09 June 2010

Schlatter: What Caused the Outrage against Jesus?

[T]he attack against Jesus was mounted, not owing to the harshness of his demands, but owing to his forgiveness. Not the harsh but the gracious element of the call to repentance incited the Galileans against him, not the fact that Jesus called Capernaum evil and impure but that he completely overlooked sin in his dealings with those who repented. This resulted from the fact that the inner situation of the Jewish community was determined by Pharisaism. The consciences were awake, sin was feared; there was a readiness to do difficult things and to suffer for God's sake. 'What is God's work in order that we might do it?' they asked, reay to undergo whatever he might demand (John 6:28).

This zeal, however, was interwoven with a concept of righteousness that rejected grace.

--Adolf Schlatter, The History of the Christ, 164

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