How Jesus prophesied of troubles, and of a great battle against Satanby@edwinabbott

How Jesus prophesied of troubles, and of a great battle against Satan

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When Jesus had made an end of denouncing the Pharisees, many of the young men with them and their servants were desirous to have laid hands on him; and they came near as if for that intent, but the older sort checked them. Yet was their wrath clearly to be read in their faces: and when I came out of the temple, being a little space behind the rest, Hezekiah the Scribe overtook me and said, “Young man, I warn thee that thou mayest with speed sever thyself from this blind shepherd: for lo, he hath to-day provoked war, and war shall fall upon him; for unless he perish we shall perish.” But I made answer, that I should follow Jesus constantly even to the end. Then he spake again of the evil which, he said, had befallen that rash young man Barabbas; how that he had been taken ten days ago by the Romans on the road that goeth down to Jericho, while he was riding at the head of a band of Galileans that were raising sedition: and, said Hezekiah to me, “Thy friend of Jotapata is to be crucified, as I hear, two or three days hence. Take heed therefore unto thine own steps, lest thou also fall into the same destruction.” I made him no further answer, but departed, sorrowing not a little [pg 349]for the sake of Barabbas: for I had not before heard how great an evil had befallen him. When I overtook the rest, I heard the disciples conversing earnestly one with another; and the Greek, even the friend of Philip, bade us take note that we were beset with spies and watched; for “When ye issued from the temple,” said he, “I perceived that the servants of the chief priests and the Pharisees watched you whithersoever ye turned; and, meseemeth, it is their intent to lay hands on your Master this night. But I marvel why your Master so inveighed against the Pharisees, transgressing the bounds of seemliness and decorum, at least in my judgment.” So spake he, after his Greek fashion; but Judas also spake to the same effect, and said that we had come up to Jerusalem to destroy enemies, and lo, we had destroyed none, but made many. The rest knew not what answer to make to these words; neither did I myself at that time. Howbeit, now I know well that Jesus came not to prophesy smooth things, but to teach us the truth. Therefore was it most needful that he should speak the truth, and nothing less than the truth, concerning the Pharisees; to the intent that the eyes of all mankind might be opened, even to the generations of generations, that they might discern that the sin of sins is hypocrisy. For other sins wound, but this sin slayeth, the conscience. Peradventure also Jesus foresaw that a time might come when certain, even among his own disciples, would err as the Pharisees had erred, shutting their eyes against the truth, as being unfit for use and not convenient. And he that came to make a spiritual Israel, [pg 350]a nation of priests and ministers for mankind, was it not most needful that he should thus as it were mark out and brand with censure the special sin of priests? He also that came to redeem all the children of men from all evil, was it not most necessary that he should make clear in the sight of all men what was the greatest evil? For if men knew it not, how could he redeem them from it? And well I know that, if he had not assailed the Pharisees as he did, then these same Greeks who now say that “Jesus transgressed the bounds of seemliness,” would in that case have said (even as Jonathan the son of Ezra said) that “Jesus knew not the evil in human nature.” Notwithstanding at this season we thought not of these things; but we feared what should betide to our Master if the Pharisees took him and cast him into bonds.

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Edwin A. Abbott

Edwin Abbott Abbott FBA was an English schoolmaster, theologian, and Anglican priest, and author.

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by Edwin A. Abbott @edwinabbott.Edwin Abbott Abbott FBA was an English schoolmaster, theologian, and Anglican priest, and author.
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