Of covetousness; and of fleeing from Death into Life; and concerning the Law of Retribution
Too Long; Didn't ReadWhen we were now drawing nigh to the borders of Samaria, it being (as I remember) about the ninth hour in the second day of our journey, behold, a tumult arose in the front of the band, and shouts as of men contending together. Then those of us that had swords drew them; for we thought surely the hour was now come for battle. But Jesus bade us put up our swords; and going forward he saw a multitude of Samaritans gathered together to oppose us, neither would they suffer us to pass through their country; and they reviled us and began to cast stones at us. When he saw this, Jesus neither reproached them nor persuaded them to let us pass, but straightway commanded that our band should go back a distance of many furlongs on the road whereby we had come, and then to turn eastward; so that we might pass through the country beyond Jordan, thus avoiding Samaria. This seemed to the most part of us a grievous thing and scarce tolerable, that the army of the Redeemer of Sion should be thus turned out of the path by a Samaritan rabble. Therefore we besought Jesus with many entreaties, and some even with tears, that he would suffer us to force a passage; but he would not hear. At the last, when he had [pg 286]now begun to go back, James and John, being filled with wrath because the Redeemer of Israel was thus despised, prayed Jesus that, if he would not suffer them to smite with the sword he would, at the least, suffer them to call upon the Lord that He might send down fire upon our enemies. Hereat we all were in suspense, and hearkened eagerly to what Jesus would say; for in our hearts we had long supposed that Jesus purposed in this way to destroy the bands of the Romans, even as the prophet Elias had destroyed the captains and footmen of Ahaziah. But Jesus looked steadfastly upon James and John and said unto them, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Then he went back by the way whereby he had come; and we followed him, sorely grieving. Some of us also murmured (and Judas most of all), saying that it was a strange thing that our Master should have threatened to cast the Pharisees into the valley of Hinnom, and notwithstanding would not force a passage through the Cuthite strip (for by this name we termed Samaria), nor call down fire on a rabble of unbelievers. Moreover Judas spared not to say that Jesus must be made perforce to shew forth some mighty work against the enemy, or else the Redemption of Sion would not come to pass. And the heart of Judas began from this time to be turned away from Jesus even more than before; and Jesus also, as it seemed to me, began to perceive that Judas was estranged from him. For whensoever his eyes rested upon Judas, then the face of Jesus was as if God had hidden His countenance for a season.