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before he wrote; and if they all knew it in the true formwhich ex hypothesi they must have done, as the mistake originated with him-it is inconceivable that there should be no trace of the true form left, and no indication of any attempt to correct Mark. The text of the gospels was not sacrosanct in early times. Matthew and Luke, who can both be shown to have used Aramaic documents independently,' no doubt follow Mark closely at this point; but even if they follow him also unthinkingly, we are safe to say that all three tell the story in the only form in which it could be told to the apostolic Church, a form which had the apostolic testimony behind it, and which could not have been modified for the whole Church, at an essential point, by the mistranslation of any person whatever.

Further, the displacement of 'the Son of Man' by 'man' has only a superficial plausibility in logic. The healing of the palsy by Jesus does not prove that man generically can forgive sins. The man who does the visible miracle in confirmation of his claim to do the invisible is to be taken at his word: but it is no more true that man generically can speak the word of forgiveness with divine effect than that man generically can effectively bid the lame walk. The only question raised, and the only question settled, is one concerning the power claimed by Jesus; and it is settled, not by bringing Jesus under the general category of humanity, but by an act of Jesus Himself which was as impossible for men in general as the forgiveness of sins. It is not any man, but only He who has the right to think of Himself as the Son of Man, who can forgive sins upon the earth. This is all that is covered by the healing of the paralytic. Mutatis mutandis, the same considerations apply to the passage about man and the Sabbath.

But this is not all. The passage with which we are See Wellhausen's notes on Luke 623, 11 41.

dealing is the first in the gospel in which Jesus is directly challenged while engaged in His vocation. He is doing the very work which He has come to do-revealing Himself in His proper character as the Person in whom God has visited men for their deliverance from sin and misery-when His authority is called in question. He is in truth the representative of God, but the suggestion is made that so far from representing He blasphemes, invading impiously a prerogative reserved for God alone. Are not the circumstances fitted to evoke such a kind of selfassertion as is found in the use here of the title 'Son of Man'? It is no doubt a Messianic or quasi-Messianic title, but it is not simply equivalent to the Christ. The Messiah whom it suggests is not any Messiah-is not, for example, the Messiah of national and political hopes -but a transcendent person of some kind; one through whom the Kingdom of God is to triumph, of course, but one whose very name emphasises humanity as opposed to brutality. It is in keeping with the character of such a Messiah that He should wish to forgive sins and heal diseases; it is in keeping with Jesus' consciousness of being such a Messiah that He should have and exercise both these divine and gracious powers. We have seen already how Jesus employs the title Son of Man on occasions where His humanity, in the ethical sense, is to be emphasised (see p. 256 f.); and it is this which in the first instance is to be kept in view here. In spite of the fact that it is mainly used-in agreement with its source in Daniel 7 in eschatological passages, it is not exclusively eschatological in import. It is the name which describes Jesus in His vocation as the Person through whom the Kingdom of God is established, and it indicates that the Kingdom of God is at the same time the Kingdom of humanity, the condition of things in which man is redeemed from the tyranny of brutal forces, and all humane ideals are realised.


It is relative to the Kingdom of God, just as the Son, simpliciter, is relative to the Father; but the Kingdom of God to which it is relative is a kingdom of grace in which men are forgiven all their iniquities and healed of all their diseases. Hence Jesus frequently uses the title Son of Man when He wishes to speak of Himself in the light of His vocation, as the Person doing the works that belong to the establishment of such a kingdom. "The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.' 'The Son of Man came, not to be ministered unto but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.' 'The Son of Man hath power upon earth to forgive sins.' The name as used here is in keeping with Jesus' use of it on these other occasions, and it is thoroughly appropriate. But to displace it by 'man' is to introduce what is not only unexampled elsewhere in Scripture, but in itself inept and untrue. Accepting, therefore, the evangelic record of Jesus' words at this point, we find in them an indication, belonging to the earliest period of His ministry, that He lived and worked in the consciousness of a relation to God and to the bringing in of His reign among men which can have belonged to Him alone--such a relation, in short, as makes Him not the pattern of goodness merely, but the object of religious faith to all who look for salvation in the coming of God's Kingdom. Now this, as we have repeatedly seen, is the attitude of Christian faith to Christ, and therefore we conclude once more that such faith is justified by Jesus' consciousness of Himself,

Before leaving this passage it is proper to remark on the reference in it to faith. 'When He saw their faith. Jesus said to the paralytic, Child, thy sins are forgiven.' The faith meant is that of the paralytic and his friends: their assurance that help could be had from Jesus was so great that they overcame every obstacle in order to

reach Him. Per omnia fides ad Christum penetrat. The power that brings man help is, of course, in every case ultimately the power of God, and therefore in a true sense God is always the object of faith; but the point here is that God's power to help is present in Jesus; it is mediated through Him and through Him alone, and hence He also becomes, as no other can be, the object of faith. This is the one attitude to Him which the New Testament discovers, and quite apart from this or that word in which He revealed His own expectation or demand, it is inconceivable that this attitude should have been mistaken. It was evoked by Jesus as the reality of what He was and did impressed itself on those who were in contact with Him. The Jesus to whom the New Testament bears witness evokes the same attitude still. But if it needed more explicit justification, that justification would be found in the many striking words of Jesus about faith. He says to suppliants for help, 'Believe ye that I am able to do this?' He says to the woman who was healed by touching the hem of His garment, 'Thy faith hath saved thee.' He says to Jairus, when news is brought that his daughter is dead, 'Be not afraid, only believe.' The faith that He claims in this last instance is the utmost reach of faith which can be demanded from man. The great enemy of faith is death. We can keep hold of God, and hope for His help, as long as there is life; but death seems to end all. Yet even in the presence of death Jesus says, Fear not, only have faith. The words have no relevance at all unless they mean that the saving help of God which is present in Jesus is stronger even than death, so that he who believes in Him can defy the last enemy. A recent commentator on Mark' says that the only thing in this narrative which speaks to us with living and personal power is the faith of Jesus


1 J. Weiss, Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments, i. 118; also p. 46.

His confidence that the Father would go with Him to the ruler's house and enable Him to meet whatever emergency there was; but surely the demand of Jesus that in the very presence of death Jairus should not renounce hope, but believe that the power of God to be exercised through Him would be equal to any extremity of need, is quite as remarkable. What Jesus requires is not that Jairus should directly exhibit the same faith in God as He Himself did-a faith at which the commentator referred to can only hold up his hands in blank bewilderment --but that in His company, and relying on what God would do through Him, he should not despair. The help of God for the man was to be mediated through Jesus, and through Jesus also the faith of the man in God was to be mediated. There is no other relation of God's help to man, or of man's faith in God, known either to the gospels or the epistles in the New Testament; and we repeat, it is inconceivable that at this vital point the convictions and experiences evoked by Jesus should have been at variance with the mind of Jesus Himself.



(Mark 2 18-20)

One of the passages in Mark which would formerly have been pointed to without hesitation as indicating the peculiar self-consciousness of Jesus is that in which He answers a question about fasting. 'Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but Thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said to them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast while the Bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the Bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But days will come when the Bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in that day' (Mark 2 18-20). Originally,

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