Chrysostom on John 22
Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come."
[1.] In preaching the word there is some toil, and this Paul declares when he says, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.” (1 Tim: 5,17). Yet it is in your power to make this labor light or heavy; for if you reject our words, or if without actually rejecting them you do not show them forth in your works, our toil will be heavy, because we labor uselessly and in vain: while if ye heed them and give proof of it by your works, we shall not even feel the toil, because the fruit produced by our labor will not suffer the greatness of that labor to appear. So that if you would rouse our zeal, and not quench or weaken it, show us, I beseech you, your fruit, that we may behold the fields waving1 with corn, and being supported by hopes of an abundant crop, and reckoning up your2 riches, may not be slothful3 in carrying on this good traffic.
It is no slight question which is proposed to us also to-day. For first, when the mother of Jesus says, “They have no wine,” Christ replies, “Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine, hour is not yet come.” And then, having thus spoken, He did as His mother had said; an action which needs enquiry no less than the words. Let us then, after calling upon Him who wrought the miracle, proceed to the explanation.
The words are not used in this place only, but in others also; for the same Evangelist says, “They could not lay hands on Him,4 because His hour was not yet come” (c. 8,20); and again, “No man laid hands on Him, because His hour was not yet come” (c. 7,30); and again, “The hour is come, glorify Thy Son.” (c. 17,1). What then do the words mean? I have brought together more instances, that I may give one explanation of all. And what is that explanation? Christ did not say, “Mine hour is not yet come,” as being subject to the necessity of seasons, or the observance of an “hour”; how can He be so, who is Maker of seasons, and Creator of the times and the ages? To what else then did He allude? He desires to show5 this; that He works all things at their convenient season, not doing all at once; because a kind of confusion and disorder would have ensued, if, instead of working all at their proper seasons, He had mixed all together, His Birth, His Resurrection, and His coming to Judgment. Observe this; creation was to be, yet not all at once; man and woman were to be created, yet not even these together; mankind were to be condemned to death, and there was to be a resurrection, yet the interval between the two was to be great; the law was to be given, but not grace with it, each was to be dispensed at its proper time. Now Christ was not subject to the necessity of seasons, but rather settled their order, since He is their Creator; and therefore He saith in this place, “Mine hour is not yet come.” And His meaning is, that as yet He was not manifest6 to the many, nor had He even His whole company of disciples; Andrew followed Him, and next to7 him Philip, but no one else. And moreover, none of these, not even His mother nor His brethren, knew Him as they ought; for after His many miracles, the Evangelist says of His brethren, “For neither did His brethren believe in Him.” (c. 7,5). And those at the wedding did not know Him either, for in their need they would certainly have come to and entreated Him. Therefore He saith, “Mine hour is not yet come”; that is, “I am not yet known to the company, nor are they even aware that the wine has failed; let them first be sensible of this. I ought not to have been told it from thee; thou art My mother, and renderest the miracle suspicious. They who wanted the wine should have come and besought Me, not that I need this, but that they might with an entire assent accept the miracle. For one who knows that he is in need, is very grateful when he obtains assistance; but one who has not a sense of his need, will never have a plain and clear sense of the benefit.”
Why then after He had said, “Mine hour is not yet come,” and given her a denial, did He what His mother desired? Chiefly it was, that they who opposed Him, and thought that He was subject to the “hour,” might have sufficient proof that He was subject to no hour; for had He been so, how could He, before the proper “hour” was come, have done what He did? And in the next place, He did it to honor His mother, that He might not seem entirely to contradict and shame her that bare Him in the presence of so many; and also, that He might not be thought to want power,8 for she brought the servants to Him.
Besides, even while saying to the Canaanitish woman, “It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to give9 it unto dogs” (Mt 15,26), He still gave the bread, as considering her perseverance; and though after his first reply, He said, “I am not sent save unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” yet even after saying this, He healed the woman’s daughter. Hence we learn, that although we be unworthy, we often by perseverance make ourselves worthy to receive. And for this reason His mother remained by, and openly 10 brought to Him the servants, that the request might be made by a greater number; and therefore she added,
Jn 2,5. “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.”
For she knew that His refusal proceeded not from want of power, but from humility, and that He might not seem without cause 11 to hurry to 12 the miracle; and therefore she brought the servants. 13
Jn 2,6-7. “And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus said unto them, Fill the waterpots with water; and they filled them up to the brim.”
It is not without a reason that the Evangelist says, “After the manner of the purifying of the Jews,” but in order that none of the unbelievers might suspect that lees having been left in the vessels, and water having been poured upon and mixed with them, a very weak wine had been made. Therefore he says, “after the manner of the purifying of the Jews,” to show that those vessels were never receptacles for wine. For because Palestine is a country with but little water, and brooks and fountains were not everywhere to be found, they always used to fill waterpots with water, so that they might not have to hasten to the rivers if at any time they were filed, but might have the means of purification at hand.
“And why was it, that He did not the miracle before they filled them, which would have been more marvelous by far? for it is one thing to change given matter to a different quality, and another to create matter out of nothing.” The latter would indeed have been more wonderful, but would not have seemed so credible to the many. And therefore He often purposely lessens 14 the greatness of His miracles, that it may be the more readily received.
“But why,” says one, “did not He Himself produce the water which He afterwards showed to be wine, instead of bidding the servants bring it?” For the very same reason; and also, that He might have those who drew it out to witness that what had been effected was no delusion since if any had been inclined to be shameless, those who ministered might have said to them, “We drew the water, we filled the vessels.” And besides what we have mentioned, He thus overthrows those doctrines which spring up against the Church. For since there are some who say that the Creator of the world is another, and that the things which are seen are not His works, but those of a certain other opposing god, to curb these men’s madness He doth most of His miracles on matter found at hand. 15 Because, had the creator of these been opposed to Him, He would not have used what was another’s to set forth His own power. But now to show that it is He who transmutes water in the vine plants, and who converts the rain by its passage through the root into wine, He effected that in a moment at the wedding which in the plant is long in doing. When they had filled the waterpots, He said,
. “Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast; and they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was, (but the servants which drew the water knew,) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worst; but thou hast kept the good wine until now.”
Here again some mock, 16 saying, “this was an assembly of drunken men, the sense of the judges was spoilt, and not able to taste 17 what was made, or to decide on what was done, so that they did not know whether what was made was water or wine: for that they were drunk,” it is alleged, “the ruler himself has shown by what he said.” Now this is most ridiculous, yet even this suspicion the Evangelist has removed. For he does not say that the guests gave their opinion on the matter, but “the ruler of the feast,” who was sober, and had not as yet tasted anything. For of course you are aware, that those who are entrusted with the management 18 of such banquets are the most sober, as having this one business, to dispose all things in order and regularity; and therefore the Lord called such a man’s sober senses to testify to what was done. For He did not say, “Pour forth to them that sit at meat,” but, “Bear unto the governor of the feast.”
“And when the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was, (but the servants knew,) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom.” “And why did he not call the servants? for so the miracle would have been revealed.” Because Jesus had not Himself revealed what had been done, but desired that the power of His miracles should be known gently, little by little. And suppose that it had then been mentioned, 19 the servants who related it would never have been believed, but would have been thought mad to bear such testimony to one who at that time seemed to the many a mere man; and although they knew the certainty of the thing by experience, (for they were not likely to disbelieve their own hands,) yet they were not sufficient to convince others. And so He did not reveal it to all, but to him who was best able to understand what was done, reserving the clearer knowledge of it for a future time; since after the manifestation of other miracles this also would be credible. Thus when he was about to heal the nobleman’s son, the Evangelist has shown that it had already become more clearly known; for it was chiefly because the nobleman had become acquainted with the miracle that he called upon Him, as Jn incidentally shows when he says, “Jesus came into Cana of Galilee, where He made the water wine.” (c. 4,46). And not wine simply, but the best.
[3.] For such are the miraculous works of Christ, they are far more perfect and better than the operations of nature. This is seen also in other instances; when He restored any infirm member of the body, He made 20 it better than the sound.
That it was wine then, and the best of wine, that had been made, not the servants only, but the bridegroom and the ruler of the feast would testify; and that it was made by Christ, those who drew the water; so that although the miracle were not then revealed, yet it could not in the end be passed in silence, so many and constraining testimonies had He provided for the future. That He had made the water wine, He had the servants for witnesses; that the wine was good that had been made, the ruler of the feast and the bridegroom.
It might be expected that the bridegroom would reply to this, (the ruler’s speech,) and say something, but the Evangelist, hastening to more pressing matters, has only touched upon this miracle, and passed on. For what we needed to learn was, that Christ made the water wine, and that good wine; but what the bridegroom said to the governor he did not think it necessary to add. And many miracles, at first somewhat obscure, have in process of time become more plain, when reported more exactly by those who knew them from the beginning.
At that time, then, Jesus made of water wine, and both then and now He ceases not to change our weak and unstable 21 wills. For there are, yes, there are men who in nothing differ from water, so cold, and weak, and unsettled. But let us bring those of such disposition to the Lord, that He may change their will to the quality of wine, so that they be no longer washy, 22 but have body, 23 and be the cause of gladness in themselves and others. But who can these cold ones be? They are those who give their minds to the fleeting things of this present life, who despise not this world’s luxury, who are lovers of glory and dominion: for all these things are flowing waters, never stable, but ever rushing violently down the steep. The rich to-day is poor tomorrow, he who one day appears with herald, and girdle, and chariot, and numerous attendants, is often on the next the inhabitant of a dungeon, having unwillingly quitted all that show to make room for another. Again, the gluttonous and dissipated 24 man, when he has filled himself to bursting, 25 cannot retain even for a single day the supply 26 conveyed by his delicacies, but when that is dispersed, in order to renew it he is obliged to put in more, differing in nothing from a torrent. For as in the torrent when the first body of water is gone, others in turn succeed; so in gluttony, when one repast is removed, we again require another. And such is the nature and the lot of earthly things, never to be stable, but to be always pouring and hurrying by; but in the case of luxury, it is not merely the flowing and hastening by; but many other things that trouble us. By the violence of its course it wears away 27 the strength of the body, and strips the soul of its manliness, and the strongest currents of rivers do not so easily eat away their banks and make them sink down, as do luxury and wantonness sweep away all the bulwarks of our health; and if you enter a physician’s house and ask him, you will find that almost all the causes of diseases arise from this. For frugality and a plain 28 table is the mother of health, and therefore physicians 29 have thus named it; for they have called the not being satisfied “health,” (because not to be satisfied with food is health,) and they have spoken of sparing diet as the “mother of health.” Now if the condition of wants is the mother of health, it is clear that fullness is the mother of sickness and debility, and produces attacks which are beyond the skill even of physicians. For gout in the feet, apoplexy, dimness of sight, pains in the hands, tremors, paralytic attacks, jaundice, lingering and inflammatory fevers, and other diseases many more than these, (for we have not time to go over them all,) are the natural offspring, not of abstinence and moderate 30 diet, but of gluttony and repletion. And if you will look to the diseases of the soul that arise from them, you will see that feelings of coveting, sloth, melancholy, dullness, impurity, and folly of all kinds, have their origin here. For after such banquets the souls of the luxurious become no better than asses, being torn to pieces by such wild beasts as these (passions). Shall I say also how many pains and displeasures they have who wait upon luxury? I could not enumerate them all, but by a single principal point I will make the whole clear. At a table such as I speak of, that is, a sumptuous one, men never eat with pleasure; for abstinence is the mother of pleasure as well as health, while repletion is the source and root not only of diseases, but of displeasure. For where there is satiety there desire cannot be, and where there is no desire, how can there be pleasure? And therefore we should find that the poor are not only of better understanding and healthier than the rich, but also that they enjoy a greater degree of pleasure. Let us, when we reflect on this, flee drunkenness and luxury, not that of the table alone, but all other which is found in the things of this life, and let us take in exchange for it the pleasure arising from spiritual things, and, as the Prophet says, delight ourselves in the Lord; “Delight thyself in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Ps 37,4); that so that we may enjoy the good things both here and hereafter, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom and with whom, to the Father and the Holy Ghost, be glory, world without end. Amen.
2 al. “our.”
3 lit. “numb,” al. “be weary.”
4 oujdei;" ejpivasen aujtovn, G. T.
5 Ben. Morel. and ms. in Bodl. read: ajlla; dia; tw`n ou]tw" eijrhmevnwn tou`to dhlw`sai k.t.l.
6 Morel. and ms. in Bodl. read: ajlla; AEIwavnnh" ejntau`qa to; Ou]pw h]kei hJ w(ra mou eijsavgei to;n Cristo;n levgonta deiknu;" o]ti k.t.l.
7 al. “beside.”
8 This passage is wanting in the ms. in Bodleian.
9 balei`n, G. T.
10 al. “wisely.”
13 Morel. and ms. in Bodl. read: diAE oJ kai; th;n uJpakoh;n ajnabavlletai.
14 lit. “clips round.”
16 al. “impeach.”
19 al. “examined.”
20 lit. “showed.”
21 lit. “flowing away.”
23 to; ejpestummevnon, “astringency.”
25 lit. “has burst his stomach.’”
27 ajpoxuvei, “abrades.”
29 lit. “children of phys.”
[1.] Frequent and fierce is the devil in his attacks, on all sides besieging our salvation; we therefore must watch and be sober, and everywhere fortify ourselves against his assault, for if he but gain some slight vantage ground,1 he goes on to make for himself a broad passage, and by degrees introduces all his forces. If then we have any care at all for our salvation, let us not allow him to make his approaches even in trifles, that thus we may check him beforehand in important matters; for it would be the extreme of folly, if, while he displays such eagerness to destroy our souls, we should not bring even an equal amount in defense of our own salvation.
I say not this without a cause, but because I fear lest that wolf be even now standing unseen by us in the midst of the fold,2 and some sheep become a prey to him, being led astray from the flock and from hearkening by its own carelessness and his craft. Were the wounds3 sensible, or did the body receive the blows, there would be no difficulty in discerning his plots; but since the soul is invisible, and since that it is which receives the wounds, we need great watchfulness that each may prove himself; for none knoweth the things of a man as the spirit of a man that is in him. (1Co 2,11). The word is spoken indeed to all, and is offered as a general remedy to those who need it, but it is the business of every individual hearer to take what is suited to his complaint. I know not who are sick, I know not who are well. And therefore I use every sort of argument, and introduce remedies suited to all maladies,4 at one time condemning covetousness, after that touching on luxury, and again on impurity, then composing something in praise of and exhortation to charity, and each of the other virtues in their turn. For I fear lest when my arguments are employed on any one subject, I may without knowing it be treating you for one disease while you are ill of others. So that if this congregation were but one person, I should not have judged it so absolutely necessary to make my discourse varied; but since in such a multitude there are probably also many maladies, I not unreasonably diversify my teaching, since my discourse will be sure to attain its object when it is made to embrace you all. For this cause also Scripture is something multiform,5 and speaks on ten thousand matters, because it addresses itself to the nature of mankind in common, and in such a multitude all the passions of the soul must needs be; though all be not in each. Let us then cleanse ourselves of these, and so listen to the divine oracles, and with contrite heart6 hear what has been this day read to us.
And what is that? “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee.” I told you the other day, that there are some who say that this is not the beginning. “For what,” says one, “if ‘Cana of Galilee’ be added? This shows that this was ‘the beginning’ He made ‘in Cana.’”7 But on these points I would not venture to assert anything exactly. I before have shown that He began His miracles after His Baptism, and wrought no miracle before it; but whether of the miracles done after His Baptism, this or some other was the first, it seems to me unnecessary to assert positively.
“And manifested forth His glory.”
“How?” asks one, “and in what way? For only the servants, the ruler of the feast, and the bridegroom, not the greater number of those present, gave heed to what was done.” How then did he “manifest forth His glory”? He manifested it at least for His own part, and if all present hear not of the miracle at the time, they would hear of it afterwards, for unto the present time it is celebrated, and has not been unnoticed. That all did not know it on the same day is clear from what follows, for after having said that He “manifested forth His glory,” the Evangelist adds,
“And His disciples believed on Him.”
His disciples, who even before this regarded Him with wonder.8 Seest thou that it was especially necessary to work the miracles at times when men were present of honest minds, and who would carefully give heed to what was done? for these would more readily believe, and attend more exactly to the circumstances. “And how could He have become known without miracles?” Because His doctrine and prophetic powers were sufficient to cause wonder in the souls of His hearers, so that they took heed to what He did with a right disposition, their minds being already well affected towards Him. And therefore in many other places the Evangelists say, that He did no miracle on account of the perversity of the men who dwelt there. (Mt 12,38 ch. 13,58, &c).
Jn 2,12. “After this He went down to Capernaum, He, and His mother, and His brethren, and His disciples; and they continued there not many days.”
Wherefore comes He with “His mother to Capernaum”? for He hath done no miracle there, and the inhabitants of that city were not of those who were rightminded towards Him, but of the utterly corrupt. And this Christ declared when He said, “And thou, Capernaum, which are exalted to heaven, shall be thrust down to hell.” (Lc 10,15). Wherefore then goes He? I think it was, because He intended a little after to go up to Jerusalem, that He then went to Capernaum, to avoid leading about9 everywhere with Him, His mother and His brethren. And so, having departed and tarried a little while to honor His mother, He again commences His miracles after restoring to her home her who had borne Him. Therefore the Evangelist says, After “not many days,”
Jn 2,13. “He went up to Jerusalem.”
(He received baptism then a few days before the passover. But on going up to Jerusalem, what did He adeed full of high authority; for He cast out of the Temple those dealers and money changers, and those who sold doves, and oxen, and sheep, and who passed their time there for this purpose.
2302 [2.] Another Evangelist writes, that as He cast them out, He said, Make not my Father’s house 10 “a den of thieves,” but this one,
Jn 2,16. (“Make not My Father’s house) an house of merchandise.”
They do not in this contradict each other, but show that he did this a second time, and that both these expressions were not used on the same occasion, but that He acted thus once at the beginning of His ministry, and again when He had come to the very time of His Passion. Therefore, (on the latter occasion,) employing more strong expressions, He spoke of it as 11 (being made) “a den of thieves,” but here at the commencement of His miracles He does not so, but uses a more gentle rebuke; from which it is probable that this took place 12 a second time.
“And wherefore,” says one, “did Christ do this same, and use such severity against these men, a thing which He is nowhere else seen to do, even when insulted and reviled, and called by them ‘Samaritan’ and ‘demoniac’? for He was not even satisfied with words only, but took a scourge, and so cast them out.” Yes, but it was when others were receiving benefit, that the Jews accused and raged against Him; when it was probable that they would have been made savage by His rebukes, they showed no such disposition towards Him, for they neither accused nor reviled Him. What say they?
Jn 2,18. “What sign showest Thou unto us, seeing that Thou doest these things?”
Seest thou their excessive malice, and how the benefits done to others incensed them more (than reproofs)?
At one time then He said, that the Temple was made by them “a den of thieves,” showing that what they sold was gotten by theft, and rapine, and covetousness, and that they were rich through other men’s calamities; at another, “a house of merchandise,” pointing to their shameless traffickings. “But wherefore did He this?” Since he was about to heal on the Sabbath day, and to do many such things which were thought by them transgressions of the Law in order that He might not seem to do this as though He had come to be some rival God 13 and opponent of His Father, He takes occasion hence to correct any such suspicion of theirs. For One who had exhibited so much zeal for the House was not likely to oppose Him who was Lord of the House, and who was worshiped in it. No doubt even the former years during which He lived according to the Law, were sufficient to show His reverence for the Legislator, and that He came not to give contrary laws; yet since it was likely that those years were forgotten through lapse of time, as not having been known to all because He was brought up in a poor and mean dwelling, He afterwards does this in the presence of all, (for many were present because the feast was nigh at hand,) and at great risk. For he did not merely “cast them out,” but also “overturned the tables,” and “poured out the money,” giving them by this to understand, that He who threw Himself into danger for the good order of the House could never despise his Master. Had He acted as He did from hypocrisy, He should only have advised them; but to place Himself in danger was very daring. For it was no light thing to offer Himself to the anger of so many market-folk, 14 to excite against Himself a most brutal mob of petty dealers by His reproaches and His blows, this was not the action of a pretender, but of one choosing to suffer everything for the order of the House.
And therefore not by His actions only, but by His words, He shows his agreement with the Father; 15 for He saith not “the Holy House,” but “My Father’s House.” See, He even calls Him, “Father,” and they are not wroth; they thought He spoke in a general way: 16 but when He went on and spoke more plainly, so as to set before them the idea of His Equality, then they become angry.
And what say they? “What sign showest Thou unto us, seeing that Thou doest these things?” Alas for their utter madness! Was there need of a sign before they could cease their evil doings, and free the house of God from such dishonor? and was it not the greatest sign of His Excellence that He had gotten such zeal for that House? In fact, the well-disposed 17 were distinguished by this very thing, for “They,” His disciples, it says,
Jn 2,17. “Remembered that it is written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”
But the Jews did not remember the Prophecy, and said, “What sign showest Thou unto us?” (Ps 69,9), both grieving that their shameful traffic was cut off, and expecting by these means to stop Him, and also desiring to challenge Him to a miracle, and to find fault with what He was doing. Wherefore He will not give them a sign; and before, when they came and asked Him, He made them the same answer, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.” (Mt 16,4). Only then the answer was clear, now it is more ambiguous. This He doth on account of their extreme insensibility; for He who prevented 18 them without their asking, and gave them signs, would never when they asked have turned away from them, had He not seen that their minds were wicked and false, and their intention treacherous. 19 Think how full of wickedness the question itself was at the outset. When they ought to have applauded Him for His earnestness and zeal, when they ought to have been astonished that He cared so greatly for the House, they reproach Him, saying, that it was lawful to traffic, and unlawful for any to stop their traffic, except he should show them a sign. What saith Christ?
Jn 2,19. “Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
Many such sayings He utters which were not intelligible to His immediate hearers, but which were to be so to those that should come after. And wherefore doth He this? In order that when the accomplishment of His prediction should have come to pass, He might be seen to have foreknown from the beginning what was to follow; which indeed was the case with this prophecy. For, saith the Evangelist,
Jn 2,22. “When He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this; and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.”
But at the time when this was spoken, the Jews were perplexed as to what it might mean, and cast about to discover, saying,
Jn 2,20. “Forty and six years was this Temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?”
“Forty and six years,” they said, referring to the latter building, for the former was finished in twenty years’ time. (Esd 6,15).
2303 [3.] Wherefore then did He not resolve the difficulty and say, “I speak not of that Temple, but of My flesh”? Why does the Evangelist, writing the Gospel at a later period, interpret the saying, and Jesus keep silence at the time? Why did He so keep silence? Because they would not have received His word; for if not even the disciples were able to understand the saying, much less were the multitudes. “When,” saith the Evangelist, “He was risen from the dead, then they remembered, and believed the Scripture and His word.” There were two things that hindered 20 them for the time, one the fact of the Resurrection, the other, the greater question whether He was God 21 that dwelt within; of both which things He spake darkly when He said, “Destroy this Temple, and I will rear it up in three days.” And this St. Paul declares to be no small proof of His Godhead, when he writes, “Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the Resurrection from the dead.” (Rm 1,4).
But why doth He both there, and here, and everywhere, give this for a sign, at one time saying, 22 “When ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then ye shall know that I Am” (Jn 8,28); at another, “There shall no sign be given you 23 but the sign of the prophet Jonas” (Mt 12,39); and again in this place, “In three days I will raise it up”? Because what especially showed that He was not a mere man, was His being able to set up a trophy of victory over death, and so quickly to abolish His long enduring tyranny, and conclude that difficult war. Wherefore He saith, “Then ye shall know.” “Then.” When? When after My Resurrection I shall draw (all) the world to Me, then ye shall know that I did these things as God, and Very Son of God, avenging the insult offered to My Father.
“Why then, instead of saying, ‘What need is there of “signs” to check evil deeds?’ did He promise that He would give them a sign?” Because by so doing He would have the more exasperated them; but in this way He rather astonished them. Still they made no answer to this, for He seemed to them to say what was incredible, so that they did not stay even to question Him upon it, but passed it by as impossible. Yet had they been wise, though it seemed to them at the time incredible, still when He wrought His many miracles they would then have come and questioned Him, would then have intreated that the difficulty might be resolved to them; but because they were foolish, they gave no heed at all to part of what was said, and part they heard with evil frame of mind. And therefore Christ spoke to them in an enigmatical way.
The question still remains, “How was it that the disciples did not know that He must rise from the dead?” It was, because they had not been vouchsafed the gift of the Spirit; and therefore, though they constantly heard His discourses concerning the Resurrection, they understood them not, but reasoned with themselves what this might be. For very strange and paradoxical was the assertion that one could raise himself, and would raise himself in such wise. And so Peter was rebuked, when, knowing nothing about the Resurrection, he said, “Be it far from Thee.” (Mt 16,22). And Christ did not reveal it clearly to them before the event, that they might not be offended at the very outset, being led to distrust His words on account of the great improbability of the thing, and because they did not yet clearly know Him, who He was. For no one could help believing what was proclaimed aloud by facts, while some would probably disbelieve what was told to them in words. Therefore He at first allowed the meaning of His words to be concealed; but when by their experience He had verified His sayings, He after that gave them understanding of His words, and such gifts of the Spirit that they received them all at once. “He,” saith Jesus, “shall bring all things to your remembrance.” (Jn 14,26). For they who in a single night cast off all respect for Him, and fled from and denied that they even knew Him, would scarcely have remembered what He had done and said during the whole time, unless they had enjoyed much grace of the Spirit.
“But,” says one, “if they were to hear from the Spirit, why needed they to accompany Christ when they would not retain His words?” Because the Spirit taught them not, but called to their mind what Christ had said before; and it contributes not a little to the glory of Christ, that they were referred to the remembrance of the words He had spoken to them. At the first then it was of the gift of God that the grace of the Spirit lighted upon them so largely and abundantly; but after that, it was of their own virtue that they retained the Gift. For they displayed a shining life, and much wisdom, and great labors, and despised this present life, and thought nothing of earthly things, but were above them all; and like a sort of light-winged eagle, soaring high by their works; reached 24 to heaven itself, and by these possessed the unspeakable grace of the Spirit.
Let us then imitate them, and not quench our lamps, but keep them bright by alms-doing, for so is the light of this fire preserved. Let us collect the oil into our vessels whilst we are here, for we cannot buy it when we have departed to that other place, nor can we procure it elsewhere, save only at the hands of the poor. Let us therefore collect it thence very abundantly, if, at least, we desire to enter in with the Bridegroom. But if we do not this, we must remain without the bridechamber, for it is impossible, it is impossible, though we perform ten thousand other good deeds, to enter the portals of the Kingdom without alms-doing. Let us then show forth this very abundantly, that we may enjoy those ineffable blessings; which may it come to pass that we all attain, by the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost be glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
2 or “sacred enclosure,” shkw`.
3 al. “words.”
4 Morel. and ms. in Bodl. read the passage thus: kinw`, pa`sin ajnqrwvpoi" oJmoivw" ajrmovzonta, kai; pa`sin ejpithvdeion pavqesin).
6 Morel. and ms. in Bodleian read: ou(tw toi`" qeivoi" lovgoi" prosbavllwmen, kai; ou(tw meta; suntetrimmevnh" sfovdra th`" dianoiva" k.t.l..
7 Morel. and ms. in Bodleian read: ti; ga;r a]topon proskei`sqai ejn Kana`/, kai; mh; ajrch;n ei\nai tauvthn tw`n tou` AEIhsou` shmeivwn.
8 [admired and believed] Morel. and ms.
10 Lc 19,46, uJmei`" ejpoihvsate k.t.l.. G. T.
11 lit. “called it.”
12 Or, “that He did this.” o(qen eijko;" deuvteron tou`to gegenh`sqai. al). pepoihkevnai
13 or, “adversary of God.”
14 or, “base persons,” ajgoraivwn.
15 th;n pro;" aujto;n sumfwnivan.
18 al. “took to Him.”
20 al. “were proposed to.”
21 Savile, JO Qeo;", “whether He was the One God”; but the article is not found in Ben. Morel. or mss.
22 [o]tan uJywQw`] Ben.
23 aujth`/ [genea`/] G. T).
24 al. “were drawn away.”
Chrysostom on John 22