Page:American Journal of Sociology Volume 1.djvu/374

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ganda. The progress made by Jesus in the exposition of his mission does not consist in the erection of an eschatology out of the ruins of political hopes. At the beginning of his career he refuses the tempting suggestion to become a new Cæsar;[1] later his disciples are warned against "the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod"[2]—that is of an overweening political ambition; he flees from those who would force him into politics,[3] and the Roman Pilate has no difficulty during the last hours of Jesus in convincing himself that in his prisoner he has the opposite of Barabbas the revolutionist.[4]

2. Nor does Jesus use the term kingdom of God as figure of speech merely to indicate a perfect method of life for the individual.[5] While of course it was not without ethical content, the term is not a mere synonym for personal holiness or righteousness. Indeed there is but one saying of Jesus[6] that in any way lends support to the view that he thought of the kingdom as a subjective state of the individual, and even that can hardly be used as a basis upon which to build an individualistic system of self-culture. It is true that Jesus repudiates any grossly materialistic conception of his kingdom. It is not to be achieved by the ordinary means of world-rulers.[7] It certainly is not to be established by the sword.[8] Properly defined it is spiritual. But men are its members, entering into it, or if unworthy, rejected

  1. Matt. 4:8–10; Luke 4:5–8.
  2. Mark 8:15; cf. Mark 10:42.
  3. John 6:15.
  4. John 18:33–38.
  5. See Tolstoi, The Kingdom of God is within You.
  6. Luke 17:20, 21, where it is very likely judging from the context that the expression ἐντὸς ὑμῶν is used as rhetorically equivalent to ἐν μέδᾳ ὐμῶν. With either interpretation it need not of necessity refer to a subjective appropriation of the kingdom. Jesus would hardly have credited his opponents with the possession of the kingdom of God—especially as we know he more than once charges them with the opposite (John 8:44). Taken in a collective sense the words are very natural: The kingdom was in the midst of them in the persons of Jesus and his disciples.
  7. Matt. 4:8; cf. Matt. 11:12.
  8. John 18:36.