How Jesus would work no sign in heaven; and concerning his temptationby@edwinabbott

How Jesus would work no sign in heaven; and concerning his temptation

by Edwin A. Abbott13mOctober 29th, 2023
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Gorgias the son of Philip exceeded the rest of us in his rejoicing at the return of Jesus, and in the largeness of his expectation, saying that it could not be that our Master, when he adventured to work a sign, would suffer himself to be surpassed by any, albeit the most cunning magicians. “Now,” said he, “I have heard an Alexandrine say that there are certain magicians which, in the middle of the market-place, in return for a few obols, will drive out demons and diseases, and call up the souls of heroes, and costly banquets, tables, dishes, and dainties, all as though ready for a feast; all which at the magician’s wand shall vanish away. If therefore a common magician can do such things for hire, how much more can Jesus do greater things than these for the Redemption of Israel!” Judas also spake after the same manner, and he said that perchance it was well done of Jesus not to work a sign in heaven at first; for had he worked the sign too early, it would have been counted cheap, and would have been despised. “Much wiser,” continued he, “to hold the sign back till the people crave for it, and till the Pharisees (supposing forsooth that he cannot do it) venture to promise obedience to Jesus on the condition [pg 239]that he work a sign in heaven. For thus shall they be taken in their own snare.” Only John was doubtful, saying to Judas, “Hast thou then forgotten how once in our presence our Master said he should work no sign in heaven?” But Judas replied that our Master had more than once changed his course, suiting it to the needs of the time; “And,” said he, “when he shall once perceive that the Redemption of Sion dependeth upon the working of a sign in heaven, then, trust me, the sign will not long be wanting. And so strongly am I assured thereof, that it would even seem to me to be a friendly deed to tell the Pharisees how Jesus hath said that he will never work the sign, and in this way to move them to ask Jesus to work the sign; to the intent that they may dig a pit for Jesus and fall into it themselves.” Now this he spake jesting; but (as I afterwards learned) Judas had indeed moved the Pharisees even, as he said, to ask Jesus to work a sign in heaven. And Judas it was that had sent to Eliezer that message whereof I have before made mention. But these things Judas did, not because he desired (at that time) to harm Jesus, but wishing to help him, and supposing that he should help him by forcing him to do that which, of himself, Jesus would not do. Howbeit of all these things we, at this present, knew nothing; and we took the words of Judas as if spoken in jest. But John shook his head and made no answer.
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Edwin A. Abbott

Edwin A. Abbott

@edwinabbott

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

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

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