Chrysostom on John 50
"Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? Howbeit we know this man whence he is."
[1.] Nothing is placed in the Holy Scriptures without a reason, for they were uttered by the Holy Ghost, therefore let us enquire exactly into every point. For it is possible from one expression to find out the entire meaning (of a passage), as in the case before us. “Many of them of Jerusalem said, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him.” Now why is added, “them of Jerusalem”? The Evangelist by this shows, that they who had most enjoyed His mighty miracles were more pitiable than any; they who had beheld the greatest proof of His Godhead, and yet committed all to the judgment of their corrupt rulers. For was it not a great proof of it, that men furious and bent on murder, who went about and sought to kill Him, should be quiet of a sudden, when they had Him in their hands? Who could have effected this? who thus quenched their absolute fury? Still after such proofs, observe the folly and the madness of the men. “Is not this he, whom they seek to kill?” See how they accuse themselves; “whom,” It saith, “they seek to kill, and yet they say nothing to him.” And not only do they say nothing to Him, but nothing even when He “speaketh boldly.” For one who spoke boldly and with all freedom would naturally have the more angered them; but they did nothing. “Do they know indeed that this is the very Christ?” “What think ye? What opinion give ye?” The contrary, It saith. On which account they said, “We know this man whence he is.” What malice,1 what contradiction! They do not even follow the opinion of their rulers, but bring forward another, perverse, and worthy of their own folly; “We know him whence he is.”
“But when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is.” (Mt 2,4).
“Yet your rulers when asked replied, that He should be born in Bethlehem.” And others again said, “God spake unto Moses, but as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.” (c. 9,29). “We know whence he is,” and “we know not whence He is”; observe the words of drunken men. And again, “Doth Christ come out of Galilee?” (Jn 7,41). Is He not of “the town of Bethlehem”? Seest thou that theirs is the decision of madmen? “We know,” and, “we know not”; “Christ cometh from Bethlehem”; “When Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is.” What can be plainer than this contradiction? For they only looked to one thing, which was, not to believe. What then is Christ’s reply?
Jn 7,28. “Ye both know Me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of Myself, but He that sent Me is true, whom ye know not.”
[2.] And again, “If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also.” (c. 8,19). How then saith He, that they both “know Him,” and “whence He is,” and then, “that they neither know Him, nor the Father”? He doth not contradict, (away with the thought,) but is very consistent with Himself. For He speaketh of a different kind of knowledge, when He saith, “ye know not”; as when He saith, “The sons of Eli were wicked sons, they knew not the Lord” (1S 2,12); and again, “Israel doth not know Me.” (Is 1,3). So also Paul saith, “They profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him.” (Tt 1,16). It is therefore possible, “knowing,” “not to know.” This then is what He saith: “If ye know Me, ye know that I am the Son of God.” For the “whence I am” doth not here denote place. As is clear from what followeth, “I am not come of Myself, but He that sent Me is true, whom ye know not,” referring here to the ignorance shown by their works). [As Paul saith, “They profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him.”] For their fault came not merely of ignorance, but of wickedness, and an evil will; because even though they knew this, they chose to be ignorant. But what manner of connection is there here? How is it that He, reproving them, useth their own words? For when they say, “We know this man whence he is,” He addeth, “ye both know Me.” Was their expression, “We know him not”? Nay, they said, “We know him.” But (observe), they by saying the, “We know whence he is,” declared nothing else than that He was “of the earth,” and that He was “the carpenter’s son”; but He led them up to heaven, saying, “Ye know whence I am,” that is, not thence whence ye suppose, but from that place whence He that sent Me (hath sent Me). For to say, “I am not come of Myself,” intimateth to them, that they knew that He was sent by the Father, though they did not disclose it.2 So that He rebuketh them in a twofold manner; first, what they said in secret He published aloud, so as to put them to shame; after that He revealed also what was in their hearts. As though He had said, “I am not one of the abjects, nor of those who come for nothing, but He ‘that sent Me is true, whom ye know not.’” What meaneth,“ He that sent Me is true”? “If He be true, He hath sent Me for the truth; if He be true, it is probable that He who is sent is true also.” This also He proveth in another way, vanquishing them with their own words. For whereas they had said, “When Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is,” He proveth from this that He Himself is the Christ. They used the words, “No man knoweth,” with reference to distinction of some definite locality; but from the same words He showeth Himself to be the Christ, because He came from the Father; and everywhere He witnesseth that He alone hath the knowledge of the Father, saying, “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He which is from the Father.”3 (c. vi. 46). And His words exasperated them; for to tell them, “Ye know Him not,” and to rebuke them because knowing they pretended to be ignorant, was sufficient to sting and annoy them.
Jn 7,30. “Then they sought to take Him, and no man laid his hand upon Him, because His hour was not yet come.”
Seest thou that they are invisibly restrained, and their anger bridled? But wherefore saith It not, that He had restrained them invisibly, but, “Because His hour was not yet come”? The Evangelist was minded to speak more humanly and in a lowlier strain, so that Christ might be deemed to be also Man. For because Christ everywhere speaketh of sublime matters, he therefore intersperseth expressions of this kind. And when Christ saith, “I am from Him,” He speaketh not as a Prophet who learneth, but as seeing Him, and being with Him.
Jn 7,29. “I know Him,” He saith, “for I am froth Him, and He hath sent Me.”
Seest thou how He continually seeketh to prove the, “I am not come of Myself,” and, “He that sent Me is true,” striving not to be thought an enemy of God? And observe how great is the profit of the humility of His words; for, it saith, after this many said,
Jn 7,31. “When Christ cometh, will He do more miracles than these which this man hath done?”
How many were the miracles? In truth, there were three, that of the wine, that of the paralytic, and that of the nobleman’s son; and the Evangelist hath related no more. From which circumstance it is plain, as I have often said, that the writers pass by most of them, and discourse to us of those alone on account of which the rulers ill-treated Him, “Then they sought to take Him,” and kill Him. Who “sought”? Not the multitude, who had no desire of rule, nor could be made captives by malice; but the priests. For they of the multitude said, “When Christ cometh, will He do more miracles?” Yet neither was this sound faith, but, as it were, the idea of a promiscuous4 crowd; for to say, “When He cometh,” was not the expression of men firmly persuaded that He was the Christ. We may either understand the words thus, or that they were uttered by the multitudes when they came together. “Since,” they may have said, “our rulers are taking every pains to prove that this man is not the Christ, let us suppose that he is not the Christ; will the Christ be better than he?” For, as I ever repeat, men of the grosser sort are led in not by doctrine, nor by preaching, but by miracles.
Jn 7,32. “The Pharisees heard the people murmuring,5 and sent6 servants to take Him.”
Seest thou that the violation of the Sabbath was a mere pretense? and that what most stung them was this murmuring? For here, though they had no fault to find with Him for anything said or done, they desired to take Him because of the multitude. They dared not do it themselves, suspecting danger, but sent their hired servants.7 Alas! for their tyranny and their madness, or rather, I should say, for their folly. After having often attempted themselves, and not prevailed, they committed the matter to servants, simply satisfying their anger. Yet He had spoken much at the pool (c. 5,), and they had done nothing of the kind; they sought indeed occasion, but they attempted not, while here they can endure it no longer, when the multitude is about to run to Him. What then saith Christ?
Jn 7,33. “Yet a little while am I with you.” Having power to bow and terrify His hearers, He uttereth words full of humility. As though He had said, “Why are ye eager to persecute and kill Me? Wait a little while, and even though you should be eager to keep Me back, I shall not endure it.” That no one should(as they did) suppose that the, “Yet a little while am I with you,” denoted a common death, that no one might suppose this, or that He wrought8 nothing after death, He added,
Jn 7,34. “And where I am, thither ye cannot come.”
Now had He been about to continue in death, they might have gone to Him, for to that place we all depart. His words therefore bent the simpler portion of the multitude, terrified the bolder, made the more intelligent anxious to hear Him, since but little time was now left, and since it was not in their power always to enjoy this teaching. Nor did He merely say, “I am here,” but, “I am with you,” that is, “Though ye persecute, though ye drive Me away, yet for a little while I shall not cease dispensing what is for your good, saying and recommending the things that relate to your salvation.”
Jn 7,33. “And I go unto Him that sent Me.” This was enough to terrify and throw them into an agony. For that they should stand in need of Him, He declareth also.
Jn 7,34. “Ye shall seek Me,” He saith, (not only “ye shall not forget Me,” but ye shall even “seek Me,”) “and shall not find Me.”
[3.] And when did the Jews “seek Him”? Lc saith that the women mourned over Him, and it is probable that many others, both at the time and when the city was taken, remembered Christ and His miracles, and sought His presence. (Lc 23,49). Now all this He added, desiring to attract them. For the facts that the time left was short, that He should after His departure be regretfully desired by them, and that they should not then be able to find Him, were all together sufficient to persuade them to come to Him. For had it not been that His presence should with regret be desired by them, He would not have seemed to them to be saying any great thing; if, again, it was about to be desired, and they able to find Him, neither so would this have disturbed them. Again, had He been about to stay with them a long time, so also they would have been remiss. But now He in every way compelleth and terrifieth them. And the, “I go to Him that sent Me,” is the expression of one declaring that no harm will happen to Him from their plotting, and that His Passion was voluntary. Wherefore now He uttered two predictions, that after a little while He should depart, and that they should not come to Him; a thing which belonged not to human intelligence, the foretelling His own death. Hear for instance, David saying, “Lord, make me to know mine end and the number of my days, what it is, that I may know what time I have.”9 (Ps 39,4). There is no man at all that knoweth this; and by one 10 the other is confirmed. And I think that He speaketh this covertly to the servants, and directeth His discourse to them, thus specially attracting them, by showing them that He knew the cause of their arrival. As though He had said, “Wait a little, and I shall depart.”
Jn 7,35. “Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go?”
Yet they who had wished to be rid of Him, who did all in their power not to see Him, ought not to have asked this question, but to have said, “we are glad of it, when will the departure take place?” but they were somewhat affected at His words, and with foolish suspicion question one another, “whither will he go?”
“Will he go unto the dispersion of the Gentiles?” 11
What is, “the dispersion of the Gentiles”? The Jews gave this name to other nations, because they were everywhere scattered and mingled fearlessly with one another. And this reproach they themselves afterwards endured, for they too were a “dispersion.” For of old all their nation was collected into one place, and you could not anywhere find a Jew, except in Palestine only; wherefore they called the Gentiles a “dispersion,” reproaching them, and boasting concerning themselves. What then meaneth, “Whither I go ye cannot come”? For all nations at that time had intercourse with them, and there were Jews everywhere. He would not therefore, if He had meant the Gentiles, have said, “Where ye cannot come.” After saying, “Will he go to the dispersion of the Gentiles?” they did not add, “and ruin,” but, “and teach them.” To such a degree had they abated their anger, and believed His words; for they would not, had they not believed, have enquired among themselves what the saying was.
These words were spoken indeed to the Jews, but fear there is lest they be suited to us also,that “where He is” we “cannot come” on account of our life being full of sins. For concerning the disciples He saith, “I will that they also be with Me where I am” (c. 17,24), but concerning ourselves, I dread lest the contrary be said, that, “Where I am, ye cannot come.” For when we act contrary to the commandments, how can we go to that place? Even in the present life, if any soldier act unworthily towards his king, he will not be able to see the king, but being deprived of his authority will suffer the severest punishment; if therefore we steal, or covet, if we wrong or strike others, if we work not deeds of mercy, we shall not be able to go thither, but shall suffer what happened to the virgins. For where He was, they were not able to enter in, but retired, their lamps having gone out, that is, grace having left them. For we can, if we will, increase the brightness of that flame which we received straightway 12 by the grace of the Spirit; but if we will not do this, we shall lose it, and when that is quenched, there will be noticing else than darkness in our souls; since, as while a lamp is burning the light is strong, so when it is extinguished there is nothing but gloom. Wherefore the Apostle saith, “Quench not the Spirit.” (1Th 5,19). And It is quenched when It hath not oil, when there is any violent gust of wind, when It is cramped and confined, (for so fire is quenched,) and It is cramped by worldly cares, and quenched by evil desires. In addition to the causes we have mentioned, nothing quencheth It so much as inhumanity, cruelty, and rapine. For when, besides having no oil, we pour upon it cold water, (for covetousness is this, which chills with despondency the souls of those we wrong,) whence shall it be kindled again? We shall depart, therefore, carrying dust and ashes with us, and having much smoke to convict us of having had lamps and of having extinguished them; for where there is smoke, there needs must have been fire which hath been quenched. May none of us ever hear that word, “I know you not.” (Mt 25,12). And whence shall we hear that word, but from this, if ever we see a poor man, and are as though we saw him not? If we will not know Christ when He is an hungered, He too will not know us when we entreat His mercy. And with justice; for how shall he who neglects the afflicted, and gives not of that which is his own, how shall he seek to receiveof that which is not his own? Wherefore, I entreat you, let us do and contrive everything, so that oil fail not us, but that we may trim our lamps, and enter with the Bridegroom into the bride-chamber. To which may we all attain, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom and with whom, to the Father and the Holy Ghost be glory, now and ever and world without end. Amen.
2 i.e. not of the Scripture).
3 al). “(He dwelt desiring,” &c.
4 lit). “unspeakable.”
5 lit). “the Cross.”
6 i.e. after the Crucifixion.
7 i.e. before the Crucifixion.
8 al). “divine.”
9 In Ben. the reading is different, and the sense seems incomplete). “Since then speaking of this grace, the Ev.”
10 “as saith the Scripture,” ver. 38.
11 not verbally quoted.
12 ver. 12.
13 al). “not well ordered.”
14 al). “bringing up.”
15 al). “disputed.”
16 or, “hinder.”
17 al). “the heavens.”
18 al). “hope of p.”
19 or, “display.”
"In the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
[1.] They who come to the divine preaching and give heed to the faith, must manifest the desire of thirsty men for water, and kindle in themselves a similar longing; so will they be able also very carefully to retain what is said. For as thirsty men, when they have taken a bowl, eagerly drain it and then desist, so too they who hear the divine oracles if they receive them thirsting, will never be weary until they have drunk them up. For to show that men ought ever to thirst and hunger, “Blessed,” It saith, “are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness” (Mt 5,6); and here Christ saith, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.” What He saith is of this kind, “I draw no man to Me by necessity and constraint; but if any hath great zeal, if any is inflamed with desire, him I call.”
But why hath the Evangelist remarked that it was “on the last day, that great day”? For both the first day and the last were “great,” while the intermediate days they spent rather in enjoyment. Wherefore then saith he, “in the last day”? Because on that day they were all collected together. For on the first day He came not, and told the reason to His brethren, nor yet on the second and third days saith He anything of this kind, lest His words should come to nought, the hearers being about to run into indulgence. But on the last day when they were returning home He giveth them supplies1 for their salvation, and crieth aloud, partly by this showing to us His boldness, and partly for the greatness of the multitude. And to show that He spake not of material drink, He addeth, “He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” By “belly” he here meaneth the heart, as also in another place It saith, “And Thy Law in the midst of my belly.” (Ps 40,10 Theodotion). But where hath the Scripture said, that “rivers of living water shall flow from his belly”? Nowhere. What then meaneth, “He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture saith”? Here we must place a stop, so that the, “rivers shall flow from his belly,” may be an assertion of Christ.2 For because many said, “This is the Christ”; and, “When the Christ cometh will He do more miracles?” He showeth that it behooveth to have a correct knowledge, and to be convinced not so much from the miracles as from the Scriptures. Many, in fact, who even sawHim working marvels received Him not as Christ, and were ready to say, “Do not the Scriptures say that Christ cometh of the seed of David?” and on this they3 continually dwelt. He then, desiring to show that He did not shun the proof from the Scriptures, again referreth them to the Scriptures. He had said before, “Search the Scriptures” (c. 5,39); and again, “It is written in the Prophets, And they shall be taught of God” (c. 6,45); and, “Moses accuseth you” (c. 5,45); and here,“ As the Scripture hath said, rivers shall flow from his belly,” alluding to the largeness and abundance of grace. As in another place He saith, “A well of water springing up unto eternal life” (c. 4,14), that is to say, “he shall possess much grace”; and elsewhere He calleth it, “eternal life,” but here, “living water.” He calleth that “living” which ever worketh; for the grace of the Spirit, when it hath entered into the mind and hath been established, springeth up more than any fountain, faileth not, becometh not empty, stayeth not. To signify therefore at once its unfailing supply and unlimited4 operation, He hath called it “a well” and “rivers,” not one river but numberless; and in the former case He hath represented its abundance by the expression, “springing.” And one may clearly perceive what is meant, if he will consider the wisdom of Stephen, the tongue of Peter, the vehemence of Paul how nothing bare, nothing withstood them, not the anger of multitudes, not the risings up of tyrants, not the plots of devils, not daily deaths, but as rivers borne along with a great rushing sound, so they went on their way hurrying all things with them.
Jn 7,39. “But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given.”
[2.] How then did the Prophets prophesy and work those ten thousand wonders? For the Apostles cast not out devils by the Spirit, but by power received from Him; as He saith Himself, “If I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out?” (Mt 12,27). And this He said, signifying that before the Crucifixion5 not all cast out devils by the Spirit, but that some did so by the power received from Him. So when6 He was about to send them, He said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost” (c. 20,22); and again, “The Holy Ghost came upon them” (Ac 19,6), and then they wrought miracles. But when7 He was sending them, the Scripture said not, that “He gave to them the Holy Ghost,” but that He gave to them “power,” saying, “Cleanse the lepers, cast out devils, raise the dead, freely ye have received, freely give.” (Mt 10,1 Mt 10,8). But in the case of the Prophets, all allow that the Gift was that of the Holy Spirit. But this Grace was stinted and departed and failed from off the earth, from the day in which it was said, “Your house is left unto you desolate” (Mt 23,38); and even before that day its dearth had begun, for there was no longer any prophet among them, nor did Grace visit their holy8 things. Since then the Holy Ghost had been withheld, but was for the future to be shed forth abundantly, and since the beginning of this imparting was after the Crucifixion, not only as to its abundance, but also as to the increased greatness of the gifts, (for the Gift was more marvelous, as when It saith, “Ye know not what Spirit ye are of” (Lc 9,55); and again, “For ye have not received the Spirit of bondage, but the Spirit of adoption” (Rm 8,15); and the men of old possessed the Spirit themselves, but imparted It not to others, while the Apostles filled tens of thousands with It,) since then, I say, they were to receive this Gift, but It was not yet given, for this cause he addeth, “The Holy Ghost was not yet.” Since then the Lord spoke of this grace,9 the Evangelist hath said, “For the Holy Ghost was not yet,” that is, “was not yet given,”
“Because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
Calling the Cross, “glory.” For since we were enemies, and had sinned, and fallen short of the gift of God, and were haters of God, and since grace was a proof of our reconciliation, and since a gift is not given to those who are hated, but to friends and those who have been well-pleasing; it was therefore necessary that the Sacrifice should first be offered for us, that the enmity (against God) which was in our flesh should be done away, that we should become friends of God, and so receive the Gift. For if this was done with respect to the promise made to Abraham, much more with respect to grace. And this Paul hath declared, saying, “If they which are of the Law be heirs, faith is made void—because the Law worketh wrath.” (Rm 4,14-15). What he saith, is of this kind: God "promised that He would give the earth to Abraham and to his seed:but his descendants were unworthy of the promise, and of their own deeds could not be well-pleasing unto God. On this account came in faith, an easy action, that it might draw grace unto it, and that the promise might not fail. And It saith,
“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace, to the end the promise might be sure.” (Rm 4,16). Wherefore it is by grace, since by their own labors they prevailed not).
But wherefore after saying, “according to the Scriptures,” 10 did He not add the testimony? Because their mind was corrupt; for,
. 11 “Some said, This is the Prophet. Others said, He deceiveth the people; 12 others said, Christ cometh not from Galilee, but from the village of Bethlehem.”
Others said, “When Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is” (Jn 7,27); and there was a difference of opinion, as might be expected in a confused 13 multitude; for not attentively did they listen to His words, nor for the sake of learning. Wherefore He maketh them no answer; yet they said, “Doth Christ come out of Galilee?” And He had praised, as being “an Israelite indeed,” Nathanael, who had said in a more forcible and striking manner, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” (c. 1,46). But then these men, and they who said to Nicodemus, “Search and look, for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet” (Jn 7,52), said it not seeking to learn, but merely to overturn the opinion concerning Christ. Nathanael said this, being a lover of the truth, and knowing exactly all the ancient histories; but they looked only to one thing, and that was to remove the opinion that He was the Christ, on which account He revealed nothing to them. For they who even contradicted themselves, and said at one time, “No man knoweth whence He cometh,” at another, “From Bethlehem,” would manifestly even if they had been informed have opposed Him. For be it that they knew not the place of His birth, that He was from Bethlehem, because of His dwelling 14 in Nazareth, (yet this cannot be allowed, for He was not born there,) were they ignorant of His race also, that He was “of the house and lineage of David”? How then said they, “Doth not Christ come of the seed of David?” (Jn 7,42). Because they wished to conceal even this fact by that question, saying all that they said with malicious intent. Why did they not come to Him and say, “Since we admire thee in other respects, and thou biddest us believe thee according to the Scriptures, tell us how it is that the Scriptures say that Christ must come from Bethlehem, when thou art come from Galilee?” But they said nothing of the kind, but all in malice. And to show that they spoke not enquiringly, nor as desiring to learn, the Evangelist straightway hath added, that,
Jn 7,44. “Some of them would have taken Him, but no man laid his hand upon Him.”
This, if nothing else, might have been sufficient to cause compunction in them, but they felt it not, as the Prophet saith, “They were cleft asunder, and were not pricked in heart.” (Ps 35,15 LXX).
[3.] Such a thing is malice! it will give way to nothing, it looks to one thing only, and that is, to destroy the person against whom it plotteth. But what saith the Scripture? “Whoso diggeth a pit for his neighbor, shall fill into it himself.” (Pr 26,27). Which was the case then. For they desired to kill Him, to stop, as they thought, His preaching; the result was the opposite. For the preaching flourishes by the grace of Christ, while all that was theirs is quenched and perished; they have lost their country, their freedom, their security, their worship, they have been deprived of all their prosperity, and are become slaves and captives.
Knowing then this, let us never plot against others, aware that by so doing we whet the sword against ourselves, and inflict upon ourselves the deeper wound. Hath any one grieved thee, and desireth thou to avenge thyself on him? Avenge not thyself; so shalt thou be able to be avenged; but if thou avenge thyself, thou art not avenged. Think not that this is a riddle, but a true saying. “How, and in what way?” Because if thou avenge not thyself on him, thou makest God his enemy; but if thou avenge thyself, no longer so. “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Rm 12,19). For if we have servants, and they having quarreled 15 with each other, do not give placeto us for judgment and for punishment, but take it upon themselves; though they come to us ten thousand times, we not only shall not avenge them, but shall even be wroth with them, saying, “Thou runaway, thou flogging-post, thou oughtest to have submitted all to us, but since thou hast prevented us and avenged thyself, trouble us no farther”; much more shall God, who hath bidden us commit all unto Him, say this. For how can it be otherwise than absurd, when we demand from our servants so much minding of wisdom and obedience, but will not yield to our Master in those matters in which we desire our domestics to yield to us? This I say because of your readiness to inflict punishment one upon another. The truly wise man ought not to do this even, but to pardon and forgive offenses, though there were not that great reward proposed, the receiving in return forgiveness. For, tell me, if thou condemnest one who hath sinned, wherefore dost thou sin thyself, and fall into the same fault? Hath he insulted? Insult not thou again, or thou hast insulted thyself. Hath he struck? Strike not thou again, for then there is no difference between you. Hath he vexed thee? Vex him not again, for the profit is nothing, and thou wilt in thy turn be placed on an equality with those who have wronged thee. Thus, if thou bear with meekness and gentleness, thou shall be able to reprove thine enemy, to shame him, to weary 16 him of being wroth. No man cures evil with evil, but evil with good. These rules of wisdom give some of the heathen; now if there be such wisdom among the foolish heathen, let us be ashamed to show ourselves inferior to them. Many of them have been in jured, and have borne it; many have been maliciously accused, and not defended themselves; have been plotted against, anti have repaid by benefits. And there is no small fear lest some of them be found in their lives to be greater than we, and so render our punishment severer. For when we who have partaken of the Spirit, we who look for the Kingdom, who follow wisdom for the sake of heavenly things, 17 who fear (not) hell, and are bidden to become angels, who enjoy the Mysteries; when we reach not to the virtue unto which they have attained, what pardon 18 shall we have? If we must go beyond the Jews, (for, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven”—Mt 5,20,) much more the heathen; if the Pharisees, much more the unbelievers. Since if when we go not beyond the righteousness of the Jews, the Kingdom is shut against us, how shall we be able to attain unto it when we prove ourselves worse than the heathen? Let us then cast out all bitterness, and wrath, and anger. To speak “the same things, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe,” (Ph 3,1). For physicians also often use the same remedy, and we will not cease from sounding the same things in your ears, reminding, teaching, exhorting, for great is the tumult of worldly things, and it causes in us forgetfulness, and we have need of continual teaching. Let us then, in order that we meet not together in this place uselessly and in vain, exhibit the proof 19 which is by works, that so we may obtain the good things to come, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom and with whom, to the Father and the Holy Ghost be glory. now and ever and world without end. Amen.
1 “Hath any,” N. T.
2 “or of the Pharisees,” N. T.
3 “this,” N. T.
4 al). “your.”
6 The history of the woman taken in adultery is omitted by St. Chrysostom, and all the Greek commentators).
7 S. C. seems to refer to c. 7,28). “Then cried Jesus in the Temple,” &c.
8 i.e. the Pharisees.
9 (Oper fqavsa" ei\pe, according to Savile’s conjecture and a Vatican ms. The common reading is ei\pon.
12 Ben). “just.”
13 Ben. omits “and.”
15 Sav). “judgest.”
Chrysostom on John 50