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humility of the divine love, he washed the feet of all the Twelve, even of the one whom he knew to be his betrayer. Solemnly he pointed to this act to show them love's spirit: "Ye call me Master and Lord; and ye say well, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For
I have given you an example, that ye also should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, a servant is not greater than his lord; neither one that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them.
It was after this, when the betrayer had gone out, that Jesus said to them: "Little children, yet a little while I am with you. A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you. Even as I have loved you;-even as the Father hath loved me I also have loved you;' greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.' Thus they were to love one another, in perfect humility and abnegation-Christ had washed their feet; unto the giving up of life-Christ was about to die for them. And, as it were inclusive of such consummate acts, and in order that all their lives might be held in the spirit of love absolute, Christ's disciples were to love each other with the love of God,-in all the boundlessness and ceaselessness of the love with which the Father loved the Son; so had the Son loved them.
The life of perfect love which Jesus led on earth was such that it could be known only though loving Jesus. And likewise Christ's teaching, as it starts from God's perfect love and the Son's perfect love not only of those who would be brethren and followers, but of all the world who still rejected him, this teaching also assumes love for Christ; it speaks to love, and only through love of Christ can it be known, its truth and power be felt. Christianity is love speaking unto love. Love may address itself 3 Ib., xv, 9. 4 lb., xv, 13.
1 1 John xiii, 13-17. 2 16., xiii, 33.
to those who have it not, but cannot be understood by them until they love.
John's Gospel also demands faith in Christ: "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become children of God, even to them who believed on his name." So to the question of the multitude, What must we do that we may work the works of God? Christ answers, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.' He also speaks to his disciples of their belief in his relation to the Father: "Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me. But the fourth evangelist most willingly sets these matters forth from the standpoint of faith transformed to love. It is loving Christ, and in love doing his commandments, that shall bring knowledge of God and his indwelling truth and being.'
It is difficult to conceive of life except as under its present conditions. This difficulty, as well as the wish. to entangle Jesus in his words, lay behind the Dilemmas question of the Sadducees, Whose wife shall she be in the resurrection, seeing they all had her? Jesus answers, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures,-for the doctrine of resurrection
of the Flesh and Life Eternal.
is in them, nor the power of God. The dilemmas of the flesh are not to be transferred to the kingdom of heaven. The contradictions of finite being are not such in God, nor is his life and power to impart it limited to conditions of life on earth. Here was Nicodemus' difficulty: How can a man be born again? Jesus tells him, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh." Nicodemus understands this kind of birth. "That which is born of the spirit is spirit." Jesus is speaking of the need of a new and spiritual birth before entering God's kingdom. To many
it must remain a mystery: "Thou hearest the wind, but
knowest not whence it comes nor whither it goeth; thus is everyone that is born of the spirit," the Holy Spirit of God. Nicodemus could conceive only of birth from a mother's womb: how could he understand if Jesus told him of heavenly things?
The Samaritan woman is in like difficulty; she cannot conceive of spiritual life, nor how life could be nourished save on physical food. With her and Nicodemus, as afterwards with others of the Jews and Pharisees, it is not simply a failure to catch the significance of Christ's metaphors. The difficulty was deeper; Christ was expounding a different life, a life independent of earthly meat and drink,' of earthly conditions generally. He was not misunderstood because he spoke in images. That always was a manner of the East. Christ was disclosing to men a life without physical and mortal limitations. It was a life upon which a believer might enter while on earth, yet it was not earthly life, such as people then understood. And here appears one aspect of the perhaps unconscious plan of John's Gospel: In the teachings of Christ as therein recorded, the life of man, or the life which through Christ man is capable of, is set forth gradually freed from limitations, gradually lifted out of conditions of earthly existence, gradually shown as eternal, absolute. And yet no real element of life is lost, no atom of man's positive and God-accordant attainment or individuality destroyed. It is not the metaphysical disclosure of the Absolute through the elimination of qualities which exclude their opposites and, in defining, limit. That is neo-Platonism. John's Gospel discloses life absolute in fulness of quality, life absolute in absence of limitation. And the discourses of Jesus, in which this life is set forth, proceed without self-contradiction, because, in manner analogous to the aphoristic mode of the synoptics,' they set forth different aspects of it successively; and the farthest reaches of this life eternal, the deepest thoughts of its relations with its 1 Cf. also iv, 31-34. See ante, p. 242.
Source, never transcend the range of human feeling, always address themselves to man's whole nature, to his heart of love as well as to his mind of thought; are consequently always real and living, never vague, never empty, never metaphysical. Christ states the deepest truths of life in terms of love.
This conception of life eternal and absolute, now and forever freed from all conditions of earthly existence, as set forth in the Fourth Gospel, is not inconsistent with Christ's teachings in the synoptics. On the contrary, there is deep consistency between it and Christ's way of speaking of the kingdom of heaven sometimes as a kingdom almost palpably to come, sometimes as a spiritual condition which may exist now among men as well as hereafter; or again sometimes from the point of view of the unseen working of God's re-creative power, and sometimes from the point of view of man's acceptance or failure to accept the gift of God.' This manner of bringing out the different and apparently inconsistent aspects of the kingdom of heaven is analogous to Christ's method in John's Gospel of setting forth the modes of life eternal, a life which is not subject to earthly conditions, and so involves in contradiction all speech of it in terms of life in the flesh.
Disclosure of Life Eternal.
One may trace throughout John's Gospel the disclosure of this life from God. Christ sets it forth, by pointing to himself and his relationship to God as the embodiment of it, and by showing how through him men may attain it. But whether speaking of himself or with direct reference to men, Christ's successive discourses make clear that this life of which he speaks is subject neither to conditions of ordinary earthly existence nor to limitations of time and space.
When pursued by the Jews for healing the sick man at the Bethesda pool on the Sabbath, Jesus said, “My
1 See ante, p. 251.
Father worketh even until now, and I work.''1 took this for simple blasphemy,—a man asserting himself the Son of God, holy, high, and lifted up. Jesus' words pointed to the identity of the life which was in him with the life of God; and he continues showing how the life which is in the Son must work according to the life and will of the Father, and can impart itself in spiritual ways, and in modes which indicate that essential life is essential righteousness and can exist only in accord with the will of God. "He that heareth my word and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
For as the Father hath life in himself, even so gave he to the Son also to have life in himself; and he gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man." The life which is in the Son includes the power of judgment; the Son imparts life only to those who seek to live according to the will of God, life's source: "I can of myself do nothing. my judgment is righteous because I seek not my own will, but the will of him that sent me." This shows conversely that the life which is in the Son is life because of its identity with the life of God; and for the same reason is the Son's judgment righteous.
Similar thoughts appear under different images in the discourses of the sixth chapter. The multitude have seen the feeding of the five thousand, and follow Jesus across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum. Jesus says: "Work not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meat which abideth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you." At first they are not conscious how deeply they misunderstand his words, and ask him what they must do to work the works of God. Jesus answers, Believe in him that he hath sent. They then ask for a sign, and speak of the manna which was given as bread from heaven. "My Father giveth you the true