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§ 109. Differences as to the Theatre of Christ’s Labours.

According to the synoptical Gospels, Galilee was the chief theatre of Christ’s labours, and he only transferred them to Jerusalem whey he was going to meet his approaching death.

We must here more minutely examine the question before lightly 156touched upon (p. 99). Did Christ purposely confine his labours chiefly to Galilee in hope of finding more ready access to the hearts of its simpler-minded inhabitants, who were less in bondage to the traditions of the Pharisees than the people of Jerusalem? or was it because he was less exposed there to the “snares” of the Pharisees, and could, therefore, hope to exercise his labours more uninterruptedly, and for a longer period? Did he wait until he had laid the foundation of his work so firmly that it would endure, and propagate itself after his death, before he determined to go and meet the perils that awaited him at the seat of the priesthood? Did he only make up his mind to go, in spite of the dangers which he foresaw would environ him, in order to avoid the reproach of distrusting the Divinity of his own cause, and thereby giving occasion of perplexity to his disciples?

If these questions are answered in the affirmative, we should have to suppose that the tradition which John followed in his Gospel did not give correctly the original relations of Christ’s labours. It war utterly inconsistent with a wish on his part to be recognized as Messiah, for him to conceal himself so long in a corner of Galilee, and to hold back, for so long a time, his testimony to his Divine calling before the face of the people and the priests at Jerusalem. It would have been a stumbling-block, indeed, for one who professed to acknowledge the old Mosaic religious ideas in all their holiness, to refrain, during the whole course of his public labours, from visiting the Temple at one of the chief feasts of the Jews.

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