The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople,
On the Gospel According to John.The Oxford Translation, revised with additional notes by
Rev. Philip Schaff, D.D., LL.D.
Published in 1886 by Philip Schaff, New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co.
Homily XLII.John vi. 1, 4
"After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, into the parts of  Tiberias. And a great multitude followed Him, because they saw the  miracles which He did on them that were diseased. And Jesus departed  into a mountain, and there sat with His disciples. And the Passover of the Jews  was nigh."
[1.] Beloved , let us not contend with violent men, but learn  when the doing so brings no hurt to our virtue to give place to their evil counsels; for so all their hardihood is checked. As darts when they fall upon a firm,  hard, and resisting substance, rebound with great violence on those who throw them, but when the violence of the cast hath nothing to oppose it, it soon becometh weaker and ceaseth, so is it with insolent men; when we contend with them they become the fiercer, but when we yield and give ground, we easily abate all their madness. Wherefore the Lord when He knew that the Pharisees had heard "that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John," went into Galilee, to quench their envy, and to soften by His retirement the wrath which was likely to be engendered by these reports. And when He departed for the second time into Galilee, He cometh not to the same places as before; for He went not to Cana, but to "the other side of the sea," and  great multitudes followed Him, beholding "the miracles which He did." What miracles? Why doth he  not mention them specifically? Because this Evangelist most of all was desirous of employing the greater part of his book on the discourses and sermons [of Christ]. Observe, for instance, how for a whole year, or rather how even now at the feast of the Passover, he hath given us no more information on the head of miracles, than merely that He healed the paralytic and the nobleman's son. Because he was not anxious to enumerate them all, (that would have been impossible,) but of many and great to record a few.
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"And why doth He occupy the mountain now, and sit there with His disciples?" Because of the miracle which was about to take place. And that the disciples alone went up with Him, was a charge against the multitude which followed Him not. Yet not for this only did He go up into the mountain, but to teach us ever to rest at intervals from the tumults and confusion of common life.  For solitude is a thing meet for the study of wisdom. And often doth He go up alone into a mountain, and spend the night there, and pray, to teach us that the man who will come most near to God must be free from all disturbance, and must seek times and places clear of confusion.
Ver. 4 . "And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh."
"How then," saith some one, "doth He not go up unto the feast, but, when all are pressing to Jerusalem, goeth Himself into Galilee, and not Himself alone, but taketh His disciples with Him, and proceedeth thence to Capernaum?" Because henceforth He was quietly annulling the Law, taking occasion from the wickedness of. the Jews.
Ver. 5 . "And as He lifted up His eyes, He beheld a great company." 
This showeth that He sat not at any time idly  with the disciples, but perhaps carefully conversing with them, and making them attend  and turn towards Him, a thing which peculiarly marks  His tender care, and the humility and condescension of His demeanor towards them. For they sat with Him, perhaps looking at one another; then having lifted up His eyes, He beheld the multitudes coming unto Him. Now the other Evangelists say, that the disciples came and asked and besought Him that He would not send them away fasting, while St. John saith, that the question was put to Philip by Christ. Both occurrences seem to me to be truly reported, but not to have taken place at the same time, the former account being prior to the other, so that the two are entirely different.
Wherefore then doth He ask "Philip"? He knew which of His disciples needed most instruction; for this is he who afterwards said, "Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us" ( c. xiv. 8 ), and on this account Jesus was beforehand bringing him into a proper state.  For had the miracle simply been done, the marvel would not have seemed so great, but now He beforehand constraineth him to confess the existing want, that knowing the state of matters he might be the more exactly acquainted with the magnitude of the miracle about to take place. Wherefore He saith, 
"Whence shall we have so many loaves,  that these may eat?"
So in the Old [Testament] He spake to Moses, for He wrought not the sign until He had asked him, "What is that in thy hand?" Because things coming to pass unexpectedly and all at once,  are wont to throw us into forgetfulness of things previous, therefore He first involved him in a confession of present circumstances, that when the astonishment should have come upon him, he might be unable afterwards to drive away the remembrance of what he had confessed, and thus might learn by comparison the greatness of the miracle, which in fact takes place in this instance; for Philip being asked, replied,
Ver. 7, 6. "Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. And this He said to prove him: for He Himself knew what He would do."
[2.] What meaneth, "to prove him"? Did not He know what would be said by him? We cannot assert that. What then is the meaning of the expression? We may discover it from the Old [Testament]. For there too it is said, "And it came to pass after these things that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Take thy beloved son whom thou lovest" ( Gen. xxii. 1, 2 ); yet it doth not appear in that place either, that when He saith this He waited to see the end of the trial, whether Abraham would obey or not, (how could He, who knoweth all things before they come into existence?  but the words in both cases are spoken after the manner of men. For as when (the Psalmist  ) saith that He "searcheth the hearts of men," he meaneth not a search of ignorance but of exact knowledge, just so when the Evangelist saith that He proved (Philip), he meaneth only that He knew exactly. And perhaps one might say another thing, that as He once made Abraham more approved, so also did He this man, bringing him by this question to an exact knowledge of the miracle. The Evangelist therefore, that thou mayest not stop at the feebleness of the expression, and so form an improper opinion of what was said, addeth, "He Himself knew what He would do."
Moreover we must observe this, that when there is any wrong suspicion, the writer straightway very carefully corrects  it. As then in this place that the hearers might not form any such suspicion, he adds the corrective, saying, "For He Himself knew what He would do": so also in that other place, when He saith, that "the Jews persecuted Him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God," had there not been the assertion of Christ Himself confirmed by His works, he would there also have subjoined this correction. For if even in words which Christ speaketh the Evangelist is careful that none should have suspicions, much more in cases where others were speaking of Him would he have looked closely, had he perceived that an improper opinion prevailed concerning Him. But he did not so, for he knew that this  was His meaning,  and immovable decree.  Therefore after saying, "making Himself equal with God," he used not any such correction; for the matter spoken of was not an erroneous fancy of theirs, but His own assertion ratified by His works. Philip then having been questioned,
Ver. 8, 9 . "Andrew, Simon's  brother, said, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?"
Andrew is higher minded than Philip, yet had not he attained to everything. Yet I do not think that he spake without an object, but as having heard  of the miracles of the Prophets, and how Elisha wrought a sign with the loaves ( 2 Kings iv. 43 ); on this account he mounted to a certain height,  but could not attain to the very top.
Let us learn then,  we who give ourselves to luxury, what was the fare of those great and admirable men; and in quality and quantity  let us behold and imitate the thriftiness of their table.
What follows also expresses great weakness. For after saying, "hath five barley loaves," he addeth, "but what are they among so many?" He supposed that the Worker of the miracle would make less out of less, and more out of more. But this was not the case, for it was alike easy to Him to cause bread to spring forth  from more and from less, since He needed no subject-matter. But in order that the creation might not seem foreign to His Wisdom, as afterwards slanderers and those affected with the disease of Marcion  said, He used the creation itself as a groundwork for His marvels.
When both the disciples had owned themselves at a loss, then He wrought the miracle; for thus they profited the more, having first confessed the difficulty of the matter, that when it should come to pass, they might understand the power of God. And because a miracle was about to be wrought, which had also been performed by the Prophets, although not in an equal degree, and because He would do it after first giving thanks, lest they should fall into any suspicion of weakness on His part, observe how by the very manner of His working He entirely raiseth their thoughts of it and showeth them the difference (between Himself and others). For when the loaves had not yet appeared,  that thou mayest learn, that things that are not are to Him as though they were, (as Paul saith, "who calleth the things that be not as though they were"-- Rom. iv. 17 ,) He commanded them as though the table were prepared and ready, straightway to sit down, rousing by this the minds of His disciples. And because  they had profited by the questioning, they immediately obeyed, and were not confounded, nor said, "How is this, why dost Thou bid us sit down, when there is nothing before us?" The same men, who at first disbelieved so much as to say, "Whence shall we buy bread?" began so far to believe even before they saw the miracle,  that they readily made the multitudes to sit down.
[3.] But why when He was about to restore the paralytic did He not pray, nor when He was raising the dead, or bridling the sea, while He doth so here over the loaves? It was to show that when we begin our meals, we ought to give thanks unto God. Moreover, He doth it especially in a lesser matter, that thou mayest learn that He doth it not as having any need; for were this the case, much more would He have done so in greater things; but when He did them by His own authority, it is clear that it was through condescension that He acted as He did in the case of the lesser. Besides, a great multitude was present, and it was necessary that they should be persuaded that He had come according to the will of God. Wherefore, when He doth miracles in the absence of witnesses, He exhibiteth nothing of the kind; but when He doth them in the presence of many, in order to persuade them that He is no enemy of God, no adversary of Him who hath begotten Him, He removeth the suspicion by thanksgiving.
"And He gave to them that were set down, and they were filled." 
Seest thou how great is the interval between the servants and the Master? They having grace by measure, wrought their miracles accordingly, but God, who acteth with free power, did all most abundantly.
Ver. 12 . "And He said  unto His disciples, Gather up the fragments which remain;  --and they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets."
This was not a superfluous show, but in order that the matter might not be deemed a mere illusion; and for this reason He createth  from matter already subsisting. "But why gave He not the bread to the multitudes to bear, but (only) to His disciples?" Because He was most desirous to instruct these who were to be the teachers of the world. The multitude would not as yet reap any great fruit from the miracles, (at least they straightway forgot this one and asked for another,) while these would gain no common profit. And what took place was moreover no ordinary condemnation of Judas, who bore a basket. And that these things were done for their instruction is plain from what is said afterwards, when He reminded them, saying, "Do ye not yet understand--how many baskets ye took up?" ( Matt. xvi. 9 .) And for the same reason it was that the baskets of fragments were equal in number to the disciples; afterwards, when they were instructed, they took not up so many, but only "seven baskets." ( Matt. xv. 37 .) And I marvel not only at the quantity of loaves created, but besides the quantity, at the exactness of the surplus, that He caused the superabundance to be neither more nor less than just so much as He willed, foreseeing how much they would consume; a thing which marked unspeakable power. The fragments then confirmed the matter, showing both these points; that what had taken place  was no illusion, and that these were from the loaves by which the people had been fed. As to the fishes, they at this time were produced from those already subsisting, but at a later period, after the Resurrection, they were not made from subsisting matter. "Wherefore?" That thou mayest understand that even now He employed matter, not from necessity, nor as needing any base  (to work upon), but to stop the mouths of heretics. 
"And the multitudes said, that this is of a truth The Prophet." 
Oh, excess of gluttony! He had done ten thousand things more admirable than this, but nowhere did they make this confession, save when they had been filled. Yet hence it is evident that they expected some remarkable prophet; for those others had said (to John), "Art thou that Prophet?"  while these say, "This is that Prophet."
Ver. 15 . "When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take Him by force to make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain." 
Wonderful! How great is the tyranny of gluttony, how great the fickleness of men's minds! No longer do they vindicate the Law, no longer do they care for the violation  of the Sabbath, no longer are they zealous for God; all such considerations are thrown aside, when their bellies have been filled; He was a prophet in their eyes, and they were about to choose Him for a king. But Christ fleeth. "Wherefore?" To teach us to despise worldly dignities, and to show us that He needed nothing on earth. For He who chose  all things mean, both mother and house and city and nurture and attire would not afterwards be made illustrious by things on earth. The things which (He had) from heaven were glorious and great, angels, a star, His Father loudly speaking,  the Spirit testifying, and Prophets proclaiming Him from afar; those on earth were all mean, that thus His power might the more appear. He came also to teach us to despise the things of the world, and not be amazed or astonished by the splendors of this life, but to laugh them all to scorn, and to desire those which are to come. For he who admires things which are here, will not admire those in the heavens. Wherefore also He saith to Pilate, "My Kingdom is not of this world" ( c. xviii. 36 ), that He may not afterwards appear to have employed mere human terror or dominion for the purpose of persuasion. Why then saith the Prophet, "Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass"? ( Zech. ix. 9 .) He spake of that Kingdom which is in the heavens, but not of this on earth; and on this account Christ saith, "I receive not honor from men." ( c. v. 41 .)
Learn we then, beloved, to despise and not to desire the honor which is from men; for we have been honored with the greatest of honors, compared with which that other is verily  insult, ridicule, and mockery. And as the riches of this world compared with the riches of that are poverty, as this life apart from that is deadness,  (for "let  the dead bury their dead"-- Matt. viii. 28 ,) so this honor compared with that is shame and ridicule. Let us then not pursue it. If they who confer it are of less account than a shadow or a dream, the honor itself much more so. "The glory of man is as the flower of the grass" ( 1 Pet. i. 24 ); and what is meaner than the flower of the grass? Were this glory everlasting, in what could it profit the soul? In nothing. Nay, it very greatly injures us by making us slaves, slaves in worse condition than those bought with money, slaves who obey not one master only, but two, three, ten thousand, all giving different commands. How much better is it to be a free man than a slave, to be free from the slavery of men, and subject only to the dominion of God? In a word, if thou wilt desire glory, desire it, but let it be the glory immortal, for that is exhibited on a more glorious stage, and brings greater profit. For  the men here bid thee be at charges to please them, but Christ, on the contrary, giveth thee an hundredfold for what thou givest Him, and addeth moreover eternal life. Which of the two then is better, to be admired  on earth, or in heaven? by man, or by God? to your loss, or to your gain? to wear a crown for a single day, or for endless ages? Give to him that needeth, but give not to a dancer, lest thou lose thy money and destroy his soul. For thou art the cause of his (coming to) perdition through unseasonable munificence.  Since did those on the stage know that their employment would be unprofitable, they would have long ago ceased to practice it; but when they behold thee applauding, crowding after them, spending and wasting thy substance upon them, even if they have no desire to follow (their profession), they are kept to it by the desire of gain. If they knew that no one would praise what they do, they would soon desist from their labors, by reason of their unprofitableness; but when they see that the action is admired by many, the praise of others becomes a bait to them. Let us then desist from this unprofitable expense, let us learn upon whom and when we ought to spend. Let us not, I implore you, provoke God in both ways, gathering whence we ought not, and scattering where we ought not; for what anger doth not thy conduct deserve, when thou passest by the poor and givest to a harlot? Would not the paying the hire of sin and the bestowing honor where it were meet to punish have been a charge against thee, even hadst thou paid out of thy just earnings? but when thou feedest thine uncleanness by stripping orphans and wronging widows, consider how great a fire is prepared for those who dare such things. Hear what Paul saith, "Who not only do these things, but also have pleasure in  them that do them." ( Rom. i. 32 .)
Perhaps we have touched you sharply, yet if we touch you not, there are actual  punishments awaiting those who sin without amendment. What then availeth it to gratify by words those who shall be punished by realities? Dost thou take pleasure  at a dancer, dost thou praise and admire him? Then art thou worse than he; his poverty affords him an excuse though not a reasonable one, but thou art stripped even of this defense. If I ask him, "Why hast thou left other arts and come to this accursed and impure one?" he will reply, "because I can with little labor gain great profits." But if I ask thee why thou admirest one who spends his time in impurity, and lives to the mischief of many, thou canst not run to the same excuse, but must bow down thy face and be ashamed and blush. Now if when called by us to give account, thou wouldest have nothing to reply,  when that terrible and inexorable Judgment cometh where we shall render account of thoughts and deeds and everything, how shall we stand? with what eyes shall we behold our Judge? what shall we say? what defense shall we make? what excuse reasonable or unreasonable shall we put forward? shall we allege the expense? the gratification? the perdition of others whom by means of his art we ruin? We can have nothing to say, but must be punished with a punishment having no end, knowing no limit. That this come not to pass, let us henceforth guard all points, that having departed with a good hope, we may obtain the everlasting blessings; to which may we all attain 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.
"And when even was now come, His disciples went down unto  the sea and entered  into a ship, and went over  the sea toward Capernaum. And it was  now dark, and Jesus was not come unto them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew."
[1.] Christ provideth for the good of his disciples not only when He is present in the body, but also when far away; for having abundance of means and of skill, He effecteth one and the same end by contrary actions. Observe, for instance, what He hath done here. He leaveth His disciples, and goeth up into a mountain; and they,  when even was come, went down unto the sea. They waited for Him until evening, expecting that He would come unto them; but when even was come, they could no longer endure not to seek their Master;  so great a love possessed them. They said not, "It is now evening, and night hath overtaken us, whither shall we depart? the place is dangerous, the time unsafe"; but, goaded  by their longing, they entered into the ship. For it is not without a cause that the Evangelist hath declared  the time also, but by it to show the warmth of their love.
Wherefore then doth Christ let them go, and not show Himself?  And again,  wherefore doth He show Himself walking alone upon the sea? By the first He teacheth them how great (an evil) it is to be forsaken by Him, and maketh their longing greater; by the second, again, He showeth forth His power. For as in His teaching they heard not all in common with the multitude, so in the case of the miracles they saw them not all with the mass of people, since it was needful that they who were about to receive in charge the presidency  of the world, should have somewhat more than the rest. "And what sort of miracles," saith some one, "saw they by themselves?" The Transfiguration on the mount; this on the sea, and those after the Resurrection, which are many and important. And from these I conjecture that there were others also. They came to Capernaum without any certain information, but expecting to find Him there, or even in mid passage; this the Evangelist implies by saying that "it was now dark, and Jesus was not yet come to them."
"And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew." What did they? They were troubled, for there were many and various causes which forced them to be so. They were afraid by reason of the time for it was dark, of the storm for the sea had risen, of the place for they were not near land; but,
Ver. 19 . "Had rowed about five and twenty  furlongs."
And, lastly, by reason of the strangeness of the thing, for,
"They see Him  walking upon the sea." And when they were greatly troubled,
Ver. 20 . "He saith unto them, It is I, be not afraid."
Wherefore then appeareth He? To show that it was He who would make the storm cease. For this the Evangelist hath shown, saying, 
Ver. 21 . "They were willing to receive Him,  and immediately the ship was near the land." 
He not only gave them a safe passage, but also one with a fair wind.
To the multitude He showeth not Himself walking upon the sea, for the miracle was too great to suit their infirmity. Indeed, even by the disciples He was not seen long doing this, but He appeared, and at once retired.  Now this seems to me to be a different miracle from that found in Matthew xiv .; and that it is different is clear from many reasons. For He worketh often the same miracles, in order to cause the beholders not merely to count them very strange,  but also to receive them with great faith.
"It is I, be not afraid." As He spake the word, He cast out fear from their souls. But at another time not so; wherefore Peter said, "Lord, if it be Thou, bid me to come unto Thee." ( Matt. xiv. 28 .) Whence then was it that at that time they did not straightway admit this,  but now were persuaded? It was because then the storm continued to toss the bark, but now at His voice the calm had come. Or if the reason be not this, it is that other which I have before mentioned, that oftentimes working the same miracles, He made the second to be readily received by means of the first. But wherefore went He not up into the ship? Because He would make the marvel greater, would more openly  reveal to them His Godhead, and would show them, that when He before gave thanks, He did not so as needing aid, but in condescension to them. He allowed the storm to arise, that they might ever seek Him; He stilled the storm, that He might make known to them His power; He went not up into the ship, that He might make the marvel greater.
Ver. 22 . "And the people that were there saw that there was none other boat there save the one into which the disciples had entered, and that Jesus went not into the boat, but His disciples." 
And why is John so exact? Why said he not that the multitudes having passed over on the next day departed?  He desires to teach us something else, namely, that Jesus allowed the multitudes if not openly, at least in a secret manner, to suspect what had taken place. For, "They saw," saith he, "that there was none other boat there but one, and that Jesus went not into it with His disciples."
Ver. 24 . And embarking in boats from Tiberias, they "came to Capernaum seeking Jesus."
What else then could they suspect, save that He had arrived there crossing the sea on foot? for it was not possible to say that He had passed over in another ship. For "there was one," saith the Evangelist, "into which His disciples entered." Still when they came to Him after so great a wonder, they asked Him not how He crossed over, how He arrived there, nor sought to understand so great a sign. But what say they?
Ver. 25 . "Master, when camest Thou hither?"
[2.] Unless any one affirm that the "when" is here used by them in the sense of "how." But it is  worth while also to notice here the fickleness of their impulses  For they who said, "This is that Prophet"; they who were anxious to "take Him and make Him a king," now when they have found Him take no such counsel, but having cast out their astonishment, they no longer admire Him for His former deeds. They sought Him, desiring again to enjoy a table like the first.
The Jews under the guidance of Moses passed over the Red Sea, but that case is widely different from this. He did all with prayer and as a servant, but Christ with absolute  power. There when the south wind  blew, the water yielded so as to make them pass over on dry land, but here the miracle was greater. ( Ex. xiv. 21 .) For the sea retaining its proper nature so bare its Lord upon its surface,  thus testifying to the Scripture which saith, "Who walketh upon the sea as upon a pavement." ( Job ix. 8 .)
And with reason, when He was about to enter into stubborn and disobedient Capernaum, did He work the miracle of the loaves, as desiring not only by what took place within, but also by the miracles which were wrought without the city, to soften its disobedience. For was it not enough to soften even any stone, that such multitudes should come with great eagerness to that city? Yet they had no such feeling, but again desired food for the body; for which also they are reproached by Jesus.
Let us then, beloved, knowing these things, give thanks to God for things of sense, but much more for things spiritual; for such is His will, and it is on account of the latter that He giveth the former, leading in, as it were, by these the more imperfect sort, and giving them previous teaching, because they are yet gaping upon the world. But when such persons having received these worldly things, rest in them, then are they upbraided and rebuked. For in the case of him that had the palsy, Christ wished first to give that which was spiritual, but they that were present endured it not; for when He said, "Thy sins be forgiven thee," they exclaimed, "This man blasphemeth." ( Matt. ix. 2 .) Let us not, I entreat you, be so affected, but let us make more  account of those (spiritual) things. Wherefore? Because when spiritual things are present with us, no harm ariseth from the absence  of fleshly things; but when they are not, what hope, what comfort, shall then remain to us? wherefore it is for these we ought always to call upon God, and entreat Him for them. And for such hath Christ also taught us to pray; for if we unfold that Prayer, we shall find that there is nothing carnal in it, but all spiritual, and that even the small portion which seemeth to relate to sense, becometh by the manner spiritual. For to bid us ask no more than our "successive,"  that is, our "daily," bread, would mark a mind spiritual and truly wise. And consider what goeth before that, "Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done as in heaven so on earth"; then, after naming that temporal (need), He quickly leaveth it, and bringeth  us again to the spiritual doctrine, saying, "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." Nowhere hath He put in the Prayer riches or glory or dominion, but all things contributing to the benefit of the soul; nothing earthly, but all things heavenly. If then we are bidden to refrain from the things of this present life, how could we help being wretched and miserable, asking from God those things which even having He biddeth us cast away, to free us from care about them, and for which He biddeth us take no pains.  This is the "using vain repetition"; and this is why we effect nothing by our prayers. "How then," saith some one, "do the wicked grow rich, how the unjust and impure, plunderers and covetous?" Not by God's giving; (away with the thought!) but by plundering, and taking more than their due.  "And how doth God allow them?" As He allowed that rich man, reserving him for greater punishment. ( Luke xvi. 25 .) Hear what (Abraham) saith to him; "Son, thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things, but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented." Therefore that we also come not to hear that voice, by living softly and idly, and gathering together for ourselves many sins, let us choose the true riches and right wisdom, that we may obtain the promised good things; to which may we all arrive, 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.
"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 with  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."  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  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." ( Acts xx. 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"? ( Luke x. 41, 42 ); and again, "Take no thought for the morrow." ( Matt. vi. 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" ( 1 Thess. iv. 10, 11, 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." ( Eph. iv. 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." ( Acts xx. 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." ( 1 Cor. ix. 18 .) And when he was in that city, he abode with Aquila and Priscilla, "and wrought, for by their occupation they were tentmakers." ( Acts xviii. 3 .)
These passages show a yet more decided opposition as to the letter;  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 man 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, who  so senseless and mad  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 run  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. iii. 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,  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,  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,  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.
 al. " use towards him. "  al. For He all but saith this in what He directeth against them: " It was not, " &c.  " shall give, " N.T.  kata to rheton  al. " none. "  al. " unschooled. "  al. " fall down. "  al. " are called by God a way , for there is one broad , and one strait and narrow ; but things to come, " &c.  al. " ceases. "  al. " that we may also be able to attain them. "
"Then said they unto Him, What shall we do,  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?"
Ver. 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,  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 now  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.
Ver. 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." ( Ver. 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" ( c. iv. 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. viii. 8 ); and again, "The Lord thundered from heaven." ( Ps. xviii. 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 on  little by little, He saith,
Ver. 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,
Ver. 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,
Ver. 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" ( c. iii. 32 ); and again Christ Himself, "We speak that We do know, and testify that We have seen" ( c. iii. 11 ), "and ye believe not."  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 not  disturbed until they gave up their hope. Yet not for that was Christ silent, but uttered many words of reproof. For they,  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" ( c. v. 39 ); alluding partly to His miracles, partly to the testimony from the Scriptures; "For they," He saith, "are they which testify of Me" ( c. v. 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?" 
Ver. 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" ( ver. 37 ), and "I will raise it  up in the last day"? ( Ver. 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,  ("Take him, and cast him into outer darkness," Matt. xxii. 13 ,) and some are destroyed. ("Rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.") ( Matt. x. 28 .) And  the expression, "I give eternal life" ( c. x. 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."  ( c. v. 29 .) This then, the resurrection to good things,  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  everywhere, wishing to show that unbelievers are at variance with the Father, not with Him alone. For if this is His will, 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." ( Ver. 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." ( 1 Cor. xv. 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"  is also applied to the Father, as when the Apostle saith, "By whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son" ( 1 Cor. i. 9 ): and,  "By the will of the Father." And again; "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee." ( Matt. xvi. 17 .) What He here intimateth is something of this kind,  that "faith in Me is no ordinary thing, but needeth an impulse  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  the form of a servant." Then He addeth;
Ver. 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;
Ver. 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,  if that be already kindled"? ( Luke xii. 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. v. 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. ( Matt. xviii. 14 .) So that the will of the One differeth not from the will of the Other. So  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. xiv. 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." ( Ver. 39 .) Here He showeth that He needeth not their service, that He came not for His own advantage,  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. v. 41 ); and again, "These things I say that ye may be saved." ( c. v. 34 .) Since He everywhere laboreth to persuade  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  seeketh his own glory; but He that seeketh His glory that sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him." ( c. vii. 18 .) "And this is the will of the Father, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life." ( Ver. 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  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,  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,  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." ( Heb. x. 37 .) And again, "We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ" ( 2 Cor. v. 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.  "For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." ( 2 Cor. iv. 18 .) Continually let us say to ourselves and to others,  "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  all those unbelievers, but preserved him  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  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.  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." ( 1 Thess. v. 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?  "Art Thou come," they say, "to torment us before the time?" ( Matt. viii. 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. i. 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. x. 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" ( Matt. x. 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.
John vi. 41, 42
"The Jews then murmured at Him, because He said, I am the Bread which came down from heaven; and they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He saith, I came down from heaven?"
[1.] " Whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame" ( Philip. iii. 19 ), said Paul of certain persons, writing to the Philippians.  Now that the Jews were of this character is clear, both from what has gone before, and from what they came and said to Christ. For when He gave them bread, and filled their bellies, they said that He was a Prophet, and sought to make Him a King: but when He taught them concerning spiritual food, concerning eternal life, when He led them away from objects of sense, and spake to them of a resurrection, and raised their thoughts to higher matters, when most they ought to have admired, they murmur and start away. And yet, if He was that Prophet as they before asserted, declaring that he it was of whom Moses had said, "A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren like unto me, unto Him shall ye hearken" ( Deut. xviii. 15 ); they ought to have hearkened to Him when He said, "I came down from heaven"; yet they hearkened not, but murmured. They still reverenced Him, because the miracle of the loaves was recent, and therefore they did not openly gainsay Him, but by murmuring expressed their displeasure, that He did not give them the meal which they desired. And murmuring they said, "Is not this the son of Joseph?" Whence it is plain, that as yet they knew not of His strange and marvelous Generation. And so they still say that He is the son of Joseph, and are not rebuked; and He saith not to them, "I am not the Son of Joseph"; not because He was his son, but because they were not as yet able to hear of that marvelous Birth. And if they could not bear to hear in plain terms of His birth according to the flesh, much less could they hear of that ineffable Birth which is from above. If He revealed not that which was lower to them, much less would He commit to them the other. Although this greatly offended them, that He was born from a mean and common father, still He revealed not to them the truth, lest in removing one cause of offense He should create another. What then said He when they murmured?
Ver. 44 . "No man can come unto Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw Him."
The Manichæans spring upon these words, saying, "that nothing lies in our own power"; yet the expression showeth that we are masters of our will. "For if a man cometh to Him," saith some one, "what need is there of drawing?" But the words do not take away our free will, but show that we greatly need assistance. And He implieth not an unwilling  comer, but one enjoying much succor. Then He showeth also the manner in which He draweth; for that men may not, again, form any material idea of God, He addeth,
Ver. 46 . "Not that any man hath seen God,  save He which is of God, He hath seen the Father."
"How then," saith some one, "doth the Father draw?" This the Prophet explained of old, when he proclaimed beforehand, and said,
Ver. 45 . "They shall all be taught of God." ( Isa. liv. 13 .)
Seest thou the dignity of faith, and that not of men nor by man, but by God Himself they shall  learn this? And to make this assertion credible, He referred them to their prophets. "If then `all shall be taught of God,' how is it that some shall not believe?" Because the words are spoken of the greater number. Besides, the prophecy meaneth not absolutely all, but all that have the will. For the teacher sitteth ready to impart what he hath to all, and pouring forth his instruction unto all.
Ver. 44 . "And I will raise him up in the last day."
Not slight here is the authority of the Son, if so be that the Father leadeth, He raiseth up. He distinguisheth not His working from that of the Father, (how could that be?) but showeth equality  of power. As, therefore, after saying in that other place, "The Father which hath sent Me beareth witness of Me," He then, that they might not be over-curious about the utterance, referred them to the Scriptures; so here, that they may not entertain similar suspicions, He referreth them to the Prophets, whom He continually and everywhere quoteth, to show that He is not opposed to the Father.
"But what of those," saith some one, "who were before His time? Were not they taught of God? why then the special application of the words here?" Because of old they learned the things of God by the hands of men, but now by the Only-begotten Son of God, and by the Holy Ghost. Then He addeth, "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He which is of God,"  using this expression here not with reference to the cause, but to the manner of being.  Since had He spoken in the former sense, we are all "of God." And where then would be the special and distinct nature of the Son? "But wherefore," saith some one, "did He not put this more clearly?" Because of their weakness. For if when He said, "I am come down from heaven," they were so offended, what would they have felt had He added this?
He calleth Himself, ( ver. 48 ,) "the bread of life," because He maintaineth  our life both which is and which is to be, and saith, "Whosoever  shall eat of this bread shall live for ever." By "bread" He meaneth here either His saving doctrines and the faith which is in Him, or His own Body; for both nerve the soul. Yet in another place He said, "If a man hear  My saying, he shall never taste of death." ( c. viii. 51 .) And they were offended; here they had no such feeling perhaps, because they yet respected Him on account of the loaves which had been made.
[2.] And observe how He distinguisheth between His bread and the manna, by causing them to hear the result of each kind of food. For to show that the manna afforded them no unusual advantage, He added,
Ver. 49 . "Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead."
He then establisheth a thing most likely to persuade them, that they were deemed worthy of greater things than their fathers, (meaning those marvelous men who lived in the time of Moses,) and so, after saying that they were dead who ate the manna, He addeth,
Ver. 51 . "He that eateth  of this bread, shall live for ever."
Nor hath He put "in the wilderness" without a cause, but to point out that the supply of manna was not extended to a long time, nor entered with them into the land of promise. But this "bread" was not of the same kind.
"And the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
Here one might reasonably enquire, how this was a fit season for these words, which neither edified nor profited, but rather did mischief to those who had been edified; for "from that time," saith the Evangelist, "many of His disciples went back," saying, "This is a hard saying; who can hear it?" ( ver. 60 ); since these things might have been entrusted to the disciples only, as Matthew hath told us that He discoursed with them apart. ( Mark iv. 34: see Matt. xiii. 36 .) What then shall we say? What is the profit of the words? Great is the profit and necessity of them. Because they pressed upon Him, asking for bodily food, reminding Him of the food provided in the days of their forefathers, and speaking of the manna as a great thing, to show them that all those things were but type and shadow, but that the very reality of the matter was now present with them, He mentioneth spiritual food. "But," saith some one, "he ought to have said, Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, but I have given you bread." But the interval between the two miracles was great, and the latter of them would have appeared inferior to the former, because the manna came down from heaven, but this, the miracle of the loaves, was wrought on earth. When therefore they sought food "coming down from heaven," He continually told them, "I came down from heaven." And if any one enquire why He introduced the discourse on the Mysteries, we will reply, that this was a very fitting time for such discourses; for indistinctness in what is said always rouses the hearer, and renders him more attentive. They ought not then to have been offended, but rather to have asked and enquired. But now they went back. If they believed Him to be a Prophet, they ought to have believed His words, so that the offense was caused by their own folly, not by any difficulty in the words. And observe how by little and little He led them up to Himself. Here He saith that Himself giveth, not the Father;  "The bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
"But," saith some one, "this doctrine was strange to them and unusual."  And yet John at an earlier period alluded to it by calling Him "Lamb." ( c. i. 29 .) "But for all that, they knew it not." I know they did not; nay, neither did the disciples understand. For if as yet they had no clear knowledge of the Resurrection, and so knew not what, "Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up" ( John ii. 19 ), might mean, much more would they be ignorant of what is said here. For these words were less clear than those. Since that prophets had raised men  from the dead, they knew, even if the Scriptures have not spoken so clearly on the subject, but not one of them ever asserted that any man had eaten flesh. Still they obeyed, and followed Him, and confessed that He had the words of eternal life. For this is a disciple's part, not to be over-curious about the assertions of his teacher, but to hear and obey him, and to wait the proper time for the solution of any difficulties. "How then," saith some one, "was it that the contrary came to pass, and that these men `went back'?" It was by reason of their folly. For when questioning concerning the "how" comes in, there comes in with it unbelief. So Nicodemus was perplexed, saying, "How can a man enter into his mother's womb?" So also these are confounded, saying,
Ver. 52 . "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
If thou seekest to know the "how," why askedst not thou this in the matter of the loaves, how He extended five to so great a number? Because they then only thought of being satisfied, not of seeing the miracle. "But," saith some one, "their experience then taught them." Then by reason of that experience these words ought to have been readily received. For to this end He wrought beforehand that strange miracle, that taught by it they might no longer disbelieve what should be said by Him afterwards.
[3.] Those men then at that time reaped no fruit from what was said, but we have enjoyed the benefit in the very realities. Wherefore it is necessary to understand the marvel of the Mysteries, what it is, why it was given, and what is the profit of the action. We become one Body, and "members of His flesh and of His bones." ( Eph. v. 30 .) Let the initiated  follow what I say. In order then that we may become this not by love only, but in very deed, let us be blended  into that flesh. This is effected by the food which He hath freely given us, desiring to show the love which He hath for us. On this account He hath mixed up Himself with us; He hath kneaded up  His body with ours, that we might be a certain One Thing,  like a body joined to a head. For this belongs to  them who love strongly; this, for instance, Job implied, speaking of his servants, by whom he was beloved so exceedingly, that they desired to cleave unto his flesh. For they said, to show the strong love which they felt, "Who would give us to be satisfied with his flesh?" ( Job xxxi. 31 .) Wherefore this also Christ hath done, to lead us to a closer friendship, and to show His love for us; He hath given to those who desire Him not only to see Him, but even to touch, and eat Him, and fix their teeth in His flesh, and to embrace Him, and satisfy all their love. Let us then return from that table like lions breathing fire, having become terrible to the devil; thinking on our Head, and on the love which He hath shown for us. Parents often entrust their offspring to others to feed; "but I," saith He, "do not so, I feed you with Mine own flesh, desiring that you all be nobly born,  and holding forth to you good hopes for the future. For He who giveth out Himself to you here, much more will do so hereafter. I have willed to become your Brother, for your sake I shared in flesh and blood, and in turn I give out to you the flesh and the blood by which I became your kinsman." This blood causeth the image of our King to be fresh  within us, produceth beauty unspeakable, permitteth not the nobleness of our souls to waste away, watering it continually, and nourishing it. The blood derived from our food becomes not at once blood, but something else; while this doth not so, but straightway watereth our souls, and worketh in them some mighty power. This  blood, if rightly taken, driveth away devils, and keepeth them afar off from us, while it calleth to us Angels and the Lord of Angels. For wherever they see the Lord's blood, devils flee, and Angels run together. This blood poured forth washed clean all the world; many wise sayings did the blessed Paul utter concerning it in the Epistle to the Hebrews. This blood cleansed the secret place, and the Holy of Holies. And if the type of it had such great power in the temple of the Hebrews, and in the midst of Egypt, when smeared on the door-posts, much more the reality. This blood sanctified the golden altar; without it the high priest dared not enter into the secret place. This blood consecrated  priests, this in types cleansed  sins. But if it had such power in the types, if death so shuddered at the shadow, tell me how would it not have dreaded the very reality? This blood is the salvation of our souls, by this the soul is washed,  by this is beautiful, by this is inflamed, this causeth our understanding to be more bright than fire, and our soul more beaming than gold; this blood was poured forth, and made heaven accessible.
[4.] Awful in truth are the Mysteries of the Church, awful in truth is the Altar. A fountain went up out of Paradise sending forth  material rivers, from this table springeth up a fountain which sendeth forth rivers spiritual. By the side of this fountain are planted not fruitless willows, but trees reaching even to heaven, bearing fruit ever timely and undecaying. If any be scorched with heat, let him come to the side of this fountain and cool his burning. For it quencheth drought, and comforteth  all things that are burnt up, not by the sun, but by the fiery darts. For it hath its beginning from above, and its source is there, whence also its water floweth. Many are the streams of that fountain which the Comforter sendeth forth, and the Son is the Mediator, not holding mattock to clear the way, but opening our minds. This fountain is a fountain of light, spouting forth rays of truth. By it stand the Powers on high looking upon the beauty of its streams, because they more clearly perceive the power of the Things set forth, and the flashings unapproachable. For as when gold is being molten if one should (were it possible) dip in it his hand or his tongue, he would immediately render them golden; thus, but in much greater degree, doth what here is set forth work upon the soul. Fiercer than fire the river boileth up, yet burneth not, but only baptizeth that on which it layeth hold. This blood was ever typified of old in the altars and sacrifices  of righteous men, This is the price of the world, by This Christ purchased to Himself the Church, by This He hath adorned Her all. For as a man buying servants giveth gold for them, and again when he desireth to deck them out doth this also with gold; so Christ hath purchased us with His blood, and adorned us with His blood. They who share this blood stand with Angels and Archangels and the Powers that are above, clothed in Christ's own kingly robe, and having the armor of the Spirit. Nay, I have not as yet said any great thing: they are clothed with the King Himself.
Now as this is a great and wonderful thing, so if thou approach it with pureness, thou approachest for salvation; but if with an evil conscience, for punishment and vengeance. "For," It saith, "he that eateth and drinketh unworthily" of the Lord, "eateth and drinketh judgment to himself" ( 1 Cor. xi. 29 ); since if they who defile the kingly purple are punished equally with those who rend it, it is not  unreasonable that they who receive the Body with unclean thoughts should suffer the same punishment as those who rent it with the nails. Observe at least how fearful a punishment Paul declareth, when he saith, "He that despised Moses' law dieth without mercy under two or three witnesses; of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing?" ( Heb. i. 28 .) Take we then heed to ourselves, beloved, we who enjoy such blessings; and if we desire to utter any shameful word, or perceive ourselves hurried away by wrath or any like passion, let us consider of what things we have been deemed worthy, of how great a Spirit we have partaken, and this consideration shall be a sobering of our unreasonable passions. For how long shall we be nailed to present things? How long shall it be before we rouse ourselves? How long shall we neglect our own salvation? Let us bear in mind of what things Christ has deemed us worthy, let us give thanks, let us glorify Him, not by our faith alone, but also by our very works, that we may obtain the good things that are to come, 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.
John vi. 53, 54
"Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have not eternal  life in yourselves. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath life  in himself."
[1.] When we converse of spiritual things, let there be nothing secular in our souls, nothing earthy, let all such thoughts retire, and be banished, and let us  be entirely given up to the hearing the divine oracles only. For if at the arrival of a king  all confusion is driven away, much more when the Spirit speaketh with us do we need  great stillness, great awe. And worthy of awe is that which is said to-day. How it is so, hear. "Verily I say unto you, Except a man eat My flesh, and drink My blood, he hath not eternal life in him." Since the Jews had before asserted that this was impossible, He showeth not only that it is not impossible, but that it is absolutely necessary. Wherefore He addeth, "He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life."
"And I will raise him up at the last day." For since He had said, "He that eateth of this bread shall not die for ever" ( ver. 50 , not verbally quoted), and it was likely that this would stand in their way, (just as they before said, "Abraham is dead, and the prophets are dead; and how sayest Thou, that he shall not taste of death?"-- c. viii. 52 , not verbally quoted.) He bringeth forward the Resurrection to solve the question, and to show that (the man who eateth) shall not die at the last.  He continually handleth the subject of the Mysteries, showing the necessity of the action, and that it must by all means be done.
Ver. 55 . "For My flesh is true  meat, and My blood is true drink."
What is that He saith?  He either desireth to declare that this is the true meat which saveth the soul, or to assure them concerning what had been said, that they might not suppose the words to be a mere enigma or parable, but might know that it is by all means needful to eat the Body. Then He saith,
Ver. 56 . "He that eateth My flesh, dwelleth in Me."
This He said, showing that such an one is blended with  Him. Now what follows seems unconnected, unless we enquire into the sense; for, saith some one, after saying, "He that eateth My flesh, dwelleth in Me," what kind of a consequence is it to add,
Ver. 57 . "As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father"?
Yet the words harmonize perfectly. For since He continually spake of "eternal life," to prove this point He introduceth the expression, "dwelleth in Me"; for "if he dwelleth in Me, and I live, it is plain that he will live also." Then He saith, "As the living Father hath sent Me." This is an expression of comparison and resemblance, and its meaning is of this kind, "I live in like manner as the Father liveth." And that thou mayest not deem Him unbegotten, He immediately subjoineth, "by the Father," not by this to show that He needeth, in order to live, any power working in Him,  for He said before, to remove such a suspicion, "As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son also to have life in Himself"; now if He needeth the working of another, it will be found that either the Father hath not given Him so to have it, and so the assertion is false, or if He hath so given it, then He will need no other one to support Him. What then means the, "By the Father"? He here merely hinteth at the cause, and what He saith is of this kind: "As the Father liveth, so I live, and he that eateth Me shall live by Me." And the "life" of which He speaketh is not life merely, but the excellent  life; for that He spake not simply of life, but of that glorious and ineffable life, is clear from this. For all men "live," even unbelievers, and uninitiated, who eat not of that flesh. Seest thou that the words relate not to this life, but to that other? And what He saith is of this kind: "He that eateth My flesh, when he dieth shall not perish nor suffer punishment"; He spake not of the general resurrection, (for all alike rise again,) but concerning the special, the glorious Resurrection, that which hath a reward.
Ver. 58 . "This is that bread which came down from heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead; he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever."
Continually doth He handle the same point, so as to imprint it on the understanding of the hearers, (for the teaching on these points was a kind of final teaching,) and to confirm the doctrine of the Resurrection and of eternal life. Wherefore He mentioneth the Resurrection since He promiseth eternal life, showing that that life is not now, but after the Resurrection.  "And whence," saith some one, "are these things clear?" From the Scriptures; to them He everywhere referreth the Jews, bidding them learn these things from them. And by saying, "Which giveth life to the world," He inciteth them to jealousy, that from very vexation that others should enjoy the gift, they may not stay without. And continually He remindeth them of the manna, showing the difference, (between it and His bread,) and guiding them to the faith; for if He was able  to support their life for forty years without harvest, or corn, or other things in course;  much more now will He be able to do so, as having come for greater ends. Moreover, if those things were but types, and yet men collected what came down without sweat or labor; much more shall this be the case, where the difference is great both in the never dying, and in the enjoying the true life. And rightly hath He spoken often of "life," since this is desired by men, and nothing is so pleasing to them as not to die. Since even under the old Covenant, this was the promise, length of life and many days, but now it is not length merely, but life having no end. He desireth at the same time to show, that He now revoketh the punishment caused by sin, annulling that sentence which condemneth to death, and bringing in not life merely, but life eternal, contrariwise to the former things. 
Ver. 59 . "These things said He in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum."
[2.] The place where most of His marvels had been done, so that He ought there especially to have been listened to. But wherefore taught He in the synagogue and in the Temple? As well because He desired to catch the greatest number of them, as because He desired to show that He was not opposed to the Father.
Ver. 60 . "But many of the disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is a hard saying."
What means "hard"? Rough, laborious, troublesome. Yet He said nothing of this kind, for He spake not of a mode of life,  but of doctrines, continually handling the faith which is in Him. What then means, "is a hard saying"? Is it because it promiseth life and resurrection? Is it because He said that He came down from heaven? Or that it was impossible for one to be saved who ate not His flesh? Tell me, are these things "hard"? Who can assert that they are? What then means "hard"? It means, "difficult to be received," "transcending their infirmity," "having much terror." For they thought that He uttered words too high for His real character, and such as were above Himself. Therefore they said,
"Who can hear it?"
Perhaps making excuse for themselves, since they were about to start away.
Ver. 61, 62 . "When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured at it," (for this is an attribute of His Godhead to bring secret things to light,) "He said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see  the Son of Man ascend up where He was before?"
This also He doth in the case of Nathanael, saying, "Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig-tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these." ( c. i. 50 .) And to Nicodemus, "No man hath ascended up to heaven but the Son of man which is in heaven." ( c. iii. 13 .) What then, doth He add difficulties to difficulties? No, (that be far from Him,) but by the greatness of the doctrines, and the number of them, He desireth to bring them over. For if one had said simply, "I have come down from heaven," and added nothing more, he would have been the more likely to offend them; but He who said, "My body is the life of the world"; He who said, "As the living Father hath sent Me, so I live by the Father"; and who said, "I have come down from heaven," solves the difficulty. For the man who utters any one great thing concerning himself may perhaps be suspected of feigning, but he who connects together so many one after another removes all suspicion. All that He doth and saith is intended to lead them away from the thought, that Joseph was His father. And it was not with a wish to strengthen, but rather to do away that stumbling-block, that He said this. For whosoever deemed that He was Joseph's son could not receive His sayings, while one that was persuaded that He had come down from heaven, and would ascend thither, might more easily give heed to His words: at the same time He bringeth forward also another explanation, saying,
Ver. 63 . "It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing."
His meaning is, "Ye must hear spiritually what relateth to Me, for he who heareth carnally is not profited, nor gathereth any advantage." It was carnal to question how He came down from heaven, to deem that He was the son of Joseph, to ask, "How can he give us His flesh to eat?" All this was carnal, when they ought to have understood the matter in a mystical and spiritual sense. "But," saith some one, "how could they understand what the `eating flesh' might mean?" Then it was their duty to wait for the proper time and enquire, and not to abandon Him.
"The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life."
That is, they are divine and spiritual, have nothing carnal about them, are not subject to the laws of physical consequence, but are free from any such necessity, are even set above the laws appointed for this world, and have also another and a different meaning. Now as in this passage He said "spirit," instead of "spiritual," so when He speaketh of "flesh," He meant not "carnal things," but "carnally hearing," and alluding at the same time to them, because they ever desired carnal things when they ought to have desired spiritual. For if a man receives them carnally, he profits nothing. "What then, is not His flesh, flesh?" Most certainly. "How then saith He, that the flesh profiteth nothing?" He speaketh not of His own flesh, (God forbid!) but of those who received His words in a carnal manner. But what is "understanding carnally"? It is looking merely to what is before our eyes, without imagining anything beyond. This is understanding carnally. But we must not judge thus by sight, but must look into all mysteries with the eyes within. This is seeing spiritually. He that eateth not His flesh, and drinketh not His blood, hath no life in him. How then doth "the flesh profit nothing," if without it we cannot live? Seest thou that the words, "the flesh profiteth nothing," are spoken not of His own flesh, but of carnal hearing?
Ver. 64 . "But there are some of you that believe not."
Again, according to His custom, He addeth weight to His words, by foretelling what would come to pass, and by showing that He spake thus not from desire of honor from them, but because He cared for them. And when He said "some," He excepted the disciples. For at first He said, "Ye have both seen Me, and believe not" ( ver. 36 ); but here, "There are some of you that believe not."
For He "knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray Him."
Ver. 65 . "And He said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me except it were given unto Him from above from My Father."
[3.] Here the Evangelist intimates to us the voluntary character of the Dispensation, and His endurance of evil. Nor is the, "from the beginning," put here without a cause, but that thou mayest be aware of His foreknowledge from the first, and that before the words were uttered, and not after the men had murmured nor after they had been offended, He knew the traitor, but before, which was an attribute of Godhead. Then He added, "Except it be given him from above from My Father"; thus persuading them to deem God His Father, not Joseph, and showing them that it is no common thing to believe in Him. As though He had said, "Unbelievers disturb Me not; trouble Me not, astonish Me not. I know of old before they were created, I know to whom the Father hath given to believe;" and do thou, when thou hearest that "He hath given," imagine not merely an arbitrary distribution,  but that if any hath rendered himself worthy to receive the gift, he hath received it.
Ver. 66 . "From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him."
Rightly hath the Evangelist said, not that they "departed," but that they "went back"; showing that they cut themselves off from any increase in virtue, and that by separating themselves they lost the faith which they had of old. But this was not the case with the twelve; wherefore He saith to them,
Ver. 67 . "Will ye also go away?"
Again showing that He needeth not their ministry and service, and proving to them that it was not for this that He led them about with Him. For how could He when He used such expressions even to them? But why did He not praise them? why did He not approve them? Both because He preserved the dignity befitting a teacher, and also to show them that they ought rather to be attracted by this mode of dealing. For had He praised them, they might, supposing that they were doing Him a favor, have had some human feeling; but by showing them that He needed not their attendance, He kept them to Him the more. And observe with what prudence He spake. He said not, "Depart ye," (this would have been to thrust them from Him,) but asked them a question, "Will ye also go away?" the expression of one who would remove all force or compulsion, and who wished not that they should be attached to Him through any sense of shame, but with a sense of favor. By not openly accusing, but gently glancing at them, He showeth what is the truly wise course under such circumstances. But we feel differently; with good reason, since we do everything holding fast our own honor, and therefore think that our estate is lowered by the departure of those who attend on us. But He neither flattered nor repulsed them, but asked them a question. Now this was not the act of one despising them, but of one wishing them not to be restrained by force and compulsion: for to remain on such terms is the same as to depart. What then saith Peter?
Ver. 68, 69 . "To whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Seest thou that it was not the words that caused offense, but the heedlessness, and sloth, and wrong-mindedness of the hearers? For even had He not spoken, they would have been offended, and would not have ceased to be ever anxious about bodily food, ever nailed to earth. Besides, the disciples heard at the same time with the others, yet they declared an opinion contrary to theirs, saying, "To whom shall we go?" An expression indicating much affection, for it shows that their Teacher  was more precious to them than anything, than father or mother, or any possessions,  and that if they withdrew from Him, they had not then whither to flee. Then lest it should seem that he had said, "to whom shall we go?" because there were none that would receive them, he straightway added, "Thou hast the words of eternal life." For the Jews listened carnally, and with human reasonings, but the disciples spiritually, and committing all to faith. Wherefore Christ said, "The words which I have spoken unto you are spirit"; that is, "do not suppose that the teaching of My words is subject to the rule of material consequences, or to the necessity of created things. Things spiritual are not of this nature, nor endure to submit to the laws of earth." This also Paul declareth, saying, "Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down;) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.") ( Rom. x. 6, 7 .)
"Thou hast the words of eternal life." These men already admitted the Resurrection, and all the apportionment  which shall be there. And observe the brotherly and affectionate man, how he maketh answer for all the band. For he said not, "I know," but, "We know." Or rather, observe how he goes to the very words of his Teacher, not speaking as did the Jews. They said, "This is the son of Joseph"; but he said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God"; and "Thou hast the words of eternal life"; having perhaps heard Him say,  "He that believeth on Me  hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." For he showed that he retained all that had been said, by recalling the very words. What then did Christ? He neither praised nor expressed admiration of Peter, though He had elsewhere done so; but what saith He?
Ver. 70 . "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?"
For since Peter said, "We believe," Jesus excepteth Judas from the band. In the other place Peter made no mention of the disciples; but when Christ said, "Whom say ye that I am?" he replied, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" ( Matt. xvi. 15 ); but here, since he said, "We believe," Christ with reason admitteth not Judas into that band. And this He did afar off, and long before the time, to check the wickedness of the traitor, knowing that He should avail nothing, yet doing His own part.
[4.] And remark His wisdom. He made not the traitor manifest, yet allowed him not to be hidden; that on the one hand he might not lose all shame, and become more contentious; and on the other, that he might not, thinking to be unperceived, work his wicked deed without fear. Therefore by degrees He bringeth plainer reproofs against him. First, He numbered him too among the others, when He said, "There are some of you that believe not," (for that He counted the traitor the Evangelist hath declared, saying, "For He knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray Him;") but when he yet remained such, He brought against him a more severe rebuke, "One of you is a devil," yet made the fear common to them all, wishing to conceal him. And here it is worth while to enquire, why the disciples at this time said nothing, but afterwards were afraid and doubted, looking one upon another, and asking, "Lord, is it I?" ( Matt. xxvi. 22 ), when Peter beckoned to John to find out the traitor, by enquiring of their Teacher which was he. What is  the reason? Peter had not yet heard, "Get thee behind me, Satan," wherefore he had no fear at all; but when he had been rebuked, and though he spoke through strong affection,  instead of being approved of, had even been called "Satan," he afterwards with reason feared when he heard, "One of you shall betray Me." Besides, He saith not even now, "One of you shall betray Me," but, "One of you is a devil"; wherefore they understood not what was spoken, but thought that He was only reflecting upon their wickedness.
But wherefore said He, "I have chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil"? It was to show that His teaching was entirely free from flattery. For that they might not think that He would flatter them, because when all had left Him they alone remained, and confessed by Peter that He was the Christ, He leadeth them away from such a suspicion. And what He saith is of this kind. "Nothing abasheth Me from rebuking the bad; think not that because ye have remained I shall choose to flatter you, or that because ye have followed Me I shall not rebuke the wicked. For neither doth another circumstance abash Me, which is much more powerful than this to abash a teacher. For he that remaineth affordeth a proof of his affection, while one that hath been chosen by a teacher, being rejected, attacheth to him a character for folly among senseless persons. Still neither doth this cause Me to refrain from My reproofs." This at least even now the heathen frigidly and senselessly urge against Christ. For God is not wont to make men good by compulsion and force, neither is His election and choice compulsory on those who are called,  but persuasive.  And that thou mayest learn that the calling compelleth not, consider how many of these who have been called have come to perdition, so that it is clear that it lieth in our own will  also to be saved, or to perish.
[5.] Hearing therefore these things, learn we always to be sober and to watch. For if when he who was reckoned among that holy band, who had enjoyed so great a gift, who had wrought miracles, (for he too was with the others who were sent to raise the dead and to heal lepers,) if when he was seized by the dreadful disease of covetousness, and betrayed his Master, neither the favors, nor the gifts, nor the being with Christ, nor the attendance on Him, nor the washing the feet, nor the sharing His table, nor the bearing the bag, availed him, if these things rather served to help on  his punishment, let us also fear lest we ever through covetousness imitate Judas. Thou betrayest not Christ. But when thou neglectest the poor man wasting with hunger, or perishing with cold, that man draws upon thee the same condemnation.  When we partake of the Mysteries unworthily, we perish equally with the Christ-slayers. When we plunder, when we oppress  those weaker than ourselves, we shall draw down upon us severest punishment. And with reason; for how long shall the love of things present so occupy us, superfluous as they are and unprofitable? since wealth consists in superfluities, in which no advantage is. How long shall we be nailed to vanities? How long shall we not look through and away into heaven, not be sober, not be satiated with these fleeting things of earth, not learn by experience their worthlessness? Let us think of those who before us have been wealthy; are not all those things a dream? are they not a shadow, a flower? are they not a stream which floweth by? a story and a tale? Such a man has been rich, and where now is his wealth? It has gone, has perished, but the sins done by reason of it stay by him, and the punishment which is because of the sins. Yea, surely if there were no punishment, if no kingdom were set before us, it were a duty to show regard for those of like descent and family, to respect those who have like feelings with ourselves. But now we feed dogs, and many of us wild asses, and bears, and different beasts, while we care not for a man perishing with hunger; and a thing alien to us is more valued than that which is of our kin, and our own family less honored than creatures which are not so, nor related to us.
Is it a fine thing to build one's self splendid houses, to have many servants, to lie and gaze at a gilded roof? Why then, assuredly, it is superfluous and unprofitable. For other buildings there are, far brighter and more majestic than these; on such we must gladden our eyes, for there is none to hinder us. Wilt thou see the fairest of roofs? At eventide look upon the starred heaven. "But," saith some one, "this roof is not mine." Yet in truth this is more thine than that other. For thee it was made, and is common to thee and to thy brethren; the other is not thine, but theirs who after thy death inherit it. The one may do thee the greatest service, guiding thee by its beauty to its Creator; the other the greatest harm, becoming thy greatest accuser at the Day of Judgment, inasmuch as it is covered with gold, while Christ hath not even needful raiment. Let us not, I entreat you, be subject to such folly, let us not pursue things which flee away, and flee those which endure; let us not betray our own salvation, but hold fast to our hope of what shall be hereafter; the aged, as certainly knowing that but a little space of life is left us; the young, as well persuaded that what is left is not much. For that day cometh so as a thief in the night. Knowing this, let wives exhort their husbands, and husbands admonish their wives; let us teach youths and maidens, and all instruct one another, to care not for present things, but to desire those which are to come, that we may be able also to obtain them; 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 world without end. Amen.
John vii. 1, 2
"After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill Him. Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand."
[1.] Nothing is worse than envy and malice; through these death entered into the world. For when the devil saw man honored, he endured not his prosperity, but used every means to destroy him. ( Wisd. ii. 24 .) And from the same root one may everywhere see this same fruit produced. Thus Abel was slain; thus David, with many other just men, was like to have been so; from this also the Jews became Christ-slayers. And declaring this the Evangelist said, "After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He had not power  to walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill Him." What sayest thou, O blessed John? Had not He "power," who was able to do all that He would? He that said, "Whom seek ye?" ( c. xviii. 6 ) and cast them backward? He who was present, yet not seen ( c. xxi. 4 ), had not He "power"? How then afterwards did He come among them in the midst of the temple, in the midst of the feast, when there was an assembly, when they that longed for murder were present, and utter those sayings which enraged them yet the more? Yea, this at least men marveled at, saying, "Is not this He, whom they seek to kill? And, lo, He speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto Him." ( Ver. 25, 26.) What mean these riddles? Away with the word!  The Evangelist spake not so that he might be supposed to utter riddles, but to make it plain that He showeth proofs both of His Godhead and His Manhood. For when he saith, that "He had not power," he speaketh of Him as a man, doing many things after the manner of men; but when he saith, that He stood in the midst of them, and they seized Him not, he showeth to us the power of the Godhead, (as man He fled, as God He appeared,) and in both cases he speaks truly. To be in the midst of those who were plotting against Him, and yet not be seized by them, showed His unrivaled and irresistible nature; to yield strengthened and authenticated the Dispensation, that neither Paul of Samosata,  nor Marcion,  nor those affected with their maladies, might have anything to say. By this then he stoppeth all  their mouths.
"After these things was the Jews' feast of tabernacles." The words, "after these things," mean only, that the writer has here been concise, and has passed over a long interval of time, as is clear from this circumstance. When Christ sat  on the mountain, he saith, that it was the feast of the Passover;  while here the writer mentions the "feast of tabernacles," and during the five months hath neither related or taught us anything else, except the miracle of the loaves, and the sermon made to those who ate them. Yet He ceased not to work miracles, and to converse, both in the day, and in the evening, and oftentimes at night; at least, it was thus that He presided over His disciples, as all the Evangelists tell us. Why then have they omitted that interval? Because it was impossible to recount everything fully, and moreover, because they were anxious to mention those points which were followed  by any fault-finding or gainsaying of the Jews. There were many circumstances like those which here are omitted; for that He raised the dead, healed the sick, and was admired, they have frequently recorded;  but when they have anything uncommon to tell, when they have to describe any charge seemingly put forth against Him, these things they set down; such as this now, that "His brethren believed Him not." For a circumstance like this brings with it no slight suspicion, and it is worth our while to admire their truth-loving disposition, how they are not ashamed to relate things which seem to bring disgrace upon their Teacher, but have been even more anxious to report these than other matters. For instance, the writer having passed by many signs and wonders and sermons, has sprung at once to this.
Ver. 3-5 . For, saith he, "His brethren said unto Him, Depart hence, and go into Judæa, that Thy disciples also may see the works that Thou doest; for there is no man that doeth anything in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. Show thyself to the world. For neither did His brethren believe in Him."
[2.] What unbelief, saith some one, is here? They exhort  Him to work miracles. It is great deed; for of unbelief come their words, and their insolence, and their unseasonable freedom of speech. For they thought, that owing to their relationship, it was lawful  for them to address Him boldly. And their request seems forsooth to be that of friends, but the words were those of great maliciousness.  For in this place they reproach Him with cowardice and vainglory: since to say, "no man doeth anything in secret," is the expression of persons charging Him with cowardice, and suspecting the things done by Him as being not really done; and to add, that "he seeketh to be known," was to accuse Him of vainglory. But observe, I pray you, the power of Christ. Of those who said these things, one became first Bishop of Jerusalem, the blessed James, of whom Paul saith, "Other of the Apostles saw I none, save James, the Lord's brother" ( Gal. i. 19 ); and Judas also is said to have been a marvelous man. And yet these persons had been present also at Cana, when the wine was made, but as yet they profited nothing. Whence then had they so great unbelief? From their evil mind,  and from envy; for superiority among kindred is wont somehow to be envied by such as are not alike exalted. But who are those that they call disciples here? The crowd that followed Him, not the twelve. What then saith Christ? Observe how mildly He answered; He said not, "Who are ye that counsel and instruct Me thus?" but,
Ver. 6 . "My time is not yet come."
He here seemeth to me to hint at something other than He expresseth; perhaps in their envy they designed to deliver Him up to the Jews; and pointing out this to them, He saith, "My time is not yet come," that is, "the time of the Cross and the Death, why then hasten ye to slay Me before the time?"
"But your time is always ready."
As though He had said, "Though ye be ever with the Jews, they will not slay you who desire the same things with them; but Me they will straightway wish to kill. So that it is ever your time to be with them without danger, but My time is when the season of the Cross is at hand, when I must die." For that this was His meaning, He showed by what followed.
Ver. 7 . "The world cannot hate you;" (how should it hate those who desire, and who run for the same objects as itself?) "but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil."
"That is, because I upbraid and rebuke it, therefore I am hated." From this let us learn to master our anger, and not to give way to unworthy passion, though they be mean men who give us counsel. For if Christ meekly bore with unbelievers counseling Him, when their counsel was improper and not from any good intention, what pardon shall we obtain, who being but dust and ashes, yet are annoyed with those who counsel us, and deem that we are unworthily treated, although the persons who do this may be but a little humbler than ourselves? Observe in this instance how He repelleth their accusation with all gentleness; for when they say, "Show Thyself to the world," He replieth, "The world cannot hate you, but Me the world hateth"; thus removing their accusation. "So far," He saith, "am I from seeking honor from men, that I cease not to reprove them, and this when I know that by this course hatred is produced against and death prepared for Me." "And where," asketh some one, "did He rebuke men?" When did He ever cease to do so? Did He not say, "Think not that I will accuse you to the Father? There is one that accuseth you, even Moses." ( c. v. 45 .) And again; "I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you": and "How can ye believe, who receive honor from men,  and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?" Seest thou how He hath everywhere shown, that it was the open rebuke, not the violation of the Sabbath, which caused the hatred against Him?
And wherefore doth He send them to the feast, saying,
Ver. 8 . "Go ye up to the feast: I go not up yet"?
To show that He said these things not as needing them, or desiring to be flattered  by them, but permitting them to do what pertained to Jews. "How then," saith some one, "went He up after saying, `I go not up'?" He said not, once for all,  "I go not up," but, "now," that is, "not with you."
"For My time is not yet fulfilled."
And yet He was about to be crucified at the coming Passover. "How then went He not up also? for if He went not up because the time was not yet come, He ought not to have gone up at all." But He went not up for this purpose, that He might suffer, but that He might instruct them. "But wherefore secretly? since He might by going openly both have been amidst them, and have restrained their unruly impulses as He often did." It was because He would not do this continually. Since had He gone up openly, and again blinded them,  He would have made His Godhead to shine through in a greater degree, which at present behooved not, but He rather concealed it.  And since they thought that His remaining was from cowardice, He showeth them the contrary, and that it was from confidence, and a dispensation,  and that knowing beforehand the time when He should suffer, He would, when it should at length be at hand, be most desirous of going up to Jerusalem. And methinks by saying, "Go ye up," He meant, "Think not that I compel you to stay with Me against your will," and this addition of, "My time is not yet fully come," is the expression of one declaring that miracles must be wrought and sermons spoken, so that greater multitudes might believe, and the disciples be made more steadfast by seeing the boldness and the sufferings of their Master.
[3.] Learn we then, from what hath been said, His kindness and gentleness; "Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart" ( Matt. xi. 29 ); and let us cast away  all bitterness. If any exalt himself against us, let us be humble; if any be bold, let us wait upon him; if any bite and devour us with mocks and jests, let us not be overcome; lest in defending ourselves we destroy ourselves. For wrath is a wild beast, a wild beast keen and angry. Let us then repeat to ourselves  soothing charms drawn from the holy Scripture, and say, "Thou art earth and ashes." "Why is earth and ashes proud?" ( Ecclus. x. 9 ), and, "The sway of his fury shall be his destruction" ( Ecclus. i. 22 ): and, "The wrathful man is not comely" ( Prov. xi. 25 , LXX.); for there is nothing more shameful, nothing uglier than a visage inflamed with anger. As when you stir up mud there is an ill savor, so when a soul is disturbed by passion there is great indecency and unpleasantness. "But," saith some one, "I endure not insult from mine enemies." Wherefore? tell me. If the charge be true, then thou oughtest, even before the affront, to have been pricked at heart, and thank thine enemy for his rebukes; if it be false, despise  it. He hath called thee poor, laugh at him; he hath called thee base-born and foolish, then mourn for him; for "He that saith to his brother, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." ( Matt. v. 22 .) Whenever therefore one insults thee, consider the punishment that he undergoeth; then shalt thou not only not be angry, but shalt even shed tears for him. For no man is wroth with one in a fever or inflammation, but pities and weeps for all such; and such a thing is a soul that is angry. Nay, if even thou desire to avenge thyself, hold thy peace, and thou hast dealt thine enemy a mortal blow; while if thou addest reviling to reviling, thou hast kindled a fire. "But," saith some one, "the bystanders accuse us of weakness if we hold our peace." No, they will not condemn your weakness, but admire you for your wisdom. Moreover, if you are stung by insolence, you become insolent; and being stung, compel men to think that what hath been said of you is true. Wherefore, tell me, doth a rich man laugh when he is called poor? Is it not because he is conscious that he is not poor? if therefore  we will laugh at insults, we shall afford the strongest proof that we are not conscious of the faults alleged. Besides, how long are we to dread the accounts we render to men? how long are we to despise our common Lord, and be nailed to the flesh? "For whereas there is among you strife, and envying, and divisions, are ye not carnal?" ( 1 Cor. iii. 3 .) Let us then become spiritual, and bridle this dreadful wild beast. Anger differs nothing from madness, it is a temporary devil, or rather it is a thing worse than having a devil; for one that hath a devil may be excused, but the angry man deserves ten thousand punishments, voluntarily casting himself into the pit of destruction, and before the hell which is to come suffering punishment from this already, by bringing a certain restless turmoil and never silent  storm of fury, through all the night and through all the day, upon the reasonings of his soul. Let us therefore, that we may deliver ourselves from the punishment here and the vengeance hereafter, cast out this passion, and show forth all meekness and gentleness, that we may find rest for our souls both here and in the Kingdom of Heaven. To which may we all attain, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom and with whom, to the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory, now and ever and world without end. Amen.
 ou gar eichen exousian  al. " they are not riddles, God forbid! but this may be said, that, " &c.  p. 30.  p. 30.  al. " both. "  al. " when he showed Him sitting. "  " The Passover was nigh, " c. vi. 4  al. " to be followed. "  al. " we have often heard. "  al. " what a word of unbelief, spake they, exhorting. "  al. " was fitting. "  al. " bitterness. "  al. " deliberate choice. "  " one of another, " N.T.  al. " desiring their company and honor. "  kathapax  hautous eperose  al. " He would have displayed greater signs of the Godhead, and revealed It in greater degree. "  al. " at once a dispensation and a confidence. "  al. " cut up. "  al. " to it. "  al. " laugh at. "  al. " so also do ye; if rather. "  al. " unbearable. "
John vii. 9, 10
"When He had said these words unto them, He abode still in Galilee. But when His brethren were gone up, then went He up also unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret." 
[1.] The things done  by Christ after the manner of men, are not so done only to establish the Incarnation, but also to educate us for virtue. For had He done all as God, how could we have known, on falling in with such things as we wished not, what we must do? As, for instance, when He was in this very place, and the Jews would have killed Him, He came into the midst of them, and so appeased the tumult. Now had He done this continually, how should we, not being able to do so, and yet falling into the like case, have known in what way we ought to deal with the matter, whether to perish at once, or even to use some contrivance  in order that the word might go forward? Since, therefore, we who have no power could not have understood what to do on coming into the midst of our foes, on this account we are taught this very thing by Him. For, saith the Evangelist, Jesus, "when He had said these words, abode in Galilee; but when His brethren were gone up, then went He up also unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret." The expression, "when His brethren were gone up," is that of one showing that He chose not to go up with them. On which account He abode where He was, and manifested not Himself, although they in a manner urged  Him to do so. But why did He, who ever spake openly, do so now "as it were in secret"? The writer saith not "secretly," but, "as it were in secret." For thus, as I have said, He seemed  to be instructing us how to manage matters. And, apart from this,  it was not the same to come among them when heated and restive,  as to do so afterwards when the feast was ended.
Ver. 11 . "Then the Jews sought Him,  and said, Where is He?"
Excellent truly the good deeds at their feasts! they are eager for murder, and wish to seize Him, even during the feast.  At least, in another place they speak thus, "Think ye that He will not come to the feast?" ( John xi. 56 ); and here they said, "Where is He?" Through their excessive hatred and enmity they would not even call Him by name. Great was their reverence towards the feast, great their caution. By occasion of  the very feast they wished  to entrap Him!
Ver. 12 . "And there was much murmuring among the people concerning Him."
I think they were exasperated by the place where the miracle had been wrought, and were  greatly infuriated and afraid, not so much from anger at what had gone before, as from fear lest He should again work something similar. But all fell out contrary to what they desired, and against their will they rendered Him conspicuous.
"And some said, He is a good man; others said, Nay, but He deceiveth the people."
Methinks the first of these opinions was that of the many, the other that of the rulers and priests. For to slander Him suited their malice and wickedness. "He deceiveth," say they, "the people." How, tell me? Was it by seeming to work, not really working miracles? But experience witnesses  the contrary.
Ver. 13 . "Howbeit no man spake openly of Him for fear of the Jews."
Seest thou everywhere the ruling body corrupted, and the ruled sound indeed in judgment, but not having that proper courage  which a multitude especially lacketh? 
Ver. 14 . "Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up  and taught."
By the delay He made them more attentive; for they who had sought Him on the first days and said,  "Where is He?" when they saw Him suddenly present, observe how they drew near, and were like to press upon Him as He was speaking, both those who said that He was a good man, and those who said that He was not such;  the former so as to profit by and admire Him, the latter to lay hold on and detain Him. One party then said, "He deceiveth the people," by reason of the teaching and the doctrines, not understanding His meaning; the other on account of the miracles said, "He is a good man." He therefore thus came among them when He had slackened  their anger, so that they might hear His words at leisure, when passion no longer stopped their ears. What He taught, the Evangelist hath not told us; that He taught marvelously, this only he saith, and that He won  and brought them over. Such was the power of His speech. And they who had said, "He deceiveth the people," altered their opinion, "and marveled." Wherefore also they said,
Ver. 15 . "How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?"
Observest thou how the Evangelist showeth here also their marveling to be full of wickedness? for he saith not, that they admired the teaching, or that they received the words, but simply that they "marveled." That is, were thrown into a state of astonishment, and doubted, saying, "Whence hath this man  these things"? when they ought from this very difficulty to have known that there was nothing merely human in Him. But because they would not confess  this, but stopped at wondering only, hear what He saith.
Ver. 16 . "My doctrine is not Mine."
Again He answereth to their secret thoughts, referring them to the Father, and so desiring to stop their mouths.
Ver. 17 . "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself."
What He saith is this, "Cast out from yourselves the malice and wrath and envy and hatred which has without cause been conceived against Me, then there is nothing to hinder you from knowing that My words are indeed the words of God. For at present these things cast a darkness over you, and destroy the light of right judgment, while if ye remove them this shall no longer be your case." Yet He spake not (plainly) thus, (for so He would have confounded them exceedingly,) but implied it all by saying, "He that doeth His will shall know of the doctrine, whether it is of God, or whether I speak of Myself"; that is, "whether I speak anything different and strange and contrary to God." For, "of Myself" is always put with this meaning, that "I say nothing except what seemeth good to Him, but all that the Father willeth, I will also."
"If any man do His will, he shall know of the doctrine."
"What meaneth," "If any man do His will?" "If any man be a lover of the life which is according to virtue, he shall know the power of the sayings." "If any man will give heed to the prophecies, to see whether I speak according to them or not."
[2.] But how is the doctrine His and not His? For He said not, "This doctrine is not Mine"; but having first said, "it is Mine," and having claimed it as His own, He then added, "it is not Mine." How then can the same thing be both "His" and not "His"? It is "His," because He spake it not as one who had been taught; and it is "not His," because it was the doctrine of the Father. How then saith He, "All that is the Father's is Mine, and Mine His"? ( c. xvii. 10 .  ) "For if because the doctrine is the Father's, it is not thine, that other assertion is false, for according to that it ought to be thine." But the "is not Mine," affords a strong proof that His doctrine and the Father's are one; as if He had said, "It hath nothing different,  as though it were another's. For though My Person  be different, yet so do I speak and do as not to be supposed to speak or do anything contrary to the Father, but rather the very same things that the Father saith and doeth." Then He addeth another incontrovertible argument, bringing forward something merely human, and instructing them by things to which they were accustomed. And what is that?
Ver. 18 . "He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory."
That is, "He that desireth to establish any doctrine of his own, desireth to do so only that he himself may enjoy the glory.  Now if I desire not to enjoy glory, wherefore should I desire to establish any doctrine of My own? He that speaketh of himself, that is, who speaketh anything peculiar or different from others, speaketh on this account, that he may establish his own glory; but if I seek the glory of Him that sent Me, wherefore should I choose to teach other  things?" Seest thou that there was a cause wherefore He said there too that He "did nothing of Himself"? ( c. v. 19, and viii. 28 .) What was it? It was that they might believe that He desired not the honor of the many. Therefore when His words are lowly, "I seek," He saith, "the glory of the Father," everywhere desiring to persuade them that He Himself loveth not glory. Now there are many reasons for His using lowly words, as that He might not be deemed unbegotten, or opposed to God, His being clothed with flesh, the infirmity of His hearers, that He might teach men to be modest, and to speak no great thing of themselves: while for speaking lofty words one could only find one reason, the greatness of His Nature. And if when He said, "Before Abraham was, I am" ( c. viii. 58 ), they were offended, what would have been their case if they had continually heard high expressions?
Ver. 19 . "Did not Moses give you the Law? and yet none of you keepeth the Law? Why go ye about to kill Me?"
"And what connection," saith some one, "has this, or what has this to do with what was said before?" The Jews brought against Him two accusations; one, that He broke the Sabbath; the other, that He called God His Father, making Himself equal with God. And that this was no imagination of theirs, but His own declared judgment,  and that He spake not as do the many, but in a special and peculiar sense, is clear from this circumstance. Many often called God their Father; as "Have we not all one Father, hath not one God created us?" ( Mal. ii. 10 ), but not for that was the people equal to God, on which account the hearers were not offended. As then when the Jews said, "This man is not from God," He often healed them,  and made defense for the violation of the Sabbath; so now had the sense they assigned to His words been according to their imagination, not according to His intention, He would have corrected them, and said, "Why suppose ye Me equal to God? I am not equal"; yet He said nothing of the kind, but, on the contrary, declared by what followed, that He is equal. For, "As the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, so also the Son" ( c. v. 21 ); and "That all may honor the Son as they honor the Father"; and "The works which He doeth, the same doeth the Son likewise;" all these go to establish His equality. Again, concerning the Law He saith, "Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets." ( Matt. v. 17 .) Thus He knoweth how to remove evil suspicions which are in their minds; but in this place He not only doth not remove, but even confirmeth their suspicion of His equality. On which account also, when they said in another place, "Thou makest thyself God," He did not remove their suspicion, but even confirmed it, saying, "That ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins, He saith to the sick of the palsy, Take up thy bed, and walk."  ( Matt. ix. 6 .) This then He first aimed at, to make Himself equal with God, showing that He was not God's adversary, but that He said the same and taught the same with Him, and afterwards He setteth Himself to  the breach of the Sabbath, saying, "Did not Moses give you the Law, and none of you keepeth the Law?" As though He had said, "The Law saith, Thou shalt not kill; but ye kill, and yet accuse Me as transgressing the Law." But wherefore saith He, "None of you"? Because they all sought to kill Him. "And if," He saith, "I even have broken the Law, it was in saving a man, but ye transgress it for evil. And if My action was even a transgression, yet it was in order to save, and I ought not to be judged by you who transgress in the greatest matters. For your conduct is a subverting of the whole Law." Then also He presseth it farther, although He had said many things to them before, but at that former time He spake after a loftier manner, and more suitably to His own dignity, while now He speaketh more humbly. Wherefore? Because He would not continually irritate them. At present their anger had become intense, and they went on to murder. And therefore He continueth to check them in these two ways, by reproving their evil daring, and saying, "Why go ye about to kill Me?" and by modestly calling Himself, "A Man that hath told you the truth" ( c. viii. 40 ), and by showing that murderers in heart are not worthy to judge others. And observe both the humility of Christ's question, and the insolence of their answer.
Ver. 20 . "Thou hast a devil; who goeth about to kill thee?"
[3.] The expression is one of wrath and anger, and of a soul made shameless by an unexpected reproof, and put to confusion before their time, as they thought.  For just as a sort of robbers who sing over their plots, then when they desire to put him against whom they are plotting off his guard, effect their object by keeping silence, so also do these. But He, omitting to rebuke them for this, so as not to make them more shameless, again taketh in hand His defense with respect to the Sabbath, reasoning with them from the Law. And observe how prudently. "No wonder," He saith, "if ye disobey Me, when ye disobey the Law which ye think ye obey, and which ye hold to have been given you by Moses. It is therefore no new thing, if ye give not heed to My words." For because  they said, "God spake to Moses, but as for this fellow we know not whence he is" ( c. ix. 29 ), He showeth that they were insulting Moses as well as Himself, for Moses gave them the Law, and they obeyed it not.
Ver. 21 . "I have done one work, and ye all marvel."
Observe how He argueth, where it is necessary to defend Himself, and make His defense a charge against them.  For with respect to that which had been wrought, He introduceth not the Person of the Father, but His own: "I have done one work." He would show,  that not to have done it would have been to break the Law, and that there are many things more authoritative  than the Law, and that "Moses" endured to receive a command against  the Law, and more authoritative than the Law. For "circumcision" is more authoritative than the Sabbath, and yet circumcision is not of the Law, but of "the fathers." "But I," He saith, "have done that which is more authoritative and better than circumcision." Then He mentioneth not the command of the Law; for instance, that the Priests profane the Sabbath, as He had said already, but speaketh more largely. The meaning of, "Ye marvel" ( Matt. xii. 5 ) is, "Ye are confused," "are troubled." For if the Law was to be lasting, circumcision would not have been more authoritative than it. And He said not, "I have done a thing greater than circumcision," but abundantly refuteth them by saying, 
Ver. 23 . "If a man receive circumcision." 
"Seest thou that the Law is most established when a man breaketh it? Seest thou that the breaking of the Sabbath is the keeping of the Law? that if the Sabbath were not broken, the Law must needs have been broken? so that I also have established the Law." He said not, "Ye are wroth with Me because I have wrought a thing which is greater than circumcision," but having merely mentioned what had been done, He left it to them to judge, whether entire health was not a more necessary thing than circumcision. "The Law," He saith, "is broken, that a man may receive a sign which contributeth nothing to health; are ye vexed and indignant at its being broken, that one might be freed from so grievous a disease?"
Ver. 24 . "Judge not according to appearance."
What is, "according to appearance"? "Do not, since Moses hath the greatest honor among you, give your decision according to your estimation of persons, but according to the nature of things; for this is to judge rightly. Wherefore hath no one of you reproved Moses? Wherefore hath no one disobeyed him when he ordereth that the Sabbath be broken by a commandment introduced from without into the Law? He alloweth a commandment to be of more authority than his own Law; a commandment not introduced by the Law, but from without, which is especially wonderful; while ye who are not lawgivers are beyond measure jealous for the Law, and defend it. Yet Moses, who ordereth that the Law be broken by a commandment which is not of the Law, is more worthy of confidence than you." By saying then, (I have made) "a whole man (healthy)," He showeth that circumcision also was "partial" health. And what was the health procured by circumcision? "Every soul,"  It saith, "that is not circumcised, shall be utterly destroyed." ( Gen. xvii. 14 .) "But I have raised up a man not partially afflicted, but wholly undone." "Judge not," therefore, "according to appearance."
Be we persuaded that this is  said not merely to the men of that time, but to us also, that in nothing we pervert justice, but do all in its behalf; that whether a man be poor or rich, we give no heed to persons, but enquire into things. "Thou shalt not pity,"  It saith, "the poor in judgment." ( Ex. xxiii. 3 .) What is meant? "Be not broken down, nor bent," It saith, "if he that doth the wrong be a poor man." Now if you may not favor a poor man, much less a rich. And this I say not only to you who are judges, but to all men, that they nowhere pervert justice, but preserve it everywhere pure. "The Lord," It saith, "loveth righteousness"; and, "he that loveth iniquity hateth his own soul." ( Ps. xi. 7 and 5 , LXX.) Let us not, I entreat, hate our own souls, nor love unrighteousness. For certainly its profit in the present world is little  or nothing, and for the world to come it brings great damage.  Or rather, I should say, that not even here can we enjoy it; for when we live softly, yet with an evil conscience, is not this vengeance and punishment? Let us then love righteousness, and never look aside  from that law. For what fruit shall we gain from the present life, if we depart without having attained unto excellence? What there will help us? Will friendship, or relations, or this or that man's favor? What am I saying? this or that man's favor? Though we have Noah, Job, or Daniel for a father, this will avail us nothing if we be betrayed by our own works. One thing alone we need, that is, excellency of soul. This will be able to carry you safe through, and to deliver you from everlasting fire, this will escort  you to the Kingdom of Heaven. To which may we all attain, 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.
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