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Chapter 5 Healing of the Bethesda Sick Man The Divine Physician In this chapter we find the meeting between the Lord Jesus Christ, the Heavenly Physician, and the man of Bethesda who had suffered from paralysis for 38 years. Christ is a Unique Physician who seeks the sick person without his asking but does not heal him forcibly. He rather asks him, "Do you want to be made well?" Christ met the man at Bethesda that had five porches which indicate the five Books of Moses, or the Law. The Law reveals sin and affirms to us sickness and our need for a Heavenly Physician who can heal. The Physician discloses the good characteristics in the sick man. He is modest: for when the Lord asked him "Do you want to be made well?", he was not angry but in wonderful docility, he answered "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me." (5:7) When a person suffers from an infirmity for a long time, he is usually afflicted by strange difficulties that grow with time. However, in this case we see an extremely calm man. Besides, when the Lord said to him "Rise, take up your bed and walk "(5:8) this man believed and immediately got up, walked, and carried his bed. He had lain by the pool since before the Nativity of Jesus Christ the Lord. He probably had not heard of Christ because he was almost deprived of seeing his relatives and friends after all that time of illness. Yet, he did not argue with the Lord. He did not ask how he could rise, how he could at once walk and carry his bed. The human arm was incapable of healing this paralytic cast by the pool for 38 years. Jesus Christ the Lord intervened asking him, "Do you want to be made well?" Christ gave him a new life at Bethesda which means "The house of mercy.” This miracle is not mentioned in the other three Gospels because St. John was interested in the miracles that occurred in Jerusalem while the other Evangelists were more concerned with those that took place in Galilee. 1. The Bethesda Paralytic Is Healed 1-9 2. Resistance of the Jews 10-16 3. Christ's Comment about the Sabbath 17-18 Christ's Talk about the Sabbath 4. Discourse about Eternal Life 19-30 5. John the Baptist Bears Witness to Christ 31-35 6. The Testimony of Christ's Miracles and Works 36 7. The Father Testifies of Him 37 8. The Holy Bible Testifies of Him 38-47 1. The Bethesda Paralytic Is Healed "After this there was a feast of the Jews and Jesus went up to Jerusalem" [1] Several Fathers of the Church and contemporary scholars see that the circumstancces https://coptic-treasures.com/ mentioned in this chapter show that this was the Passover. The interest of the other three Evangelists in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ in Judea is very brief. They do not refer to the Passover feasts which occurred after the Lord's baptism and until His crucifixion. Whereas St. John refers to all thoses feasts: the first in 2:13, the second here 5:1, the third 6:4 and the fourth 13:1. However, he does not say here explicitly that it was the Passover; he says "a feast of the Jews.” When the feast took place, the Lord Jesus Christ went up to Jerusalme although He lived in Galilea. The Law decrees that men should go up to Jerusalem for the feast. Therefore, Christ did not want to exempt Himself since He accepted to be the Son of Man who is under the Law. In doing that He offers to us Himself as a model concerned in community worship, even though many practice it as a formality lacking in spirit. If wisdom cries in public places (Proverbs 1:21), here Wisdom goes up to Jerusalme where many Jews from many parts of the world come and also where strangers come, so that He may announce to them the Truth, especially that they came for worship and are ready to accept and understand the truth. As the word "feast" is mentioned without the definit article (the), some scholars say that it was not the Passover, but rather the Pentecost which commemorates receiving the Law. Both St. Cyril the Great and St. John Chrysostom are of this opinion. The reason some think this was the Feast of Pentecost is that the Lord Jesus Christ talked about the meaning of Sabbath and blamed them for not believing Moses, for if they did they would have believed Him because the Law testifies of Him (45-47) ST. John Chrysostom comments on the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ went up to Jerusalem saying: [In most cases He went up to the city, on the one hand to appear among them during the feast, and on the other hand, to attract to Him those who were without malice, because the simple people gathered during those days more than any other time.]1 It seems that the Lord Jesus Christ went up to Jerusalme alone. His disciples were not with Him, so that He may enter without being seen. This is clear because the paralytic did not know Him for as soon as He healed the man, Christ withdrew from the multitude. [13] Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool Which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda Having five porches [2] He speaks of the pool and the five porches as existing at the time he was writing this Gospel. Some people opine that the pool and its porches were not destroyed along with the temple and the destruction of Jerusalme. Some others deduce in many versions of the narration that the pool did not exist. The pool has been discovered recently and it is beside the church of ST. Hannah. The excavations have shown that the pool is surrounded by a rectangle in which are four porches and a fifth channel dividing the pool in half. 1 Homilies on St. John, 36:1 https://coptic-treasures.com/ Bethesda is not Bethsaida as iti is written in some versions. The Hebrew word for it is Bethchasday wich means "the house of mercy.” It may have taken its name from God's mercies that were revealed in the healing of those who stepped down into it. "The Sheep Gate": this gate was probably called so because the priests used to wash down the sacrificial lambs there then take them into the temple. The pool indicates the baptismal font where the believers enjoy a new birth and a healing from sin. The five porches indicate the law recorded in the five Books of Moses. The sick enter through them to the pool so that those who enter relaize that they are in need of a Heavenly Physician. The angel coming down from heaven indicates the Word of God Incarnated, the Heavenly Physician. The healing of one person indicates the One Church that enjoys healing from sin. The stirring up of the water indicates the suffering of Christ when the crowd rose against Him. Moreover, the stirring up of the water means that the water in the pool became a flowing living water, similar to the water of baptism in which the Sprit works and the batized is born spiritually as the Lord Jesus Christ declares to Nicodemus [John 3]. Again it indicates the gift of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Lord says to the Samaritan woman that whoever drinks of that water will never thirst. ? That water was the Jewish nation. The five porches were the law because Moses wrote five Books. Therfore the water was enclosed with five proches, just as the Jews were controlled by the law. The agitation of the water is the suffering of the Lord among the people. The person who stepped down into the water and was healed is one person because this is the oneness. Those who refuse Christ's suffering are proud. They do not step down, so they are not healed. They say "far be it from me that I believe that God was incarnate, born of a woman, and that He was crucified, and scourged, that He died, was wounded, and was buried. Far be it from me that I believe that this is of God; this does not befit God." Let the heart speak, and not the stiffneck: For the proud, the Lord's meekness seems unsuitable to Him. Therefore, enjoying health is far from them. If you want to be healed you must step down.2 ? Be alert, beloved, because the Law was given for this aim: to reveal sickness, not to heal it. Thus, this sick flock could have been sick at home in great secrecy if the five porches did not exist. By entering through the five porches they became known to human eyes, but the porches did not heal them. ? So the Law is useful in revealing sins, because a person becomes much more guilty when he transgresses the Law. In that case, his pride is restrained, and he seeks the help of Him 2 Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 74:3 https://coptic-treasures.com/ Who is merciful. Listen to the apostle: "the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more." (Romans 5:20) And in another place, "where there is no law there is no transgression." (Romans 4:15) A person may be called a sinner before the Law is known, but it is impossible to call him a transgressor. However, if he sins after he receives the Law, he will be not only a sinner, but also a transgressor. And if transgression is added to sin "sin abounds.” When sin abounds, human pride learns at last to submit and to confess to God saying, "I am weak." Saint Augustine3 ? The time of offering baptism was near. Baptism conveys great strength and is the greatest of the blessings. It appears like an immage through the pool and the accompanying circumstances… for God wants to take us closer to the faith by baptism. Therefore baptism does not only wash dirt but also heals sickness. St. John Chrysostom.4 "In these lay a great multitude of sick people, Blind, lame, paralyzed, Waiting for the moving of the water." [3] He mentions, among the sick, only three groups: the blind, the lame and the paralyzed. Those are the disabled who cannot step down into the water. For this reason a great number of those people gathered in the five porches round the pool. "For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water, then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had." [4] Some writers believe that the angel did not go down into the pool every day, but rather during certain seasons, especially the three great feasts. This, God allowed so that the people may be sure that, though they were deprived of prophets and miracles, God did not forget them but cared for them. Some observe that this event began after Eliashib, the high priest, bluit a wall in the direction of Jerusalme and sanctified it with prayer. Consequently God gave evidence of His acceptance of that by the miraculous works at the pool. Others believe that those miracles began with the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Still others say they began with His baptism. Dr. Lightfoot states that the historian Josephus reports that in the seventh year of Herod, that is thirty years before the Lord Jesus Christ, there was a great earthquake. Seeing that the descent of angels is sometimes accompanied by an earthquake, this may have been the first year when the angel began to go down into the pool. And some writers believe that that stopped with the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. ST. John writes "went down" Katebainen in the past tense. This makes it clear that that occurrence had stopped at the time the Gospel according to St. John was being written. Whereas he speaks of the pool as still existing at his time. 3 Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 75:2 4 Homilies on St. John, 36:1 https://coptic-treasures.com/ The fact that there is not explicit mention of the miracles at the pool either in Josephus, Philo or any other Jewish writer, indicates that those happenings did not occur for a long time, or that they did not occur at the time of those writers. Bathing a person, especially at a public place, by quickly casting him into the water, would generally cause that person harm. However, in this case, the person is sick, and yet no matter what his disease was, he was made well if he was the first to step down into the water. ? For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water [4]. And he granted with him power of healing so that the Jews learn that the God of angels can, moreover, heal the sickness of the spirit. And just as the nature of the water, here, did not heal of itself (because if it did it would have healed at all times) but healed through the work of the angel, similarly, ou purification is not by means of the water simply, but through the grace of the Spirit that is accepted and absoves us from all our sins. St. John Chrysostom5. ? One person only was healed. This shows unity: whoever came after that was not cured, because no one outside that unity is made well. St. Augustine6. "Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years." [5] This sick man spent more than half his life beside the pool suffrom paralysis and unable to live in a habitual daily way. Good health is a talent that we must use as long as we have it and we must offer our thanks to God for it. Someone may ask, why did not Christ heal all the sick in Bethesda with just a word from His mouth? He is the Physician of the souls and bodies but what preoccupies Him most is the Eternal healing where the bodies along with the souls are glorifed. This sick man was usually among many sick people at the pool; they knew him and many oftheir relatives and friends also knew him; and may be the whole city knew him. Therefore, his healing opened the eyes of all to see the person of the Messiah, so that all may enjoy the faith and be glorified eternally. The healing of this sick man was, and still is, at the bottom of the healing of many broken, desperate souls. If the Lord had made all the sick people there well with one word, this would have seemed a show of divine miraculous work. However, the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ was preoccupied with the faith of all and their spiritual healing first. ? He entered a place where a juge number of the sick flock lay: the blind, lame and paralyzed. And as He is the Physician of the souls and bodies and He came to make the souls of all believers well, He chose from that flock one person to heal him to indicate oneness… in spite of the fact that He could have raised all.7 5 Homilies on St. John, 36:1 6 On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 17:3 7 ST. Augustine: One the Gospel of St. John, tractate 17:1 https://coptic-treasures.com/ ? This pool and that water seem to denote the Jewish population (Revelation 17:15) That water, that is to say the Jewish people, was shut into the five Books of Moses, or the five porches. These Books bring in the sick but do not make them well. The Law judges the sinners but does not make them well. That is why the letter without grace makes men sinners and those sinners, if they confess, they are saved. This is what the apostle says: "For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law." (Galatians 3:21) He completes, "But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe." (Galatians 3:22) What promise is greater than this? Do not those words explain the five porches and the sick flock?8 ? In the number 40 there is an implication of perfection of righteousness: a life of struggle, trouble, self control, fasts and tribulation. This is the practice of righteousness: that you endure and reject this world, and not only abstain from food for the body. This is what we seldom do. As for refraining from loving this world, this is what we must always practice. Thus the law saves those who forbear this world because they cannot love the eternal unless they stop loving the temporal… The concern is man's love; consider it the soul's hand, if it holds something it cannot hold another thing and so that it may be able to hold what it is given, it must leave what it actually holds. The perfection of righteousness (according to the law) is shown in the number 40. What completes the number 40? That man controls his love of this world. He must control his love of temporal matter whch may destroy him… For this reason the Lord fasted forty days, and so did Moses and Elijah. He Who gave His two servants the power to fast for forty days, could He not fast 80 days or a hundred? Then why did He not fast more than He granted His servants to do, except that in that number 40 is the mystery of fasting and renunciation of this world?… What does the apostle say: "the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (Galatians 6:14) The number 40 is complete. Why is there perfection of righteousness in the number 40? It is said in the Psalms "I will sing a new song to You, O God; On a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You." (Psalm 144:9) The harp indicates the ten commandments which are the law which the Lord came, not to destroy but to fulfill. And it is clear tht the law itself throughout the world has four directions, east, west, south and north as the Scripture says… Therefore, the number 40 is renunciation of the workd; it is the implementation of the law. Now love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:10; Galatians 5:14) However the commandment of love is double "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart… and the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself" Whoever fails to achieve these two commandments has the weakenss of the number 38. St. Augustine9. ? Number 40 attracts our attention as a sacred number of perfection. What I suggest is well known to you, beloved, because the Holy Bible testifies often to this truth. IN that fasting 8 St. Augustine: ON the Gospel of St. John, tractate 17:2 9 Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 75:7-10 https://coptic-treasures.com/ this number of days is, as you know, good. Moses fasted forty days, and so did Elijah and many others. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Himself completed this number infast. Moses represents the law; Elijah represents the prophets, and the Lord the Gospel. For this reason all three appeared on the mountain: The Lord manifested Himself to His disciples in the glory of His shining face and clothes. He appeared in the middle between Moses and Elijah as testimony of the law, the prophets and the Gospel10. ? The patience of the paralytic is amazing because he remained thirty-eight years waiting every year to be freed from his sickness. He stood fast and did not leave the place. Contemplate this man who remained paralytic for thirty-eight years seeing, every year, other people healed of their diseases and looking at himself tied down by his paralysis, and yet not despairing. St. John Chrysostom ? What does the angel announce by this symbol, except that he declares the descent of the Holy Spirit who in our days passes and sanctifies the water when He is called upon through the prayers of the priest? This angel was the ambassador of the Holy Spirit since it is through the grace of the Spirit that the medicine acts in the weaknesses of the soul and mind. Thus, like God the Father and Christ, the Spirit also has the same servants. He fills all; all things; all acts in all in the same way as the acting God the Father and the Son. St. Ambrose11. Bede observes that 38 is 40 minus 2. If 40 indicates the perfection of virtues and it is 10x4, that is to say the perfection of the law (10) and the four Gospels (4), then the absence of 2 which are concerned with the love of God and of the neighbor reveals a man in fact being sick for a long time. Such people can correct their depravity through the gift of the Holy Spirit when the Spirit shakes their lethargy so they hurry and carry the burden of brotherly love so that they may see their Creator. When Jesus saw him lying there, And knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well? When the Lord Jesus Christ went up to Jerusalem, He did not visit the castles of the rich. He visited the hospitals to offer His love and mercy to the sick. For He came to the world for the sake of the needy and the sick. The Lord may have concentrated on this particular sick man because he had been at that place sick and deprived for a longer time than the others. The Lord rejoices in serving those who have no hope or support. "Do you want to be made well?!" with that question Christ wanted to arouse in the man faith, hope, and the strong desire to be made well. The Lord Jesus Christ addresses the same question to every soul that may be longing for healing through the heavenly Physician of souls. ? The Lord Jesus Christ did not say to the paralytic, "Do you want Me to make you well?" That is because the man did not yet see the great figure of Christ. So Christ's question was "Do you want to be made well?" ? He asked him this question, not because He wanted to knw (that the man wanted to be 10 St. Augustine: On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 17:4-8 11 Of the Holy Spirit Book I: 7:88 https://coptic-treasures.com/ cured). The Lord did not need that; He rather wanted to point out the man's perserverance and that it was for this reason that He left the others and came to this man. The perseverance of the paralytic is amazing. He hoped for every year of the thirty-eight years, to be healed of his disease. He continued lying down and did not withdraw from the pool… We should be ashamed, beloved, we should be ashamed and sigh over our extreme languor. He kept waiting for thirty-eight years without getting what he hoped; yet in spikte of that he did not retreat. He did not fail because of negligence on his part. He failed, rather, because of the jostling, he violence and the trouble of the others. All that did not cause him to be apathetic. Whereas, we, if we perservered in prayer for ten days for a certain request and did not obtain it, our zeal declines. St. John Chrysostom12. "The sick man answered Him, 'Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.'" [7] In what he says about the paralyzed (Matthew 9:2) who was healed by the Lord Jesus Christ, St. John Chrysostom stresses the meekness of this paralytic. Usually, when a person lies in his bed for all those years, he is furious and suffers from psychological and nervous trouble. Nevertheless, when this man heard the question of the Lord Jesus Christ, he did not angrily say, "Don't you see me watching for the angel to come down to stir the water? How can you ask me if I wanted to be made well?" Instead, he answered the Lord Jesus Christ with amazing docility. The sick man complained that he had no friends to help him. Even those who were healed went away in good health and met their relatives and friends. Not one of them was concerned about this poor man. He also complained that he was unable to compete with the others so that he may be the first to throw himself into the pool, for many stepped down into the water before him. In the past when interest was in human beings instead of in the Messiah as the Physician and the Medicine for cure, it was said "is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?" (Jeremiah 8:22) This is the complaint of the paralytic: he does not find anybody who would heal him or give him medicine. And yet, here is the Balm Himself, the Physician Himself standing in front of him granting him Himself the Mystery of Recovery. The paralytic was looking for a man to throw him into the pool when the angel comes down, so that he may obtain recuperation. And here is the Father Himself asking a Man able to act with justice and the pursuit of truth to descend to the world and forgive the word's sins. The Father, then found no such Man but His Word Incarnate. The Lord says, "Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if 12 Homilies on St. John, 36:2 https://coptic-treasures.com/ ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it." (Jeremiah 5:1) He also says, "And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor" (Isaiah 59:16) ? Listen to the words of this paralytic and consider his great sorrow. Who is more deserving of pity than he who says these words? Have you seen a heart broken because of a long illness? Have you known how provoked by oppression he is? Yet, he did not blaspheme as most people do in their adversity. He did not curse his day, nor did he think the question was difficult to answer. He did not say to Christ, "Have you come to make fun of me, since you ask me if I want to be made well?" But he said in great humility, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool." In spite of the fact that he did not know who was asking him that question, nor did he feel that that Person intended to heal him, he just described his whole condition meekly and did not demand anything more. He seemed like a patient merely describing his illnes to his physician. ? Now, no angel stirs the water; the Lord of the angels does everything. The sick cannot say, "I have no man"; he cannot say "while I am coming, another steps down before me" [7] For though it is necessary that He comes to the whole world, Grace is not consumed; the Powers do not cease, but remain as great as ever. Just as a ray of the sun gives light every day and yet is not used up and its light does not decrease, so is even more the power of the Spirit that does not in any way diminish through the grace given to many. St. John Chrysostom13. ? But who makes the sick well? He who descends into the pool. And when does the sick step down into the pool? When the angel gives the sign by stirring the water. So was that pool sanctified when the angel came down and stirred up the water. The people saw the water stirring and so they realized that the agel was present. And if anyone then stepped into the pool, he was hhealed. Why was not this sick man healed? Let us consider his own words. He says "I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me." [7] Couldn't you step down after someone stepped down before you? It is evident here that one person only was healed when the water stirred. He who stepped down first was the only one healed. St. Augustine14. Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." [8] The Lord offered him recuperation in a manner that did not occur to his mind. It was not by putting him into the pool when the water was stirred up, but by a word proceeding from His divine mouth. He commanded with power and the sick man was healed. The Lord was accustomed to leave a sign after a miracle so that His people may remember His works of love. Thus, when he fed the crowds, He ordered His disciples to take up the fragments. Alos when He changed water into wine, He told the servants to take it to the reclining guests. Again, when He healed the lepers, He ordered them to go and show themselves to the priests to testify to their healing. Here, in this miracle, He asks the sick man to take up the 13 Homilies on St. John, 36:1 14 Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 75:3 https://coptic-treasures.com/ bed which carried him during his sickness. He asked him to take up the bed to be sure that his cure was complete and that he did not obtain physical strength gradually, but immediately through God's word and command. This is the cry of the Savior on the cross as He looks upon the whole church across the ages since Adam to the end: to rise, move and enter into the Father's bosom, the heavenly home. Christ asks the church to take up the bed, that is to share the cross with Him not as a burden carried oon theback, but as a throne carrying the church and as glory pouring on it. Isaiah the prophet saw this outstanding image as being the joyful story of salvation and he sang: "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." (Isaiah 60:1) The believing human race does ot any more lie under the broken power of sin but rather enjoys the strength of the spirit to carry with the crucified bridegroom His cross the secret of power for salvation and to experience the glory of the Savior. The story of the healing of this paralytic was linked with baptism since the early church. It was mentioned in some old baptism liturgies and was pictured in some Roman vaults to illustrate the power of baptism. The paralytic is shown as unable to walk; then he gets up carrying his bed on his back in an energetic, full of life way. A glorious picture about the work of baptism that raises the believer from an incurable illness to testify to the new life that hs become his in Jesus Christ who rose from the dead. ? "Jesus" means "Savior", but in Greek, it means "the healer" for He is the physician of the spirits and bodies. He is the healer of the spirits: He opened the eys of the born blind, and He guided the minds to the light. He cures the visibly paralyzed and leads the sinners to the path of repentance. He says to the paralytic: "Sin no more" and also "Take up your bed and walk" for the body was paralyzed because of the spirit's sin. Christ served the soul first so that the healing extends to the body. Therefore, if one of ou suffers in his self because of his sins, he will find Christ is his physician, and if one of you has little faith, he must say "help my unbelief" (Mark 9:24) And if one of you feels physical pain, he must not be an unbeliever, he must rather come closer to Jesus who cures such an illness; and he must know that Jesus is the Christ. St. Cyril of Jerusalem15. ? "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2) Now the law of christ is love and love will not be fulfilled unless we bear the burdens of others. He says, "with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:2- 3) When you were weak your neighbor carried you. Now that you are well, you must endure your neighbor. In this way you complete, O man, what was lacking in you. So "take up your bed" and when you take it up do not stand still, but rather "walk.” Through your love for your neighbor and through carrying your neighbor you complete your walk. To what place do you 15 Article 10:13 https://coptic-treasures.com/ walk in the path of the Lord God who commands us to love Him with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind? You must carry your neighbor, then as you walk you will go to Him with whom you wish to dwell. Therefore, "take up your bed and walk.” Saint Augustine16. "And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed and walked. And that day was the Sabbath." [9] Why did the Lord order that man to take up his bed on the Sabbath, when the Law forbids such work, especially carrying heavy matter (Exodus 20:8, Jeremiah 17:21, Nehemiah 13:15)? A. This man may have been poor and if he left his bed he would have lost it. Besides he could not remain guarding his bed until the morning. B. The Lord has shown that the Jews misunderstood the meaning of Sabbath. They observed it literally missing the right spiritual meaning that it is for the glory of God and the benefit of man. C. Christ was emphasizing to those who were present that He is Lord of the Sabbath. All days are His without any preference between Saturday and any other day. He does the work of the Father continuously. D. By carrying this bed in the middle of the religious capital and among the people coming to celebrate the feast, this man will attract the attention of the multitude. They will investigate the mattter and become acquainted wit the love of Christ for His people and His care for their spiritual and physical security more than for the literal observance of the law. E. Christ is here testing the extent of obedience and belief of the sick man whom He has healed. F. So that this may be a practical living picture of the church in the Christian era. For the prophets looked at the church in the new epoch and sang: "The Lord raises those who are bowed down" (Psalm 146:8) "O Lord, save thy people… and with them the blind and the lame" (Jeremiah 31:7-8). Therefore all the days of the church are Sabbath (rest) continuously and a joyful continual feast. ? Observe the faith of this paralytic: when he heard Christ's saying, "Rise, take up your bed and walk", he did not laugh; he got up and became well. He did not disobey but rathr took up his bed and walked. Saint John Chrysostom. 2. Resistance of the Jews The Jews therefore said to him who was cured: "It is the Sabbath. It is not lawful for you to carry your bed." [10] The leaders of the Jews argued with him and accused him of breaking the Sabbath. He defiled the Sabbath and as he did that openly and deliberately in the middle of the town, he deserved to be stoned to death. They did not realize that it was their envy and hatred of the Lord 16 On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 17:9 https://coptic-treasures.com/ Christ that defiled their Sabbath and feasts. The Lord Christ went to the paralytic to grant him a new life and new possibilities. But the authorities call the man to find a pretext for his death. As the Psalmist says, "The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him" (Psalm 37:32) He answered them, "He who made me well said to me, 'Take up your bed and walk'" [11] The answer of the sick man is a testimony for the Lord Christ. The man says, "He who made me well said to me take up your bed and walk." The man does not place the responsibility on the Lord Christ; nor does he wish to change the accusation of breaking the Sabbath. He only stresses the fact that It is impossible for Him who has the power to heal in this sovereign manner to make a mistake or do evil. The man means to say, "I obeyed Him because I trust in His holiness and righteousness." He who has authority over chronic illnesses in such a supernatural way, cannot be considered breaking the law. He who has such love and mercy must necessarily observe the law which is accomplished through practical love. The vitality that the man gained was immesurably more precious than the literal observance of the Sabbath. He, therefore, left the interpretation of observing the Sabbath to Him Who gave him that new life in which he enjoyed tranquillity. ? Because it was the Sabbath, the Jews were angry, in ignorance, since they were sick with coarse literalness they were, in their clinging stupidity, more shackled than the paralytic. Their minds were paralyzed, their behavior weak, they were truly those to whom was said, "Strengthen ye the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees." (Isaiah 35:3) But they were furiously angy claiming that even He who granted the law must necessarily honor it. St. Cyril, the Great17. ? The paralytic did not disobey Christ. Consequently he was immediately healed, and he took up his bed and walked. After that, what he did was even much more important. When he accepted what Christ told him at the beginning, that was not surprising, for he had no one to help him. However, when the Jews surrounded him, madly blaming him and besieged him saying, "it is not lawful for you to carry your bed", he did not listen to their madness, but in clear frank words proclaimed his benefactor in the midst of their synagogue. Listen to what he said to them: "He who made me well said to me, 'take up your bed and walk'" He was almost saying to them: you are mad to order me not to consider Him a teacher, He Who relieved me of my long sickness, and you ask me not to obey all his commands. Nevertheless, if the paralytic wished to offend them, it would have been possible for him to answer in a different way. As, for example, say: if what I am doing is wrong, it is not my fault but the mistake of him who ordered me to do so. Yet, he did not say that, nor did he beg their pardon. On the contrary, in a glorious voice he acknowledged the charity granted to him and announced in clear strong words, "He who made me well said to me, take up your bed and walk." St. John Chrysostom. 17 K3 F4 https://coptic-treasures.com/ "Then they asked him, Who is the Man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk?'" [12] Whit that question they tried to insult the Lord Christ not only by supposing Him a mere man, but by asking scornfully "Who is the Man…?" meaning there is no comparison between that man who cured you and God who instituted the law. ? Reflect on how full of scheming were their words. They did not ask the paralytic who healed him. They said nothing about that; instead they mentioned the act which they considered a sin and said, "Who is the Man who said to you, 'take up your bed and walk'" St. John Chrysostom. "But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place." [13] He may have heard the name of Jesus, but as he lay by the pool for 38 years he had not seen the Lord and had not known much about Him. He was not even able to recognize Him if he saw Him. Saint Augustine considers that God rested on the seventh day is an allusion to the completion of the work of redemption on the cross on the sixth day (Friday) and His rest in the tomb on the seventh day 18. ? It is difficult to see Christ in the multitude, therefore, solitude is necessary for our minds. In solitary meditation it is possible to see God. A multitude is full of noise. Vision requires secrecy. Do not search for Christ in a crowd; He is not like one among a crowd; He is above all the crowd. It is true that the Lord saw him in the multitude; however He knew him in the temple. The man cam to the Lord; he saw Him in the temple; he saw Him in the consecrated sacred place. Saint Augustine19. ? The Lord announces openly that the secret of the Sabbath as a sign to keep one day was given to the Jews temporarily. But the completion of the secret was realized in Christ Himself. Saint Augustine20. ? If you say: what was Christ's aim in hiding Himself? I shall answer: Christ hid Himself so that the testimony may not be dubious. AS the paralytic who now enjoyed good health has become a witness for the charity he has received, he is fit to be believed. On the other hand, the Lord did not want to inflame the anger of the Jews even more. For by merely looking at that person those who envied him were ablaze. Therefore, the Lord withdrew and left the work He did speak for itself to them. The Lord did not talk about Himself. He let them talk to the man who was cured and to those who were interested. Saint John Chrysostom. "Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him: 18 St. Augustine: On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 17:15 19 St. Augustine: On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 17:11 20 St. Augustine: On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 17:13 https://coptic-treasures.com/ See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." [14] When that man felt how merciful God was to him, he went to the temple probably to thank God for healing him. It was as though he was singing "I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord Now in the presence of all His people. In the courts of the Lord's house, In the midst of you O Jerusalme." (Psalm 116:17-19) This probably happened the same day he was cured. The Lord Christ met the man in the temple. It may be that as they accused Him of espising the Sabbath, He came to the temple to stress His sanctification of the Sabbath and His preoccupation with collective prayer on that day. He came in particular to grant spiritual insight, notwithstanding His knowledge tht His numerous enemies wanted to kill Him. Nevertheless, since there was an urgnet need to meet a person to build him, Christ did not refrain from going for this man's sake. He has healed the sick man's body, and now He will declare His interest in healing the man's soul from sin. The Lord Christ made it clear for the man that He knew the secrets of the past: "Sin no more", thus explaining that the man's past sin was the cause of his long illness. The Lord warns against sin that leads to the hospital, the Bethesda pool, to spend 38 years; or rather to hell to be shut off eternally in deprivation from the heavenly glory and in suffering with the enemy of good, Satan. Sometimes, we have some sickenss because of our sins. This is a divine punishment so that we return to God. As the Psalmist says: "Fools, because of their transgression, And because of their iniquities, were afflicted. Their soul abhorred all manner of food And they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses." (Psalm 107:17-19) Notice that the Lord does not refer to the sins at the time He cures the sick, except in the incurable cases, when the illness lasts for a long time as in this case and as in the situation mentioned in Mark 2:5. It may be that because those who lived a long time in sickness thought that having no dealings with people, they are righteous without sin. Therefore He asks them to penetrate deeper in their souls to discover the weakness of their nature and return to God. Such people are in need of greater watchfulness than the others who realize they are sinners. This may be what Christ said to that man in the temple. As he was eprived of visiting the temple for 38 years during his illness, he may be sitracted by the building, by meeting people and https://coptic-treasures.com/ by what takes place around him. Therefore, Christ wanted to turn the man's eyes to his own depth to beware of sin in his new life. Indeed, I do not think any language can express the feelings of that man when he saw the temple after all those years. May this longing be combined with the meeting with God who dwells in the depth of the soul! ? When we are baptized we are told "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." 21 ST. Jerome. ? It is a simple matter that you obtain something; but it is more important that you are able to keep what you obtain. Faith itself and the honored birth are full of beneficial life not by being obtained but by geing preserved. Perseverance to the end, and not the temporary practice of that, keeps the human bien for God directly. Solomon, Saul and many others as they did not continue to the end in the path of the Lord, they were not able to maintain the grace conferred upon them. When Christ's disciple withdraws from the Way, the blessing of Christ also abandons him22. St. Cyrian. ? Someone asks, "What then, is sin the cause of every illness?" No. Not all diseases but some. Some are brought about by a kind of carelessness and negligence such as excessive eating (gluttony), addiction and sloth which cause pain. Jesus wanted to secure this man's future… keeping him in good health with the benefit He offered to him and with fear of future illnesses23. ? Not only by giving the sick man's body power, but rather in another manner He gave him a strong proof of His divinity. When He says to him "Sin no more." He shows him that He knows all his past trespasses. In this way he can obtain his faith in the future24. St. John Chrysostom. "The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who made him well." [15] He did not say that the Lord Christ was responsible because it was He who told him 'take up your bed.' He rather testified for Him that it was He "Who made him well." He wished to glorify Jesus and, at the same time, to testify for the benefit of his hearers, maybe they think seriously about His miraculous deed. "For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath." [16] Instead of reconsidering their opinion concerning Jesus the savior of souls and healer of bodies from incurable diseases, their jealousy and envy led them to the desire of practising their father's work: persecution and murder. They found no satisfaction except in bloodshed. Their zeal in sanctifying the Sabbath was to cover up their feelings full of hatred. 3. Christ's Discourse about the Sabbath 21 Against the Pelagians 3:1 22 Letter 13 to Rogation, the priest and to other confessors: 1 23 Hom 38. PG 59:217-218 24 Homilies on St. John, 38 https://coptic-treasures.com/ "But Jesus answered them: 'My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.'" [17] The Lord Christ began a dialogue with the authorities who accused Him of breaking the Sabbath. This discourse was probably in the presence of the sanhedrim on the same day, or two or three days after the sick man was made well. By saying, "My Father has been working until now" [17] He makes it clear for them that the Father created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day , which is the Sabbath. He stopped His work of creation because He had completed everything. However His rest does not mean ignoring His creation. In His Sabbath He continues caring for His creation, shepherding it and managing its affairs. The Sabbath for God is work in which there is rest and joy inasmuch as He declares His love for His greatly beloved creation. If God practised the Sabbath literally like the Jewish authorities, the universe would have stopped and benn estoyed because it cannot remain without divine help. Thus, the Son sanctifies the Sabbath with the continuous work of love as He cares for His beloved. HE works continuously so that all may be made well and grow in knowledge and glory. This is the meaning of the Sabbath according to the divine standard. On the Sabbath day the male child is circumcised if he is, on that day, eight days old. On the Sabbath the priests offer sacrifices, and on the Sabbath day the shepherds give water to their sheep. All these acts do not break the Sabbath because they carry the fragrance of love. The Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath because He is "Love" itself. "And I have been working": As He is the Son of God, He practices His Father's way Who works perpetually for the sake of His people. To stop from work of love is to break the Sabbath and corrupt it. On the other hand, to do an act of love is to sanctify the Sabbath. He has not been working like His Father as though each has His own future work. He, rather, has been working with His Father; for "All things wer emade through Him.” Therefore, if he is accused of breaking the Sabbath, this accusation is directed towards God the Father Himself who is never separate from the Son. The Lord Christ compares Himself to the Father: just as the Father works on the Sabbath day as on other days, so Christ can do the same. This comparison has its danger for the Jewish leaders because it conveys the meaning of equality between Jesus and the Father in the divine plan and work. Who is He who treats the subjects of the Father and the Sabbath as associated with Him? Saint Augustine observes that the Jews were wrong in understanding the Sabbath in a corporeal way. They thought that God created the world in six days; that He god tired and wanted to be relieved from exertion on the seventh day and He, therefore sanctified that day for rest. This misinterpretation caused trouble to them. However, the spiritual meaning of the Sabbath is that when the six days, or human historical periods, pass, the day of the Lord comes being the seventh day. His rest means our rest also. As for the six days, they are: • The first day: from Adam to Noah. https://coptic-treasures.com/ • The second day: from the Flood to Abraham. • The third day: from Abraham to David. • The fourth day: from David to the Babylonian captivity. • The fifth day: from the Babylonian captivity to the coming of the Lord Christ. • The sixth day: the present era from the coming of Christ to His last coming. On that day we take the image of God, since on that day man was created (Gen 1:27) and on that day our creation is renewed (through crucifixion on Friday). This is how Saint Augustine sees that God works during the six days and that the sixth day is the day on which man was created and renewd to get ready for enjoying rest on the seventh day which is the day of His last coming25. ? So that we may know in a better way the equality of the Father and the Son, behold that when the Father speaks the Son works. Likewise the Father works and the Son speaks. The Father works, as it is written "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." You notice that it was said to the Son "speak a word, and my servant will be healed." (Matt 8:8) and the Son says to the Father, "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am" (John 17:24) so the Father does what the Son says. Saint Ambrose26. ? Surely, as the Church teaches us in accordance to the Savior's words: "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." God works (creates) our spirits everyday with which we increase and work; and He will not stop being the Creator27. ? He gives continuously; He always grants gifts. It is not enough that He grants me a blessing once. It befits Him that He gives me grace at all times. I ask so that I may obtain and when I obtain I ask again. I crave for God's generosity and if He is not late in giving, I do not lack interest in accepting His gift. As much as I drink I thirst. Saint Jerome28. ? If someone asks you, how has the Father been working, He who has ended His work on the seventh day? If only he learns the manner with which He works. What are His works? He cares for the concerns of everything He did and He directs them. When you see the sun rising and the moon turning in its orb; when you see the lakes, springs and rivers, rain and the natural seasons for plants, the nature of our body and the body of undiscerning animals and all other matter with which this universe exists you will learn that God has not stopped working. For, "He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matt. 5:45) He also "clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven" (Matt 6:30) and when He speaks about the birds He says, "your heavenly Father feeds them." Saint John Chrysostom29. ? He said that to them because they kept the Sabbath in a corporeal sense imagining God as though He slept after He tired of creating the world until that day. He sanctified that day He began to rest as from weariness. Now, concerning our old fathers, the mystery of the Sabbath has been established, that 25 1 Cf. Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 75:4-6 26 2 On the Holy Spirit, Book 2, Jutr. (2). 27 1 To Pammachius Against John of Jerusalme, 22. 28 2 Letter 133:6 29 3 Homilies on St. John, 38:2 https://coptic-treasures.com/ which we, Christians, observe spiritually by refraining from low work, that is to say from any sin, because the Lord says: "whoever commits sin is a slave of sin." We obtain repose in our hearts and this is the spiritual rest. AS for the saying that God rested, that is because He did not create a new creation after He ended His work which He made. In addition the Holy Bible calls it rest in order that we may be urged to do good works after which we rest. It is written in the Book of Genesis "God created everything, it was very good. And He rested on the seventh day" so that you may realize, O man, that it was said of God Himself that He rested after good work, and you may expect rest for yourself after you practise good work. Since God, after creating man in His own image and likeness and in that He completed all His work which was very good, then He rested on the seventh day, it follows that you should not expect rest for yourself unless you return to that likeness when you were created30. ? Do not think that My Father rested on the Sabbath means that He did not work. He is working even now and likewise I am working. And just as the Father is without fatigue, so is the Son without fatigue31. ? The Universal faith (of the Universal Church) is that the works of the Father and the works of the Son are not separate… AS the Father and the Son are not separate, so are the works of the Father and the works of the son not separate… What the Father does the Son and the Holy Spirit also do. For, everything was made by the word, "For He spoke, and it was done."32 Saint Augustine. Some may ask: for example, that the Lord Christ walked on the water, while the Father did not walk on the water; how then do we say that the works of the Father and of the Son are not separate? Saint Augustine answers saying: "See how the Universal Faith presents an explanation for this question: The Son walked on the sea; He put His physical feet on the waves, the body walked and the Divinity directed it, but when the body walked and the Divinity directed it, was the the Father absent? If He was absent, how does the Son say, 'but the Father who dwells in Me does the works'? If the Father who dwells in the Son, He Himself does the works, then walking on the water is the work of the Father by the Son. Consequently, this walking is the work of the Father and the Son without separation. I see both working in it. The Father will not leave the Son, nor will the Son leave the Father. Thus all that the Father works, He does not work without the Son because what the Father does He does not do without the Son."33 ? Someone says: how does the eternal give birth to an eternal? As temporary flame produces temporary light, the generating flame is contemporaneous with the light that it generates. The generating flame will not precede the light in time, but from the moment the flame begins, at that same moment the light is born. Show me flame without light, 30 1 St. Augustine: On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 20:2 31 2. St. Augustine: On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 20:2 32 3. St. Augustine: On the Gospel of ST. John, tractate 20:3 33 1 St. Augustine: On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 20:6 https://coptic-treasures.com/ and I will show you God the Father without the Son. Therefore, 'the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do.' This implies that 'He sees' and 'is born' concerning the Son are both the same thing. His seeing and existence are not different; nor are His strength and His Being different. All things that the Son has are from the Father, everything He has power over, or He is the same, everythingis from the Father34. ? What the Father does, the Son also does. The Father made the world and the Son made the world, and also the Holy Spirit made the world. If they were three gods, there would have been three worlds. Since they are one God, the Father , the Son, and the Holy Spirit, there is one world that the Father created through the Son in the Holy Spirit. It follows that the Son makes what the Father makes and does not work in a different way. He makes together these matters and makes them in the same way35. ? If you see no separation in the light, why do you want separation in the work? Behold God, look at the word that is inseparable from the word that He speaks. The speaker does not speak in syllables. His word shines in the splendor of wisdom. What was said about wisdom? "She is the radiance of eternal light" (Wis 9:15). Look at the sun in the sky. It spreads its splendor on all the earth and over all the seas, and yet the light is material and simple. If ou can tryly separate the splendor from the sun, you can separate the Word from the Father36. Saint Augustine. "Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God." [18] His justification of the sanctity of the Sabbath through Divine work, and not through refraining from work, bore the testimony that He was equal with God whom He called His Father. Therefore, they hated him more, because there is nothing that incites them more than His assertion of His divine authority. Therefore they sought all the more to kill Him, because in their opinion He blasphemed. The punishment for both accusations is death (Exodus 31:14. Lev 24:16) Some think that what alarmed the Jewish leaders was that He called the Father His personal self Father: This is what is understood by the use of the Greek word. He, then, considers Himself equal with God. ? It is written: "My Father is greater than I." (John 14:28) It is also written "He… did not consider it robbery to be equal with God" (Philippians 2:6). It is written "He… also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God." (John 5:18) and it is written: "I and My Father are one." (John 10:30) Is it possible that He is less and equal in the same nature? No, one refers to the Divinity, the other to His body37. Saint Ambrose. 4. Discourse about Eternal Life 34 2 St. Augustine: On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 20:8 35 3 St. Augustine: On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 20:9 36 4 St. Augustine: One the Gospel of St. John, tractate 20:13 37 1 Of the Christian Faith, Book, ch. 18 (224) https://coptic-treasures.com/ "Then Jesus answered and said to them, Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, But what He sees the Father do; For whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner." [19] In His speech He always asserts two truths: the oneness (unity) of God, and that He is one with the Father, equal with Him. When the Jews wanted to kill Him not only beacause He broke the Sabbath, but also because He said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God [18] His answer was not 'Why do you want to kill me…, I am not equal with my Father.’ If the Lord Christ was less than the Father in divinity, He would have been obligated to make that clear. However, He explained that there is not contradiction between Him and the Father, because what the Father does, He does through the Son who is the power and wisdom of God. "All things wer made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." (John 1:3) He says what the Father sees the Son does; what does He mean by that? Does He see what the Father does and He repeats the same act? Impossible! However, as they both do the same work, so He is one with the Father in will. Therefore, He does the divine work which is according to His Father's pleasure and at the same time His own pleasure. The Son cannot do anything of Himself because of the unity that cannot be split from the Father. Alos, the Father does not do anything without the Son because of the eternal unity, because the Son is the power of God, the wisdom of God, the word of God. The created bieng can do something of himself; he can misconceive the matter that God cannot do because He is holy without sin. But the Son cannot do except what He sees the Father do. It is as though He says to them, if you accuse Me of breaking the Sabbath, I do not do anything except what I see the Father do; whould you consider the Father breaking the Sabbath?! In His discourse He concentrated on that He gives life to whom He will [21], that His words grant everlasting life [24], that His voice will raise the dead [25-26] and that the hour is coming when He will give life to those in the graves [28-29] ? The Father shows Him what He will do so that what is done will be through the Son38. ? Then, what we exlain, our beloved, the question that we ask is how does the Word see? How is the Father seen by means of the Word? And what is it that the Word sees? I do not have the audacity or carelessness to promise yo that I explain that to myself or to you. I reckon your measure and know my limit… It was meant by that, that we do not understand that the Father does some woks which the Son sees, and that the Son does other works after He sees what the Father does. Rather, both the Father and the Son do the same works. 38 1 St. Augustine: On the Gospel of ST. John, tractate 19:3 https://coptic-treasures.com/ So, if the Son does the same work as the Father, and if the Father does the work through the Son, it follows that the Father does not do something, and the Son does another thing; rather the works of the Father and the Son are the very same. I shall give you an example which is not difficult for you to understand: when we write letters we write them first with our hearts then with our hands… the heart and the hand write the letters. Do you think that the heart writes letters ans the hands write different letters? The same letters are executed by the heart mentally and the hand materially. Notice how these things are done but not in the same manner. Therefore, it ws not enough for the Lord to say, "whatever the Father does" but it was necessary to add "in like manner"… If He does these things in like manner, then let them wake up; let the Jews be destroyed, and the Christians believe, let the heretic be convinced, because the Son is equal with the Father39. Saint Augustine. ? If you ask: then, what is the meaning of Christ saying, "the Son can do nothing of Himself"? I shall answer: this means that He cannot do anything opposed or stange to His Father. This statement proves His equality with His Father and His agreement with Him very much. Christ's saying: "the Son can d nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do" is like saying "it is inaccessible to me and impossible that I do a contrary thing.” And His saying "for whatever He does, the Son also does" clarifies His complete likeness to His Father. ? What is the meaning of "the Son can do nothing of Himself"? He can do nothing of Himself opposed to the Father, not something different, not something strange. This shows the more, complete equality and agreement. Whay did He not say "He can do nothing opposite" instead of "He can do nothing"? So that He may prove there is no change, but accurate equality. This statement does not charge Him with weakenss, but rather is witness to His great power… as the statement "it is impossible for God to make a mistake" does not charge Him with weakness, but testifies to His inexpressible power. Thus the meaning here is that He can do nothing, that is to say, it is impossible that He does anything opposite to the Father40. Saint John Chrysostom. ? Niether the Son nor the Spirit has anything of Himself, because the Trinity does not speak about anything out of His Self… Let no one think that there is any difference in the work, in time or direction, between the Father and the Son; let him rather believe in the unity of the same action41. 39 1 St. Augustine: On the Gospel of ST. John, tractate 18:8 40 1 Hom 38. PG 59: 221-222 41 2 Of the Holy Spirit Book 2:12:134m 136 https://coptic-treasures.com/ ? The freedom (of the Holy Trinity) is hidden, not in the existence of differences, but in the unity of the will42. ? The Son was entitled to, and affirmed His equality with the Father, a true equality, regarding all difference in the Trinity as unlikely43. Saint Ambrose. ? Christ made everything… not in the sense that the Father lacked the power to create His works, ut that He rather wanted the Son to judge His works, so God gave Him the record of the created things. So the Son says, honoring His Father, "the Son can do nothing but what He sees the Father do, for whatever He does, the Son also does" (John 5:19) He also says "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." So, there is no contracdition in the work, for the Lord says in the Gospels, "And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine" (John 17:10) We learn this with certainty in the two Testaments, the Old and the New. For He who said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gen 1:26) certainly spoke to an hypostasis with Him. This is show in the words of the Psalmist: "he said and they were. He commanded and they were created." (Ps. 148:5) So it is as though the Father commanded and spoke, and the Son made everything as the Father commanded44. Saint Cyril of Jerusalem. [Saint Augustine warns us against material interpretation] ? He did not say, "the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He hears the Father command." He said, "the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do." Look, do you understand that in this way: the Father does something; the Son listens to see what He also does, and that He does another thing similar to what the Father does. What the Father makes, through whom does He make that? Unless it is through the Son. If not through the Word, ou blaspheme against the Gospel" All things were made through Him." (John 1:3) Therefore, what the Father makes, He makes through the Word. So, if He makes through the Word, He makes through the Son. Who, then, is that other who listens to make something He sees the Father make?45 ? The Father does not make things, and the Son makes other things. Everything that the Father makes, He makes through the Son. The Son raised Lazarus form the dead; did not the Father raise him? The Son gave sight to the blind, did not the Father grant him sight? The Father and the Son act in the Holy Spirit. This is the Trinity. The work of the Trinity is one; the greatness one, the eternity one, the works one. The Father did not create some people, the Son others, and the Holy Spirit some others. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit creates one same man… Saint Augustine. ? Whoever attributes weakness to the Son, attributes it to the Father also. The spehpherd carries the whole flock and not only this or that section of it… The Holy Bible promises 42 3 Of the Holy Spirit Book 1:17:112 43 4 Of the Holy Spirit Book 2:8:69 44 1 Lecture 11:23 45 2 Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 76:9 https://coptic-treasures.com/ abundance of grace, but we acknowledge its scarcity46. Saint Jerome. ? Why is it written: "the Son does the same things" not "similar to those things" except that you may judge that the Son is one in the same works of the Father, not an imitation of what the Father works? What is the meaning of "what He sees"? Is the Son in need of physical eyes? No. For if the followers of Arius affirm that concerning the Son, the Father, then is in need of physical works so that the Son may see them to make them. Then, what is meant by "the Son can do nothing of Himself"?… Is there anything impossible for the power and wisdom of God? Let these people understand that these are two attributes for the Son of God whose power is undoubtedly not a gift He obtains from another. But, as He is the life and does not rely on another to grant Him life, for He gives life to the others because He is the life; likewise He is the Word (1 Cor 1:24) not as an ignorant being asking for wisdom, but as making the others wise from His store. Similarly, He is the power, not as one who obtains it and in his weakness needs more power, but He rather grants power to the powerful47. Saint Ambrose. "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel." [20] The two verbs "loves" and "shows" occur in the Greek language in the present continuous and signify love and sight as working continuously without interruption. This is love of the complete unity in the same substance. Therefore, "Aghabi" was not used, but rather "Filin" and seeing the continuous work which denotes the partnership in the same divine work. The works which are greater than healing the paralytic is raising the dead. [21] And His resurrection and judgement of the world. [22] ? This shows that all exists through one will, one authority and one strength… Since Christ does nothing of Himself, if Christ does everything like the Father… because He did not say that "everything that He sees the Father doing He does" but "He sees the Father do."48 Saint John Chrysostom. ? It is much greater that a dead person is given life, than that a sick person is cured. These are great deeds. However, when does the Father show these deeds to the Son? Does not the Son know them? 46 3 Letter 69:1 47 1 Of the Christian Faith, 4:4:40-43 48 1 Hom 38. PG 59:221-222 https://coptic-treasures.com/ The Speaker Himself, does He not know how to raise the dead? Did He need to learn how to raise the dead back to life, He through Whom all things wer emade? He who brought us to life when we were nonexistant, di He need to learn how we may be raised from the dead? What, then, do His words mean?… He says to us once what befits His glory, and another time what befits His meekenss. He Himself the Most High deigned to come down so that He may lift us up high we who are low. What then does He say: "and He will show Him greater work than these, that you may marvel." [20] What He shows to us is not for His sake. For as the Father shows Him is for our sake. He, therefore, says "that you may marvel." Why does He not say: "the Father will show you" but says the Father will show the Son? That is because we also are memebers of the Son ansd what the members learn He learns in some way in His members. How does He learn in us? As He suffers also in us. Where do we prove that He suffers in us? From the voice coming from the sky: "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" (Acts 9:4)49 Saint Augustine. "For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them even so the Son gives life to whom He will" [21] The Father raised the dead as He raised the Sarephath Zidon widow's son, at the time of the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 17:22) and the son of the Shunammite (2 Kings 4:32-35) at the time of Elisha the prophet. The Son raises whom He will as what happened to Jairus' daughter (Mark 5:35-42), the Nain widow's son (Luke 7:11-15) and Lazarus in Bethany (John 11:14-44). He gives life as He will, not by asking for strength from outside as in the case of the prophets, and also His disciples. He has absolute authority over life! He has the keys of Hades and of Death (Rev 1:18). He has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens (Rev 3:7). He kills and makes alive (1 Samuel 2:6). ? The expression reveals an unchanging strength… equality in authority… "for whatever He (the Father) does, the Son also does", shows that He continues in doing everything that the Father does, whether you say raising the dead, forming bodies, forgiving sins or any other thing. He does in like manner as related to Who gave birth to Him50. Saint John Chrysostom. ? This, absolutely, does not mean that the Son gives life to some, and the Father raises others. It means that the Father and the Son raise the same persons, because the Father 49 2 ST. Augustine: On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 21:6-7 50 1 Hom 29 PG 59:223 https://coptic-treasures.com/ makes all things through the Son51. Saint Augustine. ? In this way the equality of the Son with the Father is simply affirmed through the unity in raising the dead. The Son gives life just like the Father. So that you may realize, here, His eternal life and authority52. Saint Ambrose. "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgement to the Son." [22] This asserts that the judging Father does not act without the Son; nor does the judging Son act without the Father. They have one authority and they work together. The Father judges no one, not because He has no authorigy, but because this is His pleasure that the Son who sacrificed Himself judges humanity. The Father created us through the Son, redeemed us through His death, and judges us through Him. Christ became the head of the Church through His work of salvation. He became above all (Eph. 1:11). He is the head of very man (1 Cor. 11:3); therefore, He completes that by the pleasure of His believers in participating in His glory. He was the One who began the battle against the kingdom of darkness, and He announces its total destruction in the Last Judgement. If the Son, in His humility became the Son of Man and suffered death on the cross, He also appears as Son of Man to embarrass and humiliate those who rejected Him and pierced Him with the spear of disbelief in Him. As the Jews asked for His judgement and murder legally, Hhe decalred that He is the One who judges and will judge all humanity the Day of Judgement. ? We need, dearly beloved, great effort in every respect because we shall give account of, and will be asked precisely about, our words and deeds. Our interest should not be in what happens now, but in what will happen then when we stand before the solemn trial. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." (2 Cor. 5:10) Let us mentally enact this judgement all the time, so that we may be able to persevere at all times in virtue… For He who forgives our trespasses now will judge us, He who dies for us will appear to judge all the human race as the apostle says, "To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation." (Heb 9:28). Therefore, He says here "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgement to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father."[22-23]… To understand "has committed" and "is born" listen to what was said elsewhere: "For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself" [26] What then? Did He give birth to Him first and granted life to Him later? Was He born without life? Even the devils will not imagine this because this is extreme 51 2 Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 62:4 52 3 Of the Christian Faith, 4:10:129 https://coptic-treasures.com/ stupidity and evil. Thus, just as granting life means giving birth to Him who is life, granting judgement is giving birth to Him who is judge. And lest when you hear that the Father is His source, you conjecture that there is a difference in essence or a lack in honor, He said He wil come and judge you, proving by that His equality with the Father. For, He who has the authority to punish and judge whom He will, has the same authority as the Father53. Saint John Chrysostom. ? "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgement to the Son." [22]… When the Son judges, does the Father remain withot work and does not judge?… This was said because in the Last Judgement, the Son only will appear to the human beings; the Father will disappear and announce the Son. How will the Son be declared? In the form of His ascension because the form of Divinity is hidden with the Father, but the form of the Son is declared to the human beings. How did they see Him go? In the body which they touched and held, and the wounds they ascertained when they touched. He appeared to them in this body for forty days, declaring His self in truth, not in illusion, in falseness, in a shadow or spirit, but in Himself. He did not deceive them: "Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have." (Luke 24:39). This body became truly fit to inhabit heaven, not submitting to death, not changing with time54. Saint Augustine. "that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him." [23] If the Son is honored just as the Father is honored, the Son has the same honor. All creatures, the heavenly and earthly, worship Him and devote themselves to Him, which is appropriate to God only, for He with the Father is the One God. ? Is the Son inferior because He said He was sent? I hear of sending, not of separation… Between two human beings, the sender is greater than he who is sent. However, human affairs deceive men; on the other hand, the divine purify. Do not look at human affairs in which the sender appears to be greater than he who is sent… But in spite of that there are many cases when the greater is chosen to be sent by the one less than him. The sun sends its rays but is not separated from the rays. The lamp spreads light and is ntot spearated from that light. I see transmission whithout separation… 53 1 Homilies on St. John, 39:1 54 2 ST. Augustine: On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 21:12 https://coptic-treasures.com/ A person who sends another person remains behind him, while the person who is sent precedes. Does the sender go with whom he sends? As for the Father who sent the Son, He is not separate from the Son… The Father who sends is not separate from the Son who is ent, because the Sender and the Sent is one55. Saint Augustine. ? Do you not see how the honor of the Son is connected to the honor of the Father. Someone may say: What?! We see the same thing in the case of the apostles: Christ says "He who receives you receives Me." (Matt 10:40). In here He says this because He cares for His servants who are His. One the other hand, when He speaks about Himself and the Father, He says that because the essence is one, and the glory is one with the Father. He, therefore, did not say about the apostles, 'so that they honor them'; but here, He says, in truth, "He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father" [23]. When there are two kings, he who insults one of them, insults the other also, especially if one of the two kings is the son of the other. Lkewise, he who huts his soldiers is considered having hurt the king but in a different manner56. Saint John Chrysostom. "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My words and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement, but has passed from death into life." [24] His instructions, that is to say, the gospel of His salvation, are the seeds of eternal life which conquer death forever. When planted in the heart they raise the believer above eternal death and judgment on the Lord's Great Day. The believer will not enter the city of death where the spirits that deprived themselves from the source of life are imprisoned. The soul of the believer will cross to the empire of life where the believer will receive a new citizenship instead of the town of death. He will enjoy a heavenly residence to live there eternally in heavenly glory and speak a heavenly language. Though eternal life has no relation to time, yet the deposit for this grant is offered in the present life, so that we may grow in it and enjoy its perfection in the future life. ? He did not say 'he who hears My word and believes in Me' (isntead of believes in Him who sent Me) because in spite of the myriad miracles He performed over a long time, they still doubted Him. When He spoke later in this manner saying, "if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death" (John 8:51), they said to Him "Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, 'If anyone keeps My word he shalll never taste death.'" (John 8:52) Therefore, so that they may not get very angry, here, behold what He says? "he who hears My word, and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life" [24] This statement has a great effect on the acceptance of what He says, when they learn that when they believe whom they hear they believe the Father also. When they accept this easily they can accept the remainder of His discourse easily. His converstation in ahumble way contributed to and introduced them to heavenly concerns. For, after He says, "has everlasting life" He adds: "And shall not come into judgmenet, but has passed from death 55 1 St. Augustine: On the Gospel of ST. John, tractate 21:17 56 2 Homilies on St. John, 39:2 https://coptic-treasures.com/ into life." [24]57 ? In these two respects He caused His sayings to be easily accepted. First, because it is in the Father that we believe; then he who believes enjoys many blessings. Not coming into judgement means no punishment, because her He does not speak about death, but about eternal death and also about life without death58. Saint John Chrysostom. ? AS human beings love to live on this earth, they are promised life; and as they fear death very much, they are promised eternal life. What do you love? That you life. You will obtain that. What do you fear? That you die. You will have everlasting life… Let us love eternal life, in that we understand how we need to strive very much for eternal life59. Saint Augustine. ? The authority of the Son does not increase, but our knowledge of that authority increases. What we learn does not add anything to His being, but rather adds to our benefit so that through our knowledge of the Son we obtain eternal life. Thus, our knowledge of the Son of God is not glory to Him, it is rather our benefit that is meant60. Saint Ambrose. ? In spite of its union with God, the soul does not enjoy full and absolute happiness; but the more it enjoys His beauty, its longing for Him increases. The words of the Bridegroom are spirit and life (John 5:24) and whoever clings to the spirit becomes a spirit. Whoever clings to life passes from death into life, as the Lord said. In this way, the virgin spirit yearns always to come nearer to the spring of spiritual life. The spring is the mouth of the Bridegroom from which issue the words of everlasting life. He fills the mouth that approaches Him like David the prophet who attracted a spirit through his mouth (Ps. 119:131). As it is necessary for a person who drinks from the spring to put his mouth on the mouth of the spring, and as the Lord Himself is the spring as He says: "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink." (John 7:37), therefore, the thirsty souls wish to put their mouths on the mouth from which life springs and say: "Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth" (Song 1:2) He who grants life to all, and wants to save all, wishes that everyone enjoys a share of these kisses, because the kisses purify the souls from all uncleanness61. Saint Gregory of Nyssa. "Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live." [25] 57 1 Homilies on St. John, 39:2 58 2 Hom 39. PG 59: 222 59 1 Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 77:2 60 2 Of the Christian Faith, 5:6:68-69 61 3 "The Song of Songs by Saint Gregory, bishop of Nyssa; translated by Dr. George Nawar, 1993, Sermon 1 https://coptic-treasures.com/ Some people differentiate between the "word" of the Lord Christ [24] and His "voice" [25]. His word is the gospel of His salvation where the believer finds, through the cross, the new life isntead of death and enjoys freedom instead of slavery, for the Lord says, "My word is spirit and life.” AS for His voice, it is in His word where the Bride delights in the voice of her Bridegroom and her heart is filled with the ecstasy of love. She feels His divine tenderness and accepts nothing instead: "My sheep hear My voice" (John 10:27) The Holy Bible indicates three kinds of death: natural death, or that of the body, spiritual death, and eternal death. The first occurs when the spirit separates from the body; the second is when the spirit is separated from God, and the third happens when the spirit and the body together separate from God in the world to come. Accordingly, there are three kinds of life: natural life in this world where the body and the spirit work in unity together, spiritual life when the spirit enjoys union with God who guides her through the Holy Spirit, and everlasting life when the body shares with the spirit heavenly glory in the bosom of the Father. With the coming of the Lord Christ the hour has come so that the spirit rises from its death or its separation from God the source of its life, and enjoys the new life here. This new life prepares the believer for the second coming of the Lord Christ when the dead will arise so that he bodies share with the spirits a glorious everlasting life. This is realized through the command of the Lord Christ when the dead hear His voice. In His first coming, He speaks to the spirit and raises it from death. In His last coming, He orders and the dead rise. Would we hear always His voice that is directed personally to us "Lazarus, come forth!" In all our worship, or rather with every breath of life we must incline our ears to Him to hear His sweet life-giving voice. ? Resurrection is realized now and the people pass from death into life, from death without faith into life through faith, from death through falsehood into life through truth, from death because of evil into life in reighteousness. Therefore, there is resurrection of the dead62. ? Those who believe and obey live. Before they believe and obey they lay dead. They walked and were dead. What do they profit by walking while dead? And yet, if one of them dies the death of the body , they run to prepare the grave; they shroud, carry and bury him; the dead bury the dead. It has been said about them: "let the dead bury their own dead." (Matt 8:22) Such dead were raised by the Word of God so that they may live in faith. Those who were dead in disbelief were raised by the Word. Concerning this hour, the Lord says: "the hour is coming, and now is.” With His word, He raises those: who were dead in disbelief. About them, the apostle says, "Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." (Eph 5:14). This is the resurrection of the hearts. This is the resurrection of the inner man, the resurrection of the spirit. However, this is not the only resurrection, because there is still the resurrection of the body also. Whoever arises again in the spirit arises also in the body to be blessed in the body. 62 1 ST. Augustine: On the Gospel of ST. John, tractate 19:8 https://coptic-treasures.com/ But, whoever does not arise first in the spirit will arise In the body for his damnation… When we look up to the Lord that He sealed on us with this resrrection of the spirits towards which we all must hurry and strive to live in and persevere to the end, there remains that He seals on us with the resurrection of the bodies also which will be at the end of the world. Let us now listen to how He sealed on us with that also. He said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear" that is to say those who do not believe, "the voice of the Son of God" that is to say the gospel, "and those who hear" those who obey, "will live" [25] that is to say will be justified and will not again have no faith. When I say He said that as much as He sees us in need of learning about the resurrection of the body also, and we are left in that condition, He compeltes His saying: "For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the son to have life in Himself." This denotes the resurrection of the spirits, granting life to the spirits. He then adds: "and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man." [27]63 ? From which source will they live? From life. From which life? From Christ… He says: "I am the way, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6) Do you want to walk? I am the way. Do you wish not to be deceived? "I am the truth.” Do you want not to die? "I am the life.” This is what your Savior says to you… The people who died will arise; they will pass into life. When they hear the voice of the son of God, they will live. They will livei n Him when they persevere in the faith in Him because the Son has life. He has life, so that those who believe in Him will live64. Saint Augustine. ? Did you learn here the sovereignty of Christ and His absolute inexpressible authority? Just as He will be in resurrection, He says, "Now.” Therefore, when we hear His voice ordering us to arise, we rise as the apostle says: "when God commands, the dead rise "(see 1 Thes 4:16)65 Saint John Chrysostom. "For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself." [26] ? "granted" because of His unity with Him. He granted not so that it may be taken from Him, but so that He may be glorified in the Son. He was granted not so that the Father may guard it, but so that it may be the possession of the Son66. ? Do not think that it is a free gift for blessing, for it is the mystery of His birth. For there is no difference in life between the Father and the Son. How can you think that only the 63 2 Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 77:7-8 64 1 ST. Augustine: On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 22:8 65 2 Homilies on St. John, 39:2 66 3 Of the Christian Faith, 4:10:132 https://coptic-treasures.com/ Fathe has immortality and not also the Son?67 Saint Ambrose. ? Look, you say and confess that the Father grants life to the Son so that He may have life in Himself. As the Father has life in Himself, the Father has no need, and the Son also has no need. Just as the Father is life, so the Son is life. Both unite in one life and not two lives. Why is it said that thhe Father grants life to the Son? Not as though the Son was without life and obtained life. For if that was the case He would not have life in Himself68. ? What then "He has granted the Son to have life in Himself"? I say, briefly, He gave birth to the Son… As if He says "the Father who is life in Himself gave birth to the Son who is life in Himself." The word "granted" dedit may be understood as meaning "gave birth" genuit69. ? What is the meaning of "has life in Himself"? That He does not need life from another, He rather overflows with life and from Him the others - those who believe in Him obtain life… He was granted to have life in Himself: who was granted? His Word. Therefore, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God."70 Saint Augustine. ? Do you not see that this declares the perfect likeness except in one point, that the one is Father and the other Son? The word "granted" is simply to point out this distinction; all the rest is perfectly equal and alike. It is clear tht the Son does everything with authority and power like the Father and that He does not derive power from another source, since He has life in Himself just as the Father has life in Himself71. Saint John Chrysostom. "And has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man." [27] Saint Ambrose sees that the Lord Christ accepted to obtain the authority to execute judgement "because He is the Son of Man." As the Son of God, He is the judge because He is one with the Father72. Saint Augustine says, Christ is "the Son of God in Himself" [25] It was necessary (in His love) to become the Son of Man when He took us in Himself, or took our nature. When He raises the dead, we see Him as the Son of God who gives life and resurrection. When He executes judgment His work of salvation without which we are not justified becomes clear to us. We see Him carrying our nature, becoming the Son of Man who died and rose and granted us His justification. The wicked also see Him the Son of Man whom they crucified, despised, and stabbed. In saying "and has given Him to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man" He turns our attention to the prophecy of Daniel the prophet about Him: "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they bourht him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and 67 4 Of the Holy Spirit Book 5:2:35 68 1 St. Augustine: On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 19:12 69 2 St. Augustine: On the Gospel of ST. John, tractate 19:13 70 3 ST. Augustine: On the Gospel of ST. John, tractate 22:10 71 4 Homilies on St. John, 39:3 72 1 Of the Christian Faith, 63:78-79 https://coptic-treasures.com/ glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14) ? The judge, here, will be the Son of Man. This form will execute judgement, and He stood trial. Listen and understand wha prophet says in fact: "and the yshall look on Him whom they have pierced." (Zech 12:10; John 19:37). They will look on the very same form they pierced with a spear, sitting as ju He who stood before judgment. He will condemn the real criminals, He who was falsely considered a criminal. He will come Himself in the same form. This you will see also in the gopel when He went to heaven in front of His disciples, they stood and looked and the angelic voice said: "Men of Galilee, why do you stand… This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11) Behold now on what basis was that tohappen and in truth those who mu be juged see the Judge. For those who are juged are the righteous and the wicked together. But "Blessed are the pure in heart, forthey shall see God." (Matt. 5:8). What remains is that in the Judgement the form of the bond-servant is declared to the good and the evil, and the form of God is kept for the good only73. ? What will the righteous obtain?… I have said that there, we shall be in good health, safe, alive without tribulation, hunger, or thirst, without wrong, or losing our sight. This is what I have said, but I did not say what a greater thing we shall have: we shall see God. This is so great that if compared with all the other benefits, they are considered nothing. Will the wicked also see God about whom Isaiah said, "the wicked will be rejected and will not see the glory of God" (Is 56:10)? For this reason, He will declare Himself to all, to the good and the evil but will keep Himself for those who love Him… Afther the resurrection of the body, when the wicked are repelled and will not see the glory of God, He "when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." (1 John 3:2) This is everlasting life74. ? Why then does the Father not come Himself? That is because He is invisible on Judgment Day. "They shall look on Him whom they have pierced": The form that appeared before the judge, will be the Judge. That form that was judged will judge. He was falsely judged, but will judge with justice. He will come in the form of a bond-servant and will reveal Himself in that form, for how will the form of God be seen by the righteous and the unjust? If Judgment was for the righteous only the form of God will appear to them. But since Judgment is for the righteous and the unjust, and since the unjust are not allowed to see God, so "blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matt 5:8)75 ? There, there will be separation (between the righteous and the evil) but not like now. 73 1 Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 77:10 74 2 Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 77:11-13 75 3 St. Augustine: On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 19:16 https://coptic-treasures.com/ Now we are separated not in place, but in characteristics, desires, faith, hope and love. Now we live together, we live with the evil, though the life of all is not one. In secret we are distinguished, we are separate like wheat on the threshing floor, not like wheat in the barn. In the field, wheat is separate and mixed, separate because it is different from straw, and mixed beecause it has not been sifted yet. After that, complete separation will happen... Those who have done good will live with the angels; those who have done evil will suffer with Satan and his soldiers… After Judgment the form of the bond-servant will cross over… He will lead the body because He is the head and He will deliver the kingdom to God (1 Cor 15:24). Then the form of God will appear openly, that form that the wicked could not see, but only saw the form of the bond-servant. He will reveal Himself as He promised those who love Him. For He says, "He who has My commandments and keeps them,, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." (John 14:21)76. Saint Augustine. "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice." [28] When the Lord Christ rose from the dead, no voice was heard, because He rose by His own power and authority. However, at our resurrection on the Last Day, the voice of Christ will be heard, for He has the authority to raise the dead. Likewise, the sound of the angels' trumpets will be heard to announce the coming of the Omnipotent. ? All who hear wil live; because all who obey will live… We thus see the resurrection of the mind; would we do not abandon our faith in the resurrection of the body… Indeed, all groups who are engaged in spreading any religious creed among the people allow the belief in the resurrection of the minds. Else, they wil be told: if the self does not arise, why are you talking to me?… But there are many who deny the resurrection of the body and affirm that the resurrection has actually taken place through faith. Such are those whom the apostle resists saying, "Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurreciton is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some." (2 Tim 2:17:18). They say the resurrection took place actually in a manner that we do not expect another resurrection. They blame those who hope for the resurrection of the body as though the promised resurrection was realized through the act of faith, that is to say through the mind77. Saint Augustine. "And come forth - those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. [29] I can of Myself do nothing. 76 1 ST. Augustine: On the Gospel of ST. John, tractate 19:18 77 1 ST. Augustine: On the Gospel of St. John, tractate 19:14 https://coptic-treasures.com/ As I hear, I judge; And My judgment is righteous, Because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me." [30] ? As though Christ says here: 'You will not see in me a strange, different act or work that My Father does not desire.' Saint John Chrysostom. 5. John the Baptist Bears Witness to Christ "If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true." [31] If He bore witness of Himself without the witness of the Father through the prophets, and without performing divine, miraculous works, they would have had an excuse to consider His witness false. He rejected His witness of Himself because they considered that, a kind of asking for noror from men. He does not want to bear witness according to their criteria which ar efalse. In this way He did not give them a chance either to object to His witness or to doubt in His intention and think that He asks for temporary honor. ? When He ais "My witness is not true" [31] He was rebuking them for their view about and objection to Him. And when He said "Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true" (John 8:14) He declared the essence of the same thing, which is that as He is God, they must trust Him even when He talks about Himself78. Saint John Chrysostom. He presents Himself once as a human being, and another time in theglory of God… Once He says His witness is not true (John 5:31) and another time He says His witness is true (John 8:14)79 Saint Ambrose. ? He knew well that His witness of Himself was true, but for the sake of the weak and without understanding, the sun looks at the lamps. Because of the weakness of their insight they did not bear to see the radiance of the shining sun80. ? Did not the martyrs testify of Christ? Did they not testify of the truth? But if we look more carefully at that, we shall see that when the martyrs testified, He testified of Himself because He dwells in the martyrs and they witness of the truth. Let us listen to one of the martyrs, to the apostle Paul: "Do you accept the proof of Christ speaking in me?" (2 Cor 13:3 Valgate). Therefore, when John testifies, Christ who dwells in John testifies of Himself. Let Peter witness; let Paul or the other apostles witness, let Stephen witness, He who dwells in them all He witnesses of Himself81. Saint Augustine. ? If the Lord Himself who will come later to judge everything, did not want them to believe His witness of Himself and preferred to be justified by the witness of God the Father, how much more it is necessary for us His slaves not only to be justified by God's judgment and witness, but als oto be glorified through His witness that we must keep82. Saint Cyrian. 78 2 Homilies on ST. John, 40 79 1 On the Christian Faith, Book 5:10:123 80 2 Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 78:1 81 3 Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 78:3 82 4 Letter 66 to Florentius:2 https://coptic-treasures.com/ "There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true." [32] The verb "witnesses" here is in the present continuous because the witness of the Father of the Son is an eternal witness, a witness of love for Him who is one with Him of the same essence. They believe in the Holy Bible which carries the witness of the Father through the many prophecies, and it is true testimony. ? As though He says: 'you may be saying to Me, we do not believe You, because it is said to the people whoever is quick to bear witness of himself is not qualified to be believed.' So Christ's saying "If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true" should not be read simply, but should be read by adding the suspicion of those Jews that Christ's statement is not true. He mentioned in His conversation three witnesses: the first is the works that He did, the second His Father's witness, and the third is John the Baptist's announcement of Him. He mentioned the last witness first, that is the testimony of Jhn the Baptist. For He says, "there is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witnes which He witnesses of Me is true." [32] Saint John Chrysostom. "You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth." [33] Although the Lord Christ does not accpet testimony from any man, yet, for their sake, He presents John the Baptist's witness of Him or "to the truth.” As they respected him as the lamp that shines an hour - at that time John was in prison - the Lord Christ honors him because he is the lamp tha tannounces Christ's coming in the midst of the darkness of this world. On the one hand, the enemies themselves asked him and wanted to know his opinion; on the other hand, Saint John was known for disregard for temporary honor; and he did not ask glory for himself. He is faithful in his mission. Herod was not able to dissuade him from the truth. Besides, when John testitfied of the Lord Christ, he had not seen Him. ? He first said, "You have sent to John" and they would not send to him unless they considered him qualified to be believed. Saint John Chrysostom. ? Look how it was necessary to say "For You O lord will light my lamp.” At last, as he was enlightened, he gave his testimony… He is the lamp that was enlightened; enlightened so that it may give light. What is lit can also be extinguished. In order that he may not be extinguished, would he does not expose himself to the wind of pride83. Saint Augustine. "Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved." [34] 83 1 Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 17:9 https://coptic-treasures.com/ The Lord says He does not need the testimony of John because His works are enough proof and greater than the testimony of John. You believe that John is a prophet; that he does not tell lies, but tells the truth. He testified that I am the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29); if you believe in Me you will be saved from your sins. ? John's testimony was not the testimony of a man, because he said "I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you se the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'" (John 1:33) From this piont, it is clear that the testimony of John the Baptist was the testimony of God, because from God he knew it, and He said to him what He said. Saint John Chrysostom. ? "I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation."… Who is He who has mor eunderstanding than all His teachers? I ask: Who is He who dares and sets Himself above all the prophets; Who did not only, through words, teach with great authority those with whom He lived, but has also taught the consecutive generations through the writings of the prophets?… What is said here cannot be about the person of Solomon… I know Him clearly He who understands more than all teachers, for when He was a boy, twelve years old, Jesus stayed in Jerusalem and His parents found Him after three days (Luke 2:42-46). The Son said: "as My Father taught Me, I speak these things." It is very difficult for us to understand this about the person of the Word unless we realize that the Son is born of the Father…" He took the form of a bond-servant" (Phil 2:7) As He took that form, those older than Him in age thought that He should learn like a boy. However, He who was taught by the Father has more understanding than all His teachers, because He studied God's testimonies concerning Him and He understands them more than they do when He said these words: "You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Yet I do not receive testimony from man (John 5:33-34). Saint Augustine. "He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light." [35] He means by the word "burning" that he was burning with zeal in his heart for the repentance and salvation of the people. "For a time" means a short time between his appearance to serve and his imprisonment. "You rejoice" agalliatheenai means they persevere in joy, or are overjoyed for the news of the appearance of the Messiah who was expected to save them from the Romans. However, https://coptic-treasures.com/ when He announced His spiritual kingdom, they rejected Him and rejected the lamp that announced Him. When Herod was John's friend, the religious leadership spoke of John with all respect, or at least they did not resist him. But when he was put in prison, by Herod, he was undoubtedly honored by the people, but the leardership did not care for him. AT the same time, the leaders were unable to attack him openly, because the multitude counted him as a prophet. Now, as the people ralize that John is a prophet, and that he bears witness to Christ, they must accept Christ. Saint Jerome sees the saints, like Saint John the Baptist, as lamps that shine and that their light denotes their joy and happiness for salvation. As he says, "In all the eastern churches, even where there are no relics of saints, when the Gospel is read, candles are lit even when at dawn the sky is red. This is not to dispel darkness, but as a testimony of our joy. Therefore, the vigins who are mentioned in the Gospel light their lamps always. The disciples are told to always gird up their loins and light their lamps. We read about John the Baptist "He was the burning and shining lamp." So, this sensible light indicates the light we read about in the Psalm: "Your word is a lmpa to my feet, O Lord, and a light to my path." (Ps 119:105)84 ? This lamp was prepared because of their confusion. Because of that it was said in the Psalms, a long time ago "I will prepare a lamp for My Anointed." (Ps 132:17) Wath is the lamp compared to the sun?85 Saint Augustine. ? "For a time in his light:: This shows clearly their deflection and turning away quickly from John. Saint John Chrysostom. 6. The Testimony of Christ's Miracles and Works: "But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish - the very works that I do - bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me." [36] The Lord Christ talks often about His works bearing witness of His person and mission (John 10:25,32,37,38; 14:10,11). Here by "works" He does not only mean His numerous miracles and wonders and their diversity, but also His owrks of exceeding love, His conduction when He performs the miracles and His wonderful love for the human race. We often hear that "He was moved with compassion and healed them." Besides, there are His discourses and the unique events in His life, such as the voice of the Father heard at His baptism and transfiguration, and His victory over Satan during the temptation. He points out here the healing of the paralytic as a practical testimony so that they may accept Him and His teachings and be saved. The word "given" here does not mean that the Son obtains what He did not have. It means executing the divine work of the Father and completing it. For example, salvation is the work of the Holy Trinity: the Father sends His Son to the world to offer Himself as a sacrifice, 84 1 Against Vigiliantius, 8 85 2 Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 78:2 https://coptic-treasures.com/ and the Holy Spirit prepares the womb of Saint Mary to achieve the divine incarnation. There is not separation, confusion, or overlapping in the work of the Father, the Son and the Spirit; it is one divine work. The Lord declared on the cross that He finished the work (John 19:30). As the apostle Paul says, "For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." (Heb 2:10) ? The aim He cared for first was that they believe that He came from God. This is much less than that they believe He is God equal with the Father. Saint John Chrysostom. 7. The Father Testifies of Him: "And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form." [37] The Father Himself has testified of Him through the prophets as mentioned in the Old Testament and ended with the testimony of Saint John the Baptist. The Father also testified of Him with His voice coming from heaven on the day of His baptism (Matt 3:17) and when He was transfigured before three of His disciples. ? If you ask where did He testify of Him? I would answer: in the Jordan, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matt 3:17) I make clear that God has no voice or form; He is above all forms and melodies that have this quality. Saint John Chrysostom. "You have neither heard His voice at any time, or seen His form." [37] Saint Augustine discusses this verse saying: "Do not submit to the thought that you se God, a physical face; else with such thinking you adapt your physical eyes to seeing Him and you look for a face… Observe who is He to whom we sincerely say: 'My heart said to You, 'You face, Lord, I will seek' '… Search for Him with your hearts. The Holy Bible speaks about the face of God, His arms, hands, feet, chari, footstep… but do not think that what is meant here are human members. If you want to b eGod's temple you must break this false idol."86 ? He is not like us perceiving one side and not the other. This is blasphemy not fit for the essence of God who knows the things before they are. He is holy, omnipotent, above all in goodness, greatness and wisdom. We cannot give information concerning His beginning, form or appearance, for the Bible says, "You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form." As Moses said: "Take ye therefore good heed unto youselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you." 86 1 Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 3 https://coptic-treasures.com/ Since it is absolutely impossible to see His form, how can you think of approaching His essence?! Saint Cyril of Jerusalem. 8. The Holy Bible Testifies of Him: "But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe." [38] Even though you believe in the Holy Bible and the prophecies in it, your hearts are not faithful to the word. You speak the word with your tongues, but your hearts reject it. For though the prophecies about My coming are realized, you do not accept Me. You possess the Books but reject your salvation. This is the opposite of David the prophet who says: "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You." (Ps 119:11) "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; these are they which testify of Me." [39] As though He says to them: 'It is not enough for you to pride yourselves upon possessing the Scriptures, and that you read them. It is necessary that you search them diligently so that you may enjoy your redemption and eternal life, because all the Scriptures revolve round My coming to you.' Saint John Chrysostom observes that this statement refers to those who search for precious minerals in the depth of the earth; they dig mines and search with great interest for the precious minerals until they find them. The Lord Christ mentioned these prophecies in His conversation with His two disciples on the road to Emmaus the day of His resurrection: "And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." (Luke 24:27) The apostle Saint Peter directs us to this living testimony. He says: "And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1: 19-21). He also says: "Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow." (1 Pet 1:10-11) ? Christ sent the Jews to the Scriptures not for ordinary reading, but to search carefully and intelligently; for He did not say 'read the Scriptures' but said "search the Scriptures.” Therefore, He commands them to penetrate deeply in them because the words said concerning Him necessitate great attention so that they may be able to find the benefit in their depth. Saint John Chrysostom. ? We say truly that the literal understanding of th of the passover: the visible flesh is eaten, but what is hidden in the bones is left (Exodus 12:9). If anyone desires the marrow https://coptic-treasures.com/ hidden in the text, let him search for it with Him who reveals the hidden mysteries to those who deserve them. Nevertheless, we must not give the impression that we shall leave the text without accurate examination. We shall not neglect God's commandment that urges us to search the Scriptures (John 5:39)87. Saint Gregory of Nyssa. "But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life." [40] They search the Holy Scriptures without faithfulness; they present studies and interpretations while ignoring the essence of the Scriptures: the person of the Messiah. For they do not want to meet Him and believe in Him so that they may have life. "I do not receive honor from men." [41] He did not ask them for that because He aws in need of honor from them. For the salvation of man does not add anything to God; nor does the damnation of man harm God. Rather, the pleasure of God, the lover of mankind, is in man's stature and eternal glory. "But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you." [42] They resisted the Lord Christ under the pretence of jealousy for God, His glory and His Law and that they defend the divine right because Jesus broke the Law and blasphemed when He made Himself equal with the Father. Now He discloses their depths that they have no true love for God, nor zeal for His name, honor or Law. For, if they had that love, they would have known, in truth, who Jesus is; they would have nderstood His person and work. No other person could have dared to declare what the Lord declared: that the love of God is not in their hearts. ? One might say to Christ: Why do You say that? He answers: "I say that to rebuke them because they did not reject me for the love of God. God testifies of Me with His work and prophets. As somehow they had thought before that time that I was against God so they rejected Me. Now, since I showed them these miracles they should have come quickly to me if they loved God, but they do not love Him." Saint John Chrysostom. "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive." [43] Saint Ambrose observes that along with the distinction between the Persons, there is unity in the divine name. Therefore, baptism occurs in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and not "in the names" (Matt 28:19). The Son came in the name of the Father (5:43). As the Holy Spirit is called the Paraclete (the Intercessor or Advocate), likewise the Son is called also (1 John 2:1). And, as the Lord Christ speaks about Himself saying, "I am the truth" (John 14:6), the Holy Spirit also is called "the truth" (1 John 5:6)88 Again the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are called "the light" (1 John 1:5; John 1:8-9; Isaiah 9:2; Ps 4:6)89 Similarly, the 87 1 The Song of Songs by Saint Gregory, bishop of Nyssa; translated by Dr. George Nawar, Sermon 6 88 1 Of the Holy Spirit Book 1:13 89 2 Of the Holy Spirit Book 1:14 https://coptic-treasures.com/ Three Persons are called "the life.”90 The rabbis were very pourd that whoever introduced himself as teacher, one person or more who had religious authority, testified of him. For this reason Saul of Tarsus had pride in the testimony of his teacher Gamaliel. Our Lord Jesus came and the Father testified of Him; He spoke in His name, and asked for His glory; but the antichrists will come in their own names (Matt 24:5) ? He clarified the necessity of the teaching concerning the unity of the divine name and that there is no difference, for Christ came in the unity of the name, but the Antichrist will come in his own name… He taught clearly in these words (Matt 28:19; John 14:26; Acts 4:12; John 5:43) that there is no difference in the divine name, in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit91. Saint Ambrose. ? The Jews did not acept the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Son of God, who is God; but they will receive the impostor who will call himself God92. Father John of Damascus. ? Who is he about whom He said will come in his own name? He mentions this in a mysterious way that he who will come is the Antichrist. Saint John Chrysostom. ? It was said about the Antichrist and about all those who deny the Lord, these words: "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive." [43] Let us hear John also: "you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come" (1 John 2:18) What is in the Antichrist? We are terrified of him, except that his name is honored, and the name of the Lord is despised? What does he say except: "I justify myself"? We anser: "I have come to Christ not with my legs but with my heart. When I heard the Gospel there I believed. There I was baptized because when I believed in Christ I believed in God."93 Saint Augustine. "How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?" [44] The Lord Christ made it clear that their problem is in themselves. Their corruption blinded their eyes and theydid not know the truth and receive Him. The main obstacle in the salvation of the Scribs and Pharisees is their pride. They prefer to lose their salvation and damn their spirits than that their reputation is violated among the people. They care for what the people say about them, not for what God testifies of them. ? He sowed them that they did not ask for God's right, but pretended to. They were on the side of their sickness and withdrew from the glory of God because they desired human honor more than honor from God. Saint John Chrysostom. ? It is necessary that you care to avoid the nets of love of vain glory. Jesus says: "How can you believe, who receive honor from one another?" [44] What evil is that you sacrificed we cannot believe! Would we rather say: "You are my glory" (Jer 9:24) and also "He who 90 3 Of the Holy Spirit Book 1:15 91 4 Of the Holy Spirit Book 1:13:155-156 92 5 Exposition of the Christian Faith, Book 4, Ch. 36 93 1 Sermon on N.T. Lessons, 79:6 https://coptic-treasures.com/ glories, let him glory in the Lord." (1 Cor 1:31), "For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ." (Gal 1:10) "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by whom the world has been crucified to me and I to the world."94 Saint Jerome. "Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father, there is one who accuses you - Moses, in whom you trust." [45] They accused Him of breaking the Sabbath and He proved to them that with His work He sanctified the Sabbath because He works according to the Father's pleasure. Now that the falseness of their accusation has been revealed, He does not in turn accuse them of breaking all the Law because He does not need to do that, nor did He come for this purpose. He was not incarnate to judge the people, but to save them. He leaves Moses himself in whom they trust, he himself will accuse and judge them. "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me." [46] The five Books of Moses are full of symbols and prophecies testifying of the Person the Lord Christ: His birth, service, crucifixion and resurrection as the Savior of the world. So, whoever believes Moses, believes the Lord Christ Himself because in Him were the prophecies realized. "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" [47] If they do not open their hearts for the prophecies and understand the inner Law, but only hold to the letter in a dry manner, how will they be able to rejoice in the Person of the Lord Christ who is the sinew and center of the Scripture? They have the field but they do not search for the treasure hidden in it. Saint Paul says that a veil still lies on their heart when Moses is read (2 Cor 3:15) and they do not understand the aim of the dvine word. The discourse of the Lord Christ ends in complete silence on the part of the resistant group because they had no answer. It seems that all they did was that they acquitted Him silently. But their hearts were more hardened waiting for an opportunity to trap Him. Inspired by John 5 I Have No Man! ? My spirit groans with the Bethesda sick man I entered with him as through the five porches I entered through the five books of Moses I fell under the Law that exposed my weakness I discovered I was sick, in need of a heavenly Physician! 94 1 Letter 22:27 https://coptic-treasures.com/ ? My life passed like 38 years, during which I lacked true love! I have no man to put me into the water of divine love to get cured! Who may grant me true love for my God and brethren? Who will support me to perfect the law of love that I may be healed? ? You often passed, O Physician of the souls! As though You left everybody to search for me Because I am the first among sinners! With love You continously repeated: Do you want to be made well? Because of my stupidity I did not hear your voice! I loved the noise of the world and was preoccupied with it. I do not have two ears to hear the voice of heavenly love! Your sweet voice, but because of my hard of hearing I did not listen to it! ? Your wonderful Holy Spirit attracted my heart ot You. I heard Your sweet voice, And rejoiced in your face that is fairer than the sons of men! I have confessed to You my need for who will heal me. ? At Your mighty word I rose from my bed In obedience to Your command I took up my bed and walked home! I took up the bed of my illness, I see it and remember my weakenss and death, I remember Your authority, You who grant forgiveness and life. I walk, and walk until I enter my house. I shall not rest untill I reach the bosom of Your Father, my eternal dwelling! ? You have turned for me my whole life into a continuous Sabbath, My time changed into a feast and surpassing rest. You took me across to the pledge of eternity So that I rejoice in sharing in the divine nature.

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