Chrysostom on John 82
I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."
[1.] When having become virtuous we are persecuted by the wicked, or when being desirous of virtue we are mocked at by them, let us not be distracted or angry. For this is the natural course of things, and everywhere virtue is wont to engender hatred from wicked men. For envying those who desire to live properly, and thinking to prepare an excuse for themselves if they can overthrow the credit of others, they hate them as having pursuits opposite to their own, and use every means to shame their way of life. But let not us grieve, for this is a mark of virtue. Wherefore Christ also saith, “If ye were of the world, the world would love its own.” (c. xv. 19). And in another place again, “Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you.” (Lc 6,26). Wherefore also He saith here, “I have given them Thy word, and the world hath hated them.” Again He telleth the reason for which they were worthy to obtain much care from the Father; “For Thy sake,” He saith, “they have been hated, and for Thy word’s sake”; so that they would be entitled to all providential care.
Jn 17,15. “I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.”
Again He simplifieth1 His language; again He rendereth it more clear; which is the act of one showing, by making entreaty for them with exactness, nothing else but this, that He hath a very tender care for them. Yet He Himself had told them, that the Father would do all things whatsoever they should ask. How then doth He here pray for them? As I said, for no other purpose than to show His love.
Jn 17,16. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
How then saith He in another place, “Which Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were”? (Jn 17,6). There He speaketh of their nature; here of wicked actions. And He putteth together a long encomium of them; first, that “they were not of the world”; then, that “’the Father Himself had given them”; and that “they had kept His word;” and that on this account “they were hated.” And if He saith, “As I am not of the world,” be not troubled; for the “as” is not here expressive of unvarying exactness. For as, when in the case of Him and the Father the “as” is used, a great Equality is signified, because of the Relationship in Nature; so when it is used of us and Him, the interval is great, because of the great and infinite interval between the respective natures. For if He “did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth” (1 Pet. ii. 22), how could the Apostles be reckoned equal to Him? What isit then that He saith, “They are not of the world”? “They look to another world, theyhave nothing common with earth, but are become citizens of heaven.” And by these wordsHe showeth His love, when He commendeth them to the Father, and committeth them to Him who begat Him. When He saith, “Keep them,” He doth not speak merely of delivering them from dangers, but also with regard to their continuance in the faith. Wherefore He addeth,
Jn 17,17. “Sanctify them through Thy truth.” “Make them holy by the gift of the Spirit, and of right doctrines.” As when He saith, “Ye are clean through the word which I spake unto you” (c. 15,3), so now He saith the same thing, “Instruct them, teach them the truth.” “And yet He saith that the Spirit doth this. How then doth He now ask it from the Father?” That thou mayest again learn their equality ofHonor. For right doctrines asserted concerning God sanctify the soul. And if He saith that they are sanctified by the word, marvel not. And to show that He speaketh of doctrines, He addeth,
“Thy word is truth.”
That is, “there is no falsehood in it, and all · that is said in it must needs come to pass”; and again, it signifieth nothing typical or bodily. As also Paul saith concerning the Church, that He hath sanctified it by the Word. For the Word of God is wont also to cleanse. (Ep 5,26).Moreover, the, “sanctify them,” seems to me to signify something else, such as this, “Set them apart for the Word and for preaching.” And this is made plain from what follows. For, He saith,
Jn 17,17. “As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.”
As Paul also saith, “Having put in us the word of reconciliation.” (2Co 5,19). For the same end for which Christ came, for thesame did these take possession of the world. In this place again the “as” is not put to signify resemblance in the case of Himself and the Apostles; for how was it possible for men to be sent otherwise? But it was His custom to speak of the future as having come to pass.2
Jn 17,19. “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified in the truth.”
What is, “I sanctify Myself”? “I offer to Thee a sacrifice.” Now all sacrifices are called “holy,” and those are specially called “holy things,” which are laid up for God. For whereas of old in type the sanctification was by the sheep, but now it is not3 in type, but by the truth itself, He therefore saith, “That they may be sanctified in Thy truth.” “For I both dedicate them to Thee, and make them an offering”; this He saith, either because their Head was being made so,4 or because they also were sacrificed; for, “Present,” it saith, “your bodies a living sacrifice, holy” (Rm 12,1); and, “We were counted as sheep for the slaughter.” (Ps 44,22). And He maketh them; without death, a sacrifice and offering; for that He alluded to His own sacrifice, when He said, “I sanctify,” is clear from what follows.
Jn 17,20. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also who shall believe.”5
[2.] For since He was dying for them, and said, that “For their sakes I sanctify Myself,” lest any one should think that He did this for the Apostles only, He added, “Neither pray I for these only, but for them also who believe on Me through their word.” By this again He revived their souls, showing that the disciples should be many. For because He made common what they possessed peculiarly, He comforteth them by showing that they were being made the cause of the salvation of others.
After having thus spoken concerning their salvation, and their being sanctified by faith and the Sacrifice, He afterwards speaketh of concord, and finally closeth his discourse with this, having begun with it and ended6 in it. For at the beginning He saith, “A new commandment I give unto you” (c. 13,34); and here,
Jn 17,21. “That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in Me and I in Thee.”
Here again the “as” doth not denote exact similarity in their case, (for it was not possible for them in so great a degree,) but only as far as was possible for men. Just as when He saith “Be ye merciful, as your Father.” (Luke vi. 36).
But what is, “In Us”?7 In the faith which is on Us. Because nothing so offends all men as divisions, He provideth that they should be one. “What then,” saith some one, “did He effect this?” Certainly He effected it. For all who believe through the Apostles are one, though some from among them were torn away. Nor did this escape His knowledge, He evenforetold it, and showed that it proceeded from men’s slack-mindedness.
“That the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.”
As He said in the beginning, “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye love one another,” And how should they hence believe? “Because,” He saith, “Thou art a God of peace.” If therefore they observe the same as those of whom they have learnt, their hearers shall know the teacher by the disciples, but if they quarrel, men shall deny that they are the disciples of a God of peace, and will not allow that I, not being peaceable, have been sent from Thee. Seest thou how, unto the end, He proveth His unanimity with the Father?
Jn 17,22. “And the glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given them.”8
That by miracles, that by doctrines,9 and, that they should be of one soul; for this is glory, that they should be one, and greater even than miracles. As men 10 admire God because there is no strife or discord in That Nature, and this is His greatest glory, “so too let these,” He saith, “from this cause become glorious.” “And how,” saith some one, “doth He ask the Father to give this to them, when He sixth that He Himself giveth it?” Whether His discourse be concerning miracles, or unanimity, or peace, He is seen Himself to have given these things to them; whence it is clear that the petition is made for the sake of their comfort.
Jn 17,23. “I in them, and Thou in Me.” “How gave He the glory?” By being in them, and having the Father with Him, so as to weld them 11 together. But in another place He speaketh not so; He saith not that the Father cometh by Him, but, “that He and the Father come, and take up their abode with him,” 12 “there” removing the suspicion of Sabellius, “here” that of Arius. 13
“That they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me.” (c. 14,23).
(He saith these latter words immediately after the other, to show that peace hath more power to attract men than a miracle; for as it is the nature of strife 14 to separate, so it is that of agreement to weld together.
“And I have 15 loved them as Thou hast loved Me.”
Here again the “as” means, as far as it is possible for a man to be loved; and the sure proof of His love is His giving Himself for them. After having told them that they shall be in safety, that they shall not be overturned, that they shall be holy, that many shall believe through them, that they shall enjoy great glory, that not He alone loved them, but the Father also; He next telleth them of what shah be after their sojourning here, 16 concerning the prizes and crowns laid up for them.
Jn 17,24. “Father,” He saith, “I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.”
“Then dost Thou gain by prayer, and dost Thou not yet possess that concerning which they enquired continually, saying, ‘Whither goest Thou?’ What sayest Thou? How then didst Thou say to them, ‘Ye shall sit upon twelve thrones’? (Mt 19,28). How didst Thou promise other things more and greater?” Seest thou that He saith all 17 in the way of condescension? since how would He have said, “Thou shalt follow afterwards”? (c. 13,36). But He speaketh thus with a view to a fuller conviction and demonstration of His love.
“That they may behold My glory which Thou hast given Me.”
This again is a sign of His being of one mind with the Father, of a higher character than those former, for He saith, “Before 18 the foundation of the world,” yet hath it also a certain condescension; for, “Thou hast given Me,” He saith. Now if this be not the case, I would gladly ask the gainsayers a question. He that giveth, giveth to one subsisting; 19 did the Father then, having first begotten the Son, afterwards give Him glory, having before allowed Him to be without glory? And how could this be reasonable? Seest that the “He gave,” is, “He begot”?
[3.] But why said He not, “That they may share My glory,” instead of, “That they may behold My glory”? Here He implieth, that all that rest is, the looking on the Son of God. This certainly it is which causes them to be glorified; as Paul saith, “With open face mirroring the glory of the Lord.” (2Co 3,18). For as they who look on the sunbeams, and enjoy a very clear atmosphere, draw their enjoyment from their sight, so then also, and in much greater degree, this will cause us pleasure. 20 At the same time also He showeth, that what they should behold was not the body then seen, but some awful Substance.
Jn 17,25. “O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee.” 21
What meaneth this? What connection hath it? He here showeth that no man knoweth God, save those only who have come to know the Son. And what He saith is of this kind: “I wished all to be so, 22 yet they have not known Thee, although they had no complaint against Thee.” For this is the meaning of, “O righteous Father.” And here He seemeth to me to speak these words, as vexed that they would not know One so just and good. For since the Jews had said that they knew God, but that He knew Him not, at this He aimeth, saying, “For Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world”; thus putting together a defense against the accusations of the Jews. For how could He who had received glory, who was loved before the foundation of the world, who desired to have them as witnesses of that glory, how could He be opposed to the Father? “This then is not true which the Jews say, that they know Thee, and that I know Thee not; on the contrary, I know Thee, and they have not known Thee.”
“And these have known that Thou hast sent Me.”
Seest thou that He alludeth to those, who said that He was not from God, and all is finally summed up to meet this argument?
Jn 17,26. “And I have declared unto them Thy Name, and will declare it.”
“Yet thou sayest that perfect knowledge is from the Spirit.” “But the things of the Spirit are Mine.”
“That the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may remain 23 in them, and I in them.”
“For if they learn who Thou art, then they shall know that I am not separated from Thee, but one of the greatly beloved, and a true Son, and closely knit to Thee. And those who are rightly persuaded of this, will keep both the faith which is on Me and perfect love; and while they love as they ought, I remain in them.” Seest thou how He hath arrived 24 at a good end, finishing off the discourse with love, the mother of all blessings?
[4.] Let us then believe and love God, that it may not be said of us, “They profess that they know God, but in their works they deny Him.” (Tit. i. 16). And again, “He hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1Tm 5,8). For when he 25 helps his domestics and kinsmen and strangers, while thou dost not even succor those who are related to thee by family, what will henceforth be thy excuse, when God is blasphemed and insulted by reason of thee? Consider what opportunities of doing good God hath given to us. “Have mercy on one,” Hesaith, “as a kinsman, on another as a friend, on another as a neighbor, on another as a citizen, on another as a man.” And if none of these things hold thee, but thou breakest through all bonds, hear from Paul, that thou art “worse than an infidel”; for he having heard nothing of almsgiving, or of heavenly things, hath overshot thee in love for man; but thou who art bidden to love thy very enemies, lookest upon thy friends as enemies, and art more careful of thy money than of their bodies. Yet the money by being spent will sustain no injury, but thy brother if neglected will perish. What madness then to be careful of money, and careless about one’s kindred? Whence hath this craving for riches burst in upon us? 26 Whence this inhumanity and cruelty? For if any one could, as though seated on the highest bench of a theater, look down upon all the world,—or rather, if you will, let us for the present take in hand a single city,—if then a man seated on an elevated spot could take in at a glance all the doings of the men there, consider what folly he would condemn, what tears he would weep, what laughter he would laugh, with what hatred he would hate; for we commit such actions as deserve both laughter, and the charge of folly, and tears, and hatred. One man keeps dogs to catch 27 brute animals, himself sinking into brutality; another keeps oxen and asses to transport stones, but neglects men wasting with hunger; and spends gold without limit to make men of stone, but neglects real men, who are becoming like stones through their evil state. Another, collecting with great pains golden quarries, 28 puts them about his walls, but when he beholds the naked bellies of the poor, is not moved. 29 Some again contrive garments over their very garments, while their brother hath not even wherewithal to cover his naked body. Again, one hath swallowed up another in the law-courts; another hath spent his money on women and parasites, another on stage-players and theatrical bands, 30 another on splendid edifices, on purchases of fields and houses. Again, one man is counting interest, another interest of interest; another is putting together 31 bands full of many deaths, and doth not enjoy rest even at night, lying awake for others’ harm. Then, when it is day, they run, one to his unjust gain, another to his wanton expense, others to public robbery. 32 And great is the earnestness about things superfluous and forbidden, but of things necessary no account is taken; and they who decide questions of law have indeed the name of jurymen, but are really 33 thieves and murderers. And if one should enquire into law suits and wills, he l would find there again ten thousand mischiefs,frauds, robberies, plots, and about these thingsis all time spent; but for spiritual things thereis no care, and they all inconvenience the Church, for the sake of seeing only. But this is not what is required; we need works, and a pure mind. 34 But if thou spendest all the day in grasping after riches, and then coming in sayest a few words, thou hast not only not propitiated God, but hast even angered Him more. Wouldest thou conciliate thy Lord, exhibit works, make thyself acquainted with the mass of woes, look upon the naked, the hungry, the wronged; He hath cut out for thee ten thousand ways of showing love for men. Let us not then deceive ourselves by living aimlessly and to no purpose, nor presume, because we now are in health; but bearing in mind, that often when we have fallen into sickness, and have reached the extreme of debility, we have been dead with fear and the looking for things to come, let us expect to fall again into the same state, let us get again the same fear, and let us become better men; since what is done now deserves infinite condemnation. For those in the courts of justice are like lions and dogs; those in the public places like foxes; and those who lead a life of leisure, even they do not use their leisure as they ought, speeding all their time on theaters and the mischiefs arising from them. And there is no one to reprove what is being done; but there are many who envy, and are vexed that they are not in the like condition, 35 so that these in their turn are punished, though not actually doing wicked things. For they “not only do these things, but also have pleasure in them that do them.” Because what belongs to their will is alike 36 corrupt; whence it is plain, that the intention also will be punished. These things I say each day, and I will not cease to say them. For if any listen, it is gain; but if none give heed, ye shall then hear these things, when it will avail you nothing, and ye shall blame yourselves, and we shall be flee from fault. But may it never come to pass that we should only have this excuse, but that you may be our boast before the judgment-seat of Christ, that together we may enjoy the blessings, through 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 i.e. words refer to the mission of the Ap. on the day of Pentecost.
3 al). “is no longer.”
4 dia; to; th;n kefalh;n tou`to givnesqai, al). givnetai.
5 “believe on Me through their word,” N. T.
6 katalu"va", al). teleuthvsa").
7 “that they also may be one in Us,” N. T.
8 “given them, that they may be one, even as We are One,” N. T.
9 al). “teaching.”
10 al). “we.”
11 al). “hold them.”
12 i.e. with him who keeps the commandments.
13 al). “there stopping the mouths of the Sabellians, here removing the folly of Arius.” The earlier passage, c. xiv. 23, proves the distinct Personality, the latter, c. 17,23, the Consubstantiality of the Son.
14 al). “division.”
15 “and hast loved,” N. T.
16 Sav. conject). “departure hence.”
17 al). “all is said.”
18 “For Thou lovedst Me before,” &c., N. T.
20 al). “will cause us greater pleasure.”
21 “known Thee; but I know Thee,” N. T.
22 i.e. knowing the Father.
23 “may be,” N. T.
24 ajphvnthsen, according to Sav. conject. and some mss. for ajphvrthsen.
25 i.e. the infidel.
27 saghneuvsh/, “sweep as with a seine net.”
28 for mosaic work, yhfi`da".
29 lit). “bent.”
30 ojrchvstra", al). ojrchsta;", “dancers.”
31 al). “putting.”
32 or, “robbing the State,” kloph;n dedhmosieumevnhn.
33 lit). “have the reality of.”
34 or, “intention.”
35 or, “do not things like them.”
36 i.e). “no less than the actions.”
"When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which He entered, and His disciples."
[1.] An awful thing is death, and very full of terror, but not to those who have learnt the true wisdom which is above. For he that knows nothing certain concerning things to come, but deems it1 to be a certain dissolution and end of life, with reason shudders and is afraid, as though he were passing into non-existence. But we who, by the grace of God, have learnt the hidden and secret things of His wisdom, and deem the action to be a departure to another place, should have no reason to tremble, but rather to rejoice and be glad, that leaving this perishable life we go to one far better and brighter, and which hath no end. Which Christ teaching by His actions, goeth to His Passion, not by constraint and necessity, but willingly. “These things,” it saith, “Jesus spake, and departed ‘beyond the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which He entered, and His disciples.’”
Jn 18,2. “Judas also, which betrayed Him, knew the place; for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with His disciples.”
(He journeyeth at midnight, and crosseth a river, and hasteth to come to a place known to the traitor, lessening the labor to those who plotted against Him, and freeing them from all trouble; and showeth to the disciples that He came willingly to the action, (a thing which was most of all sufficient to comfort them,) and placeth Himself in the garden as in a prison.
“These things spake Jesus unto them.” “What sayest thou?2 Surely He was speaking with the Father, surely He was praying. Why then dost thou not say that, ‘having ceased from the prayer,’ He came there?” Because it was not prayer, but a speech made on account of the disciples. “And the disciples entered into the garden.” He had so freed them from fear that they no longer resisted, but entered with Him into the garden. But how came Judas there, or whence had he gained his information when he came? It is evident from this circumstance, that Jesus generally3 passed the night out of doors.4 For had He been in the habit of spending it at home, Judas would not have come to the desert, but to the house, expecting there to find Him asleep. And lest, hearing of a “garden,” thou shouldest think that Jesus hid Himself, it addeth, that “Judas knew the place”;and not simply so,5 but that He “often resorted thither with His disciples.” For ofttimes He was with them apart, conversing on necessarymatters, and such as it was not permitted to others to hear. And He did this especially in mountains and gardens, seeking a place freefrom disturbance, that their attention might not be distracted from listening.
Jn 18,3. “Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the Chief Priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns, and torches, and weapons.”
And these men had often at other times sentto seize Him, but had not been able; whence it is plain, that at this time He voluntarily surrendered Himself. And how did they persuade the band? They were soldiers,6 who had made it their practice to do anything for money.
Jn 18,4. “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth, and said, Whom seek ye?”
That is, He did not wait to learn this from their coming, but spake and acted without confusion, as knowing all these things. “But why come they with weapons, when about to seize Him?” They feared His followers, and for this reason they came upon Him late at night. “And He went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?”
Jn 18,5. “They answered Him, Jesus of Nazareth.”7 )
Seest thou His invincible power, how being in the midst of them He disabled their eyes? for that the darkness was not the cause of their not knowing Him, the Evangelist hath shown, by saying, that they had torches also. And even had there been no torches, they ought at least to have known Him by His voice; or if they did not know it, how could Judas be ignorant, who had been so continually with Him? for he too stood with them, and knew Him no more than they, but with them fell backward. And Jesus did this to show, that not only they could not seize Him, but could not even see Him when in the midst, unless He gave permission.
Jn 18,7. “He saith again, Whom seek ye?”8 What madness! His word threw them backward, yet not even so did they turn, when they had learnt that His power was so great, but again set themselves to the same attempt. When therefore He had fulfilled all that was His, then He gave Himself up.
Jn 18,8. “He answered, I told you that I Am.” (Jn 18,5. “And Judas also which betrayed Him stood with them.”)
See the forbearance9 of the Evangelist, how he doth not insult over the traitor, but relates what took place, only desiring to prove one thing, that the whole took place withHis own consent. Then, lest any one should say that He Himself brought them to this, by having placed Himself into their hands, and revealed Himself to them; after having shown to them all things which should have been sufficient to repulse them, when they persevered in their wickedness, and had no excuse, He put Himself in their hands, saying,
“If therefore ye seek Me, let these go their Way.”
Manifesting until the last hour His lovingkindness towards them. “If,” He saith, “ye want Me, have nothing to do with these, for, behold, I give Myself up.”
Jn 18,9. “That the saying might be fulfilled which He spake, Of those which Thou gavest Me have I lost none.”
By “loss” 10 He doth not here mean that which is of death, but that which is eternal; though the Evangelist in the present case includes the former also. And one might wonder why they did not seize them with Him, and cut them to pieces, especially when Peter had exasperated them by what he did to the servant. Who then restrained them? No other than that Power which cast them backward. And so the Evangelist, to show that it did not come to pass through their intention, but by the power and decree of Him whom they had seized, has added, “That the saying might be fulfilled which He spake,” that “not one, &c.” (c. 17,12).
[2.] Peter, therefore, taking courage from His voice, and from what had already happened, arms himself against the assailants, 11 “And how,” saith some one, “doth he who was bidden not to have a scrip, not to have two coats, possess a sword?” Methinks he had prepared it long before, as fearing this very thing which came to pass. But if thou sayest, “How doth he, who was forbidden even to strike a blow with the hand, become a manslayer?” He certainly had been commanded not to defend himself, but here he did not defend himself, but his Master. And besides, they were not as yet perfect or complete. But if thou desirest to see Peter endued with heavenly wisdom, thou shalt after this behold him wounded, and bearing it meekly, suffering ten thousand dreadful things, and not moved to anger. But Jesus here also worketh a miracle, both showing that we ought to do good to those who do evil to us, and revealing His own power. He therefore restored the servant’s ear, and said to Peter, that “All they that take the sword shall perish by the sword” (Mt 26,52); and as He did in the case of the basin, when He relaxed his vehemence 12 by a threat, so also here. The Evangelist adds the name of the servant, because the thing done was very great, not only because He healed him, but because He healed one who had come against Him, and who shortly after would buffet Him, and because He stayed the war which was like to have been kindled from this circumstance against the disciples. For this cause the Evangelist hath put the name, so that the men of that time might search and enquire diligently whether these things had really come to pass. And not without a cause doth he mention the “right ear,” but as I think desiring to show the impetuosity of the Apostle, that he almost aimed at the head itself. Yet Jesus not only restraineth him by a threat, but also calmeth him by other words, saying,
Jn 18,11. “The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?” 13
Showing, that what was done proceeded not from their power, but from His consent, and declaring that He was not one opposed to God but obedient to the Father even unto death.
Jn 18,12-13. “Then Jesus was taken; and they bound Him, and led Him away to Annas.” 14
Why to Annas? In their pleasure they made a show of 15 what had been done, as though forsooth they had set up a trophy.“And he was father-in-law to Caiaphas.”
Jn 18,14. “Now Caiaphas was he which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.”
Why doth the Evangelist again remind us of his prophecy? To show that these things were done for our salvation. And such is the exceeding force of truth, that even enemies proclaimed these things beforehand. For lest the listener, hearing of bonds, should be confounded, he reminds him of that prophecy, that the death of Jesus was the salvation of the world.
Jn 18,15. “And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple.” 16
Who is that other disciple? It is the writer himself. “And wherefore doth he not name himself? When he lay on the bosom of Jesus, he with reason concealed his name; but now why doth he this?” For the same reason, for here too he mentions a great good deed, that when all had started away, 17 he followed. Therefore he conceals himself, and puts Peter before him. He was obliged to mention himself, that thou mightest understand that he narrates more exactly than the rest what took placein the hall, as having been himself within. But observe how he detracts from his own praise; for, lest any one should ask, “How, when all had retreated, did this man enter in farther than Simon?” he saith, that he “was known to the high priest.” So that no one should wonder that he followed, or cry himup for his manliness. But the wonder was that matter of Peter, that being in such fear, he came even as far as the hall, when the others had retreated. His coming thither Was caused by love, his not entering within by distress and fear. For the Evangelist hath recorded these things, to clear a way for excusing his denial; with regard to himself, he doth not set it down as any great matter that he was known to the high priest, but since he had said that he alone with Jesus went in, lest thou shouldest suppose that the action proceeded from any exalted feelings, he puts also the cause. And that Peter would have also entered had he been permitted, he shows by the sequel; for when he went out, and bade the damsel who kept the door bring in Peter, he straightway came in. But why did he not bring him in himself? He clung to Christ, and followed Him; on this account he bade 18 the woman bring him in. What then saith the woman?
Jn 18,17. “Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? And he saith, I am not.” 19
What sayest thou, Peter? Didst thou not declare but now, “If need be that I lay down my life for Thee, I will lay it down”? What hath happened then, that thou canst not even endure the questioning of a door-keeper? Is it a soldier who questions thee? Is it one of those who seized Him? No, it is a mean and abject door-keeper, nor is the questioning of a rough kind. 20 She saith not, “Art thou a disciple of that cheat and corrupter,” but, “of that man,” which was the expression rather of one pitying and relenting. 21 But Peter could not bear any of these words. The, “Art not thou also,” is said on this account, that Jn was within. So mildly did the woman speak. But he perceived none of this, nor took it into his mind, neither the first time, nor the second, nor the third, but when the cock crew; nor did this even bring him to his senses, till Jesus gave him the bitter look. And he stood warming himself 22 with the servants of the high priest, but Christ was kept bound within. This we say not as accusing Peter, but showing the truth of what had been said by Christ.
Jn 18,19. “The high priest then asked Jesus of His disciples, and of His doctrine.”
[3.] O the wickedness! Though he had continually heard Him speaking in the temple and teaching openly, he now desires to be informed. For since they had no charge to bring, they enquired concerning His disciples, perhaps where they were, and why He had collected them, and with what intention, and on what terms. And this he said, as desiring to prove Him to be a seditious person and an innovator, since no one gave heed to Him, except them alone, as though His were some factory of wickedness. What then saith Christ? To overthrow this, He saith,
Jn 18,20. “I spake openly to the world, (not to the disciples privately,) I taught openly in, the temple.” 23
“What then, said He nothing in secret?” He did, but not, as they thought, from fear, and to make conspiracies, but if at any time His sayings were too high for the hearing of the many.
Jn 18,21. “Why askest thou Me? Ask them which heard Me.” 24
These are not the words of one speaking arrogantly, but of one confiding in the truth of what He had said. What therefore He said at the beginning, “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true” (c. 5,31), this He now implieth, desiring to render His testimony abundantly credible. For when Annas mentioned the disciples, 25 what saith He? “Dost thou ask Me concerning Mine? Ask Mine enemies, ask those who have plotted against Me, who have bound Me; let them speak.” This is an unquestionable proof of truth, when one calls his enemies to be witnesses to what he saith. What then doth the high priest? When it would have been right thus to have made the enquiry, that person did not so.
Jn 18,22. “And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by smote Him with the palm of his hand.” 26
What could be more audacious than this? Shudder, O heaven, be astounded, O earth, at the long-suffering of the Lord, and the senselessness of the servants! Yet what was it that He said? He said not, “Why askest thou Me,” as if refusing to speak, but wishing to remove every pretext for senseless behavior; and being upon this buffeted, though He was able to shake, to annihilate, or to remove all things, He doth not any one of these, but speaketh words able to relax any brutality.
Jn 18,23. “And He saith, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil.” 27
That is, “If thou canst lay hold on My words, declare it; but if thou canst not, why strikest thou Me?” Seest thou that the judgment-hall is full of tumult, and trouble, and passion, and confusion? The high priest asked deceitfully and treacherously, Christ answered in a straightforward manner, and as was meet. What then was next to be done? Either to refute, or to accept what He said. This however is not done, but a servant buffets Him. So far was this from being a court of justice, and the proceedings those of a conspiracy, and a deed of tyranny. Then not having even so made any farther discovery, they send Him bound to Caiaphas. 28
Jn 18,25. “And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself.”
Wonderful, by what a lethargy 29 that hot and furious one was possessed, when Jesus was being led away! After such things as had taken place, he doth not move, but still warms himself, that thou mayest learn how great is the weakness of our nature if God abandoneth. And, being questioned, he denies again. 30
Jn 18,26. Then saith “the kinsman 31 of him whose ear Peter cut off, (grieving at what had taken place,) Did I not see thee in the garden?” 32
But neither did the garden bring him to remember what had taken place, 33 nor the great affection which Jesus there had shown by those words, but all these from pressure of anxiety he banished from his mind. But why have the Evangelists with one accord written concerning him? Not as accusing the disciple, but as desiring to teach us, how great an evil it is not to commit all to God, but to trust to one’s self. But do thou admire the tender care of his Master, who, though a prisoner and bound, took great forethought for His disciple, raising Peter up, when he was down, by His look, and launching him into a sea of tears. 34
“They lead Him therefore from Caiaphas to Pilate.” 35
This was done, in order that the number of His judges might show, even against their will, how fully tested was His truth. “And it was early.” Before cock crow He was brought to Caiaphas, early in the morning to Pilate; whence the Evangelist shows, that being questioned by Caiaphas during an entire half of the night, He was in nothing proved guilty; wherefore Caiaphas sent Him on to Pilate. But leaving these things for the others to relate, Jn speaks of what follows next. And observe the ridiculous conduct of the Jews. They who had seized the innocent, and taken up arms, do not enter into the hall of judgment, “lest they should be polluted.” And tell me, what kind of pollution was it to set foot in a judgment-hall, where wrong-doers suffer justice? They who paid tithes of mint and anise, did not think they were polluted when bent on killing unjustly, but thought that they polluted themselves by even treading in a court of justice. “And why did they not kill Him, instead of bringing Him to Pilate?” In the first place, the greater part of their rule and authority had been cut away, when their affairs were placed under the power of the Romans; and besides, they feared lest they should afterwards be accused and punished by Him. “But what is, ‘That they might eat the Passover?’ For He had done this on the first day of unleavened bread.” Either he calls the whole feast “the Passover,” or means, that they were then keeping the Passover, while He delivered it to His followers one day sooner, reserving His own Sacrifice for 36 the Preparation-day, when also of old the Passover was celebrated. But they, though they had taken up arms, which was unlawful, and were shedding blood, are scrupulous about the place, and bring forth Pilate to them.
Jn 18,29. “And having gone out, he said. What accusation bring ye against this man?”
[4.] Seest thou that he was free from 37 fondness for rule and from malice? For seeing Jesus bound, and led by so many persons, he did not think that they had unquestionable proof of their accusation, but questions them, thinking it astrange thing that they should take for themselves the judgment, and then committhepunishment without any judgment to him.What then say they?
Jn 18,30. “If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.”
O madness! for why do ye not mention His evil deeds, instead of concealing them? Why do ye not prove the evil? Seest thou that they everywhere avoid a direct accusation, and that they can say nothing? That Annas questioned Him about His doctrine, and having heard Him, sent Him to Caiaphas; and he having in his turn questioned Him, and discovered, nothing, sent Him to Pilate. Pilate saith, “What accusation bring ye against this man?” Nor here have they anything to say, but again employ certain 38 conjectures. At which Pilate being perplexed saith,
Jn 18,31-32. “Take ye him and judge him according to your law. They therefore said, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death,” But this they said, “that the saying of the Lord might be fulfilled, which He spake, signifying by what death He should die.”
“And how did the expression, ‘It is not lawful for us to put any man to death,’ declare this?”Either the Evangelist means that He was about to be slain not by the Jews only, but by 39 the Gentiles also, or that it was not lawful for them to crucify. But if they say, “It is not lawful for us to put any man to death,” they say it with reference to that season. For that they did slay men, and that they slew them in a different way, Stephen shows, being stoned. But they desired to crucify Him, that they might make a display of the manner of His death. Pilate, wishing to be freed from trouble, doth not dismiss Him for a long trial, but,
Jn 18,33-34. “Having entered in, he asked Jesus, and said, 40 Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of Me?”
Wherefore did Christ ask this? Because He desired to expose the evil intentions of the Jews. Pilate had heard this saying from many, and, since the accusers had nothing to say, in order that the enquiry might not be a long one, he desires to bring forward that which was continually reported. But when he said to them, “Judge him according to your law,” wishing to show that His offense was not a Jewish one, they replied, “It is not lawful for us.” “He hath not sinned against our law, but the indictment is general.” 41 Pilate then, having perceived this, saith, as being (himself) likely to be endangered, “Art thou the King of the Jews?” Then Jesus, not from ignorance, but from a desire that the Jews should be accused even by him, asked him, saying, “Did others tell it thee?” 42 On this point then declaring himself, Pilate replied,
Jn 18,35. “Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me; what hast thou done?”
Here desiring to clear himself of the matter. Then because he had said, “Art thou the King?” Jesus reproving him answereth, “This thou hast heard from the Jews. Why dost thou not make accurate enquiry? They have said that I am a malefactor; ask them what evil I have done. But this thou doest not, but art simply framing charges against Me.” “Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself,” or from others? Pilate then cannot at once say that he had heard it, but simply goes along with 43 the people, saying, “They have delivered thee unto me.” “I must needs therefore ask thee what thou hast done.” What then saith Christ?
Jn 18,36. “My Kingdom is not of this world.”
(He leadeth upwards Pilate who was not a very wicked man, nor after their fashion, and desireth to show that He is not a mere man, but God and the Son of God And what saith He?
“If My Kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews.” 44
(He undoeth that which Pilate for a while had feared, namely, the suspicion of seizing kingly power, “Is then His kingdom not of this world also?” 45 Certainly it is. “How then saith He it ‘is not’?” Not because He doth not rule here, but because He hath his empire from above, and because it is not human, but far greater than this and more splendid. “If then it be greater, how was He made captive by the other?” By consenting, and giving Himself up. But He doth not at present reveal 46 this, but what saith He? “If I had been of this world, ‘My servants would fight, that I should not be delivered.’” Here He showeth the weakness of kingship among us, that its strength lies in servants; but that which is above is sufficient for itself, needing nothing. From this the heretics taking occasion say, that He is different from the Creator. What then, when it saith, “He came to His own”? (c. 1,11). What, when Himself saith, “They are not of this world, as I am not of this world”? (c. 17,14). So also He saith that His kingdom is not from hence, not depriving the world of His providence and superintendence, but showing, as I said, that His power was not human or perishable. What then said Pilate?
Jn 18,37. “Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a King. To this end was I born.”
If then He was born a king, all His other attributes are by Generation, and He hath nothing which He received in addition. So that when thou hearest that, “As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son also to have life” (c. 5,26), deem of nothing else but His generation, and so of the rest.
“And for this cause came I, 47 that I should bear witness unto the truth.”
That is, “that I should speak this very thing, and teach it, and persuade all men.”
[5.] But do thou, O man, when thou hearest these things, and seest thy Lord bound and led about, deem present things to be nought. For how can it be otherwise than strange, if Christ bore such things for thy sake, and thou often canst not endure even words? He is spit upon, and dost thou deck thyself with garments and rings, and, if thou gain not good report from all, think life unbearable? He is insulted, beareth mockings, and scornful blows upon the cheek; and dost thou wish everywhere to be honored, and bearest thou not the reproaching of Christ? Hearest thou not Paul saying, “Be ye imitators 48 of me, even as I also am of Christ”?(1Co 11,1). When therefore any one makes a jest of thee, remember thy Lord, that in mockery they bowed the knee before Him, and worried 49 Him both by words and deeds, and treated Him with much irony; but He not only did not defend Himself, but even repaid them with the contraries, with mildness and gentleness. Him now let us emulate; so shall we be enabled even to be delivered from all insult. For it is not the insulter that gives effect to acts of insult, and makes them biting, but he who is little of soul, and is pained by them. If thou art not pained, thou hast not been insulted; for the suffering from injuries depends not on those who inflict, but on those who undergo them. Why dost thou grieve at all? If a man hath insulted thee unjustly, in this case surely thou oughtest not to grieve at all, but to pity him; if justly, much more oughtest thou to keep quiet. For should any one address thee, a poor man, as though thou wert rich, the praise contained in his words is nothing to thee, but his encomium is rather mockery; and so if one insulting thee utter things that are untrue, the reproach is nothing to thee either. But if conscience takes hold of what hath been said, be not grieved at the words, but make correction in deeds. This I say with regard to what really are insults. For if one reproach thee with poverty or low birth, laugh at him. 50 These things are a reproach not to the hearer, but to the speaker, as not knowing true wisdom. “But,” saith some one, “when these things are said in the presence of many who are ignorant of the truth, the wound becomes unbearable.” Nay, it is most bearable, when you have an audience present of witnesses praising and applauding you, scoffing at and making a jest of him. For not he that defends himself, but he that saith nothing, is applauded by sensible persons. And if none of those present be a sensible person, then laugh at him most of all, and delight thyself in the audience of heaven. For there all will praise and applaud and welcome thee. For one Angel is as good as all the world. But why speak I of Angels, when the Lord Himself proclaimeth 51 thee? Let us exercise ourselves with these reasonings. For it is no loss to be silent when insulted, but it is, on the contrary, to defend one’s self when insulted. Since were it a fault silently to bear what is said, Christ would never have told us, “If one smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Mt 5,39). 52 If then our enemy say what is not true, let us on this account even pity him, because he draws down upon him the punishment and vengeance of the accusers, 53 being unworthy even to read the Scriptures. For to the sinner God saith, “Why declarest thou My statutes, and takest My covenant in thy mouth? Thou satest and spakest against thy brother.” (Ps 50,16 and Ps 50,20 LXX). And if he speak the truth, so also he is to be pitied; since even the Pharisee spake the truth; yet he did no harm to him who heard him, but rather good, while he deprived himself of ten thousand blessings, enduring shipwreck by this accusation, So that either way it is he that suffers injury, not thou; but thou, if thou art sober, wilt have double gain; both the propitiating God by thy silence, and the becoming yet more discreet, the gaining an opportunity from what hath been said to correct what has been done, and the despisingmortal glory. For this is the source of our pain, that many gape upon the opinion of men. If we are minded to be thus truly wise, we shall know well that human things are nothing. Let us learn then, and having reckoned up our faults, let us accomplish their correction in time, and let us determine to correct one this month, another next month, and athird in that which follows. And so mounting as it were by steps, let us get to heaven by a Jacob’s ladder. For the ladder seems to me to signify in a riddle by that vision the gradual ascent by means of virtue, by which it is possible for us to ascend from earth to heaven, not using material steps, but improvement and correction of manners. Let us then lay hold on this means of departure and ascent, that having obtained heaven, we may also enjoy all the blessings there, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen).
1 i.e. death, lit). “the action.”
2 addressed to St. John.
3 ta; poll;;a;.
5 or, “not once, but often,” &c.
6 stratiw`tai, mercenaries.
7 Ver. 5, 6). “They answered Him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I Am. And Judas also which betrayed Him stood with them. As soon then as He had said unto them, I Am, they went backward, and fell to the ground.” N. T.
8 “Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.” N. T.
9 to; ajnepacqe;".
10 more exactly, “perdition.”
11 Ver. 10). “Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.”
12 lit). “tension.”
13 Ver 11). “Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath; the cup,” &c. N. T.
14 Ver. 12, 13). “Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound Him, and led Him away to Annas first; for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.” N. T.
15 or, “made a show of Him in.”
16 Ver. 15, 16). “And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did that other disciple; that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.” N. T.
17 al). “retired.”
18 al). “gave in charge.”
19 Ver. 17). “Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not,” &c. N. T.
21 lit). “bent,” katakamptomevnh".
22 Ver. 18). “And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; and they warmed themselves; and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.”
23 “Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.” N. T.
24 “which heard Me, what I have said unto them; behold, they know what I said.” N. T.
25 al). “the disciples as disciples.”
26 “Of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?”
27 “of the evil; but if well, why smitest thou Me?” N. T.
28 Ver. 24). “Annas sent (ajpevsteilen) Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.” St. C. makes this the order of the narrative, but most commentators refer the words to an earlier period.
30 Part of ver. 25). “They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.”
31 Ver. 26). “one of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman,” &c., “saith.” N. T.
32 “in the garden with him?” ver. 27). “Peter then denied again; and immediately the cock crew.” N. T.
33 al). “had been said.”
34 eiv" davkrua kaqevlkwn.
35 Ver. 28). “Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment; and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment-hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the Passover,” N. T.
36 or, “waiting for His,” &c., “on.”
37 al). “from their.”
38 al). “but in certain.”
39 Ben). “not for,” &c., “but for.”
40 “Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto Him.” N. T).
41 i.e. against heathen law also.
42 Ver. 30). “Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself or did others tell it thee of Me?” N. T.
44 “to the Jews; but now in My kingdom not from hence,” N. T.
45 Ben. omits “also.”
46 al). “hide.”
47 “came I into the world,” N. T.
50 al). “this is to be laughed at.”
51 Sav. conj). “shall proclaim.”
52 “whosoever shall,” &c., N. T.
53 Sav. conj). “evil speaking.”
Chrysostom on John 82