Golden Chain 13720
13720 Jn 17,20-23
AUG. When our Lord had prayed for His disciples, whom He named also Apostles, He added a prayer for all others who should believe on Him; Neither pray I for these alone, but for all others who shall believe of Me through their word.
CHRYS. Another ground of consolation to them, that they were to be the cause of the salvation of others.
AUG. All, i.e. not only those who were then alive, but those who were to be born; not those only who heard the Apostles themselves, but us who were born long after their death. We have all believed in Christ through their word: for they first heard that word from Christ, and then preached it to others, and so it has come down, and will go down to all posterity. We may see that in this prayer there are some disciples whom He does not pray for; for those,
i.e. who were neither with Him at the time, nor were about to believe on Him afterwards through the Apostles' word, but believed already.
Was Nathanael with Him then, or Joseph of Arimathea, and many others, who, John says, believed on Him? I do not mention old Simon, or Anna the prophetess, Zacharias, Elisabeth, or John the Baptist; for it might be answered that it was not necessary to pray for dead persons, such as these who departed with such rich merits. With respect to the former then we must understand that they did not yet believe in Him, as He wished, but that after His resurrection, when the Apostles were taught and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, they attained to a right faith.
The case of Paul however still remains, An Apostle not of men, or by men; and that of the robber, who believed when even the teachers themselves of the faith fell away. We must understand then, their word, to mean the word of faith itself which they preached to the world; it being called their word, because it was preached in the first instance and principally by them; for it was being preached by them, when Paul received it by revelation from Jesus Christ Himself. And in this sense the robber too believed their word. Wherefore in this prayer the Redeemer prays for all whom He redeemed, both present and to come.
And then follows the thing itself which He prays for, That they all may be one. He asks that for all, which he asked above for the disciples; that all both we and they may be one.
CHRYS. And with this prayer for unanimity, He concludes His prayer; and then begins a discourse on the same subject: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another.
HILARY. And this unity is recommended by the great example of unity: As you, Father, are in Me, and I in you, that they also may be one in Us, i.e. that as the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father, so after the likeness of this unity, all may be one in the Father and in the Son.
CHRYS. This as again does not express perfect likeness, but only likeness as far as it was possible in men; as when He says, Be you merciful, even as your Father, which is in heaven, is merciful.
AUG. We must particularly observe here, that our Lord did not say, that we may be all one, but that they may be all one, as you, Father, in Me, and I in You, are one, understood. For the Father is so in the Son, that They are one, because They are of one substance; but we can be one in Them, but not with Them; because we and They are not of one substance. They are in us, and we in Them, so as that They are one in Their nature, we one in ours. They are in us, as God is in the temple; we in Them, as the creature is in its Creator. Wherefore He adds, in Us, to show, that our being made one by charity, is to be attributed to the grace of God, not to ourselves.
AUG. Or that in ourselves we cannot be one, severed from each other by diverse pleasures, and lusts, and the pollution of sin, from which we must be cleansed by a Mediator, in order to be one in Him.
HILARY. Heretics endeavoring to get over the words, I and My Father are one, as a proving unity of nature, and to reduce them to mean a unity simply of natural love, and agreement of will, bring forwards these words of our Lord's as an example of this kind of unity: That they may be all one, as You, Father, is in Me, and I in You.
But though impiety can cheat its own understanding, it cannot alter the meaning of the words themselves. For they who are born again of a nature that gives unity in life eternal, they cease to be one in will merely, acquiring the same nature by their regeneration: but the Father and Son alone are properly one, because God, only-begotten of God, can only exist in that nature from which He is derived.
AUG. But why does He say, That the world may believe that you have sent Me? Will the world believe when we shall all be one in the Father and the Son? Is not this unity that peace eternal, which is the reward of faith, rather than faith itself? For though in this life all of us who hold in the same common faith are one, yet even this unity is not a means to belief, but the consequence of it.
What means then, That all may be one, that the world may believe? He prays for the world when He says, Neither pray I for these alone, but for all those who shall believe on Me through their word. Whereby it appears that He does not make this unity the cause of the world believing, but prays that the world may believe, as He prays that they all may be one. The meaning will be clearer if we always put in the word ask; I ask that they all may be one; I ask. that they may be one in Us; I ask that the world may believe that you have sent Me.
HILARY. Or, the world will believe that the Son is sent from the Father, for that reason, viz. because all who believe in Him are one in the Father and the Son.
CHRYS. For there is no scandal so great as division, whereas unity amongst believers is a great argument for believing; as He said at the beginning of His discourse, By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one to another. For if they quarrel, they will not be looked on as the disciples of a peacemaking Master. And I, He says, not being a peacemaker, they will not acknowledge Me as sent from God.
AUG. Then our Savior, Who, by praying to the Father, showed Himself to be man, now shows that, being God with the Father, He does what He prays for: And the glory which you gave Me, I have given them. What glory, but immortality, which human nature was about to receive in Him? For that which was to be by unchangeable predestination, though future, He expresses by the past tense. That glory of immortality, which He says was given Him by the Father, we must understand He gave Himself also.
For when the Son is silent of His own cooperation in the Father's work, He shows His humility: when He is silent of the Father's cooperation in His work, He shows His equality. In this way here He neither disconnects Himself with the Father's work, when He says, The glory which you gave Me, nor the Father with His work, when He says, I have given them. But as He was pleased by prayer to the Father to obtain that all might be one, so now He is pleased to effect the same by His own gift; for He continues, That all may be one, even as We are one.
CHRYS. By glory, He means miracles, and doctrines and unity; which latter is the greater glory. For all who believed through the Apostles see one. If any separated, it was owing to men's own carelessness; not but that our Lord anticipates this happening.
HILARY. By this giving and receiving of honor, then, all are one. But I do not yet apprehend in what way this makes all one. Our Lord, however, explains the gradation and order in the consummating of this unity, when He adds, I in them, and You in Me; so that inasmuch as He was in the Father by His divine nature, we in Him by His incarnation, and He again in us by the mystery of the sacrament, a perfect union by means of a Mediator was established.
CHRYS. Elsewhere He says of Himself and the Father, We will come and make Our abode with Him; by the mention of two persons, stopping the mouths of the Sabellians. Here by saying that the Father comes to the disciples through Him, He refutes the notion of the Arians.
AUG. Nor is this said, however, as if to mean that the Father was not in us, or we in the Father. He only means to see, that He is Mediator between God and man. And what He adds, That they may be made perfect in one, shows that the reconciliation made by this Mediator, was carried on even to the enjoyment of everlasting blessedness. So what follows, That the world may know that you have sent Me, must not be taken to mean the same as the words just above.
That the world may believe. For as long as we believe what we do not see, we are not yet made perfect, as we shall be when we hare merited to see what we believe. So that when He speaks of their being made perfect, we are to understand such a knowledge as shall be by sight not such as is by faith. These that believe are the world, not a permanent enemy, my, but changed from an enemy to a friend; as it follows: And has loved them, as you has loved Me. The Father loves us in the Son, because He elected us in Him.
These words do not prove that we are equal to the Only-Begotten Son; for this mode of expression, as one thing so another, does not always signify equality. It sometimes only means, because cause one thing, therefore another. And this is its meaning here: You have loved them, as you have loved Me, i. e. You have loved them, because you have loved Me. There is no reason for God loving His members, but that He loves him, But since He hates nothing that He has made, who can adequately express how much He loves the members of His Only-Begotten Son, and still more the Only-Begotten Himself.
13724 Jn 17,24-26
CHRYS. After He has said that many should believe on Him through them, and that they should obtain great glory, He then speaks of the crowns in store for them; Father, 1 will that they also whom you have given Me, be with Me; where I am.
AUG. These are they whom He has received from the Father, whom He also chose out of the world; as He says at the beginning of this prayer, you have given Him power over all flesh, i.e. all mankind, That He should give eternal life to as many as you have given Him. Wherein He shows that He had received power over all men, to deliver whom He would and to condemn whom He would. Wherefore it is to all His members that He promises this reward, that where He is they may be also. Nor can that but be done, which the Almighty Son says that He wishes to the Almighty Father: for the Father and the Son have one will, which, if weakness prevent us from comprehending, piety must believe. Where I am; so far as pertains to the creature, He w as made of the seed of David according to the flesh: He might say, Where I am, meaning where He was shortly to be, i.e. heaven. In heaven then, He promises us, we shall be. For there was the form of a servant raised, which He had taken from the Virgin, and there placed on the right hand of God.
GREG. What means then what the Truth says above, No man has ascended into heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. Yet here is no discrepancy for our Lord being the Head of His members, the reprobates excluded, He is alone with us. And therefore, we making one with Him, whence He came alone in Himself, there; He returns alone in us.
AUG. But as respects the form of God, wherein He is equal to the Father, if we understand these words, that they may he with Me where I am, with reference to that, then an away with all bodily ideas, and inquire, not where the Son, Who is equal to the Father, is: for no one has discovered where He is not. Wherefore it was not enough for Him to say, I will that they may be where I am, but He adds, with Me. For to be with Him is the great good: even the miserable can be where He is, but only the happy can be with Him. And as in the case of the visible though very different be whatever example we take, a blind man will serve for one, as a blind man though He is where the light is, yet is not himself with the light, but is absent from it in its presence, so not only the unbelieving, but the believing, though they cannot be where Christ is not, yet are not themselves with Christ by sight: by faith we cannot doubt but that a believer is with Christ. But here He is speaking of that sight wherein we shall see Him as He is; as He adds, That they may behold My glory, which you have given Me. That they may behold, He says, not, that they may believe. It is the reward of faith which He speaks of, not faith itself.
CHRYS. he says not, that they may partake of My glory, but, that they may behold, intimating that the rest there is to see the Son of God. The Father gave Him glory, when He begat Him.
AUG. When then we shall have seen the glory which the Father gave the Son, though by this glory we do not understand here, that which He gave to the equal Son when He begat Him, but that which He gave to the Son of man, after His crucifixion; then shall the judgment be, then shall the wicked be taken away, that he see not the glory of the Lord: what glory but that whereby He is God? If then we take their words, That they may be if with Me where I am, to be spoken by Him as Son of God, in that case they must have a higher meaning, viz. that we shall be in the Father with Christ. As He immediately adds, That they may see My glory which you have given Me; and then, Which you gave Me before the foundation of the world. For in Him He loved us before the foundation of the world, and then predestined what He should do at the end of the world.
BEDE. That which He calls glory then is the love wherewith He was loved with the Father before the foundation of the world. And in that glory He loved us too before the foundation of the world.
THEOPHYL. After then that He had prayed for believers, and promised them so many good things, another prayer follows worthy of His mercy and benignity: O righteous Father, the world has not known it you; as if to say, I would wish that all men obtained these good things, which I have asked for the believing. But inasmuch as they have not known you, they shall not obtain the glory and crown.
CHRYS. He says this as if He were troubled at the thought, that they should be unwilling to know One so just and good. And whereas the Jews had said, that they knew God, and He knew Him not: He on the contrary says, But I have known you, and these have known that you have sent Me, and I have declared to them your name, and will declare it, by giving them perfect knowledge through the Holy Ghost. When they have learned what you are, they will know that I am not separate from You, but You own Son greatly beloved, and joined to You. This I have e told them, that I might receive them, and that they who believe this aright, shall preserve their faith and love toward Me entire; and I will abide in them: That the love wherewith you have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.
AUG. Or thus; What is to know Him, but eternal life, which He gave not to a condemned but to a reconciled world? for this reason the world hath not known You; because you are just, and have punished the with this ignorance of You, in reward for their misdeeds. And for this reason the reconciled world knows You, because you are merciful, and have vouchsafed this knowledge, not in consequence of their merits, but of your grace. it follows: But I have known You. He is God the fountain of grace by nature, man of the Holy Ghost and Virgin by grace ineffable. Then because the grace of God is through Jesus Christ, He says, And they have known Me, i.e. the reconciled world have known Me, by grace, forasmuch as you have sent Me. And I have made known your name to them by faith, and will make it known by sight: that the love wherewith you have loved Me may be in them. The Apostle uses a like phrase, I have fought a good fight, by a good fight being the more common form. The love wherewith the Father loves the Son in us, can only be in us because we are His members, and we are loved in Him when He is loved wholly, i.e. both head and body. And therefore He adds, And I in them; He is in us, as in His temple, we in Him as our Head.
13801 Jn 18,1-2
AUG. The discourse, which our Lord had with His disciples after supper, and the prayer which followed, being now ended, the Evangelist begins the account of His Passion. When Jesus had spoken these words, He came forth with His disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into which He entered, and His disciples. But this did not take place immediately after the prayer was ended; there was an interval containing some things, which John omits, but which are mentioned by the other Evangelists.
AUG. A contention took place between them, which of them was the greater, as Luke relates. He also said to Peter, as Luke adds in the same place, Behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat, &c. And according to Matthew and Mark, they sang a hymn, and then went to Mount Olivet. Matthew lastly brings the two narratives together: Then went Jesus with His disciples to a place which is called Gethsemane. That is the place which John mentions here, Where there was a garden, into the which He entered, and His disciples.
AUG. When Jesus had spoken these words, shows that He did not enter before He had finished speaking.
CHRYS. But why does not John say, When He had prayed, He entered? Because His prayer was a speaking for His disciples' sake. It is now night time; He goes and crosses the brook, and hastens to the place which was known to the traitor; thus giving no trouble to those who were lying in wait for Him, and strewing His disciples that He went voluntarily to die.
ALCUIN. Over the brook Cedron, i.e. of cedars. It is the genitive in the Greek. He goes over the brook, i.e. drinks of the brook of His Passion. Where there was a garden, that the sin which was committed in a garden, He might blot out in a garden. Paradise signifies garden of delights.
CHRYS. That it might not be thought that He went into a garden to hide Himself, it is added, But Judas who betrayed Him knew the place: for Jesus of often resorted there with; His disciples.
AUG. There the wolf in sheep's clothing permitted by the deep counsel of the Master of the flock to go among the sheep, learned in what way to disperse the flock, and ensnare the Shepherd.
CHRYS. Jesus had often met and talked alone with His disciples there, on essential doctrines, such as it was lawful for others to hear. He does this on mountains, and in gardens, to be out of reach of noise and tumult. Judas, however went there, because Christ had often passed the night there in the open air. He would have gone to His house, if he had thought he should find Him sleeping there.
THEOPHYL. Judas knew that at the feast time our Lord was accustomed to teach His disciples high and mysterious doctrines, and that He taught in places like this. And as it was then a solemn season, he thought He would be found there, teaching His disciples things relating to the feast.
13803 Jn 18,3-9
GLOSS. The Evangelist had strewn how Judas had found, out the place where Christ was, now he relates how he went there. Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, comes there with lanterns and torched and weapons.
AUG. It was a band not of Jews, but of soldiers, granted, we must understand, by the Governor, with legal authority to take the criminal, as He was considered, and crush any opposition that might be made.
CHRYS. But how could they persuade the band? By hiring them; for being soldiers, they were ready to do anything for money.
THEOPHYL. They carry torches and lanterns, to guard against Christ escaping in the dark.
CHRYS. They had often sent elsewhere to take Him, but had not been able. Whence it is evident that He gave Himself up voluntarily; as it follows, Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth, and said to them, Whom do you seek?
THEOPHYL. He asks not because He needed to know, for He knew all things that should come upon Him; but because He wished to show, that though present, they could not see or distinguish Him: Jesus says to them, I am He.
CHRYS. He Himself had blinded their eyes. For that darkness was not the reason is clear, because the Evangelist says that they had lanterns. Though they had not lanterns, however, they should at least have recognized Him by His voice. And if they did not know Him, yet how was it that Judas, who had been with Him constantly also, did not know Him? And Judas also which betrayed Him stood with them. Jesus did all this to show that they could not have taken Him, or even seen Him when He was in the midst of them, had He not permitted it.
AUG. As soon then as He said To them, I am He, they went backward. Where now is the band of soldiers, where the terror and defence of arms? Without a blow, one word struck, drove back, prostrated a crowd fierce with hatred, terrible with arms. For God was hid in the flesh, and the eternal day was so obscured by His human body, that He was sought for with lanterns and torches, to be slain in the darkness. What shall He do when He comes to judge, Who did thus when He was going to be judged? And now even at the present time Christ says by the Gospel, I am He, and an Antichrist is expected by the Jews: to the end that they may go backward, and fall to the ground; because that forsaking heavenly, they desire earthly things.
GREG. Why is this, that the Elect fall on their faces, the reprobate backward? Because every one who falls back, sees not where he falls, whereas he who falls forward, sees where he falls. The wicked when they suffer loss in invisible things, are said to fall backward, because they do not see what is behind them: but the righteous, who of their own accord cast themselves down in temporal things, in order that they may rise in spiritual, fall as it were upon their faces, when with fear and repentance they humble themselves with their eyes open.
CHRYS. Lastly, lest any should say that He had encouraged the Jews to kill Him, in delivering Himself into their hands, He says every thing that is possible to reclaim them. But when they persisted in their malice, and showed themselves inexcusable then He gave Himself up into their hands: Then asked He them again, Whom do you seek? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am He.
AUG. They had heard at the first, I am He, but had not understood it; because He who could do whatever He would, willed not that they should. But had He never permitted Himself to be taken by them, they would not have done indeed what they came to do; but neither would He what He came to do. So now having strewn His power to them when they wished to take Him and could not, He lets them seize Him, that they might be unconscious agent, of His will; If you seek Me, let these go their way.
CHRYS. As if to say, Though you seek Me, you have nothing to do with these: lo, I give Myself up: thus even to the last hour does He show His love for His own.
AUG. He commands His enemies, and they do what He commands; they permit them to go away, whom He would not have design
CHRYS. The Evangelist, to show that it was not their design to do this, but that His power did it, adds, That the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, Of them which you have given Me, have I lost none. He had said this with reference not to temporal, but to eternal death: the Evangelist however understands the word of temporal death also.
AUG. But were the disciples never to die? Why then would He lose them, even if they died then? Because they did not yet believe in Him in a saving way.
13810 Jn 18,10-11
CHRYS. Peter trusting to these last words of our Lord's, and to what He had just done, assaults those who came to take Him: Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant. But how, commanded as he had been to have neither scrip, nor two garments, had he a sword? Perhaps he had foreseen this occasion, and provided one.
THEOPHYL. Or, he had got one for sacrificing the lamb, and carried it away with him from the Supper.
CHRYS. But how could he, who had been forbidden ever to strike on the cheek, be a murderer? Because what he had been forbidden to do was to avenge himself, but here he was not avenging himself, but his Master. They were not however yet perfect: afterwards you shall see Peter beaten with stripes, and bearing it humbly. And cut off his right ear: this seems to show the impetuosity of the Apostle; that he struck at the head itself.
AUG. The servant's name was Malchus; John is the only Evangelist who mentions the servant's name; as Luke is the only one who mentions that our Lord touched the ear and healed him.
CHRYS. He wrought this miracle both to teach us, that we ought to do good to those who suffer and to manifest His power. The Evangelist gives the name, that those who then read it might have the opportunity of inquiring into the truth of the account. And he mentions that he was the servant of the high priest, because in addition to the miracle of the cure itself, this shows that it was performed upon one of those who came to take Him, and who shortly after struck Him on the face.
AUG. The name Malchus signifies, about to reign. What then does the ear cut off for our Lord, and healed by our Lord denote, but the abolition of the old, and the creating of a new, hearing in the newness of the Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter? To whomsoever this is given, who can doubt that he will reign with Christ? But he was a servant too, has reference to that oldness, which generated to bondage: the cure figures liberty.
THEOPHYL. Or, the cutting off of the high priest's servant's right ear is a type of the people's deafness, of which the chief priests partook most strongly: the restoration of the ear, of ultimate reenlightenment of the understanding of the Jews, at the coming of Elias.
AUG. Our Lord condemned Peter's act, and forbade him proceeding further: Then said Jesus to Peter, Put up your sword into the sheath. He was to be admonished to have patience: and this was written for our learning.
CHRYS. He not only restrained Him however by threats, but consoled him also at the same time: The cup that My Father gives Me, shall I not drink it? Whereby He shows that it was not by their power, but by His permission, that this had been done, and that He did not oppose God, but was obedient even to death.
THEOPHYL. In that He calls it a cup, He shows how pleasing and acceptable death for the salvation of men was to Him.
AUG. The cup being given Him by the Father, is the same with what the Apostle says, Who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all. But the Giver of this cup and the Drinker of it are the same, as the same Apostle says, Christ loved us, and gave Himself for us.
13812 Jn 18,12-14
THEOPHYL. Every thing having been done that could be to dissuade the Jews, and they refusing to take warning, He suffered Himself to be delivered into their hands: Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus.
AUG. They took Him Whom they did not draw nigh to; nor understood that which is written in the Psalms, Draw nigh to Him, and be you lightened. For had they thus drawn nigh to Him, they would have taken Him, not to kill Him, but to be in their hearts. But now that they take Him the way they do, they go backward. It follows, and bound Him, Him by Whom they ought to have wished to be loosed. And perhaps there were among them some who, afterwards delivered by Him, exclaimed, you have broken My chains asunder.
But after that they had bound Jesus, it then appears most clearly that Judas had betrayed Him not for a good, but a most wicked purpose: And led Him away to Annas first.
CHRYS. In exultation, to show what they had done, as if they were raising a trophy.
AUG. Why they did so, he tells us immediately after: For he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. Matthew, in order to shorten the narrative, says that He was led to Caiaphas; because He was led to Annas first, as being the father in law of Caiaphas. So that we must understand that Annas wished to act Caiaphas's part.
BEDE. In order that, while our Lord was condemned by his colleague, he might not be guiltless, though his crime was less. Or perhaps his house lay in the way, and they were obliged to pass by it. Or it was the design of Providence, that they who were allied in blood, should be associated in guilt. That Caiaphas however was high priest for that year sounds contrary to the law, which ordained that there be only one high priest, and made the office hereditary. But the pontificate had now been abandoned to ambitious men.
ALCUIN. Josephus relates that this Caiaphas bought the high priesthood for this year. No wonder then if a wicked high priest judged wickedly. A man who was advanced to the priesthood by avarice would keep himself there by injustice.
CHRYS. That no one however might be disturbed at the sound of the chains, the Evangelist reminds them of the prophecy that His death would be the salvation of the world: Now Caiaphas was he which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. Such is the overpowering force of truth, that even its enemies echo it.
13815 Jn 18,15-18
AUG. The temptation of Peter, which took place in the midst of the contumelies offered to our Lord, is not placed by all in the same order. Matthew and Mark put the contumelies first, the temptation of Peter afterwards; Luke the temptation first, the contumelies after. John begins with the temptation: And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple.
ALCUIN. He followed his Master out of devotion, though afar off, on account of fear.
AUG. Who that other disciple was we cannot hastily decide, as his name is not told us. John however is accustomed to signify himself by this expression, with the addition of, whom Jesus loved. Perhaps therefore he is the one.
CHRYS. He omits his own name out of humility: though he is relating an act of great virtue, how that he followed when the rest fled. He puts Peter before himself, and then mentions himself, in order to show that he was inside the hall, and therefore related what took place there with more certainty than the other Evangelists could. That disciple was known to the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. This he mentions not as a boast, but in order to diminish his own merit, in having been the only one who entered with Jesus. It is accounting for the act in another way, than merely by greatness of mind.
Peter's love took him as far as the palace, but his fear prevented him entering in: But Peter stood at the door without.
ALCUIN. He stood without, as being about to deny his Lord. He was not in Christ, who dared not confess Christ.
CHRYS. But that Peter would have entered the palace, if he had been permitted, appears by what immediately follows: Then went out that other disciple who was known to the high priest, and spoke to her who kept the doors, and brought in Peter.
He did not bring him in himself, because he kept near Christ. It follows: Then says the damsel that kept the door to Peter, Are not you also one of this Man's s disciples? He says, I am not. What say you, O Peter? Did you not say before, I will lay down my life for your sake? What then had happened, that you give way even when the damsel asks you? It was not a soldier who asked you, but a mean porteress. Nor said she, Are you this Deceiver's disciple, but, this Man's: an expression of pity. Are not you also, she says, because John was inside.
AUG. But what wonder, if God foretold truly, man presumed falsely. Respecting this denial of Peter we should remark, that Christ is not only denied by him, who denies that He is Christ, but by him also who denies himself to be a Christian. For the Lord did not say to Peter, you shall deny that you art My disciple, but, you shall deny Me. He denied Him then, when he denied that he was His disciple. And what was this but to deny that he was a Christian? How many afterwards, even boys and girls, were able to despise death, confess Christ, and enter courageously into the kingdom of heaven; which he who received the keys of the kingdom, was now unable to do? Wherein we see the reason for His saying above, Let these go their way, for of those which you hast given Me, have I lost none. If Peter had gone out of this world immediately after denying Christ, He must have been lost.
CHRYS. Therefore did Divine Providence permit Peter first to fall, in order that he might be less severe to sinners from the remembrance of his own fall. Peter, the teacher and master of the whole world, sinned, and obtained pardon. that judges might thereafter have that rule to go by in dispensing pardon. For this reason I suppose the priesthood was not given to Angels; because, being without sin themselves, they would punish sinners without pity. Passible man is placed over man, in order that remembering his own weakness, he may be merciful to others.
THEOPHYL. Some however foolishly favor Peter, so far as to say that he denied Christ, because he did not wish to be away from Christ, and he knew, they say, that if he confessed that he was one of Christ's disciples, he would be separated from Him, and would no longer have the liberty of following and seeing his beloved Lord; and therefore pretended to be one of the servants, that his sad countenance might not be perceived, and so exclude him: And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals, and warmed themselves; and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself
AUG. It was not winter, and yet it was cold, as it often is at the vernal equinox.
GREG. The fire of love was smothered in Peter's breast, and he was warming himself before the coals of the persecutors, i.e. with the love of this present life, whereby his weakness was increased.
Golden Chain 13720