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v. 18) to stay still, and to spread abroad in the town the grace he had received, only puts the question further back; it does not decide it.
The conclusive answer is obtained from the general considerations which we have made on these acts of Jesus. As our Lord wished by it to show His power and grace to lead back into society him who had been estranged from it by his uncleanness, so He must necessarily require that the cured person should first pụt himself in that position which would enable him to take again his place among the covenanted people. He hereby secured to His miracle at once that publicity which He himself intended. It was not that it should be spread abroad merely as a report; but the eis waptúpcov aŭtois should tend to make the deed known. The referring of aŭtois to the people' is as little to be justified as it is admissible to conceive the waptúplov as a witness for them. As often as the expression είς μαρτύριον αυτοίς occurs in the Gospels (and it certainly occurs often), it is always used in the sense of a conviction. This certainly should be taken into consideration, when we wish to recognise in it a fulfilling of the legal precept on the part of Jesus Himself; we may not adorn our representation of the Lord with such features. The observance of the ceremonial ordinances was, however, natural for the man that was cured; and that Jesus did not consider him freed from the fulfilment of a religious duty, is clear from the words.
However, it is not alone thus to be considered ; but the real meaning of the text is, that Christ thus more erroneous than to understand it as if it was declared, “Instead of staying here, hasten rather to my brethren.' But also in this case we read no canó, but a dé, which adds to the prohibition a charge in simple succession. This relation between the dé and the canó comes out especially clear in the passage Rom. v. 13, 14, where we find both particles beside one another.
gives the priest the proof of the cleansing accomplished by Him, in like manner as He allowed the master of the feast at Cana to prove the goodness of the wine made by Him. They should themselves judge whether here the declaration ordered in the law and the
prescribed offering could be performed; they should by it be convinced that in this case even a Moses would judge that the flesh of the man is again restored as the flesh of a young child.'
The second cleansing of lepers by Jesus, related in Luke xvii. 11, etc., also fully justifies the views already laid down. The Lord completed this work on His last journey to Jerusalem, in a village which was situated on the route chosen by Him, “through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.' Our attention is naturally turned to a twofold fact. First, our Lord answers the request which was made to Him, not by the sufficient reply, “Be clean,' but by the command, ‘Go, and show yourself to the priests.' Now, although there was in this order the promise of help, the immediate cleansing thus promised was not yet observable by them; but only as they went' did it really appear to them. The Samaritan must have already proceeded some distance on the way ordered when he became aware that he was healed; otherwise there could have been no question of a “turning back’in the 15th verse. As soon as the symbolical character of the event is acknowledged a difficulty occurs. Some have sought to remove it by saying that our Lord wished to try the faith of the suppliants. We shall, however, find another opportunity to call in question the opinion concerning such trials of faith which Jesus is said to have made before He allowed His miraculous assistance to take effect. In the present case, the view is frustrated by the fact that the faith (ver. 19) is only recognised in one, and wanting
in all the others, although they also became pure “as they went upon their way.'
The matter becomes plain, if we think on the spiritual effects which the Lord wished to symbolize by these miracles. In fact, the cleansing from sinful habits, which is accomplished by the grace of Christ, is by no means perfected immediately; it is a gradual work, it happens 'as one goes.' The forgiveness of sins can be embraced by faith and taken immediate possession of; the purification from sinful works is a gradual work. See Eph. iv. 22-32: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed,' etc.; Rom. xiii. 12: 'Let us cast off the works of darkness.' While we walk in the way which Christ points out to us, we shall become purer and purer, until the whole body is light, and no manner of darkness remains any more in us. Secondly, at the end of the narrative we hear our Lord express His displeasure, that besides the one Samaritan there was no other returned to give glory to God. As we must at once deny that there is any connection of this complaint with the proverbial phrase which is in every one's mouth, there remains to us only one meaning. Our Lord points out the pain He feels that the real effect which He aimed at, and which He wished to show by this deed, was only attained by one and missed by the others. The nine gave no proof that they had become clean in a higher sense, as they were contaminated immediately by a pagan vice—ingratitude (Rom. i. 21); still less did they give evidence that the Church would have in them healthy and living members, as they had not attempted to have the commonest intercourse with Him who had been their physician. They will have taken care to obtain their rights as declared clean; they will have mingled with men; but the question, "Where are the nine?' can also be made to include the thought as to what positions and in what circles can they move! In this view is the term stranger applied to the Samaritan. Although of a different yévos, he has entered into the community of the true people of God before the nine. His faith has procured him salvation. “His faith has saved him. We have met with this formula in the history of the woman with the issue of blood. It was there remarked that we should meet with it again in the account of the sinner who anointed the feet of Jesus (Luke vii.). We now add that it also occurs in Mark x. 52. In the present case, its connection with the narrative, according to our opinion, is by no means so unsuitable as Strauss (p. 443, Eng. transl. ii. p. 175) asserts. His opinion is, that Luke, in the 19th verse, has in ‘Go thy way'imitated the parting words of Elisha to Naaman, 'Go in peace;' but that the concluding expression has been transferred by the evangelist from other miraculous accounts into this.'
These words will appear suitable if they are only rightly understood. The ownpla, which is in question here, cannot possibly mean the cleansing from leprosy, for the nine had also received this healing. Bleek's view, that Jesus has confirmed the cure of the Samaritan, will not do, for He has not taken it away again from the rest. What He has cleansed is, and always will be, clean. The ownpla can refer here to nothing else than to a higher kolvovla, to which faith has helped the stranger. But this faith is different from that of the woman with the issue of blood. While that of the latter existed before the cure, that of the former only dated from his experience of the cleansing. It expressed itself in the returning and giving glory to God.' It is said with justice that the offering of this e'xapuotia (16th verse) in its true value is above all the sacrifices which Moses ordered. But faith and giving of thanks do not on that account coincide. The Samaritan returned for the purpose of returning thanks; but as a consequence of the incitement received, his awakened faith in the Son of God also laid hold of the higher possession which our Lord had assured to him in His parting words.
There is certainly some sort of connection between the showing of grace by Jesus to lepers, and that kind of narrative which we are about to consider. But the chief interest in the latter rests on quite a different point. There is not here a certain treasure of the kingdom of heaven which is at hand, which is signified by the symbolical deed; but the point lies (as we will try to show) in the manner in which He rules who is the Lord in this kingdom. The chief objection which has been made against this event will show us the way in which we can conceive its probability
THE CAPTAIN AT CAPERNAUM.—MATT. VIII. 5–13;
LUKE VII. 1-10.
We should merely undertake a useless task, which for some time has had a satisfactory solution, if we endeavoured to establish the proof, that while the narratives of Matthew and Luke refer to one and the same event, that occurrence which is related in the fourth evangelist, chap. iv. 46 and following verse, is a different one. The means of proof are abundantly and convincingly brought together in Meyer's Commentary. It was not to be expected otherwise, than that Strauss would make use of the slight differences between the representations of the first and second evangelist on the one side, and the equally slight resemblance between the two and the Johannine nar