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Homily 48 (fohn 7.1-8) 'Now after these things Jesus went about in Galilee, for he did not wish to go about Judea because the Jews were seeking to put him to death. Now the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was at hand.'l Nothing is worse than jealousy and envy; by them death came into the world. When the Devil saw man being held in honor, since he could not endure the sight of his well-being, he did everything to cause him to lose it.2 And in every instance one may see this same fruit developing from this root. It was thus that Abel was slain,3 and thus that David narrowly escaped being slain,4 and so with many other just men; and it was by reason of this that the Jews became murderers of Christ. To show this the Evangelist said: 'After these things Jesus went about in Galilee, for he could not go about in Judea because the Jews were seeking to put him to death.' 0 blessed John, what are you saying? Is it that He who was able to do anything whatsoever He willed 'could not'5 [go about Judea freely]; He who cast His hearers to the I John 7.1,2. 2 Cf. Wisd. 2.24. 3 Cf. Gen. 3.3-9. 4 Cf. I Kings 18.8. 5 'OUK ElXEV E~oua[av.' In the introductory text above, however: OUK flElc.A.EV. Both are represented in the manuscript tradition for the passage. Cf. Merk 333, crit. app. 3 4 SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM ground by saying: 'Whom do you seek'?6 Was He, who could be present without being seen, powerless to act this time? But how was it that later, going into their midst within the Temple, while the festival was in progress, before a congregation which included even His murderers, He discoursed of things that would annoy them still more? Indeed, they were amazed at this and kept saying: 'Is not this the man they seek to kill? And behold he speaks openly and they say nothing to him.'7 What is the explanation of these riddles? It was not in order that he might obtain the reputation of speaking in riddles that John spoke in this way. Perish the thought! On the contrary, he did this to make it clear that at one time Christ's divinity was being attested; at another, His humanity. When he said 'He could not' he was speaking of Him as a Man who did many things even in a human way; but when he asserted that He stood in their midst and they did not seize Him, he was, of course, proving the power of His Godhead. And this is so for in fleeing Christ was acting as a Man, and in making His appearance He was acting as God; in both cases, genuinely. The fact that He was not seized even though surrounded by those who were plotting against Him was proof of His invincibility and inviolability; while His withdrawal confirmed and strengthened the doctrine of the Incarnation, so that Paul of Samosata8 might have nothing to say, or Marcion,9 or those· infected with the 6 Cf. John 18.4-7. 7 John 7.26. 8 Paul of Samosata in the third century denied the essential divinity of Christ and taught that He was merely a man, though born of a virgin and divinely inspired. See Catholic Encyclopedia. 9 Marcion (d. c. 170) taught, among other things, that the Old and New Testaments are opposed to one another. For a detailed treatment of his life and heretical teachings, see the article 'Marcionites' in the Catholic Encyclopedia.. HOMILIES 5 disease of their teachings. By this means, then, He shut the mouths of all of them. 'After these things there was the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles .' The phrase 'after these things' can mean nothing else than that in the interest of brevity he had passed over without mention the considerable interval that elapsed between the two incidents he narrated. This is evident from the narrative itself, for, when Christ was sitting on the mountainside, the Evangelist stated, it was the Feast of Passover, while here he made mention of the Feast of Tabernacles .10 Furthermore, he narrated no other incident that took place within the five months, and revealed to us nothing else beyond the miracle of the loaves and the discourse He addressed to those who had eaten. Yet...


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