Without doubt Jesus was known as a successful exorcist. This is a claim which is easily substantiated, as we shall see later (§15.7b, c). Here we need to take account of the tradition that Jesus spoke about that success and about its significance. And here again we find a collection, if not two collections, of Jesus' teaching on the subject. As with other such collections, the very fact of the collection
349. See particularly Becker, Jesus ofNazareth 74-78, referring to Matt. 20.1-16; Luke 15.11-32; and Luke 18.10-14: 'it is no longer the final moment of the old age before an imminent judgment; it is the beginning of the new age of salvation' (79). Similarly Merkel, 'Gottesherrschaft' 151-53; Gnilka, Jesus ofNazareth 96-101; the theme of 'incomprehensible, limitless goodness', 'incredible goodness', 'boundless goodness' (95, 101, 102).
350. Pace Hollenbach ('Conversion of Jesus' 203-17) and Crossan (Historical Jesus 237-38) who press for a radical transformation in Jesus' earlier attitude to John.
us two things. First that Jesus was remembered as speaking on the subject on several occasions. And second, that an early reflex among the groups of his followers and the early churches was to gather such sayings into an appropriate sequence, no doubt as an aid to more effective teaching and
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