"Passing through the midst of them"

When , after the temptation in the wilderness, Jesus returned to Nazareth, and, upon going into the synagogue to read, claimed that the words of the prophet Esaias were that day fulfilled in him, it aroused the wrath of those who heard, that he should claim with so great confidence such mighty things for himself. Was not this the carpenter's son? Had he not grown up among the other boys of Nazareth? Was he not one of them, and quite as humble in origin, education, and environment? Without "honor in his own country," and despite the evident resentment of his auditors, Jesus continued to affirm that he was, in truth, the one sent to "heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised." Marveling at his gracious words, even though incensed by them, the record tells us that they, with human emotions of jealousy, envy, suspicion, and malice seething in their thoughts because he claimed superiority to them, his own townspeople, "thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong." But we further read that he passed through the midst of them and went his way.

The very simplicity of the latter statement brings with it a sense of power and confidence that gave to the writer, when she read it in connection with one of the Lesson-Sermons, an illuminated perception of the quiet grandeur and dignity of the Nazarene as, saying nothing, fearing nothing, he quietly, steadily, safely went his way, knowing who it was that went before him. Undisturbed by the attempt to destroy him, or the treachery of those who, humanly speaking, should have been his most devoted supporters and friends, he went about his Father's business, serene in the consciousness that His will would in any case be done, and that there was no other will. Alone with God was this true child of His, absolutely at-one with the power that produced him; hence, he feared neither scorn nor misunderstanding. How often the human cry goes out: "If people only understood me! How can I endure to be so misjudged and misunderstood!" Yet Emerson writes in language clear as crystal: "Is it so bad then to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton . . . To be great is to be misunderstood."

Jesus came to Capernaum, and wholly unshaken by what would have been a severe ordeal to most men, spoke to the people there with such power that "they were astonished at his doctrine." Beginning his healing ministry even in the synagogue, in fulfilment of the prophecies which had been made concerning "he that should come," he went his way without question, and it was the way of gentleness, peace, love, and rightness. Continuing to heal those that were "sick with divers diseases," what a sense of assurance and courage comes to us as we read the simple unembellished words, "He laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them." It mattered not to him what the form might be in which evil vaunted itself, or in what manner of man expressed,—it was just a lie, because not of God, without whom nothing was made that was made. The narrative states too that the "devils" as they departed from many, cried out, saying, "Thou art Christ, the Son of God." They knew (to continue the personification of evil) that he was the Christ, the truth, before whose power they must needs go down. Knowing, therefore, that their time was short, the evils, one by one, left those that they had seemed to hold in such fearful bondage and, sometimes throwing down the one tormented, and sometimes crying "with a loud voice," they none the less disappeared and "hurt him not."

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Unfettered Truth
May 23, 1914

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