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of His life as a joyous and brave battle against them, and cried aloud to men: “ The world belongs to God, and it is He that giveth us the victory.” Through His own fearlessness He freed His disciples from all fear of men. He showed them by His own example that fear of men cannot exist side by side with fear of God, and that he that stands under God's protection need not be in the least distressed because little men hate him and oppress him. Even though God should suffer them to be vanquished here, they will even then rejoice in Him and will die with these words on their lips, “ The kingdom
“ shall still be ours.' He removed all that was painful from the cares caused by poverty and necessity by helping them to carry God's fatherly love into all that was dark and difficult. The words, “ Be not overanxious,” which Jesus carried with Him from place to place, acquired all their power through Him who was free from all anxiety, who had nothing and yet was so glad. He taught them also bravely to win their way through the temptations of the world. He Himself overcame them by prayer and a brave word. But above all, Jesus caused men to look upon suffering and even death in a new light.
By its precipitate judgments the Jewish doctrine of retribution turned every misfortune into a divine punishment, thereby doubling the distress. Jesus entirely rejected this doctrine. He shows, on the contrary, in the parable of Dives and Lazarus that an entirely poor and abandoned man can be so much happier than a rich man who satisfies his every desire, because death so often brings with it a reversal of men's positions, and therefore Jesus says: “ Blessed
are the poor, the hungry, the persecuted, for the future is theirs."
More important, however, than all this both for Himself and for His disciples was His own death and the whole series of events leading up to it. At first it was a bitter necessity for Him, a divine purpose coming into collision with the human, which just had to be obeyed. Then later He began already to see some positive object therein. Some good end must surely be intended by His death. It must be fraught with blessing for many among the people who as yet believed not in Him. And then once more, in the hour of bitterest anguish, when all consolatory thoughts were like to be driven away again by the rude reality, Jesus still clung firmly to this. “ It is the Father's cup.” And thus He began His great work of recoining the value of things. Through Jesus' death the disciples were gradually enlightened. The dogma of retribution was not true. Suffering and death are not methods of punishment, since God has inflicted them upon His own Son. Thus the Christians were set free from all the bitterness that the fear of death contains. It is true that even the first generation of Christians did not rest content with the teaching of Jesus herein. The thoughts of punishment, retribution, and expiation, were lodged too firmly in their heads. They must needs be applied to Jesus in a new form. But nevertheless in the judgment that they passed upon their own misfortunes we can see that they began to grasp the new idea—that the cross comes from God's
6 love this idea is the fruit of Jesus' death.
Thus, then, Jesus does, as an actual matter of fact,
redeem His disciples from the influence of all powers hostile to God, and in so doing transforms the children of a world of vanity that passeth away into the children of God. For this was ever Jesus' ultimate aim : so to unite God and man as He was united with God. He never reduced this aim to a theoretical formula, nor did it ever occur to Him or to those that accompanied Him, to remove the boundaries that separated the · Master' from His · disciples,' yet He admitted His disciples so closely into His relationship with God that the prayer of both is the same. And for Jesus and His friends everything in fact centres in prayer. In prayer man assumes his normal position God the giver and he the recipient. Jesus and His disciples prayed with such joy, intensity and certainty of victory as perchance never before or since in the history of man. Philosophers may smile at this, because they do not understand it. Those have ever been the greatest epochs in the history of religion when the believer trusted God most of all, and therefore, too, received most from Him. Here the bounds of possibility are enlarged, new forces are set free, and cause the world to wonder. We are, however, here concerned with the contents of the 'Lord's Prayer. It is not only the simplest summary of the redemption' which Jesus effects: it constitutes the bond between Jesus and His disciples. He that can really pray it—not as a mere formula—has reached that stage beyond which nothing higher is to be looked for under the present conditions of existence. Such a one calling upon God as his father is himself His child and in so far like unto Jesus. When he prays for the
coming of God's kingdom he enters upon
the possession of eternity. And finally, by asking for his daily bread, for forgiveness and protection during the short time that still remains, he receives the means of his existence, his peace and the certainty of his salvation from God's hands, and no power in heaven or on earth can separate him from God. Therewith his redemption is completed, as far as it is possible upon earth, and the future is already within his grasp.
He that so prays has gained for himself a share in the divine power and love within the bounds of this earthly life. The disciple of Jesus
without making any claim upon his Master's advocacy or mention of His name. Thereby we are clearly given to understand in what sense Jesus would be the Redeemer, and in what sense He would not. His calling was to bring God so near to the men of His time—and not to them alone—by His whole manner of life and personality, to bind them so firmly to God in the presence of eternity, that they should never miore be able to part from Him. Herein He succeeded so entirely that the thought never occurred to His first disciples that He was setting Himself by the side of God, or was taking God's place as the central object of man's devotion.
They prayed to God alone, and they handed down the saying of Jesus that He, too, was not to be accounted good. And that was the final proof of their redemption. But through His humility and His truthfulness, and by His entire subordination to God, Jesus showed more than by all else that He deserved the name of Redeemer in the fullest sense of the word.
Looked at from a purely historical point of view, the death of Jesus was the necessary consequence
of His revolt against the divine authority of the Scribes and the propaganda of the Pharisees. After His capture, however, Jesus was compelled in the presence of the Sanhedrim to confess Himself Messiah, and thus furnish an ostensible reason for His conviction. It would seem that the Roman governor accepted this political pretext. But that was not the real reason of the hostility and the violent conclusion of the struggle. The spiritual leaders of the people, and the party that stood in the greatest odour of sanctity, recognized that a spirit had appeared in Jesus, which was bound to sweep them away. Finally, the danger came to be so great that only the immediate removal of Jesus appeared to offer any possibility of safety. The death of the leader seemed to them to imply as a necessary consequence the defeat of the cause, the confusion of His adherents, and the impossibility of belief in an executed criminal. These calculations appeared to be confirmed by the flight and the dispersal of the disciples after the capture of Jesus.
Contrary to all expectations, the dispersed disciples began to gather together again, at first in Galilee and then in Jerusalem. “He is not dead,” they cried in triumphant enthusiasm to the murderers of Jesus ; 6. He liveth.” The reckoning of the Sanhedrists turned out to be at fault. Their clever calculations proved to be the greatest folly and impolicy, for faith in the crucified and risen Lord brought about that which faith in the living Christ had not accomplished: the foundation of the new Church, the separation from Judaism, the conquest of the world.