Obrazy na stronie

moral freedom in every one. The exhortation, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate” (Matt. vii. 13), is addressed to all, and therefore is regarded as possible for all; and in Matt. xxii. 37 it is expressly declared that Jerusalem of her own free will had decided to reject the hand of deliverance stretched out to her.

$ 8. SATAN

But evil exists not only as an ungodly bias of the human heart, and as an aggregate of evidences of that bias—it is a world-ruling principle, which meets us in history as well as in nature. In history, there rules at all times a spirit of seduction and deceit which goes far beyond the perverted self-determination of the individual, and surrounds him as a power of temptation. And in nature there rules, in spite of the beneficent and kindly divine order, a power of disorder and destruction which overwhelms humanity with disease and misery. There can be no doubt that Jesus does not trace back to God natural evil in its manifold forms in the same way as He does with natural beneficence, the rising sun, and fruit-bringing rain (Matt. v. 45). He frankly recognised it as a contradiction of the creative thoughts and arrangements of the good God. He considers it to be the task of the kingdom of God to overcome all the manifold phenomena of misery in nature, as well as those of moral perversity (Matt. xi. 2-6, xii. 28). For both of these God-opposed kingdoms,

in human life and in nature, are unmistakably united. For natural evil tempts to moral evil, to apostasy from God, and, on the other hand, sin brings disorder and misery into the world. It is a uniform kingdom of evil, which, in the world of nature and of history, opposes itself to the good which God has willed and ordained. And therefore it is only the expression of a profoundly true observation of the world when Jesus comprehends both spiritual and natural evil in the enigmatic name Satan, which was presented to him by the Old Testament Scriptures. The original idea of the Accuser (viz. of man to God, cf. Job ii. 1; Zech. ii. 1; Rev. xii. 10) was already extended in the Old Testament to that of the Adversary, the Evil One (ó ovnpós, Matt. xiii. 38), the


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Seducer and Destroyer, and in this form of it Jesus takes up the notion which had sprung from the Old Testament feeling of the contradiction between God's idea and the actual condition of the world. In the narrative of the Temptation (Matt. iv., Luke iv.), which is probably based on some pictorial narrative of Jesus, Satan appears as a tempter to evil, a seductive spirit of the world and of the age.


in the same sense in the exposition of some of the parables (Matt. xiii. 19, 38; Luke viii. 12), and in the words of warning to Peter before the denial (Luke xxii. 31: ιδού ο Σατανάς εξητήσατο υμάς, του σινιάσαι υμάς ως τον σίτον). He appears as Prince of Evil, above all, in the view of the possessed, that is, those disordered in mind and nerves, who are designated as his spoil (Mark iii. 27; Matt. xii. 29; Luke xi. 22). But Jesus also seems to trace back simple bodily sickness to Satan, therein following the representation of the Book of Job. In Luke xvi. 16, He says of the woman who had been bowed together for many years, that Satan had bound her with a fetter which He must loose. Did Jesus think of Satan as a person?

It is with this question very much as in the case of the angels. The form of representation is undoubtedly personifying, but all the passages are poetic in style. The narrative of the Temptation, in its biographical kernel, does not lead us to think of a personal Satan, but rather of seductive expectations of the people and the age which were traced back to Satan—that is, were characterised as opposed to God, and as of the nature of temptation. The expressions, Luke xiii. 16, xxii. 31, go back upon the undeniably poetic representations of the Book of Job, in whose style they remain, and the Satan who snatches from the heart the word sown, or sows tares among the wheat of the Son of Man (Matt. xiii. 19, 38), is also simply the impersonal spirit of the world, which can creep into the human heart and into the community of God. The remarkable words, Luke x. 18 :

, “I saw Satan fall as lightning from heaven," express, in an image reminding us of Isa. xiv. 12, the overthrow which the appearance of the kingdom of God has prepared for the power of evil that has hitherto ruled the world (cf. Rev. xii. 9). It is certain that Jesus did not recognise as personal devils the demons in whom the popular Jewish belief saw personal angels of Satan (cf. Matt. xxv. 41; 2 Cor. xii. 7). For in Mark iii. 26, Matt. xii. 26, He translates the casting out of demons by Beelzebub into Satan is being divided and casting out himself.1 It is further certain that Jesus set up no theory about Satan, and in no way derived or explained him as perhaps a fallen archangel; that He does not touch the riddle which is presented in the notion of a personal and radically evil being, especially within the biblical belief in God. What He means by the name Satan is simply that evil, in the world of nature and of history, is an actual, uniform, and fearful power, and that this power is in no way to be traced back to God, but is the element in the world which apes God, and is opposed to God—a thought which, as it produced the idea of Satan in the Old Testament, must even to-day be recognised by every earnest ethical and religious thinker.

1 Cf. my Leben Jesu, Bd. i. p. 228. Ibid. p. 300.

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What, then, is the relation of God to this world, in which what is opposed to Him, that is, moral evil, thus exists, nay is dominant ? It is just what we would expect from His heavenly fatherliness, from the idea of holy love. He is related to the world so closely, and is as present and operative in it as He can be without denying His absolute goodness, His holy perfection, and without interfering with the fundamental condition of all development of good in the world, the freedom of the creature. Though the world in its present condition, as aiày outos (Luke xvi. 8), is far from being God's kingdom, it yet remains His work and workshop. If the Judaism of that time separated God and the world from each other almost deistically, if Sadduceeism viewed the earth as the mere playground of human caprice, and Pharisaism but feebly raised itself above this by the assumption of a divine fate, or law of destiny, Jesus, on the other hand, conceives the relation of His Father to the world as one

1 Cf. my Leben Jesu, i. p. 303. 2 Cf. Josephus, Antiq. xviii. 3. 1, xiii. 5. 9.


and pure.

thoroughly instinct with life; the Father is to Him really what He calls Him in Matt. xi. 25, Lord of heaven and earth. First, He treats the thought of God as Creator seriously. Everything created by God is in itself innocent

With absolute consistency He disclaims, in doctrine and example, the ascetic anxiety and embarrassment in the use of things natural, which dualistic influences at that time were forcing even into Judaism (cf. Matt. xi. 19, xv. 11). And God has by no means withdrawn Himself from the world once created. It is He who makes His sun to rise, and the fertilising rain to fall, who feeds the fowls of the heavens, and clothes the lilies of the field fairer than Solomon in all his glory (Matt. v. 45, vi. 26). Jesus certainly does not, as we have seen, trace back to His heavenly Father the evil and pernicious in nature, as He does the beautiful and salutary; but even with regard to the evil He thinks of Him as the Almighty Ruler of the world, without whose will nothing, not even the smallest event, can take place. " Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matt. x. 29). That is, not a hair will be injured without the will of your Father in heaven.

The temptations also which lie in the path of the children of men do not indeed proceed from God, but yet are somehow in His hand. He can lead into temptation; He can also lead us not into temptation, as is attested by the sixth petition of the Lord's Prayer. He can also shorten temptations, lest they should overcome His elect (Matt. xxiv. 22). In like manner, God is in no way prevented by the permanence of nature from hearing prayer or working miracles.

Though prayer, in the sense of Jesus, as the Lord's Prayer shows, is not in the first instance directed to things earthly and finite, yet these are not excluded from it. Of course the common saying: “All things are possible with God” (Mark x. 27), admits of the exception, which is self-evident and expressly recognised by Jesus in Gethsemane, that whatever contradicts His higher aims, the purpose of His eternal wisdom and love, is not possible with God. But that does not hinder God from being at all times able and willing to give good gifts to His praying children, in virtue of the mutual relation which exists between fatherly love and childlike trust (Matt. vii. 7-11; Mark xi. 23, 24). In particular, He has given His Son power to remove at times the natural trouble which harasses man, as a sign of the near approach of God's kingdom (Matt. xi. 4, xii. 28), and this power is also to be transferred to those who, as His messengers, are to carry the glad news to all the world (Marke x. 8). But, finally, the heavenly Father is not satisfied with keeping the world mainly as it is, and cheering it with an abundance of helps and favours. He guides the whole world onwards towards an ideal goal of perfection. Behind the dark night of the aid outos, the present imperfect and evil condition of the world, shines the dawn of an aiày Méxlwv, in which a new, perfect, and imperishable order of the world will appear, a παλιγγενεσία of heaven and earth which will abolish the contrast of the two in a completed kingdom of God (Matt. xix. 28; Luke xx. 34-36).


As to the relation of God to sinful man in particular, it may be said that in the teaching of Jesus it is righteousness and mercy or grace going hand in hand. Without expressing the idea of the divine righteousness in this sense, Jesus prefers to present the divine procedure as a suum cuique, an appointing of fit recompenses.

“He who exalteth himself shall be abased; and he who humbleth himself will be exalted” (Luke xviii. 14). "To him that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath ” (Mark iv. 25; Matt. xxv. 29). "If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive your trespasses; but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. vi. 14, 15). But that is not the suum cuique of the cold rule of justice; the rule of justice is never generous, forgiving, loving. It is the righteousness of holy love which is here described,—a righteousness which is merciful towards the poor because he is poor, which recognises in every susceptibility and turning towards itself a claim on its BEYSCHLAG, — 1.


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