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Studies in the Teaching of Jesus & His Apostles

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Studies in the ‘Teaching of

Jesus & His Apostles

By EDWARD I. BOSWORTH

THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATIONS

New York, 1904

‘Theology Library

SCHOOL OF THEOLOBY AT CLAREMONT Califernia

Copyright, 1901, by The International Committee of

Young Men’s Christian Associations 3-0-P 1961-3-04)

|-2 SSOh

Preface.

HESE are simple studies on important topics, and not a com- prehensive presentation of the teaching of Jesus and His apos- tles. In these studies the teaching of Jesus as presented in

the Synoptic Gospels! and in John’s Gospel will generally be separately considered in order justly to bring out the striking peculiarities of each presentation. ‘The critical study of the sources of the Synoptic Gospels has not yet resulted in any theory which, in its application to details, has gained such general acceptance as to warrant its adoption in a work of this character. The teaching of the Synoptic Gospels will, there- fore, be considered as a whole. In the study of the teaching of the “apostles such discrimination will be made between the different types of apostolic teaching as will serve to bring out the peculiarities of each, ‘so providentially preserved in the New Testament, in so far as such > peculiarities may become evident in the consideration of the particular themes selected for study.

\ s\ The general purpose, determining the whole plan of presentation, is “.,to direct the student in his study of the text, and to furnish him such .. \ suggestions as will facilitate rather than prevent the true scholar’s joy of

~\independent discovery. The attainments and previous experience in ~\ Bible study of those who will use this book are so diverse that more of .. direct suggestion must be given than may seem to be demanded by

\ the most advanced students, and more than will be demanded by the ») majority of students when systematic Bible study shall have become

*corsmon in fitting schools and colleges.

! Matthew, Mark and Luke are called Synoptic Gospels because they present the

\ fe of Jesus from a common view-point. They are strikingly similar in subject-mat- YL ter and order of arrangement, while John’s Gospel is constructed on an entirely dif- ferent principle.

Studies in the Teaching of Jesus and His Apostles

Papert

Jesus’ Conception of Himself and His Mission.

Peer Ey The Apostolic Conception of Jesus and His Mission.

PARTolA Jesus’ Conception of the Disciple and his Mission. .

PartIV

The Apostolic Conception of the Disciple and his Mission.

Contents

PAGE PREFACE . BT ee Es SOS ta CT 4 i eae V

PART I

Jesus’ Conception of Himself and His Mission STUDY

1. Jesus’ Announcement of His Messiahship. . . «. 1 II. Jesus’ Conception of the Kingdom of God . «kw Og III. Jesus’ Conception of the Kingdom of God (concluded). 16 IV. Jesus’ Conception of Himself and His Mission vide X28 V. Jesus’ Conception of Himself and His Mission (continued) 30

VI. Jesus’ Conception of Himself and His Mission (con-

REPO ete ee GOT WA es) VG ie a= 6 37 VII. Jesus’ Conception of Himself and His Mission (con- FCO a ee eT ee te ie ie ps ee Ad

VIII. Jesus’ Conception of Himself and His Mission (con- CAD en eh ete ina iw. ew GT

PART II

The Apostolic Conception of Jesus and His Mission

STUDY PAGE

TX2e-Fite Apostolic'Conseiousness . 2 0 Se GI X. The Apostolic Conception of the Life of Jesus . . 69

ix

STUDY

XI. XII.

XIII. XIV.

XV.

PAGE

The Apostolic Conception of the Resurrected Christ . 76

The Apostolic Conception of the Resurrected Christ (concladed) ss) had Cure) Bet eee ee

The Apostolic Conception of the Eternal Christ. . 91

The Apostolic Conception of the Significance of the Death of Jesus. 3 = Sse eo Pe

The Apostolic Conception of the Significance of the Death of Jesus (concluded) a4 Pig) hed Abeeiee oe

PART: Ill

Jesus’ Conception of the Disciple

STUDY

XVI. XVII.

XVIII.

XIX.

XX.

XXI. XXII.

XXIII.

and his Mission

PAGE esus’ Conception of Men as Potential Disciples . abe Pp P

Jesus’ Conception of the Disciple in Relation to Him-

self é 2 : : : e : 5 Solio?

Jesus’ Conception of the Disciple as a Son of the

Heavenly: Father). 0" 5) Se ee

Jesus’ Conception of the Disciple in his Relation to

the Holy:Spwit. "9 | ee ee

Jesus’ Conception of the Disciple in his Relation to

his :Pellow Disciples: +a 5. Fc Mt he > oo eee Jesus’ Conception of the Disciple as a Man of Prayer . 152

Jesus’ Conception of the Disciple as a Man of Prayer (concluded yO rg 1 | sed ee

Jesus’ Conception of the Disciple Extending the King- dom .of (Gad) | cre.) on eae neg Ms eee a

STUDY PAGE

XXIV. Jesus’ Conception of the Disciple Extending the King-

dom of God (concluded ) a Sn Sear Op Jesus’ Conception of the Disciple and his Mission . 179 PART IV

The Apostolic Conception of the ‘Disciple and his Mission

STUDY PAGE

XXV. The Apostolic Conception of the Disciple in the Church . : : 4 F 5 ; : s WBE

XXVI. The Apostolic Conception of the Relation of the Discipleto the’ Holy. Spirit << . .. . . 192

XXVII. The Apostolic Conception of the Disciple in the Dee Ree ae ya ier ms ls « TQG

XXVIII. ‘The Apostolic Conception of the Disciple in Eternity 207 XXIX. A Statement of Personal Testimony . . . . 214 XXX. The Disciple Choosing his Life Work . . . 216

xi

PART I

JESUS’ CONCEPTION OF HIMSELF AND HIS MISSION

Studies in the Teaching of ‘fesus and His Apostks

Srupvy I.—Jesus’ Announcement of Dis fMesstabship

Frrst Day: THe ConcerTion oF MEssIAHSHIP CURRENT AMONG THE JEWS

1. One of the great problems before Jesus was to correct and en- rich the conceptions of Messiahship current among the mass of His countrymen. These conceptions varied among different classes of society. All agreed in expecting Him to be King in the coming «« Kingdom of God ;”’ but men’s conceptions of this Kingdom varied as current ideas of heaven vary to-day, and naturally their conceptions of the King varied with their conceptions of the Kingdom. It is pos- sible to glean the principal features of this conception of Messiahship from the four Gospels and from other Jewish literature that has sur- vived.

z. Read Matt. 2 : 3-6 and John 7: 41, 42, to ascertain the pop- ular expectation regarding His birth-place, but see in John 7 : 27 in- dication of another view, unless, as is quite probable, this last passage simply means that He was expected to come forth suddenly from some unknown place of concealment. Note in Mark 9 : 11 whose re- incarnation was expected to precede Him, and compare Malachi 4: 5 as the basis of the expectation.

3. His kingly functions were involved in the popular designation of Him as the ‘* Anointed,’’ the Hebrew form of which expression has furnished us the word <*Messiah,’’ and the Greek form, the word Christ.’? His royal lineage and office were expressed in the com- mon title, «¢Son of David.’? See Matt. 22:42; Mark 10: 47; John 7:42. David had been promised the throne forever (2 Sam. 7 12-10), and the Messiah, therefore, would necessarily be a Son of David. Cf. Is. 11:1, 10, remembering that «< Jesse’? was David’s father.

4. The Messiah was also currently called «* Son of God?’ (Matt. 16:16; 26:63). The nation had been accustomed to call itself God’s Son’? (Hosea 1:10; 11:1), and to think of its great Messianic head as par excellence God’s Son, as He is called in Ps. 2: 7-12. It needs to be borne in mind that among the Jews this expres- sion, Son of God,’’ was a mere official title, with little of the signifi- cance later given to it by the personality and teaching of Jesus.

5. Note in John 7 : 31 that the Messiah was expected to do won- derful works, and in Matt. 3 : 7-12 that He was expected, in a Mes- sianic judgment, to remove from the nation all that were morally

Studies in the Teaching of “fesus and His Apostles RRR RES TR ETS IEE LT ES I LT

offensive. Yet see in Matt. 16 : 21, 22 that He was thought of, even by the best of the nation, as one who might act unwisely, and be set right by a trusty counsellor. Read carefully Matt. 22: 43-46, not- ing that the Pharisaic theologian did not expect Him to be possessed of such dignity as would make it natural for David to call Him his «* Lord,”’

6. Other features of the popular Messianic expectation appear in Jewish literature of the day, outside the Old and New Testaments. It was expected that the Messiah would be attacked by a coalition of the heathen powers, but would overcome them (4 Esdras 13: 8-11, 32-48). After this conflict He would purify and rebuild Jerusalem (Psalms of Solomon 17 : 25-33), and call home to Palestine the Jews scattered over the world (Psalms of Solomon 11; 17 : 28-34). Then He would begin to administer His world-empire, or «¢ Kingdom of God.’’ The popular view was that this Kingdom would last for- ever (Psalms of Solomon 17:4; John 12:34), although another view, perhaps a little later, was that it would be of limited dura- tion, According to 4 Esdras 7 : 28, 29 the Messiah would die after four hundred years.

7. It is to be said regarding these views that a degree of vagueness characterized them, and that each class probably emphasized those most attractive to it. The Pharisees, whose ideal was a social state in which every member would punctiliously conform to the rabbi’s wearying multitude of interpretations of the Mosaic law, felt no great practical need of a Messiah, except in so far as a Messiah might prove service- able in fending off any who should interfere with the rabbi’s purpose.

The patriotic Zealot, whose watch-cry was ‘* No leader but God,’’ and who was ready on occasion to assassinate the obnoxious Roman official, longed for the Messiah as a deliverer from political bondage. Probably al] classes, even the most pious, agreed in thinking of the Kingdom of God as (1) a political organization, (2) a strictly Jew- ish institution, and (3) as designed to give execution to the Mosaic law. The Messiah was the royal personage under whom these antici- pations would be realized.

8. Among these intense, excitable, racially conceited Jews came Jesus with ideas of Messiahship and the Kingdom of God destined to seem to the Pharisee irreligious, to the Zealot unpatriotic, and to His best friends, for a time, painfully unintelligible and disappointing.

As you worship your Lord to-day, think of Him as once really in this perplexing situation, praying much over it, and steadily facing the prospect of suffering inevitably involved in it.

2

Studies in the Teaching of “fesus and His Apostles

' Srupy I.—Jesus’ Announcement of His Messiabship

Seconp Day: Jesus’ PRELIMINARY CONCEALMENT OF His MEssIAHSHIP ACCORDING TO THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS

1. It required the utmost tact and deftness on the part of Jesus to meet the situation outlined in yesterday’s Study. His task was to modify, in fundamentally important particulars, religious ideas that seemed to those who held them sacred and God-given. The accom- plishment of such a task required time and the prolonged attention of the nation. An abrupt and clear proclamation of His Messiahship would have defeated His purpose. In response to such an announce- ment the more excitable elements iii the nation might indeed have rushed to Him, but they would have immediately fallen away in a re- action of disappointment and impatience, when they discovered that He was not willing to be the kind of Messiah they were looking for, and He would have lost His opportunity to modify their moral ideals. The question to be raised to-day is this: Is there evidence in the Sy- noptic Gospels that Jesus concealed His consciousness of Messiahship from the nation for a considerable time after His first public appear- ance?

2. In the first place ascertain whether the passages which describe the baptism of Jesus, Matt. 3: 13-17; Mark 1: 9-11; Luke 3:21, 22, necessitate the opinion that the heavenly announcement of Mes- siahship was made to any other than John and Jesus. Consider whether Jesus’ first Galilean preaching, Mark 1:14, 15, contained an an- nouncement of His Messiahship. Note also Jesus’ strenuous treatment of the statements made by demoniacs, Mark 3:11, 12, 1: 34.

3. Examine Mark 6: 7-13 to see whether the first preaching of the Twelve included any proclamation of Jesus’ Messiahship. Note par- ticularly Mark 8: 29, 30 and Mark 9: 9.

4. Notice next the evidence in Mark 8: 27, 28 (Matt. 16:13, 14) that well on in His ministry the friendly element in the nation considered Him to be only a prophet, and not the Messiah. If He had definitely announced Himself as the Messiah it would have been necessary to have accepted Him as such, or to have considered Him to be an impostor. It would have been impossible to regard Him as Elijah, for Elijah would surely not claim to be the Messiah.

It is assumed that Jesus’ favorite title, «¢Son of Man,’’ was not a current Messianic designation, and that its constant use did not con- stitute a public declaration of Messiahship.

3

Studies in the Teaching of ‘fesus and His Apostles

Sruvy I.—Jesus’ Announcement of His sHessiabsbip

Tutrp Day: Jesus’ Succestion oF His MEssiIaHsHIP AC- CORDING TO THE SYNOPTIC GosPELS

1, Although Jesus scrupulously refrained from any public proclama- tion of His Messiahship, and suppressed all announcement of it on the part of others, He said and did many things calculated to attract the attention of the nation to Himself as a great prophet sent from God ; and these actions may well have led men here and there to wonder whether He would not turn out to be the Messiah.

z. Examine the following typical passages and determine whether in any case He was understood distinctly and publicly to proclaim Himself the Messiah. Read Matt. 9 : 2-8, noting particularly what v. 8 represents to have been the effect upon the people. Read Matt. 12: 1-8, noting the assumption of superiority to David, the temple, and the sacred Sabbath law ; and determine whether the statements would necessarily be understood to be a formal declaration of Messiah- ship. Read also Matt. 12:28, 41, 42. Consider also the effect produced upon the nation by the miracles Jesus performed in connec- tion with these statements. There are statements in Matt. 10 and in 13:41, that are stronger than any cited above, but they were made privately to His disciples ; and, furthermore, since Matthew’s arrange- ment seems to be logical rather than chronological, they may have been made late in His ministry when He was prepared to disclose His consciousness of Messiahship.

3. Whatever be the impression made upon us by these and other passages, it is evident from Mark 8 : 27, 28 that, well on in His min- istry, the nation did not understand that He considered Himself to be the Messiah, and from Mark 8: 30 it is evident that Jesus did not in- tend that they should.

4. At the end of His public ministry, when He had done all He could to get before the nation His new conception of Messiahship and the Kingdom of God, He presented Himself in the capital in a way that constituted a dramatic, though tacit, proclamation of Messiahship. With this thought in mind read Luke 19: 29-40. Note that it was still very difficult in the final trial to find evidence that Jesus had rep- resented Himself to be the Messiah, and that it was upon His own confession that He was finally convicted (Mark 14: 55-64).

5. State the reasons, as they now appear to you, for Jesus’ pecul- iar method of procedure in the announcement of His Messiahship.

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Studies in the T caching of ‘Fesus and His Apostles

Sruvy I.—Jesus’ Announcement of His fMessiahship

FourtH Day: Jegsus’ PRELIMINARY CONCEALMENT oF His MESsSIAHSHIP ACCORDING TO THE GosPEL OF JOHN

1. The Gospel of John, at first glance, seems to represent Jesus as pursuing a policy in the announcement of His Messiahship quite differ- ent from that portrayed in the Synoptic Gospels. Upon closer in- spection the difference appears less marked.

Here, too, there is some evidence of Jesus’ desire to suppress all announcement of Messiahship. John the Baptist seems to have pro- claimed the Messiahship of Jesus to only a small inner circle of his own disciples (John 1 : 32-36). To the great body of them he spoke of Jesus in general terms, as one far superior to himself (John 1 : 26, 27, 30). The designation, «« Lamb of God” (1 : 29), whatever it may have meant to the Baptist’s mind, could hardly have suggested Messiahship to the average man, engrossed in the kingly aspect of the current Messianic expectation. ‘That the Baptist did not publish the Messiahship of Jesus to the main body of his disciples seems evident from John 3 : 22-26. Read this passage carefully, and note that the Baptist’s disciples seemed surprised and displeased because Jesus was at- tracting more general attention than the Baptist. But if the Baptist had already proclaimed Jesus’ Messiahship, they would have expected this to happen, and would have rejoiced in it. Nicodemus also saw in Jesus nothing more than a teacher sent from God (3: I, 2).

We are to suppose that Jesus and the Baptist had many conferences with each other, and the supposition is near at hand that Jesus laid upon the Baptist the same strict prohibition of any public mention of His Messiahship that the Synoptic Gospels represent Him to have en- forced in the case of the demoniacs and the Twelve. Note in John 3:22, 23 that the Baptist seems to have gone right on preaching the nearness of the Kingdom as he had done before Jesus appeared, and as Jesus himself did (Mark 1:14, 15).

2. There is further evidence that Jesus, at a point well on in His ministry, had made no formal announcement of Messiahship. Read carefully John 10: 24, comparing it with the passage already studied in the Synoptic Gospels, Mark 8:27, 28. The reply of Jesus, 10: 25, 26, asserts that His conduct had been such as would have seemed to them Messianic, if their moral vision had been really clear ; but it is evident that there had been no formal presentation of Himself to the nation as Messiah, or they could not have asked the question.

5

Studies in the Teaching of “fesus and His Apostles

Srupy I.—Jesus’ Announcement of Dis MMessiahship

FirtH Day: Jesus’ ANNOUNCEMENT OF His MEssIAHSHIP ACCORDING TO THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

1. While the Gospel of John, in fundamental agreement with the Synoptic Gospels, represents Jesus as for a time repressing all formal proclamation of Messiahship, it contains certain distinct avowals of Messiahship that do not appear in the Synoptic Gospels. They are, however, either private, or, if public, not entirely free from obscurity, and are never a formal appeal to the nation.

2. Note first the private announcements of Messiahship. Read John 1 : 35-51, and note the recognition of Jesus’ Messiahship with which the first disciples gathered about Him, especially the encourage- ment He gave to Nathanael (49-51).

3. If John 3 : 16-21 contains the words of Jesus, and is not a par- enthetical comment by the author of the Gospel, then in a private conversation with a Jewish senator Jesus plainly declared His Messiah- ship. In any case, vv. 13-15 are the words of Jesus. Consider whether Nicodemus would have understood them to be a declaration of Messiahship.

4. Note in John 4:25, 26 the unreserve with which Jesus ex- pressed Himself, still in private, to one far removed from Jewish respectability. Consider to what extent this declaration was further known in the locality (28-30, 39-42).

5. Read in John 9: 35-38 the account of His disclosure of Mes- siahship to another outcast.

6. What considerations induced Jesus to make to these individuals the revelation of His Messiahship that He withheld from the nation as a whole ?

«<TIt is strange that Christ should often speak His most remarkable words to the least remarkable persons. Here is a woman who for one splendid moment emerges from the unknown, stands as in a blaze of living light, and vanishes into the unknown again. But while she stands she is immortalized, the moment becomes an Eternal Now, in which Christ and she face each other forever, He giving and she re- ceiving truths the world can never allow to die.’’”

Fairbairn, Studies in the Life of Christ.

Studies in the Teaching of “fesus and His Apostles

Stupy I.—Jesus’ Announcement of Dis Messiahship

SixtH Day: Jesus’ ANNOUNCEMENT oF His MeEssIAHsHIP ACCORDING TO THE GosPEL OF JOHN (CONCLUDED)

1. In addition to the distinct announcement of Messiahship made to certain individuals, there is also less of reserve on this subject in His public utterances as recorded in the Gospel of John than appears in the Synoptic Gospels. He speaks of Himself as the «* Son,’’ and of God as the <<‘ Father,’’ in a way that seems to be an application to Himself of the Messianic title, «*Son of God.’’ Note instances of this in John §:17-29.

z. Just what significance the Jerusalem theologians attached to these references to Godas His Father seems uncertain. Sometimes they pretended not to know whom He meant (8:19). At other times they called the expression the raving of a lunatic (10:20). Some- times it seemed to them a blasphemous implication of equality with God (5:17, 18; 10: 30-33). Since their conception of Messiah- ship was a low one, possibly such assertions of special relationship to the Father, far exceeding what would have been involved in the mere official use of the title, would have seemed to them blasphemous even on the lips of one whom they had been inclined to accept as Messiah.

® 3, The Johannine representation of Jesus, as speaking somewhat freely of His Messiahship, is almost wholly confined to the account of His Judean ministry, while the Synoptic presentation is mainly con- cerned with the Galilean ministry. Is there any probability that Jesus could safely speak of His Messiahship with greater freedom to the trained rabbis of Jerusalem, the theological leaders of the nation, than to the people of Galilee? Ifso, why? In this connection con- sider, as having a possible bearing upon the question, Luke 2 : 46-49 ; John 3:1, 2; 12:42, 433 Luke 23: 50-53. Note also the light thrown on the Galilean temper by John 6 : 12-15.

Studies in the Teaching of “fesus and His Apostles NSE Set IE IR BR ROE EN IRs ee

Sruvy I.—Jesus’ Announcement of His Messiahship SEVENTH Day: REVIEW OF THE WEEK

1. The work of the week has introduced a topic of fundamental importance. The central event of all history is the entrance of Jesus into humanity’s life. How could such a being, with standards of con- duct and aims so much higher than those of the men to whom He proposed to come so close, adjust Himself to them? What would He have in common with them? How would He make Himself known tothem ? How would He proceed to transform their ideas without repelling them ?

Review to-day the work of the week, and make your final state- ment of Jesus’ method of procedure in the announcement of His Mes- siahship, and of the reason for it.

«<The greatest problems in the field of history center in the Person and Life of Christ. Who He was, and what He was, how and why He came to be it, are questions that have not lost and will not lose their interest for us and for mankind. For the problems that center in Jesus have this peculiarity: they are not individual, but general—concern not a person, but the world. How we are to judge Him is not simply a curious point for historical criticism, but a vital matter for religion. Jesus Christ is the most powerful spiritual force that ever operated for good on and in humanity. He is to-day what He has been for centuries—an object of reverence and love to the good, the cause of remorse and change, penitence and hope to the bad ; of moral strength to the morally weak, of inspiration to the de- spondent, consolation to the desolate, and cheer to the dying. He has created the typical virtues and moral ambitions of civilized man ; has been to the benevolent a motive to beneficence, to the selfish a per- suasion to self-forgetful obedience ; and has become the living ideal that has steadied and raised, awed and guided youth, braced and en- nobled manhood, mellowed and beautified age. In Him the Chris- tian ages have seen the manifested God, the Eternal living in time, the Infinite within the limits of humanity. . . . For the very great- ness of the work makes it the more necessary that we see the Worker, not as He lives in our faith and reverence, but as He lived on our com- mon earth ; a man looking before and after, speaking as a man, and ‘spoken to by men. . . . By all means let us get near enough

to Jesus to see Him as He really was.’’

Fairbairn, Studies in the Life of Christ. 8

Studies in the Teaching of “fesus and His Apostles

Srupy II.—Jesus’ Conception of the Kingdom of Gov

First Day: ORIGIN OF THE EXPRESSION AND ITS PROM- INENCE IN THE TEACHING OF JESUS

1. We have seen that Jesus could not proclaim Himself Messiah until He had endeavored to prepare the nation to receive such a Mes- siah as He was willing to be. The question that naturally arises, therefore, is, What kind of Messiah was He? What did He con- ceive the chief business ef a Messiah to be? But Jesus’ view of Him- self and of His mission can be rightly understood only when we sec what His view of the Kingdom of God was. In studying the char- acter of a king, the first thing to ascertain is the ideal that he cher- ishes for his kingdom. It will then be in place to inquire by what course of action he praposes to realize his ideal, or what he conceives his chief business to be.

2. The term «* Kingdom of God’’ was current before John the Baptist and Jesus appeared. Read rapidly Daniel 7 : 1-18, which seems to indicate that the Kingdom was called God’s Kingdom in contrast with the various world kingdoms with which the Jews had to do.

3. In the Gospel of Matthew the expression ‘* Kingdom of God ”’ occurs only a few times. Cf. Matt. 4:17 with Mark 1:15, in order to ascertain the expression that most frequently occurs in Mat- thew. The expression found in Matthew is not found elsewhere in the New Testament. Note in Matt. 19: 23, 24 the evidence that the two expressions are synonymous.

4. According to the Synoptic Gospels, one or the other of these expressions was constantly upon the lips of Jesus. Glance rapidly at the following references in the Gospel of Matthew: 4:173; 5:20; 6:10, 333 92353 10:75 13:11, 24, 31, 335 445 45 475 ZOrs hg, 22 2 2.

5. Strangely enough, in the Gospel of John the expression occurs only in the passage 3 : 3-5. Do you see any reason for its absence in this Gospel ? Read John 20: 31, and see whether you detect there one of the characteristic words of the Gospel, that may possibly cor- respond to the idea expressed in the phrase <* Kingdom of God.”

Read Luke 8:1, and try to realize something of the hope and en- “husiasm which Jesus felt, and desired to produce, as He told His agogue audiences that the Kingdom of God was at hand.

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Studies in the Teaching of “fesus and His Apostles

Stupy II].—Fesus’ Conception of the Kinguom of Gov

SeconpD Day: THE NATIONALITY OF THE KINGDOM

1. We have now to take up one by one a few of the principal features in Jesus’ conception of the Kingdom. The first question is, Whom did He propose to have in the Kingdom? Did He propose to admit any besides Jews? ‘The popular idea among the Jews was, that the Kingdom was a Jewish monopoly. Note the evidence in Acts 11:18 and the preceding context, also in Acts 15:1, that, even some years after the resurrection, the apostles and other Christian Jews supposed that the Kingdom was only for the Jews and Jewish pros- elytes.

z. First note the evidence that Jesus, for a time, confined the ef- forts of Himself and His disciples exclusively to the Jews. Read Matt. 10: 5, 6, remembering that there was a large Gentile population in- terspersed among the Jews in Palestine. Read also Matt. 15 : 21-24. What was the reason for this exclusiveness on the part of Jesus ?

3. On the other hand, note the evidence that Jesus foresaw and planned a World-Kingdom in which all nationalities might find a place. Consider Jesus’ conduct on certain occasions. Read Matt. 8 : 5-13, which describes His treatment of a Roman army officer, who, though not a Jew, was so enthusiastic an admirer of the Jewish religion that even the synagogue authorities respected him (Luke 7 : 3-5). The most significant feature of the incident is the remark concerning the Messianic banquet, attributed to Jesus by Matthew in this connection (8:11, 12). Who are the <*sons of the Kingdom ”’ in this pas- sage? Why are they so called? Notice in Matt. 15:28 that He finally made an exception to the exclusive principle in accordance with which He was acting at the time. What bearing, if any, has Matt. 13 : 38 upon this theme?

4. Picture to yourself Jesus looking with powerful penetration through the centuries, and seeing the vision of a great World-Empire, even when His rejection by His own countrymen was a certainty to Him. Let the confidence of Jesus make you confident, as you look out upon the world in which the vision has not yet become a reality.

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Studies in the Teaching of fesus and His A postles

Strupy II].—Jesus’ Conception of the Kinguom of Gos

Tuirp Day: THE NATIONALITY OF THE KINGDOM AC- CORDING TO THE GosPEL OF JOHN

1. The references to a World-Empire become more frequent and clear in the record of the latter part of Jesus’ ministry. Even when the sepulchre seemed, to His quick imagination, vividly opening before Him, and He felt that His body was being prepared for burial, note the confident thought that was uppermost in His mind according to Mark 14:9. Read also Matt. 24:14, and the definite statement made by Him after the resurrection, Matt. 28; 19, 20 (Luke 24: 47). :

2. In the Gospel of John there is no such emphasis laid upon the Jewish character of His mission as in Matt. 10: 5,6. This Gospel was written late in the first century, at a time when the breadth of Jesus’ plan had long been evident. He is represented as going freely to the Samaritans in one instance, and they recognize Him as << the Saviour of the world’? (4: 39-42). The whole outlook of Jesus in chapters 14-17 is world-wide. His disciples are left in the «* world”’ (17:9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16), and are destined to affect the life of the “* world” (17 : 23).

3. Recur again to Jesus’ strongly exclusive utterances, like Matt. 10:5, 6, and note that He was simply continuing the policy God had long been carrying out. Paul, who in his own personal expe- rience passed out from extreme Jewish narrowness of view to great breadth of vision, looked over the long course of history, and discovered that the reason for God’s temporary concentration of at- tention upon a few was that He might, in the end, more effectively include all (Rom. 11 : 32). Jesus seems to have adopted the same policy in selecting and training the Twelve.

4. One of the most impressive features in the life and character of Jesus was the quiet confidence with which He held views that His immediate contemporaries failed to understand. When they failed to catch His conception of a non-Jewish World-Empire, He manifested no nervousness, but was tranquilly confident that in time they would un- derstand Him. The veace of a soul that had come out of eternity seemed to be His.

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Studies in the Teaching of “fesus and His Apostles

Srupy II.—Jesus’ Conception of the Kingdom of Gov

Fourtuy Day: THE ConpITIONS OF ENTRANCE INTO THE KINGDOM ACCORDING TO THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS

1. We have seen that Jesus planned to have others besides Jews in His Kingdom, although His immediate contemporaries did not fully understand this. His radical views were more unmistakably evident in His friendly approach to certain classes of society contemptuously abandoned by the religious authorities of the day, and in His encour- agement of them to expect that they might find a place in the King- dom. The ‘submerged tenth’’ of that day were technically called *<sinners.”? They had fallen away from the synagogue service, and were dropped from all reputable social life. ‘They were the non- church-goers in a society in which church-going was the mark of respectability. Prominent among this class were the <‘* publicans,’’ persons who were willing to make money out of the humiliation of their nation by collecting taxes under the Roman government. Jesus entered so freely and genially into the social life of these persons, that His enemies characterized Him as the boon companion of such, and circulated the slanderous statement that He was over-fond of good food and fine wines (Luke 7:34). In further statement of Jesus’ relation to these classes, summarize the information found in Mark 2: 03-97 9 uke a5 .e dy 213-97 2 90-5055 Maat. Sirs 30.

z. Although Jesus seemed to the religious authorities so scandal- ously lax, He did make certain strenuous demands that seemed to Him more important than those made by the Pharisees (Matt. 5 : 20.)

Consider the requirement made in the following passages : Matt. 4:17; 11: 20; 12: 413 Mark 6: 7-12; Luke 13: 1-5; 15:73 24:47. Write out such a definition of the word «« repent ’’ as you imagine Jesus would have given had He been asked for one, as was John the Baptist (Luke 3 : 8-10). Repent of what? How does it differ from remorse ? To what extent is it intellectual, and to what extent emotional ?

3- Jesus’ fundamental appeal was for an honest life, for a frank ad- mission of all the facts. Consequently, when He stood on the thresh- old of the Kingdom with this call for repentance, He was not making an arbitrary demand, but one, in the very nature of the case, essential to an honest life. The first fact to be frankly admitted is the fact of personal wrongdoing.

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Studies in the T. eaching of “fesus and His Apostles

Sruvy II.—Jesus’ Conception of the Kinguom of Gov

FirtH Day: ConpiTions oF ENTRANCE INTO THE KING- DOM ACCORDING TO THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS (CONCLUDED)

1. Notice the fundamental condition implied in Matt. 7:21, and compare it with Matt. 6: 10. What is the relation of this condition to «* repentance,’’ the condition discussed yesterday ?

z. Consider the condition implied in Matt. 10: 37-39; Luke 14:26, where being the Messiah’s << disciple’’ is equivalent to en- tering the Kingdom, for a <* disciple,’’ or learner,’’ is one who is learning from the Messiah how to live the daily life of His Kingdom. Naturally no one could find a place in the Kingdom, who would not yield supreme allegiance to the King. Since Jesus stands as the rep- resentative of His ‘* Father,’’ consider how this condition is related to the one mentioned in the last paragraph.

3. Consider the condition stated in Matt. 18:3; 19:14. What particular quality of childhood does the context of 18 : 3 indicate that Jesus had in mind?

4. The qualities specified in Matt. 5 : 2-12 are not so much con- ditions to be fulfilled in order to enter, as they are characteristics of life in the Kingdom. Jesus’ frequent words of comfort for the poor, and of warning to the rich, might create the impression that poverty is a condition of admission, but closer examination does not corroborate the impression. Luke 6:20 does not say that only the poor, or those only poor, enter the Kingdom, and in Matt. 19: 23, 24, where the difficulty of entering in is so strongly stated, it is said nevertheless to be possible.

5. Weare not to think of Jesus as standing at the door of the Kingdom trying to keep people out by establishing conditions hard to meet. He stands rather, now as then, inviting all men into His Kingdom, and merely pointing out, with unmistakable clearness, the way to attain the character that alone makes life in the Kingdom de- sirable.

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Studies in the Teaching of fesus and His Aposties ga ili a 2 le tee a eee

Sruvy II.—Jesus’ Conception of the Kingdom of Gov

Sixth Day: ConpITIONS OF ENTERING THE KINGDOM ACCORDING TO THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

1. In the Gospel of John, as has already been seen, the expression «« Kingdom of God”’ occurs in only one passage. Its place seems to be taken by the phrase ‘eternal life.’’ See the trace of a similar identification in the Synoptic Gospels, Mark 9 : 45-47.

2. In the one place in the Gospel of John where the phrase occurs, namely, 3: 3-5, the condition of entering the Kingdom is stated in unique language. _If, in this passage, instead of the expression ‘‘ King- dom of God’’ we read eternal life,”’ its usual equivalent, the ap- propriateness of the language becomes evident. Entering the King- dom is beginning the eternal life, and the beginning of life is naturally called birth. In v. 5 Jesus rebukes the Pharisees, represented by Nicodemus, for having rejected John the Baptist’s water baptism (cf. Matt. 21:24, 25), which stood for repentance (Mark 1 : 4). John had spoken of a water baptism and a Spirit baptism (Mark 1 : 8), and Jesus here adopts and vindicates his message. ‘* You should have repented and been baptized with John’s water baptism, and have been waiting for the Spirit baptism.’? In other words, there is need of repentance and forgiveness for the sin of the past, and of association with the Holy Spirit of God in order to prevent sin in the future.

3. The condition of entering the Kingdom is most frequently stated in the Gospel of John as << believing,’’ the verb << to believe ’’ oc- curring more than ninety times. Note especially 5 : 24; 6: 40-47 ; 9 : 35-38. The object of the << believing ’’ is generally a person. Note the two persons specified in 5: 23, 24 and 6: 40. Why does belief in one involve belief in the other? Cf. 12: 44.

To believe in a person is to accept him as being what he represents himself to be, and to treat him accordingly. To believe in Jesus was to accept Him as what He represented Himself to be, namely, one sent out from God to reveal God, and, as soon as it became evident that He considered Himself the Messianic Son of God, to accept Him as such and to treat Him accordingly, namely, to worship Him. See again in 9 : 35-38 the vivid picture of a man in the act of beginning "a believe in Jesus. What is it to worship Jesus? Consider whether chis condition differs essentially from those already stated.

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Studies in the Teaching of “fesus and His Apostles

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Stupy IIl.—Jesus’ Conception of the Kingdom of Gov SEVENTH Day: REVIEW OF THE WEEK

1. Look back over the conditions of entrance into the Kingdom discovered in the work of the last three days, and see whether there is any one essential act common to them all. Then review all the Studies of the week, and gather up the principal points.

2. Before turning from this study of the conditions of entrance into the Kingdom, consider the eagerness of Jesus to have men meet them. Read Luke g : 1-6 and 10: 1-16, noting their strenuous tone. Im- agine the Twelve and the Seventy hurrying (10: 4) from village to village, having caught something of their Master’s eager sense of the nearness of the Kingdom. Imagine how Jesus felt while they were out, realizing, as others did not, the full significance of what was hap- pening in such an apparently casual way to these busy men and women of Chorazin and Bethsaida. Read Luke 10: 12-16. Con- sider whether the situation is essentially changed to-day.

«« They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in mar- riage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise even as it came to pass in the days of Lot; they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded ; but in the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and