Chrysostom on John 44
"Jesus answered them, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek Me, not because ye saw the miracles but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled. Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life."
[1.] The mild and gentle is not always useful, but there are times when the teacher needs sharper language. For if the disciple be dull and gross, then, in order to touch his dullness to the quick, we must rouse him with1 a goad. And this the Son of God hath done in the present as well as in many other cases. For when the crowds had come and found Jesus, and were flattering Him, and saying,“Master, when camest Thou hither?” to show that He desireth not honor from men, but looketh to one thing only, their salvation, He answereth them sharply, wishing to correct them not in this way only, but also by revealing and exposing their thoughts. For what saith He? “Verily, verily, I say unto you,” (speaking positively and with a confirmation,) “Ye seek Me, not because ye saw miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled.” He chideth and reproveth them by these words, yet doth not so abruptly or violently, but very sparingly. For He saith not, “O ye gluttons and belly-slaves, I have wrought so many wonders, and ye never have either followed Me, or marveled at My doings”; but mildly and gently somewhat in this manner; “Ye seek Me, not because ye saw miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled”; speaking not only of the past, but also of the present miracle. “It was not,” He saith, “the miracle of the loaves that astonished you, but the being filled.”2 And that He said not this of them by conjecture they straightway showed, for on this account they came the second time, as being about to enjoy the same (food) as before. Wherefore they said, “Our fathers did eat manna in the wilderness.” Again they draw Him to (the subject of) carnal food, which was the chief accusation and charge against them. But He stoppeth not at rebukes, but addeth instruction also, saying, “Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life.”
“Which the Son of Man giveth 3 unto you; for Him hath God the Father sealed.”
What He saith, is of this kind: “Make ye no account of this earthly, but of that spiritual food.” But since some of those who desire to live in doing nothing have abused this speech, as though Christ would entirely abolish working, it is seasonable to say somewhat to them. For they slander, so to speak, all Christianity, and cause it to be ridiculed on the score of idleness. First however, we must mention that saying of Paul. What saith he? “Remember the Lord, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Ac 20,35). Now how can it be possible for him to give who hath not? How then saith Jesus to Martha, “Thou art careful and troubled about many things, but one thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen that good part”? (Lc 10,41-42); and again, “Take no thought for the morrow.” (Mt 6,34). For it is necessary now to resolve all these questions, not only that we may check men if they would be idle, but also that the oracles of God may not appear to bring in what is contradictory.
Now Paul in another place saith, “But we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more, that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without” (1Th 4,10-12); and again; “Let him that stole, steal no more; but rather let him labor, working. with his own hands, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” (Ep 4,28). Here the Apostle bids not simply “work,” but to work so vigorously and laboriously, as to have thereby somewhat to give to others. And in another place the same saith again; “These hands have ministered to my necessities, and to them that were with me.” (Ac 20,34). And writing to the Corinthians he said, “What is my reward then? Verily, that when I preach the Gospel, I may make the Gospel of Christ without charge.” (1Co 9,18). And when he was in that city, he abode with Aquila and Priscilla, “and wrought, for by their occupation they were tentmakers.” (Ac 18,3).
These passages show a yet more decided opposition as to the letter;4 we must therefore now bring forward the solution. What then must be our reply? That to “take no thought,” doth not mean “not to work,” but “not to be nailed to the things of this life”; that is, to take no care for to-morrow’s ease, but to deem that superfluous. For a man may do no work, and (yet) lay up treasure for the morrow; and a than may work, yet be careful for nothing; for carefulness and work are not the same thing; it is not as trusting to his work that a man worketh, but, “that he may impart to him that needeth.” And that too which was said to Martha refers not to works and working, but to this, that it is our duty to know the right season, and not to spend on carnal things the time proper for listening. Thus Christ spake not the words as urging her to “idleness,” but to rivet her to listening. “I came,” saith He, “to teach you needful things, but thou art anxious about a meal. Dost thou desire to receive Me, and to provide for Me a costly table? Provide another sort of entertainment, by giving me a ready hearing, and by imitating thy sister’s longing for instruction.” He said not this to forbid her hospitality, (away with the thought! how could that be?) but to show that she ought not in the season for listening be busy about other matters. For to say, “Labor not for the meat that perisheth,” is not the expression of one implying that we ought to be idle; (in fact, this most especially is “meat that perisheth,” for idleness is wont to teach all wickedness;) but that we ought to work, and to impart. This is meat that never perisheth; but if any be idle and gluttonous, and careth for luxury, that man worketh for “the meat that perisheth.” So too, if a man by his labor should feed Christ, and give Him drink, and clothe Him, who5 so senseless and react6 as to say that such an one labors for the meat that perisheth, when there is for this the promise of the kingdom that is to come, and of those good things? This meat endureth forever. But at that time, since the multitudes made no account of filth, nor sought to learn who it was that did these things, and by what power, but desired one thing only, to fill their bellies without working; Christ with good reason called such food, “meat that perisheth.” “I fed,” He saith, “your bodies, that after this ye might seek that other food which endureth, which nourisheth the soul; but ye again run7 after that which is earthy. Therefore ye do not understand that I lead you not to this imperfect food, but to that which giveth not temporal but eternal life, which nourisheth not the body but the soul.” Then when He had uttered such great words concerning Himself, and had said that He would give this food, in order that what was spoken might not stand in their way, to make His saying credible He attributeth the supply to the Father. For after saying, “Which the Son of Man shall give you”; He addeth, “Him hath God the Father sealed,” that is, “hath sent Him for this purpose, that He might bring the food to you.” The saying also admits of another interpretation; for in another place Christ saith, “He that heareth My words, hath set to his seal that God is true” (c. 3,33), that is, hath “showed forth undeniably.” Which indeed the expression seems to me to hint at even in this place, for “the Father hath sealed,” is nothing else than “hath declared,” “hath revealed by His testimony.” He in fact declared Himself too, but since He was speaking to Jews, He brought forward the testimony of the Father.
[2.] Learn we then, beloved, to ask of God the things which it is meet for us to ask of Him. For those Other things, those, I mean, which belong to this life, whichever way they may fall out, can do us no injury; for if we be rich, it is here only that we shall enjoy our luxury; and if we fall into poverty, we shall suffer nothing terrible. For neither the splendors nor the pains of the present life have much power in respect either of despondency or pleasure, they are contemptible, and slip away very swiftly. Wherefore they are called “a way,” with reason, because they pass away, and by their very nature do not long endure,8 but the things which are to come endure eternally, both those of punishment and those of the Kingdom. Let us then in regard of these things use much diligence to avoid the first and to choose the last. For what is the advantage of this world’s luxury? To-day it is, and to-morrow it is not; to-day a bright flower, to-morrow scattered dust; to-day a burning fire, to-morrow smouldering ashes. But spiritual things are not so, they ever remain shining and blooming, and becoming brighter every day. That wealth never perishes,9 never departs, never ceases, never brings with it care or envy or blame, destroys not the body, corrupts not the soul, is without ill will, heaps not up malice; all which things attend on the other kind of wealth. That honor lifts not men into folly, doth not make them puffed up, never ceases nor is dimmed. Again, the rest and delight of heaven endureth continually, ever being immovable and immortal, one cannot find its end or limit. This life then let us desire, for if we do so we shall make no account of present things, but shall despise and mock at them all, and though one should bid us enter into kingly halls, we shall not while we have this hope choose to do so; yet nothing (earthly) seems more near to happiness than such a permission; but to those who are possessed by love of heaven, even this seems little and mean, and worthy of no account. Nothing which comes to an end is to be much desired; whatever ceases, and to-day is and tomorrow is not, even though it be very great, yet seems to be very little and contemptible. Then let us not cling to fleeting things which slip away and depart, but to those which are enduring and immovable. To which may we all attain, 10 through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom and with whom, to the Father and the Holy Ghost, be glory, now and ever and world without end. Amen.
1 al). “use towards him.”
2 al. For He all but saith this in what He directeth against them: “It was not,” &c.
3 “shall give,” N. T).
4 kata; to; rJhto;n.
5 al). “none.”
6 al). “unschooled.”
7 al). “fall down.”
8 al). “are called by God a way, for there is one broad, and one strait and narrow; but things to come,” &c.
9 al). “ceases.”
10 al). “that we may also be able to attain them.”
1 poiw`men [poiou``men, G. T.].
2 al). “in their eyes.”
3 al). “when your soul is.”
4 al). “up.”
5 al). “and ye receive not our witness,” as in N. T.
6 al). “remain and are not.”
7 Ben). “But they.”
8 al). “one of another?”
9 Ben). “him.”
10 Ben). “as appears from,” &c.
11 al). “(So that.”
12 clauses transposed.
13 ejpi; toi`" ajgaqoi`".
14 al). “thou wilt see Him doing,”
15 al). “all the world.”
16 diAE ou| .
17 al). “that is.”
18 al). “all but this.”
21 S. C. here instead of tiv qevlw; reads tiv h]qelon ijdei`n.
22 In place of the passage which follows, Savile notices in the margin another reading: “Besides at a later time He said, (Lc 13,34) ‘How often would I have gathered thy children together, and ye would not!’ what is it then that He saith? Nothing else but,” &c.
23 al). “ministering.”
24 al). “’show.”
25 “that speaketh of himself,” N. T.
27 al). “one to another.”
29 al). “none of the things present and perishable will be able to occupy us.”
30 al). “one to another.”
31 al). “seized.”
32 al). “him only.”
34 lit). “fair weather.”
35 al). “dost thou not confess?”
(.—“Then said they unto Him, What shall we do,1 that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent. They said therefore unto Him, What sign showest thou then, that we may see and believe thee? what dost thou work?”
[1.] There is nothing worse, nothing more shameful, than gluttony; it makes the mind gross, and the soul carnal; it blinds, and permits not to see clearly. Observe, for instance, how this is the case with the Jews; for because they were intent upon gluttony, entirely occupied with worldly things, and without any spiritual thoughts, though Christ leads them on by ten thousand sayings, sharp and at the same time forbearing, even thus they arise not, but continue groveling below. For consider; He said to them, “Ye seek Me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the bread, and were filled ”; He touched them by the reproof, He showed them what food they ought to seek, saying, “Labor not for the meat that perisheth”; He set before them the prize, saying, “but that which endureth unto everlasting life”; then provided a remedy for what might have been an objection, by declaring that He was sent from the Father.
What then did they? As though they had heard nothing, they said, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” This they said, not that they might learn and do them, (as the sequel shows,) but to induce Him again to supply them with food, and desiring to persuade Him to satisfy them. What then saith Christ? “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” On this they asked, “What sign showest thou, that we may see and believe?”
Jn 6,31. “Our fathers did eat manna in the wilderness.”
Nothing more senseless, nothing more unreasonable, than these men! While the miracle was yet in their hands,2 as though none had been done, they spake after this manner, “What sign shewest thou?” and having thus spoken, they do not even allow Him the right of choosing the sign, but think to force Him to exhibit none other than such a one as was wrought in the days of their fathers; wherefore they say, “Our fathers did eat manna in the wilderness,” thinking by this to provoke Him to work such a miracle as might supply them with carnal nourishment. Else why did they mention none other of the miracles of old, though many took place in those times, both in Egypt and at the sea and in the wilderness, but only that of the manna? Was it not because they greatly desired that one by reason of the tyranny of their bellies? Ye who when ye saw His miracle called him a Prophet, and attempted to make Him a king, how is that now, as though none had been wrought, ye have become thankless and ill-minded, and ask for a sign, uttering words fit for parasites, or hungry dogs? Does the manna now seem wonderful to you? Your soul is not now3 parched up.
(Mark too their hypocrisy. They said not, “Moses did this sign, what doest thou?” thinking it would annoy Him; but for a while they address Him with great reverence, through expectation of food. So they neither said, “God did this, what doest thou?” that they might not seem to make Him equal with God; nor did they bring forward Moses, that they might not seem to lower Him, but put the matter in an intermediate form, “Our fathers did eat manna in the wilderness.” He indeed might have replied, “I, but now, have wrought greater wonders than did Moses, requiring no rod, having no need of prayer, but doing all of Myself; and, if ye call to remembrance the manna, see, I have given you bread.” But this was not the season for such speeches; and the one thing He earnestly desired was, to bring them to spiritual food. And observe His infinite wisdom and His manner of answering.
Jn 6,32. “Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.”
Why said He not, “It was not Moses that gave it to you, but I”; but putteth God in the place of Moses, and Himself instead of manna? Because the infirmity of His hearers was great. As is seen from what followeth. For not even when He had spoken thus did He secure their attention, although He said at first, “Ye seek Me, not because ye saw the miracle, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” (Jn 6,26). Now because they sought these (carnal). things, He would have corrected them by His succeeding words, yet not even so did they desist. When He promised the Samaritan woman that He would give her “the water,” He made no mention of the Father. What saith He? “If thou knewest who it is that saith unto thee, Give Me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given unto thee living water” (Jn 4,10); and again, “The water which I shall give.” He referreth her not to The Father. But here He maketh mention of The Father, that thou mayest understand how great was the faith of the Samaritan woman, and how great the infirmity of the Jews.
Was then the manna not from heaven? How then is it said to be from heaven? In the same manner as Scripture speaketh of “fowls of heaven” (Ps 8,8); and again, “The Lord thundered from heaven.” (Ps 18,13). And He calleth that other the “true bread,” not because the miracle of the manna was false, but because it was a type, and not the very truth. But in mentioning Moses, He doth not compare Himself to him, for the Jews did not as yet prefer Him to Moses, of whom they still had a higher opinion. So that after saying, “Moses gave not,” He addeth not that “I give,” but saith that The Father, and not Moses, giveth. They, when they heard this, replied, “Give us this bread to eat”; for they yet thought that it was something material, they yet expected to gratify their appetites, and so hastily ran to Him. What doth Christ? Leading them on4 little by little, He saith,
Jn 6,33. “The bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.”
Not, saith He, to Jews alone, but to all the “world,” not mere food, but “life,” another and an altered “life.” He calleth it “life,” because they all were dead in sins. Yet they still kept downward bent, saying,
Jn 6,34. “Give us this bread.”
Then He, to rebuke them, because while they supposed that the food was material they ran to Him, but not when they learned that it was a spiritual kind, said,
Jn 6,35-36. “I am the bread of life; he that cometh to Me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, that ye also have seen Me, and believe Me not.”
[2.] Thus also John crieth, saying beforehand, “He speaketh that He knoweth, and testifieth that He hath seen, and no man receiveth His testimony” (Jn 3,32); and again Christ Himself, “We speak that We do know, and testify that We have seen” (Jn 3,11), “and ye believe not.”5 This He doth to prevent them, and to show them that the matter doth not trouble Him, that He desireth not honor, that He is not ignorant of the secrets of their minds, nor of things present, nor of things to come.
“I am the bread of life.” Now He proceedeth to commit unto them mysteries. And first He discourseth of His Godhead, saying, “I am the bread of life.” For this is not spoken of His Body, (concerning that He saith towards the end, “And the bread which I shall give is My flesh,”) but at present it referreth to His Godhead. For That, through God the Word, is Bread, as this bread also, through the Spirit descending on it, is made Heavenly Bread. Here He useth not witnesses, as in His former address, for He had the miracle of the loaves to witness to Him, and the Jews themselves for a while pretending to believe Him; in the former case they opposed and accused Him. This is the reason why here He declareth Himself. But they, since they expected to enjoy a carnal feast, were not6 disturbed until they gave up their hope. Yet not for that was Christ silent, but uttered many words of reproof. For they,7 who while they were eating called Him a Prophet, were here offended, and called Him the carpenter’s son; not so while they ate the loaves, then they said, “He is The Prophet,” and desired to make Him a king. Now they seemed to be indignant at His asserting that He “came down from heaven,” but in truth it was not this that caused their indignation, but the thought that they should not enjoy a material table. Had they been really indignant, they ought to have asked and enquired how He was the “bread of life,” how He had “come down from heaven”; but now they do not this, but murmur. And that it was not this which offended them is plain from another circumstance. When He said, “My Father giveth you the bread,” they exclaimed not, “Beseech Him that He give”; but what? “Give us that bread”; yet He said not, “I give,” but, “My Father giveth”; nevertheless, they, from desire of the food, thought Him worthy to be trusted to for its supply. Now how should they, who deemed Him worthy of their trust for giving, be afterward offended when they also heard that “the Father giveth”? What is the reason? It is that when they heard that they were not to eat, they again disbelieved, and put forth by way of a cloak for their disbelief, that “it was a high saying.” Wherefore He saith, “Ye have seen Me, and believe not” (Jn 5,39); alluding partly to His miracles, partly to the testimony from the Scriptures; “For they,” He saith, “are they which testify of Me” (Jn 5,43-44); and, “I am come in My Father’s Name, and ye receive Me not”; and, “How can ye believe which receive honor of men?”8
Jn 6,37. “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me, and him that cometh to Me I will in nowise cast out.”
Observe how He doeth all things for the sake of them that are saved; therefore He added this, that He might not seem to be trifling and speaking these things to no purpose. But what is it that He saith, “All that the Father giveth Me shall come unto Me” (Jn 6,37), and “I will raise it 9 up in the last day”? (Jn 6,40). Wherefore speaketh He of the common resurrection, in which even the ungodly have a part, as though it were the peculiar gift of those who believe on Him? Because He speaketh not simply of resurrection, but of a particular kind of resurrection. For having first said, “I will not cast him out, I shall lose nothing of it,” He then speaketh of the resurrection. Since in the resurrection some are cast out, 10 (“Take him, and cast him into outer darkness,” Mt 22,13) and some are destroyed. (“Rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” Mt 10,28). And 11 the expression, “I give eternal life” (Jn 10,28), declareth this; for they “that have done evil shall go forth to the resurrection of damnation, and they that have done good to the resurrection of life.” 12 (Jn 5,29). This then, the resurrection to good things, 13 is that which He here designed. But what meaneth He by saying, “All that the Father giveth Me, shall come to Me”? He toucheth their unbelief, showing that whosoever believeth not on Him transgresseth the will of the Father. And thus He saith it not nakedly, but in a covert manner, and this He doth 14 everywhere, wishing to show that unbelievers are at variance with the Father, not with Him alone. For if this is His will, and if for this He came, that He might save man, 15 those who believe not transgress His will. “When therefore,” He saith, “the Father guideth any man, there is nothing that hindereth him from coming unto Me”; and in another place, “No man can come unto Me, except the Father draw him.” (Jn 6,44). And Paul saith, that He delivereth them up unto the Father; “When He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father.” (1Co 15,24). Now as the Father when He giveth doth so without first depriving Himself, so the Son when He delivereth up doth so without excluding Himself. He is said to deliver us up, because through Him we have access (to the Father).
[3.] And the “by whom” 16 is also applied to the Father, as when the Apostle saith, “By whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son” (1Co 1,9): and, 17 “By the will of the Father.” And again; “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee.” (Mt 16,17). What He here intimateth is something of this kind, 18 that “faith in Me is no ordinary thing, but needeth an impulse 19 from above”; and this He establisheth throughout His discourse, showing that this faith requires a noble sort of soul, and one drawn on by God.
But perhaps some one will say, “If all that the Father giveth, and whomsoever He shall draw, cometh unto Thee, if none can come unto Thee except it be given him from above, then those to whom the Father giveth not are free from any blame or charges.” These are mere words and pretenses. For we require our own deliberate choice also, because whether we will be taught is a matter of choice, and also whether we will believe. And in this place, by the “which the Father giveth Me,” He declareth nothing else than that “the believing on Me is no ordinary thing, nor one that cometh of human reasonings, but needeth a revelation from above, and a well-ordered soul to receive that revelation.” And the, “He that cometh to Me shall be saved,” meaneth that he shall be greatly cared for. “For on account of these,” He saith, “I came, and took upon Me the flesh, and entered into 20 the form of a servant.” Then He addeth;
Jn 6,38. “I came down from heaven not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.”
What sayest Thou? Why, is Thy will one, and His another? That none may suspect this, He explaineth it by what follows, saying;
Jn 6,40. “And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life.”
(Is not then this Thy will? And how sayest Thou, “I am come to send fire upon the earth, and what have I desired to see, 21 if that be already kindled”? (Lc 12,49). For if Thou also desirest this, it is very clear that Thy will and the Father’s is one. In another place also He saith, “For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will.” (c. 5,21). But what is the will of the Father? Is it not, that not so much as one of them should perish? This Thou willest also. (Mt 18,14). So that the will of the One differeth not from the will of the Other. So 22 in another place He is seen establishing yet more firmly His equality with the Father, saying, “I and My Father ‘will come, and will make Our abode with him.’” (c. 14,23). What He saith then is this; “I came not to do anything other than that which the Father willeth, I have no will of Mine own different from that of the Father, for all that is the Father’s is Mine, and all that is Mine is the Father’s.” If now the things of the Father and the Son are in common, He saith with reason, “Not that I might do Mine own will.” But here He speaketh not so, but reserveth this for the end. For, as I have said, He concealeth and veileth for a while high matters, and desireth to prove that had He even said, “This is My will,” they would have despised Him. He therefore saith, that “I co-operate with that Will,” desiring thus to startle them more; as though He had said, “What think ye? Do ye anger Me by your disbelief? Nay, ye provoke My Father.” “For this is the will of Him that sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing.” (Jn 6,39). Here He showeth that He needeth not their service, that He came not for His own advantage, 23 but for their salvation; and not to get honor from them. Which indeed He declared in a former address, saying, “I receive not honor from men” (c. 5,41); and again, “These things I say that ye may be saved.” (c. 5,34). Since He everywhere laboreth to persuade 24 them that He came for their salvation. And He saith, that He obtaineth honor to the Father, in order that He may not be suspected by them. And that it is for this reason He thus speaketh, He hath more clearly revealed by what follows. For He saith, “He that seeketh his own will 25 seeketh his own glory; but He that seeketh His glory that sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” (c. 7,18). “And this is the will of the Father, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life.” (Jn 6,40).
“And I will raise him up at the last day.” Why doth He continually dwell upon the Resurrection? Is it that men may not judge of God’s providence by present things alone; that if they enjoy not results 26 here, they become not on that account desponding, but wait for the things that are to come, and that they may not, because their sins are not punished for the present, despise Him, but look for another life.
Now those men gained nothing, but let us take pains to gain by having the Resurrection continually sounded in our ears; and if we desire to be grasping, or to steal, or to do any wrong thing, let us straightway take into our thoughts that Day, let us picture to ourselves the Judgment-seat, for such reflections will check the evil impulse more strongly than any bit. Let us continually say to others, 27 and to ourselves, “There is a resurrection, and a fearful tribunal awaiteth us.” If we see any man insolent and puffed up with the good things of his world, let us make the same remark to him, and show him that all those things abide here: and if we observe another grieving and impatient, let us say the same to him, and point out to him that his sorrows shall have an end; if we see one careless and dissipated, 28 let us say the same charm over him, and show that for his carelessness he must render account. This saying is able more than any other remedy to heal our souls. For there is a Resurrection, and that Resurrection is at our doors, not afar off, nor at a distance. “For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” (He 10,37). And again, “We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ” (2Co 5,10); that is, both bad and good, the one to be shamed in sight of all, the other in sight of all to be made more glorious. For as they who judge here punish the wicked and honor the good publicly, so too will it be there, that the one sort may have the greater shame, and the other more conspicuous glory. Let us picture these things to ourselves every day. If we are ever revolving them, no care for present things will be able to sting us. 29 “For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2Co 4,18). Continually let us say to ourselves and to others, 30 “There is a Resurrection, and a Judgment, and a scrutiny of our actions”; and let as many as deem that there is such a thing as fate repeat this, and they shall straightway be delivered from the rottenness of their malady; for if there is a Resurrection, and a Judgment, there is no fate, though they bring ten thousand arguments, and choke themselves to prove it. But I am ashamed to be teaching Christians concerning the Resurrection: for he that needeth to learn that there is a Resurrection, and who hath not firmly persuaded himself that the affairs of this world go not on by fate, and without design, and as chance will have them, can be no Christian. Wherefore, I exhort and beseech you, that we cleanse ourselves from all wickedness, and do all in our power to obtain pardon and excuse in that Day.
Perhaps some one will say, “When will be the consummation? When will be the Resurrection? See how long a time hath gone by, and nothing of the kind hath come to pass?” Yet it shall be, be sure. For those before the flood spake after this manner, and mocked at Noah, but the flood came and swept away 31 all those unbelievers, but preserved him 32 who believed. And the men of Lot’s time expected not that stroke from God, until those lightnings and thunderbolts came down and destroyed them all utterly. Neither in the case of these men, nor of those who lived in the time of Noah, was there any preamble 33 to what was about to happen, but when they were all living daintily, and drinking, and mad with wine, then came these intolerable calamities upon them. So also shall the Resurrection be; not with any preamble, but while we are in the midst of good times. 34 Wherefore Paul saith, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (1Th 5,3). God hath so ordered this, that we may be always struggling, and be not confident even in time of safety. What sayest thou? Dost thou not expect that there will be a Resurrection and a Judgment? The devils confess these, and art thou shameless? 35 “Art Thou come,” they say, “to torment us before the time?” (Mt 8,29); now they who say that there will be “torment;” are aware of the Judgment, and the reckoning, and the vengeance. Let us not then besides daring evil deeds, anger God by disbelieving the word of the Resurrection. For as in other things Christ hath been our beginning, so also hath He in this; wherefore He is called “the first-born from the dead.” (Col 1,18). Now if there were no Resurrection, how could He be “the first-born,” when no one of “the dead” was to follow Him? If there were no Resurrection, how would the justice of God be preserved, when so many evil men prosper, and so many good men are afflicted and die in their affliction? Where shall each of these obtain his deserts, if so be that there is no Resurrection? No one of those who have lived aright disbelieves the Resurrection, but every day they pray and repeat that holy sentence, “Thy Kingdom come.” Who then are they that disbelieve the Resurrection? They who have unholy ways and an unclean life: as the Prophet saith, “His ways are always polluted. Thy judgments are far above out of his sight.” (Ps 10,5). For a man cannot possibly live a pure life without believing in the Resurrection; since they who are conscious of no iniquity both speak of, and wish for, and believe in it, that they may receive their recompense. Let us not then anger Him, but hear Him when He saith, “Fear Him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell” (Mt 10,28); that by that fear we may become better, and being delivered from that perdition, may be deemed worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven. Which may we all attain to, through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom and with whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost be glory, now and ever and to the endless ages of eternity. Amen.
1 al). “speaking concerning the Jews.”
2 Sav). a[konta, Ben). tucovnta.
3 “The Father,” N. T.
4 Ben). “he foretold they shall.”
5 ijsostavsion, al). ijsovtimon.
6 ejk Qeou` [para; Q. 5,46].
7 i.e. with reference, not to men who are “of God” as being their Cause by creation, but to Himself who is “of God” by His Essence.
8 sugkratei`, al). sugkrotei`.
9 Ver. 58, o(" a]n favgh/, [oJ trwvgwn, G. T.].
10 “keep,” N. T.
11 “If any man eat,” N. T.
12 al). “And observe how He bound the disciples to Himself; for these are they who say, ‘Thou hast the words of life, whither shall we depart?’ but here He bringeth in Himself giving, not the Father.”
13 al). “‘The bread which I will give.’ But the multitudes not so, but contrariwise, ‘This is a hard saying,’ wherefore they go back. Yet it was no strange or unusual doctrine, for John,” &c.
14 or, “risen.”
15 i.e. communicants.
18 e(n p.
19 al). “is proof of.”
20 i.e. by the New Birth.
22 al). “this mystical blood.”
24 al). “washed away.”
25 al). “is delighted.”
26 al). “pouring forth.”
27 al). “cooleth.”
28 or, “slayings.”
29 al). “what is there.”
Chrysostom on John 44