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In accordance with this, as far as the course of Jesus’ ministry is concerned it might now be expected to have a very speedy and a violent termination. In particular, it was the expulsion of the dealers from the fore-court of the Temple that, according to the account of the Synoptics, sealed Jesus fate. And, as a matter of fact, no officials could allow their sacred rights to be interfered with in this way without letting all authority slip out of their 17hands. But in Jn. the expulsion takes place at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, and it happens with out bringing upon him any serious consequences. This is all the more remarkable since in this Gospel no difficulties seem to be felt at all when Jesus is represented as about to be taken prisoner without any clear legal grounds for the action. The High-priests and Pharisees only need to give their agents command to effect the capture (vii. 32). It is not effected, it is true. But why not? Their agents allow themselves to be withheld from obeying their instructions by the power of Jesus’ words, and the authorities quietly abandon their object (vii. 45-49). We are told repeatedly that “they” (or “the Jews”) sought to take him or to kill him (v. 18; vii. 1; viii. 37, 40; x. 31), but the result is always: “none laid hand upon him” (vii. 30), “he escaped from their hands” (x. 39), or when they wished to stone him, “he hid himself and escaped from the Temple place” (viii. 59). And the reason given is that “his hour was not yet come” (vii. 30; viii. 20).

Now certainly it must not be overlooked that in the Synoptics also (Mk. iii. 6) the Pharisees with the party of Herod took counsel together how they might destroy Jesus after his first cure of a sick man on a Sabbath. On the whole, however, events run their course here in a much more intelligible way. Jesus comes forward in Galilee and finds favour—even an enthusiastic welcome—among the people for a whole period. The intervention of the Pharisees is powerless to check this. When Jesus leaves Jewish territory on the north, he does so expressly in order to escape the pressure now becoming too great (Mk. vii. 24). Only in the end does there come a time when he finds himself called upon to go up to Jerusalem, and there, by 18means of a solemn entry into the city, to force a decision of the question whether people would see in him the Saviour (Mk, xi. 1-11). The decision follows within few days, and is hastened chiefly by the expulsion of the dealers from the fore-court of the Temple.

In the Fourth Gospel, on the other hand, although the circumstances urgently require an immediate settlement of the question, it is deferred again and again; and, finally the decision is caused by an event of which the Synoptics know nothing at all—by the raising of Lazarus. The greatest of all miracles leads the High Council, the highest authority among the Jewish people, to meet together and definitely contemplate Jesus’ removal (xii. 47-53, 57). Thus the two accounts do not agree even to what really provided the occasion for the overthrow Jesus.

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