ISBN: 1141754851 / ISBN-13: 9781141754854
The Jesus of History
by T R Glover
Excerpt: ...has deeper needs. The Shoeblack, according to Teufelsdrockh, wants "God's infinite universe altogether to himself." In the simpler words ... Show synopsis Excerpt: ...has deeper needs. The Shoeblack, according to Teufelsdrockh, wants "God's infinite universe altogether to himself." In the simpler words of Jesus, he is never happy till he says, "I will arise and go to my Father" (Luke 15:18). This craving for the Father the men of Jesus' day tried to fill with the law; and, when the law failed to satisfy it, they had nothing further to suggest, except their fixed idea that "God heareth not sinners" (John 9:31). They despaired of the great masses and left them alone. They did not realize, as Jesus did, that the Father also craves for his children. When Jesus saw the simpler folk thus forsaken, the picture rose in his mind of sheep, worried by dogs or wolves, till they fell, worn out-sheep without a shepherd (Matt. 9:36). Every one remembers the shepherd of the parable who sought the one lost sheep until he found it, and how he brought it home on his shoulders (Luke 15:5). But there is another parable, we might almost say, of ninety and nine lost sheep-a parable, not developed, but implied in the passage of Matthew, and it is as significant as the other, for our Good Shepherd has to ask his friends to help him in this case. The appeal that lay in the sheer misery and helplessness of masses of men was one of the foundations of the Christian Church. (The Good Shepherd, by the way, is a phrase from the Fourth Gospel (John 10:11), but we think most often of the Good Shepherd as carrying the sheep, and that comes from Luke, and is in all likelihood nearer the parable of Jesus.) It is worth noticing that Jesus stands alone in refusing to despair of the greater part of mankind. Contempt was in his eyes the unpardonable sin (Matt. 5:22). How swift and decisive is his anger with those who make others stumble! (Luke 17:2). The parable of the lost sheep reveals what he held to be God's feeling for the hopeless man; and, as we have seen, his constant aim is to lead men to "think like God." The lost soul matters to God. He...