Golden Chain 12425
12425 Jn 4,25-26
CHRYS. The woman was struck with astonishment at the loftiness of His teaching, as her words show: The woman said to Him, I know that Messias comes, which is called Christ.
AUG. Unctus in Latin, Christ in Greek, in the Hebrew Messias. She knew then who could teach her, but did not know Who was teaching her. When He is come, He will tell us all things: as if she said, The Jews now contend for the temple, we for the mountain; but He, when He comes, will level the mountain, overthrow the temple, and teach us how to pray in spirit and in truth.
CHRYS. But what reason had the Samaritans for expecting Christ's coming? They acknowledged the books of Moses, which foretold it. Jacob prophesies of Christ, The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from beneath his feet, until Shiloh come. And Moses says, The Lord your God shall raise up a Prophet from the midst of you, of your brethren.
ORIGEN. It should be known, that as Christ rose out of the Jews, not only declaring but proving Himself to be Christ; so among the Samaritans there arose one Dositheus by name, who asserted that he was the Christ prophesied of.
AUG. It is a confirmation to discerning minds that the five senses were what were signified by the five husbands, to find the woman making five carnal answers, and then mentioning the name of Christ.
CHRYS. Christ now reveals Himself to the woman: Jesus said to her, I that speak to you am He. Had He told the woman this to begin with, it would have appeared vanity. Now, having gradually awakened her to the thought of Christ, His disclosure of Himself is perfectly opportune. He is not equally open to the Jews, who ask Him, If You be the Christ, tell us plainly; for this reason, that they did not ask in order to learn, but to do Him injury; whereas she spoke in the simplicity of her heart.
12427 Jn 4,27-30
CHRYS. The disciples arrive opportunely, and when the teaching is finished: And upon this came His disciples, and marveled that He talked with the woman. They marveled at the exceeding kindness and humility of Christ, in condescending to converse with a poor woman, and a Samaritan.
AUG. He who came to seek that which was lost, sought the lost one. This was what they marveled at: they marveled at His goodness; they did not suspect evil.
CHRYS. But notwithstanding their wonder, they asked Him no questions, No man said, What seek You? or, Why talk you with her? So careful were they to observe the rank of disciples, so great was their awe and veneration for Him. On subjects indeed which concerned themselves, they did not hesitate to ask Him questions. But this was not one.
ORIGEN. The woman is almost turned into an Apostle. So forcible are His words, that she leaves her waterpot to go to the city, and tell her townsmen of them. The woman then left her waterpot, i.e. gave up low bodily cares, for the sake of benefiting others. Let us do the same. Let us leave off caring for things of the body, and impart to others of our own.
AUG. Hydria answers to our word aquarium; hydor being Greek for water.
CHRYS. As the Apostles, on being called, left their nets, so does she leave her waterpot, to do the work of an Evangelist, by calling not one person, but a whole city: She went her way into the city, and said to the men, Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
ORIGEN. She calls them together to see a man, whose words were deeper than man's. She had had five husbands, and then was living with the sixth, not a lawful husband. But now she gives him up for a seventh, and she leaving her waterpot, is converted to chastity.
CHRYS. She was not prevented by shame-facedness from spreading about what had been said to her. For the soul, when it is once kindled by the divine flame, regards neither glory, nor shame, nor any other earthly thing, only the flame which consumes it. But she did not wish them to trust to her own report only, but to come and judge of Christ for themselves. Come, see a man, she says. She does not say, Come and believe, but, Come and see; which is an easier matter. For well she knew that if they only tasted of that well, they would feel as she did.
ALCUIN. It is only by degrees, however, that she comes to the preaching of Christ. First she calls Him a man, not Christ; for fear those who heard her might be angry, and refuse to come.
CHRYS. She then neither openly preaches Christ, nor wholly omits Him, but says, Is not this the Christ? This wakened their attention, Then they went out of the city, and came to Him.
AUG. The circumstance of the woman's leaving her waterpot on going away, must not be overlooked. For the waterpot signifies the love of this world,) concupiscence, by which men from the dark depth, of which the well is the image, i.e. from an earthly conversation, draw up pleasure. It was right then for one who believed in Christ to renounce the world, and, by leaving her waterpot, to show that she had parted with worldly desires.
AUG. She cast away therefore concupiscence, and hastened to proclaim the truth. Let those who wish to preach the Gospel, learn, that they should first leave their waterpots at the well.
ORIGEN. The woman having become a vessel of wholesome discipline, lays aside as contemptible her former tastes and desires.
12431 Jn 4,31-34
AUG. His disciples had gone to buy food, and had returned. They offered Christ some: In the mean while His disciples prayed Him, saying, Master, eat.
CHRYS. They all ask Him at once, Him so fatigued with the journey and heat. This is not impatience in them, but simply love, and tenderness to their Master.
ORIGEN. They think the pre sent time convenient for dining; it being after the departure of the woman to the city, and before the coming of the Samaritans; so that they sit at meat by themselves. This explains, In the mean while.
THEOPHYL. Our Lord, knowing that the woman of Samaria was bringing the whole town out to Him, tells His disciples, I have meat that you know not of:
CHRYS. The salvation of men He calls His food, showing His great desire that we should be saved. As food is an object of desire to us, so was the salvation of men to Him. Observe, He does not express Himself directly, but figuratively; which makes some trouble necessary for His hearers, in order to comprehend His meaning, and thus gives a greater importance to that meaning when it is understood.
THEOPHYL. That you know not of; i.e. know not that I call the salvation of men food; or, know not that the Samaritans are about to believe and be saved. The disciples however were in perplexity: Therefore said the disciples one to another, Has any man brought Him ought to eat?
AUG. What wonder that the woman did not understand about the water? Lo, the disciples do not understand about the meat.
CHRYS. They show, as usual, the honor and reverence in which they hold their Master, by talking among themselves, and not presuming to question Him.
THEOPHYL. From the question of the disciples, Has any man brought Him ought to eat, we may infer that our Lord was accustomed to receive food from others, when it was offered Him: not that He who gives food to all flesh, needed any assistance; but He received it, that they who gave it might obtain their reward, and that poverty thenceforth might not blush, nor the support of others be esteemed a disgrace. It is proper and necessary that teachers should depend on others to provide them with food, in order that, being free from all other cares, they may attend the more to the ministry of the word.
AUG. Our Lord heard His doubting disciples, and answered them as disciples, i.e. plainly and expressly, not circuitously, as He answered the women; Jesus said to them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me.
ORIGEN. Fit meat for the Son of God, who was so obedient to the Father, that in Him was the t same will that was in the Father: not two wills, but one will in both. The Son is capable of first accomplishing the whole will of the Father. Other saints do nothing against the Father's will; He does that will. That is His meat in an especial sense. And what means, To finish His work? It would seem easy to say, that a work was what was ordered by him who set it; as where men are set to build or dig. But some who go deeper ask whether a work being finished does not imply that it was before incomplete; and whether God could originally have made an incomplete work? The completing of the work, is the completing of a rational creature: for it was to complete this work, which was as yet imperfect, that the Word made flesh come.
THEOPHYL. He finished the work of God, i.e. man, He, the Son of God, finished it by exhibiting our nature in Himself without sin, perfect and uncorrupt. He finished also the work of God, i.e. the Law, (for Christ is the end of the Law,) by abolishing it, when every thing in it had been fulfilled, and changing a carnal into a spiritual worship.
ORIGEN. The matter of spiritual drink and living water being explained, the subject of meat follows. Jesus had asked the woman of Samaria, and she could give Him none good enough. Then came the disciples, having procured some humble food among the people of the country, and offered it Him, beseeching Him to eat. They fear perhaps lest the Word of God, deprived of His own proper nourishment, fail within them; and therefore with such as they have found, immediately propose to feed Him, that being confirmed and strengthened, He may abide with His nourishers. Souls require food as well as bodies. And as bodies require different kinds of it, and in different quantities, so is it in things which are above the body. Souls differ in capacity, and one needs more nourishment, another less. So too in point of quality, the same nourishment of words and thoughts does not suit all. Infants just born need the milk of the word; the grown up, solid meat. Our Lord says, I have meat to eat. For one who is over the weak who cannot behold the same things with the stronger, may always speak thus.
12435 Jn 4,35-38
CHRYS. What is the will of the Father He now proceeds to explain: Say you not, There are yet four months, and then comes harvest?
THEOPHYL. Now you are expecting a material harvest. But I say to you, that a spiritual harvest is at hand: lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. He alludes to the Samaritans who are approaching.
CHRYS. He leads them, as his custom is, from low things to high. Fields and harvest here express the great number of souls, which are ready to receive the word. The eyes are both spiritual, and bodily ones, for they saw a great multitude of Samaritans now approaching. This expectant crowd he calls very suitably white fields. For as the corn, when it grows white, is reader for the harvest; so were these ready for salvation. But why does He not say this in direct language? Because by making use in this way of the objects around them, he gave greater vividness and power to His words, and brought the truth home to them; and also that His discourse might be more pleasant, and might sink deeper into their memories.
AUG. He was intent now on beginning the work, and hastened to send laborers: And he that reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to life eternal, that both he that sows and he that reaps may rejoice together.
CHRYS. Again He distinguishes earthly from heavenly things, for as above He said of the water, that he who drank of it should never thirst, so here He says, He that reaps gathers fruit to life eternal; adding, that both he that sows and he that reaps may rejoice together. The Prophets sowed, the Apostles reaped, yet are not the former deprived of their reward. For here a new thing is promised; viz. that both sowers and reapers shall rejoice together. How different this from what we see here. Now he that sows grieves because he sows for others, and he only that reaps rejoices. But in the Dew state, the sower and reaper share the same wages.
AUG. The Apostles and Prophets had different labors, corresponding to the difference of times; but both will attain to like joy, and receive together their wages, even eternal life.
CHRYS. He confirms what He says by a proverb, And herein is that saying true, one sows and another reaps, i.e. one party has the labor, and another reaps the fruit. The saying is especially applicable here, for the Prophets had labored, and the disciples reaped the fruits of their labors: I sent you to reap that whereon you bestowed no labor.
AUG. So then He sent reapers, no sowers. The reapers went where the Prophets had preached. Read the account of their labors: they all contain prophecy of Christ. And the harvest was gathered on that occasion when so many thousands brought the prices of their possessions, and laid them at the Apostles' feet; relieving their shoulders from earthly burdens, that they might follow Christ. Yes verily, and from that harvest were a few grains scattered, which filled the whole world. And now arises another harvest, which will be reaped at the end of the world, not by Apostles, but by Angels. The reapers, He says, are the Angels.
CHRYS. I sent you to reap that whereon you bestowed no labor, i.e. I have reserved you for a favorable time, in which the labor is less, the enjoyment greater. The more laborious part of the work was laid on the Prophets, viz. the sowing of the seed: Other men labored, and you are entered into their labors. Christ here throws light on the meaning of the old prophecies. He shows that both the Law and the Prophets, if rightly interpreted, led men to Him; and that the Prophets w ere sent in fact by Himself. Thus the intimate connection is established between the Old Testament and the New.
ORIGEN. How can we consistently give an allegorical meaning to the words, Lift up your eyes, &c. and only a literal one to the words, There are yet four months, and then comes harvest? The same principle of interpretation surely must be applied to the latter, that is to the former. The four months represent the four elements, i.e. our natural life; the harvest, the end of the world, when all conflict shall have ceased, and truth shall prevail. The disciples then regard the truth as incomprehensible in our natural state, and look forward to the end of the world for attaining the knowledge of it. But this idea our Lord condemns: Say not you, there are four months, and then comes harvest? Behold, I say to you, Lift up your eyes. In many places of Holy Scripture, we are commanded in the same way to raise the thoughts of our minds, which cling so obstinately to earth. A difficult task this for one who indulges his passions, and lives carnally. Such an one will not see if the fields be white to the harvest. For when are the fields white to the harvest? When the Word of God comes to light up and make fruitful the fields of Scripture. Indeed, all sensible things are as it were fields made white for the harvest, if only reason be at hand to interpret them. We lift up our eyes, and behold the whole universe over-spread with the brightness of truth. And he that reaps those harvests, has a double reward of his reaping; first, his wages; And he that reaps receives wages; meaning his reward in the life to come; secondly, a certain good state of the understanding, which is the fruit of contemplation, And gathers fruit to life eternal. The man who thinks out the first principles of any science, is as it were the sower in that science; others taking them up, pursuing them to their results, and engrafting fresh matter upon them, strike out new discoveries, from which posterity reaps a plentiful harvest. And how much more may we perceive this in the art of arts? The seed there is the whole dispensation of the mystery, now revealed, but formerly hidden in darkness; for while men were unfit for the advent of the Word, the fields were not yet white to their eyes, i.e. the legal and prophetical Scriptures were shut up. Moses and the Pro pets, who preceded the coming of Christ, were the sowers of this seed; the Apostles who came after Christ and saw His glory were the reapers. They reaped and gathered into barns the deep meaning which lay hid under the prophetic writings; and did in short what those do who succeed to a scientific system which others have discovered, and who with less trouble attain to clearer results than they who originally sowed the seed. But they that sowed and they that reaped shall rejoice together in another world, in which all sorrow and mourning shall be done away. Nay, and have they not rejoiced already; Did not Moses and Elias, the sowers, rejoice with the reapers Peter, James, and John, when they saw the glory of the Son of God at the Transfiguration? Perhaps in, one sows and another reaps, one and another may refer simply to those who live under the Law, and those who live under the Gospel. For these may both rejoice together, inasmuch as the same end is laid up for them by one God, through one Christ, in one Holy Spirit.
12439 Jn 4,39-42
ORIGEN After this conversation with the disciples, Scripture returns to those who had believed on the testimony of the woman, and were come to see Jesus.
CHRYS. It is now, as it were, harvest time, when the corn is gathered, and a whole floor soon covered with sheaves; And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him, for the saying of the woman which testified, He told me all that ever I did. They considered that the woman would never of her own accord have conceived such admiration for one Who had reproved her offenses, unless He were really some great and wonderful person. And thus relying solely on the testimony of the woman, without any other evidence, they went out to beseech Christ to stay with them: So when the Samaritans were come to Him, they besought Him that He would tarry with them. The Jews when they saw His miracles, so far from begging Him to stay, tried in every way to get rid of His presence. Such is the power of malice, and envy, and vainglory, that obstinate vice which poisons even goodness itself. Though the Samaritans however wished to keep Him with them, He would not consent, but only tarried there two days.
ORIGEN. It is natural to ask, why our Savior stays with the Samaritans, when He had given a command to His disciples not to enter into any city of the Samaritans. But we must explain this mystically. To go the way of the Gentiles, is to be imbued with Gentile doctrine; to go into a city of the Samaritans, is to admit the doctrines of those who believe the Scriptures, but interpret them heretically. But when men have given up their own doctrines, and come to Jesus, it is lawful to stay with them.
CHRYS. The Jews disbelieved in spite of miracles, while these exhibited great faith, be fore even a miracle was wrought, and when they had only heard our Lord's words. And many more believed because of His own word. Why then do not the Evangelists give these words? To show that they omit many important things, and because the result shows what they were; the result being that the whole city was convinced. On the other hand, when the hearers are not convinced, the Evangelists are obliged to give our Lord's words, that the failure may be seen to be owing to the indifference of the hearers, not to any defect in the preacher. And now, having become Christ's disciples, they dismiss their first instructor; And they said to the woman, Now we believe not because of your saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world. How soon they understand that He was come for the deliverance of the whole world, and could not therefore confine His purposes to the Jews, but must sow the Word every where. Their saying too, The Savior of the world, implies that they looked on this world as miserable and lost; and that, whereas Prophets and Angels had come to save it, this was the only real Savior, the Author not only of temporal but eternal salvation. And, observe, whereas the woman had spoken doubtfully, Is not this the Christ? they do not say, we suspect, but we know, know, that this is indeed the Savior of the world, not one Christ out of many. Though they had only heard His words, they said as much as they could have done, had they seen ever so many and great miracles.
ORIGEN. With the aid of our former observations on Jacob's well, and the water, it wills not be difficult to see, why, when they find the true word, they leave other doctrines, i.e. the city, for a sound faith. Observe, they did not ask our Savior only to enter Samaria, St. John particularly remarks, or enter that city, but to tarry there. Jesus tarries with those who ask Him, and especially with those who go out of the city to Him.
ORIGEN. They were not ready yet for the third day; having no anxiety to see a miracle, as those had who supped with Jesus in Cana of Galilee. (This supper was after He had been in Cana three days.) The woman's report was the ground of their belief. The enlightening power of the Word itself was not yet visible to them.
AUG. So then they knew Christ first by report of another, afterwards by His own presence; which is still the case of those that are without the fold, and not yet Christians. Christ is announced to them by some charitable Christians, by the report of the woman, i.e. the Church; they come to Christ, they believe on Him, through the instrumentality of that woman; He stays with them two days, i.e. gives them two precepts of charity. And thenceforth their belief is stronger. They believe that He is indeed the Savior of the world.
ORIGEN. For it is impossible that the same impression should be produced by hearing from one who has seen, and seeing one's self; walking by sight is different from walking by faith. The Samaritans now do not believe only from testimony, but from really seeing the truth.
12443 Jn 4,43-45
AUG. After staying two days in Samaria, He departed into Galilee, where He resided: Now after two days He departed thence, and went into Galilee.
AUG. Why then does the Evangelist say immediately, For Jesus Himself testified, that a prophet has no honor in his own country. For He would seem to have testified more to the truth, had He remained in Samaria, and not gone into Galilee. Not so: He stayed two days in Samaria and the Samaritans believed on Him: He stayed the same time in Galilee, and the Galileans did not believe on Him, and therefore He said, that a prophet has no honor in his own country.
CHRYS. Or consider this the reason that He went, not to Capernaum, but to Galilee and Cana, as appears below, His country being, I think, Capernaum. As He did not obtain honor there, hear what He says; And you, Capernaum, which are exalted to heaven, shall be brought down to hell. He calls it His own country, because He had most resided here.
THEOPHYL. Or thus: Our Lord on leaving Samaria for Galilee, explains why He was not always in Galilee: viz. because of the little honor He received there. A prophet has no honor in his own country.
ORIGEN. The country of the prophets was Judea, and every one knows how little honor they received from the Jews, as we read, Whom of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? One cannot but wonder at the truth of this saying, exemplified not only in the contempt cast upon the holy prophets and our Lord Himself, but also in the case of other teachers of wisdom who have been despised by their fellow-citizens and put to death.
CHRYS. But do we not see many held in admiration by their own people? We do; but we cannot argue from a few instances. If some are honored in their own country, many more are honored out of it, and familiarity generally subjects men to contempt. The Galileans however received our Lord: Then when He was come into Galilee, the Galileans received Him. Observe how those who are spoken ill of, are always the first to come to Christ. Of the Galileans we find it said below, Search and, look, for out of Galilee arises no prophet. And He is reproached with being a Samaritan, You are a Samaritan, and have a devil. And yet the Samaritans and Galileans believe, to the condemnation of the Jews. The Galileans however are superior to the Samaritans; for the latter believed from hearing the woman's words, the former from seeing the signs which He did: Having seen all the things that He did at Jerusalem at the feast.
ORIGEN. Our Lord by ejecting those who sold sheep and oxen from the temple, had impressed the Galileans with a strong idea of His Majesty, and they received Him. His power was shown no less in this act, than in making the blind to see, and the deaf to hear. But probably He had performed some other miracles as well.
BEDE. They had seen Him at Jerusalem, For they also went to the feast. Our Lord's return has a mystical meaning, viz. that, when the Gentiles have been confirmed in the faith by the two precepts of love, i.e. at the end of the world, He will return to His country, i.e. Judea.
ORIGEN. The Galileans were allowed to keep the feast at Jerusalem, where they had seen Jesus. Thus they were prepared to receive Him, when He came: otherwise they would either have rejected Him; or He, knowing their unprepared state, would not have gone near them.
12446 Jn 4,46-54
CHRYS. On a former occasion our Lord attended a marriage in Cana of Galilee, now He goes there to convert the people, and confirm by His presence the faith which His miracle had produced. He goes there in preference to His own country.
AUG. There, we are told, His disciples believed on Him. Though the house was crowded with guests, the only persons who believed in consequence of this great miracle, were His disciples. He therefore visits the city again, in order to try a second time to convert them.
THEOPHYL. The Evangelist reminds us of the miracle in order to express the praise due to the Samaritans. For the Galileans in receiving Him were influenced as well by the miracle He had wrought with them, as by those they had seen at Jerusalem. The nobleman certainly believed in consequence of the miracle performed at Cana, though he did not yet understand Christ's full greatness; And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum.
ORIGEN. Some think that this was an officer of King Herod's; others, that he was one of Caesar's household, then employed on some commission in Judea. It is not said that He was a Jew.
AUG. He is called a nobleman, either as being of the royal family, or as having some office of government.
CHRYS. Some think that he is the same centurion, who is mentioned in Matthew. But that he is a different person is clear from this; that the latter, when Christ wished to come to his house, entreated Him not; whereas the former brought Christ to his house, though he had received no promise of a cure. And the latter met Jesus on His way from the mountain to Capernaum; whereas the former came to Jesus in Cana. And the latter servant was laid up with the palsy, the former's son with a fever. Of this nobleman then we read, When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him, and besought Him that He could heal his son: for be was at the point of death.
AUG. Did not he who made this request believe? Mark what our Lord says; Then said Jesus to him, Except you see signs and wonders, you will Not believe. This is to charge the man either with lukewarmness, or coldness of faith, or with went of faith altogether: as if his only object was to put Christ's power to the test, and see who and what kind of person Christ was, and what He could do. The word prodigy (wonder) signifies something far off, in futurity.
AUG. Our Lord would have the mind of the believer so raised above all mutable things, as not to seek even for miracles. For miracles, though sent from heaven, are, in their subject matter, mutable.
GREG. Remember what He asked for, and you will plainly see that he doubted. He asked Him to come down and see his son: The nobleman said to him, Sir, come down, ere my child die. His faith was deficient; in that he thought that our Lord could not save, except He were personally present.
CHRYS. And mark his earthly mind, shown in hurrying Christ along with him; as if our Lord could not raise his son after death. Indeed it is very possible that be may have asked in unbelief. For fathers often are so carried away by their affection, as to consult not only those they depend upon, but even those they do not depend upon at all: not wishing to leave any means untried, which might save their children. But had he had any strong reliance upon Christ, he would have gone to Him in Judea.
GREG. Our Lord in His answer implies that He is in a certain sense where He is invited present, even when He is absent from a place. He saves by His command simply, even as by His will He created all things: Jesus said to him, Go your way, your son lives. Here is a blow to that pride which honors human wealth and greatness, and not that nature which is made after the image of God. Our Redeemer, to show that things made much of among men, were to be despised by Saints, and things despised made much of, did not go to the nobleman's son, but was ready to go to the centurion's servant.
CHRYS. Or thus; In the centurion there was confirmed faith and true devotion, and therefore our Lord was ready to go. But the nobleman's faith was still imperfect, as he thought our Lord could not heal in the absence of the sick person. But Christ's answer enlightened him. And the man believed the word which Jesus had spoken to him, and went his way. He did not believe, however, wholly or completely.
ORIGEN. His rank appears in the fact of his servants meeting him: And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, your son lives.
CHRYS. They met him, to announce what had happened, and prevent Christ from coming, as He was no longer wanted. That the nobleman did not fully believe, is shown by what follows: Then inquired he of them at what hour he began to amend. He wished to find out whether the recovery was accidental, or owing to our Lord's word. And they said to him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. How obvious is the miracle? His recovery did not take place in an ordinary way, but all at once; in order that it might be seen to be Christ's doing, and not the result of nature: So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said to him, your son lives; and himself believed, and his whole house.
AUG. If he only believed when he was told that his son was well again, and had compared the hour according to his servant's account, with the hour predicted by Christ, he did not believe when he first made the petition.
BEDE. So, we see, faith, like the other virtues, is formed gradually, and has its beginning, growth, and maturity. His faith had its beginning, when he asked for his son's recovery; its growth, when he believed our Lord's words, Your son lives; its maturity, after the announcement of the fact by his servants.
AUG. The Samaritans believed; on the strength of His words only: that whole house believed on the strength of the miracle which had been brought in it. The Evangelist adds, This is again the second miracle which Jesus did, when He was come out of Judea into Galilee.
CHRYS. The second miracle, he says markedly. The Jews had not come to the more perfect faith of the Samaritans, who saw no miracle.
ORIGEN. The sentence is ambiguous. Taken one way, it means that Jesus after coming to Galilee, performed two miracles, of which that of healing the nobleman's son was the second: taken another, it means, that of the two miracles which Jesus performed in Galilee, the second was done after coming from Judea into Galilee. The latter is the true and received meaning. Mystically, the two journeys of Christ into Galilee signify His two advents; at the first of which He makes us His guest at supper, and gives us wine to drink; at the second, He raises up the nobleman's son who was at the point of death, i.e. the Jewish people, who, after the fullness of the Gentiles, attain themselves to salvation. For, as the great King of Kings is He, whom God has seated upon His holy hill of Sion, so the lesser king is he, who saw his day, and was glad, i.e. Abraham. And therefore his sick son is the Jewish people fallen from the true religion, and thrown into a fever in consequence by the fiery darts of the enemy. And we know that the saints of old, even when they had put off the covering of the flesh, made the people the object of their care: for we read in Maccabees, after the death of Jeremiah, This is Jeremias the prophet of the Lord, who prays much for the people. Abraham therefore prays to our Savior to succor his diseased people. Again, the word of power, Your son lives, comes forth from Cana, i.e. the work of the Word, the healing of the nobleman's son, is done in Capernaum, i.e. the land of consolation. The nobleman's son signifies the class of believers who though diseased are yet not altogether destitute of fruits. The words, Except you see signs and wonders, you will not believe, are spoken of the Jewish people in general, or perhaps of the nobleman, i.e. Abraham himself, in a certain sense. For as John waited for a sign; on Whom you shall see the Spirit descending; so too the Saints who died before the coming of Christ in the flesh, expected Him to manifest Himself by signs and wonders. And this nobleman too had servants as well as a son; which servants stand for the lower and weaker class of believers. Nor is it chance that the fever leaves the son at the seventh hour; for seven is the number of rest.
ALCUIN. Or it was the seventh hour, because all remission of sins is through the sevenfold Spirit; for the number seven divided into three and four, signifies the Holy Trinity, in the four seasons of the world, in the four elements.
ORIGEN. There may be an allusion in the two journeys to the two advents of Christ in the soul, the first supplying a spiritual banquet of wine, the second taking away all remains of weakness and death.
THEOPHYL. The little king stands for man generally; man not only deriving his soul from the King of the universe, but having Himself dominion over all things. His son, i.e. his mind, labors under a fever of evil passion and desires. He goes to Jesus and entreats Him to come down; i.e. to exercise the condescension of His pity, and pardon his sins, before it is too late. Our Lord answers; Go your way, i.e. advance in holiness, and then your son will live; but if you stop short in your course, you will destroy the power of understanding and doing right.
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