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6. MISUNDERSTANDINGS AS REGARDS JESUS’ DISCOURSES.

We have reached a point at which we may also say that it is not the hearers of Jesus who are to be accused of having seriously misunderstood his discourses, and that it was not Jesus who intentionally provoked the misunderstandings. The author himself inserts in Jesus’ discourses, when they have, as a matter of fact, already reached their end, some expression having more meanings than one, in order that he may proceed to tell us how, when the hearers of Jesus understood him in an external, material sense, he explained his deeper, spiritual meaning, and in so doing brought to light on the one hand a want of intelligence on the part of the people, and even of the disciples, and on the other the unsuspected profundity of his own disclosures. These misunderstandings are not therefore the reminiscences of an eye-witness, but a device employed by the author.

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