How do the demons know that Jesus is the Son of God?
|November 4, 2011||Posted by webmaster under All text of Schweitzer Quest Jesus, chapter nineteen||
How do the demoniacs know that Jesus is the Son of God? Why does the blind man at Jericho address Him as the Son of David, when no one else knows His Messianic dignity? How was it that these occurrences did not give a new direction to the thoughts of the people in regard to Jesus? How did the Messianic entry come about? How was it possible without provoking the interference of the Roman garrison of occupation? Why is it as completely ignored in the subsequent controversies as if it had never taken place? Why was it not brought up at the trial of Jesus? “The Messianic acclamation at the entry into Jerusalem,” says Wrede, “is in Mark quite an isolated incident. It has no sequel, neither is there any preparation for it beforehand.”
Why does Jesus in Mark iv. 10-12 speak of the parabolic form of discourse as designed to conceal the mystery of the Kingdom of God, whereas the explanation which He proceeds to give to the disciples has nothing mysterious about it? What is the mystery of the Kingdom of God? Why does Jesus forbid His miracles to be made known even in cases where there is no apparent purpose for the prohibition? Why is His Messiahship a secret and yet no secret, since it is known, not only to the disciples, but to the demoniacs, the blind man at Jericho, the multitude at Jerusalem—which must, as Bruno Bauer expresses it, “have fallen from heaven”—and to the High Priest?
Why does Jesus first reveal His Messiahship to the disciples at Caesarea Philippi, not at the moment when He sends them forth to preach? How does Peter know without having been told by Jesus that the Messiahship belongs to his Master? Why must it remain a secret until the “resurrection”? Why does Jesus indicate His Messiahship only by the title Son of Man? And why is it that this title is so far from prominent in primitive Christian theology?
What is the meaning of the statement that Jesus at Jerusalem discovered a difficulty in the fact that the Messiah was described as at once David’s son and David’s Lord? How are we to explain the fact that Jesus had to open the eyes of the people to the greatness of the Baptist’s office, subsequently to the mission of the Twelve, and to enlighten the disciples themselves in regard to it during the descent from the mount of transfiguration? Why should this be described in Matt. xi. 14 and 15 as a mystery difficult to grasp (“If ye can receive it” . . . “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear”)? What is the meaning of the saying that he that is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than the Baptist? Does the Baptist, then, not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven? How is the Kingdom of Heaven subjected to violence since the days of the Baptist? Who are the violent? What is the Baptist intended to understand from the answer of Jesus?
What importance was attached to the miracles by Jesus Himself? What office must they have caused the people to attribute to Him? Why is the discourse at the sending out of the Twelve filled with predictions of persecutions which experience had given no reason to anticipate, and which did not, as a matter of fact, occur? What is the meaning of the saying in Matt. x. 23 about the imminent coming of the Son of Man, seeing that the disciples after all returned to Jesus without its being fulfilled? Why does Jesus leave the people just when His work among them is most successful, and journey northwards? Why had He, immediately after the sending forth of the Twelve, manifested a desire to withdraw Himself from the multitude who were longing for salvation?
How does the multitude mentioned in Mark viii. 34 suddenly appear at Caesarea Philippi? Why is its presence no longer implied in Mark ix. 30? How could Jesus possibly have travelled unrecognised through Galilee, and how could He have avoided being thronged in Capernaum although He stayed at “the house”?
How came He so suddenly to speak to His disciples of His suffering and dying and rising again, without, moreover, explaining to them either the natural or the moral “wherefore”? “There is no trace of any attempt on the part of Jesus,” says Wrede, “to break this strange thought gradually to His disciples . . . the prediction is always flung down before the disciples without preparation, it is, in fact, a characteristic feature of these sayings that all attempt to aid the understanding of the disciples is lacking.”
Did Jesus journey to Jerusalem with the purpose of working there, or of dying there? How comes it that in Mark x. 39, He holds out to the sons of Zebedee the prospect of drinking His cup and being baptized with His baptism? And how can He, after speaking so decidedly of the necessity of His death, think it possible in Gethsemane that the cup might yet pass from Him? Who are the undefined “many,” for whom, according to Mark x. 45 and xiv. 24, His death shall serve as a ransom?
How came it that Jesus alone was arrested? Why were no witness called at His trial to testify that He had given Himself out to be the Messiah? How is it that on the morning after His arrest the temper of the multitude seems to be completely changed, so that no one stirs a finger to help Him?
In what form does Jesus conceive the resurrection, which He promises to His disciples, to be combined with the coming on the clouds of heaven to which He points His judge? In what relation do these predictions stand to the prospect held out at the time of the sending forth of the Twelve, but not realized, of the immediate appearance of the Son of Man?
 These and the following questions are raised more especially in the Sketch of the Life of Jesus.
Albert Schweitzer's The Quest of the Historical Jesus
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