Golden Chain 12908
12908 Jn 9,8-17
CHRYS. The suddenness of the miracle made men incredulous: The neighbors therefore, and they which had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Wonderful clemency and condescension of God! Even the beggars He heals with so great considerateness: thus stopping the mouths of the Jews; in that He made not the great, illustrious, and noble, but the poorest and meanest, the objects of His providence. Indeed He had come for the salvation of all.
Some said, This is he. The blind man having been clearly recognized in the course of his long walk to the pool; the more so, as people's attention was drawn by the strangeness of the event; men could no longer say, This is not he; Others said, Nay, but he is like him.
AUG. His eyes being opened had altered his look. But he said, I am he. He spoke gratefully; a denial would have convicted Him of ingratitude.
CHRYS. He was not ashamed of his former blindness, nor afraid of the fury of the people, nor averse to show himself, and proclaim his Benefactor. Therefore said they to him, How were your eyes opened? How they were, neither he nor any one knew: he only knew the fact; he could not explain it.
He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes. Mark his exactness. He does not say how the clay was made; for he could not see that our Lord spat on the ground; he does not say what he does not know; but that He anointed him he could feel. And said to me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash. This too he could declare from his own hearing; for he had heard our Lord converse with His disciples, and so knew His voice. Lastly, he shows how strictly he had obeyed our Lord. He adds, And I went, and washed, and received sight.
AUG. Lo, he is become a proclaimer of grace, an evangelist, and testifies to the Jews. That blind man testified, and the ungodly were vexed at the heart, because they had not in their heart what appeared upon his countenance. Then said they to him, Where is He?
CHRYS. This they said, because they were meditating His death, having already begun to conspire against Him. Christ did not appear in company with those whom He cured; having no desire for glory, or display. He always withdrew, after healing any one; in order that no suspicion might attach to the miracle. His withdrawal proved the absence of all connection between Him and the healed; and therefore that the latter did not publish a false cure out of favor to Him. He said, I know not.
AUG. Here he is like one anointed, but unable yet to see: he preaches, and knows not what he preaches.
BEDE. Thus he represents the state of the catechumen, who believes in Jesus, but does not, strictly speaking, know Him, not being yet washed. It fell to the Pharisees to confirm or deny the miracle.
CHRYS. The Jews, whom they asked, Where is He? were desirous of finding Him, in order to bring Him to the Pharisees; but, as they could not find Him, they bring the blind man. They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind; i.e. that they might examine him still more closely.
The Evangelist adds, And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes; in order to expose their real design, which was to accuse Him of a departure from the law, and thus detract from the miracle: as appears from what follows,
Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. But mark the firmness of the blind man. To tell the truth to the multitude before, from whom he was in no danger, was not so great a matter: but it is remarkable, now that the danger is so much greater, to find him disavowing nothing, and not contradicting any thing that he said before: He said to them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. He is more brief this time, as his interrogators were already informed of the matter: not mentioning the name of Jesus, nor His saying, Go, and wash; but simply, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see; the very contrary answer to what they wanted. They wanted a disavowal, and they receive a confirmation of the story.
Therefore said some of the Pharisees.
AUG. Some, not all: for some were already anointed. But they, who neither saw, nor were anointed, said, This man is not of God, because he keeps not the sabbath day. Rather He kept it, in that He was without sin; for to observe the sabbath spiritually, is to have no sin. And this God admonishes us of, when He enjoins the sabbath, saying, In it you shall do no servile work. What servile work is, our Lord tells us above, Whosoever commits sin, is the servant of sin. They observed the sabbath carnally, transgressed it spiritually.
CHRYS. Passing over the miracle in silence, they give all the prominence they can to the supposed transgression; not charging Him with healing on the sabbath, but with not keeping the sabbath. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? They were impressed by His miracles, but only in a weak and unsettled way. For whereas such might have strewn them, that the sabbath was not broken; they had not yet any idea that He v as God, and therefore did not know that it was the Lord of the sabbath who had worked the miracle. Nor did any of them dare to say openly what his sentiments were, but spoke ambiguously; one, because he thought the fact itself improbable; another, from his love of station. It follows, And there was a division among them. That is, the people were divided first, and then the rulers.
AUG. It was Christ, who divided the day into light Au and darkness.
CHRYS. Those who said, Can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? wishing to stop the others' mouths, make the object of our Lord's goodness again come forward; but without appearing to take part with Him themselves: They say to the blind man again, What say you of Him, that He has opened your eyes?
THEOPHYL. See with what good intent they put the question. They do not say, What say you of Him that keeps not the sabbath, but mention the miracle, that He has opened your eyes; meaning, it would seem, to draw out the healed man himself; He has benefited them, they seem to say, and you ought to preach Him.
AUG. Or they sought how they could throw reproach upon the man, and cast him out of their synagogue. he declares however openly what he thinks: He said, He is a Prophet. Not being anointed yet in heart, he could not confess the Son of God; nevertheless, he is not wrong in what he says: for our Lord Himself says of Himself, A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country.
12918 Jn 9,18-23
CHRYS. The Pharisees being unable, by intimidation, to deter the blind man from publicly proclaiming his Benefactor, try to nullify the miracle through the parents. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they had called the parents of him that had received his sight.
AUG. i.e. had been blind, and now saw.
CHRYS. But it is the nature of truth, to be strengthened by the very snares that are laid against it. A lie is its own antagonist, and by its attempts to injure the truth, sets it off to greater advantage: as is the case now. For the argument which might otherwise have been urged, that the neighbors knew nothing for certain, but spoke from a mere resemblance, is cut off by introduction of the parents, who could of course testify to their own son.
Having brought these before the assembly, they interrogate them with great sharpness, saying, Is this your son, (they say not, who was born blind, but) who you say was born blind? Say. Why what father is there, that would say such things of a son, if they were not true? Why not say at once, Whom you made blind? They try two ways of making them deny the miracle: by saying, Who you say was born blind, and by adding, How then does he now see?
THEOPHYL. Either, say they, it is not true that he now sees, or it is untrue that he was blind before: but it is evident that he now sees; therefore it is not true that he was born blind.
CHRYS. Three things then being asked, - if he were their son, if he had been blind, and how he saw, - they acknowledge two of them: his parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind.
But the third they refuse to speak to: But by what means he now sees, we know not. The inquiry in this way ends in confirming the truth of the miracle, by making it rest upon the incontrovertible evidence of the confession of the healed person himself; He is of age, they say, ask him; he can speak for himself.
AUG. As if to say, We might justly be compelled to speak for an infant, that could not speak for itself: but he, though blind from his birth, has been always able to speak.
CHRYS. What sort of gratitude is this in the parents; concealing what they knew, from fear of the Jews? as we are next told; These words spoke his parents, because they feared the Jews. And then the Evangelist mentions again what the intentions and dispositions of the Jews were: For the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that He was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
AUG. It was no disadvantage to be put out of the synagogue: whom they cast out, Christ took in.
Therefore said, his parents, He is of age, ask him.
ALCUIN. The Evangelist shows that it was not from ignorance, but fear, that they gave this answer.
THEOPHYL. For they were fainthearted; not like their son, that intrepid witness to the truth, the eyes of whose understanding had been enlightened by God.
12924 Jn 9,24-34
CHRYS. The parents having referred the Pharisees to the healed man himself, they summon him a second time: Then again called they the man that was blind. They do not openly say now, Deny that Christ has healed you, but conceal their object under the presence of religion: Give God the praise, i.e. confess that this man has had nothing to do with the work.
AUG. Deny that you have received the benefit. This is not to give God the glory, but rather to blaspheme Him.
ALCUIN. They wished him to give glory to God, by calling Christ a sinner, as they did: We know that this man is a sinner.
CHRYS. Why then did you not convict Him, when He said above, Which of you convinces Me of sin?
ALCUIN. The man, that he might neither expose himself to calumny, nor at the same time conceal the truth, answers not that he knew Him to be righteous, but, Whether He is a sinner or no, I know not.
CHRYS. But how comes this, whether He be a sinner, I know not, from one who had said, He is a Prophet? Did the blind fear? far from it: he only thought that our Lord's defense lay in the witness of the fact, more than in another's pleading. And he gives weight to his reply by the mention of the benefit he had received: One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see: as if to say, I say nothing as to whether He is a sinner; but only repeat what I know for certain.
So being unable to overturn the fact itself of the miracle, they fall back upon former arguments, and inquire the manner of the cure: just as dogs in hunting pursue wherever the scent takes them: Then said they to him again, What did He do to you? How opened He your eyes? i.e. was it by any charm. For they do not say, How did you see? but, How opened He your eyes? to give the man an opportunity of detracting from the operation.
So long now as the matter wanted examining, the blind man answers gently and quietly; but, the victory being gained, he grows bolder: He answered them, I have told you already, and you did not hear: wherefore would you hear it again? i.e. you do not attend to what is said, and therefore I will no longer answer you vain questions, put for the sake of cavil, not to gain knowledge: Will you also be His disciples?
AUG. Will you also? i.e. I am already, do you wish to be? I see now, but do not envy. He says this in indignation at the obstinacy of the Jews; not tolerating blindness, now that he is no longer blind himself.
CHRYS. As then truth is strength, so falsehood is weakness: truth elevates and ennobles whomever it takes up, however mean before: falsehood brings even the strong to weakness and contempt.
Then they reviled him, and said, You are His disciple.
AUG. A malediction only in the intention of the speakers, not in the words themselves. May such a malediction be upon us, and upon our children! It follows: But we are Moses' disciples. We know that God spoke to Moses. But you should have known, that our Lord was prophesied of by Moses, after hearing what He said, Had you believed Moses, you would have believed Me, for he wrote of Me. Do you follow then a servant, and turn your back on the Lord? Even so, for it follows: As for this fellow, we know not whence He is.
CHRYS. You think sight is less evidence than hearing; for what you say, you know, is what you have heard from your fathers. But is not He more worthy of belief, who has certified that He comes from God, by miracles which you have not heard only, but seen? So argues the blind man: The man answered and said, Why herein is a marvelous thing, that you know not whence He is, and yet He has opened mine eyes.
He brings in the miracle every where, as evidence which they could not invalidate: and, inasmuch as they had said that a man that was a sinner could not do such miracles, he turns their own words against them; Now we know that God hears not sinners; as if to say, I quite agree with you in this opinion.
AUG. As yet however He speaks as one but just anointed, or God hears sinners too. Else in vain would the publican cry, God be merciful to me a sinner. By that confession he obtained justification, as the blind man had his sight.
THEOPHYL. Or, that God hears not sinners, means, that God does not enable sinners to work miracles. When sinners however implore pardon for their offenses, they are translated from the rank of sinners to that of penitents.
CHRYS. Observe then, when he said above, Whether He be a sinner, I know not, it was not that he spoke in doubt; for here he not only acquits him of all sin, but holds him up as one well pleasing to God: But if any man be a worshiper of God, and does His will, him He hears. It is not enough to know God, we must do His will.
Then he extols His creed: Since the world began, was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind: as if to say, If you confess that God hears not sinners; and this Man has worked a miracle; such an one, as no other man has; it is manifest that the virtue whereby He has wrought it, is more than human:
If this Man were not of God, He could do nothing.
AUG. Freely, steadfastly, truly. For how could what our Lord did, be done by any other than God, or by disciples even, except when their Lord dwelt in them?
CHRYS. So then because speaking the truth he was in nothing confounded, when they should most have admired, they condemned him: You were altogether born in sins, and do you teach us?
AUG. What means altogether? That he was quite blind. Yet He who opened his eyes, also saves him altogether.
CHRYS. Or, altogether, that is to say, from your birth you are in sins. They reproach his blindness, and pronounce his sins to be the cause of it; most unreasonably. So long as they expected him to deny the miracle, they were willing to believe him, but now they cast him out.
AUG. It was they themselves who had made him teacher; themselves, who had asked him so many questions; and now they ungratefully cast him out for teaching.
BEDE It is commonly the way with great persons to disdain learning anything from their inferiors.
12935 Jn 9,35-41
CHRYS. Those who suffer for the truth's sake, and confession of Christ, come to greatest honor; as we see in the instance of the blind man. For the Jews cast him out of the temple, and the Lord of the temple found him; and received him as the judge clothes the wrestler after his labors, and crowns him: Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, Do you believe in the Son of God? The Evangelist makes it plain that Jesus came in order to say this to him. He asks him, however, not in ignorance, but wishing to reveal Himself to him, and to show that He appreciated his faith; as if He said, The people have cast reproaches on Me, but I care not for them; one thing only I care for, that you may believe. Better is he that does the will of God, than ten thousand of the wicked.
HILARY. If any mere confession whatsoever of Christ were the perfection of faith, it would have been said, Do you believe in Christ? But inasmuch as all heretics would have had this name in their mouths, confessing Christ, and yet denying the Son, that which is two of Christ alone, is required of our faith, viz. that we should believe in the Son of God. But what avails it to believe on the Son of God as being a creature, when we are required to have faith in Christ, not as a creature of God, but as the Son of God.
CHRYS. But the blind man did not yet know Christ, for before he went to Christ he was blind, and after his cure, he was taken hold of by the Jews: He answered and said, Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him? The speech this of a longing and inquiring mind. He knows not who He is for whom he had contended so much; a proof to you of his love of truth.
The Lord however says not to him, I am He who healed you; but uses a middle way of speaking, You have both seen Him.
THEOPHYL. This He says to remind him of his cure, which had given him the power to see. And observe, He that speaks is born of Mary, and the son is the Son of God, not two different Persons, according to the error of Nestorius: And it is He that talks with you.
AUG First, He washes the face of his heart. Then, his heart's face being washed, and his conscience cleansed, he acknowledges Him as not only the Son of man, which he believed before, but as the Son of God, Who had taken flesh upon Him: And he said, Lord, I believe. I believe, is a small thing. Would you see what he believes of Him? And falling down, he worshipped Him.
BEDE. An example to us, not to pray to God with uplifted neck, but prostrate upon earth, suppliantly to implore His mercy.
CHRYS. He adds the deed to the word, as a clear acknowledgment of His divine power. The Lord replies in a way to confirm His faith, and at the same time stirs up the minds of His followers: And Jesus said, For judgment have I come into this world.
AUG. The day then was divided between light and darkness. So it is rightly added, that they which see not, may see; for He relieved men from darkness. But what is that which follows: And that they which see might be made blind.
Hear what comes next. Some of the Pharisees were moved by these words:
And some of the Pharisees which were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, Are we blind also? What had moved them were the words, And that they which see might be made blind.
It follows, Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you should have no sin; i.e. If you called yourselves blind, and ran to the physician. But now you say, We see; therefore your sin remains: for in that saying, We see, you seek not a physician, you shall remain in your blindness. This then which He has just before said, I came, that they that see not might see; i.e. they who confess they cannot see, and seek a physician, in order that they may see: and that they which see not may be made blind; i.e. they which think they can see, and seek not a physician, may remain in their blindness. This act of division He calls judgment, saying, For judgment have I come into this world: not that judgment by which He will judge the living and dead at the end of the world.
CHRYS. Or, for judgment, He said; i.e. for greater punishment, showing that they who condemned Him, were the very ones who were condemned. Respecting what He says, that they which see not might see, and that they which see might be made blind; it is the same which St. Paul says, The Gentiles which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness
THEOPHYL. As if to say, Lo, he that saw not from his birth, now sees both in body and soul; whereas they who seem to see, have had their understanding darkened.
CHRYS. For there is a twofold vision, and a twofold blindness; viz. that of sense, and that of the understanding. But they were intent only on sensible things, and were ashamed only of sensible blindness: wherefore He shows them that it would be better for them to be blind, than seeing so: If you were blind, you should have no sin; your punishment would be easier; But now you say, We see.
THEOPHYL. Overlooking the miracle wrought on the blind man, you deserve no pardon; since even visible miracles make no impression on you.
CHRYS. What then they thought their great praise, He shows would turn to their punishment; and at the same time consoles him who had been afflicted with bodily blindness from his birth. For it is not without reason that the Evangelist says, And some of the Pharisees which were with him, heard these words; but that he may remind us that those were the very persons who had first withstood Christ, and then wished to stone Him. For there were some who only followed in appearance, and were easily changed to the contrary side.
THEOPHYL. Or, if you were blind, i.e. ignorant of the Scriptures, your offense would be by no means so heavy a one, as erring out of ignorance: but now, seeing you call yourselves wise and understanding in the law, your own selves condemn you.
13001 Jn 10,1-6
CHRYS. Our Lord having reproached the Jews with blindness, they might have said, We are not blind, but we avoid you as a deceiver. Our Lord therefore gives the marks which distinguish a robber and deceiver from a true shepherd. First come those of the deceiver and robber: Verily, verily, I say to you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
There is an allusion here to Antichrist, and to certain false Christs who had been, and were to be. The Scriptures He calls the door. They admit us to the knowledge of God, they protect the sheep, they shut out the wolves, they bar the entrance to heretics. He that uses not the Scriptures, but climbs up some other way, i.e. some self-chosen, some unlawful way, is a thief. Climbs up, He says, not, enters, as if it were a thief getting over a wall, and running all risks.
Some other way, may refer too to the commandments and traditions of men which the Scribes taught, to the neglect of the Law. When our Lord further on calls Himself the Door, we need not be surprised. According to the office which He bears, He is in one place the Shepherd, in another the Sheep. In that He introduces us to the Father, He is the Door, in that He takes care of us, He is the Shepherd.
AUG. Or thus: Many go under the name of good men according to the standard of the world, and observe in some sort the commandments of the Law, who yet are not Christians. And these generally boast of themselves, as the Pharisees did; Are we blind also? But inasmuch as all that they do they do foolishly, without knowing to what end it tends, our Lord said of them, Verily, verily, I say to you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
Let the Pagans then, the Jews, the Heretics, say, "We lead a good life;" if they enter not by the door, what avails it? A good life only profits, as leading to life eternal. Indeed those cannot be said to lead a good life, who are either blindly ignorant of, or willfully despise, the end of good living. No one can hope for eternal life, who knows not Christ, who is the life, and by that door enters into the fold.
Whoso wishes to enter into the sheepfold, let him enter by the door; let him preach Christ; let him seek Christ's glory, not his own. Christ is a lowly door, and he who enters by this door must be lowly, if he would enter with his head whole. He that does not humble, but exalt himself, who wishes to climb up over the wall, is exalted that he may fall. Such men generally try to persuade others that they may live well, and not be Christians. Thus they climb up by some other way, that they may rob and kill. They are thieves, because they call that their own, which is not; robbers, because that which they have stolen, they kill.
CHRYS. You have seen His description of a robber, now see that of the Shepherd: But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
AUG. He enters by the door, who enters by Christ, who imitates the suffering of Christ, who is acquainted with the humility of Christ, so as to feel and know, that if God became man for us, man should not think himself God, but man. He who being man wishes to appear God, does not imitate Him, who being God, became man. You are bid to think less of yourself than you are, but to know what you are.
To Him the porter opens.
CHRYS. The porter perhaps is Moses; for to him the oracles of God were committed.
THEOPHYL. Or, the Holy Spirit is the porter, by whom the Scriptures are unlocked, and reveal the truth to us.
AUG. Or, the porter is our Lord Himself; for there is much less difference between a door and a porter, than between a door and a shepherd. And He has called Himself both the door and the shepherd. Why then not the door and the porter? He opens Himself, i.e. reveals Himself. If you seek another person for porter, take the Holy Spirit, of whom our Lord below said, He will guide you into all truth. The door is Christ, the Truth; who opens the door, but He that will guide you into all Truth? Whomsoever you understand here, beware that you esteem not the porter greater than the door; for in our houses the porter ranks above the door, not the door above the porter.
CHRYS. As they had called Him a deceiver, and appealed to their own unbelief as the proof of it; (Which of the rulers believes in Him?) He shows here that it was because they refused to hear Him, that they were put out of His flock. The sheep hear His voice. The Shepherd enters by the lawful door; and they who follow Him are His sheep; they who do not, voluntarily put themselves out of His flock.
And He calls His own sheep by name.
AUG. He knew the names of the predestinated; as He said to His disciples, Rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
And leads them out.
CHRYS. He led out the sheep, when He sent them not out of the reach of, but into the midst of, the wolves. There seems to he a secret allusion to the blind man. He called him out of the midst of the Jews; and he heard His voice.
AUG. And who is He who leads them out, but the Same who loosens the chain of their sins, that they may follow Him with free unfettered step?
GLOSS. And when He puts forth His own sheep, He goes before them, He leads them out from the darkness of ignorance into light, while He goes before in the pillar of cloud, and fire.
CHRYS. Shepherds always go behind their sheep; but He, on the contrary, goes before, to show that He would lead all to the truth.
AUG. And who is this that goes before the sheep, but He who being raised from the dead, dies no more; and who said, Father, I will also that they, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am?
And the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers.
CHRYS. The strangers are Theudas, and Judas, and the false apostles who came after Christ. That He might not appear one of this number, He gives many marks of difference between Him and them. First, Christ brought men to Him by teaching them out of the Scriptures; they drew men from; the Scriptures. Secondly, the obedience of the sheep; for men believed on Him, not only during His life, but after death: their followers ceased, as soon as they were gone.
THEOPHYL. He alludes to Antichrist, who shall deceive for a time, but lose all his followers when he dies.
AUG. But here is a difficulty. Sometimes they who are not sheep hear Christ's voice; for Judas heard, who was a wolf. And sometimes the sheep hear Him not; for they who crucified Christ heard not; yet some of them were His sheep. You will say, While they did not hear, they were not sheep; the voice, when they heard it, changed them from wolves to sheep.
Still I am disturbed by the Lord's rebuke to the shepherds in Ezekiel, Neither have you brought again that which strayed. He calls it a stray sheep, but yet a sheep all the while; though, if it strayed, it could not have heard the voice of the Shepherd, but the voice of a stranger.
What I say then is this; The Lord knows them that are His. He knows the foreknown, he knows the predestinated. They are the sheep: for a time they know not themselves, but the Shepherd knows them; for many sheep are without the fold, many wolves within. He speaks then of the predestinated. And now the difficulty is solved. The sheep do hear the Shepherd's voice, and they only. When is that? It is when that voice said, He that endures to the end shall be saved. This speech His own hear, the alien hear not.
13007 Jn 10,7-10
CHRYS. Our Lord, to waken the attention of the Jews, unfolds the meaning of what He has said; Then said Jesus to them again, Verily, verily, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
AUG. Lo, the very door which He had shut up, He opens; He is the Door: let us enter, and let us enter with joy.
All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers.
CHRYS. He said not this of the Prophets, as the heretics think, but of Theudas, and Judas, and other agitators. So he adds in praise of the sheep, The sheep heard them not; but he no where praises those who disobeyed the prophets, but condemns them severely.
AUG. Understand, All that ever came at variance with Me. The Prophets were not at variance with Him. They came with Him, who came with the Word of God, who spoke the truth. He, the Word, the Truth, sent heralds before Him, but the hearts of those whom He sent were His own. They came with Him, inasmuch as He is always, though He assumed the flesh in time: In the beginning was the Word. His humble advent in the flesh was preceded by just men, who believed on Him as about to come, as we believe on Him come.
The times are different, the faith is the same. Our faith knits together both those who believed that He was about to come, and those who believe that He has come. All that ever came at variance with Him were thieves and robbers; i.e. they came to steal and to kill; but the sheep did not hear them. They had not Christ's voice; but were wanderers, dreamers, deceivers. Why He is the Door, He next explains, I am the Door; by Me if any man enter in he shall be saved.
ALCUIN. As if to say, The sheep hear not them, but Me they hear; for I am the Door, and whoever enters by Me not falsely but in sincerity, shall by perseverance be saved.
THEOPHYL. The door admits the sheep into the pasture; And shall go in and out, and find pasture. What is this pasture, but the happiness to come, the rest to which our Lord brings us?
AUG. What is this, shall go in and out? To enter into the Church by Christ the Door, is a very good thing, but to go out of the Church is not. Going in must refer to inward cogitation; going out to outward action; as in the Psalm, Man goes forth to his work.
THEOPHYL. Or, to go in is to watch over the inner man; to go out, to mortify the outward man, i.e. our members which are upon the earth. He that does this shall find pasture in the life to come.
CHRYS. Or, He refers to the Apostles who went in and out boldly; for they became the masters of the world, none could turn them out of their kingdom, and they found pasture.
AUG. But He Himself explains it more satisfactorily to me in what follows: The thief comes not, but for to steal, and for to kill: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
By going in they have life; i.e. by faith, which works by love; by which faith they go into the fold. The just lives by faith. And by going out they will have it more abundantly: i.e. when true believers die, they have life more abundantly, even a life which never ends. Though in this fold there is not wanting pasture, then they will find pasture, such as will satisfy them. Today shall you be with Me in paradise.
GREG. Shall go in, i.e. to faith: shall go out, i.e. to sight: and find pasture, i.e. in eternal fullness.
ALCUIN. The thief comes not but for to steal, and to kill. As if He said, And well may the sheep not hear the voice of the thief; for he comes not but for to steal: he usurps another's office, forming his followers not on Christ's precepts, but on his own. And therefore it follows, and to kill, i.e. by drawing them from the faith; and to destroy, i.e. by their eternal damnation.
CHRYS. The thief comes not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; this was literally fulfilled in the case of those movers of sedition, whose followers were nearly all destroyed; deprived by the thief even of this present life. But came, He said, for the salvation of the sheep; That they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly, in the kingdom of heaven. This is the third mark of difference between Himself, and the false prophets.
THEOPHYL. Mystically, the thief is the devil, steals by wicked thoughts, kills by the assent of the mind to them, and destroys by acts.
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