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say, "can rise again;" and in any case
they will rise again "at the last day; " that
is to say, at the advent of the Messiah.

Here the Sadducees represented the
old Hebraic good sense and strongly ridi-
culed the belief of the Pharisees. This
was legitimate warfare, and it is certain
that that one of the stories invented by
them which is known to us was fairly well
conceived. It shows how unreasonable is
the belief in a return to life of organs
which have no longer any reason for being.
Jesus, who for a long time had been
pondering this question, and who had
cleared up his ideas upon it, replied that
"All the dead live to God." 2 In the age
to come, in the restoration of all things,
the Resurrection, there would be no more

1 See our reflections on this subject, " Jesus Christ
Before his Ministry," p. 27.

2 Luke XX. 38.


marriage. We should be like the angels,
"for all live to him;" that is, the death
of the body cannot interrupt relations with
God. Here he is neither with the Phari-
sees nor with the Sadducees. He denies
the resurrection of the very flesh which
has been alive, and he affirms the future
life, in a saying as sane as it is precise:
" Whoever in this life lives in God and for
God is eternal;" he is passed, at the
present time, from death into life.^ No
doubt Jesus might have said, in the same
sense, " From this time, by faith, he enters
the kingdom, though the kingdom is not
yet come."

Another time, in the course of this
winter, either at the Feast of Taberna-
cles or at that of the Dedication, perhaps
the same day as the Gospels would have
it, a scribe asked Jesus which is the
greatest commandment of the law. Jesus
replied by suppressing all in the Law
.which lies outside of love to God and to
one's neighbor, and he made these two

This time he received some satisfaction ;
a few persons approved of him; a scribe

1 John V. 24 aud passim.


even found this summary of the Law
"admirable." But this was certainly not
the case with the Sadducees, and for them
the saying of Jesus which summed up the
Law in two commandments was an abomi-
nable heresy; for, in fact, there was the
Temple with its sacrifices, and one might
not declare that it was nothing as com-
pared with the love of God and of one's
neighbor. Therefore they set in motion
the report that Jesus would pull down the
Temple ; that he was talking of its speedy
disappearance, and affirming that he would
replace it; and these more or less authentic
reports which were in circulation rendered
him an object of much suspicion.

Jesus knew this, and was only the more
bold to speak. One day he in his turn
asked a question- himself making the first
attack,^ showing how in a Psalm David,
by inspiration (and consequently with
absolute truth), declared that the Messiah
was his Lord and master. Therefore,
said Jesus, the Messiah is not a "Son of
David," as the scribes assert.^

1 Mark xii. 35 ff.

2 The Psalm (Ps. ex.) is not by David ; but in that
day all the Psalms, or nearly all, were held to be


Here again he was the victor; a fact
which exasperated his antagonists, who
from this day were silent. ^

Davidic. It has been insisted that Jesus did not here
deny his Davidic descent ; that his purpose was to bring
the scribes to see that the Messiah must be more than a
Son of David. Never was exegesis more fantastic and
more predetermined. It is true that elsewhere Jesus
perniitted himself to be called Son of David, accepting
a name which here he clearly seems to reject. Most
probably he was personally entirely indifferent to the
question of his descent, and simply wished to show the
scribes, without either affirming or denying his own
parentage, how easy it was to embarrass them by simply
imitating their casuistry.
1 Matt. xxii. 46.




T F the enemies of Jesus ceased to attack
him openly, none the less did they
plot against him in secret. We have just
referred to one of his sayings which they
laid up against him : " Destroy this Temple,
and in three days I will rear it up again."
That is, " What though the Temple itself
disappear, I myself will shortly build a
new edifice, an invisible sanctuary, in
which little by little all humanity shall
find a place." He had spoken thus long
before, on the day when he cleansed the
Temple, but his words had not been for-
gotten.^ This saying, treasured up, re-
peated, deliberately misunderstood, was
to be the pretext for his condemnation.

1 Mark xiv. 58, xv. 29. Cf. John ii. 19. It is
Mark who gives the most authentic text, the very words
uttered bj Jesus.


For that matter, every act of Jesus
was used against him. His uprightness,
his good sense, his penetrating simplicity
failed to disarm his adversaries, but rather
irritated them the more. The less they
found themselves able to answer him the
more exasperated against him they became.
It is when one has exhausted arguments
that he uses violence. When Jesus closed
the mouths of his opponents, they took up
stones to stone him ^ by way of obeying
the law,''^ and it is needless to say that for
a long time they had heaped offensive
epithets upon him; madman, demoniac,
Samaritan. 3

An unknown writer has preserved for
us the memory of one of his discussions.*
One day they brought before Jesus a
woman taken in the very act of adultery.
His reply to their question is of admirable
beauty: "Let him that is without sin
among you cast the first stone." Never
had his irony been more keen, never did

1 John viii. 59, x. 31, xi. 8.

2 Deut. xiii. 3 ff. ; Luke xx. 6 ; John x. 33 ; 2 Cor.
xi. 25.

3 John X. 20.

* John viii. 3 ff . ; a passage which was not originally
a part of the Fourth Gospel,


he more directly reach the consciences and
close the lips of his adversaries. This
incident added to all the others simply
embittered the hatred with which he
inspired them.

At other times he would show the
absurdity of those official personages who
built tombs for themselves, colossal and
paltry edifices which served only to dis-
play their hypocrisy and vanity.

The fine allegory of the shepherd and
the sheep ^ was also related in Jerusalem
this winter at one of the feasts. He de-
clared, " The sheep hear my voice and fol-
low me," and spoke in no indirect terms
of the mercenaries who love not the sheep.

Finally, his vehement polemical dis-
courses against the Pharisees were cer-
tainly another of the determining causes
of his death. The immortal apostrophes,
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! " etc., counted for much in the
desire to be rid of Jesus, which took pos-
session of the Pharisees and the chief
priests. Who knows ; but for these attacks
he might perhaps have passed unregarded.
The Sadducees were not aggressive ; they
1 John X. 1 ff.


loved their repose above all things, and
though they became the true authors of
Jesus' death, it was certainly not by
reason of any new zeal for religion and for
the law, but because they were determined
to have no disturbance, no commotion.

Those whom Jesus most disquieted were
the Sopherim among the Pharisees; it is
true that they also were most displeasing
to him. He spoke to them with an elo-
quence of holy indignation which recalls
the preaching of John the Baptist; he
branded their hypocrisy; he continually
insisted that the Gentiles would be sub-
stituted for the Jews, and the kingdom
transferred to them.i At the same time
he boldly declared himself to be the Son
of God,'^ and openly named the Pharisees
as the murderers of the heaven-sent

In denunciations of sublime eloquence
he fulminated against all wicked priests
and false devotees, exposed the spiteful
and sugared bigotry of hypocritical Phari-
sees. Ah, how slight a thing must now

1 Matt. XX. 1 ff., xxi. 28 ff., 33 ff., xxii. 1 ff.;
Mark xii. 1 ff . ; Luke xx. 9 ff .

2 Matt. xxi. 37 f. ; John x. 36.


have appeared to him the opposition of the
Galilean Pharisees!

These last clays of his life must have
been deeply saddened by sight of this
most narrow formalism. His ardent in-
vectives are penetrated through and
through with the grief that filled his heart
as he saw his plans failing, his people
rejecting him, an ever-growing hatred
springing up around him, his work miscar-
ried, his death by violence becoming every
day more inevitable. Oh, these Pharisees,
of whom he had hoped so much ! who had
been so congenial to him! whom he had
for so long a time believed to be the true
heirs of the past! He was exasperated,
not with the men, but with their spirit,
their tendencies, with what future ages
were to call Pharisaism! This sort of
Pharisaism still exists; it is in the heart
of man; it knows no national barrier.

He had gone too far; they resolved
upon his death. This measure had already
been spoken of,^ but vaguely, and it is
hard to say when it was for the first time
seriously considered; no doubt it was at
first merely a suggestion, which, growing

1 John V. 18, vii. 1, 20, 25, 30, viii. 37, 40.


little by little, was transformed into a pre-
diction and finally took on a reality
which it had not at first. The Jews had
authority to rid themselves of Jesus by
stoning. The Romans were about to take
away this liberty, but they still had it;
and having it, they noted the slightest
words of the Nazarene, in order to make
of them a trap into which they might
push him.

It was probably about February or March
that the death of Jesus was definitively
resolved upon, at least in principle.^ The
chief priests came together ; ^ the question
before them was Jesus or Judaism. The
high priest Caiaphas saw true when he put
it in this absolute form; he clearly per-
ceived all the danger of new doctrines.

This Caiaphas had little more than
nominal power; but at his side like an
evil genius was his father-in-law Annas,
a former high priest, and head of a very
powerful family. Annas was the true
incarnation of Sadduceeism. He had all
its prejudices and all its arrogance, and
to these he added consummate experience
and thorough acquaintance with all the

1 John xi. 53. 2 joh^ xi. 47.


traditions of his order. It was always to
him that everj^ question was referred. His
authority was so great that the usual
expression was Annas and Caiaphas,^ he
being named first, before the actual high

It is not to be doubted that this crafty
priest was the true author of Jesus' death,
and certainly more culpable than Caiaphas
or Pilate. Like all the Sadducees he
was a conservative ; that is, a man of the
existing order, of narrow and petty spirit.
" Quieta non mover e " might have been the
motto of his life as well as that of his
party. To avoid all agitation, of what-
ever nature, was the guiding principle of
Annas and his coterie. For that matter,
is it not the guiding principle of all con-
servative parties?

Moreover, Annas was a proud, haughty,
cruel man, and crafty in his cruelty. Our
Temple, our homes, our wealth, our power,
these were the unvarying watchwords of
the Sadducees, and first of all of their high

It had come to the point of getting rid
of Jesus, and the saying of Caiaphas, " It is

1 Luke iii. 2. See Acts iv. 6.


expedient that one man should die for the
people, " 1 would have been more sincere
under the form, " Let this man perish rather
than the Temple, and even the rich priests
who owe everything to it." In speaking
as he did, the high priest made no mis-
take. It was necessary that Jesus should
die ; but the Christ would rise again and
"would die no more;"^ and when that
time came Judaism would perish.

Certainly it was not the new-born
Christianity that destroyed Judaism in the
year 70 ; but if Judaism had not then dis-
appeared, the victim of its own faults,
Christianity would surely sooner or later
have brought about the ruin of the Israel-
itish nation. 3

And yet Jesus had not entirely failed at
Jerusalem. He had had partial successes
with individuals ; * he had made a few dis-
ciples. At one time he even aroused much
sympathy. "The world is gone after
him," it was said.^ At the last he had
become widely known; the people held

1 John xi. 50. a jjom. vi. 9.

8 See " Palestine in the Time of Jesus Christ,"

* Mark xii. 37. 6 John xii. 19.


him to be a good patriot, so much so that
the Sanhedrin feared a popular uprising if
they should arrest him openly.

However, take it all in all, the numl^er
of Judeans who truly believed in him must
have been sufficiently small ; they remained
unknown and more or less hidden; when
the decisive hour came they had not the
courage of their convictions. For a long
time Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea
dared not avow themselves won over;
among the others more than one deliber-
ately kept in the background.

It is true that Jerusalem had very
deeply rooted prejudices. Follow a Gali-
lean ! Take him for a prophet ! For the
Messiah, perhaps! What a discredit!
what a heresy, even! What a cause for
excommunication! The risk of being cast
out of the synagogue and having one's
property confiscated was enough to make
more than one draw back.^

Such was the state of things in Jerusa-
lem during the autumn of the year 29, and
the following winter up to the middle of
March in the year 30. It was especially,

1 Esdras x. 8 ; Heb. x. 34 ; Jerusalem, Moed Katon,
iii. 1.


as has been said, at the two great feasts,
Tabernacles (October, A. d. 29) and the
Dedication (December, A. d. 29) that Jesus
made his presence felt. Perhaps he visited
the Holy City between these two festivals
and after that of the Dedication; we do
not know ; but it appears certain that his
sojourn in Jerusalem was always very short.

What was he doing in the intervals of
his visits to the capital? He did not
return to Galilee, but retired a short dis-
tance from the city to some quiet and safe
retreat where he was personally unknown,
and where he had no reason to fear arrest.

His conduct in these last weeks of his
life shows at once great courage and great
prudence. His courage is shown in the
openness of his attacks, and his prudence
in the care with which during the greater
part of the time he sought shelter from
the ambushes of his enemies. Always on
the alert, he had a peculiar way of dis-
appearing in the midst of a crowd, and
slipping away unobserved. ^ After the
Feast of the Dedication he went still
farther away, to Perea, on the eastern side
of the Jordan.

1 Luke iv. 30 : John viii. 59 ; x. 39, etc.


But his usual retreat was Ephraim ; he
generally went thither after his appear-
ances in Jerusalem. Ephraim was a small
village at a short distance northward from
the Holy City.i

In Ephraim Jesus was entirely unknown ;
he could remain there hidden, with the
Twelve. 2 He could easily go thence to
Jerusalem in a few hours ; while there he
was near the desert, which at need would
offer him a retreat. By prolonging his
sojourn in Ephraim he might hope to
become forgotten, at least temporarily.

But the order for his arrest had been
given, and his enemies, knowing how
much Jesus valued the Feast of the Pass-
over, had no fear that he would not return
to the Holy City to celebrate the annual
festival with his friends.^

1 Authorities are not agreed as to the situation of
Ephraim. Eusebius places it eight miles north of Jeru-
salem, Jerome twenty miles. Eusebius calls it Ephron ;
in that case it must be the town mentioned with Bethel
and Jerusalem in 2 Chron. xiii. 19. Josephus also men-
tions a city Ephraim [D. B. J. 4, 9, 9) in connection
with Bethel. He speaks of Vespasian taking the towns
of Bethel and Ephraim. Lightfoot (following Talm.
Menacoth, cap. 9, hal. 9) places it on the border of the
territory of the tribe of Ephraim.

2 John xi. 54. 3 John xi. 55, 56.


This indeed was what came to pass.
Jesus returned to Jerusalem, and notwith-
standing the gravest indications of danger,
was kept there by his desire to keep the
Passover, joined with the ahnost certitude
of not being disturbed during the Feast;
and it was at this time that he was
arrested. Perhaps he might even yet
have escaped, so carefully had he taken
all precautionary measures, had not one of
the Twelve infamously made known his
place of retreat and caused his arrest on
the very night of the Feast. After that,
all was over in a few hours. The Sad-
ducees made away with him, having by
base flattery and a most artful lie secured
his condemnation by the Roman authority.

But let us not anticipate ; for the time
Jesus was still hoping, in spite of a thou-
sand ever-growing reasons for hoping no

Among his favorite retreats was one in
the outskirts of the city, Bethany, where
he had some valued friends : ^ Martha,
Mary, Lazarus, Simon the leper, formed a
faithful company. Jesus loved to refresh
himself in their society. The contrast
1 John xi. 1 ff . ; Matt. xxvi. 6 ; Mark xiv. 3.


between Bethany and Jerusalem, though
so near one another, was complete. At
Bethany Jesus felt himself far removed
from the cavillings of the scribes, their
intricate questions, their malice and per-
fidy. Bethany in some degree made up
to him for his beloved Galilee, the lake
shore, the solitary mountain retreat.
This village became his preferred resting-
place, his best-beloved home.

These were some of his places of refuge ;
it is probable, however, that he often
changed his abode, and for reasons of
prudence never remained long in any

Once, in his comings and goings, he
stopped in Jericho. Caravans of pilgrims
used often to pass through it. The city
was surrounded with palms and banana
trees, and being in commercial relations
with many cities on the farther side of
the Jordan, a considerable number of pub-
licans were stationed there. The director
of these customs officers, a certain Zac-
cheus, perceived the breadth of Jesus'
ideas and declared himself for him, and
Jesus lodged in his house. The apostles,
long since accustomed to see their master


thus act, took no offence ; but to many, to
all the strangers in the city, this step on
Jesus' part became a stumbling-block.

At the time of this visit to Jericho
Jesus was again on his way to Jerusalem.
It was one of his critical journeys to the
Holy City, perhaps the last, and on that
day a great crowd was following him,
especially of Galileans. The rumor had
gone abroad that the kingdom was about
to appear; that it was precisely in order
to be present at its coming that Jesus
was on his way to the place where it would
first be manifested. " The slow and quiet
time of preparation is past," men said;
"the kingdom is not simply at hand, it
is imminent; it will almost immediately
appear." There was therefore an extraor-
dinary excitement in all this crowd of
provincial pilgrims, among this Galilean
folk, who professed a great admiration for
Jesus, an unlimited confidence in him.^
They were ready for anything; they ex-
pected everything. Did they all see in
Jesus the Messiah ? We do not think so.
For the majority of them he was only the
Prophet, the Forerunner, the Herald,

1 Luke xix. 11.


"He who Cometh in the name of the
Lord," as they themselves were to say;
some called him Elias, and others Jeremiah
or one of the prophets ;2 for the Messiah
was not to appear until the advent of the
kingdom. The Twelve, indeed, affirmed
that Jesus was the Messiah, and that
when the kingdom appeared he would
appear in his glory, quitting his humble
character of Servant of the Lord. Every
one, therefore, was expecting something

And Jesus himself, вАФ what were his
ideas about the kingdom at this very
moment when he was going up to Jerusa-
lem, almost certain of dying there? We
have already shown that he had the gravest
reasons for looking forward to a premature
death as inevitable ; but at the same time
he had a hope that the will of God might
be otherwise accomplished, that a change
might take place in the minds of the
people and of the Sanhedrin. In that case
he would resume and finish his Galilean
work, preparing for the kingdom by re-
pentance and a change in the hearts of
men; and this in Jerusalem itself, in the
1 Matt. xvi. 14.


Temple, welcomed by all. What a vision
was this!

Then the kingdom would appear, and
he, the Son of man, would come in his

Alas! events were to turn out quite
otherwise, and the Father's will was to be
revealed to him as quite o^her than that
which he still hoped. He went up to
Jerusalem, asking himself whether his
people would receive him with acclama-
tion or whether he must die. And he
already foresaw that the second alternative
was inevitable.

And yet he would make one last effort;
he would try a triumphal entry, making
the most of the fact that the Galileans in
his train were numerous and faithful. He
would enter Jerusalem at their head,
escorted and acclaimed by them, on a day
carefully chosen in advance. Oh, if
Jerusalem should understand in this its
day the things that belong to its peace ! ^
No doubt he felt the growing ill-will of
the leaders of his people, he had seen their
faces dark with hatred; they had rejected
him, they hated him; yet still God was

^ Luke xix. 42.


powerful and he was the Father. And so
he would still hope ; it was impossible for
him not to hope.

Can we more deeply fathom the thought
of Jesus in those days when he was plan-
ning his triumphal entry; and more par-
ticularly can we enter into his thought as
to the advent of the kingdom ? It is easy
to answer this question, thanks to a dis-
course on the coming of the kingdom pre-
served to us by the three Synoptics,^ the
study of which, with that of the parables
uttered by Jesus in the closing days of
his life, will be the subject of our next

1 Matt. xxiv. and xxv. ; Mark xiii. ; Luke xxi. 5 ff.




TN these closing days of his life Jesus
would sometimes seat himself over
against the Temple. The spectacle that
lay unrolled before his eyes was a magnifi-
cent one : the terraced height upon which
stood the sacred edifice, the shining roof
of the sanctuary, the superb perspective
of its courts, its walls and gates, evoked
cries of admiration from all who looked
upon it. But Jesus gazed upon these
splendors with an unconquerable sadness.
All this was to be destroyed; and Jeru-
salem, the city of his people, the citadel
of King David, would cast him out, and
put him to death. "O Jerusalem!" he
cried, "thou which killest the prophets
and stonest them that are sent unto thee I
how often would I have gathered thy chil-
dren together even as a hen gathereth her


chickens under her wings, and ye would

One day above all was particularly
solemn: Jesus spoke out his full heart to
his disciples. They were looking upon
the buildings of the Temple, which seemed
to them marvellous. It was then that
Jesus spoke to them in full detail, telling
them of necessary sufferings, of inevitable
calamities ; and yet in the very act of an-
nouncing these woes of the Holy City he
prophesied the coming of the kingdom.
This was his final thought.

We have shown that on many subjects
the ideas of Jesus were developed grad-
ually, taking on new forms under the
pressure of events and the teachings of
daily experience. But on this point his
thought had not changed in the least.
There is one notion which he kept ever
identical with itself through his entire
ministry, the notion of the kingdom of
God. What it had been in the days of
the Galilean ministry, when on mountain
or lake side he proclaimed its approach, this
it still was shortly before his death, when,
sitting in view of the Temple, he predicted

1 Matt, xxiii. 37 : Luke xiii. 34.


to his apostles the destruction of Jerusa-
lem and the final catastrophe. Everything
leads us to believe that we have here his
first thought, that which he formed in
Nazareth in the days of his youth, when

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