of any further refutation of the opinion, that the concluding part, from ver. 9 onwards, is spurious.' One may assert with confidence, that the fundamental idea of the Gospel first perfectly unfolds itself at the close, as in a crown of blossoms, —that the Gospel nowhere betrays the hand of Mark so clearly as here. This conclusion, which describes the victorious power of the disciples of Jesus over all the hostile powers of the world, and whose symbolical elements cannot be questioned, corresponds at the same time in a striking manner with the beginning, which depicts the Lord as He sojourned in the wilderness, secure and unconcerned, amongst the wild beasts. As regards the details, one must here repeat almost every separate clause in order to note the peculiarities of Mark. The circumstance that the two women, still late on the Saturday, purchase the ointments; then that they were already on their way before sunrise; the rising sun; the great heavy stone in the depression at the door of the sepulchre, and the perplexity of the women; their extraordinary astonishment, excitement, and fear; the commission to bring a
1 Whilst perhaps it may be regarded as a later addition from the hand of Mark himself. See vol. i. p. 181. Comp. De Wette's defence of the genuineness of this passage. See likewise Gfrörer, p. 206. According to the latter, Mark, in his attempt to reconcile the statements of the other Gospels, threw the pen from his hand in despair at the end of the 8th verse : years later, however, he took it up again and wrote the conclusion. VOL. VI.
special Easter message to Peter; the unbelief of the disciples; the upbraiding of the disciples for their unbelief, as it occurs in Mark on several occasions; the instruction to preach the Gospel to every creature; the additional clause (which Mark alone has): He that believeth, and is baptized, etc.; the promise of miraculous powers; the haste of the Evangelist towards the close; the concluding word concerning the manifestations of Christ's power, which seal the preaching of the disciples: all these are features in which the fresh and vivid conception of this Evangelist discovers itself.
2. With reference to the points of divergence between Mark and the other Evangelists, see above, vol. v. p. 56, etc. As regards the order of time, all the statements down to ver. 14 belong to the first Sunday of the resurrection period. The following part is arranged without any determination of time. Nevertheless the point of the ascension is to be distinguished from those which possess a more general character What precedes the 19th verse is a picture of the forty days. The conclusion reaches beyond the feast of Pentecost, and indeed points far out into the Acts of the Apostles and the history of the Church.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE; OR, THE REPRE
SENTATION OF THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST SYMBOLIZED BY THE FORM OF A MAN.
GENERAL VIEW AND DISTINCTIVE CHARACTERISTICS.
Whilst the Gospel of Mark represents the life of Christ as a self-originated, underived, divine power, casting down all opposing forces, building up all the shattered powers of man, and thus accomplishing redemption; we find in the Gospel of Luke the life of Jesus apprehended and described in all its relations to humanity--especially to human nature in its moral aspects.
These relations form a special side of Christianity, above all, of the life of Christ, the Son of man. It is an essential law in the vocation of man to exhibit a life free yet conditioned, or conditioned yet free, in the divine freedom of an absolutely limited being; that is, in pure, holy humanity (see above, vol. v. p. 207); hence especially in the virtues of humanity—in compassion, mercy, the healing of the sick, the recovery of the wretched. And in this respect also, did Christ recognise and embody in perfect beauty the end of human life, misunderstood and obscured by man himself. He, the Son of man, revealed the august majesty of God in the tender, gracious forms of perfected humanity. His life is thus infinitely rich in most expressive and manifold traces of His God-revealing humanity (see above, vol. v. p. 210). The Evangelist Luke was commissioned to describe the life of Jesus from this special point of view. He was a Gentile Christian, and a helper of Paul, the great apostle of the Gentiles ; and as such had had occasion to fix his thoughts on the inalienable relationships between God and the whole human race, as these had been illustrated by the life of Christ, and especially in the great contrast of law and grace. To this must be added, that he was an educated Greek; and thus, from his earliest culture, prepared, as well as disposed, to look for and to contemplate the divine in the fair image of humanity. Lastly, he was a physician ; and could thus appreciate the task of Him, who being Himself whole, seeks a true representation of God not in formations of brass and marble, but in the recovery and restoration of the noble but diseased material of suffering human life. These historical qualifications, however, would still not have sufficed to fit him for the work of the third Evangelist, had not his personal individuality been in correspondence with them. Everywhere we recognise in him that gracious, humane, courteous character, which, under the guidance and control of the Spirit of God, was altogether suited to depict the life of Christ in the third fundamental form of His glory (see above, vol. i. p. 258).
It is in accordance with this character of his Gospel, that it is provided with a literary preface, which bears the marks of humane, specially of scientific culture (chap. i. 1-4); that, in an introductory biographical narrative, it goes back to the earliest commencement of the individual history of Jesus (chap. i. 5–80); that it further gives the most detailed account of His birth in the historical circumstances which attended it, and in its relation to the history of the world—as, for example, in the several particulars of His first entrance into life (stable and manger), His circumcision, and His dedication in the temple ; and that it tells how already this birth enriches the poor, and renews the youth of age, and spreads far around a new light of hope (chap. ii. 1-40). The same feature is observable in the suggestive fact, which it communicates from the middle of the youthful history of Jesus (chap. ii. 41-52). Quite in the same manner of representation, the commencement of the public life of Jesus is determined chronologically, and according to the political circumstances of the time, with great exactness. The Evangelist then shows us the threefold attestation given to Christ on undertaking His ministry. The first is the theocratic, through the instru
mentality of John the Baptist; the second is the voice from heaven; the third lies in His human genealogy, which goes
back to Adam in his true humanity and formation after the image of God, and through him to God Himself (chap. ii.). With this threefold attestation from without, corresponds the confirmation given by Christ Himself in His victory over the tempter in the wilderness (chap. iv. 1-13). The history then unfolds itself from the point of view of a holy residence on earth—a holy pilgrimage in accordance with His character as the Son of man. The first station, so to speak, from which Jesus takes His departure, is His native town, Nazareth (chap. iv. 14-30). The second station of His pilgrimage is Capernaum, where He fixes His residence, with a view to make this the centre of His evangelistic journeyings throughout Galilee (chap. iv. 31-44).
On the occasion of the first journey undertaken from Capernaum, the preparation for His departure is prominently put forward; after which, a compendious exhibition of the Gospel is presented, first in acts, and then in words (v. 1-vi. 49). On this follows the first return of Jesus to Capernaum, and the expansion of the Gospel horizon by the healing of the servant of a Gentile centurion (vii. 1-10). The second journey of Christ introduces us to a series of deeds and teachings, in which the Gospel unfolds itself with ever increasing power (vii. 11vii. 21). To this succeeds His third journey, which has for its central fact the crossing of the lake, and ends in the mission of the apostles (viii. 22-ix. 6). Thereafter Jesus retires into a desert place, and prepares for His departure to Jerusalem, more especially by the history of His transfiguration (ix. 7–50). Accordingly His departure now takes place, and the frustration of His proposed journey through Samaria has for its result the sending forth of the seventy disciples (ix. 51-x. 37). The Evangelist then imparts to us various single incidents in the journey of Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem. Without regard to chronological order, these particulars arrange themselves, according to their matter, into a picture of the journey of believers into the kingdom of God, or into a representation of the doctrine of salvation in facts (x. 38-xviii. 30). The end of the journey is the progress of Jesus towards Jerusalem, and His public entry into the city (xviii. 31-xix. 48). Its immediate result is His contest with the Sanhedrim in the temple (xx. 1