Veritas Bible Site Search for "Lamb of God"
Veritas Bible Site Search Results for "Lamb of God"
Score: 1.00Commentary for John 1:29
Behold the Lamb of God. John let the Jews know who Jesus was, by divers testimonies. 1st, By telling them he was the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin, or sins of the world, who was come to be their Redeemer, and to free mankind from the slavery of sin; 2ndly, that he was greater than he, and before him, though born after him; 3rdly, that God had revealed to him that Jesus was to baptize in the Holy Ghost; 4thly, that he saw the Spirit descending upon him from heaven, and remaining upon him; 5thly, that he was the Son of God, v. 34. Wi. — Who taketh away. It was only a being like Christ, in whose person the divine and human natures were united, that could effectually take away the sins of the world. As man, he was enabled to suffer; and as God, his sufferings obtained a value equal to the infinite atonement required. A.
drb › John › 1 › Verse 29
Score: 1.00Commentary for Luke 20:4
Jesus does not gratify them by a direct answer; they did not deserve it, because they only interrogated him through captious and improper motives. He only replies by casting on them the very difficulties with which they sought to entangle him. Calmet. — Our divine Redeemer proposes to the chief priests a question concerning S. John the Baptist, to shew them how inconsistent was their uniform opposition to the ways of God. Because, though they believed in what was preached by S. John, (at least outwardly, through fear of the Jews) yet they would not believe him, or his doctrines, to whom S. John had given testimony, "That he was the Lamb of God, that had come to take away the sins of the world." Theophylactus.
drb › Luke › 20 › Verse 4
Score: 1.00Commentary for Luke 1:13
Thy prayer is heard. We cannot suppose, as S. Aug. observes, (l. ii. QQ. Evang. c i, tom. 3, part 2, p. 249. Ed. Ben.) that he was praying to have children, when his wife was so advanced in years; that he did not think possible; but he was praying for the people, and for the coming of the Messias. See S. Chrys. hom. ii. de incomprehensibili, tom. 1, p. 454. Nov. Ed. Ben. Wi. — Zachary so far despaired of having any offspring, that he did not believe the angel, when he made him the promise. When therefore the angel says, thy prayer is heard, we must understand it of the prayer he offered in behalf of the people, to whom salvation and remission of sins were to be brought by Christ. The angel, moreover, told him of the birth of his son, who was to be the precursor of Christ. S. Austin. — The son that is to be born of thee, will shew that thy prayer is heard, when he cries out, behold the Lamb of God. S. Chrysos. — It is always a mark of singular merit, whenever the Almighty either appoints or changes the name of a man. Ven. Bede. — The name of John is derived from the Hebrew word, Jochanan, which frequently occurs in the Old Testament, as 1 Par. iii. 15. and vi. 9. and xii. 12. &c. and signifies, blessed with grace or divine favour; see also in Isai. xxx. 18, 19.
drb › Luke › 1 › Verse 13
Score: 1.00Commentary for Mark 13:6
At the destruction of Jerusalem there appeared many impostors, many who professed themselves to be the Christ, and assured the populace that their delivery was at hand. And in the Church many heresiarchs started up, and many came in the name of Christ; the first of these was Simon Magus, mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, whom the people of Samaria received as the power and virtue of God. But it is remarkable from the time of our Saviour's passion, when they preferred the robber Barabbas to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, they had no peace or quiet in the city, but constant tumult and dissension succeeded, to the very time of its destruction. Ven. Bede. — So shall many seducers come towards the end of the world, who shall make themselves authors of sects, and shall gain many disciples: as followeth in plain words, v. 22. of this chapter. B.
drb › Mark › 13 › Verse 6
Score: 1.00Commentary for Matthew 27:15
Upon the solemn day of the paschal feast, (which began the evening before) it was a custom for the governor to pardon and release to the people any one criminal whose life they should petition for: and to induce them to beg for Jesus, he put in the balance with him one Barabbas a famous malefactor, a seditious murderer, says S. Mark; a robber, or thief, says S. John. Wi. — Pilate, wishing to release the innocent Jesus, that he might not give the Jews a possibility, as he thought, of refusing his offer, puts the murderer Barabbas in competition with the innocent Lamb of God. S. John. Chrys.
drb › Matthew › 27 › Verse 15
Score: 1.00Commentary for Matthew 26:17
The first day of the azymes; unleavened bread. S. Mark (xiv. 12.) adds, when they sacrificed the Pasch: and S. Luke (xxii. 7.) says, And the day of the unleavened bread came; on which it was necessary that the Pasch (i.e. the Paschal lamb) should be killed. From hence it follows, that Christ sent his apostles that very day (the 14th day of the month of Nisan) on which, in the evening, or at night, the Pasch was to be eaten; and which was to be with unleavened bread. It is true, the 15th day of that month is called (Exodus xii. 1.) the first day of unleavened bread: but we must take notice, that the Jews began their feasts, or festivals, from sunset of the evening before; and consequently on the evening of the 14th day of the moon: at which time there was to be no leavened bread in any of their houses. This shews that Christ eat the Pasch, or Paschal lamb, after sunset. And when the Paschal supper was over, he consecrated the blessed Eucharist, in unleavened bread, as the Latin Church doth. There are two or three difficulties relating to this matter in S. John, of which in their proper places. Wi. — There were four passovers during Christ's public ministry. The 1st was after the marriage feast of Cana, in the 31st year of Jesus, and the 779th from the foundation of Rome. To derive pascha from the Greek, πασχειν , to suffer, is a mistake, as S. Austin observes; tract. lv. in Joan. It is certainly taken from the Hebrew, and signifies a passing by, or passing over: 1st, because the children of Israel passed in haste on that night out of the land of Egypt; 2d, because the angel, who on that night killed all the first-born of the Egyptians, seeing the doors of the Israelites stained with the blood of the paschal lamb, passed by all theirs untouched; 3d, because that was a figure of our Saviour passing out of this life to his eternal Father. Yet it must be observed that this same word, pascha, or passover, is used sometimes for the paschal lamb, that was sacrificed; (Luke xxii. 7.) elsewhere, for the first day of the paschal feast and solemnity, which lasted seven days; (Mat. xvi. 2. Ezech. xlv. 21.) for the sabbath-day, which occurred within the seven days of the solemnity; (John xix. 14.) and also for all the sacrifices made during the seven days' fest. The Passover was the most solemn rite of the old law. When God ordered the Israelites to sprinkle the blood of the lamb upon their door-posts, it was solely with a view of signifying, that the blood of the true Lamb was to be the distinctive mark of as many as should be saved. Every thing was mysteriously and prophetical. A bone of the lamb was not to be broken; and they broke not the arms or legs of Jesus Christ, on the cross. The lamb was to be free from blemish; to express the perfect sanctity of Jesus Christ, the immaculate Lamb of God. The paschal lamb was to be sacrificed and eaten; because Christ was to suffer and die for us: and unless we eat his flesh, we shall have no life in us. The door-posts of the Israelites were to be sprinkled with blood, that the destroying angel might pass over them; for with the blood of Christ our souls are to be purified, that sin and death may not prevail against us. In every house was eaten a whole lamb; and Christ, at communion, is received whole and entire by every faithful soul. — The manner in which it was to be eaten, shews the proper dispositions for Christians when they receive the blessed sacrament. The roasting by fire, expresses divine charity; the unleavened bread, sincerity, truth, and a good conscience; the bitter herbs, repentance and contrition for sin; the girded loins and shod feet, the restraint upon our passions and lusts, and a readiness to follow the rules of the gospel; the staff, our mortal pilgrimage, and that having no lasting dwelling here, we should make the best of our way to our true country, the heavenly Chanaan. — On this day the passover was to be eaten, at least by a part of the people, according to S. Matt. S. Mark, and S. Luke; i.e. according to some, by the Galileans; for, according to S. John, it appears that the priests, and the Jews properly so called, such as dwelt in Judea, did not immolate it till the next day. John xiii. 1, xviii. 28, and xix. 14. V. — But we have here again to remark, that the Jews began their day from sunset of the previous day.
drb › Matthew › 26 › Verse 17
Score: 1.00Commentary for Apocalypse 5:6
I saw . . . . a lamb standing as it were slain, with the prints and marks of its wounds. It was of this lamb (i.e. of our Saviour Jesus Christ) that S. John Baptist said: "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world." Jo. i. 29. Wi. — Here again Jesus Christ is plainly marked out, the Lamb of God, the victim of expiation, who by his death has reconciled us with his Father; and who, even in heaven, bears the marks of his passion, and by the wounds therein received continually inclines his Father to shew us mercy. He has seven horns, as so many crowns and marks of his omnipotence; and seven eyes, to represent his infinite knowledge and wisdom. Calmet. — Having seven horns and seven eyes, (to signify his power and his knowledge,) which are the seven spirits subject to Christ. See C. i. 4. It is observed that in the Revelation of S. John, the number seven is divers times applied to signify a multitude, and a number implying perfection, and three and a half for a small number. Thus are represented the seven candlesticks, seven churches, seven spirits, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven vials, &c. Wi.
drb › Apocalypse › 5 › Verse 6
Score: 1.00Commentary for Hebrews 10:2
Then they would have  ceased to be offered. That is, if they could have made the worshippers perfect; to wit, in such a manner as the one sacrifice of Christ, who was the Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world, by making a full reparation to the divine justice for the sin of Adam, and of all his offspring. For we must take notice that he compares the sacrifice of Christ, which wrought a general redemption, with the sacrifices of the former law, which could never make any sufficient atonement to the majesty of God offended by sin, and which, by the decree of heaven, were to cease as soon as Christ's sacrifice of a general redemption was made: for then the worshippers would be so cleansed from sin, that they would stand in need of no more, but that the merits and satisfactions of Christ, their Redeemer, should be applied to them according to the order of God's providence; that is, by faith in Christ, by his sacraments, by a true repentance, and the practice of virtue and good works. Wi. — If they had been of themselves perfect to all the intents of redemption and remission, as Christ's death is, there would have been no occasion of so often repeating them; as there is no occasion for Christ's dying any more for our sins. Ch.
drb › Hebrews › 10 › Verse 2
Score: 1.00Commentary for 1 Corinthians 10:21
In all this discourse, a comparison is instituted between the Christian host and oblation, its effects, conditions and properties, with the altars, hosts, sacrifices and immolations of the Jews and Gentiles; which the apostle could not have done, had there not been a proper sacrifice in the Christian worship. The holy Fathers teach the same with the ancient Councils. Thus in the council of Nice: The lamb of God laid upon the altar. Conc. Ephes. The unbloody service of the sacrifice. In S. Cyril Alex. in Conc. Ephes. Anath. 11. The quickening holy sacrifice; the unbloody host and victim. Tertul. de coron. milit. The propitiatory sacrifice both for the living and the dead. This Melchisedech did most singularly prefigure in his mystical oblation of bread and wine; this also according to the prophecy of Malachy, shall continue from the rising to the setting sun, a perpetual substitute for all the Jewish sacrifices; and this, in plain terms, is called the Mass, by S. Augustin, Serm. ccli. 91. Conc. Cartha. ii. c. 3. 4. c. 84. Milevit. 12. S. Leo, ep. 81. 88. c. 2. S. Gregory, l. ii. ep. 9. 92. &c. &c. See next chap. v. 24.
drb › 1 Corinthians › 10 › Verse 21
Score: 1.00Commentary for Daniel 9:25
Word, &c. That is, from the twentieth year of king Artaxerxes, when, by his commandment, Nehemias rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, 2 Esd. ii. From which time, according to the best chronology, there were just sixty-nine weeks of years, the is 483 years, to the baptism of Christ, when he first began to preach and execute the office of Messias. Ch. --- The prophecy is divided into three periods: the first of forty-nine years, during which the walls were completed; (they had been raised in fifty-two days, (2 Esd. vi. 15.) but many other fortifications were still requisite) the second of four hundred and thirty-four years, at the end of which Christ was baptized, in the fifteenth of Tiberius, the third of three years and a half, during which Christ preached. In the middle of this last week, the ancient sacrifices became useless, (C.) as the true Lamb of God had been immolated. Theod. --- A week of years denotes seven years, as Lev. xxv. and thus seventy of these weeks would make four hundred and ninety years. V. Bede. Rat. temp. 6 &c. W. --- Origen would understand 4900 years, and dates from the fall of Adam to the ruin of the temple. Marsham begins twenty-one years after the captivity commenced, when Darius took Susa, and ends in the second of Judas, when the temple was purified. This system would destroy the prediction of Christ's coming, and is very uncertain. Hardouin modifies it, and acknowledges that Christ was the end of the prophecy, though it was fulfilled in figure by the death of Onias III. See 1 Mac. i. 19. Senens. Bib. viii. hær. 12. and Estius. From C. vii. to xii. the changes in the East, till the time of Epiphanes, are variously described. After the angel had here addressed Daniel, the latter was still perplexed; (C. x. 1.) and in order to remove his doubts, the angel informs him of the persecution of Epiphanes, as if he had been speaking of the same event. We may, therefore, count forty-nine years from the taking of Jerusalem (when Jeremias spoke, C. vi. 19.) to Cyrus, the anointed, (Is. xlv. 1.) who was appointed to free God's people. They would still be under the Persians, &c. for other four hundred and thirty-four years, and then Onias should be slain. Many would join the Machabees; the sacrifices should cease in the middle of the seventieth week, and the desolation shall continue to the end of it. Yet, though this system may seem plausible, it is better to stick to the common one, which naturally leads us to the death of Christ, dating from the tenth year of Artaxerxes. C. --- He had reigned ten years already with his father. Petau. --- All the East was persuaded that a great king should arise about the time; when our Saviour actually appeared, and fulfilled all that had been spoken of the Messias. C. Diss. --- Ferguson says, "We have an astronomical demonstration of the truth of this ancient prophecy, seeing that the prophetic year of the Messias being cut off was the very same with the astronomical." In a dispute between a Jew and a Christian, at Venice, the Rabbi who presided...put an end to the business by saying, "Let us shut up our Bibles; for if we proceed in the examination of this prophecy, it will make us all become Christians." Watson, let. 6. --- Hence probably the Jews denounce a curse on those who calculate the times, (H.) and they have purposely curtailed their chronology. C. --- Times, &c. ( angustia temporum ) which may allude both to the difficulties and opposition they met with in building, and to the shortness of the time in which they finished the wall, viz. fifty-two days. Ch.
drb › Daniel › 9 › Verse 25
Score: 1.00Commentary for Matthew 9:2
Thy sins are forgiven thee. We do not find that the sick man asked this; but it was the much greater benefit, and which every one ought to prefer before the health of the body. Wi. — He says this, because he wished to declare the cause of the disease, and to remove it, before he removed the disease itself. He might also desire to shew the paralytic, what he ought to have prayed for in the first place. M. — The sick man begs for corporal health, but Christ first restores to him the health of his soul, for two reasons: 1st. That be might insinuate to the beholders, that the principal intent of his coming into the world was to cure the evils of the soul, and to let them know that the spiritual cure ought most to be desired and petitioned for. Corporal infirmities, as we learn in many places of the sacred text, are only the consequences of the sins of the patient. In S. John (ch. iii.), Christ bids the man whom he had healed, to sin no more, lest something worse should befall him; and S. Paul says, that many of the Corinthians were afflicted with various diseases, and with death, on account of their unworthily receiving the body of the Lord. A second reason why Christ forgave the sick man his sins, was, that he might take occasion from the murmurs of the Pharisees, to speak more plainly of his power and divinity, which he proved not only by restoring the man instantaneously to health, but by another miracle equally great and conclusive, which consisted in seeing the thoughts they had never expressed; for the evangelist observes, that they murmured in their hearts. He afterwards cures the sick man to shew, says he, that the Son of man has power to forgive sins. Jansen. — We may here observe likewise, that when Christ afterwards gave his apostles their mission, and empowered them to preach to the whole world, he communicates this same power to them, and seems to refer to the miracles which he had wrought, to prove that he himself had the power which he gave to them. All power, says he, is given to me in heaven and on earth. As the Father sent me, so I send you. . . . Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven. A. — Seeing their faith. It does not follow from hence, as Calvin would have it, that faith alone will save us. For S. Chrysos. says, "Faith indeed is a great and salutary thing, and without it there is no gaining salvation." But this will not of itself suffice without good works; for S. Paul admonishes us, who have made ourselves deserving a participation of the mysteries of Christ, thus, (Heb. c. iv.) "Let us hasten, therefore, to enter into that rest." He tells us to hasten, that is, faith alone will not suffice, but we must also strive all our life by good works to render ourselves worthy to enter the kingdom of heaven: for if those Israelites, who murmured and would not bear the calamities of the desert, were not, on that account, permitted to enter the land of promise, how can we think ourselves worthy of the kingdom of heaven, (figured by the land of promise) if we will not in this world undergo the labours of good works. S. Chrysos. — From hence S. Ambrose concludes, that our Saviour is moved to grant our petitions through the invocation of saints, as he even forgave this man his sins through the faith of those that brought him. Of how much greater efficacy then will not the prayers of the saints be? Barardius. — Christ does not always require faith in the sick who desire to be cured, but seems to have dispensed with it on many occasions; for example, in the cases of those he cured possessed by the devil. S. Chrys. — Son, &c. O the wonderful humility of the God-man! Jesus looks with complacence on this miserable wretch, whom the Jewish priests disdain to look upon, and in the midst of all his miseries calls him his son. S. Tho. Aquin. — They had read what Isaias had said: I am, I am he who destroyeth thy sins: ego sum, ego sum ipse, qui deleo iniquitates tuas, xliii. 25.: but they had not read, or, at least they had not understood what the same prophet says, liii. 6. The Lord hath heaped upon him the iniquity of us all: posuit Dominus in eo iniquitatem omnium nostrum. Nor had they remembered the testimony of the Baptist: behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sins of the world. John i. 29. Mald.
drb › Matthew › 9 › Verse 2
Score: 1.00Commentary for Matthew 3:16
Ambrose, Ambrosiaster, Serm. 12. 4: For, as we have said, when the Saviour was washed, then the water was cleansed for our baptism, that a laver might be ministered to the people who were to come. Moreover, it behoved that in Christ’s baptism should be signified those things which the faithful obtain by baptism.
Pseudo-Chrys.: This action of Christ’s has a figurative meaning pertaining to all who were after Him to be baptized; and therefore he says, “straightway He ascended,” and not simply “He ascended,” for all who are worthily baptized in Christ, straightway ascend from the water; that is, make progress in virtues, and are carried on towards a heavenly dignity. They who had gone down to the water carnal and sinful sons of Adam, straightway ascend from the water spiritual sons of God. But if some by their own faults make no progress after baptism, what is that to the baptism?
Rabanus: As by the immersion of His body He dedicated the laver of baptism, He has shewn that to us also, after baptism received, the entrance to heaven is open and the Holy Spirit is given, as it follows, “and the heavens were opened.”
Jerome: Not by an actual cleaving of the visible element, but to the spiritual eye, as Ezekiel also in the beginning of his book relates that he saw them.
Pseudo-Chrys.: For had the actual creation of the heavens been opened, he would not have said, “were opened to Him,” for a physical opening would have been open to all.
But some one will say, What, are the heavens then closed to the eye of the Son of God, who even when on earth is present in heaven? But it must be known, that as He was baptized according to the ordinance of humanity that He had taken on Him, so the heavens were opened to His sight as to His human nature, though as to His divine He was in heaven.
Remig.: But was this then the first time that the heavens were opened to Him according to His human nature? The faith of the Church both believes and holds that the heavens were no less open to him before than after. [p. 112] It is therefore said here, that the heavens were opened, because to all them who are born again the door of the kingdom of heaven is opened.
Pseudo-Chrys.: Perhaps there were before some unseen obstacles which hindered the souls of the dead from entering the skies. I suppose that since Adam’s sin no soul had mounted the skies, but the heavens were continually closed. When, lo! on Christ’s baptism they were again opened; after He had overcome by the Cross the great tyrant death, henceforward the heaven, never more to be closed, needed not gates, so that the Angels say not, ‘Open ye gates,’ for they were open, but “take away the gates.” [Ps 24:7]
Or the heavens are opened to the baptized, and they see those things which are in heaven, not by seeing them with the bodily eye, but by believing with the spiritual eye of faith.
Or thus; The heavens are the divine Scriptures, which all read but all do not understand, except they who have been so baptized as to receive the Holy Spirit. Thus the Scriptures of the Prophets were at the first sealed to the Apostles, but after they had received the Holy Spirit, all Scripture was opened to them.
However, in whatever way we interpret, the heavens were opened to Him, that is to all, on His account; as if the Emperor were to say to any one preferring a petition for another, This boon I grant not to him but to you; that is, to him, for your sake.
Gloss. non occ.: Or, so bright a glory shone round about Christ, that the blue concave seemed to be actually cloven.
Chrys.: But though you see it not, be not therefore unbelieving, for in the beginnings of spiritual matters sensible visions are always offered, for their sakes who can form no idea of things that have no body; which if they occur not in later times, yet faith may be established by those wonders once wrought.
Remig.: As to all those who by baptism are born again, the door of the kingdom of heaven is opened, so all in baptism receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Aug., App. Serm. 135. 1: Chris after He had been once born among men, is born a second time in the sacraments, that as we adore Him then born of a pure mother, so we may now receive Him immersed in pure water. His mother brought forth her Son, and is yet virgin; the wave washed Christ, and is holy. Lastly, that Holy Spirit which was present to Him in the [p. 113] womb, now shone round Him in the water, He who then made Mary pure, now sanctifies the waters.
Pseudo-Chrys.: The Holy Ghost took the likeness of a dove, as being more than other animals susceptible of love. All other forms of righteousness which the servants of God have in truth and verity, the servants of the Devil have in spurious imitation; the love of the Holy Spirit alone an unclean spirit cannot imitate. And the Holy Ghost has therefore reserved to Himself this special manifestation of love, because by no testimony is it so clearly seen where He dwells as by the grace of love.
Rabanus, ap. Anselm: Seven excellencies in the baptized are figured by the dove. The dove has her abode near the rivers, that when the hawk is seen, she may dive under water and escape; she chooses the better grains of corn; she feeds the young of other birds; she does not tear with her beak; she lacks a gall; she has her rest in the caverns of the rocks; for her song she has a plaint.
Thus the saints dwell beside the streams of Divine Scripture, that they may escape the assaults of the Devil; they choose wholesome doctrine, and not heretical for their food; they nourish by teaching and example, men who have been the children of the Devil, i.e. the imitators; they do not pervert good doctrine by tearing it to pieces as the heretics do; they are without hate irreconcileable; they build their nest in the wounds of Christ’s death, which is to them a firm rock, that is their refuge and hope; as others delight in song, so do they in groaning for their sin.
Chrys.: It is moreover an allusion to ancient history; for in the deluge this creature appeared bearing an olive branch, and tidings of rest to the world. All which things were a type of things to come. For now also a dove appears pointing out to us our liberator, and for an olive branch bringing the adoption of the human race.
Aug., de Trin., ii, 5: It is easy to understand how the Holy Ghost should be said to be sent, when as it were a dove in visible shape descended on the Lord; that is, there was created a certain appearance for the time in which the Holy Spirit might be visibly shewn. And this operation thus made visible and offered to mortal view, is called the mission of the Holy Spirit, not that His invisible substance was seen, but that the hearts of men might be roused by the external appearance to contemplate [p. 114] the unseen eternity.
Yet this creature in the shape of which the Spirit appeared, was not taken into unity of person, as was that human shape taken of the Virgin. For neither did the Spirit bless the dove, nor unite it with Himself for all eternity, in unity of person. Further, though that dove is called the Spirit, so far as to shew that in this dove was a manifestation of the Spirit, yet can we not say of the Holy Spirit that He is God and dove, as we say of the Son that He is God and man; and yet it is not as we say of the Son that He is “the Lamb of God,” as not only has John Baptist declared, but as John the Evangelist saw the vision of the Lamb slain in the Apocalypse. For this was a prophetic vision, not put before the bodily eyes in bodily shape, but seen in the Spirit in spiritual images.
But concerning this dove none ever doubted that is was seen with the bodily eye; not that we say the Spirit is a dove as we say Christ is a Rock; (for “that Rock was Christ.) [1 Cor 10:4] For that Rock already existed as a creature, and from the resemblance of its operation was called by the name of Christ, (whom it figured;) not so this dove, which was created at the moment for this single purpose.
It seems to me to be more like the flame which appeared to Moses in the bush, or that which the people followed in the wilderness, or to the thunderings and lightnings which were when the Law was given from the mount. For all these were visible objects intended to signify something, and then to pass away. For that such forms have been from time to time seen, the Holy Spirit is said to have been sent; but these bodily forms appeared for the time to shew what was required, and then ceased to be.
Jerome: It sat on the head of Jesus, that none might suppose the voice of the Father spoken to John, and not to the Lord.
drb › Matthew › 3 › Verse 16
Score: 1.00Commentary for Matthew 8:10-13
Chrys.: As what the leper had affirmed concerning Christ’s power, “If thou will, thou canst cleanse me,” was confirmed by the mouth of Christ, saying, “I will, be thou clean;” so here He did not blame the centurion for bearing testimony to Christ’s authority, but even commended him. Nay more; it is something greater than commendation that the Evangelist signifies in the words, “But Jesus hearing marvelled.”
Pseudo-Origen, Hom. in Div. 5: Observe how great and what that is at which God the Only-begotten marvels. Gold, riches, principalities, are in His sight as the shadow or the flower that fadeth; in the sight of God none of these things is wonderful, as though it were great or precious, but faith only; this He wonders at, and pays honour to, this He esteems acceptable to Himself.
Aug., super Gen. c. Man. i. 8: But who was He that had created this faith in him, but only He who now marvelled at it? But even had it come from any other, how should He marvel who know all things future? When the Lords marvels, it is only to teach us what we ought to wonder at; for all these emotions in Him are not signs of passion, but examples of a teacher.
Chrys.: Wherefore He is said to have thus wondered in the presence of all the people, giving them an example that they also should wonder at Him; for it follows, “And he said to them that followed, I have not found so great [p. 309] faith in Israel.”
Aug., cont. Faust. xxii, 74: He praises his faith, but gives no command to quit his profession of a soldier.
Jerome: This He speaks of the present generation, not of all the Patriarchs and Prophets of past ages.
Pseudo-Chrys.: Andrew believed, but it was after John had said, “Behold the Lamb of God;” [John 1:36] Peter believed, but it was by reading the Scriptures; and Nathanael first received a proof of His Divinity, and then spoke forth his confession of faith.
Pseudo-Origen: Jairus, a prince in Israel, making request for his daughter, said not, ‘Speak the word,’ but, ‘Come quickly.’ Nicodemus, hearing of the sacrament of faith, asks, “How can these things be?” [John 3:9] Mary and Martha say, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died;” [John 11:21] as though distrusting that God’s power could be in all places at the same time.
Pseudo-Chrys.: Or, if we would suppose [ed. note: The text of Pseudo-Chrys has ‘si non sumus ausi putare.’] that his faith was greater than even that of the Apostles, Christ’s testimony to it must be understood as though every good in a man should be commended relatively to his character; as it were a great thing in a countryman to speak with wisdom, but in a philosopher the same would be nothing wonderful. In this way it may be said of the centurion, In none other have I found so great faith in Israel.
Chrys.: For it is a different thing for a Jew to believe and for a Gentile.
Jerome: Or perhaps in the person of the centurion the faith of the Gentiles is preferred to that of Israel; whence He proceeds, “But I say unto you, Many shall come from the east and from the west.”
Aug., Serm., 62, 4: He says, not ‘all,’ but many; yet these from the east and west; for by these two quarters the whole world is intended.
Haymo: Or; From the east shall come they, who pass into the kingdom as soon as they are enlightened; from the west they who have suffered persecution for the faith even unto death.
Or, he comes from the east who has served God from a child; he from the west who in decrepit age has turned to God.
Pseudo-Origen: How then does He say in another place, that “the chosen are few?” Because in each generation there are few that are chosen, but when all are gathered together in the day of visitation they shall be found many. “They shall sit down,” not the [p. 310] bodily posture, but the spiritual rest, not with human food, but with an eternal feast, “with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven,” where is light, joy, glory, and eternal length of days.
Jerome: Because the God of Abraham, the Maker of heaven, is the Father of Christ, therefore also is Abraham in the kingdom of heaven, and with him will sit down the nations who have believed in Christ the Son of the Creator.
Aug.: As we see Christians called to the heavenly feast, where is the bread of righteousness, the drink of wisdom; so we see the Jews in reprobation. “The children of the kingdom shall be cast into outer darkness,” that is, the Jews, who have received the Law, who observe the types of all things that were to be, yet did not acknowledge the realities when present.
Jerome: Or the Jews may be called “the children of the kingdom,” because God reigned among them heretofore.
Chrys.: Or, He calls them “the children of the kingdom,” because the kingdom was prepared for them, which was the greater grief to them.
Aug., cont. Faust., xvi. 24: Moses set before the people of Israel no other God than the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Christ sets forth the very same God. So that so far was He from seeking to turn that people away from their own God, that He therefore threatened them with the outer darkness, because He saw them turned away from their own God. And in this kingdom He tells them the Gentiles shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for no other reason than that they held the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. To these Fathers Christ gives His testimony, not as though they had been converted after death, or had received justification after His passion.
Jerome: It is called, “outer darkness,” because he whom the Lord casts out leaves the light.
Haymo: What they should suffer there, He shews when He adds, “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Thus in metaphor He describes the sufferings of the tormented limbs; the eyes shed tears when filled with smoke, and the teeth chatter together from cold. This shews that the wicked in hell shall endure both extreme cold and extreme heat: according to that in Job, “They shall pass from rivers of snow to the scorching heat.” [Job 24:19]
Jerome: Weeping and gnashing of teeth are a proof of bones and body; truly then [p. 311] is there a resurrection of the same limbs, that sank into the grave.
Rabanus: Or; The gnashing of teeth expresses the passion of remorse; repentance coming too late and self-accusation that he had sinned with such obstinate wickedness.
Remig.: Otherwise; By “other darkness,” He means foreign nations; for these words of the Lord are a historical prediction of the destruction of the Jews, that they were to be led into captivity for their unbelief, and to be scattered over the earth; for tears are usually caused by heat, gnashing of teeth by cold. “Weeping” then is ascribed to those who should be dispersed into the warmer climates of India and Ethiopia, “gnashing of teeth” to those who should dwell in the colder regions, as Hyrcania and Scythia.
Chrys.: But that none might suppose that these were nothing more than fair words, He makes them credible by the miracles following, “And Jesus said to the centurion, Go, and be it done to thee as thou hast believed.”
Rabanus: As though He had said, According to the measure of thy faith, so be thy grace. For the merit of the Lord may be communicated even to servants not only through the merit of their faith, but through their obedience to rule. It follows, “And his servant was healed in the self-same hour.”
Chrys.: Wherein admire the speediness, shewing Christ’s power, not only to heal, but to do it in a moment of time.
Aug., Serm., 62. 3: As the Lord did not enter the centurion’s house with His body, but healed the servant, present in majesty, but absent in body; so He went among the Jews only in the body, but among other nations He was neither born of a Virgin, nor suffered, nor endured human sufferings, nor did divine wonders; and yet was fulfilled that which was spoken, “A people that I have not known hath served me, and hath obeyed me by the hearing of the ear.” [Ps 18:43] The Jews behold, yet crucified Him; the world heard, and believed.
drb › Matthew › 8 › Verse 10 through 13
Score: 1.00Commentary for Matthew 11:2-6
Gloss, non occ.: The Evangelist had shewn above how by Christ’s miracles and teaching, both His disciples and the multitudes had been instructed; he now shews how this instruction had reached even to John’s disciples, so that they seemed to have some jealousy towards Christ; “John, when he had heard in his bonds the works of Christ, sent two of his disciples to say unto him, Art thou he that should come, or look we for another?
Greg., Hom in Ev. vi. 1: We must enquire how John, who is a prophet and more than a prophet, who made known the Lord when He came to be baptized, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sine of the world!—why, when he was afterwards cast into prison, he should send his disciples to ask, “Art thou he that should come, or look we for another?”
Did he not know Him whom he had pointed out to others; or was he uncertain whether this was He, whom by foretelling, by baptizing, and by making known, he had proclaimed to be He?
Ambrose, Ambros., in Luc 7:19: Some understand it thus; That it was a great thing that John should be so far a prophet, as to acknowledge Christ, and to preach remission of sin; but that like a pious prophet; he could not think that He whom he had believed to be He that should come, was to suffer death; he doubted therefore though not in faith, yet in love. So Peter also doubted, saying, “This be far from thee, Lord; this shall not be unto thee.” [Matt 16:22]
Chrys.: But this seems hardly reasonable. For John was not in ignorance of His death, but was the first to preach it, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh. away the sins of the world.” For thus calling Him the Lamb, he plainly shews forth the Cross; and no otherwise than by the Cross did He take away the sins of the world. Also how is he a greater prophet than these, if he knew not those things which all the prophets knew; for Isaiah says, “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter.” [Isa 53:7]
Greg.: But this question may be answered in a better way if we attend to the order of time. At the waters of Jordan he had affirmed that this was the Redeemer of the world: after he was thrown into prison, he enquires if this was He [p. 405] that should come—not that he doubted that this was the Redeemer of the world, but he asks that he may know whether He who in His own person had come into the world, would in His own person descend also to the world below.
Jerome: Hence he frames his question thus, “Art thou he that is to come?” Not, Art Thou He that hast come? And the sense is, Direct me, since I am about to go down into the lower parts of the earth, whether I shall announce Thee to the spirits beneath also; or whether Thou as the Son of God may not taste death, but will send another to this sacrament?
Chrys.: But is this a more reasonable explanation than the other? for why then did he not say, Art Thou He that is coming to the world beneath? and not simply, “Art thou he that is to come?”
And the reason of his seeking to know, namely, that he might preach Him there, is even ridiculous. For the present life is the time of grace, and after death the judgment and punishment; therefore there was no need of a forerunnner thither. Again, if the unbelievers who should believe after death should be saved, then none would perish; all would then repent and worship; “for every knee shall bow, both of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth.” [Phil 2:10]
Gloss, non occ.: But it ought to be observed, that Jerome and Gregory did not say that John was to proclaim Christ’s coming to the world beneath, to the end that the unbelievers there might be converted to the faith, but that the righteous who abode in expectation of Christ, should be comforted by His near approach.
Hilary: It is indeed certain, that he who as forerunner proclaimed Christ’s coming, as prophet knew Him when He stood before him, and worshipped Him as Confessor when He came to him, could not fall into error from such abundant knowledge. Nor can it be believed that the grace of the Holy Spirit failed him when thrown into prison, seeing He should hereafter minister the light of His power to the Apostles when they were in prison.
Jerome: Therefore he does not ask as being himself ignorant. But as the Saviour asks where Lazarus is buried, [margin note John 11:23] in order that they who shewed Him the sepulchre might be so far prepared for faith, and believe that the dead was verily raised again—so John, about to be put to death by Herod, sends his disciples to Christ, [p. 406] that by this opportunity of seeing His signs and wonders they might believe on Him, and so might learn through their master’s enquiry.
But John’s disciples had somewhat of bitterness and jealousy towards the Lord, as their former enquiry shewed, “Why do thee and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
Chrys.: Yet whilst John was with them he held them rightly convinced concerning Christ. But when he was going to die, he was more concerned on their behalf. For he feared that he might leave his disciples a prey to some pernicious doctrine, and that they should remain separate from Christ, to whom it had been his care to bring all his followers from the beginning.
Had he said to them, Depart from me, for He is better than me, he would not have prevailed with them, as they would have supposed that he spoke this in humility, which opinion would have drawn them more closely to him. What then does he? He waits to hear through them that Christ works miracles.
Nor did he send all, but two only, (whom perhaps he chose as more ready to believe than the rest,) that the reason of his enquiry might be unsuspected, and that from the things themselves which they should see they might understand the difference between him and Jesus.
Hilary: John then is providing not for his own, but his disciples’ ignorance; that they might know that it was no other whom he had proclaimed, he sent them to see His works, that the works might establish what John had spoken; and that they should not look for any other Christ, than Him to whom His works had borne testimony.
Chrys.: So also Christ as knowing the mind of John, said not, I am He; for thus He would have put an obstacle in the way of those that heard Him, who would have at least thought within themselves, if they did not say, what the Jews did say to Christ, “Thou bearest witness of thyself.” [John 6:13]
Therefore He would have them learn from His miracles, and so presented His doctrine to them more clear, and without suspicion. For the testimony of deeds is stronger than the testimony of words. Therefore He straightway healed a number of blind, and lame, and many other, for the sake not of John who had knowledge, but of others who doubted; as it follows, “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and tell John what ye have heard [p. 407] and seen; The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the Gospel preached to them.”
Jerome: This last is no less than the first. And understand it as if it had been said, Even “the poor;” that so between noble and mean, rich and poor, there may be no difference in preaching. This approves the strictness of the master, this the truth of the teacher, that in His sight every one who can be saved is equal.
Chrys.: “And blessed is he who shall not be offended in me,” is directed against the messengers; they were offended in Him. But He not publishing their doubts, and leaving it to their conscience alone, thus privately introduced a refutation of them.
Hilary: This saying, that they were blessed from whom there should be no offence in Him, shewed them what it was that John had provided against in sending them. For John, through fear of this very thing, had sent his disciples that they might hear Christ.
Greg., Hom in Ev., vi. 1: Otherwise; The mind of unbelievers was greatly offended concerning Christ, because after many miracles done, they saw Him at length put to death; whence Paul speaks, “We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling-block.” [1 Cor 1:23]
What then does that mean, “Blessed is he who shall not be offended in me,” but a direct allusion to the humiliation of His death; as much as to say, I do indeed wonderful works, but do not disdain to suffer humble things, Because then I follow you in death, men must be careful not to despise in Me My death, while they reverence My wonderful works.
Hilary: In these things which were done concerning John, there is a deep store of mystic meaning. The very condition and circumstances of a prophet are themselves a prophecy.
John signifies the Law; for the Law proclaimed Christ, preaching remission of sins, and giving promise of the kingdom of heaven. Also when the Law was on the point of expiring, (having been, through the sins of the people, which hindered them from understanding what it spake of Christ, as it were shut up in bonds and in prison,) it sends men to the contemplation of the Gospel, that unbelief might see the truth of its words established by deeds.
Ambrose: And perhaps the two disciples sent are the two people; those of the Jews, and those of the Gentiles who believed.
drb › Matthew › 11 › Verse 2 through 6
Score: 1.00Commentary for Luke 1:11-14
CHRYSOSTOM; When Zacharias entered into the temple to offer up prayers to God for all men, interceding between God and man, he saw an angel standing within, as it is said, And there appeared to him an angel. AMBROSE; It is well said that there appeared an angel to Zacharias, who suddenly beheld him; and this is the expression especially used by Divine Scripture with respect to angels or God, that what cannot be seen beforehand may be said to appear. For things which are the objects of our senses are not seen as He is seen, Who is seen only as He will, and Whose nature is not to be seen. ORIGEN; And we speak thus not only of the present time, but also of the future. When we shall have passed from the world, God will not appear to all men, nor will the angels, but to him only who has a clean heart. The place will neither hinder nor serve any one. CHRYSOSTOM; But the angel evidently came not in a dream, because the tidings he brought were too hard to be understood, and needed therefore a more visible and marvelous manifestation.
DAMASCENE; Angels, however, are revealed not as they really are, but transformed (as men are able to behold them) into whatever the Lord commands. THEOPHYLACT; It is said the altar of incense, because the other altar was set apart for burnt offerings. AMBROSE; It was not without good reason that the angel appeared in the temple, for the coming of the true High Priest was now announced, and the Heavenly Sacrifice was preparing at which angels were to minister. For one cannot doubt that an angel stands by where Christ is sacrificed. But he appeared at the right hand of the altar of incense, because he brought down the token of Divine mercy. For the Lord is on my right hand, so that I should not be moved. CHRYSOSTOM; The justest of men can not without fear behold an angel; Zacharias therefore, not sustaining the sight of the angel’s presence, nor able to withstand his brightness, is troubled, as it is added, Zacharias was troubled. But as it happens, when a charioteer is frightened, and has let loose his reins, the horses run headlong, and the chariot is overturned; so is it with the soul, when it is taken by any surprise or alarm; as it is here added and fear fell upon him.
ORIGEN; A new face suddenly presenting itself to the human eye, troubles and startles the mind. The angel knowing this to be the nature of man, first dispels the alarm, as it follows, But the angel said to him, Fear not. ATHANASIUS; Whereby it is not difficult to discern between good and bad spirits, for if joy has succeeded to fear, we may know that relief has come from God, because the peace of the soul is a sign of the Divine Presence; but if the fear remains unshaken, it is an enemy who is seen, ORIGEN; The angel not only soothes his fears, but gladdens him with good tidings, adding, For your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth shall bear a son.
AUGUSTINE; Now here we must first consider that it is not likely that Zacharias, when offering sacrifice for the sins or for the salvation or redemption of the people, would neglect the public petitions, to pray (though himself an old man, and his wife also old) that he might receive children; and, next, above all that no one prays for what he despairs of ever obtaining. And even up to this time, so much had he despaired of ever having children, that he would not believe, even when an angel promised it to him The words, Your prayer is heard, must be understood therefore to refer to the people; and as salvation, redemption, and the putting away of the sins of the people was to be through Christ, it is told Zacharias that a son shall be born to him, because that son was ordained to be the forerunner of Christ.
CHRYSOSTOM; Or it means, that this was to be the proof of his prayer having been heard, namely, that a son should be born to him, crying, Behold the Lamb of God! THEOPHYLACT; As if when Zacharias asks, How shall I know this? the angel answers, Because Elisabeth shall bring forth a son, you shall believe that the sins of your people are forgiven.
AMBROSE; Or, as follows; Divine mercy is ever full and overflowing, not narrowed to a single gift, but pouring in an abundant store of blessings; as in this case, where first the fruit of his prayer is promised; and next, that his barren wife shall bear a child, whose name is announced as follows; And you shall call his name John.
BEDE; It is meant as a token of particular merit, when a man has a name given him or changed by God.
CHRYSOSTOM; Which must be the meaning here, for those who from their earliest years were destined to shine forth in virtue, received their names at the very first from a divine source; while those who were to rise up in later years, had a name given them afterwards.
BEDE; John is therefore interpreted, “one in whom is grace, or the grace of God;” by which name it is declared, first, that grace was given to his parents, to whom in their old age a son was to be born, next, to John himself, who was to become great before the Lord; lastly, also to the children of Israel, whom he was to convert to the Lord. Hence it follows, And he shall be a joy to you, and a cause of rejoicing. ORIGEN; For when a just man is born into the world, the authors of his birth rejoice; but when one is born who is to be as it were an exile to labor and punishment, they are struck with terror and dismay. AMBROSE; But a saint is not only the blessing of his parents, but also the salvation of many; as it follows, And many shall rejoice at his birth, Parents are reminded here to rejoice at the birth of saints, and to give thanks. For it is no slight gift of God to vouchsafe to us children, to be the transmitters of our race, to be the heirs of succession.
Score: 1.00Commentary for Luke 1:59-64
CHRYS. The rite of circumcision was first delivered to Abraham as a sign of distinction, that the race of the Patriarch might be preserved in unmixed purity, and so might be able to obtain the promises. But now that the promise of the covenant is fulfilled, the sign attached to it is removed. So then through Christ circumcision ceased, and baptism came in its place; but first it was right that John should be circumcised; as it is said, And it came to pass, that on the eighth day, &c. For the Lord had said, Let the child of eight days be circumcised among you. But this measurement of time I conceive was ordered by Divine mercy for two reasons. First, because in its most tender years the child the more easily bears the cutting of the flesh. Secondly, that from the very operation itself we might be reminded that it was done for a sign; for the young child scarcely distinguishes any of the things that are around him. But after the circumcision, the name was conferred, as it follows, And they called him. But this was done because we must first receive the seal of the Lord, then the name of man. Or, because no man except he first cast aside his fleshly lusts, which circumcision signifies, is worthy to have his name written in the book of life.
AMBROSE; The holy Evangelist has especially remarked, that many thought the child should be called after his father Zacharias, in order that we might understand, not that any name of his kinsfolk was displeasing to his mother, but that the same word had been communicated to her by the Holy Spirit, which had been foretold by the Angel to Zacharias. And in truth, being dumb, Zacharias was unable to mention his son’s name to his wife, but Elisabeth obtained by prophecy what she had not learnt from her husband. Hence it follows, And she answered, &c. Marvel not that the woman pronounced the name which she had never heard, seeing the Holy Spirit who imparted it to the Angel revealed it to her; nor could she be ignorant of the forerunner of the Lord, who had prophesied of Christ. And it well follows, And they said to her, &c. that you might consider that the name belongs not to the family, but to the Prophet. Zacharias also is questioned, and signs made to him, as it follows, And they made signs to the father, &c. But since unbelief had so bereft him of utterance and hearing, that he could not use his voice, he spoke by his hand-writing, as it follows, And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John; that is, we give no name to him who has received his name from God. ORIGEN; Zacharias is by interpretation “remembering God,” but John signifies “pointing to.” Now “memory” relates to something absent, “pointing to,” to something present. But John was not about to set forth the memory of God as absent, but with his finger to point him out as present, saying, Behold the Lamb of God. CHRYS. But the name John is also interpreted the grace of God. Because then by the favor of Divine grace not by nature, Elisabeth conceived this son, they engraved the memory of the benefit on the name of the child. THEOPHYL. And because with the mother the dumb father also agreed as to the name of the child, it follows, And they all marveled. For there was no one of this name among their kinsfolk that any one could say that they had both previously determined upon it. GREG. NAZ. The birth of John then broke the silence of Zacharias, as it follows, And his mouth was opened. For it were unreasonable when the voice of the Word had come forth, that his father should remain speechless.
AMBROSE; Rightly also, from that moment was his tongue loosed for that which unbelief had bound, faith set free. Let us then also believe, in order that our tongue, which has been bound by the chains of unbelief, may be loosed by the voice of reason. Let us write mysteries by the Spirit if we wish to speak. Let us write the forerunner of Christ, not on tables of stone, but on the fleshly tablets of the heart. For he who names John, prophesies Christ. For he who names John prophesies Christ. For it follows, And he spoke, giving thanks.
BEDE; Now in an allegory, the celebration of John’s birth was the beginning of the grace of the New Covenant. His neighbors and kinsfolk had rather give him the name of his father than that of John. For the Jews, who by the observance of the Law were united to him as it were by ties of kindred, chose rather to follow the righteousness which is the Law, than receive the grace of faith. But the name of John, (i.e. the grace of God,) his mother in word, his father in writing, suffice to announce, for both the Law itself as well as the Psalms and the Prophecies, in the plainest language foretell the grace of Christ; and that ancient priesthood, by the foreshadowing of its ceremonies and sacrifices, bears testimony to the same. And well does Zacharias speak on the eighth day of the birth of his child, for by the resurrection of the Lord, which took place on the eighth day, i.e. the day after the sabbath, the hidden secrets of the legal priesthood were revealed.
Score: 1.00Commentary for Luke 7:24-28
CYRIL; The Lord, knowing the secrets of men, foresaw that some would say, If until now John is ignorant of Jesus, how did he show Him to us, saying, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sins of the world? To quench therefore this feeling which had taken possession of them, He prevented the injury which might arise from the offense, as it follows, And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak to the people concerning John, what went you out for to see? A reed shaken in the wind? As if He said, you marveled at John the Baptist, and oftentimes came to see him, passing over long journeys in the desert; surely in vain, if you think him so fickle as to be like a reed bending down whichever way the wind moves it. For such he appears to be, who lightly avows his ignorance of the things which he knows. TITUS BOST. But you went not out into the desert, (where there is no pleasantness,) leaving your cities, except as caring for this man. GREEK EX. Now these things were spoken by our Lord after the departure of John’s disciples, for He would not utter the praises of the Baptist while they were present, lest His words should be counted as those of a flatterer. AMBROSE; Not unmeaningly then is the character of John praised there, who preferred the way of righteousness to the love of life, and swerved not through fear of death. For this world seems to be compared to a desert, into which, as yet barren and uncultivated, the Lord says we must not so enter as to regard men puffed up with a fleshly mind, and devoid of inward virtue, and vaunting themselves in the heights of frail worldly glory, as a kind of example and model for our imitation. And such being exposed to the storms of this world, and tossed to and from by a restless life, are rightly compared to a reed.
GREEK EX. We have also an infallible testimony to John’s way of life in his manner of clothing, and his imprisonment, into which he never would have been cast had he known how to court princes; as it follows, but what went you out for to see? A man clothed with soft raiment? Behold they who are gorgeously appareled, and live delicately, are in kings’ houses. By being clothed with soft raiment, he signifies men who live luxuriously. CHRYS. But a soft garment relaxes the austerity of the soul; and if worn by a hard and rigorous body, soon, by such effeminacy, makes it frail and delicate. But when the body becomes softer, the soul must also share the injury; for generally its workings correspond wit the conditions of the body. CYRIL; How then could a religious strictness, so great that it subdued to itself all fleshly lusts, sink down to such ignorance, except from a frivolity of mind, which is not fostered by austerities, but by worldly delights. If then you imitate John, as one who cared not for pleasure, award him also the strength of mind, which befits his continence. But if strictness no more tends to this than a life of luxury, why do you, not respecting those who live delicately, admire the inhabitant of the desert, and his wretched garment of camel’s hair. CHRYS. By each of these sayings He shows John to be neither naturally not easily shaken or diverted from any purpose. AMBROSE; And although very many become effeminate by the use of softer garments, yet here other garments seem to be meant, namely, our mortal bodies, by which our souls are clothed. Again, luxurious acts and habits are soft garments, but those whose languid limbs are wasted away in luxuries are shut out of the kingdom of heaven, whom the rulers of this world and of darkness have taken captive. For these are the kings who exercise tyranny over those who are their fellows in their own works.
CYRIL; But perhaps it does not concern us to excuse John upon this ground, for you confess that he is worthy of imitation, hence He adds, But what went you out for to see? A prophet? Verily I say to you, more than a prophet. For the prophets foretold that Christ would come, but John not only foretold that He would come, but also declared Him to be present, saying, Behold the Lamb of God. AMBROSE; Indeed, greater than a prophet (or more than a prophet) was he in whom the prophets terminate; for many desired to see Him whom he saw, whom he baptized.
CYRIL; Having then described his character by the place where he dwelt, by his clothing, and from the crowds who went to see him, He introduces the testimony of the prophet, saying, This is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my angel. TITUS BOST. He calls a man an angel, not because he was by nature an angel, for he was by nature a man, but because he exercised the office of an angel, in heralding the advent of Christ. GREEK EX. But by the words which follow, Before your face, he signifies nearness of time, for John appeared to men close to the coming of Christ. Wherefore must he indeed be considered more than a prophet, for those also who in battle fight close to the sides of kings, are their most distinguished and greatest friends.
AMBROSE; But he prepared the way of the Lord not only in the order of birth according to the flesh, and as the messenger of faith, but also as the forerunner of His glorious passion. Hence it follows, Who shall prepare your way before you. AMBROSE; But if Christ also is a prophet, how is this man greater than all. But it is said, among those born of woman, not of a virgin. For He was greater than those, whose equal he might be in way of birth, as it follows, For I say to you, of those that are born of woman, there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist. CHRYS. The voice of the Lord is indeed sufficient to bear testimony to John’s preeminence among men. But any one will find the real facts of the case confirming the same, by considering his food, his manner of life, the loftiness of his mind. For he dwelt on earth as one who had come down from heaven, casting no care upon his body, his mind raised up to heaven, and united to God alone, taking no thought for worldly things; his conversation grave and gentle, for with the Jewish people he dealt honestly and zealously, with the king boldly, with his own disciples mildly. He did nothing idle or trifling, but all things becomingly. ISIDORE PELEUS; John was also greatest among those that are born of women because he prophesied from the very womb of his mother, and though in darkness, was not ignorant of the light which had already come.
AMBROSE; Lastly, so impossible is it that there should be any comparison between John and the Son of God, that he is counted even below the angels; as it follows, But he that is least in the kingdom of God, is greater than he.
BEDE; These words may be understood in two ways. For either he called that the kingdom of God, which we have not yet received, (in which are the Angels,) and the very least among them is greater than any righteous man, who bears about a body, which weighs down the soul. Or if by the kingdom of God be meant to be understood the Church of this time, the Lord referred to Himself, who in the time of His birth came after John, but was greater in divine authority, and the power of the Lord. Moreover, according to the first explanation, the distinction is as follows, But he who is least in the kingdom of God, and then it is added, is greater than he. According to the latter, But he who is least, and then added, is greater in the kingdom of God than he. CHRYS. For He adds this, that the abundant praise of John might not give the Jews a pretext to prefer John to Christ. But do not suppose that he spoke comparatively of His being greater than John. AMBROSE; For He is of another nature, which bears not comparison with human kind. For there can be no comparing of God with men. CYRIL; But in a mystery, when showing the superiority of John among those that are born of women, he places in opposition something greater, namely, Himself who was born by the holy Spirit the Son of God. For the kingdom of the Lord is the Spirit of God. Although then as respects works and holiness, we may be inferior to those who attained to the mystery of the law, whom John represents, yet through Christ we have greater things, being made partakers of the Divine nature.
Score: 1.00Commentary for Luke 23:6-12
BEDE, Pilate having determined not to question our Lord concerning the above-mentioned accusation, is the rather glad now that an opportunity offers to escape from passing judgment upon Him. Hence it is said, When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilean. And lest he should be compelled to pass sentence against one whom he knew to be innocent, and delivered for envy sends Him to be heard by Herod, preferring that he who was the Tetrarch of our Lord’s country might be the person either to acquit or punish Him; for it follows, And as soon as he knew that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction. THEOPHYL. Wherein he follows the Roman law, which provided that every man should be judged by the governor of his own jurisdiction.
GREG. Now Herod wished to make proof of Christ’s fame, desiring to witness His miracles; for it follows, And when Herod saw Jesus, he was glad, &c. THEOPHYL. Not as though he was about to gain any benefit from the sight, but seized with curiosity he thought he should see that extraordinary man, of whose wisdom and wonderful works he had heard so much. He also wished to hear from His mouth what He could say. Accordingly he asks Him questions, making a sport of Him, and ridiculing Him. But Jesus, who performed all things prudently, and who, as David testifies, orders His words with discretion, thought it right in such a case to be silent. For a word uttered to one whom it profits nothing becomes the cause of his condemnation. Therefore it follows, But he answered him nothing. AMBROSE; He was silent and did nothing, for Herod’s unbelief deserved not to see Him, and the Lord shunned display. And perhaps typically in Herod are represented all the ungodly, who if they have not believed the Law and the Prophets, cannot see Christ’s wonderful works in the Gospel.
GREG. From these words we ought to derive a lesson, that whenever our hearers wish as if by praising us to gain knowledge from us, but not to change their own wicked course, we must be altogether silent, lest if from love of ostentation we speak God’s word, both they who were guilty cease not to be so, and we who were not become so. And there are many things which betray the motive of a hearer, but one in particular, when they always praise what they hear, yet never follow what they praise. GREG. The Redeemer therefore though questioned held His peace, though expected disdained to work miracles. And keeping Himself secretly within Himself, left those who were satisfied to seek for outward things, to remain thankless without, preferring to be openly set at nought by the proud, than be praised by the hollow voices of unbelievers. Hence it follows, And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a white robe. AMBROSE; It is not without reason that He is arrayed by Herod in a white robe, as bearing a sign of His immaculate Passion, that the Lamb of God without spot would take upon Himself the sins of the world. THEOPHYL. Nevertheless, observe how the Devil is thwarted by the thing which He does. He heaps up scorn and reproaches against Christ, whereby it is made manifest that the Lord is not seditious. Otherwise He would not have been derided, when so great a danger was afloat, and that too from a people who were held in suspicion, and so given to change. But the sending of Christ by Pilate to Herod, becomes the commencement of a mutual friendship, Pilate not receiving those who were subject to Herod’s authority, as it is added, And they were made friends, &c. Observe the Devil every where uniting together things separate, that he may compass the death of Christ. Let us blush then, if for the sake of our salvation we keep not even our friends in union with us.
AMBROSE; Under the type also of Herod and Pilate, who from enemies were made friends by Jesus Christ, is preserved the figure of the people of Israel and the Gentile nation; that through our Lord’s Passion should come to pass the future concord of both, yet so that the people of the Gentiles should receive the word of God first, and then transmit it by the devotion of their faith to the Jewish people; that they too may with the glory of their majesty clothe the body of Christ, which before they had despised. BEDE; Or this alliance between Herod and Pilate signifies that the Gentiles and Jews, though differing in race, religion, and character, agree together in persecuting Christians
Score: 1.00Commentary for John 1:29-31
ORIGEN; After this testimony, Jesus is seen coming to John, not only persevering in his confession, but also advanced in goodness: as is intimated by the second day. Wherefore it is said, The next day John sees Jesus coming to him. Long before this, the Mother of Jesus, as soon as she had conceived Him, went to see the mother of John then pregnant; and as soon as the sound of Mary's salutation reached the ears of Elisabeth, John leaped in the womb: but now the Baptist himself after his testimony sees Jesus coming. Men are first prepared by hearing from others, and then see with their own eyes. The example of Mary going to see Elisabeth her interior, and the Son of God going to see the Baptist, should teach us modesty and fervent charity to our inferiors. What place the Savior came from when He came to the Baptist we are not told here; but we find it in Matthew, Then comes Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John to be baptized of him. CHRYS. Or; Matthew relates directly Christ's coming to His baptism, John His coming a second time subsequent to His baptism, as appears from what follows: I saw the Spirit descending, &c. The Evangelists have divided the periods of the history between them; Matthew passing over the part before John's imprisonment, and hastening to that event; John chiefly dwelling on what took place before the imprisonment. Thus he says, The next day John sees Jesus coming to him. But why did He come to him the next day after His baptism? Having been baptized with the multitude, He wished to prevent any from thinking that He came to John for the same reason that others did, viz. to confess His sins, and be washed in the river to repentance. He comes therefore to give John an opportunity of correcting this mistake; which John accordingly did correct; viz. by those words, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world. For He Who was so pure, as to be able to absolve other men's sins, evidently could not have come thither for the sake of confessing His own; but only to give John an opportunity of speaking of Him. He came too the next day, that those who had heard the former testimonies of John, might hear them again more plainly; and other besides. For he said, Behold the Lamb of God, signifying that He was the one of old sought after, and reminding them of the prophecy of Isaiah, and of the shadows of the Mosaic law, in order that through the figure he might the easier lead them to the substance. AUG. If the Lamb of God is innocent, and John is the lamb, must he not be innocent? But all men come of that stock of which David sings sorrowing, Behold, I was conceived in wickedness. He then alone was the Lamb, who was not thus conceived; for He was not conceived in wickedness, nor in sin did His mother bear Him in her womb, Whom a virgin conceived, a virgin brought forth, because that in faith she conceived, and in faith received. ORIGEN; But whereas five kinds of animals are offered in the temple, three beasts of the field, a calf, a sheep, and a goat; and two fowls of the air, a turtle dove and a pigeon; and of the sheep kind three are introduced, the ram, the ewe, the lamb; of these three he mentions only the lamb; the lamb, as we know, being offered in the daily sacrifice, one in the morning, and one in the evening. But what other daily offering can there be, that can be meant to be offered by a reasonable nature, except the perfect Word, typically called the Lamb? This sacrifice, which is offered up as soon as the soul begins to be enlightened, shall be accounted as a morning sacrifice, referring to the frequent exercise of the mind in divine things; for the soul cannot continually apply to the highest objects because of its union with an earthly and gross body. By this Word too, Which is Christ the Lamb, we shall be able to reason on many things, and shall in a manner attain to Him in the evening, while engaged with things of the body. But He Who offered the lamb for a sacrifice, was God hid in human form, the great Priest, He who said below, No man takes it (My life) from Me, but I lay it down of Myself: whence this name, the Lamb of God: for He carrying our sorrows, and taking away the sins of the whole world, has undergone death, as it were baptism. For God suffers no fault to pass uncorrected; but punishes it by the sharpest discipline. THEOPHYL. He is called the Lamb of God, because God the Father accepted His death for our salvation, or, in other words, because He delivered Him up to death for our sakes. For just as we say, This is the offering of such a man, meaning the offering made by him; in the same sense Christ is called the Lamb of God Who gave His Son to die for our salvation. And whereas that typical lamb did not take away any man's sin, this one has taken away the sin of the whole world, rescuing it from the danger it was in from the wrath of God. Behold Him Who takes away the sin of the world: he said not, who will take, but, Who takes away the sin of the world; as if He were always doing this. For He did not then only take it away when He suffered, but from that time to the present, He takes it away; not by being always crucified, for He made one sacrifice for sins, but by ever washing it by means of that sacrifice.
GREG. But then only will sin be entirely taken away from the human race, when our corruption has been turned to a glorious incorruption. We cannot be free from sin, so long as we are held in the death of the body. THEOPHYL. Why does he say the sin of the world, not sins? Because he wished to express sin universally: just as we say commonly, that man was cast out of paradise; meaning the whole human race. GLOSS; Or by the sin of the world is meant original sin, which is common to the whole world: which original sin, as well as the sins of every one individually, Christ by His grace remits.
AUG. For He Who took not sin from our nature, He it is Who takes away our sin. Some say, We take away the sins of men, because we are holy; for if he, who baptizes, is not holy, how can he take away the other's sin, seeing he himself is full of sin? Against these reasoners let us point to the text; Behold Him Who takes away the sin of the world; in order to do away with such presumption in man towards man. ORIGEN; As there was a connection between the other sacrifices of the law, and the daily sacrifice of the lamb, in the same way the sacrifice of this Lamb has its reflection in the pouring out of the blood of the Martyrs, by whose patience, confession, and zeal for goodness, the machinations of the ungodly are frustrated. THEOPHYL. John having said above to those who came from the Pharisees, that there stood one among them whom they knew not, he here points Him out to the persons thus ignorant: This is He of whom I said, After me comes a man which is preferred before me. Our Lord is called a man, in reference to His mature age, being thirty years old when He was baptized: or in a spiritual sense, as the Spouse of the Church; in which sense St. Paul speaks, I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. AUG. He comes after me, because he was born after me: He is made before me, because He is preferred to me. GREG. He explains the reason of this superiority, in what follows: For He was before me; as if his meaning was; And this is the reason of His being superior to me, though born after me, viz. that He is not circumscribed by the time of His nativity. He Who was born of His mother in time, was begotten of His Father out of time. THEOPHYL. Attend, O Arius. He said not, He was created before me, but He was before me. Let the false sect of Paul of Samosata attend. They will see that He did not derive His original existence from Mary; for if He derived the beginning of His being from the Virgin, how could He have been before His precursor? it being evident that the precursor preceded Christ by six months, according to the human birth. CHRYS. That He might not seem however to give His testimony from any motive of friendship or kindred, in consequence of his being related to our Lord according to the flesh, he says, I knew Him not. John could not of course know Him, having lived in the desert. And the miraculous events of Christ's childhood, the journey of the Magi, and such like, were now a long time past; John having been quite an infant, when they happened. And throughout the whole of the interval, He had been absolutely unknown: insomuch that John proceeds, But that He should, be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. (And hence it is clear that the miracles said to have been performed by Christ in His childhood, are false and fictitious. For if Jesus had performed miracles at this early age, he would not have been unknown to John, nor would the multitude have wanted a teacher to point Him out.) Christ Himself then did not want baptism; nor was that washing for any other reason, than to give a sign beforehand of faith in Christ. For John said not, in order to change men, and deliver from sin, but, that he should be made manifest in Israel, have I come baptizing. But would it not have been lawful for him to preach, and bring crowds together, without baptizing? Yes: but this was the easier way, for he would not have collected such numbers, had he preached without baptizing. AUG. Now when our Lord became known, it was unnecessary to prepare a way for Him; for to those who knew Him, He became His own way. And therefore John's baptism did not last long, but only so long as to show our Lord's humility. Our Lord received baptism from a servant, in order to give us such a lesson of humility as might prepare us for receiving the grace of baptism, And that the servant's baptism might not be set before the Lord's, others were baptized with it; who after receiving it, had to receive our Lord's baptism: whereas those who first received our Lord's baptism, did not receive the servant's after.
drb › John › 1 › Verse 29 through 31
Score: 1.00Commentary for John 1:35-36
CHRYS. Many not having attended to John's words at first, he rouses them a second time: Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples. BEDE; John stood, because he had ascended that citadel of all excellences, from which no temptations could cast him down: his disciples stood with him, as stout-hearted followers of their master. CHRYS. But wherefore went he not all about, preaching in every place of Judea; instead of standing near the river, waiting for His coming, that he might point Him out? Because he wished this to be done by the works of Christ Himself. And observe how much greater an effort was produced; He struck a small spark, and suddenly it rose into a flame. Again, if John had gone about and preached, it would have seemed like human partiality, and great suspicion would have been excited. Now the Prophets and Apostles all preached Christ absent; the former before His appearance in the flesh, the latter after His assumption. But He was to be pointed out by the eye, not by the voice only; and therefore it follows: And looking upon Jesus as He walked, he said, Behold the Lamb of God! THEOPHYL. Looking he said, as if signifying by his looks his love and admiration for Christ. AUG. John was the friend of the Bridegroom; he sought not his own glory, but bore witness to the truth. And therefore he wished not his disciples to remain with him, to the hindrance of their duty to follow the Lord; but rather showed them whom they should follow, saying, Behold the Lamb of God. CHRYS. He makes not a long discourse, having only one object before him, to bring them and join them to Christ; knowing that they would not any further need his witness. John does not however speak to his disciples alone, but publicly in the presence of all. And so, undertaking to follow Christ, through this instruction common to all, they remained thenceforth firm, following Christ for their own advantage, not as an act of favor to their master. John does not exhort: he simply gazes in admiration on Christ, pointing out the gift He came to bestow, the cleansing from sin: and the mode in which this would be accomplished: both of which the word Lamb testifies to. Lamb has the article affixed to it, as a sign of preeminence. AUG. For He alone and singly is the Lamb without spot, without sin; not because His spots are wiped off; but because He never had a spot. He alone is the Lamb of God, for by His blood alone can men be redeemed. This is the Lamb whom the wolves fear; even the slain Lamb, by whom the lion was slain. BEDE. The Lamb therefore he calls Him; for that He was about to give us freely His fleece, that we might make of it a wedding garment; i.e. would leave us an example of life, by which we should be warmed into love. ALCUIN. John stands in a mystical sense, the Law having ceased, and Jesus comes, bringing the grace of the Gospel, to which that same Law bears testimony. Jesus walks, to collect disciples. BEDE. The walking of Jesus has a reference to the economy of the Incarnation, by means of which He has condescended to come to us, and give us a pattern of life.
drb › John › 1 › Verse 35 through 36
Score: 1.00Commentary for John 1:37-40
ALCUIN. John having borne witness that Jesus was the Lamb of God, the disciples who had been hitherto with him, in obedience to his command, followed Jesus: And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
CHRYS. Observe; when he said, He that comes after me is made before me, and, Whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose, he gained over none; but when he made mention of the economy, and gave his discourse a humbler turn, saying, Behold the Lamb of God, then his disciples followed Christ. For many persons are less influenced by the thoughts of God's greatness and majesty, than when they hear of His being man's Helper and Friend; or any thing pertaining to the salvation of men. Observe too, when John says, Behold the Lamb of God, Christ says nothing. The Bridegroom stands by in silence; others introduce Him, and deliver the Bride into His hands; He receives her, and so treats her that she no longer remembers those who gave her in marriage. Thus Christ came to unite to Himself the Church; He said nothing Himself; but John, the friend of the Bridegroom, came forth, and put the Bride's right hand in His; i.e. by his preaching delivered into His hands men's souls, whom receiving He so disposed of, that they returned no more to John. And observe farther; As at a marriage the maiden goes not to meet the bridegroom, (even though it be a king's son who weds a humble handmaid,) but he hastens to her; so is it here. For human nature ascended not into heaven, but the Son of God came down to human nature, and took her to His Father's house. Again; There were disciples of John who not only did not follow Christ, but were even enviously disposed toward Him; but the better part heard, and followed; not from contempt of their former master, but by his persuasion; because he promised them that Christ would baptize with the Holy Ghost. And see with what modesty their zeal was accompanied. They did not straightway go and interrogate Jesus on great and necessary doctrines, nor in public, but sought private converse with Him; for we are told that Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, What seek you? Hence we learn, that when we once begin to form good resolutions, God gives us opportunities enough of improvement. Christ asks the question, not because He needed to be told, but in order to encourage familiarity and confidence, and show that He thought them worthy of His instructions. THEOPHYL. Observe then, that it was upon those who followed Him, that our Lord turned His face and looked upon them. Unless you by your good works follow Him, you shall never be permitted to see His face, or enter into His dwelling. ALCUIN. The disciples followed behind His back, in order to see Him, and did not see His face. So He turns round, and, as it were, lowers His majesty, that they might be enabled to behold His face. ORIGEN. Perhaps it is not without a reason, that after six testimonies John ceases to bear witness, and Jesus asks seventhly, What seek you? CHRYS. And besides following Him, their questions showed their love for Christ; They said to Him, Rabbi, (which is, being interpreted, Master,) where dwell You? They call Him, Master, before they have learnt any thing from Him; thus encouraging themselves in their resolution to become disciples, and to show the reason why they followed. ORIGEN. An avowal, befitting persons who came from hearing John's testimony. They put themselves under Christ's teaching, and express their desire to see the dwelling of the Son of God. ALCUIN. They do not wish to be under His teaching for a time only, but inquire where He abides; wishing an immediate initiation in the secrets of His word, and afterwards meaning often to visit Him, and obtain fuller instruction. And, in a mystical sense too, they wish to know in whom Christ dwells, that profiting by their example they may themselves become fit to be His dwelling. Or, their seeing Jesus walking, and straightway inquiring where He resides, is an intimation to us, that we should, remembering His Incarnation, earnestly entreat Him to show us our eternal habitation. The request being so good a one, Christ promises a free and full disclosure. He said to them, Come and see: that is to say, My dwelling is not to be understood by words, but by works; come, therefore, by believing and working, and then see by understanding.
ORIGEN. Or perhaps come, is an invitation to action; see, to contemplation. CHRYS. Christ does not describe His house and situation, but brings them after Him, showing that he had already accepted them as His own. He says not, It is not the time now, tomorrow you shall hear if you wish to learn; but addresses them familiarly, as friends who had lived with him a long time. But how is it that He said in another place, The Son of man has no where to lay His head? when here He says, Come and see where I live? His not having where to lay His head, could only have meant that He had no dwelling of His own, not that He did not live in a house at all: for the next words are, They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day. Why they stayed the Evangelist does not say: it being obviously for the sake of His teaching. AUG. What a blessed day and night was that! Let us too build up in our hearts within, and make Him an house, whither He may come and teach us. THEOPHYL. And it was about the tenth hour. The Evangelist mentions the time of day purposely, as a hint both to teachers and learners, not to let time interfere with their work. CHRYS. It showed a strong desire to hear Him, since even at sunset they did not turn from Him. To sensual persons the time after meals is unsuitable for any grave employment, their bodies being overloaded with food. But John, whose disciples these were, was not such a one. His evening was a more abstemious one than our mornings. AUG. The number here signifies the law, which was composed of ten commandments. The time had come when the law was to be fulfilled by love, the Jews, who acted from fear, having been unable to fulfill it, and therefore was it at the tenth hour that our Lord heard Himself called, Rabbi; none but the giver of the law is the teacher of the law. CHRYS. One of the two which heard John speak and followed Him was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. Why is the other name left out? Some say, because this Evangelist himself was that other. Others, that it was a disciple of no eminence, and that there was no use in telling his name any more than those of the seventy-two, which are omitted. ALCUIN. Or it would seem that the two disciples who followed Jesus were Andrew and Philip.
drb › John › 1 › Verse 37 through 40