But now the inviter represented precisely this divine compassion.and therefore he was sacrificed, and therefore even those that suffered fled from him; for they comprehended (and, humanly speaking, very exactly), what is true of most human infirmities, that one is better off to remain what one is than to be helped by him.
In the second place: the inviter likewise had an other, and altogether different, conception than the purely human one as to what constitutes man’s misery. And in this sense only he was intent on helping; for he had with him neither money, nor medicine, nor anything else of this kind.
Indeed, the inviter’s appearance is so altogether different from what human compassion would imagine it that he is a downright offense to men. In a purely human sense there is something positively cruel, something outrageous, something so exasperating as to make one wish to kill that person.in the fact of his inviting to him the poor and the ‘sick and the suffering, and then not being able to do anything for them, except to promise them remission of their sins. “Let us be human, man is no spirit. And when a person is about to die of starvation and you say to him: I promise you the gracious remission of your sins.that is revolting cruelty. In fact it is ridiculous, though too serious a matter to laugh about.”
Well (for in quoting these sentiments I wish merely to let offended man discover the contradiction and exaggerate it.it is not I who wish to exaggerate), well then, the real intention of the inviter was to point out that sin is the destruction of mankind. Behold now, that makes room, as the invitation also made room, almost as if he had said procul, o procul este profani, or as if, even though he had not said it, a voice had been heard which thus interpreted the “come hither” of the invitation. There surely are not many sufferers who will follow the invitation. And ever, if there were one who, although aware that from this inviter no actual worldly help was to be expected, nevertheless had sought refuge with him, touched by his compassion: now even he will flee from him. For is it not almost a bit of sharp practice to profess to be here out of compassion, and then to speak about sin? Indeed, it is a piece of cunning, unless you are altogether certain that you are a sinner. If it is tooth-ache which bothers you, or if your house is burned to the ground, but if it has escaped you that you are a sinner.why, then it was cunning on his part. It is a bit of sharp practice of him to assert: “I heal all manner of disease,” in order to say, when one approaches him: “the fact is, I recognize only one disease, which is sin.of that I shall cure all them ‘that labor and are heavy laden,’ all them that labor to work themselves free of the power of sin, that labor to resist the evil, and to vanquish their weakness, but succeed only in being laden.” Of this malady he cures “all” persons; even if there were but a single one who turned to him because of this malady: he heals all persons. But to come to him on account of any other disease, and only because of that, is about as useful as to look up an eye-doctor when you have fractured your leg.
CHRISTIANITY AS THE ABSOLUTE CONTEMPORANEOUSNESS WITH CHRIST