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"Publicans And Sinners"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has instructed His disciples in the basic principles of His religion and His work. It is already apparent from the size of the multitudes which follow Him about that Jesus must train others who can assist Him. He does not send them forth immediately, however; the number of His apostles is not yet complete and those He has instructed are not ready. He continues to heal and to set an example of faith and of conduct for them; and once, when they have embarked on a ship and a storm arises, the example is strongly reinforced. Waves break over the craft and the disciples, terrified, awaken Jesus. Reproving them for their lack of faith, He quiets the storm. After He has called Matthew, and His disciples number twelve, He empowers them to perform miracles and sends them forth to preach among the children of Israel. Then He returns to His own work in the cities. John the Baptist, imprisoned but in no way daunted, sends two of his own disciples to ask Jesus if He is truly the Messiah who has been foretold. John is not entirely satisfied with Christ's claims. Jesus asks John's disciples to carry a report of His activities back to their master, then speaks of John to the multitudes. John, He tells them, is the messenger–Elias reborn–who has been sent to herald the coming of the Messiah. He follows this statement with a parable in which He likens His generation to willful children who refuse to play merely for the sake of refusal....

(The entire section is 545 words.)