sins also ?" (Luke vii. 36-50). 6
Jesus now made a SECOND CIRCUIT OF GALILEE, attended by the
Twelve Apostles, and by certain women who, having been healed
of evil spirits and infirmities, proved their gratitude by ministering
to him of their substance. Such ministry, the chief social comfort
of our Lord's lonely life, followed him to his death and burial ;
and some of these devoted women were
" Last at the cross, aud earliest at the tomb."
Such was Mary, surnamed Magdalene, from her native village of
Magdala,' who is now mentioned for the first time, in association
with Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and
many others (Luke viii. 1-3). The chief events of this circuit
were, the healing of a blind and dumb demoniac, followed by a
controversy with the Pharisees, who charged Jesus with casting
out devils by the power of Beelzebub (Matt. xii. 22-37 ; Mark iii.
19-30; Luke xi. 14, 15, 17, 23); the reproof of the Pharisees for
seeking a sign, in which Jonah's three days' confinement in the
fish is made a type of our Lord's burial (Matt. xii. 38-45 ; Luke
xi. 16, 24-36) ; the visit of our Lord's mother and brethren, which
called forth the declaration, that his true disciples are his nearest
relatives (Matt. xii. 46-50 ; Mark iii. 31-35 ; Luke viii. 19-21) ;
the stern denunciation of the Pharisees, and the solemn warnings
to all the people concerning faithfulness and watchfulness (Luke
xi. 37-54 ; xii.), enforced by the use he makes of the fate of Pilate's
8 The name of this woman is not given, and she certainly was not Mary
Mapdalene, whom tradition and art have strangely agreed to misrepresent
as " a ginner " of this sort, because she had been possessed by demons. The
later anointing at Bethany by Mary, the sister of Lazarus, had quite another
object, namely, the preparation of Christ's body for his burial (John xi. 2 ;
i This was one of the many " Migdols " (watch-towers) of Palestine, and
is probably the modern el-Medjel, on the west side of the lake, about three
miles north of Tabariyeh.
A.D. 28, 29. SECOND CIKCUIT OF GALILEE. 2G1
victims and those crushed by the tower of Siloam, as well as by the
parable of the fig-tree (Luke xiii. 1-9) ; the great parable of the
Sower, and the other parables concerning the kingdom of heaven
(Matt. xiii. ; Mark iv. 1-34 ; Luke viii. 4-18). 8 The same evening
on which these parables were spoken Jesus dismissed the multitudes
that followed him, and took ship to cross to the east side of the
lake. On the voyage he performed the miracle, which he after.
wardg repeated, of stilling a raging storm by his word ; and thus
again showed himself to the affrighted disciples as Lord of the most
ungovernable powers of nature. To them the miracle was the
njpre striking from their daily occupation among those waters
(Matt. viii. 18-27 ; Mark iv. 35-41 ; Luke viii. 22-25).
The country of Gadara (or Gergasa), 9 on the east side of the
lake, was now the scene of one of Christ's greatest miracles, the
healing of the man (or two men) possessed by a legion of devils,
who were permitted to punish the illegal cupidity of the country
people by entering and destroying their swine. The Gadarenes,
caring more for their swine than for their souls, entreated him to
leave their country, and he recrossed the lake to Capernaum, where
the people were awaiting him (Matt. viii. 28 ; Mark v. 1-21 ; Luke
About this time we must place Christ's second rejection at Naza-
reth, if, indeed, it was different from the first (Matt. xiii. 54-58;
Mark vi. 1-6). The great extent of this circuit, during which
" He went through every city and village," makes it probable that
the end of the year 28 should be placed about its termination if not
earlier, leaving the three months before the Passover of A.D. 29 for
the Third Circuit.
This THIRD CIRCUIT OF GAMI.KK was as extensive as the for-
mer. " He went about, all the cities and villages, teaching in their
synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing
every sickness and every disease among the people " (Matt. ix. 35).
Jesus was followed by multitudes that were at last beyond the
reach of his single powers. According to the image used by an
old prophet, he saw them scattered abroad like sheep without a
shepherd, and worn out with their efforts to come to him ; and he
had compassion on them. What he had first told his disciples at
Sychar had now come true on a far larger scale ; the spiritual har-
vest was too great for the laborers ; and so, after bidding them pray
On the subject of onr Lord's Parables in general, see the Note at the cud
of this chapter.
He* peeling the different forms of the name, and the striking manner in
which the narrative is illustrated by the features of the country, see the
" Smaller Dictionary of the Bible," . v.
262 SCRIPTURE HISTORY. CHAP. XXIII.
to the Lord of the harvest to send forth more laborers, he gives
them their first commission to begin their work (Matt. ix. 3G-38 ;
Mark vi. 6-13). He sent them out by two and two, giving them
power to cast out devils and heal diseases, and to preach the king-
dom of God. They were, in fact, to be his representatives, carrying
the Gospel to those who could not, or only with great difficulty, at-
tend on bis own ministry. He gave them a charge, containing
much that would prepare them for their future ministry, but some
things suited only to their present mission, especially the prohibi-
tion to enter the country of the Gentiles or cities of the Samaritans.
The charge that he gave them, while containing much that applied
specially to their present condition, embraces also the great princi-
ples by which his ministers are to be guided in every age. Their
success was an earnest to themselves, and an example to all their
successors, of his constant presence with his servants. "They went
through the towns preaching the Gospel and healing everywhere."
" They cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were
sick, and healed them."
The return of the apostles coincided with some strange news
which was brought to Jesus from the court of Herod Antipas. We
have referred more than once to the imprisonment of JOHN THE
BAPTIST, the story of whose end must now be told. His public
ministry had been cut short by his imprisonment nearly two years
before. It would seem (though we arc not expressly told) that, as
he advanced up the river into Galilee, the interest which Herod An-
tipas always retained in the Jewish religion led him to wish to hear
the prophet. John appeared before him in a guise unlike the deli-
cate attire of the courtier, with his wild Nazarite locks, and his
prophet's mantle of camel's hair, such as Elijah had when he show-
ed himself to Ahab. In the court, as in the wilderness, he went
straight to the object of his mission repentance and reformation
from positive sin. Herod, though already married to the daugh-
ter of Aretas, king of Arabia Petrsea, had taken to wife Herodias,
the divorced wife of his half-brother Philip; 10 and, regardless alike
of the king's favor and the woman's vengeance, John said, " It is
not lawful for thee to have her !" For this offense, Herod, insti-
gated by Herodias, and perhaps also to ingratiate himself with
ihe Jewish rulers, added to all the crimes which he had had such
an opportunity to renounce, that of shutting up John in prison.
10 This was not Herod Philip the tetrarch (see above, p. 241). but the brothei
who is distinguished in our list (p. 240) as Herod Philip /., who lived as a pri-
vate person. Herodias was the daughter of Aristobulus, the son of Herod
the Great and Mariamne, and consequently the step-niece both of Herod
Philip and Herod Antipas.
A.D. 28, 29. DEATH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST. 263
However, botli from respect for John and for fear of the people,
who held John for a prophet, he resisted the importunities of He-
rodias for the Baptist's death (Matt. xiv. 3-5; Mark vi. 17-20;
Luke iii. 19-20). But a relentless woman knows how to wait for
her opportunity ; and amidst the revelry of a birthday feast, the
daughter of Herodias obtained by her wanton dance the rash prom-
ise, which her mother instantly exacted, pointing perhaps to one of
the silver platters on the table " Give me here John Baptist's
head on a charger." Never was criminal weakness and shame
more plainly but keenly described than in the following words :
"And the king was exceeding sorry ; nevertheless, for his oath's
sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject
her." So he sent the executioner to behead in his dungeon the
prophet, to whom his former feelings had been such as these :
" Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and a holy,
and observed him ; and when he heard him, he did many things,
and heard him gladly " (Matt. xiv. 1-12 ; Mark vi. 14-29). 11
While the disciples of John, after burying their master, went to
tell Jesus of his death, the report of the works of Jesus came to
Herod, mingled with nil sorts of alarming conjectures. " He was
perplexed, because it was said of some that John was risen from the
dead ; and of some, that Elias had appeared ; and of others, that
one of the old prophets was risen again." The agony of doubt in his
guilty conscience is well marked by one of those slight variations
which best show the genuineness of the Gospels. He tries to stifle
his fears, which would not be kept down : "John have I beheaded,
but wno is THIS of whom I hear such things?" But the convic-
tion forced itself upon him, nor could he help betraying it to his
courtiers, " IT is JOHN, whom I beheaded HE is HISKN FROM TIIK
DEAD." With what exact purpose " he desired to see him " (Luke
ix. 9) he perhaps scarcely knew himself; but when that desire was
gratified, about a year later, we are told that " he hoped to see some
miracle done of him" (Luke ix. 8) ; and, being disappointed, he
joined with Pilate to condemn hitn. Never was there a more
pitiable or more awful example of the sin to which weak self-indul-
gencc leads than in this popular prince, who brought upon his own
head the blood of the last prophet of the Old Covenant and the
founder of the New, though he was "exceeding sorry" to kill
John, and " exceeding glad to see Jesus." Such is the contrast
between feeling and principle.
Meanwhile the desire of Herod to sec Jesus added force to the
warning given by John's fate. Our Lord would neither incur dan-
11 .Tosephus places the imprisonment of John nt Mnchcerns in Persen, n
fortress famous in the history of the Asmonseans aud of Herod.
ger before his time, nor gratify the king's curiosity ; and he seems
to have had another motive for retirement, in the elation of his dis-
ciples at their success. So he withdrew with them by ship into a
lonely place. But the people, who saw his departure, hastened on
foot from all the cities round the lake ; and soon the multitudes not
only left him and the disciples no time even to eat, but began to
be in want of food themselves (Matt. xiv. 13-15; Mark vi. 30-3G ;
Luke ix. 10-12 ; John vi. 1-5).
At this point the Gospel of John connects itself once more with
the other three ; and we obtain from it the note of time which has
been long wanting. "The Passover, a feast of the Jews, was
nigh." This must, in all probability, be reckoned as the Third
Passover during our Lord's ministry ; for, even if the "feast of the
Jews" in John v. be not the Passover, the intervention of a second
Passover is implied in the scene where the disciples plucked and
ate the ears of corn. The reason given by John" for Christ's ab-
sence from this Passover is rendered the more cogent from what we
have seen of Herod's state of mind ; and there seems every reason
to believe that our Lord's presence at Jerusalem would have brought
on that very conjuncture of Herod, Pilate, and the Jewish rulers,
which occurred a year later, when his time was come. The season
gives a double significance to the miracle by which Christ fed the
people in the desert, while their brethren at Jerusalem were eating
the unleavened bread of human manufacture (Matt. xiv. 16-21 ;
Mark vi. 37-44 ; Luke ix. 13-17; John vi. 5-13), and also to the
subsequent discourse in which Jesus revealed himself as the true
Bread of Life that had come down from heaven (John vi. 22-71).
How marked an epocli in our Saviour's ministry is formed by
this completion of its Second Year will be seen in the following
NOTE ON THE PARABLES OF CHRIST.
TUB word Parable (vapaftoXfj) does
not of itself imply a narrative. The
juxtaposition of two things, differing
.11 most points, but agreeing in some,
.s sufficient to bring the comparison
thus produced within the etymology
of the word. The corresponding He-
brew word (^similitude) had a large
range of application, and was applied
sometimes to the shortest proverbs
(1 Sam. x. 12 ; xxiv. 13 ; 2 Chr. vii. 20),
sometimes to dark prophetic utter-
ances (Nam. xxiii. 7, IS; xxiv. 3; Ezek.
xx. 49 ; sometimes to enigmatic max-
ims (Psa. Ixxviii. 2 : Prov. i. 6), or
metaphors expanded into a narrative
itself the word is used with a like lati-
tude. While attached most frequent-
ly to the illustrations which have giv-
14 John vii. 1. " After these things Jesus walked in Galilee : for he would
not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him."
A.D. 28, 29.
eii it a special meaning, it is also ap-
plied to a short saying like " Physi-
cian, heal thyself" (Luke iv. 23), to a
mere comparison without a narrative
(Matt. xxiv. 32), to the figurative char-
acter of the Levitical ordinances (Heb.
ix. 9), or of single facts in patriarchal
history (Heb. xi. 19).
From the time indicated by Matt.
xiii., parables enter largely into our
Lord's teaching. Each parable of
those which we read in the Gospels
may have been repeated more than
once with greater or less variation (as
e. g., those of the Pounds and the Tal-
ents, Matt xxv. 14 ; Lnke xix. 12 ; of
the Supper, in Matt. xxii. 2, and Luke
xiv. 16). Every thing leads us to be-
lieve that there were many others of
which we have no record (Matt. xiii.
34 ; Mark iv. 33). In those which re-
main it is possible to trace something
like an order.
(A.) There is the group with which
the new mode of teaching is ushered
in, and which have for their subject
the laws of the Divine kingdom, in its
growth, its nature, its consummation.
Under this head we have :
1. The Sower (Matt. xiii. ; Mark
iv. ; Luke viiL).
2. The Wheat and the Tares (Matt.
3. The Mustard-seed (Matt. xiii. ;
4. The Seed cast into the Ground
6. The Leaven (Matt. xiii.).
6. The Hid Treasure (Matt. xiii.).
7. The Pearl of Great Price (Matt.
8. The Net cast into the Sea (Matt.
(B.) The next parables are of a dif-
ferent type and occupy a different
position. They occur chiefly in the
interval between the mission of the
Seventy and the last approach to Je-
rusalem. They are drawn from the
life of men rather than from the world
<>f nature. Often they occur, not as in
Halt, xiii. in discourses to the multi-
tude, but in answers to the questions
of the disciples or other inquirers-
They are such as these :
9. The Two Debtors (Luke vii.).
10. The Merciless Servant (Matt
11. The Good Samaritan (Luke x.).
12. The Friend at Midnight (Luke
13. The Rich Fool (Luke xiL).
14. The Wedding-feast (Luke xii.).
15. The Fig-tree (Luke xiii.).
16. The Great Supper (Luke xiv.).
IT. The Lost Sheep (Matt xviii. ;
18. The Lost Piece of Money (Luke
19. The Prodigal Son (Luke xv.).
20. The Unjust Steward (Luke xvi.).
21. The Rich Man and Lazarus
22. The Unjust Judge (Luke xviii.).
23. The Pharisee and the Publican
24. The Laborers in the Vineyard
(Matt. xx.). .
(C.) Towards the close of our Lord's
ministry, immediately before and af-
ter the entry into Jerusalem, the para-
bles assume a new character. Thcj
are again theocratic, but the phase of
the Divine kingdom on which they
chiefly dwell is that of its final con-
summation. They are prophetic, in
part, of the rejection of Israel ; in
part of the great retribution of the
coming of the Lord. They are to the
earlier parables what the prophecy
of Matt. xxiv. is to the Sermon on
the Mount To this class we ma?
25. The Pounds (Luke xlx.).
26. The Two Sons (Matt. xxi.).
27. The Vineyard let out to Has
bandmen (Matt xxi. ; Mark
xii. ; Lnke xx.).
29. The Wise and Foolish Virgins
30. The Talents (Matt. xxv.).
31. The Sheep and the Goats (Matt
THE THIRD YEAR OF CHRIST'S MINISTRY. FROM THE THIRD TO THE
FOURTH AND LAST PASSOVER. A.D. 29, 30.
FOR the third time we obtain from the Gospel of John alone a
note of the return of another sacred year (John vi. 4), from the very
beginning of which we trace signs of the coming end. It is very
affecting to observe how, the more Christ multiplied miracles be-
fore his Galilean followers, the farther were they from receiving his
spiritual teaching. The personal benefits they had now so long
been in the habit of receiving came to be every thing to them ; and
the witness which the works bore to Christ was only valued as ex-
citing selfish hopes in them. It was to see and to profit by more
miracles that they ran after him round the lake ; and this last
wonder of his feeding five thousand men, besides women and chil-
dren, with five barley-loaves and two small fishes, leaving twelve
basket of fragments to be gathered up, while it convinced them that
he was the prophet predicted by Moses (Dcut. xviii. 15X excited
A.D. 29, 30. OFFER OF THE KINGDOM. 267
proud hopes of independence instead of humble faith in him, and
they were ready to " take him by force und make him king " (John
vi. 14). On this first mention of such a design, we may well con-
sider what it involved. It was no offer of a peaceful succession,
made by a united people. With Judaea governed by a Roman
procurator, and Galilee held by Herod at the pleasure of the em-
peror with factions among the Jews themselves ready to support
the Idumaean dynasty, and even to cry out, " We have no king but
Caesar '' his consent would have been the signal for a war such as
ourst out under Nero. And here we may doubtless see one of
those occasions on which Jesus himself was tempted, though with-
out sin. The people of Galilee repeated the offer which Satan had
made on the Mount of Temptation ; and that there was a real con-
flict in our Saviour's mind, is proved by his departing alone into a
mountain to pray. 13ut first, while he sent away the people, the
disciples, who, we may be quite sure, were ready to take part with
them, were directed, not without great reluctance, to recross the
lake into Galilee to Bethsaida.
As the night fell, Jesus watched the lonely vessel tossed about by
the waves and adverse wind, an emblem of the love and vigilance
which attends his people in the voyage of life. It was only in the
fourth watch of the night that he came to them, walking on the
waves ; and even then he made as though he would have passed
them ; but their cry of fresh terror at the supposed apparition was
answered by the cheering announcement of his presence. Then
presumption succeeded to despair; and Peter, the representative
of this feeling among the apostles, was saved by Jesus from perish-
ing in the waves, on which he had had the rashness, but not the
faith, to walk. As soon as Jesus was received by the disciples into
the ship, its voyage came to an end at "the land of Gennesaret,"
the fertile plain uj>on the western shore, which gave to the lake one
of its names, nnd in which Capernaum stood (Matt. xiv. 18-2G ;
Mark vi. 32-56; Luke ix. 10-14; John vi. 1-21).
The wonted crowds that flocked to Jesus, as soon as they heard
of liia landing, bringing their nick and afflicted for him to heal, were
swollen by the multitudes who returned from the other side in boats,
and, wondering, askod him how he had recrossed the lake. Not"
xvithstanding what they had just seen, they asked for some new sign
to match that of the manna in the wilderness ; and, in reply, he
taught them that spiritual life can only be received by spiritually
eating his flesh and drinking his blood. At this "hard saying"
defection began among his disciples ; nnd when he added that there
were unbelievers among them, many finally forsook him ; and lie
asked the Twelve, " Will ye also go away ?" Firm and full as was
268 SCRIPTURE HISTORY. CHAP. XXIV.
Peter's profession of their faith in him, he gave even to them the
warning, "Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
He spake of JUDAS ISCARIOT," whose coming treason is now first
distinctly mentioned (John vi. 22-71).
"After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not
walk in Jewry (Judaea), because the Jews sought to kill him" (John
vii. 1). These words imply that a new conspiracy against Jesus
was formed by the rulers at this Passover, for which reason he re-
mained in Galilee six months longer, till the Feast of Tabernacles.
Disappointed by his absence, more of the Scribes and Pharisees
went to meet him on his own ground ; and their fault-finding gave
him the opportunity of denouncing the vain traditions by which
they annulled the spirit of the law, while adding to its burdensomo
obligations (Matt. xv. 1-20; Mark vii. 1-23). But they had prob-
ably another object besides controversy, to stir up Herod against
Jesus, who therefore withdrew for a time out of Herod's jurisdiction,
first into the region of Tyre and Sidon, and afterwards to the Do-
capolis. His stay in Phoenicia was marked by that condescension
to the prayer of the Syro-Phomician woman (a native of the coun-
try, but of Greek extraction, the counterpart to the woman of Sarepta
in the time of Elijah), which was the first case of his performing a
miracle for, and recognizing the faith of, an actual heathen (Matt.
xv. 21-28 ; Mark vii. 24-30). Passing round the north side of the
Lake of Galilee to the Decapolis (the district of the " Ten Cities"
which the Romans had rebuilt), Jesus healed a deaf and dumb man,
with many others, and repeated the miracle of feeding the multi-
tudes that followed him 4000 men, besides women and children
with seven loaves and a few small fishes, seven basketfuls of frag-
ments being taken up (Matt. xv. 29-38 ; Mark vii. 37 ; viii. 9).
Crossing the lake to Magdala (or rather Magadan), in the district
of Dalmanutha, he again encountered the Pharisees, this time in
league with the Sadducces and Herodians, whose demand for a sign
he answered by refusing them any but what he had named before,
" the sign of the prophet Jonas " (Matt. xv. 39 ; xvi. 1-4 ; Mark viii.
10-12). After they had departed, Jesus crossed the lake with his
disciples, and, recurring to the conversation they had just heard,
warned them to " beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the
leaven of Herod." So little, however, were the disciples prepared
for this, that they mistook it for a reproof for having brought only
one loaf with them ! They had forgotten the five thousand and
the four thousand, or they would have known that, where he was,
natural bread could not fail them. He meant by this leaven the
doctrine of the Pharisees, and of the Sadducees (Matt. xvi. 4-12;
Mark viii. 13-21) of those who, under the show of superior enlight-
A.D. 29, 30. CHRIST IN PHCENICIA. 269
enment, removed the foundations of the fear of God by denying a
future state. He used the same figure on another occasion, ex-
plaining that by " the leaven of the Pharisees " he meant hypocrisy
(Luke xii. 1) ; that of the Sadducees and Herodians was an ungod-
ly worldly policy.
From the eastern side of the Lake of Tiberias, Jesus went with
his disciples up the course of the Jordan, staying at Bethsaida,
where he healed a blind man (Mark viii. 22-26), to Csesarea Philip-
pi, near the sources of the river. This city, at the very extremity
of the Holy Land, marking the northmost limit of our Saviour's trav-
els, was the scene of some of the most memorable events in his
course events that were designed to prepare the disciples for the
consummation now rapidly approaching. Here it was that his ques-
tions testing their faith and knowledge concerning himself drew forth
Peter's memorable confession, "Thou art the CHRIST, the SON OF