King's Business - 1913-07

Studies in the Gospel According to John* By R. A. TORREY [These Studies are for careful study, not rapid and heedless reading] II. The Public Ministry of Jesus Leading Those Who Were of the Truth to Believe in Him as the Christ, the Son of God. Ch. 1:19—12:50. (Continued.)

4. Jesus as the Son of God Cleansing His Father’s House— 2 : 12-22 (1) A brief visit to Capernaum, v . 12 . V. 12. “After this he went down to • Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued (rather, abode') there not many days.” This verse forms a transition be­ tween what precedes and what fol­ lows and really belongs in a para­ graph by itself. Though our Lord Jesus was just about to begin His public ministry (and in a sense it had begun in the passage just studied) nevertheless His family life was not yet broken. His mother and His brothers accompanied Him to Caper­ naum, which from this time on was His home, rather than Nazareth; so far as He had a home. His public ministry properly and fully begins at Jerusalem at the time of the Pass- over (v. 13). The new center was Capernaum (or Caphar-Nahum ac­ cording to the most ancient authori­ ties as to the Aramaic spelling). There are two opinions as to the site of Capernaum; some identify it with Tell Hum at the northwest of the Sea of Galilee £ others with Khan-Minyeh three miles further south at the north end of the plain of Gennesaret. The former opinion is probably the cor­ rect one. In any event, it was a con­ siderable city (Mark 1 :33) on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus

is said to have gone “down to Caper­ naum.” It would be a literal descent; for .the shores of the Sea of Galilee are 700 feet below sea level. Jesus’ brothers, as well as His mother, accompanied Him to this new home. There are those who would interpret the word “brothers” here in a broad sense as meaning step broth­ ers, that is sons of Joseph by a pre­ ceding marriage or even His cousins. But th is,position is untenable, they were really His “brothers,” sons of His mother Mary. The plain indi­ cation of various passages is that they were really His brothers, younger sons of His mother Mary. We are told in Luke 2 :7 that Mary brought Jesus forth as “her first born Son,” the clear implication of this is that she had other sons. In Matthew 1 :25, we are told that Joseph “knew her not until she had brought forth a Son and he called his name Jesus.” The clear implication is that after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary had mar­ ital relations. In Matthew 12:46, we are told “His mother and his brethren stood without seeking to speak to him.” It is not probable that if they had been simply sons by a previous marriage, or cousins, that they would have been associated with His moth­ er at this time in this way. Indeed, there is no reason for supposing that they were not real brothers and that Mary did not have other children be­ side “Jesus, but only the monastic prejudice that fancies that there is something unhallowed in marital rela­ tions and in the conception of chil-

“Gopyright, 1913, by R. A. Torrey

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