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99 Chapter 8 LECTURE 1 1 Jesus however proceeded to the Mount of Olives, 2 and early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and sitting down, he taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery and placed her in their midst. 4 They said to him, “Master, this woman has just now been caught in adultery. 5 In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such a wom‑ an. But what do you say?” 6 (They said this to test him so that they could accuse him.) But Jesus bending down wrote on the ground with his finger. 7 As they persisted in the question, he stood up and said to them: “Whoever among you is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone at her.” 8 And again bending down, he wrote on the ground. 9 On hearing this, one after the other departed, beginning with the oldest, and there remained only Jesus and the woman standing there in the center. 10 Rising up, Jesus asked the woman: “Woman, where are those who accuse you? Has no one condemned you?” 11 To which she replied, “No one, Lord.” Then Jesus said: “Nor will I condemn you. Go and do not sin again.”1 1118. After having treated of the origin of the doctrine of Christ, the Evangelist here considers its power. Now the doctrine of Christ has the power both to enlighten and to give life, because his words are spirit and life. So first, he treats of the power of Christ’s doctrine to enlighten ; secondly, of its power to give life (10:1). He shows the power of Christ’s doctrine to enlighten, first by words; and secondly, by a miracle (9:1). As to the first, he does two things: first, he presents the teaching of Christ; secondly, he shows the power of his teaching (8:12). There are two things that pertain to the office of a teacher: to instruct the devout or sincere, and to repel opponents. So first, Christ instructs those who are sincere; and secondly, he repels his opponents (v. 3).2 The Evangelist does three things with respect to the first: first, he mentions the place where this teaching takes place; secondly, he mentions those who listened to it; and thirdly, the teacher. This teach1 . St. Thomas refers to Jn 8:7 in ST III, q. 87, a. 4, obj. 1; and to Jn 8:11 in ST III, q. 84, a. 5, obj. 3; III, q. 86, a. 2. 2. See ST III, q. 42, aa. 1–2. 100 Commentary on the Gospel of John ing took place in the temple; so he first mentions that Jesus left the temple, and then that he returned. 1119. He mentions that Jesus left the temple when he says, Jesus however proceeded to the Mount of Olives. For our Lord made it his practice, when he was at Jerusalem on the festival days, to preach in the temple and to work miracles and signs during the day, and when evening came, he would return to Bethany (which was on the Mount of Olives) as the guest of Lazarus’ sisters, Martha and Mary. With this in mind, the Evangelist says that since Jesus had remained in the temple and preached on the last day of the great feast, in the evening, Je‑ sus proceeded to the Mount of Olives, where Bethany was located. And this is appropriate to a mystery: for as Augustine3 says, where was it appropriate for Christ to teach and show his mercy, if not on the Mount of Olives, the mount of anointing and of grace. The olive (oliva) signifies mercy; so also in Greek, oleos is the same as mercy. And Luke (10:24) tells us that the Samaritan applied oil and wine, which correspond to mercy and the stringency of judgment. Again, oil is healing: “Wounds and bruises and swelling sores are not bandaged or dressed, or soothed with oil” (Is 1:6). It also signifies the medicine of spiritual grace which has been transmitted to us by Christ: “God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows” (Ps 44:8); and again, “like the precious ointment on the head which ran down upon the beard” (Ps 132:2); and in Job we read that “The rock poured out rivers of oil” (Jb 29...


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