54. This picture of the end of time is evidently allegorical, as the greater part of them are which Jesus presented. The images which they contain are colored in a way to make a deep impression upon intelligences corroded with sin and ignorance. In order to strike these clouded spirits, it was necessary to paint vigorously with glaring colors. Jesus addressed himself particularly to the people who were the least enlightened, those incapable of comprehending metaphysical abstractions, and of seizing the delicacy of forms. In order to reach the heart it was necessary to speak to the eyes by the aid of material signs, and to the ears by the vigor of language.
As a natural consequence of this disposition of mind, supreme power could not, according to the belief then, manifest itself only by extraordinary or supernatural things. The more impossible they were, the more ready were they to accept them.
The Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with great majesty, surrounded by his angels, and with the sound of trumpets, seemed to them much more imposing than a being invested with moral power alone. So the Jews, who expected the Messiah to be a king of the Earth, mighty above all kings, to place their nation in the first rank among them, to raise up again the throne of David and Solomon, would not recognize him in the humble son of the carpenter without material authority. However, this poor, despised man of Judea has become the greatest among the great. He has conquered by his sovereignty more kingdoms than the most powerful potentates.
With his word alone, and with the aid of a few miserable fishermen, he has revolutionized the world; and it is to him that the Jews will owe their rehabilitation. He then had the truth when he replied to this question of Pilate: “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.