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7. REPETITIONS IN JESUS’ DISCOURSES.

When we consider further how limited a number of ideas are continually repeated in these discourses in a way which is felt to be quite monotonous and tedious even by very many 75of those who regard the Fourth Gospel with a kind of awe, we wonder the more how Jesus could have gone on talking in this way for two years without being left with no one at all to listen to him.

But we have still to add something which has not so far been mentioned: in Jn. Jesus continues a discourse even when in the meantime a series of events have happened, and when of course the audience has changed. He says, for example, at the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple (x. 26; cp. 22), “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep,” and then proceeds to enlarge upon the idea of the sheep, just as he has done on an earlier and quite different occasion (x. 3, 10 f., 14). On another occasion, at the Feast of Tabernacles (vii. 23; cp. 2) he says, “are ye wroth with me, because I made a man every whit whole on the Sabbath? “Now the only act of the kind which has been mentioned so far is the healing of the sick man at Bethesda (v. 1-16) which took place at an earlier, but not definitely distinguished, “feast of the Jews.” Since this, according to Jn., Jesus fed the Five Thousand at the Passover Feast in Galilee (vi. 4), and the interval between this and the Feast of Tabernacles would amount to another six months.

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