Charles F. (Charles Force) Deems.

Who was Jesus? online

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* If this reply does not make a dis-
tinct and explicit claim to divinity on
the part of Jesus, it would seem ex-
ceedingly difficult to frame a proposi-
tion in Greek or English, which could
Whether the claim be well founded is
a question for another department; hut
the historian is obliged to record
Jesus claimed to be Tin; Fathxb of
the Universe, the nnoriginated God.

f Not as a human being, but as a
God, he claims to speak his marvellous
words and do his miraculous acts.

X Which simply moans that moral

works are greater than miracles, being
an imperishable piano concerned with
spirit and not with matter, always bene*

ficent, and involving not. simply divine
autocratic volition, but such divine
power of truth as moves the Er<
Of men.

^ A legal term. Jesus had been the
assistant of his disciples, standing up
for them ami defending him ; after his
departure, the Spirit of Truth which

should dwell in them, and in every
emergency assist them, should be their



in the minds of the Apostles was the idea of a splendid temporal

reign of the Messiah. Judas Thaddens (Matt. x. 3), " not Iscariot,"

was puzzled at the thought of a Messiah who should
Thaddeus puz- , . . . -,. , r , . ■, ■, ,, . n

zled limit the display or his glory to the small circle

of his immediate followers. lie asked, " Lord, and

how is it that you are about to manifest yourself to us and not to the

world?" — meaning the whole world. To make him comprehend

in some measure the spirituality of his teachings, Jesus replied, —

"If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our abode with him. He who does not
love me, does not keep my commandments. And the word which you hear
is not mine, hut the Father's, who sent me. But the Advocate, the Holy
Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things,
and remind you of all things that I have said to you.

" Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you ; not as the world gives,
do I give to you. Let not your heart he troubled, neither let it he afraid.
You have heard that I said to you, that I am going away and am coming to
you. If you loved me, you would rejoice because I go to the Father; for my
Father is greater than I.* And now I have told you before it come to pass,
that, when it has come to pass, you might believe. No longer will I talk
much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and in me he has
nothing, t But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the
Father has commanded me so I do, arise, let us go hence."

Section 2.-— Valedictory and Last Prayer.

It was probably at this point that they sang some portion or
the whole of the Great Hallel, which comprised the cxv., exvi.,
cxvii., and cxviii. Psalms. Maimonides {De Sar
crif. jPasch., viii. 14) suvs that it was sung while
the Paschal lamb was being eaten. But it does not appear to
have been confined so strictly to any particular portion of the
feast. A part may have been sung now and a part then. Jesus
resumed his discourse in the chamber, after the Hallel, or else
when they had passed the city walls, and before they had crossed

The Hallel.

* In this he seems to draw a distinc-
tion between the merely human soul
which made him a man and the eternal
Godhead which he believed to exist in
his nature, which was the greater part of
him, and which was that that spoke the
words and wrought the miracles which
he represented as done by the Father.

f Simply meaning that all the power

in the world could avail nothing against
him, if he did not freely and voluntari-
ly surrender himself. The God that
was in him marked out a course for the
Man that was in him, and he intended
to follow it. But the world, and the
prince or ruler of the world, must never
for a moment fancy that it or he had
conquered Jesus.


the Kedron. He did not hurry. lie had lingered in the cham-
ber delivering a consolatory discourse to his disciples, and now he
walked slowly, or paused and stood, and talked with them. lie knew
what Judas was doing, and he neither hastened nor retarded events.
It is not known what suggested the opening of the out-door dis-
courses, if the remainder of this discourse was delivered in the
open air. They may have been passing vineyards ; Nature was
perpetually inspiring the speeches of Jesus, lie resumed : —

" I am the vine, the true one, and my Fatter is the husbandman. Every
branch in me not bearing fruit, lie removes it, and every branch bearing fruit
He prunes it that it may bear more fruit. Already ye are

v , . ,,, i,.,t, i An out-door discourse.

clean through the word which I have spoken to you.
Abide in me and I in you. As the branch is not able to bear fruit of itself,
except it abide in the vine, so cannot you, except you abide in me. I am the
vine, you the branches. He who abides in me and I in him, the same bears
much fruit ; for without me you can do nothing. If any one do not abide in
me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered ; and they gather it and cast
it into the fire, and it is burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in
you, whatsoever things you wish, seek, and it shall be done to yon. In this is
my Father glorified that you bear much fruit, and become my disciples. As
the Father lias loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in my love. If ycu
keep my commandments you shall abide in my love ; even as I also have kept
my Father's commandments and abide in His love.

"These things have I spoken to you that my joy might abide in you, and
your joy might be made full. This is my commandment, That you love one
another as I have loved you. Greater love than this lias no man. that lie lay
down his life for his friend. You are my friends, if you do whatever I com-
mand you.

"No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his lord
is doing. But I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard
from my Father I have made known to you. You have not chosen me, hut I
have chosen you, and appointed you, that you shall go and hear fruit, and that
your fruit shall remain ; that whatever you shall ask of the Father in my name
He may give it to you.

"These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world
hate you, you know that it hated me first [f you were of the world, the
world would love its own ; but because you are not of the world, but I liavo
chosen you out of the world, on this account the world hates you. Remem-
ber the word which I have Bpqken to you, The slave is not greater than Irs
lord. If they persecuted me they will also persecute you. If they have kept
my word they will keep yours also. Bui all these things they will d.. to you,
on account of my name, because they do nut know Him who sent me.

"H I bad net come and spoken to thoni they would not have sin ; hut now
they have no eXCUSO I'm- their sin. He who hates me hates my Father also tf
I had not done among them works which no other man has done, they would


not have sin. But now have they both seen and hated both me and my
Father. But that it might be fulfilled, the word which in their law is written
of them, "They hated me causelessly.'* But when the Advocate is come,
whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth which proceeds
from the Father, he shall testify concerning me. And you also shall bear wit-
ness, because you have been with me from the beginning.

" These things have I spoken to you that you should not be offended. For
they shall make you excommunicated; more, the hour is coming that who-
ever kills you will think that he offers a service to God, And these things
will they do to you, because they have not known the Father nor me. But
these tilings have I told you that when the hour shall come you may remem-
ber that I spoke of them; and these things I did not say to you at the begin-
ning, because I was with you.

" But now I am going away to Him who sent me, and none of you asks me
' Whither are you going? ' But because I have said those things to you, sor-
row has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is profitable
to you that I go away. For if I go not away the Advocate will not come.
But if I depart I will send him to you. And when he is come he will convict
the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because
they do not believe in me ; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and
you see me no more ; and of judgment, because the ruler of this world is

" Many things yet have I to say to you, but you cannot bear them ; but when
he the Spirit of Truth is come he will guide you in the truth, for he shall not
speak from out of himself, but whatever he hears he shall speak ; and he
will tell you tilings to come. He shall glorify me, for he shall receive of
mine and announce to you. All things that the Father has are mine. There-
fore I said that he takes of mine and shall announce to you.

" A little while and you shall not see me ; and again a little while and you
shall see me."

Then said some of his disciples among themselves : " What is
this that lie is saying to us, 'A little while and ye shall see me no
more, and again a little while and ye shall see
me : and, Because I go to the Father? ' what is
this ' little while % ' We do not understand what he is saying."
Jesus knew that they were about to ask him, and anticipated them
by resuming : —

"Do you inquire among yourselves because I said, A little while and you
shall not see me, and again a little while and you shall see me ? I most
_ assuredly say to you, That you shall weep and lament, but

The discourse resumed. ,, . ,r ., . /. , ,

the world shall rejoice, lou shall be sorrowful, but your

sorrow shall oc turned into joy. A woman when she is about to bring forth

hath sorrow, because her hour is come ; but when she has given birth to the

* See Psalm xxxv. 19, and \-k\tc , 4.


child she remembers the anguish no more, for joy that a man is born into the
world. And ye, therefore, now indeed have sorrow, but I will see you again,
and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one takes from you.

"And in that day you shall ask me nothing. I most assuredly say to you,
Whatever you shall ask the Father in my name, He shall give it to you.
Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you shall receive,
that your joy may be made full. These things have I spoken to you in pro-
verbs : the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in proverbs,
but I shall tell you plainly concerning the Father. In that day you shall ask
in my name ; and I do not say to you that I will pray the Father for you, for
the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me, and have believed
that I came from God. I came forth from the Father, and have come into
the world: again I leave the world and go to the Father."

Some one of his disciples said to him : " Now you are speaking

in frankness, and not speaking a proverb. Now we know that

you know all things, and have no need that any .

.... t» i • it .li Disciples express

one should ask you. liy this we believe that you belief

came forth from God." Jesus answered : " Do
you now believe ? Behold, the hour is coining, and the hour has
come, that you shall be scattered, every one to his own, and shall
leave me alone. And I am not alone, because the Father is with
mc. Tlic-e tilings have I spoken to you, that in me you might
have peace. In the world you have anguish ; but be courageous,
I have conquered the world ! "

Then Jesus lifted up his eyes and prayed audibly, while the dis-
ciples must have listened in perplexity and awe. And this is the
prayer as John records it : —

"O Father, the hour has come. Glorify Thy Son that Thy Son may glorify
Thee. As Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that lie should give per-
petunl life to every one whom Thou hast given him. And
this i- the perpetual life, that they might know Thee the le niJtr
only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou Bent, I have glorified Thee
on the earth. I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.

'• And now glorify Thou me, Father, with Thyself by the glory which I had
with Thee before the world was. I have shown Thy name to the men whom
Thou gavest me out of the world. They were Thine, and Thou gavest them
to me, And they have kept Thy word. Now they know that all things, what-
ever Thou hast given me, arc from Thee, for I have given them the words Thou

gavest me, and they have received them, and have known surely that I eaim'

out from Thee; and they have believed that Thou didst send me. I pray for

them. For the world I pray not, but for those whom Thou hast given me;
for they are thine. And Thou hast given them to me, and I am gloriticd in


them. And I am no longer in the world, and these are in the world, and I am
coming to Thee.

" O Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, whom Thou hast given me, that
they may be one as we. When I was with them I kept them in Thy name
and guarded them, and not one of them is lost, except the son of perdition,
that the Scripture might be fulfilled. And now I am coming to Thee, and
these things I am* speaking in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled
in themselves. I have given them Thy word, and the world has hated them
because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not
pray that Thou wouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou wouldst
keep them from evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the
world. Make them holy in the truth : Thy word is truth. As Thou hast
Bent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world, and for their
sakes I make myself holy that they also may be made holy in the truth.

"But not for these alone do I pray, but for. those also who believe on me
through their word, that they all may be one, even as Thou art in me and
I in Thee, that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that
Thou has sent me. And the glory which Thou hast given me I have given
them, that they may be one, even as we : I in them, and Thou in me, that
they may be made perfect in one ; and that the world may know that Thou
didst send me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved me.

" O Father, that which Thou hast given me I will that where I am they
also may be with me, that they may behold my glory, which Thou hast given
me; for Thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

" O righteous Father, the world also has not known Thee, but I have
known Thee, and these have known that Thou didst send me. Thy name
I both have made known to them, and will make it known, that the lovo
wherewith Thou hast loved them may be in them, and I in them ! "

Section 3. — Gethsemane.

Perhaps at the close of this prayer they sang another portion of
the Great Ilallel. Then they went to the Mount of Olives, cross-
ing the brook Kedron, the name signifying " Mud-
The Kedron val- , ° ~, . „ _ ... f J , & ,

. dy .Brook. It was probably through what is

called St. Stephen's Gate that Jesus and his
band passed down and crossed the Kedron, which runs about 20: »
feet from the city walls. On the slope of the Mount of Olives,
which rises herefrom, and near the road leading on to Bethany,
was the Garden of Gethsemane, meaning an " oil-press," — the
garden having derived its name most probably from an oil-press
which belonged to the estate. Whether we now know the precise
6pot where Jesus was in agony, and where he was betrayed, is



somewhat uncertain ; hut it is quite certain that it could not have
been far from the plot which the Latin Church has recently
bought and enclosed. "We cannot say that the eight venerable
trees, which are so impressive to all travellers, were standing in
the days of Jesus. It is probable that they were not, as Josephus
informs us that Titus cut down all the trees round about Jerusa-
lem (B. J., vi. 1, 1), and that the Tenth Legion were posted about


the Mount of Olives (v. 2, 3, and vi. 2, 8). But these trees must
have been planted very curly by the hands of those who, cherish-
ing the memory of Jesus, desired to mark the traditionary spot
Dr. Thomson is inclined to place the garden in the seelnded vale
Beveral hundred yards to the north-east of the present Gethsemane.

In any case it was near the city, and Judas and the Other disci-

plea knew that Jesus was accustomed to frequent it for private de-


Having entered Getlisemane a great heaviness fell on him, and
he said to his disciples : " Sit down and pray that you do not en-
ter into temptation, while I go and pray yonder."
lie took with him Peter and the two sons of
Zebedee, James and John. They walked farther into the garden,
lie began to be sorrowful, and terrified, and depressed. They
must have perceived it, but he opened his heart to these friends
and said : " My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death ;
remain here and watch with me." It seemed to be a sense of
abandonment coming upon him. " Nameless contrarieties of
sensation overwhelmed him, and choked and straitened his heart,
as if they would have stifled and killed him." His appeal to his
three friends is very pathetic.

He went a little farther from the three disciples, about a stone's
throw. He had probably, as Dean Alford conjectures, gone with
his three friends into a portion of the garden from which the
moonlight would be excluded by the rocks and buildings on the
opposite side of the gorge. It was the vernal equinox, and tin's
must have been near midnight, so the moon, being two days from
its full, would be able to cast shadows thus. As his anguish
deepened he went into the deepest gloom of the garden.

He kneeled down, he fell upon his face, he prayed. His prayer

was : " O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me ;

yet, not as I will, but as Thou wilt." How Ions:

Solitary prayer. , \ . , . -r. i

he thus agonized we cannot know. I3ut he must
have had some comfort from his prayer, for after some time he
returned to the three disciples and found them all asleep. The
travel and excitement of the day had proved too much for them.
They certainly did not comprehend the crisis which had come in the
affairs of Jesus. He addressed Peter with the intensely pathetic
appeal, "What, could you not watch with me one hour? Pise,
watch and pray, that you do not enter into temptation. The spirit
indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." He left his poor, heavy-
eyed, and exhausted friends, and went back and prayed, saying:
" O my Father, if this may not pass away except I drink it, Thy
will be done."

lie came the second time to his disciples and found them all

, , asleep. Down on his soul fell a oreat horror of

A horror. r . . ; ?

desertion. It was past the midnight. Over the

hill in Bethany, Lazarus and Martha and Mary, and perhaps his


own mother, for she was at the feast, were sleeping. In front
lay Jerusalem, th,e moon sailing on above and beyond the city,
whose walls on this side grew darker from top to bottom ; and
within those walls they were plotting to destroy him without fair
trial. Judas had left him on an errand that was to be disastrous.
Here lay Peter, James, and John, asleep, near his scene of un-
speakable anguish. There lay the other eight, asleep also. His
country, was under the Roman, whose garrison filled yonder
tower of Antonia. The church was arrayed against him. His
mother was away, and Mary Magdalen, his true friend. He
was alone.

He staggered back and fell upon the ground, and the third
time he prayed this prayer of exquisite pain and perfect submis-
sion. The horror of his position lay heavy on
. . T . . , , ,, The sweat of

In in. In his agony he prayed more earnestly ; ,, ,

and his sweat was as it were clots of blood falling
down to the ground. His friends, afterward believed that an
angel appeared to him and gave him succor. That he was
strengthened, and his serenity in some measure restored, appears
from the tone of his address to his disciples, and by his whole
bearing in what immediately followed. He said : " Do you sleep
on now and rest." Then he suddenly said: "It is enough. Be-
hold, the hour is here, and the Son of Man is betra}'ed into the
hands of sinners. Rise ; let us go. See, he that betrays me is
here ! "

And while he was speaking these words, Judas, who knew the
place, and knew that it was a resort of Jesus and his disciples,
probably having sought him in vain in the cham-

l . i vji&r .1 The Betrayal,

ber where he had lett him, came upon the party.

He was accompanied by a band of men whom he had received

from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were not all Roman

soldiers, but some were servants of the priests and some were

members of the Sanhedrim. They had no official authority todo

as they did. They were the minions of the eliiuvh party.

This brings us to an examination of what a learned Jewish

physician, M. Salvador, of Paris, pronounces "the most memo-
rable trial in all history." This writer produced a work, entitled
The Institutions of If 0868 and tfie Hebrew People. At his own
request, M. Dnpin the elder, a French lawyer of distinction,

reviewed the chapter Oil the "Trial and Condemnation of Jesus."


We shall be indebted to both works, and we make this general ac
knowledgment to save specifie references. Candor ought to com-
pel any Christian writer to admit that it was not a question of
" deicide," a name invented to represent an impossible sin, as the
church party did not believe that Jesus was a God in any sense.
The simple question is, Did he receive justice as a Hebrew citizen
under Hebrew law ?

The Mosaic law provided three securities for justice in a crim-
inal proceeding, namely, publicity of the trial, entire liberty of
defence for the accused, and safeguards against

Jewish criminal pi,,. t-i t i i \

law false testimony. ±

Online LibraryCharles F. (Charles Force) DeemsWho was Jesus? → online text (page 63 of 77)