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principally in His actions. Scores of prophecies had been uttered by the seers of old concerning the birth, life, deeds, passion, and death of the Messiah. In fulfilling these prophecies in His own person, the Master proved conclusively that He was the promised Messiah. On several occasions, however, He added verbal testimony to His teaching, by quoting the prophecies that concerned the Messiah, and then leading His hearers to draw the desired conclusion by enabling them to establish the connection between the prophecies and His fulfilment of them. Again we have in these instances an example of the gradual advance from the known to the related unknown; the Jews were familiar with the prophecies, they were now to recognize the fulfilment. St. Matthew relates how St. John the Baptist sent two of his disciples to Christ with the question: "Art thou he that art to come, or look we for another?'"219 Instead of giving a direct answer to their query the Master replied, "Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the Gospel preached to them.''220 It had been foretold by Isaias that the Messiah would accomplish these wonderful works, hence this answer of the Divine Teacher was far more forceful in convincing them of His identity than would have been a simple affirmative. It involves the principle of self-activity coupled with apperception by which the teacher leads the pupil to acquire knowledge for himself rather than impart to him the direct information. It also appeals to the senses and thereby makes the impression more vivid and lasting. When these disciples had left the presence of the Master, Christ established the identity of St. John the Baptist, as the precursor of the Messiah, by another quotation from the Old Testament, saying to the multitudes who stood about: "This is he of whom it is written: Behold I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.' 1221

A similar instance of Our Saviour's use of prophecy to prove His Messiahship is recorded by St. Luke. When teaching at Nazareth the Master read to the multitude in the synagogue a passage from the book of Isaias: "The Spirit of

219 St. Matthew, XI, 8.

220 Ibid., XI, 4-5.

the Lord is upon me. Wherefore he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the contrite of heart, to preach deliverance to the captives, and sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of reward. ''222 He then closed the book, restored it to the minister and while the eyes of the expectant multitude were riveted upon Him, He uttered the brief but convincing statement: "This day is fulfilled this scripture in your ears.''223 By means of the prophecy which was previously known to the multitude, the hearers were led by the Master to its correct application in His own person, a step in the process of the complete comprehension of the text, which they had hitherto been unable to take by their own unaided efforts.

Another allusion made by Christ to the prophecies of the Old Testament is related by all three of the Synoptists. It is preceded in all three accounts by the parable of the husbandmen, in which a certain man having planted a vineyard, let it out to husbandmen and then went into a far country. When the time of the fruits drew nigh he sent his servants to the husbandmen to receive the fruits of the vineyard. After two deputations of his servants had been either killed or illtreated by the husbandmen, the master sent his son who met with a like fate. The conclusion of the parable, which was either given by the Divine Teacher Himself, as narrated by St. Mark and St. Luke, or elicted from the chief priests and ancients of the people, as stated by St. Matthew, was that the lord of the vineyard would destroy the husbandmen and give the vineyard to others who would render him the fruit in due season. This entire parable is used by our Saviour as a basis for the correct understanding of the prophecy which He is about to cite. The apperception masses of the multitude hereby called to the foreground of their consciousness, enable them readily to make the transition from the son of the parable to the Son of God who is addressing them. When their minds are thus prepared, Christ continues: "Have you never read in the Scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? By the Lord has this been done; and it is wonderful in our eyes.

222 St. Luke, IV, 18-19.

Therefore I say to you, that the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof. ' '224 All three Synoptists conclude their accounts with the assurance that the chief priests and Pharisees "knew that he spoke of them." They must, therefore, have understood that Christ professed Himself to be the Messiah, "the stone which the builders rejected," spoken of by the Psalmist.

In connection with the testimony of Christ to His Messiahship we may cite another example of His use of the Old Testament to corroborate His statements. The incident is related by St. John. Our Lord on this occasion said to the people: "I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life.''225 Upon hearing this the Pharisees murmured, saying "Thou givest testimony of Thyself: Thy testimony is not true." The Saviour answered: "Although I give testimony of myself, my testimony is true. And in your law it is written, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that give testimony of myself: and the Father that sent me giveth testimony of me.''226 By this reference to the Old Law the Pharisees, who were well acquainted with the precept and its practice could no longer refuse to accept His testimony, but evaded acknowledging it by questioning Christ further concerning His Father.

In the early part of Our Lord's ministry, after He had selected the twelve Apostles who were to assist Him in spreading His doctrine, the Master invested them with the power of working miracles, and gave them minute directions for their conduct upon their journeys. Their salutation upon entering a house should be "Peace be to this house." It was to be supposed that they would not meet with the same reception everywhere, hence our Lord prepared them for the opposition with which they would be confronted. "And if that house be worthy," He said, "your peace shall come upon it; but if it be not worthy your peace shall return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words: going forth out of that house or city shake off the dust from feet.' your

227 St. Matthew, X, 12-14.

224 St. Matthew, XXI, 33-45; St. Mark, XII, 1-11; St. Luke, XX, 9-19.

225 St. John, VIII, 12.


Then in order to impress upon them the heavy guilt of those who refuse to accept His doctrine and the punishment that will befall them, the Master recalls to their minds the fate of Sodom and Gomorrha in the days of Abraham and Lot, and says, "Amen I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.' 1228 At the mention of these names a clear vision of those burning cities must have loomed up before the imagination of His hearers, and with this apperception mass the new idea of the fate of those who would reject Christ's messengers could be readily linked.

Similar occasions of disaster to those who transgressed the law of God were employed by Christ in His description of the end of the world and of the last judgment. After a long discourse on the signs that would precede this dreaded day, He warned His hearers against its sudden appearance, and man's ignorance of the time of its occurrence. "But of that day and hour no one knoweth, no not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone. ''229 He then recalls to their minds the unpreparedness of the people at the time of the Deluge, likewise on the day of the destruction of Sodom, and how death surprised them in the midst of their various occupations of feasting, marrying, buying, and selling. He cautions them not to delay in following the call of the Son of Man on that day, lest they meet with the fate of Lot's wife, who was destroyed for looking back upon the burning city.230 No more terrifying pictures could have been presented to the imaginations of the Jews than these scenes of panic and confusion, bringing death to all without exception. The transition was easily made from these occurrences to that "dread day" of whose approach no one may know.

Another striking example of apperception secured by means of reference to the Old Testament may be found in the discourse of Christ which followed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, as recorded by St. John. This discourse, which abounds in illustrations of apperception, has been treated at length in a previous chapter of this dissertation, but only a mere allusion was made there to this particular

228 St. Matthew, X, 15.

230 St. Matthew, XXIV, 87-89; St. Luke, XVII, 26-82.

passage of the discourse which recalls a memorable portion of Jewish history. The miracle had been wrought by our Lord on the day preceding this discourse, and when the Jews on the day after the miracle sought out the Master, He attributed their search for Him to the fact of their having eaten of the loaves. He made use of this occasion to prepare their minds for the institution of the Blessed Sacrament by saying to them: "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto life everlasting, which the Son of Man will give you.''231 This brought to the minds of the Jews the bread from heaven which their Fathers ate in the desert, but the Master wishing to show them the difference between their food in the desert and the bread to which He referred, said to them: "Amen, amen, I say to you: Moses gave you not bread from heaven, but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life to the world."232 A little later in distinguishing between the effects of the two, He continued: "Your fathers did eat manna and are dead, he that eateth this bread, shall live for The fact of the daily appearance of the manna during the early history of the Jews was learned by their descendants, not only from the text of the inspired writings, but was without doubt a sacred tradition among them, and was recounted to their children at the fireside as soon as their minds were capable of understanding. The very mention of the name at any time would, therefore, call forth a vast apperception mass, beginning with the idea of the departure of the Jews from Egypt and ending only with the comforting remembrance of their settlement in the Promised Land. The outstanding group of ideas in this apperception mass would be the long and weary years of the march through the desert, during which time they were daily supplied with this miraculous food. The new idea now linked with this mass by the words of the Saviour was that, though the manna sustained the life of the weary travelers during their sojourn, its effect was nevertheless merely temporary, while the bread of which He was speaking would bring them to life everlasting.



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In the predictions of His Sacred Passion, our Saviour made

231 St. John, VI, 27. 232 Ibid., VI, 32-33.

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