The Moral Tangent
John 7:53
And every man went to his own house.

This "parting of the ways" exhibited —

I. THE SEPARATENESS OF CHRIST AMID HIS OWN PEOPLE. It bears out chap John 1:11. How could it have occurred in a region and amongst a race so noted for hospitality? Such experiences may have begotten the realization (Matthew 8:20). Some offer may have been made, but, if so, it was either too half-hearted to tempt the great solitary, or still, night-wrapped Olivet exercised an irresistible fascination.

1. That the Founder of society in its true conception should have been Himself an outcast; imagination dwells on such a paradox.

2. To take the mildest view of the circumstance it was not to the credit of the social life of Jerusalem. Some defect in those home circles rendered them uncongenial. Hearts there were that hated Him, but the general sentiment was indifference.

3. And how did He regard their attitude? It was impossible for Him to be unconcerned. Not yet was the passionate wail, "O Jerusalem," etc., but the woeful sorrow of which it was the outcry was even then gathering. Incarnate love could not but desire to be loved by those for whom He had descended to such depths; but it must be on His own terms.


1. The isolation of Christ did not arise from obscurity or insignificance. His departure must have been observed and felt. That lonely form, the centre of so much observation as with calm dignity it stepped from the wrangling crowd into the quiet fields, did it not judge them?

2. The mere departure convicted them of a lack of moral earnestness. The deadly conspiracy which had been hatched in their midst, and which had been arrested just when success seemed easy ought to have put every true man upon his honour, and made him open his doors to the homeless One. He had disturbed Judaean thought and life to its core. To an onlooker it might have seemed as if a moral revolution were impending. How near they were to the kingdom of God! But assenting to Christ's lofty truths their hearts were indisposed to receive them. They lacked the courage of their convictions. Good men! it did not impair their digestion nor break the continuity of their "little life." How trifling the spirit that can shelve the greatest question and stifle the grandest inspiration thus.

3. Not so easy was it for the Son of Man to put behind Him the strenuous controversy in which He had engaged. With Him heart as well as intellect were enlisted. Stung by their indifference, or horror-struck at their villany, the Great Sensitive Soul hurries forth to the only house of prayer where He can be alone with His Father, and to brace Himself for the effort of to-morrow. Yet how incomprehensible it must have been to minds so besotted with earthliness! They knew not that commerce with the skies. Conclusion: In every life there is such a moment quick with spiritual issues. Shall we follow Christ to Olivet or go to our own house?

(St. John A. Frere, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And every man went unto his own house.

WEB: Everyone went to his own house,

Diverging Paths
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