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that society, which he knew would remain faithful to the old order of things? And, finally, what shall we say, when he speaks in direct terms of another community and an entirely new system of religion, which should not only be opposed to the old one, but render it superfluous?-when he assures us of his determination solemnly to consecrate and confirm this new constitution by his blood,-by his death? Matt. 26: 28. Mark 14: 24. Luke 22: 20. Must we not admit this to be a declaration, that the constitution then existing, was antiquated and useless, and an intimation as clear as possible, that he was thinking upon something new and better?
§ 11. If we can show, however, that the plan in which Jesus was engaged, was of universal extent, embracing all. mankind, then no room will be left for the supposition that he intended merely to reform his own nation. Now that such was the extent of his views and the compass of his plan, is too evident to be misapprehended. It shines forth from his conduct, is expressed in his words, and confirmed by the truths, which he generally inculcated.
(a) The conduct of Jesus, as represented by the evangelists, exhibits no very indistinct traces of views, that stretched beyond the boundaries of Judea. He every where acts like a man, who has something of greater importance before him, than merely the improvement of his fellow citizens. He repeatedly casts a glance upon foreigners, and elevates it even to mankind at large. That he thought of the condition of the heathen, and made their moral necessities an object of contemplation, he has here and there intimated with sufficient plainness. Sometimes he mentions them in his discourses, and when he does so, it is always with a reference to their wants, Matt. 5: 47. 6: 7, 32. 20: 25. Mark 10: 42.* Notwithstanding the great caution with which he avoided intimate connexions with the heathen, in order not to offend his intolerant countrymen, he by no means excluded them from participating in
* With respect to the last passage, vid. Michaelis' Syntagma commentationum, Tom. II. p. 30 seqq.
his instructions, whenever they found opportunity for the purpose. This is evident from the reproaches, which were so often heaped upon him for associating with publicans and sinners, Mark 2: 15, 16. Luke 5: 30. 15:1, 2. 19:7; for according to the usus loquendi of those times, the term sinners may not only have included wicked and abandoned men in general,* but the heathen in particular, and consequently the Romans;† and that the collectors of the Jewish custom, with whom Jesus associated, were sometimes heathen, is very probable from the fact, that they were in the pay of the Romans, with whom they held constant intercourse.‡ Even the multitudes, which collected around him in desert places, appear occasionally to have been heathen, who, hearing of his general celebrity, undoubtedly felt as anxious to see him as his own fellow citizens. This can be inferred with a tolerable degree of certainty from Mark 3: 8, and Luke 6: 17,|| and that he ever refused such persons, or withdrew himself from them, we are no where informed. Besides, Galilee, the principal scene of Christ's actions, was so full of heathen, that he could not have tarried there a long time, had he wished to abstract himself entirely from them. From John 4: 40, we learn, that soon after the commencement of his public labors, he came in contact with the Samaritans, and, finding them very susceptible of his instructions, spent two whole days with them at Sychar. It is impossible not to perceive the im
* Comp. Bolte's note on Matt. 10: 10. S. 146 seqq.
↑ Hence in Matt. 18: 17, the explanatory word heathen, is added to the expression publicans, instead of the common one sinners. The sinners to whom Jesus was to be delivered, were, as is well known, the Romans. Matt. 26: 45. Luke 24: 7, comp. chap. 18: 32, and Gal. 2: 16.
Krebs, De usu et praestantia Romanae Historiae in Nov. Test. interpretatione, III. p. 22 seqq.
Jesus is said to have had hearers from the region of Tyre and Sidon. In all probability these were heathen. Comp. Mark 7: 24— 26. Matt. 15: 21, 22, and Reland's Palaestina, Tom. II. p. 1046 seqq.
§ Bachiene, Beschreibung von Palaestina, Th. II. B. IV. § 620—
partiality with which he did justice, both to the Samaritans and heathen, whenever he found them distinguished for any good qualities. He neglected no opportunity for bringing such excellencies into notice, and putting his own countrymen to the blush in this respect, Matt. 8: 10. 15:28. Luke 17: 17, 18. 10: 33 seqq. Whenever foreigners applied to him, he kindly assisted them, and performed the same wonderful works for them that he did for afflicted Jews, Matt. 8: 5-13. 15: 21-28. Luke 17: 11-19. It is evident, therefore, that Jesus was not only acquainted with the bitter hatred of his passionate countrymen towards every thing not of Jewish origin, but that he considered strangers also as objects of benevolence, and sought to do them good whenever it was possible to do so without creating offence. His conduct, however, would never have been combined with such prudent foresight, or directed with such propriety as always shone forth from his actions, had his views been limited to his own nation, to the Samaritans, or to the heathen; had not his plan taken in all mankind without distinction.
(b) Whatever doubt, however, we may have had respecting the intention of Jesus to devote himself to the good of the whole human family, it vanishes when we hear him speak. He has given a particular description of the unlimited extent of his views, and, in so doing, employed every expression capable of designating the greatest universality. The usus loquendi of the Jews, as has already been observed, distinguished but two classes of men, and hence by Jews and gentiles in that age, was meant all mankind. Now Jesus unquestionably intended to render himself useful to the Jews. With them indeed he commenced his labors. More than once,.however, he asserted that he should not confine himself to them;-that he considered the heathen also as the objects of his solicitude;-that he was to effect a great change in affairs, which should make the rest of mankind partakers of all that kindness and those privileges of which the Jews were so jealous, and, under the influence of an envious selfishness, wished to be exclusively possessed;-a change, which should oblige the
incorrigible portion of the Jews to yield the precedency to the heathen. What else can be the meaning of the words, "Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the children of the kingdom shall be cast into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and gnashing of teeth?" Matt. 8: 11, 12. What else can be the import of what he said on another occasion very similar, 'that it would prove of no avail to the Jews, if they did not amend, to have had him, a fellow citizen, for their teacher and intimate associate ;-that on the other hand, there should come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, those that should sit down. in the kingdom of God; and that the last should be first, and the first last?" Luke 13: 24-30. What but a plan embracing the heathen, is intended in the touching description, in which he represents himself as 'the good shepherd who lays down his life for the welfare of his flock, but who has other sheep which are not of this fold, and which must also be brought in, in order that there may be but one shepherd and one fold?' John 10: 16.* How could he have expressed his determination to extend his instructions and the benefits thence resulting, beyond the boundaries of his native country, in plainer language, than when, on a previous occasion, he informed his disciples, that after his departure from them, they should encounter the hatred of their fellow citizens, and be driven into other regions;treatment which was to result from their making known the truth to the heathen? Matt. 10: 18. 24: 14. Mark
* [The author of Jesus Universal-Religion, ein Seitenstück zu Reinhard, &c., S. 26, L. 1811, very properly suggests, that by the other sheep in this place, Jesus did not mean those tribes in Syria and Palestine, which had revolted at the time of Rehoboam, nor those Jews, who, after Alexander, by means of an extensive commerce, were scattered all over Europe, (as Paulus assumes in his comments upon the passage,) but all other nations. To take yevroɛraι, however, as an optative, " may there be one fold and one shepherd," is evidently at variance with the manner in which the clauses of the 16th verse are connected together by zat, as well as Christ's mode of speaking in verse 28, which does not express a wish merely, but is altogether positive.]
13: 10. From this collection of passages,* it is evident, that Christ's thoughts were always directed to the Jews and heathen at the same time, and that the work in which he was engaged, was calculated as much for the one as the other. Now as in the idiom of that country, the phrase, Jews and heathen, designated all mankind, it necessarily follows that Jesus, in making use of it, gave his plan the greatest universality, and distinguished it as a plan for the whole human family.
The phrase, the world, has a meaning of similar extent. Sometimes it designates the whole earth as the dwelling place of the human race, at others, this race itself.Jesus makes use of this phrase also, for the purpose of defining the object and compass of his benevolent plan. In the parable of the tares, Matth. 13: 24-30, he has compared his followers to the good seed which was obliged to grow up with noxious weeds. The field however, where the seed was to be found, according to his own explanation, vs. 37, 38, was not Palestine, nor the region inhabited by the Jews, but the whole earth, the world, without exception or limitation. He informed Nicodemus, John 3: 16, 17, a man proud of the imaginary preference due to his nation, in express terms, that he had been sent by the love of God for the good of the world, the whole human family; that he came not to condemn the world but to save it ;-an expression, which, as is evident from chap. 12: 46, 47, he used often to repeat and inculcate. In the 6th chap. of John, with reference to his having fed a great multitude on a former day, he calls himself the living bread, sent by God to give nourishment, and strength, not to the Jews only, but to the world, to all mankind without exception, vs. 33 and 51. Precisely in the same way he describes himself as the light of
* The sentence, Matt. 9: 13. Mark 2: 17. Luke 5: 32, also indicates with no inconsiderable degree of plainness, a resolution to improve the heathen. provided the expression dixato is understood of the worshippers of the true God, and the uaorwhot, of those who are not, of the heathen. Vid. Nachtigall's Buch der Weisheit, S.