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A Guide To the Four Gospels
By Archbishop Averky (Tauchev 1906-1976) Tra!slated by "eraphi# $ari! % Tatia!a &avlova

Content: The Coming into the World of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospels’ preface: Their authenticity and purpose. The Pre-Eternal Birth and the Incarnation of the Son of God. The Observations by rchpriest !ichael Po"a#ans$y. % n addition to bp. ver$y’s ori&inal te't(. The conception of )hrist’s *orerunner+ ,ohn. The nnunciation to the -oly .ir&in !ary. The "eetin& of the -oly .ir&in !ary /ith Eli#abeth. The Birth of Saint ,ohn the Baptist. The Earthly 0inea&e of the 0ord ,esus )hrist. The Nativity of Christ. The 1evelation of the "ystery of the incarnation to the betrothed ,oseph. The )ircu"stances and Ti"e of the 2ativity of )hrist. The )ircu"cision and !eetin& of the 0ord. The doration of the !a&i. The *li&ht into E&ypt and the Slayin& of the Infants. ,esus )hrist’s adolescence. The Savior’s Social Service. ,ohn the Baptist and his testi"ony about our 0ord ,esus )hrist. The Baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ. The *orty-3ay *ast and Te"ptin& by the 3evil. The *irst 3isciples of )hrist. The *irst !iracle at the 4eddin& at )ana of Galilee. The irst !ascha.

3rivin& the sellers out of the Te"ple. The 0ord ,esus )hrist’s dialo&ue /ith 2icode"us. The 0ast Testi"ony of ,ohn the Baptist. The I"prison"ent of Saint ,ohn. The Tal$ /ith a Sa"aritan /o"an. The rrival to Galilee and the Be&innin& of the Ser"on. The -ealin& of the 2oble"an’s Son. The )allin& of the *isher"an. -ealin& in )apernau". The -ealin& of Peter’s !other-in0a/. The Ser"on in Galilee. The Ser"on in the 2a#areth Syna&o&ue. The -ealin& of the 0eper. The -ealin& of a Paralytic in )apernau". The )allin& of !atthe/. The Second !ascha. The -ealin& of a Paralytic at the Sheep Gate Pool. On the E5uality of the *ather and the Son. The Pluc$in& of )ornheads on Saturday. The -ealin& of the !an /ith a 4ithered -and. The 0ord voids *a"e. )hoosin& the 3isciples. The Sermon on the "ount. The Beatitudes. The 0i&ht of the 4orld. T/o !easures of 1i&hteousness. The !ain Tas$ is to Please God. The Prayer 6Our *ather6. The Eternal Treasure. 3o 2ot ,ud&e. Steadfastness in Prayer. The 2arro/ Path. bout the *alse Prophets. The -ealin& of the 0eper. The -ealin& of the )apernau" )enturion’s Servant. The 1esurrection of the 2ain 4ido/’s Son. The !essen&ers of ,ohn the Baptist. E'posin& the )ities of Galilee. *or&ivin& the Sinful 4o"an in the -ouse of Si"on the Pharisee. The -ealin& of the Possessed and the E'posure of the Pharisees. The 0ord’s ns/er to Those+ 4aitin& for the Si&ns fro" -i". 4o"an Glorifies the !other of ,esus. The Lord Jesus Christ’s Teaching in !ara#les. The Parable about the So/er. The Parable about the Tares. The Parable about the Invisibly Gro/in& Seed. The Parable about the !ustard Seed. The Parable about the 0eaven. The Parable about the Treasure -idden in the *ield. The Parable about the Pearl. The Parable about the 3ra&net+ )ast into the Sea. bout the O/ner+ Preservin& the 2e/ and the Old. The 0ord’s 1esponse to Those -esitatin& to *ollo/ -i". )al"in& the Stor". The )astin& Out of a 0e&ion of 3e"ons. The -ealin& of a 4o"an /ith a *lo/ of Blood and the 1esurrection of ,airus’s 3au&hter. The -ealin& of T/o Blind !en. The Second .isit to 2a#areth. The Plentiful -arvest+ but *e/ 0aborers. )hrist Sends -is postles on their !ission. The Beheadin& of ,ohn the *orerunner. The !iraculous *eedin& of *ive Thousand People. The 0ord’s 4al$ on the 4ater. The Tal$ about the -eavenly Bread. The Third !ascha. E'posin& the Pharisees’ Traditions. The -ealin& of a )anaanite 4o"an’s dau&hter. The -ealin& of the Speech-I"peded 3eaf Person. The !iraculous *eedin& of *our Thousand People. The E'posure of the Pharisees See$in& the Si&ns. The -ealin& of a Blind Person in Bethsaida. Peter’s )onfession: ,esus is )hrist+ the Son of God. The 0ord *oretells -is 3eath and 1esurrection. The Transfi&uration of the 0ord. The -ealin& of the Possessed dolescent. The !iraculous Pay"ent of the Te"ple Ta'. The Tal$ about 4ho is the Greatest in the 7in&do" of -eaven. 4or$in& 4onders in )hrist’s 2a"e. The Teachin& about the Stru&&le /ith Te"ptations. The Parable

about the 0ost Sheep. The Parable about the 8n"erciful 3ebtor. )hrist Goes to the *east of ,erusale". The Sa"aritans do not ccept )hrist. Sendin& Seventy 3isciples to Preach. ,esus at the *east of the Tabernacles. The ,ud&"ent of the dulteress. The )onversation /ith the ,e/s in the Te"ple. The -ealin& of the Born Blind !an. The Ser"on about the Good Shepherd. The Ser"on at the *east of the 3edication. The 1eturn of the 9: 3isciples. The Parable about the Good Sa"aritan. The 0ord ,esus )hrist in the -ouse of !artha and !ary. The Parable about the Persistent ppeal. The E'posure of the Scribes and Pharisees. The Parable about the 1ec$less 1ich !an. The Parable about the Servants+ /aitin& the 1eturn of their !aster. The Parable about the 4ise -ouse-Ste/ard. bout the 3ivisions a"on& the People. The *all of the Siloa" To/er. The Parable about the *ruitless *i& Tree. The -ealin& of the 3efor"ed 4o"an. The 2arro/ Path to/ards the -eavenly 7in&do". -erod’s Threats. The -ealin& of the !an /ith 3ropsy. The Parable about Those that 0ove to be *irst. The Parable about the Invitees to the Supper. bout the True *ollo/ers of )hrist. The Parable about the Prodi&al Son. The Parable about the 8n;ust -ouse-Ste/ard. The Parable about the 1ich !an and 0a#arus. The Teachin& on the Sanctity of !arria&e and on )elibacy. bout the Po/er of *aith. The )leansin& of ten 0epers. )hrist’s Second )o"in&. The Parable about the 8nri&hteous ,ud&e. The Parable about the Publican and the Pharisee. The Blessin& of the )hildren. The 1ich <oun& !an. The postles /ill Inherit Eternal 0ife. The Parable about the 4or$ers that 1eceived E5ual Pay"ent. bout the *orthco"in& Sufferin&s of )hrist. The -ealin& of the ,ericho Blind. The .isit of =acchaeus. The Parable about the Talents. The 1esurrection of 0a#arus. The Sanhedrin’s 3ecision to 7ill ,esus )hrist. The Supper at 0a#arus’s -ouse. The Last $ays of the Lord’s Terrestrial Life. The 0ord’s Entry into ,erusale". 3rivin& the 3ealers Out fro" the Te"ple. %reat "onday. The )urse of the *ruitless *i& Tree. The -ellenes’ 3esire to See ,esus )hrist. %reat Tuesday. The 4ithered *i& Tree. The )onversation /ith the Elders. The Parable about the T/o Sons. The Parable about the 4ic$ed .inedressers. The Parable about the Invited to a 4eddin& Ban5uet. bout Payin& Ta'es to )aesar. The Sha"in& of the Sadducees. bout the Greatest )o""and"ent. The E'posure of the Scribes and Pharisees. The 4ido/’s !ite. bout the Second )o"in&. The Parable about the >: .ir&ins. bout the *inal ,ud&"ent. %reat Wednesday. The -i&h Priests’ 3ecision to 7ill )hrist. %reat Thursday. The !ystical Supper. The 4ashin& of the *eet. The 0ord nnounces of the Betrayer. The Establish"ent of the Eucharist !ystery. The r&u"ent about the Superiority. The *inal

)onversation. The )ontinuation of the *are/ell )onversation. The rchpriest Prayer. The ppeal about the )up. The 0ord’s rrest. The Trial over the Lord& 'eld #y the 'igh !riests. Peter’s 1enounce"ent. %reat riday. The Sanhedrin’s Sentence. The 3eath of ,udas. t the Trial of Pilate. The )ruciferous 4ay to Gol&otha. The Crucifi(ion. The 1epentance of the 4ise 1obber. The !other of God at the )ross. The 3eath of )hrist. The Burial of the 0ord ,esus )hrist. The )esurrection. The rrival of the 4o"en !yrrh-Bearers at the To"b. ,esus ppears to !ary !a&dalene. The Bribin& of the Guards. 0ord’s ppearance to -is 3isciples on the 1oad to E""aus. The ppearance to the Ten 3isciples. Tho"as’s 3isbelief. The ppearance at the Sea of Tiberias. The 1estoration of postle Peter. The ppearance in Galilee. The *scension of the Lord. ddendu". The Selected Sermons of Christ. Christ’s "iracles. The %ospel’s !ara#les.

The 'o#i!( i!to the )orld o* +ur $ord ,esus 'hrist

. you may have life in His name.ected by Protestants and sectarians(.ohn @::A>(.ohn is seen particularly clearly in his Gospel+ /hich is full of . Saint 0u$e specifically notes t/ice that she $ept the recollections of all these events+ retainin& the" in her heart %0u$e @:>F and @:G>(.esus )hrist’s divinity.esus )hrist+ carefully chec$in& all the data fro" the /ords of Beye/itnesses and "inisters of the 4ord.ohn D /ere of )hrist’s ori&inal t/elve disciples %they the"selves /ere eye/itnesses and "inisters of the 4ord( /hile the third+ !ar$+ /rote fro" the /ords of )hrist’s closest disciple and an assured eye/itness and close participant in the Gospel’s events D the postle Peter.ohn the Baptist+ the nnunciation+ the birth of )hrist+ and the "eetin& of )hrist in the te"ple D he undoubtedly /rote a si&nificant part of his Gospel fro" the /ords of eye/itnessesE that is+ on the basis of tradition %here /e can see the i"portance of tradition+ /hich is re.C Because he /as+ apparently+ only one apostle of the seventy disciples of )hrist and therefore could not be a /itness to all events D such as the birth of . -e also re&arded it as his responsibility %fro" his desire to reaffir" in the *aith one Bsoverei&n TheophilusC and+ at the sa"e ti"e+ all )hristians in &eneral( to /rite an epistle on the life of our 0ord . The preface of the four Gospels can be re&arded to be the first four verses of the first chapter of 0u$e+ in /hich the postle spea$s of the careful study done for everythin& that he /rites and describes the purpose of /ritin& the Gospel: to $no/ the fir" basis of the )hristian teachin&s.ir&in !ary.ohn >:>->?(.” s can be seen fro" St. The fore"ost and "ost i"portant eye/itness to the very early events of the Gospel’s history /as surely the -oly . Their authe!ticity a!d purpose %0u$e >:>-?+ . The &re-/ter!al Birth a!d the 0!car!atio! o* the "o! o* God %. There can be no doubt that the pre-e"inence of the Gospel of 0u$e over other /ritin&s that e'isted before his is found in that he /rote only after a thorough e(amination of facts and the strict se5uence of events.The Gospels. The purpose &iven by St. But naturally+ the other three Evan&elists also have the sa"e &oal. . the Son of God. This pre-e"inence over other /ritin&s is shared by the other three Evan&elists+ as t/o of the" D !atthe/ and .ohn the Theolo&ian adds in the A>st para&raph of the @:th chapter of his Gospel “that Jesus is the Christ.pre*ace. 0u$e’s preface+ he undertoo$ the /ritin& of his Gospel because by that ti"e there had appeared fairly nu"erous si"ilar /or$s but lac$in& in authority and unsatisfactory in substance. To this end+ the postle .ubilant eye/itness of the 0ord . and that believing.

ohn as . -e called -i" the 4ord+ so that you /ould $no/ that as the /ord is born fro" the "ind /ithout passion+ so is -e born fro" the *ather /ithout passion. . “In the beginning was the Word” "eans that the 4ord is co+eternal /ith God.C The /ords “all things were made through Him” are not "eant as thou&h the 4ord /as only an instru"ent in the creation of the /orld but that the /orld ori&inated fro" the Pri"al 1eason and Pri"al Source of all e'istence %includin& the 4ord -i"self( D God the *ather+ through the .ust spo$en of.ohn calls -i" 4ord and not Son+ Bso that /e+ havin& heard of the Son+ did not thin$ in ter"s of passion and carnal birth. . 4hat’s "ore+ St. The holy postle Paul in > )orinthians >:@? calls )hrist “the Wisdom of God. The first three Evan&elists be&in their narrations /ith that event as a conse5uence of /hich the 7in&do" of -eaven received its be&innin& in ti"e and space+ /hile Saint .ust before. -o/ever+ this is si"ply a "isunderstandin&. fter this it’s stran&e to insist+ as so"e people do+ that St. The use of an article in Gree$ indicates that the dialo&ue is about the sa"e sub.” the postle had used the sa"e article and said Bo TheosC in Gree$+ the result /ould have been the incorrect idea that the 4ord /as the sa"e as God the *ather+ 4ho had been referred to . So if in sayin& “the Word was God.ohn /rote about events that /ere $no/n to hi" fro" the -oly Boo$s of the Old Testa"ent D and also about that /hich+ as a beloved disciple+ he learned fro" the 3ivine Teacher -i"self+ as /ell as /hat /as revealed to hi" by the -oly Spirit.esus )hrist+ St.ohn+ a$in to an ea&le+ soars to the pre-eternal basis of this 7in&do"+ observin& the eternal e'istence of -i" 4ho only in “these last days” %-ebre/s >:>( beca"e a hu"an bein&.” 8ndoubtedly+ the teachin&s about BGod’s /isdo"C are e'pressed in the sa"e sense in cts %see especially the /onderful te't of Proverbs H:@@-A:(. s Blessed Theothylact notes+ in revealin& to us the teachin&s on the Son of God+ St. . )onse5uently+ in spea$in& of the 4ord+ the Evan&elist calls -i" si"ply BTheosC indicatin& by this -is 3ivine 5uality+ but also at the sa"e ti"e underlinin& that the 4ord has an independent hypostatic e'istence and is not identical to the hypostasis of God the *ather.ohn derived his teachin&s on the 0o&os as if fro" the philosopher Plato and his successors %such as Philo(.t this point+ it is i"portant to note and re"e"ber that the Gree$ /ord Blo&os+C unli$e the correspondin& /ord in 1ussian+ doesn’t only "ean the spo$en /ord but also thou&ht+ reason+ and /isdo" e'pressed by /ord. . St.” -ere+ the /ord BGodC /as applied in Gree$ /ithout any article+ &ivin& rise to the assertion by the rians and Ori&en that the 4ord is not the sa"e God as God the *ather. The second person of the -oly Trinity D the Son of God D is na"ed by .ohn e'plains further that /ith respect to -is e'istence+ the 4ord does not separate fro" God+ and conse5uently It is of one essence /ith God+ and finally+ he directly calls the 4ord God: “and the Word was God. )onse5uently+ the na"in& of the Son of God as Bthe 4ordC "eans the sa"e as -is bein& na"ed B4isdo"C %see 0u$e >>:?F and !atthe/ @A:A?(.the Word.ohn be&ins his Gospel by e'poundin& the teachin&s about 'is pre+eternal #irth and -is incarnation as the Only Son of God. In reality+ this hides a "ost profound conception of the distinction of the three countenances of the -oly Trinity. .4hile the Evan&elists !atthe/ and 0u$e /rite of the earthly birth of our 0ord .ect as that .

the glory as of the only begotten of the &ather. . This spiritual life is obtained throu&h the path of co""union and unification /ith the hypostatic 3ivine 4ord. full of gra"e and truth. “ nd the light shines in the dar!ness . “He "ame to His own.ohn the Baptist /as sent+ and+ finally+ the 4ord beca"e flesh.” i. “ nd the life was the light of men” D has in "ind that this spiritual life that e"anates fro" the 3ivine 4ord enli&htens a person /ith a full and co"plete &uidance.e.” The 4ord that presents li&ht of &enuine &uidance does not cease to direct the" a"id sinful dar$ness+ as the li&ht is not absorbed by dar$ness: Those /ho persist in sin have preferred to re"ain in the dar$ness of spiritual blindness.&. Then+ in order to . “$here was a man sent from God. The 4ord that d/ells a"on& us /as also filled /ith the Truth D co"plete &uidance in everythin& that concerns the spiritual /ord and spiritual life.e. That is+ the 4ord beca"e a co"plete person+ at the sa"e ti"e not ceasin& to be God.Son+ 4ho by -i"self is already the source of everythin& that #egan to e(ist %that was made(+ only not for -i"self and not for the other countenances of God.+ to -is chosen people of Israel+ “and His own did not re"eive Him” D of course not everybody.+ !atthe/ @?:@@(.” -ere the understandin& of the /ord BfleshC does not "ean the hu"an body alone but the /hole+ co"plete person D in the sa"e "eanin& as the /ord BfleshC is often applied in the -oly Gospels %e. “%ut as many as re"eived Him” /ith love and faith+ “He gave the right to be"ome "hildren of God. “In Him was life” D here the "eanin& of the /ord life is not to be understood in the ordinary sense but as a spiritual life that induces intelli&ent creatures to strive to/ard the cause of their creation+ to/ard God. “ nd dwelt among us .oin the people /ho abode in sinful dar$ness /ith -is 3ivine li&ht+ the 4ord undertoo$ e'traordinary "easures: . )onse5uently+ the 4ord is the source of &enuine spiritual life for any intelli&ent bein&.” The /orld did not reco&ni#e the 4ord+ even thou&h it /as obli&ed to -i" for its e'istence.” The postles actually sa/ -is &lory in the Transfi&uration+ 1esurrection+ and scension to -eaven D &lory in .” That is+ -e &ave the" the be&innin& of a ne/ spiritual life+ /hich+ li$e a physical one+ also be&ins throu&h birth D althou&h the birth is not fro" carnal passion but throu&h a hi&her po/er+ fro" God.” It "ust be understood that &race "eans God’s &oodness+ as the &ifts of &oodness fro" God+ revealin& the access to a ne/ spiritual life for hu"anity+ i. whose name was John” D Bthere /asC as stated in Gree$ is Be&enetosC %Bbeca"eC( and not BinosC as enunciated about the 4ordE that is+ .ohn “"ame to being.” /as born at a point in ti"e and did not e'ist eternally li$e the 4ord+ 4ho -i"self “gives light to every man "oming into the world. “ nd we beheld His glory. -o/ever+ “the dar!ness did not "om#rehend it” D did not restrict its activity and disse"ination. . “ nd the Word be"ame flesh.+ &ifts of the -oly Spirit. . .

” “In the beginning was the Word” D B4ord+C as a personal 3ivine bein&+ Bin the beginning” D before any other type of bein&+ and "ore than this D out of any ti"e+ in the li"itless eternity. 4e too /ill pause on this parallel.n archi. 6In the be&innin& God . 4hen the . *or the sa$e of clarity+ /e sho/ the parallel by placin& the Old Testa"ent first and the Gospel second. The Boo1 of %enesis The %ospel >. 6In the be&innin& /as the 4ord+ and the 0et there .ohn’s Gospel.ohn’s Gospel.udeans as$ed )hrist: B4ho are <ouIC D )hrist replied: “&rom the beginning. . as I have told you.D BIn the be&innin&C D are the openin& /ords of both -oly 4ritin&s.6 4ord /as /ith God+ and the 4ord /as God. . -e is D the Bonly Son of the *ather+C for only -e alone is the Son of God in essence+ by -is 3ivine nature. 0et it be unintentional on the part of the Evan&elist D as it is not conveyed in a strict se5uence but as a connection+ /hich flo/s out by itself fro" the substance of the narration on the t/o topics. These /ords point to -is i""ense superiority over God’s sons and children throu&h &race+ the faithful that are "entioned above. . . In the ensuin& te't of both boo$s+ especially in the first five verses of each one+ /e notice this internal association.. -ere+ the ma/esty of these Ne0 Testament events D /ith its co"parison to the Old Testa"ent D is clearly set out. The sa"e phrase appears as the first phrase in . . The +bservatio!s by Archpriest 1ichael &o#a2a!sky (A! additio! to Abp Averky-s ori(i!al te3t) The attention of every )hristian /ho is fa"iliar /ith the Bible is dra/n to the parallel bet/een the first /ords at the be&innin& of the Old Testa"ent Boo$ of Genesis and those at the be&innin& of . -o/ever+ the -oly postle elevates the "eanin& of the Gree$ 4ord Barchi. In Gree$ the /ord BarchiC has three rudi"entary "eanin&s: %a( the be&innin& of an event or underta$in&+ in the ordinary and si"ple sense of the /ordE %b( co""and+ rule+ or authorityE and %c( in a secular sense D ancient ti"es+ the past+ lon& a&o+ and+ in a spiritual sense D unconstrained by ti"e+ eternal.6 6 nd God said+ >.-is Teachin&s+ "iracles+ /or$s of love+ and voluntary self-abase"ent.e.+ before the created universe+ there /as only God+ and nothin& e'isted outside -i".ust above( D before all -is actions beyond -i"self+ God created heaven and earthE i.6 -ere the "ystery of "onotheis" is elevated .” Thus+ the first boo$s of the t/o Testa"ents be&in /ith one and the sa"e e'pressive /ord+ but in the 2e/ Testa"ent+ it has a "ore elevated "eanin& than that in the Boo$ of Genesis. The sa"e /ord appears once "ore in another part of the sa"e Gospel+ /ith the sa"e "eanin&. In the ori&inal lan&ua&e of the boo$ of the prophet !oses+ the /ord BarchiC is applied in the usual sense %as in B%a(C .

6 ll thin&s /ere "ade throu&h -i" %the 4ord(+ and /ithout -i" nothin& /as "ade that /as "ade.in the revelation of the second hypostasis in God %the e'pression 6/as /ith God6 is e'plained further on+ in the >Hth verse: 6The only be&otten Son 4ho is in the boso" of the *ather6(. G.6 The sub. . 6 nd dar$ness /as upon the face of the deep . 9.6 A. The /ords of . .6 nd God created "an in -is O/n 4ord beca"e flesh and d/elt a"on& us+ and i"a&e . . 6 nd the earth /as /ithout for" and void . The co"in& of the 4ord to earth+ the &lory -is /or$ /hich -e had "ade .6 /e beheld -is &lory+ the &lory as of the only be&otten of the *ather6 %verse >?+ as co"parison(.6 %@:@(. ?. 6 nd God said+ 0et us "a$e "an in Our K. 6In -i" %in the 4ord( /as life6 %as contrast(.6 %lifeless(. @. On the -oly Spirit: 6 nd the Spirit of God "oved upon the face of the /aters . 6 nd -e rested on the seventh day fro" all 9. bout the 4ord+ the Son of God: 6 nd the 0i&ht shines in the dar$ness+ and the dar$ness did not co"prehend it6 %as contrast(. 6 nd the life /as the 0i&ht of "en. . . . . . On the incarnation of the 4ord: 6 nd the i"a&e .6 The verb 6said6 in 6>6 is "ade "ore precise as the /ords 6said /ith the 4ord+6 the participation of the second 3ivine -ypostasis+ )reator of the /hole /orld+ *ulfiller of the *ather’s /ill. @. .’ nd .ohn bore /itness+ sayin&+ JI sa/ the Spirit descendin& fro" heaven li$e a dove+ and -e re"ained upon -i"’6 %verses A> and A@+ as co"parison(.ect of the thou&ht is elevated i""easurably+ not/ithstandin& that it is denoted by one and the sa"e /ord.6 K. ?. 6 nd God said+ 0et there be li&ht . . . of the Savior: 6-ereafter you shall see -eaven open+ and the n&els of God scendin& and descendin& upon the Son of .6 said about physical li&ht.ohn the Baptist: 6’I did not $no/ -i"E but that -e should be revealed to Israel+ therefore I ca"e bapti#in& /ith /ater. . . G. A. .

ust as the first sacerdotal prayer uttered by )hrist that follo/ed it.oh! %0u$e >:>-@G(. 4hile they both /ere outstandin& in their &enuine ri&hteousness+ they /ere /ithout children. Word of the &ather” %fro" the prayers before sleep(.ect of this "a.” after /hich the !essiah should appear %see the prophecy of Genesis ?F:>:(.ohn >?:@?(.ohn and /ho /ill be &reat in the si&ht of the 0ord+ and spea$s of =achariah’s punish"ent+ in the for" of "uteness+ for his disbelief. and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth” %Psal" AA:K( D said in the Psalter+ for"erly read daily by the . =acharias belon&ed to this division.ah headed one.estic dialo&ue+ . The co!ceptio! o* 'hrist-s Foreru!!er4 . -erod received his title of $in& fro" 1o"e.udeans either in the ancient -ebre/ te't or in the translated for" of the Septua&int. “ ll things that the &ather has are 'ine” %. )onse5uently+ it is not necessary to see$ the source for the na"e B0o&osC D B4ord+C /hich has entrenched itself in )hristianity. This /as . “&or all things that I heard from 'y &ather I have made !nown to you* %. -ere is the funda"ental sub. This coincidence of thou&hts and of verbal e'pressions bet/een these t/o holy boo$s of the Old and 2e/ Testa"ents+ this li&ht of the first boo$ in the li&ht of the )hurch’s understandin& of the Gospel D pertainin& to the first boo$ of the prophet !oses D is confir"ed by the postle’s /ords in the sa"e first chapter of his Gospel: “ nd of His fullness we have all re"eived.ohn >G:>G(. -o/ever+ )hrist’s fare/ell tal$ /ith -is disciples shines even "ore clearly for us: “$he word whi"h you hear is not 'ine but the &ather)s Who sent 'e” %.udea. This section tells of the appearance of God’s n&el to the priest =acharias durin& a service in the te"ple.udeans did not re&ard hi" as one of their o/n+ and his rule /as such that “the s"e#ter shall not de#art from Judah. 7in& -erod %"entioned here( /as by birth an Idu"ean %an Edo"ite(+ son of the ntipater /ho+ at the ti"e of -yrcanus+ last in the dynasty of the !accabees+ had authority over .uler of all.!an6 %verse G>+ as co"parison(. Eli#abeth also ca"e fro" an ecclesiastical bac$&round. but gra"e and truth "ame through Jesus Christ” %verses >K and >9(. The n&el foretells the conception and birth of a son to =acharias and his /ife+ Eli#abeth+ /ho is to be called . This understandin& of the na"e is not at all forei&n in &eneral in the Old Testa"ent: “%y the word of the (ord the heavens were made. The Orthodo' )hurch lovin&ly too$ to callin& the Son of God Bthe 4ordC and /idely applies this+ not in a sin&ular for" but /ith one or another definition+ attribute: “who without "orru#tion gavest birth to God the Word” %the hy"n to the Theoto$os B!eet it isC(+ Bthe only-be&otten Son and 4ord of GodC %sun& durin& the 0itur&y(+ and “+ . lthou&h he /as even a proselyte+ the .ohn >K:>G(. The priests /ere divided into t/enty-four divisions+ a"on& /hich bi. &or the law was given through 'oses. and gra"e for gra"e.

*or five "onths she hid this fro" fear of disbelief and ridicule fro" the public+ /hile her soul re. . fter he returned ho"e+ his /ife Eli#abeth did indeed conceived a son. pparently+ as one of the finest people of that ti"e+ he prayed to God for a s/ift co"in& of the 7in&do" of the !essiah D and it is precisely this prayer that the n&el said /as ans/ered. Every /ee$+ a divine service /as conducted in the te"ple by each division %t/ice a year(. =acharias’ lot /as to perfor" the censin& of the te"ple. t the sa"e ti"e+ all the people /ere prayin& in a specially desi&nated open area+ a "ourtyard+ of the te"ple. That’s /hy he entered the second part of .ehovah for"ally but had distanced their hearts and lifestyles a/ay fro" -i". -e /ill have to call the . nd here his prayer received its hi&h re/ard: not only is his sorro/ful infertility resolved+ but also his son /ill be the *orerunner of the !essiah+ /hose co"in& he had /aited for so intensely. The n&el cal"ed =acharias+ tellin& hi" that his prayer /as ans/ered and that his /ife /ill bear hi" a son /ho /ill be B&reat in the si&ht of the 0ord.ah+ to /ho" he /ill be li$ened by his fiery #eal+ strictly ascetic life+ ser"ons on repentance+ and e'posure of ini5uities. s he and his /ife /ere too old to hope for an offsprin&+ =acharias did not believe the n&el and as$ed hi" for a si&n as proof of the authenticity of his /ords.oiced and than$ed God for liftin& the denounce"ents of her. -avin& entered the sanctuary+ =acharias observed an n&el+ and a &reat fear &ripped hi" because accordin& to .udeans fro" the abyss of their "oral decline+ returnin& into the hearts of parents the love for children+ and to confir" thou&hts of the ri&hteous in the "inds of those resistin& the ri&ht hand of God.e/ish understandin& the appearance of an n&el foretold of i"pendin& death. -is son /ill surpass everyone in his e'traordinary+ strict abstinence and fro" birth /ill be filled /ith particular+ blessed &ifts of the -oly Spirit.ohn /ill be &iven the spirit and stren&th of the prophet Eli. The son is faced /ith the tas$ of preparin& the .re&arded by the .udean people for the co"in& of the !essiah+ /hich he does /ith ser"ons on repentance and the refor"ation of their lives. 2or"ally+ censin& continues for a short period so that the people started to /onder: /hy is =acharias lin&erin& in the sanctuaryI -o/ever+ no sooner had =acharias appeared and be&un to &esticulate+ that the people reali#ed that he had a vision. The conception of . 4ith that+ the priests allocated responsibilities a"on& the"selves by castin& lots. In order to dispel =acharias’ doubts+ the n&el enunciates his na"e: he is Gabriel+ /hich "eans God’s po/er+ the sa"e that brou&ht the &ood tidin&s of the ti"e of the !essiah’s co"in& to the prophet 3aniel+ havin& indicated the ti"e /ith BsevensC %3aniel F:@>-@9(. To acco"plish this+ .erusale"’s te"ple D called the Holiest of the Holy or the san"tuary D /here the incensory altar /as located. -e diverted to/ard God "any sons of Israel /ho honored .C It is difficult to suppose that =acharias /ith his ri&hteousness+ bein& old and at such a sole"n "o"ent of the reli&ious service+ /ould have been prayin& for a son. The A!!u!ciatio! to the 5oly 6ir(i! 1ary %0u$e >:@K-AH(.ohn the Baptist is celebrated on the @Ard of Septe"ber. *or his disbelief+ the n&el inflicts hi" /ith "uteness and apparently at the sa"e ti"e /ith deafness+ as all future co""unications /ith hi" are /ith si&ns.udeans as God’s punish"ent for sinnin&. It is re"ar$able that =acharias did not cease but continued to fulfill his turn at servin& at the te"ple D ri&ht up to the end.

e.ir&in !ary /as re&arded as .ohn the Baptist’s conception+ the n&el Gabriel /as sent to the s"all to/n of 2a#areth+ situated in the =ebulun area of the southern part of Galilee+ “to a -irgin betrothed to a man whose name was Jose#h.avid. sin"e I do not !now a man/” D /ould have been co"pletely inco"prehensible and /ould have "ade no sense+ if She hadn’t &iven a pro"ise to God+ to re"ain a . 7no/in& that She "ade a pro"ise to re"ain a vir&in+ the hi&h priests and priests did not /ant to leave -er /ithout a &uardian+ so they betrothed -er to -er relative+ an ei&hty year old carpenter na"ed . The -oly . The -oly Spirit+ “the #ower of the lmighty.” The Evan&elist doesn’t say: B.oseph+ /ho /as reno/ned for his ri&hteousness and /ho also had an e'tensive fa"ily fro" his first "arria&e %!atthe/ >A:GG(.” /ill brin& about this seedless conceptionE i. .ir&in did not de"and any proof+ the n&el hi"self in confir"ation of the authenticity of his /ords pointed to Eli#abeth+ /ho had conceived a son in her old a&e by the /ill of God+ to 4ho" nothin& is i"possible.” The nnunciation is celebrated on the @Gth of !arch. -avin& cal"ed -er+ the n&el foretells the birth of a Son fro" -er+ 4ho /ill be &reat not li$e . .+ havin& found favor /ith God %see verse A:( D God’s special love and benevolence+ -is help that is essential for holy and &reat deeds. 4hen She turned fourteen+ She /as not allo/ed %accordin& to the la/( to re"ain at the te"ple+ and /as unable to return to -er parents.ir&in forever. of the house of .+ the Son of God -i"self %see > )orinthians >:@?( /ill overshado/ -er+ /ill enter -er li$e a cloud a$in to that /hich overshado/ed the tabernacle+ as e'pressed by Isaiah %>F:>(+ “u#on a swift "loud.acobI Because the . !ary’s 5uestion+ “How "an this be. )onse5uently+ 3avid’s $in&do" as such is one in /hich God -i"self placed $in&s+ /hich /as ruled accordin& to God’s la/s+ in /hich all for"s of civil life /as per"eated /ith the idea of servin& God+ /hich /as found in an uninterrupted lin$ /ith the 2e/ Testa"ent 7in&do" of God.” This "eans that for"ally and in the eyes of society+ the Blessed .ohn+ but "uch &reater because -e /ill not si"ply be full of God’s blessed &ifts as . In appearin& to -er+ the n&el called -er Bfull of &race+C i.e. $he -irgin)s name was 'ary.oseph+ and as St.oseph’s /ife+ even thou&h in reality+ She /as not.ir&in said nothin& to .ohn+ but -e -i"self /ill be the Son of the *lmighty. 4hy is the n&el sayin& that the 0ord /ill &ive -i" the throne of -is father 3avid and -e /ill rei&n over the house of . -avin& accepted the &lad tidin&s+ the Blessed .ir&in $ne/ throu&h the boo$s of the prophets that not only &lory a/aits -er and -er 3ivine Son+ but also &rief.ir&in+ 4ho /as "arried+C but “betrothed to a man. The n&el e'plained that -er pro"ise /ould not be violated+ as She /ill &ive birth to a Son /ithout a husband+ by e'traordinary "eans. -avin& lost -er parents at an early a&e+ the Blessed . The /ords of the n&el be/ildered !ary by their e'traordinary nature+ and She co""enced to ponder over the".” 4hile the Blessed .ustly afraid that he "ay not believe -er and thin$ that throu&h -er /arnin&+ She is tryin& to hide a trans&ression.e/ish $in&do" in the Old Testa"ent /as predeter"ined to prepare people for a spiritual+ eternal 7in&do" of )hrist and to slo/ly transfi&ure into it. 2evertheless+ co"pletely obedient to God’s /ill+ She replied: “%ehold the -irgin servant of the (ord0 (et it be to 'e a""ording to your word.In the si'th "onth after . *ollo/in& tradition+ She /as obli&ed to "arry.ohn )hrysosto" e'plains+ She /as .ir&in !ary /as consecrated to servin& in the te"ple.

oyful fa"ily holiday. *ro" Eli#abeth’s /ords+ the Blessed .ir&in hurries to share -er .uttah+ situated close to the sacred city of -ebron.” She /ards off any thou&hts of personal /orthiness and praises God because -e has been attentive to -er hu"ility. Throu&h this ritual+ the ne/born entered the society of the chosen people. It’s apparent that the -oly . that the 'other of my (ord should "ome to me/” Eli#abeth i""ediately e'plains the "eanin& of her /ords+ in that the child she /as carryin& Bleaped in the /o"bC no sooner than she heard !ary’s &reetin&. The -oly . The Birth o* "ai!t . and 'y s#irit hath re2oi"ed in God 'y Saviour .oy /ith -er relative Eli#abeth+ /ho presu"ably lived in . She subse5uently praises God that the pro"ise &iven to the *athers and to braha" has been fulfilled and that the 7in&do" of the !essiah+ anticipated so "uch by the Israelites+ has co"eD that -is hu"ble follo/ers+ despised by the /orld+ /ill soon triu"ph+ be uplifted and filled /ith &oodness+ /hile the proud and po/erful /ill be dis&raced and van5uished.ohn /ould have aroused &eneral . "id feelin&s of rapture and e"otions at the thou&ht that the ti"e for the lon&-a/aited !essiah and the liberation of Israel has arrived+ the -oly . . Eli#abeth &reeted -er /ith the sa"e e'traordinary /ords that /ere uttered by the n&el: “%lessed are 1ou among women” D and added: “ nd blessed is the fruit of your womb0” D lthou&h+ as -er relative+ she should have $no/n about the pro"ise &iven by !ary to re"ain chaste.oined in the . )onse5uently+ the "other’s /ish to na"e her son . That’s /hy he produced such an unusual "ove"ent in his "other’s /o"b. In a prophetic prescience+ She foretells that for this "ercy fro" God+ She /ill be &lorified by all &enerations and that this "ercy of God /ill be e'tended to all that are fearful of the 0ord.ir&in+ not havin& /aited for the *orerunner’s birth+ returned ho"e. That’s /hy she &lorified -er as the !other of God /ith the sa"e /ords as that of rchan&el Gabriel.ir&in for -er faith /ith /hich She received the rchan&el’s tidin&s+ contrastin& this faith /ith =acharias’ disbelief.oh! the Baptist %0u$e >:G9-H:(. 4hen the ti"e had arrived for Eli#abeth to &ive birth+ relatives and nei&hbors . .udea in a to/n na"ed . 8ndoubtedly+ under the infusion of the -oly Spirit+ the child in Eli#abeth’s /o"b sensed the other )hild D -e+ before 4hose arrival into the /orld+ hu"anity /ould have to be prepared by hi".ir&in !ary understood that the "ystery revealed to Eli#abeth /as fro" God -i"self.oy /hich overtoo$ her+ and on the ei&hth day they &athered at her house so as to perfor" the rite of circu"cision+ established at the ti"e of braha" %Genesis >9:>>->?( and de"anded by the la/ %0eviticus >@:A(. *ollo/in& this+ Eli#abeth e'clai"ed: “%ut why is this granted to me. The reaction of the child to the -oly Spirit /as i"parted to his "other+ and she+ throu&h the &race of foresi&ht+ instantly reco&ni#ed /hat . Eli#abeth beatifies the Blessed . 4ith circu"cision+ the infant /as &iven a na"e+ usually in honor of so"e senior relative.The #eeti!( o* the 5oly 6ir(i! 1ary 7ith /li2abeth %0u$e >:AF-GK(.oyous tidin&s !ary conveyed. This son& is no/ constantly sun& in -er honor durin& "atins: “'y soul doth magnify the (ord. )onse5uently+ the day of circu"cision /as re&arded as a .ir&in praised God /ith a "arvelous son&.

une. n&ered because the infant .ere"iah %@G:G( and =echariah %A:H and K:>@( called -i". )onse5uently+ Israel "ust see$ ri&hteousness and for&iveness of sins and not earthly &reatness+ /hich the then spiritual leaders /ere hopin& for.ohn.esus )hrist.erusale" and in5uired as to the place of birth of the 7in& of the .e/s believed+ especially the scribes and Pharisees( as it is the fulfill"ent of God’s la/+ &iven to their Old Testa"ent forefathers+ fulfill"ent that /ould &ive all faithful Israelites an opportunity to serve God “in holiness and in righteousness. They turned to the father for his decision.esus 'hrist . B-olinessC here is the internal correction of a person that is achieved by the effort of the person hi"self /ith the assistance of &race.avid. -e also points out that the purpose of the *orerunner’s "inistry is to prepare the people for the !essiah’s co"in& and to allo/ the people of Israel to reali#e that its salvation lies in none other than the forgiveness of sins.” .ustification of hu"anity by 3ivine "eans+ throu&h the i"putation to "an of )hrist’s redee"in& acco"plish"ents. In a state of prophetic inspiration and by no/ foreseein& the approach of the !essiah’s 7in&do"+ he be&an to e'alt God 4ho visited -is people and "ade possible their salvation+ -e 4ho “had raised the horn of salvation in the house of . 4hen the !a&i arrived in .consternation.ohn the Baptist is celebrated on the @?th of . -avin& found out about this+ Eli#abeth fled /ith her son into the /ilderness.” -ere the /ord Bri&hteousnessC is understood to "ean the .C Everyone /as co"pletely ta$en abac$ by the concordance of both parents’ /ishes to &ive their son a na"e that did not e'ist a"on& their relatives.uttah. nd i""ediately+ accordin& to the n&el’s prediction+ =acharia’s ton&ue /as freed and he could spea$.ohn /as the result of the inspiration of the -oly Spirit.e/s+ -erod re"e"bered about =acharias’ son and issued orders to e'ecute all infants.C D that is the !essiah-1edee"er+ by /hich na"e the prophets .ority of .ust as in the Old Testa"ent+ /hen offenders fled fro" their aven&ers to the altar for burnin& sacrifices and+ sei#in& its horns+ re&arded the"selves as inviolable %> 7in&s @:@H(+ so does the /hole hu"an race+ oppressed by sins and persecuted by God’s ri&hteous . Obviously+ the Evan&elist underscores this situation because it is 5uite "iraculous: Eli#abeth’s desire to call her son .ohn could not be located+ -erod sent his servants to =acharias to find out /here he had hidden hi". =acharias replied that he no/ serves the 0ord God of Israel and that he doesn’t $no/ his son’s /hereabouts. The birth of . This salvation is not so "uch liberation of Israel fro" its political ene"ies %as the "a. The /arthly $i!ea(e o* the $ord .ud&"ent+ find salvation in .ohn the *orerunner’s birth reached the suspicious 7in& -erod. s he /as still "ute+ he /rote on a piece of flat /ood+ covered /ith /a': B-is na"e is . =acharias &oes on to foretell to his son the future that /as predicted by the n&el+ sayin& that his son /ill be desi&nated the l"i&hty’s Prophet D *orerunner of the 3ivine !essiah. 8pon repeatin& his response after bein& threatened /ith death+ he fell under the $illers’ s/ords D bet/een the te"ple and the altar+ an event the 0ord re"e"bers in -is denunciatory oration to the Pharisees %!atthe/ @A:AG(. The for&iveness of sins /ill co"e Bthrou&h the tender "ercy of our God+ /ith /hich the 3aysprin& fro" on hi&h has visited us. ccordin& to tradition+ the ne/s of . -e also sent his $illers to .

Saint 0u$e placed a different tas$ before hi"self D to sho/ that the 0ord .oseph throu&h 1hesa+ son of =erubbabel and Elias+ /hile Saint !atthe/ does it throu&h biud+ the other son of =erubbabel+ and throu&h .e/s+ it /as i"portant for hi" to prove that in accordance /ith the Old Testa"ent prophecies+ the 0ord .ir&in !aryI The custo" of the . 4hile they had different fathers+ they had the sa"e "other+ Esther.oseph’s linea&e and not that of the -oly . Si"ilarly+ Salathiel+ the father of =erubbabel and a "an "entioned by both Evan&elists+ is+ accordin& to Saint !atthe/+ the son of . 0u$e . . Thus+ /hen Elias died+ .acob restored his brother’s linea&e by "arryin& his /ido/ and fatherin& .oseph /as fro" the sa"e tribe as 3avid+ it follo/s that She too /as of the sa"e descent. This la/ e'tended not only to the i""ediate relatives but also to stepbrothers+ /ho in fact /ere . s . lthou&h both &ive /itness of )hrist’s ori&in fro" 3avid and braha"+ the na"es listed in the t/o do not al/ays coincide. s an e'a"ple+ accordin& to !atthe/+ . )onse5uently+ he be&ins his Gospel /ith the 0ord’s linea&e and+ "oreover+ ta$es us fro" braha" and brin&s us to “Jose#h the husband of 'ary.acob+ the other father of .esus )hrist belon&s to the /hole of hu"anity and appears as the Savior of all people. will remain with his brother)s 3de"eased4 name. -e /anted to sho/ that God+ havin& not disdained includin& such /o"en in -is chosen fa"ily+ is not loathe to su""on the heathen and sinners to -is 7in&do": a person is not saved by his personal achieve"ents but throu&h the po/er of the purifyin& &race of God. Saint !atthe/ discusses the revelation of the "ystery of -is incarnation to .oseph D the no"inal father of our 0ord D is the son of .acob and Elias. s St. of Whom was born Jesus Who is "alled Christ. This is /here the difference ca"e about+ as Saint 0u$e traces the ori&ins of .oseph+ the adoration of the !a&i+ the fli&ht into E&ypt+ and the slayin& of the innocents.acob+ /hile accordin& to 0u$e+ he is the son of Elias. -o/ever+ because the Blessed .oachi" and nna+ then in accordance /ith the de"ands of the 0a/ of !oses+ She had to "arry a relative of the sa"e branch+ tribe+ and clan.oseph. so that it is not erased in Israel” %3euterono"y @G:G-K(.e/s /as not to "aintain any &enealo&y on the "other’s side.%!atthe/ >:>->9 and 0u$e A:@A-AH(. -o/ever+ this descent differs so"e/hat fro" that of Saint !atthe/’s.oseph.esus )hrist did descend fro" braha" and 3avid.ulius the frican+ a reno/ned intellectual of ancient ti"es+ e'plains this variance superbly throu&h the code of livin&+ /hereby+ if one of the brothers dies childless+ the other brother has to ta$e his /ife for hi"self+ and “$he first "hild she bears.econiah+ /hile accordin& to Saint 0u$e he is the son of 2eri. !atthe/ /as /ritin& for the .esus )hrist are contained in t/o Gospels D !atthe/ and 0u$e. That’s /hy he traces the linea&e of )hrist to da" and to God -i"self.” Invariably+ the 5uestion arises: 4hy does the Gospel &ives . It is not by chance that Saint !atthe/ includes in the 0ord’s linea&e /o"en that /ere for"erly heathen or sinners. The lists of the earthly ancestors of the 0ord .ir&in /as undoubtedly the only child of . St. The 8ativity o* 'hrist Only t/o Evan&elists narrate the birth of )hrist and events related to it+ Saint !atthe/ and Saint 0u$e.

In the Old Testa"ent+ God decrees that “all the firstborn” are to be consecrated to -i"+ irrespective of /hether the fa"ily /ill have further additions or not.” i.esus )hristC .oshua in -ebre/+ "eans Savior.describes the circu"stances under /hich )hrist the Savoir /as born in Bethlehe" and the adoration of the shepherds.oseph did not B$no/C -er before )hrist’s birth and then he did.oseph /ould decide to B$no/C the -oly .C So /hen this "iraculous birth fro" a .ir&in’s betrothal /ith ei&hty-year-old .oseph “too! to him his wife.ir&in had other children after -i" but because -e /as born first+ and+ bein& that+ /as her only child.ir&in do D Protestants and sectarians D as thou&h .oseph has no doubts about the veracity of /hat /as said+ the n&el 5uotes Isaiah’s prophecy that /itnesses to the fact that this &reat "iracle of the seedless conception and birth of the Savior of the /orld by the Blessed .esus and be&an livin& /ith -er as a /ife. . .ir&in ta$es place+ people /ill say BGod is /ith usC because it is in this identity God ca"e do/n to earth and lived a"on& "an$ind.” %Isaiah 9:>?(. even to %B#osC( the end of the ageC %!atthe/ @H:@:(.ohn )hrysosto" ri&htly notes that it is si"ply not credible to sub"it that such a ri&hteous individual as . Or a&ain+ in the /ords of our 0ord: “I am with you always.ect -er to the sha"eful and a&oni#in& death called for by the la/ of !oses %3euterono"y @@:@A-@?(+ and intended to release -er /ithout announcin& the reason. s soon as he thou&ht this+ the 0ord’s n&el appeared to hi" and e'plained Bthat /hich is conceived in -er is of the -oly SpiritC and not the fruit of a clandestine sin. )onvinced by the n&el’s /ords+ . nd if the Gospel "entions Bbrothers of .C This does not "ean that he B$ne/C -er after the birth of .esus is na"ed B*irstbornC not because the Blessed . I""anuel is not a personali#ed na"e but a sy"bolic one "eanin& BGod is /ith us.oseph. and you shall "all His name Jesus. The 9evelatio! o* the #ystery o* the i!car!atio! to the betrothed .ected his intention to send -er a/ay and left -er to live in his house as a /ife Band did not $no/ -er till She had brou&ht forth -er *irstborn Son. There is no need to i"a&ine that the prophecy had not been fulfilled because the prophet had said Band shall call -is na"e I""anuel+C /hereas the 2e/born /as na"ed . and bear a Son . So that .ir&in /as preordained in God’s pre-eternal counsel: “%ehold.+ before the consu""ation of their "arria&e+ !ary’s condition of bein& /ith child beca"e clear to . Saint . a -irgin shall "on"eive.ust and "erciful(+ . Bein& ri&hteous %and this "eans .oseph %!atthe/ >:>H-@G(.” that is+ re.” The na"e . -e absolutely never B$ne/C -er.ir&in after She had so "iraculously beco"e a "other. Saint !atthe/ infor"s us that soon after the -oly . The n&el further announces: “ nd She will bring forth a Son. 3efinitely not+ as it is especially then that -e /ould be /ith usM . In the -oly Scriptures the /ord B#osC is used in the narration on the concludin& sta&es of the *lood: B nd he sent forth a raven+ and it /ent forth to and fro+ until %B#osC( the /aters /ere dried upC %Genesis H:K( D but the raven never did return after/ards. for He will save His #eo#le from their sins. s the Blessed Theothilact ri&htly observed+ this doesn’t "ean that )hrist /ould not be /ith us after the end of the a&e.e.esus. This is only a prophetic indication of )hrist’s 3ivinity D indication that this e'traordinary infant /ill not be an ordinary person+ but God. 4hile in Gree$ the /ord B#osC and in )hurch Slavonic Bdonde#heLC "ean BuntilC this cannot be interpreted in the /ay that those /ho do not honor the -oly .esus+ .oseph+ “before they "ame together.oseph did not /ish to e'pose -er see"in& trans&ression before the public+ so as not to sub.

ccordin& to astrono"ers’ calculations+ the eclipse occurred on the ni&ht of the >Ath or >?th of !arch+ /hile the . *ro" !atthe/ @:>->H and 0u$e >:G+ it is absolutely clear that )hrist /as born /hen -erod /as in po/er. T/o years before his death in . The census co""enced in .esus /as A:+ then it follo/s that -e /as born in 9?F. The actual date of )hrist’s birth can be deter"ined accurately on the basis of the follo/in& facts found in the Gospel: %>( The ti"e of the rei&n of -erod the Great. s tradition /itnesses+ . . This is "entioned in 0u$e’s Gospel %@:@(.C 8nfortunately+ the e'act date of this census /as not preserved. 2evertheless+ fro" the tenth century+ the application of this 3ionysian period of ti"e %/hich /as ori&inally intended for )hurch use only( /as /ide-spread a"on& )hristian countries and accepted by civil authorities+ even thou&h it /as ac$no/led&ed as bein& fla/ed by all chronolo&ists.ohn @:>@+ and others(+ it certainly doesn’t "ean that they /ere -is brothers by birth.esus )hrist /as born in the 9G?th year fro" the establish"ent of the city of 1o"e. %@( The census "entioned in 0u$e @:A+ /as ordered by u&ustus’ decree in the 9?Kth year after the foundin& of 1o"e. By -erod’s directive+ the insti&ator /as burned at the sta$e on the >@th of !arch in the 9G:th year of 1o"e. The "ost detailed narrative of the circu"stances of the 2ativity of )hrist and of those ti"es is provided by the Evan&elist 0u$e. s a result of Saint 0u$eOs state"ent that the a&e of 0ord .e/ish Pascha fell on the >@th of pril in that year. -e refers the events of )hrist’s birth to the ti"e at /hich )aesar u&ustus decreed a census of all citi#ens of the 1o"an E"pire+ the rei&n of the 1o"an E"peror Octavius+ /ho received fro" the 1o"an Senate the title B u&ustusC D Bhonorable.C s the basis of his calculations+ 3ionysius esti"ated that the 0ord . 4ith the aid of other facts+ /hich /e shall "ention later+ it is possible to deter"ine this /ith a de&ree of accuracy D /ithin a fe/ years. Therefore+ the >Gth year of Tiberius’ rei&n /ould have co""enced in . The 'ircu#sta!ces a!d Ti#e o* the 8ativity o* 'hrist %0u$e @:>-@:(.udea durin& -erod’s rei&n+ /as suspended as a conse5uence of his death+ and continued /hen Nuirinius /as &overnin& Syria.anuary 99F.anuary 9KG+ u&ustus accepted Tiberius as a co-ruler. -o/ever+ the ti"e of Octavius u&ustus’s rule+ a personality historically /ell $no/n+ &ives us an opportunity to appro'i"ate the year of )hrist’s Birth. )onse5uently+ the census co""enced so"e ti"e a little earlier.oseph’s children /ere fro" his first "arria&e.ohn the Baptist co""enced his "inistry in the fifteenth year of )aesar Tiberius’ rule+ and “Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age” %0u$e A:@A(. %A( ccordin& to Saint 0u$e’s /itness %A:>(+ Saint . s a result of the census+ there /as a public uprisin& in Palestine. 1o"an "on$ 3ionysius+ na"ed Bthe S"allC introduced the accepted "ethod of calculatin& the years Bafter )hrist. -e ruled fro" the 9>?th year of the establish"ent of the city of 1o"e and died in the 9G:th+ ei&ht days before Passover %Pascha( and soon after the lunar eclipse.%!atthe/ >A:GG+ . )onse5uently+ -erod died at the be&innin& of pril in the 9G:th year after the establish"ent of 1o"e D at least four years earlier than that established by 3ionysius. -o/ever+ further and "ore thorou&h calculations proved his co"putations fla/ed: the year he had no"inated /as at least five years later than the actual date.

There is further data that Nuirinius served t/ice as &overnor of Syria+ and the census+ be&un durin& his first tenure+ /as co"pleted only durin& his second ter" in office. )orrespondin& to this+ the conception of . That’s /hy the Evan&elist calls the census D co""enced at the ti"e of the birth of )hrist D as the Bfirst.ohn A:A:: “He must in"rease. u&ustus issued the decree for the census before the birth of )hrist. s Saint thanasius cited the /ords of .ir&in !ary too$ place %/hich is celebrated on the @Gth of !arch(+ and after nine "onths+ on the @Gth of 3ece"ber+ the 0ord .esus )hrist /as born. -o/ever+ there is nothin& to confir" the fact that =acharias /as the hi&h priest.une+ durin& the su""er solstice+ /hen the days /ere &ettin& shorter. There is a hypothesis that =acharias /as servin& as the hi&h priest /hen the n&el appeared to hi" behind the curtain /ithin the -oliest of the -oly.C . This date /as selected accordin& to the follo/in& understandin&. 3ue to lac$ of facts in the four Gospels+ it is i"possible to deter"ine the day upon /hich )hrist /as born. but I must de"rease.ohn the Baptist in . nd as the 0ord’s a&e /as advancin& to/ard A? years+ -e therefore "ust have been born in the 9?Fth year fro" the establish"ent of 1o"e. The ancients thou&ht that )hrist+ as a second da"+ /as conceived by the -oly .ir&in durin& the Sprin& e5uino'+ the @Gth of !arch+ and accordin& to ancient tradition+ the sa"e day da" /as created.anuary. -o/ever+ because of the public’s unrest and the death of -erod+ it /as delayed and co"pleted only so"e ten years later+ durin& the &overnorship of Nuirinius. Initially+ the Eastern )hurch celebrated it on the sa"e day as Theophany+ under the &eneral title of BEpiphanyC D “God "ame into the world” D the Kth of . The 4estern )hurch has+ for a very lon& ti"e+ celebrated 2ativity on the @Gth of 3ece"ber.%?( strono"ical calculations sho/ that )hrist’s death on the cross could only have occurred in the year 9HA+ %accordin& to the data in the Gospel+ this transpired in the year /hen the . This is /here the hi&h priest /as allo/ed to enter once a year+ on the day of purification. This day falls on the @Ard of Septe"ber+ /hich be&an to be re&arded as the day /hen the *orerunner /as conceived.” So"e confusion arises fro" the state"ent by the Evan&elist 0u$e about the census conducted at the ti"e of )hrist’s birth+ that BThis census first too$ place /hile Nuirinius /as &overnin& Syria+C /hereas+ accordin& to historical facts+ Nuirinius /as &overnor of Syria so"e ten years after the birth of )hrist.ohn the Baptist %/ho /as si' "onths older than )hrist( /as to be celebrated on the @Ard of Septe"ber+ durin& the solar e5uino'+ /hile the day of his birth D on the @?th of . So all the above facts testify to the fact that the year of the 2ativity of )hrist /as necessarily in the 9?Fth year fro" the foundin& of 1o"e. *ro" the end of the fourth century+ the Eastern )hurch too be&an to celebrate this event on the @Gth of 3ece"ber. Si' "onths later+ the nnunciation to the . )hrist D the li&ht of the /orld+ the sun of truth D appeared to the /orld after nine "onths+ durin& the /inter solstice+ /hen the day be&ins to len&then and the ni&ht+ to shorten. )onse5uently+ a "ore plausible e'planation is "ore li$ely a sy"bolic one. The 5uic$est /ay to resolve this "isunderstandin& is throu&h the follo/in&: durin& the translation fro" the Gree$ te't %and there is stron& support for this(+ instead of the /ord BthisC census+ the /ord Bsa"eC census should have been applied.e/ish Pascha fell on a *riday evenin&(.

ir&in !ary -erself diapered -er ne/born Infant+ "eanin& that the birth /as co"pletely painless. . &ain+ -er Son is called BfirstbornC not because the Blessed .ir&in had other children after -i".oseph /as 3avid’s descendant+ he had to &o to Bethlehe" D 3avid’s city of birth.” It is i"portant to note here the /ords of the n&el “great 2oy .ect to this census. 4ith this+ the n&el &ave a BsignC+ an indication as to ho/ they /ill reco&ni#e -i": B1ou will find a %abe wra##ed in swaddling "loths. ccordin& to the la/ of !oses+ every first "ale child born /as called firstborn+ even thou&h he /as the only child in the fa"ily. ccordin& to 1o"an la/ coverin& con5uered nations+ not only "en but also e5ually /o"en /ere sub. It /as here that the 3ivine !essiah /as born. The hi&her po/ers+ the sinless eternal spirits+ continually praise their )reator and 0ord in the heavens. “ nd She brought forth Her firstborn Son. be"ause there was no room for them in the inn. ccordin& to ancient tradition+ durin& the Savior’s birth+ near -is crib stood an o' and an ass+ as thou&h si&nifyin& that “$he o5 !noweth his owner.C 1o"an politics al/ays acceded to the custo"s of the con5uered+ so as the . s .Every person had to be re&istered Bin his o/n city. These caves /ere used to shelter stoc$ durin& incle"ent /eather. and laid Him in the manger.ir&in !ary+ albeit in -er condition+ acco"panied the &uardian of -er vir&inity D the BelderC . The peace that /as brou&ht to earth by the incarnate Son of God cannot be confused /ith ordinary hu"an tran5uility and /ell bein&. to all #eo#le. God’s /onderful providence can be seen in this: in accordance /ith the ancient prophesy fro" !icah G:@+ the !essiah /as re5uired to be born in this city. and the ass his master)s "rib” %Isaiah >:A(. -o/ever+ not only hu"iliation acco"panied -i" at birth and throu&hout -is earthly life but also reflections of -is 3ivine &lory. God’s n&el+ illu"inated /ith 3ivine &lory+ appeared to the shepherds D /ho "ay have been the o/ners of the cave and /ere sleepin& in the field due to the prevailin& &ood /eather D and announced to the" “great 2oy” of the birth of the Savior in the city of 3avid+ “Who is Christ the (ord. . nd on earth #ea"e. This is a peace of conscience in the soul of the . Instead of bein& placed in a child’s cradle+ -e /as laid in a "an&er and thereby+ fro" -is O/n 2ativity+ acceptin& the cross of abase"ent and sufferin& for the rede"ption of hu"anity. They especially praise -i" for the e'traordinary "anifestation of -is 3ivine cle"ency+ /hich in fact is an e'pansion of -is do"ain. )onse5uently+ there is nothin& a"a#in& in that the -oly . lying in a manger.e/s only+ but for the /hole hu"an race.” nd as thou&h in corroboration of the veracity of the n&el’s /ords+ there appeared Ba "ultitude of the -eavenly host+C a /hole "ass of n&els praisin& the astonishin& &lory of the 2e/born GodInfant D the !essiah: “Glory to God in the highest. and wra##ed Him in swaddling "lothes.” The Evan&elist e"phasi#es the fact that -oly .e/ish custo"s de"anded that the census be conducted accordin& to branch+ tribe+ and clan+ everyone /as obli&ed to turn up for re&istration in that city+ /here the head of his tribe once lived. nd by -is O/n 2ativity+ &ivin& us a lesson in hu"ility D that hi&hest virtue+ /hich -e later tau&ht -is follo/ers continually.” The !essiah did not co"e to earth for the . goodwill toward men0” The n&els are praisin& God for sendin& the !essiah to earthE they are acclai"in& the peace that /ill settle in people’s souls /ho have accepted the SaviorE they are happy for the people to /ho" God’s &race had returned.oseph D and undoubtedly bein& a/are of !icah’s prophecy+ could not but reco&ni#e God’s providence in the census that directed -er to/ard Bethlehe". Because of the "ultitude of travelers that had arrived earlier+ but "ore so because of their poverty+ the -oly *a"ily /ere forced to settle in one of the "any caves that /ere abundant throu&hout Palestine.

1ede"ption revealed the total &reatness of God’s benevolence+ -is love to/ard hu"anity. This la/ ca"e into bein& /hen on the eve of the e'odus of .ir&in !ary+ filled /ith feelin&s of profound hu"ility+ "e"ori#ed all that /as happenin&+ “!e#t all these things and #ondered them in her heart.oseph brou&ht a sacrifice of the poor: t/o doves. Secondly+ this /as essential for -is "inistry as the !essiah in the eyes of -is people. 8ncircu"cised+ -e /ould not have been part of the co""unity of God’s peopleE -e /ould not be able to enter the te"ple+ nor the syna&o&ue. ccordin& to the 0a/ of !oses+ a /o"an bearin& a "ale child /as re&arded as unclean for the first forty days after the birth %ei&hty days if it /as a fe"ale child(.hu"an-sinner /ho has been redee"ed by )hrist the Savior.C The 'ircu#cisio! a!d 1eeti!( o* the $ord %0u$e @:@>-AF(.oseph brou&ht the infant /ith the" to . In case of poverty+ this could be replaced /ith t/o doves D one for each sacrifice.ir&in and . 4ith the passin& of ti"e+ this practice /as allotted to the tribe of 0evi only+ /hile the ne/-born of other tribes /ere released fro" this obli&ation by payin& a special levy of five silver she$els %2u"bers >H:>K(. ?:9( and settles in the souls of hu"ans that have accepted )hrist+ so does the inner peace beco"e the herita&e in hu"an life. 4herever they /ent+ they proclai"ed the ne/s about the appearance of the n&el and the -eavenly announce"ent+ "uch to the a"a#e"ent of their listeners. Therefore+ the purpose for the n&els’ praises is in the follo/in&: 4orthy are the praises to God by the -eavenly Spirits+ as peace and salvation has settled on earth+ because hu"anity has beco"e deservin& of a particular 3ivine blessin&.esus+ /hich "eans Savior. nd as "uch as this is God’s peace that surpasses all understandin& %Philip. On the fortieth day+ she had to brin& a sacrifice of a one-year-old la"b to the te"ple for burnin& and a youn& dove as a sacrifice for her sins. t the ti"e+ the "ystery of -is chaste conception and birth /as un$no/n to anyone besides the -oly . It is a peace of conscience+ reconciliation /ith God+ /ith people and /ith yourself. The Blessed . 8ncircu"cised+ -e /ould be unable to have influence on the people or to be ac$no/led&ed as the !essiah.ect the 0ord+ 4hose conception and birth /ere devoid of sin+ to circu"cision+ and -is Ever-Blessed !other to the la/ of purificationI *irstly+ this /as in order to “fulfill all righteousness” %!atthe/ A:>G( and sho/ by e'a"ple co"plete sub"ission to God’s la/. E5ually+ -is -oly !other+ not bein& cleansed+ /ould not be re&arded as a true Israelite.erusale" so as to pay the re5uired five she$els for -i". It can be seen fro" the Gospel’s narrative that the -oly .e/ish ne/-born /ere consecrated to serve at the te"ple. The shepherds D /ho /ere evidently pious D i""ediately hurried to the location indicated by the n&el and beca"e /orthy of the honor of bein& the first to /orship the )hrist-Infant. 4hy /as it necessary to sub.ir&in .e/s fro" E&ypt+ God sent -is n&els to slay all the E&yptian ne/-born+ /hile all the . )o"plyin& /ith this la/+ the -oly . fter ei&ht days had passed and in accordance /ith the la/ of !oses %0eviticus >@:A(+ the GodInfant /as circu"cised and &iven the na"e %as desi&nated by the n&el( of .ir&in and .

oseph. *or those /ho believe in -i"+ -e stands Bfor arising&. The old "an %tradition has it that he /as three-hundred years old( too$ -i" in his ar"s and proclai"ed the inspired prayer of &ratitude for bein& able to /itness+ in the face of this Infant+ the salvation that has been prepared for hu"anity. -avin& reached ei&hty- .C Because she /as "oved by especial actions of the -oly Spirit and because she possessed the &ift of inspired speech+ the Evan&elist calls her a prophetess.oseph and the !other of the 3ivine )hild probably "arveled that every/here they found people to /ho" God had revealed the secret of this )hild.oseph+ Si"eon D by ri&ht of a profound elder on /ho" the -oly Spirit rested D foretells in a prophetic enli&hten"ent that this Infant /ill be the sub. ccordin& to ancient tradition+ Si"eon /as one of seventy-t/o erudite old "en that /ere char&ed by the E&yptian 7in& Ptole"ais to translate holy boo$s fro" the .” Present at the ti"e /as a /o"an na"ed nna+ Bdau&hter of Phanuel. It /as then that an n&el appeared to hi" and foretold that he /ould not die until his o/n eyes had /itnessed the fulfill"ent of this prophecy. 1eturnin& the )hild to -is !other and blessin& -er and .e/ish lan&ua&e into Gree$. a sword will #ier"e through 1our own heart also. )onse5uently+ everythin& that /as re5uired by the la/ had to be e'ecuted e'actly. Throu&h the -oly Spirit’s pro"ptin&+ he apparently ca"e to the sacrificial altar in the te"ple and+ upon seein& the .ust seven years.” 3ependin& on the diverse relationships of people to/ard this Infant+ their true nature /ill be revealed+ the disposition of their souls: Those /ho love the truth and strive to fulfill God’s /ill+ /ill believe in )hrist+ /hile those /ho love evil and deeds of dar$ness /ill hate )hrist and+ in order to . Given the Boo$ of Isaiah to translate+ Si"eon beca"e dubious /hen he ca"e upon the prophecy of the birth of I""anuel fro" a .ect of ar&u"ents and disputes bet/een -is follo/ers and -is ene"ies: “$hat the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” not only for . Si"eon spiritually foresees those sufferin&s by the Blessed .-erself and .” throu&h the prophecy &iven to "e fro" <ou by <our -oly Spirit+ Bin peace+C /ith co"plete spiritual tran5uility+ “&or my eyes have seen 1our salvation.ir&in for -er 3ivine Son: “yes.” e'clai"ed the elder.” the salvation pro"ised by God throu&h -is 1edee"er!essiah+ 4ho" I no/ have the &reat happiness to see before "e D the salvation+ “whi"h you have #re#ared before the fa"e of all #eo#les. This+ in reality+ too$ place in the fi&ures of scribes and Pharisees and continues to be enacted in the for" of all &odless individuals and )hrist-haters. Evidently+ the Evan&elist praises her as an upri&ht /ido/+ /ho devoted herself to God after livin& /ith her husband for . The Evan&elist advises us only that Si"eon /as foretold by the -oly Spirit that he /ould not see death until such ti"e as he e'perienced the honor of seein& his e'pected BconsolationCE that is+ the 0ord )hrist. t the ti"e at /hich the !other of God brou&ht -er sacrifices and pay"ent of inde"nity to the te"ple+ there /as a pious BelderC na"ed Si"eon /ho /as /aitin& for the B)onsolation of Israel+C God’s pro"ised !essiah+ /hose appearance /ould brin& consolation to the Israelites %Isaiah ?::>(. This salvation is B li&ht to brin& revelation to the Gentiles+ nd the &lory of <our people Israel+C as co"in& out of its "idst.or for eternal salvation+ and for the disbelievers D Bfor falling+C or for their eternal conde"nation+ for eternal perdition. ""ording to 1our word.ustify their "alice+ /ill slander -i" in every /ay.e/s but also for all peoples. now let 1our servant de#art in #ea"e. -e /as sayin&: *ro" this "o"ent+ the tie that connected "e to life has been severed+ and <ou+ !aster+ are releasin& "e fro" this life into a ne/ life+ “a""ording to 1our word. “(ord. .ir&in %Isaiah 9:>?(.ir&in !ary’s Infant+ reco&ni#ed -i" as the !essiah-)hrist.

One proposition su&&ests this country /as rabiaE another+ Persia+ and a third+ )haldea.erusale"+ to those a/aitin& the co"in& of the !essiah.acob %2u"bers @?:>9(. The Evan&elist says that they ca"e Bfro" the East+C not na"in& fro" /hich specific country. Such /ise "en /ere hi&hly revered in Babylon and Persia+ as they used to be priests and advisers to $in&s.ects. . ll of . The Evan&elist says further that havin& fulfilled everythin& accordin& to the la/+ the holy fa"ily returned to Galilee+ “to their own "ity. The Adoratio! o* the 1a(i %!atthe/ @:>->@(.” 0i$e Si"eon+ she too praised the 0ord and+ apparently in a state of prophetic inspiration+ repeated appro'i"ately the sa"e /ords uttered by Si"eon to everyone anticipatin& the liberation of .erusale" fro" the East.ud&ed the future by the stars and studied the "ysterious po/ers of nature.udea+ to 4ho" adoration /ould be fittin& fro" all peoples. There+ durin& the . It is na"ed here as . lso+ the prophet 3aniel lived there+ havin& predicted the ti"e of the co"in& of this Great 7in&+ and the tradition of the prophecy of the "a&us Balaa" "ay have been preserved there+ that there shall co"e forth a star fro" . 6a7areth. The !a&i /ho ca"e to adore )hrist /ere not those /ho are usually associated /ith this na"e+ not sorcerers or /i#ards that create illusory "iracles+ callin& up the spirits and interro&atin& the dead %E'odus 9:>>+ 3euterono"y >H:>>(+ /ho are conde"ned by the 4ord of God.udean throne+ /as an Idu"ean+ and+ bein& a tyrant+ aroused hatred fro" his sub.udean Bethlehe" because there /as another Bethlehe"+ in Galilee+ in the re&ion of =ebulun. That is /hy+ upon arrivin& in . 4hen )hrist /as born in “%ethlehem of Judea. 4e often find this type of abrid&e"ent of narrative /ith /riters of holy boo$s.” Saint 0u$e o"its everythin& that transpired after the !eetin& of the 0ord+ probably because Saint !atthe/ &ives a detailed description of the events: the adoration of the !a&i in Bethlehe"+ the holy fa"ily’s fli&ht into E&ypt+ the slayin& of the innocents+ and the return of the holy fa"ily after the death of -erod. The study of stars in the heavens /as one of the "a.or occupations of the Persian /ise "en+ and the 0ord su""oned the" throu&h the appearance of an e'traordinary star to adore the 2e/born Savior of the /orld. These /ere hi&hly learned individuals possessin& &reat $no/led&e+ over /ho" 3aniel presided in the land of Babylon %3aniel @:?H(.erusale"+ the !a&i confidently in5uire: “Where is He Who has been born 8ing of the Jews/” These /ords alar"ed -erod the Great+ as he hi"self had no le&al ri&ht to the .e/s’ seventy-year bonda&e+ the forefathers of these !a&i "ay have heard fro" the . They . -o/ever+ the /ord used in the Gospel+ “magos” is Persian+ "a$in& it "ore than li$ely that they ca"e fro" Persia or fro" a country for"in& part of the for"er Babylonian $in&do".” the !a&i arrived in .e/s that they /ere /aitin& for a Great 7in&+ a 1edee"er+ 4ho /ill con5uer the /hole /orld. t the ti"e in the East+ there /as a /idely spread belief that the 0ord of the /orld /ould appear in .four years of a&e and not departin& fro" the te"ple+ she “served God with fasting and #rayers night and day.erusale" beca"e alar"ed /ith hi" because it /as afraid of ne/ repressive "easures fro" -erod+ /ho /as a&itated by the e'traordinary ne/s.

4hat sort of star /as itI There are varied thou&hts on this issue. they #resented gifts to Him9 gold. It is interestin& to note+ that in accordance /ith the calculations of the fa"ous astrono"er 7eppler+ in the year of )hrist’s birth there /as an incredibly rare coincidence of the three bri&htest planets D .erusale" but probably to the south fro" Bethlehe". from everlasting” %!icah G:@(.udeans+ listenin& ceaselessly to the prophets’ procla"ations on the co"in& of )hrist+ did not pay any particular attention+ the Lord instilled into the #ar#arians the need to co"e fro" a distant land+ in5uire about the 7in& that /as born a"on& the"+ and the . Bethlehe" "eans Bhouse of #readC and Euphratus+ Bfertile field&.erusale" to Bethlehe"+ Btill it ca"e and stood over 0here the youn& )hild /as+C /as no/ a real star D not a planet but a co"pletely special and "iraculous "anifestation. -e su""ons the !a&i so as to interro&ate the" clandestinely as to the ti"e of the appearance of the star and then sends the" to Bethlehe" so that /hen they return they can relate all they found out about the 2e/born.e/s: “Where is Christ to be bornIC The scribes i""ediately pointed out to hi" !icah’s /ell-$no/n prophecy %G:@(+ not citin& it literally but its "eanin& that the !essiah had to be born in Bethlehe".” -avin& received a 3ivine /arnin& in a drea" not to return to -erod+ /ho had desi&ns to $ill the God-Infant+ the !a&i returned to their ho"eland alon& a different route+ not throu&h .upiter+ !ars and Saturn D beco"in& ali&ned in one spot and creatin& the visible effect of an unusually bri&ht star.udeans first reco&ni#e fro" the Persians that /hich they did not /ant to learn fro" the prophets.C 2aturally+ the star that sho/ed the /ay to the /ise "en fro" . )onse5uently+ the !a&i did not co"e to the cave /here )hrist /as bornE by that ti"e+ the Infant and -is "other could have resettled into an ordinary house. The "arvelous "eanin& of the 4ise !en’s arrival fro" a distant land is e'plained e'cellently by Saint . fran!in"ense. In relation to the star that /as seen in the East+ "any defined it as a real star+ inas"uch as so"e type of si&n of a perceivable nature preceded "any &reat events in a "oral /orld. “ nd when they had o#ened their treasures. 4hen they sa/ the star+ the /ise "en “re2oi"ed with e5"eedingly great 2oy.ohn )hrysosto" and the Blessed Theothilactus thou&ht that it /as a certain 3ivine and n&elic force+ appearin& in the for" of a star. It is stri$in& that in !icah’s ori&inal prophecy there is the state"ent that the !essiah /ill only Bco"eC fro" Bethlehe" but /ill not live there and that -is true ori&ins “are from of old.a na"e that characteri#es the e'ceptional fertility of the soil.” because undoubtedly+ they sa/ in it a ne/ stren&thenin& of their faith in the authenticity of the birth of this e'traordinary Infant. It is said further about the !a&i that they ca"e to a house and there “fell down and worshi##ed” the 2e/born. In order to e'ecute his bloody intentions /ith certainty+ -erod also /anted to $no/ the ti"e of birth of the . . and myrrh.Bloodthirsty -erod+ in decidin& to e'ter"inate the 2e/born D re&ardin& -i" as his anta&onist D su""oned all his hi&h priests and scribes and directly poses to the" the 5uestion as to the place of birth of the !essiah+ 7in& of the . 4hen the !a&i set out to/ard Bethlehe"+ the star that they sa/ in the East traveled before the"+ sho/in& the accurate route until it stopped /here the 2e/born Infant /as located.udean 7in&. This heavenly event+ $no/n in astrono"y as the Buniting of planets+C coincided /ith the &reat event of the birth of the Son of God D the !essiah+ and this /onder is a "anifestation of God’s providence in su""onin& the learned heathen to /orship the ne/born !essiah.ohn )hrysosto": BBecause the . Saint .

esus )hrist+ then the /ithdra/al of the .oseph in a drea" and directed hi" to ta$e the Infant and -is "other and flee to E&ypt+ /hat he did at ni&ht. In the fact that )hild-.e/ish people fro" E&ypt served as a sy"bol of . A>:>G(.erusale"+ -erod beca"e an&ry+ felt 6"oc$ed of6 and ridiculed by the". This produced &reater /rath in hi".amah.ourney of so"e >:: "iles to its border. The si"ilar sava&ery /as absolutely typical of -erod+ about /ho" accordin& to the testi"ony of the .esus )hrist. and bitter wee#ing* %. Therefore he issued the brutal decree to slay all the infants 6fro" @ years old and under6 in Bethlehe" and all the coasts thereof+ rec$onin& that a"on& the" /ill be .esus had to flee specifically to E&ypt and return fro" there+ St. 4hen the /ise "en failed to return to . One of the" proclai"s that /hen .e/ish nation /as a sy"bol of the true+ one and only Son of God+ . /itness of this event+ Prophet .e/s livedE they had their o/n syna&o&ues and as -erod’s authority did not e'tend there+ the -oly *a"ily+ havin& stopped at one of their co"patriot’s houses+ could feel the"selves out of dan&er.er.ere"iah’s prophecy: * voi"e is heard in .a"in tribe+ to the north of . In reality+ these /ords of the prophet refer to the e'odus of the .oseph+ God-Infant and -is !other entered an idolater’s te"ple that contained AKG idols+ those idols fell and shattered on the &round: thus the prophecy about the" ca"e true: 6Behold+ the 0ord rideth upon a s/ift cloud %on the ar"s of the Blessed .oseph *laviusE it is /ell $no/n that because of the &roundless suspicion+ he ordered his /ife to be stran&led and his A sons to be put to death.e/ish people+ led to the Babylonian captivity and previously &athered in 1a"ah+ a s"all to/n of Ben.e/s fro" E&ypt+ but because the chosen by God . fter the /ise "en’s departure+ the 0ord’s n&el appeared to . E&ypt /as located south/est of .ere"iah describes the cala"ity and &rief of the . )hrysosto" responds: 6If the 0ord started to /or$ /onders in -is initial years+ then -e /ould not have been ac$no/led&ed as a -u"an6 %3iscourse on !atthe/ 9(.erusale"(. )hrysosto"+ everythin& had a sy"bolic "eanin&+ everythin& served as the sy"bols of events in the 2e/ Testa"ent. lamentation. In the Old Testa"ent+ on the note of St.e/ish historian . -avin& learned fro" the !a&i that the star appeared to the" over a year a&o+ he concluded that even if the Infant is "ore than >@ "onths old+ -e /ould be less than @ years old. To the 5uestion as to /hy )hrist did not save -i"self fro" -erod’s e'ecutioners+ St.udea+ re5uirin& a .The Fli(ht i!to /(ypt a!d the "layi!( o* the 0!*a!ts %!att. !any /onderful traditions have been preserved re&ardin& the -oly *a"ily’s fli&ht into E&ypt. In the slayin& of the children+ the Evan&elist sees the fulfill"ent of . 4hen u&ustus /as infor"ed of this+ he responded: 6It is better to be an ani"al at -erod’s than his son.6 8p to this day+ people are sho/n the &rottos on the suburbs of Bethlehe"+ /here "others /ith the infants in their ar"s+ atte"ptin& to avoid -erod’s soldiers+ /ere $illed to&ether /ith their children. In these /ords+ the Prophet . t the ti"e+ it /as also a 1o"an province /here "any . ccordin& to the le&end+ there /ere >?+::: infants slain+ /ho are co""e"orated+ as of the "artyrs for )hrist+ by our )hurch on the @Fth of 3ece"ber.ere"iah depicts it li$e the /eepin& of 1achel about her children+ . Evan&elist sees the fulfill"ent of -osea’s prophecy: 6Pcalled !y Son out of E&ypt6 %>>:>(. @:>A-@A(.ir&in !ary(+ and co"eth unto E&ypt: and the idols of E&ypt shall be "oved at -is presence6 %Isaiah >F:>(.esus )hrist’s recall fro" the sa"e E&ypt.

To co"e out of 2a#areth "eant to be despised+ hu"iliated+ re.esus )hrist *shall be "alled a 6a7arene*. -u"an /isdo" D in the "easure of its develop"ent D reflected or contained the /hole depth and fullness of the 3ivine $no/led&e+ /hich adolescent . s .oseph to return to Israel. Saint !atthe/ sees in this a sy"bol of the true loss of 1achel’s children+ /ho are buried close to Bethlehe". )oncernin& this period+ Evan&elist 0u$e tells about one event fro" -is life.oseph *lavius testifies+ -erod died in a dreadful a&ony in !arch or the be&innin& of pril+ in the 9G:th year fro" the foundation of 1o"e.esus /as not only God+ but also hu"an and as such /as sub. Before -is appearance in the society to serve the hu"an race+ 0ord . If /e suppose %as so"e do( that )hrist /as born earlier+ in 9?H+ then it can be said that they lived there over a year+ and that the 3ivine )hild /as nearly @ years old /hen -e returned fro" E&ypt.esus )hrist re"ained in anony"ity. -o/ever+ /hen hearin& that the /orst of -erod’s sons rchelaus+ bloodthirsty and cruel+ si"ilar to his father+ be&an to rei&n in . nother opinion is that the Evan&elist is not referrin& to any specific prophesy+ but "eans the &eneral character of all the prophecies about the hu"iliatin& state of )hrist-Savior+ durin& -is earthly life.esus 'hrist-s adolesce!ce %0u$e @:?:-G@(.esus )hrist /as called a 2a#arene+ as the hi&hest le&ate of the 2a#arene vo/s D total dedication of oneself to servin& God.e/s. *or the precise date of )hrist’s birth is not $no/n+ there is no definite data+ ho/ lon& the -oly *a"ily lived in E&ypt.oseph apparently decided to settle in Bethlehe"+ /here+ as it see"ed to hi"+ the Son of 3avid D future !essiah-)hrist D had to be brou&ht up. In any case+ -e /as still a child D as the n&el called -i" /hen he directed . s he /rote his Gospel 6havin& had perfect understandin& of all thin&s fro" the very first+6 presu"ably+ there /ere no outstandin& facts in the 0ord’s life in this earlier period. -avin& received a ne/ /arnin& in a drea"+ he headed to/ards the boundaries of Galilee and settled in the to/nship of 2a#areth+ /here he used to reside previously+ pursuin& his trade of carpentry./ho /ere led a/ay to death. . St. This is understandable+ as the boy . filled with wisdom: and the gra"e of God was u#on Him*. -o/ever+ it is clearly and definitively said that soon after the death of -erod+ the -oly *a"ily returned to the land of Israel+ and this date can be re&arded as "ore or less definite.esus possessed bein& the Son of God. 8pon their return+ . If /e assu"e that )hrist /as born on the @Gth of 3ece"ber+ in the 9?Fth year fro" the foundation of 1o"e+ then the -oly *a"ily /ould have spent so"e @ "onths in E&ypt.udea+ he /as 6afraid to &o thither6.ected to the la/s of hu"an develop"ent. -o/ever+ such a prophecy cannot be found in the Old Testa"ent. Saint 0u$e &ives us the &eneral characteristics of this period in the follo/in& /ords: * nd the Child grew and be"ame strong in s#irit. There is a supposition that this prophecy "i&ht have been in the boo$+ lost by the . Evan&elist vie/s in this the fulfill"ent of the prophecy+ that the 0ord . On the other hand+ in the Old Testa"ent as 2a#arenes there /ere called the people+ /ho have devoted the"selves to GodE "aybe this /as the reason /hy .ected. .

esus 'hrist %!att.e/s /ere obli&ed to appear in .erusale"(+ they found -i"+ seated in the "idst of the doctors+ listenin& to the" and as$in& the" 5uestions.erusale" every year. Gro/in& up+ -e succeeded in /isdo"+ and the especial love of God to/ards )hrist beca"e "ore evident to the attentive eye+ /hich in turn attracted people’s love to/ards -i". The Evan&elist uses this e'pression as bein& applicable to the social opinion.ir&in !ary and elder .oseph did not find it necessary or beneficial to reveal itE and in the eyes of the citi#ens of 2a#areth+ .esus+ as She could not call hi" in any other "anner+ because in everybody’s eyes+ .esus obediently /ent /ith the" to 2a#areth+ and as the Evan&elist notes+ *and was sub2e"t* to his earthly parents+ probably sharin& the labors of -is so-called father .esus already displayed -is 3ivine /isdo" D that /as /hy everybody listenin& to -i" "arveled at -is ans/ers and -is "ind.erusale" for the feast days.esus responds to -is !other’s /ords by revealin& -is desi&nation D to serve the /ill of the One that had sent -i"+ and then corrects -is !other by pointin& out that not .oseph /as the father. The "avior-s "ocial "ervice .erusale"+ sur"isin& that -e /al$s nearby in another &roup+ /ith -is relatives or friends.)onse5uently+ /hen adolescent . The celebration of the Passover continued for H days+ after /hich the faithful returned to their ho"es+ nor"ally in &roups. Seein& that -e did not .esus+ and conse5uently+ in reality he /as not the one.oseph as the father of . *or the ti"e for -is social service had not arrived yet+ . n adolescent+ turnin& >@+ beca"e *the Child of the law*: fro" this point on+ he had to learn all the de"ands of the la/+ fulfill its directions and in particular+ &o to .oseph /as !ary’s husband and the father of .erusale" on the feast days of Pascha+ Pentecost and *estival of TabernacleE the only e'ception /as "ade for sic$ children. The "ystery of the 3ivine )hild’s birth re"ained a secret: Ever--oly .oin the" for a lon& ti"e+ they be&an to loo$ for -i"+ and havin& not found -i"+ they returned to . Saint 0u$e states that .oh! the Baptist a!d his testi#o!y about our $ord .esus stayed in .oseph and !ary did not notice ho/ adolescent . In another e'tract %A:@A(+ he directly states that . -is !other+ e'pressin& their an'iety over -i"+ calls . .erusale" in an'iety+ /here after three days of searchin& %presu"ably fro" the day they departed fro" .oseph /as only supposed to be the father of .esus. dolescent .esus beca"e >@+ this 3ivine /isdo" revealed itself clearly for the first ti"e. That happened+ probably+ in one of the parts of the te"ple+ /here the rabbis &athered+ holdin& discussions bet/een the" and /ith the people+ edifyin& in the la/ all /illin& to listen to the". A:>->@E !ar$ >:>-HE 0u$e A:>->HE . >K:>K(+ all "ale .oseph understood -is /ords+ as the "ystery of )hrist’s "atters on earth /as not fully revealed to the".ohn >:>G-A>( . ccordin& to the 0a/ of !oses %3eut.esus’ 6parents6 /ent to .oseph+ /ho /as a carpenter.oseph but God is -is father: *Wist ye not that I must be about my &ather. In this discussion+ adolescent . 2onetheless+ *His 'other !e#t all these things in Her heart* D this /as an especially "e"orable day for -er+ as this /as the first ti"e -er Son "ade it $no/n of -is hi&h desi&nation.s business/* -o/ever+ neither Blessed !ary nor .

ohn is the only one+ /ho o"its so"ethin& fro" that said by the others+ instead+ underlinin& only )hrist’s 3eity. Be&innin& his narration about .ohn the Baptist calls hi"self in the Gospel of .ordan+ and Trachonitus+ located to the north-east of . In .ohn started to appear in the "ore populous areas of the re&ion+ li$e Bethabara on . These /ords are ta$en fro" the Prophet Isaiah’s speech+ /here he co"forts .esus )hrist+ correspondin&ly narrate all the Evan&elists+ in nearly the sa"e detail.ohn %>:@A(. fter God’s callin&+ .ohn the Baptist and about his testi"ony of the 0ord .erusale" by sayin& that the period of their hu"iliation is over+ and that soon the &lory of the 0ord /ill appear and *all flesh shall see it together* %Isaiah ?::G(.ohn and co""enced -is social service.ohn A:@A(+ closer to the /ater+ /hich /as necessary for baptis". Saint 0u$e testifies that *the word of God* ca"e to .udea+ -erod bein& the tetrarch of Galilee+ his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the re&ion of Trachonitis+ and 0ysanias tetrarch of bilene+ /hile nnas and )aiaphas /ere hi&h priests6 %0u$e A:>-@(. E'actly the sa"e /ay . .ordanE the fourth province+ bilene+ that /as ad.esus )hrist /as bapti#ed by .udea+ the 1o"an procurator Pontius Pilate &overned instead of rchelausE in Galilee D -erod ntipas+ the son of -erod the Great+ /ho sle/ the innocent infants in Bethlehe"E his other son+ Philip+ &overned Iturea D the country+ situated to the east of . Evan&elists !atthe/ %A:A(+ !ar$ %>:A( and 0u$e %A:?( call .bout the start of the ser"on of .ohn the Baptist’s ser"on+ and to&ether /ith that D the startin& ti"e of the social service of the very 0ord. The hi&h priests at the ti"e /ere nnas and )aiaphas+ this is necessary to understand this /ay: actually+ the hi&h priest /as )aiaphas+ and his father-in-la/ D nnas+ /ho+ thou&h bein& precluded by the civil authorities fro" his post+ had the authority and respect of the people+ and in reality+ shared the leadership /ith his son-in-la/. -e says that this occurred 6in the fifteenth year of the rei&n of Tiberius )aesar+ Pontius Pilate bein& &overnor of .ordan and the 3ead Sea+ it carried this na"e because of its sparse population.ohn >:@H(+ or enon near Sali" %. fter the death of u&ustus in the 9K9th year fro" the foundation of 1o"e+ Tiberius ascended the throne.acent to Galilee in the north-east+ at the foothill of ntilebanon+ /as under the rule of 0ycinius.ordan %. Situated on the /estern shores of . Saint Evan&elist 0u$e &ives the i"portant infor"ation about the startin& ti"e of . Saint !atthe/ calls the place /here he co""enced his service 6the /ilderness in .ohn D in other /ords+ a special callin& or revelation fro" God that pro"pted hi" to be&in his service. -o/ever+ t/o years before+ in 9KG+ he had already beco"e a co-ruler+ and conse5uently+ his fifteenth year of rulin& be&an in 99F+ /hen accordin& to the "ost probable suppositions+ )hrist beca"e A: years old+ about /hat postle 0u$e tells later+ "entionin& the a&e+ in /hich .ohn the Baptist *the voi"e of one "rying in the wilderness9 <re#are the way of the (ord: 'a!e His #ath straight*.ohn the Baptist startin& his ser"on+ Saint 0u$e /ants to say that at the ti"e+ Palestine /as the part of the 1o"an E"pire+ and /as &overned by tetrarchs+ or the rulers of the fourth part of a province+ in the na"e of E"peror Tiberius+ the son and successor of Octavius u&ustus+ durin& /hose ti"e )hrist /as born. This prophecy /as fulfilled /hen after the 9: year Babylonian captivity the Persian 7in& 7ir per"itted ?@+::: of .e/s to return to their ho"eland.udea6. This return is portrayed by the Prophet as a .

e.ected that /hat /ent a&ainst their epicurean style of livin&: the spiritual life and retribution beyond the &rave.e/ish people+ and his ser"on on the co"in& of the !essiah+ the co"in& of 4ho" so "any /ere tensely anticipatin& D could not but attract &eneral attention. A:>:E 0u$e A:F(+ as useless. This /as not the blessed )hristian baptis"+ but only the i""ersion into the /ater as a sy"bol that the person /ished to be absolved of his sins+ the sa"e /ay as the /ater cleansed his body of the bodily &ri"e. >A:@?-?A+ ?9-?F(+ and their eternal heavenly &lory in the ne't life %0u$e @A:?@-?A(.ohn hi"self %. This "essen&er proclai"s that a path D alon& /hich the 0ord and -is people had to pass D should be prepared strai&ht and even: hollo/s should be filled+ "ounds and hills Q leveled+ etc.oseph *lavius+ testifies that 6the people+ captivated by . 6 nd do not thin$ to say to yourselves+ J/e have braha" as our father.ohn+ and they the"selves /ent to hi" into the /ilderness+ but hardly /ith the sincere feelin&s. s such a 7in&do" the 4ord of God understands the liberation of the "an fro" the authority of sin and the ascension of ri&hteousness /ithin his nature %0u$e >9:@>E 1o".ohn &reets the" /ith the stern+ reproachin& /ords: *%rood of vi#ers0 Who warned you to flee from the wrath to "ome/* %!att.ohn the Baptist /as a strict ascetic+ /ho /ore the rou&hest rai"ent of ca"el’s hair and ate locusts and honey of /ild bees. -e /as a sharp opposition to the conte"porary teachers of the .ohn >:@A(+ e'plain in the for" of a sy"bol %all the Old Testa"ent events had this type of "eanin&+ foretellin& by the"selves the events of the 2e/ Testa"ent(: as God+ leadin& the procession of -is people+ co"in& out of the captivity+ there is "eant the !essiah+ /hile as -is "essen&er D -is *orerunner+ . A:@(. the 7in&do" of the !essiah %!att.ohn called people to repent and those /ho reacted to that call+ he bapti#ed /ith *a ba#tism of re#entan"e for the remission of sins* %0u$e A:A(.. The &enuine children of braha" are not those /ho have ori&inated fro" hi" by flesh+ but those /ho /ill live in the spirit of his faith and devotion to God.’ *or I .oyful procession+ led by God -i"self and preceded by a "essen&er.e/s /as so &reat that they /ere ready to do all follo/in& his advice+ and even -erod the 7in& /as afraid of this &reat teacher’s po/er.ohn the Baptist’s ser"on about repentance /as based on the approachin& of the 7in&do" of -eaven+ i.ohn accuses the" of arro&ance+ of their assurance in personal upri&htness+ and instills onto the" that their hope of bein& braha"’s descendants+ /ill brin& the" no benefit if they do not carry out the fruits /orthy of repentance+ because *every tree whi"h does not bear good fruit is "ut down and thrown into the fire* %!att. This prophecy+ the Evan&elists and . . . A:9(. Even the Pharisees and Sadducees could not /atch indifferently as "asses of people ca"e to . >?:>9(+ and also the unification of all nations+ /hich /ere /orthy of this+ into one or&anis" D the )hurch %!att.e/ish historian+ .ohn. The Pharisees s$illfully covered their vices /ith the strict observance of the purely out/ard instructions of the 0a/ of !oses+ /hile the Sadducees+ succu"bin& to the bodily co"forts+ re. Even the . Preparin& people for the entry into this 7in&do"+ /hich /as soon to be revealed /ith the co"in& of the !essiah+ . . Therefore+ it is little /onder that . In the spiritual sense+ the /ilderness are the people of Israel+ /hile the unevenness that had to be leveled as the obstacles for the !essiah’s co"in& D are hu"an sinsE that is /hy the essence of the *orerunner’s ser"on led to the only call: 61epentM6 This Isaiah’s sy"bolic prophecy the last of the Old Testa"ent Prophets+ !alachi+ e'presses directly+ callin& the *orerunner+ /ho /as preparin& the /ay for the !essiah+ the *'essenger of the (ord*. Saint !ar$ be&ins his Gospel /ith the sa"e 5uotation %!ar$ >:@(.ohn’s teachin&s+ flooded to hi" in the &reat nu"ber6+ and that the authority of this "an over the .

ohn+ the Baptist did not $no/ )hrist before -is baptis" %.ohn >:@G(. Before the baptis"+ .esus beca"e A: D it /as the a&e+ re5uired to be a teacher of faith. as a si&n of repentance. A:FE 0u$e A:H(.esus )hrist.ohn refuses to bapti#e . and gather His wheat into the barn: but He will burn u# the "haff with un=uen"hable fire* %!att. and are you "oming to me/* But accordin& to the Gospel of . pparently+ it /as in the >Gth year of Tiberius )aesar’s rulin& /hen+ accordin& to Saint 0u$e+ . *Jesus "ame from 6a7areth of Galilee>* Evan&elist !ar$ adds that -e ca"e specifically fro" 2a#areth of Galilee. These /ould be the *fruits worthy of re#entan"e*. Saint !atthe/ /rites that .esus 'hrist %!att. *His winnowing fan is in His hand. To this .esus+ then he beca"e finally assured that before hi" /as the !essiah-)hrist.ohn is )hrist -i"self.ohn >:A@-A?(. *He will ba#ti7e you with the Holy S#irit and fire* %!att.e. Saint !atthe/ depicts this event in the "ost detail.ohn >:AA(+ until he sa/ the -oly Spirit+ in the for" of a dove+ descendin& upon -i". ccordin& to the Evan&elist 0u$e+ this stern speech /as directed to the people.ust as slaves do for their "aster.esus sayin&: *I need to be ba#ti7ed by 1ou. A:>A->HE !ar$ >:F->>E 0u$e A:@>-@@E .e/s believed that the !essiah+ /hen -e /ould co"e+ -e /ould bapti#e %.ust as the "aster cleans his thrashin& floor of /eeds and dirt+ collectin& the /heat+ i.say to you that God is able to raise up children to braha" fro" these stones6 %!att. -o/ever+ /hen -e ca"e to hi" re5uestin& to be bapti#ed+ . But the One+ 4ho is co"in& after hi" is !i&htier+ 4ho" he+ .ohn did not reco&ni#e . The Baptis# o* the $ord . A:>>E 0u$e A:>KE !ar$ >:H( D the &race of the -oly Spirit /ill act in -is baptis"+ searin& every type of ini5uity /ith fire.esus as the !essiah. . A:>@E 0u$e A:>9( D )hrist /ould clean -is people+ . So it is not surprisin& that "any started to pose the 5uestion+ if . . and He will thoroughly "lean out His threshing floor. )onfused by the strictness of the speech+ people be&an to as$: *What shall we do then/* %0u$e A:>:(.ohn+ bein& a prophet /ho penetrated people’s hearts+ i""ediately felt -is holiness+ purity and -is eternal pre-e"inence over hi"E therefore he could not but e'clai": *I need to be ba#ti7ed by you>* 4hen he sa/ the -oly Spirit ascendin& on . Then there /as the ti"e of a &eneral e'pectation of the !essiah’s co"in&+ to&ether /ith that the . A:>>(+ i.ohn+ is not /orthy to untie -is sandals and carry the" %0u$e A:>KE !ar$ >:9+ A:>>(+ .ohn replied that he bapti#es /ith /ater unto repentance %!att.ect to the eternal sufferin&. There is no contradiction here.e. The ? Evan&elists narrate about the Baptis" of the 0ord . But this cannot be treated as a contradiction+ for in its si&nificant part the people /ere infected /ith the false teachin&s of the Pharisees.ohn ans/ers that it /as necessary to perfor" deeds of love and benevolence+ and to refrain fro" any type of the evil.ectin& -i"+ /ill sub. &atherin& all those /ho have believed in -i" into -is )hurch+ as thou&h into a &ranary+ and all those re.

ordan+ God the -oly Spirit D the ascension upon . This /as situated bet/een .ohn 6sa/6 the -oly Spirit+ and of course the Bapti#ed -i"self+ as /ell as the people present+ for the ai" of the "iracle /as to reveal to the people the Son of God in .esus+ 4ho up to this ti"e+ d/elt in anony"ity+ that is /hy the )hurch sin&s on the feast day of )hrist’s Baptis" %also called Theophany(: 6Thou hast appeared this day to the /hole /orld6 %The contacion(. Jesus "ame u# immediately from the water* %!att. The Forty-:ay Fast a!d Te#pti!( by the :evil %!att. ?:>->>E !ar$ >:>@->AE 0u$e ?:>->A(. and He saw the S#irit of God des"ending li!e a dove and alighting u#on Him*. ?:>(. Our -oly )hurch celebrates the Baptis" of )hrist on the Kth of .esus+ but *He remained u#on Him* %.ohn in the river . A:>K(+ because bein& sinless+ -e had no need to confess+ as had to do all the others bein& bapti#ed D /hile they re"ained in the /ater. Saint 0u$e reports %A:@>( that Jesus also being ba#ti7ed. fter the baptis"+ *Jesus was led u# by the S#irit into the wilderness to be tem#ted by the devil* %!att. -o/ever+ *when He had been ba#ti7ed.*&or thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness* D responded . The voice of God the *ather: *$his is 'y beloved Son. !oreover+ Saints !atthe/ and !ar$ tell about this in detail+ /hile Saint !ar$ "entions it briefly+ /ithout depictin& the details. There+ -e fasted for ?: days and ni&hts+ i.esus )hrist+ as a -u"an and the -ead of ne/+ re&enerated by -i" hu"anity had to sho/ by -is o/n e'a"ple+ the essentiality of all of God’s deter"inations.ohn >:A@(. One of the "ountains in this /ilderness still carries the na"e of the 6*orty days6 because the 0ord fasted there for ?: days.ohn and those people present about the 3ivine entitle"ent of the One Bapti#ed as the Son of God in the personal sense+ the Be&otten Son+ in 4ho" the &race of God the *ather abides eternally.esus /ith the baptis"( did /as to lead -i" into the /ilderness+ so that throu&h fastin& and prayer -e could prepare -i"self to the &reat service of savin& "an$ind.esus )hrist to the Baptist %!att. accordin& to everythin&+ not eatin& anythin& and finally *was hungry* %!att.esus )hrist’s ?: day fast and -is follo/in& te"ptin& by the devil in the /ilderness is contained in the Gospels of the first three Evan&elists. A:>9+ !ar$ >:>> and 0u$e A:@@(+ /as the indication to . To&ether /ith this+ the /ords /ere the -eavenly *ather’s ans/er to -is 3ivine Son’s prayer+ about the blessin& of the &reat e'ploit of servin&+ for the sa$e of the "an$ind salvation. A:>G(E this "eant that the 0ord . This /as the .esus )hrist in the for" of a dove. and #raying+ undoubtedly about that -is -eavenly *ather /ould bless the be&innin& of -is service. The narration about the 0ord .e. in Whom I am well #leased* %!att.ericho and the 3ead Sea. s . *$he heavens were o#ened to Him. ?:A(. *6ow> the tem#ter "ame to Him* %!att. ?:@+ 0u$e ?:@(+ that is+ -e reached the acute sta&e of hun&er and drain of ener&y. ccordin& to the te't+ .ohn says+ God’s Spirit not only descended on . The first thin& God’s Spirit %that resided in .anuary+ na"in& it the feast of Theophany+ because this event revealed the /hole Trinity to the people: God the *ather D the voice fro" heaven+ God the Son D the baptis"+ fulfilled by .

This te"ptation is a$in to that of . but by every word that #ro"eeds from the mouth of God* %3euter.esus as a hu"an the devil atte"pted to convince -i" to use -is divine po/er so as to rid -i"self of that so hard to bear for every hu"an bein& feelin& of hun&er.e/s /ere lon&in& for+ the path of a speedy and da##lin& ascension of the !essiah as the /orld’s 7in&+ and the other path D slo/ and thorny+ the path of voluntary "oral rebirth of the people+ co"bined /ith "any sufferin&s not only for the follo/ers of the !essiah+ but for -i"self.ust as the Psal"ist says of the sons of Israel that they te"pted the 0ord in the /ilderness+ so the devil te"pted the Son of God /ith the intention of provo$in& -i"+ an&er+ reproach and insult %Psal" 9H:?:-?>(. ?:?E 0u$e ?:?(.ehovah+ /hich the Israelites per"itted /hen they started to co"plain in 1ephidi" about the lac$ of /ater: *Is the (ord among us or not/* %E'odus >9:9(. )hrist ca"e to the earth in order to establish -is 7in&do" a"on& the people D God’s 7in&do". H:AE !att. @K:GA+ @9:?:+ ?F(+ and then the "atter of savin& hu"anity /ith -is sufferin&s on the cross /ould not be reali#ed. 4hat /as the sense of this devil’s te"ptation of the 0ordI -avin& co"e to the earth to destroy the /or$s of the devil+ the 0ord of course could have obliterated the" /ith one breath of -is lips+ ho/ever+ it is necessary to re"e"ber that the devil’s /or$s had ta$en root in the delusion of the free hu"an soul+ /hich the 0ord had co"e to save /ithout deprivin& it of God’s &reatest &ift D its freedo". In relation to the 3ivinity of .ah to -is aid %!att. "ommand that these stones be"ome bread* %!att. The 0ord perfor"ed "iracles to satisfy not -is needs but those of the others: if durin& all -is sufferin&s+ instead of toleratin& the"+ -e /ould have resorted to -is 3ivine po/ers+ -e /ould not have been an e'a"ple to us. The devil hoped that havin& been te"pted once+ . -avin& turned /ater into /ine for the others and "iraculously au&"ented the nu"ber of loaves+ -u"an-God re. 8nder the ter" 6every /ord6 one "ust understand God’s benevolent /ill that thin$s of the "an.to turn the 0ord a/ay fro" this second path+ havin& atte"pted to entice -i" in a hu"an /ay /ith the ease of the first path+ /hich pro"ised no sufferin&s but only the &lory. There /ere t/o paths that led to that: one+ /hich the . ?:AE 0u$e ?:A(.esus )hrist+ this te"ptation appeared as a battle bet/een the spirit of the evil and the Son of God that has co"e to save the hu"an race+ for the preservin& of the po/er over the people /ith the help of the illusory happiness. 0i$e/ise+ the devil co""ences his te"ptation /ith the /ords: *If 1ou are the Son of God>* .concludin& approach of the te"pter+ because accordin& to 0u$e+ durin& the /hole period of forty days+ the devil never ceased to te"pt the 0ord %0u$e ?:@(. This is e'actly /hat the devil /anted to do . Pointin& to the stones %/hich to this day retain the shape of loaves(+ he says: *If you are the Son of God. Often repeatin& this "iracle+ -e "i&ht have enticed those . In the first place+ ta$in& advanta&e of )hrist’s hun&er+ /hich /as torturin& .ected this /ily advice /ith the /ords of !oses+ spo$en in the re&ard to the "anna /hich God sent to -is people+ /hile they /ere in the /ilderness over a ?: year period: *'an shall not live by bread alone. The hu"an /as created neither as a pa/n+ nor as a soulless "achine or an ani"al &uided by instinct+ but as a free and intelli&ent personality. !ainly+ the te"ptation /as ai"ed a&ainst )hrist’s hu"an nature+ over /hich the devil hoped to e'tend his influence and deviate it onto the false path.esus /ill react li$e/ise in the future: surround -i"self /ith the le&ions of n&els fro" -is ene"y hordes+ co"e do/n fro" the cross and call Eli.

esus *was with the wild beasts* %!ar$ >:>A(. ? ll these things I will give 1ou if 1ou fall down and worshi# me)* %!att. K:>K(. nd he said to Him. @::@H(+ and that -is 7in&do" is not of this /orld %.esus the purely out/ard po/er over hu"ans+ only the out/ard authority over the"+ $eepin& for hi"self the inner+ spiritual authority. The proposal /as ai"ed at astoundin& the people’s i"a&ination /ith this "iracle+ /hich /ere tense of e'pectation for the co"in& of the !essiah D and thus enticin& the" easily. 4ith this+ . pparently+ he hoped that this scene /ould a&itate .erusale" and settin& -i" on the pinnacle of the te"ple+ su&&ested: *If 1ou are the Son of God. -is ai" /as in that the people /ould follo/ -i" freely+ throu&h -is /ord and not li$e slaves+ enticed by the ease of possessin& /ith the earthly blessin&s. Indeed+ /hat could be "ore fri&htenin& than the picture of the /orld+ voluntarily sub"ittin& itself into the devil’s authorityI The devil /anted to say /ith this: 6<ou see "y authority over hu"ansI 3o not interfere /ith "y e'istence and control over the people in the future+ and for this+ I a" ready to share "y authority /ith <ou D <ou only have to . &or it is written9 ?He shall give His ngels "harge over 1ou.esus )hrist "eant that /ithout necessity+ it /as inadvisable to e'pose oneself to dan&er+ tryin& out the /onder-/or$in& po/er of God’s o"nipotence. . . Of course+ this /ould have been of no "oral benefit for the people’s "oral life+ and the 0ord re.esus /ants to sho/ that -e does not accept the devil’s authority over the /orld+ because the universe belon&s to the 0ord God+ and -e is the only One to be to be /orshipped in it. (est 1ou dash your foot against a stone* %!att.esus’s hu"an spirit+ instill the fear and doubt in -is soul about the possibility of achievin& the &reat tas$ of savin& the hu"an race. ?:>:(. The devil unfolded before )hrist’s eyes the scene of all the $in&do"s of the /orld+ /hich+ as the spirit of the evil+ he actually controlled. Evan&elist !ar$ "a$es an i"portant reference to the fact that in the /ilderness+ .esus )hrist *until an o##ortune time* %0u$e ?:>A(+ because he soon be&ins to te"pt the 0ord throu&h people+ creatin& all types of snares. But this /as e'actly /hat the 0ord did not /ant+ teachin& that -e did not co"e to rule out/ardly+ not to be served as an earthly ruler %!att. ?:H-F+ 0u$e ?:K-9(. ccordin& to Evan&elist 0u$e+ the devil leaves . throw 1ourself down.ected that proposal /ith the /ords9 *It is written again.oin "e. and Him only you shall serve* %!att.ohn >H:AK(+ -is 7in&do" is purely spiritual. These /ords /ere said by !oses to the people of Israel %3eut. s the 2e/ da"+ the beasts /ould not venture to attac$ -i"+ ac$no/led&in& in -i" their Soverei&n. Only /orship "e and you /ill be the !essiah that the . *1ou shall worshi# the (ord your God. That is /hy the 0ord+ usin& the /ords of 3euterono"y %K:>A(+ drives the devil a/ay fro" -i"self: * way with you Satan0 &or it is written. ?:KE 0u$e ?:F->:(. -avin& suffered a defeat /ith his first te"ptation+ the devil started /ith the second one: he too$ -i" to . Then the devil starts his third te"ptation by sho/in& )hrist+ fro" a hi&h "ountain *all the !ingdoms of the world and their glory. ?1ou shall not tem#t the (ord your God* %!att. 2aturally+ /ith these /ords the devil pro"ised . -e sho/ed -i"+ /hat forces and "eans are under his disposal in this /orld+ to fi&ht /ith God+ 4ho ca"e do/n to the earth in order to save hu"anity fro" his control. in their hands they shall bear 1ou u#.e/s are e'pectin&6. ?:9E 0u$e ?:>@(.people that at the ti"e /ere de"andin& 2#read and signs2+ ho/ever+ those people /ould not be trust/orthy for the 7in&do" of -eaven+ bein& established by -i".

esus a&ain co"es to . is #referred before me* %.ohn.ohn a&ain repeats the sa"e /ords about -i": *%ehold0 $he (amb of God*. )onse5uently+ the basic thou&ht of . Only one Evan&elist D .esus’s 3ivinity+ this ti"e both of . *He %. But in . but "onfessed.ohn relates to -i" the /onderful prophecy of Isaiah /here he presents !essiah as a sheep led to slau&hter D a "ute la"b before his shearers %Isaiah GA:9(.ohn >:AG-G>(. -e e"er&es for -is service after "e+ but has eternal e'istence and 3ivine /orthiness+ -e is *Whose sandal stra# I am not worthy to loose* %.e/s sent to . 1eturnin& ho"e after conversin& /ith the 0ord+ ndre/ /as the first to announce that he and . and He remained u#on Him* %.ohn >:@A(+ and e"phasi#es+ that his baptis" /ith /ater D li$e his entire service D is only preparatory+ and in order to put aside the further 5uestions+ he concludes his ans/er /ith a triu"phant declaration: *$here stands +ne among you Whom you do not !now.esus )hrist headed ane/ to/ards .The First :isciples o* 'hrist %.ohn at . fter the devil’s te"ptations+ the 0ord . In the "eanti"e+ on the eve of -is return+ .ohn( "onfessed.ohn &ave a ne/ triu"phant testi"ony of -i" before the Pharisees D but this ti"e+ not as about the co"in& but the arrived !essiah.ordan to .ohn >:A@(. 4hen ndre/ .ordan /ith t/o of his follo/ers+ /hile . To the 5uestion /ho he /as+ perhaps a prophet+ he calls hi"self: *I am the voi"e of one "rying in the wilderness* %.ohn’s testi"ony lies in that )hrist is the sacrifice+ brou&ht by God for people’s sins. *I am not the Christ* %. the Christ(6.ohn fro" . 8pon seein& -i"+ .ordan.ohn >:@K-@9(. One of the disciples /as ndre/+ and the other D Evan&elist .ohn. fter hearin& this testi"ony on . The follo/in& day+ after the personal testi"ony of the arrived !essiah+ the Son of God that had ta$en all the sins of the /orld upon -i"self+ .ohn >:@:(.ohn /as once a&ain standin& on the ban$ of the river . In callin& )hrist the 0a"b+ . "oming after me. It is He Who.ohn’s disciples acco"panied -i" to /here -e lived+ and stayed /ith -i" fro" the Fth hour %or+ in our ter"s since ? o’cloc$ in the afternoon( till late evenin&+ listenin& to -is speech+ /hich increasin&ly /as instillin& in the" the unsha$eable belief that -e is the !essiah.esus: *Who ta!es away the sin of the world* %. The . and did not deny.ohn’s /ords about . Seein& the 0ord+ .ohn >:@F(+ this enor"ous live Sacrifice also represents the -i&h Priest+ 4ho sanctifies -i"self: ta$es upon -i"self the sins of the /orld and sacrifices -i"self for the /orld.ohn hi"self+ /ho never "entioned hi"self in the narration about those events+ in /hich he personally participated. This testi"ony /as &iven in Bethabara D /here the "asses of people used to floc$ to .ohn+ narrates about this event. 6The ne't day+6 i.erusale" priests and 0evites to as$ hi"+ /ho he is D "aybe )hristI Because accordin& to their understandin&+ only )hrist!essiah could bapti#e.e. the ne't ti"e+ after the ?:-day fast and the devil’s te"ptations+ .esus /as passin& by the ban$.ohn had found the !essiahE he infor"s his brother Si"on: *We have found the 'essiah 3whi"h is translated.ohn >:@9(. Thus+ ndre/ /as not only the *irst)alled disciple of )hrist+ ho/ they are used to call hi"+ but he /as also the first of the postles to preach about -i" and to convert and brin& the future leader of the postles.ohn announces to everyone: *%ehold0 $he (amb of God Who ta!es away the sin of the world0* %.ohn >:@F(E confir"in& that this is the One 4ho bapti#es /ith the -oly Spirit+ the Son of %od+ as: *I saw the S#irit des"ending from Heaven li!e a dove.

Bein& a forthri&ht and sincere person+ and /ishin& to investi&ate the veracity of his friend’s /ords+ 2athanael /ent to )hrist.esus as in the 3ivine !essen&er-!essiah+ e'pressin& this /ith the /ords filled /ith fervent faith: *1ou are the Son of God.esus dispersed in a "o"ent: he reali#ed that standin& before hi" /as not an ordinary hu"an+ but the One &ifted /ith the 3ivine o"niscience+ and he instantly believed in . The 0ord testified of the si"plicity and artlessness of his soul+ and declared: *%ehold. 2evertheless+ Philip did not see the need to refute his friend’s pre.esus /ished to &o to Galilee and su""oned Philip to follo/ -i".e/ish societyE apart fro" this+ at that ti"e+ Galilee /as held in bad repute a"on& the .e/s+ and 2a#areth+ this s"all to/n that is not "entioned any/here in the holy /ritin&s of the Old Testa"ent+ see"ed in no /ay to be the birthplace of the !essiah+ 4ho had been pro"ised by the Prophets. The 0ord often calls -i"self /ith this na"eE there are H: cases of this in the Gospel.ected: *Can anything good "ome out of 6a7areth/* pparently+ 2athanael shared the co""on /ith "any .acob foresa/+ is fulfilled %Gen.e. I saw you*. and also the #ro#hets. in whom is no de"eit0* 2athanael e'pressed surprise+ /here the 0ord $ne/ hi" fro"+ seein& hi" for the first ti"e. This /ay+ the si"ilar na"e co"es in no /ay to deni&rate )hrist+ but .udice that )hrist+ as a 7in& /ith earthly &reatness+ /ill co"e and appear in &lory a"on& the hi&her echelons of . This is "ost li$ely /hy the 0ord’s /ords aroused such fervent faith in -i" as in the Son of God+ to 4ho" the states of the hu"an soul are opened. This revelation startled 2athanael so "uch that all his doubts about . There is a pre"ise that 2athanael /as in the habit of perfor"in& his established prayer rites under the fi& tree and+ apparently+ at that particular ti"e+ he probably e'perienced the peculiar an&uish durin& the prayer+ /hich clearly lod&ed itself in his "e"ory and about /hich none of the people $ne/ about.brou&ht his brother to )hrist+ the 0ord+ loo$in& at hi" /ith a tryin& &lance+ called hi" )ephas+ "eanin& 6a roc$+6 i. 4ith these /ords the 0ord is sayin& that -is disciples /ill see -is &lory /ith their spiritual eyes+ that the ancient prophesy of heaven connection /ith earth by a "ysterious ladder+ /hich the Old Testa"ent Patriarch . an Israelite indeed. and the ngels of God as"ending and des"ending u#on the Son of 'an6. @H:>>->9(+ throu&h the incarnation of the Son of God+ 4ho had no/ beco"e *Son of 'an*. I say to you.e/s pre. 1ou are the 8ing of Israel*. when you were under the fig tree. So+ to totally disperse 2athanael’s doubts and dra/ hi" to/ards -i"self+ )hrist reveals -is 3ivine o"niscience by hintin& at a private circu"stance in 2athanael’s life+ the "eanin& of /hich could only be $no/n to no one but 2athanael: *%efore <hili# "alled you. wrote @ Jesus of 6a7areth. Philip+ locatin& his friend 2athanael+ tried to invite hi" as /ell+ sayin&: *We have found Him of Whom 'oses in the law. the son of Jose#h*. 4hatever 2athanael /as doin& under the fi& tree is un$no/n to us+ but as /e can see+ there is a hidden "ystery in this event+ about /hich besides 2athanael could $no/ only God.udice and offered hi" to be convinced in the &enuineness of his /ords+ sayin&: *Come and see*. -o/ever+ 2athanael ob. hereafter you shall see heaven o#en. Throu&h this+ )hrist positively and irrefutably confir"s -is hu"an nature+ and also underlines that -e is the -u"an in the hi&hest "eanin& of the /ord: the ideal+ universal and absolute Person+ the Second da"+ the pri"al father of the ne/ "an$ind+ re&enerated throu&h -is sufferin&s on the cross. Petros in Gree$+ or D Peter.ohn’s visit+ . To 2athanael’s e'cla"ation+ the 0ord addresses not only to hi" alone+ but to all -is follo/ers+ predictin&: *'ost assuredly. The follo/in& day+ after ndre/ and .

!ore li$ely+ )hrist "eant+ that not all the /ine that had been saved for the /eddin&+ ran out. *'y hour has not yet "ome* D says the 0ord.esus /as invited there as an ordinary person+ li$e an ac5uaintance. The First 1iracle at the )eddi!( at 'a!a o* Galilee %.e. *Woman. s the Saint )hrysosto" e'plains: 6So as to sho/ that -e is the One 4ho converts the /ater into &rapes and the rain into /ine throu&h the root of the &rapeE and that+ /hat happens in the plant over a len&thy period of ti"e+ -e acco"plishes in an instant at the /eddin&6. By the custo" of hospitality+ . The capacity of those /aterpots /as hu&e+ for a 6"easure6 or 6bat6 /as e5ual to our "easure"ent of one and a half buc$etsE therefore+ there could be fro" >H up to @9 buc$ets in the total capacity+ the "ore stic$in& /as the "iracle+ "ade by the 0ord. *Whatever He says to you. *$hey have no wine.esus )hrist %turnin& /ater into /ine at a /eddin& or 6"arria&e+6 at )ana in Galilee.ohn @:>->@(. 2ot $no/in& /here the /ine ca"e fro"+ the "aster calls the bride&roo" and &ives /itness throu&h his /ords to the authenticity of the acco"plished "iracle+ testifyin& /ith his /ords the veracity of the acco"plished "iracle and even e"phasi#in& that the "iraculous /ine . what does your "on"ern have to do with 'e/* In the /ord 6/o"an6 one should not see even a shade of disrespect D this for" of addressin& /as usual in the East. do it* D She says to the servants.e'presses -is superiority above the &eneral level+ indicatin& in -i" the acco"plished ideal of hu"an nature+ i. . -er soul+ filled /ith &race+ "anifested the first e'a"ple of -er consideration and intercession for people before -er 3ivine Son.ohn+ narrates about the first "iracle+ "ade by . There /ere K stone /aterpots+ /hich served for fre5uent ablutions that /ere established by the .esus further orders the" to dra/ so"e of it out and present it to "aster of the feast+ so that he /ould be convinced in the authenticity of the acco"plished "iracle. 3urin& the hardest "o"ents of -is sufferin&s on the cross+ the 0ord li$e/ise addresses -is !other+ entrustin& the care of -er to -is beloved 3isciple %. .e/ish la/s+ for e'a"ple+ for /ashin& the hands before "eals. Only one Evan&elist D .ir&in too$ an active part in this circu"stance+ /hich threatened to spoil the innocent deli&ht of the fa"ily’s .ohn >F:@K(. of such a "an+ /hich is necessary for -i" to be in accordance /ith the thou&ht of -is !a$er and -is )reator D God.ubilation. In any case+ fro" the further /ords of -is !other one can see that She did not interpret -is response as a refusal.* D She says to -er Son+ undoubtedly countin& on -is "iraculous help to these poor people. The fa"ily that /as celebratin& the /eddin& /as not rich+ that /as /hy+ durin& the celebrations+ they found out the lac$ of /ine. )ana /as a s"all to/n+ located in @-A hours of /al$ to/ards the north of 2a#areth and /as called Galilean+ unli$e the other one D situated close to the city of Tyre.esus directed the servants to fill the /aterpots /ith /ater+ *and they filled them u# to the brim*. The Ever--oly . -is !other /as there already+ havin& presu"ably arrived there earlier. This occurred on the third day of -is departure /ith Philip and 2athaniel to Galilee. 2athaniel /as a native of Galilean )ana. s /e can see+ the 0ord /ithout even a touch+ at a distance perfor"ed this "iracle+ /hat especially clearly testifies of -is 3ivine po/er.

erusale"+ they narrate in detail only about the Pascha+ /hich /as on the eve of )hrist’s sufferin&.e/ish Passover+ so"e @GK+G:: la"bs /ere &iven to the priests for slayin&+ not countin& "inor livestoc$ and birds. ccordin& to the Evan&elist’s testi"ony+ that /as the first "iracle that the 0ord perfor"ed+ havin& stepped on the path of -is public service+ /hich /as also perfor"ed /ith the ai" of revealin& -is &lory as that of the Son of God+ and to ratify -is 3isciples’ faith in -i".ohn @:>A-@G(. The conversation here is about the &eneral custo" and not about the specific usa&e concernin& this case. The first event occurred at the be&innin& of )hrist’s public service+ /hile the last one %/hich in reality could be several( too$ place at the end of -is public service+ before the ?th Pascha. To &et drun$ /as re&arded as e'tre"ely i"proper D and of course+ the 0ord .erusale" at Pascha durin& all three years of -is public service+ as /ell as -is visits of .erusale" for the feast day of Pascha. *ro" the /ords *when the guests have well drun!* one should not dra/ the conclusion that at this /eddin&+ everybody /as drun$. It /as totally natural for the 0ord to appear in . The first three Evan&elists do not tell 5uite clearly about the 0ord’s stay in .ohn &ives us sufficient detail about the 0ord’s every visit of . ccordin& to the testi"ony of . *or the sa$e of ease in sellin& such a lar&e a"ount of ani"als+ the . 3rivin& the sellers out of the Te"ple+ described by . Only Saint .is of "uch hi&her 5uality than that /hich they had. It is /ell $no/n that the .erusale"+ but this ti"e+ it /as not si"ply because of the obli&ations to the la/+ but in order to render the /ill of -is Sender+ to continue the !essianic service that had co""enced in Galilee.ohn at the be&innin& of -is Gospel+ differs fro" the sa"e event+ described by the other three Evan&elists. fter this "iracle and spendin& so"e ti"e in 2a#areth+ the /hole -oly *a"ily headed to )apernau"+ in order to travel fro" there to . s it can be seen further+ the 0ord in the co"pany of -is 3isciples traveled fro" )apernau" to . In this the 0ord’s "ercy beca"e apparent. The purpose of the "iracle /as to brin& happiness to the poor people+ fulfillin& their fa"ily celebration. t the feast day of Passover+ up to t/o "illion .e/s /ere noted for their "oderation in the use of /ine+ /hich in Palestine /as considered an ordinary drin$ and /as diluted /ith /ater.e/s &athered in .e/ish people /as concentrated there+ an on those days+ people fro" all over Palestine+ as /ell as fro" the other countries+ &athered there+ and it /as i"portant for the 0ord to reveal -i"self as the !essiah e'actly there.oseph *lavius+ in the year KA 3+ on the day of the .esus )hrist /ould not participate in a feast /here "any could have been drun$.e/s converted the so called area of 6courtyard of the heathen6 into a "ar$et-place: they &athered the sacrificial ani"als+ placed ca&es /ith birds+ .erusale" on the &reat feast days+ because all the spiritual life of the .erusale" on so"e other feast days. The First &ascha :rivi!( the sellers out o* the Te#ple %.erusale"+ /ho /ere obli&ed to $ill the Paschal la"bs and brin& the sacrifice to God in the Te"ple.

/hat -e /anted to say /ith this to the . t the ti"e+ the official "oney in circulation /as in 1o"an coins+ /hile the la/ de"anded that contributions to the te"ple /ere in . The 0ord+ havin& "ade a /hip out of ropes+ /hich /ere apparently used to restrain the ani"als+ drove the la"bs and o'en out of the te"ple+ overturned the "oney-chan&ers’ tables+ scatterin& their coin+ and /al$in& up to those /ho sold doves+ said: *$a!e these things away0 .esus )hrist to spea$ of -is Body as of a te"ple.e/s /as: <ou are as$in& for a si&n fro" !e D it /ill be &iven to you+ but only not no/: /hen you destroy the te"ple of !y Body+ I shall raise it up in three days and this should serve as a si&n of that authority+ /ith /hich I a" doin& this. They pointed to the fact that that te"ple D the pride of the .erusale"+ and it "i&ht be that the traders’ conscience /o$e. >G . The construction of the te"ple be&an in 9A? fro" the establish"ent of 1o"e+ i. 2aturally+ the 0ord /as spea$in& of -is Body as of a te"ple+ because it contained -is 3ivinityE and findin& -i"self in a te"ple buildin&E it /as especially natural for the 0ord .esus predicted -is O/n death+ destruction of -is body and -is resurrection fro" the dead on the third day.onah’s si&n D the resurrection after the three days of inter"ent. Strivin& for the "a'i"u" profit+ the . sin"e you do these things/* . The hi&h priests did not understand that /ith those /ords+ .ohn’s /itness of -i" as of the !essiah had already reached .e/s could be understood thus: is it not enou&h for you to desecrate the hand-built house of !y *ather+ by "a$in& it a house of "erchandiseI <our hatred is leadin& you to crucify and $ill !y bodyE carry this out and then you /ill see such a si&n that /ill paraly#e all !y ene"ies /ith fear D I shall raise up !y dead and buried body in three days.estroy this tem#le.e.e/s arrivin& for Passover had to chan&e their "oney+ and this e'chan&e brou&ht &reat profit to the "oneychan&ers. !ean/hile+ the Gree$ verb 6a&aro6 translated into Slavonic 6I shall raise6 actually "eans 6I shall a/a$en6 and therefore in no /ay can be applied to the destruction of a buildin&+ it "atches sooner the notion of a body+ i""ersed in sleep. and in three days I will raise it u#*. 2obody had the audacity to oppose the 3ivine authority of the act+ because apparently .esus ans/ered to that: *.erected shop-fronts for the sale of everythin&+ necessary for sacrificial offerin&s and set up "oney-e'chan&e centers. *urther"ore+ as the Evan&elist e'plains further+ /hat )hrist "eant /as the *tem#le of His %ody*+ i. They too$ -is /ords re&ardin& the te"ple literally+ relatin& the" to the .e/ish she$els.e/s &ot ar"ed /ith the outer sense of the /ords of )hrist and atte"pted to "a$e the" absurd and i"possible to fulfill. In the li&ht of this+ the 0ord’s /ords addressed to the .e.e/s D too$ the" ?K years to build+ so ho/ could it be raised up in three daysI They tal$ here about the restoration of the te"ple by -erod. -o/ever+ sei#in& upon the literal "eanin& of )hrist’s /ords+ the . Each ti"e+ /hen the Pharisees de"anded so"e type of a si&n fro" the 0ord+ -e told the" that they /ill see no other si&ns but that /hich -e called the Prophet . The .erusale" te"ple+ and atte"pted to provo$e the people a&ainst -i". Only /hen -e reached the doves %thereby affectin& the self-interests of the hi&h priests(+ -e received a 5uery: *What sign do you show to us.o not ma!e 'y &ather)s house a house of mer"handise0* Thus+ for the first ti"e+ callin& God -is *ather+ . The hi&h priests the"selves too$ part in breedin& doves for their sale at hi&h prices.esus declared -i"self publicly as the Son of God.e/s /ere sellin& in the te"ple’s courtyard the other ite"s+ /hich had nothin& to do /ith sacrificial offerin&s+ for e'a"ple+ o'en.

e. The 0ord 6$ne/ all "en6 as the l"i&hty God+ 6$ne/ /hat /as in "en6 D /hat /as hidden in the depths of everyone’s soul+ and therefore+ did not trust the /ords of those+ /ho+ seein& -is "iracle+ professed one’s faith in -i".years before the birth of )hrist+ and the ?Kth year falls on the 9H:th year fro" the establish"ent of 1o"e+ i.e/s fro" the forei&n yo$e and establish the /orld $in&do"+ in /hich they+ the . This conversation is divided into A parts: The spiritual rebirth as the basic de"and for entry into God’s 7in&do"E 1ede"ption of hu"anity throu&h the sufferin&s of the Son of God+ /ithout /hich+ people /ould not be able to inherit God’s 7in&do"E The nature of the . Therefore+ he ca"e to . -o/ever+ *Jesus did not "ommit Himself to them*+ i.e/s+ /ill occupy the leadin& position. that they might "om#rehend the S"ri#tures*.erusale"+ so stron&ly influenced the .e. 0ater+ he calls -i" 6a Teacher co"e fro" God+6 acceptin& that -e /or$s /onders /ith the 3ivine po/er+ typical of -i".ohn A:>-@>(.esus+ 4hose re"ar$able personality caused spreadin& of so "any ru"ors+ to find out+ if -e /as that e'pected !essiah. 4ith the first /ords of -is conversation+ the 0ord destroys the Pharisees’ false pretensions of bein& the chosen ones: *'ost assuredly. pparently+ he /anted very "uch to hear -is teachin&s+ but fearin& to incur the /rath of his associates that /ere hostile to/ards the 0ord+ he arrived at ni&ht. ccordin& to their belief+ the !essiah -i"self "ust be li$e the"+ and /ill free the .ust bein& a . *urther on+ the Evan&elist states that durin& the feast of Pascha+ the 0ord /or$ed /onders+ and "any /ho sa/ the"+ believed in -i". The type of a Pharisee at that ti"e /as the e"bodi"ent of the narro/est and fanatical+ national particularity: they re&arded the"selves as co"pletely different fro" the rest of the people. This already sho/s 2icode"us’s disposition to/ards )hrist. the teacher and thus ac$no/led&in& -is ri&ht to teach+ /hich+ accordin& to the vie/ of the scribes and Pharisees+ .esus /as not allo/ed to have D not havin& finished the 1abbinic school.esus 'hrist-s dialo(ue 7ith 8icode#us %.e/+ particularly bein& a Pharisee+ he is a certain and /orthiest "e"ber of the &lorious !essiah’s 7in&do".e/s D 2icode"us+ a "e"ber of the Sanhedrin+ ca"e to see .e/s+ /ho believed in the 0ord+ and perhaps even fro" the na"e of so"e "e"bers of the Sanhedrin D althou&h the "a.e. 2icode"us spea$s not only fro" his o/n na"e but fro" all the . Even the 0ord’s 3isciples did not understand the sense of -is /ords until the 0ord’s resurrection fro" the dead and the "o"ent /hen *He o#ened their understanding. unless one .ud&"ent over the people that have not believed in the Son of God. on the first Evan&elical Passover. The /hole follo/in& discourse is re"ar$able+ for it is directed to/ards destroyin& the false Pharisee outloo$ on the 7in&do" of -eaven+ and the conditions under /hich a hu"an can enter this 7in&do". pparently 2icode"us+ sharin& these co""on for the Pharisees’ opinion+ possibly felt that they /ere false deep do/n in his heart. 3rivin& the seller out of the te"ple and the "iracles perfor"ed by the 0ord in .esus. The $ord . Pharisee thou&ht that .e/s that one of the 6princes6 D or leaders of the . 2icode"us calls the 0ord 61abbi+6 i. I say to you.ority of the" /as hostile to/ards the 0ord. did not count on the" or their faith+ for the faith+ based on /onders only+ not /ar"ed up by the love for )hrist+ cannot be counted as stable. That /as /hy he decided to co"e personally to the 0ord to substantiate this.

In other /ords+ in the spiritual rebirth+ a person has access to observe the chan&e only that ta$es place /ithin hi"+ but the po/er of rebirth and the "ethod throu&h /hich it acts+ as /ell as the paths by /hich it arrives D all this is "ysterious and subtle. -e /ho accepted the rebirth fro" the Spirit+ hi"self enters the spiritual life that is hi&her than anythin& carnal or sensual.ect D and in his state of self-hu"iliation+ little by little be&ins to prepare in his heart the &rounds on /hich the 0ord /ill later so/ -is seeds of the rede"ptive teachin&: * re you the tea"her of Israel. that in order to enter the !essiah’s 7in&do"+ it is necessary to have the second carnal birth+ so he e'pressed his baffle"ent+ e"phasi#in& the absurdity of such a de"and: *How "an a man be born when he is old/ Can he enter a se"ond time into his mother)s womb and be born/* . he "annot see the 8ingdom of God*.is born again. he "annot enter the 8ingdom of God*. but "annot tell where it "omes from and where it goes. and you hear the sound of it. Even 7in& 3avid prayed: 6)reate in "e a clean heart+ O GodE and rene/ a ri&ht spirit /ithin "e6 %Psal" G>:>:->>(. This birth is *of water and the S#irit*. -o/ever+ 2icode"us continues to re"ain in the state of inco"prehension+ and his ne't 5uestion *How "an these things be/* are e'pressed the "istrust to the /ords of )hrist and the Pharisee’s pride+ /ith the pretension to understand all and to able to e'plain everythin&.* D /hen a person is born fro" the earthly parents+ he inherits fro" the" the pri"al sin of da"+ nestin& in the flesh+ he thin$s accordin& to the flesh and pleases his physical passions and lusts. It is this Pharisee’s sophistry that the 0ord destroys /ith -is response+ and /ith such po/er+ that 2icode"us is unable to ob. In the sa"e "anner /e feel ho/ the /ind affects us: /e hear its 6voice6+ but /e do not see and $no/+ /here it co"es fro" and /here it &oes+ so free in its strife and in no /ay dependin& on our /ill. These deficiencies of the physical birth can be corrected throu&h the spiritual birth: *$hat whi"h is born of the S#irit is s#irit*.e. -o/ /as it that the Pharisees did not $no/ the doctrine on the necessity of the spiritual rebirth+ /hen in the Old Testa"ent one often encountered the thou&hts on the necessity of the spiritual re&eneration+ about God’s &ift of a heart of flesh and not one of stone %E#e$iel AK:@K(.e/ by birth. The effect of the -oly Spirit that &ives us rebirth is a$in to this: it is evident and sensory+ yet eni&"atic and une'plainable. Or+ in other /ords+ it is insufficient to be a . . There "ust be the co"plete "oral rebirth+ /hich is &iven to a person fro" above+ fro" God+ and one should as if be born a&ain+ beco"e a ne/ bein& %/hich is the essence of )hristianity(.esus then e'plains that the conversation is not of the physical birth+ but of the special spiritual birth+ /hich is distin&uished fro" that bodily both in purpose and fruits. and do not !now these things/* By these /ords the 0ord not only accuses 2icode"us but also the hi&h-"inded Pharisee teachers+ /ho+ ta$in& the $ey of understandin& the "ysteries of God’s 7in&do"+ neither entered it the"selves nor allo/ed the others to do so. So is everyone born of the S#irit*. 4ater is the "eans or /eapon+ and the -oly Spirit D the Po/er+ /hich brin&s about the ne/ birth and the )ause of the ne/ e'istence: *Anless one is born of water and the S#irit. Seein& that 2icode"us still does not understand+ the 0ord be&ins to e'plain /hat this birth is "ade up of+ co"parin& the "eans of this birth /ith the /ind: *$he wind blows where it wishes. *or the Pharisees i"a&ined the !essiah’s 7in&do" as the physical and earthly $in&do"+ there is nothin& surprisin& in the fact that 2icode"us also too$ the 0ord’s /ords in a physical sense+ i. *$hat whi"h is born of the flesh is flesh.

ustice. 0i$e/ise+ the /hole hu"an race+ livin& in flesh and struc$ by the ulcer of sin+ receives its cure by loo$in& /ith faith at )hrist+ 4ho had co"e do/n in the for" of sinful flesh %1o". ?:>K(+ is received by people throu&h the redee"in& death of . By these /ords the 0ord reveals the "ystery of -is incarnation+ convincin& hi" in that -e is &reater than an ordinary "essen&er of God+ a$in to the ancient Prophets+ for /hich 2icode"us ta$es -i"+ that -is appearance on earth in the for" of the Son of !an is the ascendin& fro" the hi&hest state to the lo/est+ belittled one+ because -is &enuine+ eternal e'istence is not on earth+ but in heaven. The $ast Testi#o!y o* .oh! the Baptist .ud&e. the Son of 'an Who is in Heaven*. In the further /ords: *If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe. The 0ord e'plains that -e /as currently sent to save the /orld+ and not to . The everlastin& life is established in a person by the &race of the -oly Spirit+ /hile the access to the altar of &race %-eb. and you do not re"eive our witness. H:A(. that is. The Pharisees thou&ht that )hrist’s pursuit /ould consist of . Those /ho render truth+ the honest and "oral souls+ /al$ to/ards the li&ht the"selves+ not fearin& the e'posure of their deeds.esus )hrist.ud&in& the people of other faiths. In the basis of the Son of God’s e'ploit of crucifi'ion lies God’s love for people: *&or God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. that whoever believes in Him should not #erish but have everlasting life*. fter/ards the 0ord reveals the "ystery of -is redee"in& e'ploit to 2icode"us: * nd as 'oses lifted u# the ser#ent in the wilderness. how will you believe if I tell you Heavenly things/* under 2earthly2 the 0ord is thin$in& of the teachin& on the necessity of rebirth+ as the need of rebirth and its conse5uences happen /ithin a person and are $no/n throu&h his inner e'perience. even so must the Son of 'an be lifted u#*.* D that is+ you+ the Pharisees D are the false teachers of Israel. Perhaps+ about /hat happens /ithin the person and /ith the person "ay be $no/n by the person hi"self.Passin& to the revelations of the hi&her "ysteries of -i"self and of -is 7in&do"+ the 0ord re"ar$s to 2icode"us in the for" of a prolo&ue that in opposition to the teachin&s of the Pharisees+ -e -i"self and -is disciples are proclai"in& the ne/ teachin&+ /hich is based directly on the $no/led&e and the conte"plation of truth: *We s#ea! what We !now and testify what We have seen. 4hy is it that the Son of !an had to be raised on the cross for the hu"an salvationI This is e'actly /hat is that heavenly+ /hich is i"possible to co"prehend /ith the earthly "ind. !oses raised the brass sna$e in front of the Israelites+ so that they+ struc$ by sna$es+ /ould receive a cure by loo$in& at it. But /hat a hu"an can ascend to heaven and penetrate into the "ysterious do"ain of the 3ivine lifeI 2obody+ e'cept the Son of God+ 4ho in descendin& to earth did not abandon heaven: *6o one has as"ended to Heaven but He Who "ame down from Heaven. 4hile spea$in& about the 2'eavenly2 the 0ord "eans the subli"e "ysteries of God+ /hich are hi&her than any hu"an observation or $no/led&e: bout the eternal unity of Triad-God+ about acceptin& by the Son of God of the redee"in& e'ploit for people’s salvation+ about con. The unbelievers /ill conde"n the"selves+ because to&ether /ith their disbelief /ill be revealed their love for dar$ness and hatred for li&ht+ forthco"in& fro" their love for dar$ deeds. s to the sy"bol of -is e'ploit on the cross+ the 0ord points to the brass sna$e that !oses raised in the /ilderness.oinin& in this e'ploit of the 3ivine love /ith the 3ivine .

ohn infor"s us that *Jesus Himself did not ba#ti7e.ohn A:@@-AK(. He Who was with you beyond the Jordan. That /as /hy Saint .esus )hrist’s public service: havin& narrated about -is Baptis"+ fastin& and the devil’s te"ptations in the /ilderness+ they i""ediately pass over to description of -is activity in Galilee. 0ord . It can be concluded fro" these /ords+ that the 0ord /as returnin& fro" Palestine so"e ? "oths before the harvest ti"e+ and since harvestin& in Palestine ta$es place in pril+ then the 0ord left Palestine not earlier than in 2ove"ber.erusale" durin& the Passover+ *Jesus and His .abbi.ohn.esus )hrist spent "uch ti"e in the southern"ost part of Palestine+ in the re&ion called . @H:>F(. It /as only after the 0ord’s resurrection fro" the dead that they received -is directive to bapti#e in the 2a"e of the *ather+ the Son and the -oly Spirit %!att.is"i#les "ame into the land of Judea. Saint . and all are "oming to Him*.ohn and )hrist’s 3isciples. -ere /e have an i"portant indication fro" Evan&elist .ohn’s disciples ca"e to hi" and said: *. The len&th of the period spent by the 0ord in . 4ishin& to vent their envy and ve'ation to/ards )hrist to their teacher+ .esus )hrist.acent to . t the sa"e ti"e+ Saint .%.ohn ?:AG(. The use of the /ord 6all6 is applied here /ith e'a&&eration+ /hich /as su&&ested by envy and the desire to arouse envy in .ohn the Baptist continued to bapti#e *in enon near Salim* in the area /hich is difficult to deter"ine+ ho/ever+ it appears it /as not ad. 8ndoubtedly+ these "alicious feelin&s /ithin the" /ere purposely fo"ented by the Pharisees+ contrivin& ar&u"ents about cleansin&+ /hich lead to the debates about the co"parative /orthiness of the baptis" perfor"ed by . but His .ohn the Baptist’s disciples soon be&an to notice that there /ere fe/er people co"in& to listen to their teacher than before+ and in their blind+ illo&ical affection to hi"+ be&an to be ve'ed and envy the One+ 4ho had &reat success a"on& the people+ i.ordan+ other/ise the Evan&elist /ould have no need to add an e'planatory note: *there was mu"h water there*. Saint .e.o you not say *$here are still B months and then "omes the harvest/* %.is"i#les* %?:@(. )onse5uently+ -e stayed there not less than H "onths D fro" pril till 2ove"ber. He is ba#ti7ing. The first three Evan&elists do not "ention of this initial period of the 0ord .ohn ?:AF(. and there He remained with them and ba#ti7ed*. Bein& called by the 0ord "uch later+ Saint !atthe/ /as not a /itness to that /hat happened in .ohn felt his duty to add that /hat /as o"itted and to /hat he /as an eye/itness.udeaE and it appears that Saint 0u$e did not have sufficient infor"ation on this period of )hrist’s service.ohn that the 0ord .udea can be deter"ined fro" the fact that+ /hen returnin& to Galilee and stoppin& at Sa"aria+ -e "entioned to -is 3isciples: *. to Whom you have testified @ behold.udea.ohn the Baptist: it /as /ith /ater and not /ith the Spirit+ because at that ti"e they did not have the -oly Spirit as *Jesus was not yet glorified* %. fter the conversation /ith 2icode"us+ /hich too$ place in . . This baptis" /as identical to that perfor"ed by .udeaE and apparently+ Saint Peter+ fro" /hose /ords Evan&elist !ar$ /rote his Gospel+ /as not present+ either+ /ith the 0ord in . The other three Evan&elists do not "ention this fact. There is no indication of that the 0ord spent all the H "onths in so"e specific areaE it has to be supposed that -e passed across all of this -oly 0and /ith -is ser"on.

3efendin& )hrist’s ri&ht to bapti#e+ .ohn praises those /ho accept )hrist’s testi"ony+ because -e proclai"s to the people the /ords of God -i"self: he /ho accepts -is /ords as the truth+ accepts the /ords of God the *ather as true. The first three Evan&elists narrate about this.e. but I must de"rease*.ohn: he had the leadin& role in the preparation of the people to accept )hrist+ but /hen )hrist be&an -is public service+ .bsolutely devoid of any envy to/ards )hrist+ the Baptist be&ins his ans/er by directly revealin& )hrist’s &reatness in co"parison to hi"self+ and &ives the ne/ %and final( sole"n testi"ony of )hrist’s 3ivine /orthiness.ohn the Baptist’s last testi"ony of )hrist’s 3ivinity+ he /as sei#ed and i"prisoned for e'posin& the ille&al co-habitation of $in& -erod ntipas and -erodias+ the /ife of his brother Philip.ust as the "ornin& star di"s in the bri&htness of the risin& sun. In the Old Testa"ent+ the union of God /ith the faithful D .esus )hrist+ have eternal life+ /hile the one /ho does not believe in -i"+ /ill not see eternal life but *the wrath of God abides on him*.ohn+ havin& the earthly ori&in+ proclai"ed God’s truth only to the e'tent as one+ /ho ori&inates fro" the earth+ canE but co"in& fro" -eaven+ )hrist testifies about the -eavenly and 3ivine+ as about that+ /hat -e directly sa/ and heard+ and that no one hu"an is capable to accept this testi"ony /ithout the &race of God %!att. The 0#priso!#e!t o* "ai!t . God the *ather &ave in abundance the &ifts of the -oly Spirit+ beyond all "easure+ to -is Son . Sadly noticin& the un$ind feelin&s in his disciples+ . Thus+ in concludin& his service+ .e/s+ the friend of the bride&roo" played an i"portant role durin& the ti"e+ prior to the /eddin&.ohn D -is friend+ a close+ trust/orthy individual+ /ho can only re.oh! %!att. That is /hy he states: *He %)hrist( must in"rease. >?:A-GE !ar$ K:>9-@:E 0u$e A:>F-@:(. These /ords need to be treated as the /ill of the &reatest of all the Prophets. )onse5uently+ those /ho believe in the Son of God+ the 0ord .ohn states that of all of God’s "essen&ers+ no one can assu"e that /hich had not been &iven to hi" fro" -eaven. That is /hy if )hrist bapti#es+ then -e has the authority fro" God to do that.oy about )hrist’s successes. Professin& )hrist’s superiority over hi"+ . -e calls -i" the bride&roo" and hi"self as a friend of the bride&roo"+ /ho does not envy the bride&roo"’s advanta&e but stands before -i" as a servant and *re2oi"es greatly* hearin& -is voice.ohn K:??(.oice about the Bride&roo"’s success. To the .ohn states that )hrist is the One *Who "omes from above* and therefore *is above all*+ i. .ohn e'presses his . .ohn’s role /as over. The Baptist re"inds the" that as he said fro" the be&innin&+ he is not )hrist+ but only -is *orerunner. Soon after Saint .ust as the union of )hrist /ith the )hurch in the 2e/ Testa"ent D is often presented in the -oly Scripture in the for" of a "arria&e %Isaiah G?:G-K+ K@:GE Ephes.+ because -e loves -is Son+ and handed everythin& in -is hands.esus )hrist. Instead of ve'ation and envy+ . Once the /eddin& too$ place and the bride&roo" beca"e a husband+ the role of the friend ended. >K:>9E . that -e is &reater than all people+ even God’s "essen&ers+ and that he+ . G:@A-@9(. -erod ntipas+ the son of -erod the Great+ /ho ordered the slayin& of the infants in Bethlehe"+ ruled Galilee and Perea. So it /as /ith . )hrist is the Bride&roo" of the )hurch+ and .ohn for the last ti"e triu"phantly testifies about )hrist’s 3ivinity+ e'hortin& everyone to follo/ )hrist.

ohn the Baptist as of the Prophet that attracted "any people to hi"self.e/s’ attitude to/ards the" /as /orse than to heathens+ they avoided the contact /ith the" in every /ay possible+ loathin& and despisin& the".udea and for"erly belon&in& to the three tribes of Israel: 3an+ Ephrai" and !anasseh.ohn ?:>-?@( ll the four Gospels spea$ about the departure of the 0ord to Galilee.ohn adds+ that the reason for that /as the ru"or that . ?:>@E !ar$ >:>?E . *eelin& insulted about his dau&hter+ retus declared /ar a&ainst -erod.e/s &ave birth to the Sa"aritans. fter . The "i'ture of these settlers /ith the re"ainin& .esus /as receivin& and bapti#in& "ore disciples than .ohn.esus+ 4ho started to see" to the" "ore dan&erous than the Baptist.e/s re.ohn. -o/ever+ instead of the supportin& /ord+ he heard the very unpleasant for hi" accusation: *It is not lawful for you to have your brother)s wife* %!ar$ K:>H(. That /as ho/ . Geri#i". .oin the" in their endeavors. 4hen the .ohn’s advice( to be able to atone his "a. The ssyrian $in& Sal"anassar con5uered the Israelites and too$ the" into captivity+ replacin& the population /ith heathens fro" Babylon and other places. -o/ever+ the . Saints !atthe/ and !ar$ note that this happened after . -erod hi"self had to leave to the fort !achaerus %to the east of the 3ead Sea(+ to ta$e co""and of the troops.erusale"+ the Sa"aritans also /anted to . *earin& the people+ -erod did not dare to $ill . The 0ord’s /ay /as throu&h Sa"aria D the district located to the north of . ccordin& to Evan&elist !ar$’s testi"ony+ -erod even respected . -e even en. s -is ti"e for the sufferin& had not arrived yet+ .ohn.ected the /ritin&s of the Prophets and the entire tradition.ohn but .ohn as a ri&hteous and holy "an+ and acted "any ti"es in accordance /ith his advice.or sin D a&ainst /hich /as . Only Evan&elist . There+ -erod heard about .ohn+ althou&h the Evan&elist e'plains that it /as not )hrist+ 4ho /as bapti#in& the"+ but -is disciples.ehovah D as /ell as they did not for&et their o/n &ods.ust i"prisoned hi" in the !achaerus fortress.udea and &oes to Galilee+ in order to avert the persecution of -is envious ene"ies.ohn’s service+ as that of the last of the Old Testa"ent Prophets+ ended. The Talk 7ith a "a#arita! 7o#a! %!att.ohn had been i"prisoned+ /hile Saint . These /ords annoyed in particular -erodias+ and she used all her influence in order to incite -erod to $ill .ected the"+ so they erected their o/n te"ple on the !t.oyed listenin& to the advice &iven by the Baptist+ but /ould not forsa$e his sin+ and in the end he too$ a/ay his liberty to the benefit of evil -erodias.Bein& "arried to the dau&hter of the rab 7in& retus+ he started a love affair /ith -erodias+ unhappy in her "arria&e /ith Philip. She openly "oved into the palace+ havin& banished -erod’s le&al /ife. They accepted the *ive Boo$s of !oses+ /orshipped . There /as the to/n in this district called Sa"aria+ Israel’s for"er capital.e/s returned fro" their Babylonian captivity and started to erect the te"ple of .ohn narrates about )hrist’s conversation /ith the Sa"aritan /o"an that happened on the /ay to Galilee. -opin& to find support in his ca"pai&n+ he sent for .esus leaves . pparently+ li$e all people of /ea$ character+ -erod entered into the arran&e"ents /ith his conscience+ hopin& by perfor"in& a fe/ &ood deeds %accordin& to . 4hile acceptin& the Boo$s of !oses+ the Sa"aritans+ ho/ever+ re. Because of this+ the .ohn’s i"prison"ent+ the Pharisees’ hatred focused on .

e/s /ho assured that it /as . 1eali#in& that the one standin& before her /as a Prophet 4ho $no/s everythin& concealed+ the /o"an turns to -i" for the resolution of the proble"+ /hich &reatly tor"ented the Sa"aritans in their relationship /ith the . as well as his sons and his livesto"!/* %. If she only $ne/ 4ho /as as$in& her for a drin$+ then she herself /ould be as$in& -i" to 5uench her spiritual thirst and reveal to her the "ystery+ /hich everybody is see$in& to $no/: and -e /ould &ive her *living water*+ /hich is "eant to be understood as the &race of the -oly Spirit %see . She then recollects patriarch . 4hile the disciples of . The one /ho is filled /ith the &race of the -oly Spirit+ /ill never feel the spiritual thirst+ because all his spiritual needs have been satisfiedE "ean/hile+ the one /ho drin$s the physical /ater+ as /ell as the one /ho satisfies so"e other type of the earthly needs+ 5uenches his thirst for so"e ti"e+ and soon after *will thirst again*.esus /ent to the to/n to buy so"e food+ )hrist turned to the Sa"aritan /o"an /ith a re5uest: *Give 'e a drin!*.e. who gave us the well.ohn ?:>A->?(.Passin& throu&h Sa"aria+ the 0ord /ith -is disciples stopped to rest near a /ell+ /hich accordin& to the tradition+ /as du& by .ohn as Sychera. 4ere correct the Sa"aritans /ho+ follo/in& their forefathers+ built the te"ple at the Geri#i" !ount+ and /orshiped God there+ or+ /ere correct the . *inally+ in order to "a$e her reali#e that she is spea$in& /ith no ordinary "an+ the 0ord initially directs her to call her husband+ and after/ards+ -e directly accuses her that /hile she had G husbands+ at that "o"ent+ too+ she /as livin& in the adulterous union.ohn ?:>@(. * re you greater than our father Ja"ob.e/s+ e'plains to the /o"an that she /ould not be as$in& such thin&s if she $ne/ 4ho she /as tal$in& to and /hat &reat fortune 3*Gift of God*4 God sent her throu&h this "eetin&.esus+ /here she could &et the livin& /ater if -e did not have anythin& to scoop it up /ith+ /hile the /ell /as deep.ohn 9:AH(. "a$in& that person a co""unicant of the eternal life. and dran! from it himself.acob close to the to/n na"ed Syche"a+ called by Saint . . But . Possibly+ the Evan&elist /as "oc$in& at this na"e+ restructurin& it fro" the /ord 6shi$ar6 D 6ply /ith /ine+6 into 6she$er6 D 6lie. but whoever drin!s of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. That /as /hy she as$ed . In the spiritual life+ the blessed /ater has a different effect than the earthly /ater in the physical life. !oreover+ the blessed /ater /ill d/ell in the "an+ establishin& a sprin& /ithin hi"+ &ushin& %s!i##ing D the literal translation fro" Gree$( into eternal life+ i.e/s felt to/ards the Sa"aritans.esus+ havin& co"e to the /orld to save everyone+ but not only the . The Sa"aritan /o"an "isunderstood the 0ord: she thou&ht the livin& /ater "eant the /ater found at the botto" of the /ell.e/s: /ho is correct in the ar&u"ent about the place for /orshippin& God.e/+ the Sa"aritan /o"an e'pressed her surprise /ith that -e+ bein& a .ohn points at the fact that it /as *about si5th hour* %the noon accordin& to our ti"e(+ the ti"e of the "a'i"u" heat+ /hich "ost probably /as the reason for havin& rest. %ut the water that I shall give him will be"ome in him a fountain of water s#ringing u# into everlasting life* %. * woman of Samaria "ame to draw water*. Still not understandin& the 0ord and thin$in& that -e is spea$in& about the ordinary /ater D only so"e special type /hich 5uenches the thirst forever D she as$s the 0ord for so"e of this /ater+ so as to &et rid of the need to co"e to the /ell for the /ater. Seein& by the clothin& or "anner of speech that the addressin& her "an /as a .acob /ith pride and love+ as the one /ho left the use of the /ell to his offsprin&.6 St. Then the 0ord elevates her "ind to the hi&hest understandin& of -is /ords: *Whoever drin!s of this water will thirst again.e/+ is as$in& her+ a Sa"aritan+ for /ater+ "eanin& the hatred and conte"pt that the .

ectin& the Prophetic /ritin&s+ /hich contained the detailed description of the Personality and the 7in&do" of the !essiah.oy fro" seein& the !essiah+ the /o"an drops her /aterpot near the /ell and hurries into the to/n to announce to everybody about the arrival of the !essiah+ -e to 4ho" all hearts are open+ revealed to her all her past actions.allo/ed to /orship God only in .ohn -yrcanus in the year of >A: B)+ they continued to brin& their sacrificial offerin&s to the location of the ruined te"ple. Elated /ith . The actual cere"ony of /orshipin& God should not be seen as pre. To /orship God in the spirit and truth "eans to endeavor to please God+ not only in the out/ard for" but throu&h the sincere and openhearted strife /ith all the stren&th of the spiritual bein&+ for God as the Spirit+ not throu&h the sacrificial offerin&s+ /hich both the .ust then+ -is disciples arrived and /ere surprised to find their Teacher tal$in& to a /o"an+ for /as . *urther+ the 0ord+ elaboratin& -is initial state"ent+ points to the fact that the *hour is "oming.erusale" /as destroyed by the 1o"ans and the te"ple /as burnt in the year of 9: 3. The Sa"aritans /ere also a/aitin& the !essiah+ callin& -i" D Gasha&eb D basin& their e'pectations on the /ords of Genesis ?F:>:+ and especially on !oses’s /ords in 3euterono"y >H:>H(. That /as /hy . . He will tell us all things*. 1espondin& to the /o"an’s 5uestion+ the 0ord e'plains that it is /ron& to thin$ that it is allo/ed to /orship God only in one specific place D and that the ar&u"entative 5uestion bet/een the Sa"aritans and the .udicial: it is both essential and unavoidable+ for a hu"an consists not only of the spirit+ but of the body.esus+ not callin& -i"self the !essiah before the . . Geri#i" for their /orship. 2evertheless+ the 0ord &ives -is preference to the . nd althou&h their te"ple that /as erected there /as destroyed by .e/s /ill soon lose its "eanin& by itself+ because the both types of the divine service D the . The Sa"aritans’ understandin& of the !essiah /as not as distorted as of the .e/ish people.ohn >>:A@+ >@:AE and "any other e'a"ples in the Gospel(. Only this type of /orship is &enuine+ because it corresponds to the nature of God -i"self+ 4ho is the Spirit. When He "omes.e/s for a lon& ti"e+ directly says to this si"ple Sa"aritan /o"an that -e is the !essiah-)hrist pro"ised by !oses: *I %a" the !essiah( Who s#ea! to you am 'e*.ectin& si"ilar /orshippin& of -i"self fro" the people+ durin& -is life on the earth %see e'a"ples: !att.e/s and Sa"aritans /ere "a$in&+ as thou&h this /as the only /ay to honor God+ -. 4orshippin& God in *S#irit and truth* by no "eans e'cludes the out/ard+ ritual side of honorin& God+ li$e so"e false teachers and sectarians atte"pt to affir"+ but the "ain po/er is not contained in this out/ard side of God’s /orshippin&. @:>>+ >?:AA+ >G:@GE .erusale"I Guided by !oses’s directive to deliver a blessin& on this "ountain+ the Sa"aritans chose !t.but to $no/ and love God+ not falsely and hypocritically+ /ishin& to please -i" by fulfillin& -is co""and"ents.esus )hrist -i"self physically /orshipped God the *ather+ $neelin& and prostratin& -i"self on the &round+ and not re. and now is* %since the !essiah had already appeared(+ the ti"e of the ne/+ hi&hest /orship of God+ /hich /ill not be constrained by any location+ but /ill be every/here+ for it /ill be in the spirit and truth. The Sa"aritan /o"an+ so"eho/+ be&ins to understand the "eanin& of )hrist’s /ords and in her deliberation says: *I !now that 'essiah is "oming 3Who is "alled Christ4.e/s+ because they a/aited -i" as a Prophet and not as a political fi&ure. But *salvation is of %/ill co"e fro"( the Jews* for the 1edee"er co"es fro" the . This prophecy /as acco"plished /hen the Sa"aritans+ deci"ated by the soldiers+ beca"e disillusioned /ith the i"portance of their "ountain+ /hile .e/ish /orship+ "eanin&+ of course+ the fact that the Sa"aritans have accepted only the Pentateuch of !oses+ re.e/ish as /ell as the Sa"aritan D /ill cease in the nearest future.

ohn the Baptist used these sa"e /ords to open his ser"ons. rrivin& to Galilee+ -e left -is native to/n of 2a#areth+ testifyin& that a Prophet has no honor in -is o/n to/n+ and settled in )apernau". In listenin& to the 0ord’s teachin&s they /ere convinced+ accordin& to their o/n ad"ittance+ that 6this is indeed the )hrist+ the Savior of the /orld. for the 8ingdom of God is at hand0* The re"ar$able thin& is that .ohn ?:?A-?G(.e/ish rabbis+ /ho edified: *. lthou&h . $he #eo#le that wal!ed in dar!ness have seen a great light* %Isaiah F:>-@(. ll four Evan&elists testify about the 0ord’s arrival to Galilee and the be&innin& of -is ser"ons. 3urin& those e'planations+ the Sa"aritans approached the 0ord. That is /hy )hrist states that -e is sendin& -is postles to collect the harvest in the spiritual field+ /hich initially /as not prepared and so/n by the"+ but by the others D the Old Testa"ent Prophets and by -i"self. The 2e/ 7in&do"+ ne/ order+ /hich the 0ord .e.erusale" on the feast day and sa/ -is deeds. 4hile "any believed in -i" 6because of the /ord of the /o"an6+ "any "ore of the" believed 6because of -is o/n /ord+6 /hen on their invitation+ -e stayed /ith the" in the to/n for t/o days.esus /as received by the inhabitants of Galilee in a &ood /ay+ as they too traveled to .o not s#ea! for long with a woman* and *nobody should tal! to a woman on the road. That /as /hy -e refused to satisfy -is hun&er and replied to -is disciples that the real food for -i" /as carryin& out the tas$ of savin& hu"anity+ a tas$ conferred upon -i" by God the *ather.esus-!an’s natural feelin& of hun&er /as stiflin& -is happiness about the Sa"aritan people’s conversion to -i"+ -e /as . Galilee of the nations.ust as$ed -i" to taste the food that they brou&ht. . The Sa"aritan inhabitants that ca"e to -i"+ see" to )hrist as a cornfield+ ripe for the harvest D /hile in the fields+ the harvest is ready only in four "onths.oyous that the seeds so/n by -i" had be&un to produce a crop.conde"ned by the rules of the . even with a lawful woman* and also: *It is better to burn the words of the law. beyond Jordan. This /as treated by Saint !atthe/ as the fulfill"ent of Isaiah’s prophecy: *In the former time he brought into "ontem#t the land of Cebulum and the land of 6a#htali.esus )hrist ca"e to install in people+ differed so fro" their for"er sinful life+ that it /as indeed necessary for the people to leave everythin& fro" the past+ and as thou&h to be born a&ain throu&h repentance+ i. -o/ever+ bein& reverent to their Teacher+ the disciples did not in any /ay sho/ their a"a#e"ent and .6 The Arrival to Galilee a!d the Be(i!!i!( o* the "er#o! %!att. to chan&e co"pletely internally. -e /ent to syna&o&ues and tau&ht+ be&innin& -is ser"on /ith the /ords: *.e#ent. Ordinarily+ the one /ho so/s the seeds collects the harvest: /ith the so/in& of the seeds in the souls+ the spiritual harvest+ "ore often than not+ &oes to the others+ but to&ether /ith that+ the so/in& re. than to tea"h them to a woman*. Soon+ the ru"ors about -i" spread across the /hole country. . but in the latter time hath he made it glorious by the way of the sea. 1epentance is the co"plete chan&e in thou&hts+ feelin&s and aspirations.oices /ith the harvester+ because he did not so/ for hi"self but for others. ?:>A->9E !ar$ >:>GE 0u$e ?:>?->GE .

The father+ believin& the 0ord’s /ords but thin$in& that the healin& /ill happen slo/ly+ in5uired+ at /hat hour the youth recovered. This /as the second "iracle+ /hich *Jesus did when He had "ome out of Judea into Galilee*. "ome down before my "hild dies0* nd the 0ord heals the noble"an’s son+ and "oreover+ -e does it by correspondence+ sayin&: *Go your way: your son lives*. The 'alli!( o* the Fisher#a! %!att.Since the ti"e the 0ord returned to Galilee fro" . The 5eali!( o* the 8oble#a!-s "o! %. This /as the country not lar&e in si#e but /ell populated+ in /hich lived not only the . *Anless you #eo#le see signs and wonders. Startled by the dyin& youth’s instant recovery+ the noble"an’s servants hurried to their "aster to report hi" about the . -avin& found out about this+ one of the inhabitants of )apernau"+ the for"er -erod’s noble"en+ hurried to )ana to as$ .e. On the /ay to )apernau"+ the 0ord visited )ana /here -e perfor"ed -is first "iracle by turnin& /ater into /ine.e/ish+ there /ere "any heathens D hence Galilee /as called heathen.e/s but the Phoenicians+ rabs and even E&yptians. /hen he notified the" of the "iracle+ his /hole fa"ily and servants believed in the 0ord.e/s. This "i&ht e'plain /hy the 0ord chose Galilee as the prevailin& location for -is service D and /e can also see that the Galileans indeed turned out to be "ore receptive to -is ser"on than the . To&ether /ith this+ a person acceptin& the teachin& that is acco"panied /ith "iracles can fall into delusion+ acceptin& a lie to be true+ as "iracles "i&ht be false+ fro" the devil. That is /hy the 4ord of God /arns us to be /ary of all "iracles %3eut. Perhaps+ it /as the sa"e )hu#a+ /hose /ife+ .ohanna+ later follo/ed )hrist+ servin& -i". t that precise ti"e+ the fever left the boy. lthou&h the prevailin& faith /as .ohn ?:?K-G?(. 4hen he found out that it /as at the precise hour /hen the 0ord said that his son /as cured+ the noble"an *himself believed. nd the 0ord spea$s /ith so"e sorro/ about the Galilee inhabitants’ indiscri"inatin& attitude in this respect. ?:>H-@@E !ar$ >:>K-@:E 0u$e G:>->>( .esus to co"e to )apernau" and heal his son+ /ho /as about to die. *aith+ born fro" seein& "iracles+ de"ands "ore and "ore ne/ "iracles in order to sustain itself+ because the previous ones beco"e habitual and cease to a"a#e.e/s+ particularly those concernin& the !essiah. The 0ord appreciated faith that /as based on the conte"plation of "iracles less than that+ based on the co"prehension of -is pure and subli"e 3ivine teachin&. >A:>-G(. you will by no means believe*.oyous ne/s. The Savior’s disciples /ere Galileans+ and -is other follo/ers also /al$ed freely alon& this fertile land. -o/ever+ after this reproach+ the noble"an displays persistence+ /hich sho/s the "a&nitude of his faith: *Sir. *$hen Jesus said to him. The fertile &rounds of this country attracted "any settlers+ /ho for"ed one people /ith the local inhabitants. and his whole household*+ i.udices of the .udea+ Galilee beca"e the constant location for -is activities. On the one hand+ this /as the reason of the &reat reli&ious i&norance of the people of Galilee+ /hile on the other D the reason of their &reater freedo" fro" the reli&ious pre.

Three Evan&elists narrate about the callin& of the first postles: !atthe/+ !ar$ and 0u$e. To&ether /ith that+ the first t/o "ention the event very briefly+ ;ust statin& the very fact+ /hile Saint 0u$e &ives the detailed description of the "iraculous nettin& of the fish+ precedin& the callin&. s Saint ,ohn /rites+ the first disciples+ ndre/ and ,ohn+ desi&nated by the 0ord+ follo/ed -i" even in ,ordan+ and later Si"on+ Philip and 2athanael ;oined hi". -o/ever+ havin& returned /ith ,esus to Galilee+ they little by little turned to their for"er activity of catchin& fish. But the 0ord calls the" ane/ to follo/ -i"+ directin& the" to leave their fishin& and dedicate the"selves to another activity D catchin& people for the 7in&do" of God. The ru"ors of the !essiah’s arrival 5uic$ly spread all over Galilee+ and the cro/ds of people started to conver&e to listen to -is teachin&. They /ere cro/din& around -i"+ and once+ /hen -e /as on the ban$s of the Gennesaret la$e+ also called as the sea %apparently+ because of happenin& there stron& stor"s(+ there /as such a hu&e &atherin& that -e /as forced to enter into a boat and distance -i"self fro" the shore+ in order to teach people fro" there. -avin& finished edifyin& the people+ the 0ord ordered Si"on+ /ho /as the o/ner of the boat+ to sail further a/ay fro" the shore+ /here the /ater /as deeper+ and to cast his net. Si"on+ bein& an e'perienced fisher"an and havin& fished all ni&ht /ithout success+ /as convinced that the ne/ endeavor /ould turn out to be fruitless. -o/ever+ this ti"e the catch /as so &reat that even the net burst in so"e places. Peter and ndre/ had to call their friends fro" the other boat for help in order to ta$e all the fish out. The catch /as so abundant that the both fully loaded boats started to sin$. Over/hel"ed /ith reverent fear+ Peter fell before )hrist’s feet+ sayin&: *.e#art from me, for I am a sinful man, + (ord*. 4ith those /ords+ Peter /anted to e'press the e'tent of his un/orthiness in the presence of such a &reat and "i&hty 4onder-/or$er. The 0ord cal"s Peter /ith the "ee$ /ord and predicts his future hi&h desi&nation. ccordin& to the testi"ony of Evan&elists !atthe/ and !ar$+ the 0ord tells both the brothers D Peter and ndre/: *&ollow 'e, and I will ma!e you be"ome fishers of men*. nd thereupon+ -e called the other t/o brothers D ,a"es and ,ohn =ebedee D to follo/ -i". 0eavin& their nets+ and the latter t/o+ their father as /ell+ they follo/ed )hrist. 5eali!( i! 'aper!au# %!ar$ >:@>-@HE 0u$e ?:A>-A9(. 4hen in Galilee+ )hrist "ainly re"ained in )apernau" D so "uch+ that it beca"e 6-is to/n6. )apernau"+ located on the border of t/o do"ains D Galilee and Iturea+ /as outstandin& for its salutary cli"ate+ "aterial abundance and in &eneral+ had everythin& for that the people+ /antin& to listen to )hrist+ could conver&e there in lar&e nu"bers. 0ivin& in )apernau"+ the 0ord tau&ht on Saturdays in syna&o&ues D the houses /here the ,e/s &athered for prayer. The church services and sacrificial offerin&s could only be perfor"ed in the te"ple of ,erusale"E ho/ever+ /hile bein& in captivity+ the ,e/s felt the e'tre"e necessity to &ather in prayer "eetin&s for the co""on readin&s of the boo$s of the 0a/ and collective prayers. Such "eetin&-places beca"e the syna&o&ues. fter the ,e/s’ return fro" captivity+ the syna&o&ues beca"e an essential attribute in every ,e/ish settle"ent+ both in Palestine itself+ and in every place of the ,e/ish settle"ent. The syna&o&ue contained the urn+ in /hich the boo$s of the 0a/ /ere $ept+ the pulpit+ fro" /hich these boo$s /ere read and the seatin& area. nyone that re&arded hi"self capable could read and interpret the 0a/ and the Prophets. The reader usually stood up /hile

readin& and sat do/n /hen he passed over to interpretin& of the read. )ontinually listenin& to the lifeless /ord of their teacher-Scribes and Pharisees+ the Galileans /ere astounded in hearin& the 0ord’s lively /ord. If the for"er interpreted the 0a/ as its servants+ ,esus spo$e as the One+ 4ho had authority. The Scribes and Pharisees+ not understandin& the 0a/ the"selves+ distorted its "eanin& and therefore /ere unconvincin& in their interpretations. 4hereas ,esus /as sayin& -is o/n+ i.e. that /hich -e had heard fro" -is *ather+ and spo$e authoritatively+ convincin&ly and persuasively+ /hich /as producin& the stron& i"pression on the listeners. t the ti"e+ /hen the 0ord /as teachin& in one of the syna&o&ues in )apernau"+ there /as a "an possessed by the evil spirit. -e une'pectedly cried out in a loud voice: *(et us alone0 What have we to do with 1ou, Jesus of 6a7areth/ .id 1ou "ome to destroy us/ I !now who 1ou are @ the Holy +ne of God0* This involuntary confession of truth /renched throu&h the presence of the Son of God /as a cry of lo/+ slavish fear+ pretendin& and flatterin& in the deviation fro" ;ud&"entE a slave’s la"ent+ /hose i"a&ination dra/s the tortures and tor"ent a/aitin& hi"+ /hen "eetin& /ith his "aster. Perhaps by this confession+ the ene"y /as hopin& to under"ine the people’s trust in ,esus )hrist+ and /e can see that the 0ord indeed+ forbade hi" to testify about -i"+ co""andin&: *%e =uiet, and "ome out of him*. The possessed instantly fell to the &round in the "iddle of the syna&o&ue+ but stood up fully recovered+ because the de"on+ obeyin&+ had left hi". Both the Evan&elists underline the e'tre"ely po/erful i"pression this "ade on the people by the healin& of the possessed person. The 5eali!( o* &eter-s 1other-i!-$a7 %!att. H:>?->9E !ar$ >:@F-A?E 0u$e ?:AH-?>(. The Evan&elists !ar$ and 0u$e+ place this in direct relationship /ith the precedin& event. 0eavin& the syna&o&ue+ the 0ord entered Si"on Peter’s house probably to eat bread. Peter’s "other-in-la/ /as found to be e'tre"ely ill+ "oreover+ Evan&elist 0u$e e'plains as a physician that it /as a *high fever*. On one /ord fro" ,esus+ the fever instantly left the afflicted /o"an and even her stren&th returned to her to such an e'tent+ that she &ot up and be&an to serve the". The e'pulsion of the evil spirit in the syna&o&ue+ and then the "iraculous cure of Si"on’s "other-in-la/+ produced such a po/erful i"pression+ that after the sunset %apparently+ because this /as Saturday(+ people started to brin& the ill and possessed to the doors of Si"on’s house+ so that soon the /hole to/n &athered outsideE and the 0ord healed "any+ sufferin& of the various illnesses+ and e'pulsed "any de"ons. Provin& throu&h his Gospel that ,esus is That 1edee"er+ about 4ho" the prophets foretold+ Evan&elist !atthe/ e'plains that throu&h this "ass healin&+ had been fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy: *He Himself too! our infirmities, nd bore our si"!nesses*. To ta$e infir"ities+ "eans to re"ove the /ea$ness fro" the ill and destroy itE to bear sic$nesses+ "eans to ease the pain of the ill+ to heal. 2ot /ishin& to hear the testi"ony of evil spirits+ the 0ord forbids the" to pronounce throu&h the lips of the possessed+ that -e is )hrist+ the Son of God. The "er#o! i! Galilee %!att. ?:@A-@GE !ar$ >:AG-AFE 0u$e ?:?@-??(.

s a hu"an bein&+ )hrist the Savior -i"self suffered fro" physical e'haustion as a result of so "any labors+ and in that sense+ it can be said+ that -e too$ upon -i"self our infir"ities and carried our illnesses. So in order to rest and restore -is stren&th throu&h the solitary prayer+ in the early "ornin& of ne't day+ -e left the people. -o/ever+ the people a&ain started to cro/d around Si"on’s house+ and havin& discovered that ,esus /as not there+ started to loo$ for -i". 1eali#in& this+ Si"on and those /ith hi"+ i.e. ndre/+ ,ohn and ,a"es+ also started to loo$ for ,esus+ and /hen locatin& -i"+ as$ed -i" to co"e bac$ to to/n+ /here everybody /as /aitin& and loo$in& for -i". -o/ever+ the 0ord told the" that -e had to &o to other to/ns and settle"ents to preach+ *be"ause for this #ur#ose I have "ome forth*+ i.e. to spread the &ood ne/s for everyone. 0eavin& )apernau"+ ,esus traveled over /hole Galilee+ preachin& and /or$in& /onders. The ru"or of -i" spread far beyond the boundaries of Galilee+ across all Syria+ and the sic$ fro" distant lands /ere brou&ht to -i": fro" 3ecapolis+ fro" ,udea and ,erusale"+ fro" the other ban$ of ,ordanE and -e healed the". !any people follo/ed -i"+ listenin& to -is teachin&. The "er#o! i! the 8a2areth "y!a(o(ue %0u$e >?:>K-A:(. This event is described by Evan&elist 0u$e in the very be&innin& of the 0ord’s ser"on+ thou&h there is a short narrative before that9 *and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. nd He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all* %0u$e ?:>?->G(. Because of this+ as /ell fro" the narrative on this event it can be seen that the 0ord ca"e to 2a#areth lon& before the very be&innin& of -is public service ho/ one could have thou&ht+ but after "any "iracles+ perfor"ed by -i" in )apernau"+ about /hich it /as "entioned above. On the other hand+ Evan&elists !atthe/ and !ar$ as thou&h assi&n this event to the later period of ti"e. -o/ever+ such noted interpreters of the Gospel+ as Bishop %no/ Saint( Theophan the 1ecluse+ re&ard that the 0ord’s visit to 2a#areth+ about /hich is said by Saint !atthe/ in >A:GA-GH+ and Saint !ar$ in K:>-K+ differs fro" the visit+ described by Saint 0u$e. nd indeed+ /ith all the si"ilarities+ in these descriptions there are also seen the very substantial differences. In &eneral+ it "ust be said that it is al"ost i"possible to establish the rather accurate and indisputable chronolo&ical flo/ of the Gospel’s events+ for each Evan&elist had his o/n syste" of narratin&+ in concordance /ith the tas$ set+ and the e'act chronolo&y /as not the sub;ect of their "a;or care. -avin& entered the 2a#areth syna&o&ue+ the 0ord be&an to read that part of Isaiah’s boo$+ /here the Prophet fro" the person of the arrived !essiah spea$s fi&uratively about the purpose of -is co"in&. Spea$in& throu&h the lips of the Prophet+ the !essiah states that -e /as sent by God to proclai" to all the be&&ars+ the poor and the "iserable that the 7in&do" of God is at hand for the" D the 7in&do" of love and "ercy. The ,e/s did not doubt that the prophecy referred to the !essiah+ therefore+ /hen the 0ord ,esus said+ *$oday this S"ri#ture is fulfilled in your hearing*+ there re"ained nothin& for the" but to ac$no/led&e -i" as the !essiah. nd indeed "any+ $no/in& and recallin& of the "iracles+ perfor"ed by -i"+ /ere ready to accept -i" as the !essiah. But a"on& those in the syna&o&ue+ there /ere undoubtedly those Scribes and Pharisees+ anta&onistically disposed to/ards the 0ord. They had the false understandin& of the co"in& !essiah as of the "i&hty+ thou&h earthly $in&+ the national leader of the ,e/ish people+

/ho /ould place all other nations under the ,e/ish rule+ and "a$e the Scribes and Pharisees+ as -is confidantes+ the heads of the authority. The 0ord’s teachin& of the $in&do" of the poor and penitent hearts /ere totally unacceptable for the". 0i$e/ise+ the rest of the"+ thou&h they /ere deli&hted by the 0ord’s ser"ons+ $ne/ -i" fro" -is childhood days as the son of a poor carpenter and therefore did not dare to ac$no/led&e -i" as the !essiah. They /ere ;ust a"a#ed /ith -is /isdo" and the "iracles that -e perfor"ed D instead of believin& in -i". Then the 0ord+ not /ishin& to resort to "iracles to prove -is 3ivine ori&in before the unbelievers+ "ade t/o e'a"ples fro" the ancient history about Prophets Eli;ah and Elisha+ visually e'plainin&+ that those present /ere not /orthy of those "iracles and si&ns+ /hich they /ere e'pectin&. -avin& heard such bitter truth and co"prehendin& fro" the /ords of ,esus+ 4ho" they /ere used to treat as their e5ual+ but not hi&her+ that -e puts the"+ the proud ,e/s+ lo/er than the heathens+ they *were filled with wrath*. They drove -i" out of the to/n and atte"pted to put -i" to death by thro/in& -i" off the "ountain on /hich their to/n /as situated+ but they /ere /ithdra/n fro" co""ittin& that cri"e+ by the po/er of God and *He went His way*. The 5eali!( o* the $eper %!ar$ >:?:-?GE 0u$e G:>@->K(. Saint !atthe/ also narrates about the healin& of the leper %H:>-?(+ and such an authoritative interpreter as Bishop Theophan+ finds this to be a special "iracle+ perfor"ed by the 0ord "uch later D after the ser"on on the "ount+ /hereas Saint 0u$e says that this occurred in the city. Of all the diseases "entioned in the Bible+ leprosy is the "ost fri&htful and repulsive. It appears on the body in blotches+ a$in to herpes D first on the face around the nose and eyes+ and then slo/ly spreads over the /hole body+ until it is covered /ith slou&hs. 4ith this+ the face s/ells+ the nose dries up and beco"es pointed+ the sense of s"ell totally disappears+ the s$in beco"es bro/n and crac$s+ the voice &ro/s hoarse+ the hair falls out+ the eyes beco"e /atery+ there be&in to for" "ali&nant ulcers that &ive off a stench+ fro" the disfi&ured bloated "outh flo/s fouls"ellin& spittle+ the ;oints of the ar"s and le&s &ro/ nu"b+ the /hole body beco"es decrepit. Thereupon+ fin&ernails start fallin& off+ as /ell as the fin&ers and the separate di&its+ until finally the death arrives to ter"inate the a&onies of the sufferer. Those born lepers live A: or ?: and so"eti"es G: years+ dra&&in& out their "iserable e'istence. !oses+ in the boo$ of 0eviticus %chap. >A(+ &ave the detailed directives concernin& those afflicted /ith leprosy. priest had to define and investi&ate the disease+ and re"ove the ill fro" the &eneral public for to avoid spreadin& the infection. The leper boldly violates the la/ that prohibits hi" co"in& close to the healthy people+ by approachin& the" /ith a deep conviction that a"on& the"+ there is the 0ord -i"self. -is re5uest about the healin& is as full of profound hu"ility+ as of belief in the "iraculous po/er of the 0ord. 4hile healin&+ the 0ord touched the sufferin& in order to sho/ that -e is not bound /ith any la/s+ forbiddin& the touchin& of a leper D that for the )lean there is nothin& unclean+ at the sa"e ti"e e'pressin& throu&h that &esture the feelin& of deep co"passion to/ards the "iserable. *I am willing: be "leansed*, D says the 0ord+ indicatin& -is 3ivine authority. -e tells the for"er leper to &o and sho/ hi"self to the priest+ i.e. to fulfill the 0a/ of !oses+ but not to tell anyone about the happened "iracle. The "ain reason /hy the 0ord forbad spreadin& the ne/s about -is "iracles+ can be seen in the hu"ility+ /ith /hich the Son of God de"eaned

-i"self. ssu"in& the fi&ure of a slave for our salvation+ -e did not /ant to /al$ the earth on a path of &lory %see ,ohn G:?>(+ especially+ if -is &lory of a /onder-/or$er could assist in stren&thenin& the unnecessary+ drea"y ideas about the !essiah’s 7in&do" D the ideas /ith /hich -e fou&ht. The 0ord directs the healed leper to sho/ hi"self to the priest 6as a testi"ony to the"6 in the sense that+ the priest had to+ accordin& to the 0a/+ testify of the fact of bein& cured fro" leprosy and allo/ the ill to return to the society+ and as /ell to sho/ that the 0ord does not violate the 0a/+ but fulfils its de"ands. The 5eali!( o* a &aralytic i! 'aper!au# %!att. F:>-HE !ar$ @:>->@E 0u$e G:>9-@K(. !atthe/+ !ar$ and 0u$e are the three Evan&elists /ho har"oniously narrate about this "iracle. !oreover+ !ar$ na"es )apernau" as its location+ /hile !atthe/ states that the 0ord perfor"ed this "iracle+ havin& co"e *to His +wn "ity*+ )apernau"+ /hich beca"e /orthy of this callin& %as "entioned above(E Saint )hrysosto" testifies about this: *He was born in %ethlehem, brought u# in 6a7areth, but lived in Ca#ernaum*. The paralytic /as brou&ht to the 0ord on a bed+ and conse5uently+ could not "ove by hi"self. ,ud&in& by the description+ the actual na"e of the illness of such a type+ as it is narrated in the Gospel+ he suffered fro" the infir"ity that in todayOs ter"s is called paralysis. Saints !ar$ and 0u$e add that because of the "ass of people surroundin& )hrist inside the house+ those that had brou&ht the paralytic+ /ere unable to enter+ so they lo/ered hi" on his bed throu&h the te"porary roof over the courtyard. 3urin& the hot season+ te"porary roofs /ere erected over courtyards and /ere "ade out of plan$s+ leather or cloth and /ere bordered by the /alls of the houses /ith flat roofs+ "a$in& it 5uite easy to &et to the rooftop by the ladder. Only stron& faith could "ove those /ho brou&ht the paralytic to such a bold action. Seein& such faith+ and also the faith of the sufferin&+ /ho allo/ed hi"self to be lo/ered in such a ris$y "anner to the feet of ,esus+ the 0ord says to hi": *Son, be of good "heer, your sins are forgiven you*, D thus sho/in& the close connection bet/een his illness and his sins. ccordin& to the teachin&s of the 4ord of God+ illnesses appear as the result of sins %,ohn F:@( and are so"eti"es sent by God as a punish"ent for the" %> )or. G:A-G+ >>:A:(. Often+ the lin$ bet/een sic$ness and sin is 5uite evident+ for e'a"ple+ the illnesses fro" drun$enness and dissoluteness. That is /hy+ in order to cure the illness+ one first have to re"ove the sin+ &et it for&iven. pparently+ the paralytic sa/ hi"self as such a &reat sinner that he hardly hoped to be for&ivenE therefore+ the Savior encoura&ed hi" /ith such /ords9 *Son, be of good "heer0* Those Scribes and Pharisees+ /ho /ere present+ be&an to conde"n -i" in "ind for -is blasphe"y+ seein& in -is /ords the unla/ful appropriation of the authority+ /hich belon&ed only to God alone. The 0ord+ $no/in& /hat they /ere thin$in&+ let the" $no/ that their thou&hts /ere $no/n to -i" by sayin&: *&or whi"h is easier, to say, ?1our sins are forgiven you,) or to say, ? rise and wal!/)* )learly+ both the first and the second do re5uire the si"ilar 3ivine authority. *%ut that you may !now that the Son of 'an has #ower on earth to forgive sins* @ then He said to the #aralyti", * rise, ta!e u# your bed, and go to your house*. Saint )hrysosto" e'cellently e'plains the coherency of the speech: 6 s you cannot see the healin& of the soul+ /hile the healin& of the body is evident+ then I ;oin the last to the first+ /hich+ /hile bein& lo/er+ is "ore evident so that throu&h this to brin& belief in the hi&her+ the unseen6. *ollo/in& those 0ord’s /ords+ the "iracle of healin& confir"ed that )hrist+ endo/ed /ith the 3ivine po/er+ not in vain

F:F->9E !ar$ @:>A-@@E 0u$e G:@9-AF(. 0eavin& the house after the "iraculous healin& of the leper+ the 0ord sa/ an individual sittin& on a toll-bar %place /here ta'es /ere collected(+ called !atthe/ or 0evi+ and said to hi": *&ollow 'e*. That "iracle+ li$e all the others+ /as the act of -is 3ivine &oodness and "ercy.e. *Why does your $ea"her eat with ta5 "olle"tors and sinners/* D they addressed the 3isciples. Evidently+ the friends of !atthe/ and other publicans and sinners+ accordin& to The Pharisees+ ca"e there too+ reclinin& /ith the 0ord and -is disciples at the sa"e table. nd he instantly &ot up and follo/ed . Saint )hrysosto" e'plains these /ords li$e that: *$hey denigrate the $ea"her before His dis"i#les in the ho#e that they may be detra"ted from Him*+ thro/in& a shado/ on the 0ord as the One+ see$in& bad co"pany.said it to the leper: *1our sins are forgiven you*. Gladdened by the 0ord’s callin&+ !atthe/ invited -i" and -is disciples to his house for so"e refresh"ent. evidently+ not only the Pharisees+ but also the co""on people did not believe in . The Pharisees suppose that ri&hteousness is entailed in the brin&in& of sacrifices+ established by the la/. *%ut go and learn what this means* D adds the 0ord D /hich "eans: *I desire mer"y and not sa"rifi"e*. s thou&h the 0ord is sayin&: the place of a doctor is by the bed of the sic$+ /hile !y place is /ith those+ /ho ail /ith the reali#ation of their spiritual illness D and I a" /ith the"+ /ith the publicans and sinners+ . but those who are si"!*+ D /as the 0ord’s reply to this slander.esus as the Son of God+ re&ardin& -i" as . The 'alli!( o* 1atthe7 %!att. *$hose who are well have no need of a #hysi"ian. But at the sa"e ti"e+ they for&et God’s /ords+ said throu&h Prophet Isaiah’s: *&or I desire mer"y and not sa"rifi"e: and the !nowledge of God more than burnt offerings* %-osea K:K(. !oreover+ it "ust not be thou&ht that the 0ord perfor"ed the "iracle only /ishin& to convince the Pharisees in -is 3ivine o"nipotence. The result of the "iracle /as that the people beca"e a"a#ed+ and praised the 0ord for &ivin& such po/er to hu"ansE i. This &ave a chance to the Pharisees to conde"n the 0ord for . *urther"ore+ only !atthe/ calls hi"self /ith this na"e+ /hile the others call hi" as 0evi. Such /as the po/er of the 0ord’s /ords+ that the ta' collector+ a &reedy and /ealthy "an+ left everythin& and follo/ed -i" D One 4ho did not even have a place to rest -is head.ust as a doctor is /ith his patients. The "eanin& of these /ords is in that there is no need of the Savior in those /ho i"a&ine the"selves to be ri&hteous+ li$e the Pharisees+ but for those /ho are sinners.e/s+ because they &athered the dues for the benefit of the 1o"an authorities. It has to be added+ that the public overlords or toll collectors D to /hich belon&ed !atthe/ D /ere re&arded as the very sinful and /ere despised by the . ccordin& to the eastern custo"+ people invited for the lunch or dinner did not sit at a table+ but reclined on the special benches or divans arran&ed around a lo/ table+ puttin& their left elbo/ on the pillo/. !oreover+ the per"ission for such due &atherin&s they too$ fro" the 1o"an authorities+ and in their e'cessive cravin& for profit they collected fro" the people "ore than necessary+ earnin& the"selves the co""on hatred. The 0ord "eans . The sufferin& testified of his full recovery by carryin& the bed on /hich he /as brou&ht to the 0ord. But this also proves that the sinners+ reali#in& their sins and ready to &enuinely repent+ are closer to the -eavenly 7in&do" than the Pharisees+ proud /ith their false ri&hteousness.ust a hu"an.esus. This event is narrated by !atthe/ hi"self+ as /ell as by the t/o other Evan&elists D !ar$ and 0u$e.oinin& the sinners.

To the" . %ut they #ut new wine into new wines!ins.esus: *Why do we and the <harisees fast often.that the sacrificial offerin&s and all the for"al piety+ /ithout love for the nei&hbor+ /ithout the /or$s of "ercy+ are /orthless in God’s eyes.ohn the Baptist /ho+ as /e have "entioned before+ thou&ht their teacher to be hi&her than . but your dis"i#les do not fast/* The 0ord ans/ers the" /ith the /ords of their o/n teacher: *Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them/ %ut the days will "ome when the bridegroom will be ta!en away from them.acent to the Great 0ent fast+ and the fast on 4ednesdays and *ridays+ e'actly on those days+ /hen our Bride&roo" /as ta$en a/ay D the days of betrayal+ -is sufferin&s and death on the cross. or else the wines!ins brea!. or in other /ords+ the 0ord ca"e so that the sinners /ould repent and chan&e.esus+ and /ere envious about -is constantly increasin& &lory.ohn the Baptist /as fastin& strictly+ and naturally+ tau&ht his disciples to such strict fasts. the wine is s#illed. -e ca"e to call for repentance those /ho hu"bly re&ard the"selves as sinners and as$ for God’s "ercy+ and not those /ho consider the"selves to be ri&hteous+ i"a&inin& that they have nothin& to repent about. The Pharisees dre/ their attention to the fact that the disciples of . and the wines!ins are ruined. 4hen the day co"es that they /ill be left alone in the /orld+ then they /ill fast. The "eco!d &ascha .oyfulE that is /hy !y disciples+ bein& the sons of the of the bride&roo"’s party+ are happy /hile I a" /ith the"+ and this happiness is inco"patible /ith a strict fast+ /hich is an e'pression of &rief and sorro/. but sinners. 6or do they #ut new wines into old wines!ins. Bein& defeated in this+ the Pharisees transfer their accusations to the 0ord’s disciples. pparently+ at that ti"e+ he /as already i"prisoned and his follo/ers increased the severity of their fast on that occasion. ccordin& to Saint )hrysosto"’s interpretation+ ne/ /ines$ins and ne/ /ine are the strict fast+ the strict de"ands in &eneral+ /hile old &ar"ent and old /ines$ins are the infir"ity and /ea$ness of -is disciples+ /ho are not yet ready to bear &reat e'ploits. Thou&h+ the 0ord ca"e to save everybody+ includin& those false ri&hteous individuals+ but until they leave their fantasy of bein& ri&hteous and ac$no/led&e the"selves as sinners+ callin& the" /ould be fruitless and their salvation i"possible. and then they will fast*. In "e"ory of these /ords of )hrist+ our holy )hurch established the Passion 4ee$ fast+ ad. Statin& that the ti"e for -is disciples to fast had not yet arrived+ the 0ord develops this thou&ht further in these /ords: *6o one #uts a #ie"e of unshrun! "loth on an old garment: for the #at"h #ulls away from the garment. Saint .esus do not follo/ such strictly established fasts+ and so . and the tear is made worse. and both are #reserved*. This "eans: after all+ your teacher called !e the Bride&roo" and hi"self D the friend of the bride&roo"+ /ho should be . *I did not "ome to "all the righteous.oin the follo/ers of . -ere+ the 0ord protects -is disciples fro" reproofs /ith &enuine fatherly love and condescension to/ards the".ohn’s disciples as$ . The 0ord "eans the follo/in&: I find it is not correct ti"e for !e to i"pose the burden of strict life and ponderous co""and"ents upon !y disciples+ as they are still /ea$+ /hile they have not been re&enerated+ not re-born by the &race of the -oly Spirit. to re#entan"e*.

e/s+ under /hich na"e .e/ish D Bethesda+ /hich "eans 6the house of "ercy+6 or of God’s "ercy: the /ater for that pool /as &athered fro" a curative sprin&. 4ith the trace of conte"pt+ the . t the Sheep’s Gate+ called so because the sacrificial ani"als /ere driven throu&h it to the te"ple+ or+ because beside it there /as the "ar$et /here those ani"als /ere sold+ on the northeastern side of the city /alls+ on the /ay throu&h the )edar’s flo/ into Gethse"ane and to/ards the !t. -o/ever+ the cured paralytic+ not /ithout so"e effrontery+ be&an to .esus )hrist+ instead of bein& happy for the "iserable+ /ho had been sufferin& for so "uch ti"e+ or be a"a#ed /ith the "iracle+ &ot annoyed /ith the fact that the for"er paralytic had the audacity to violate the co""and"ent about the tran5uility of the Sabbath+ /hile carryin& his bed+ and rebu$ed hi". -ere+ by the pool+ laid a paralytic /ho suffered for AH years and /ho had al"ost lost the hope for to be cured ever. ccordin& to the testi"ony of Evsevius+ already in the Gth century 3+ the pool had G porches. This healin& sprin& attracted "any people /ith different ail"ents.e/ish elders+ hostile to/ards the 0ord . -avin& "ercy on hi"+ the 0ord instantly cures the "iserable /ith only one /ord of -is: *. Only in this case+ it appears that the 0ord’s public service continued for three and a half years+ as the ancient )hurch thou&ht+ bein& &uided+ in particular+ by the chronolo&y of the fourth Gospel. .erusale"+ but "ore than li$ely+ it /as either Pascha or Pentecost. -o/ever+ as this /as Saturday+ the . of Olives+ there /as a pool+ /hich /as called in .ustify hi"self+ statin& that he is only carryin& out the orders of the One+ 4ho healed hi" and 4ho in his eyes+ had sufficient authority to release hi" fro" follo/in& those enou&h narro/-"inded re&ulations re&ardin& Saturday. This event is narrated only by Saint .ohn G:>->K(.ohn+ infor"in& us in his Gospel about the 0ord’s every feast day visit to .ohn the Baptist usually "eans the Pharisees+ Sadducees and .e/s in5uire the for"er paralytic+ 4ho the Person+ that had the audacity to per"it hi" to violate the public re&ulations+ /as. !oreover+ as he e'plained to the 0ord+ not havin& an assistant+ he /as incapable of utili#in& the po/er of the "iraculous sprin&+ as he had no stren&th to "ove fast enou&h to i""erse hi"self into the /ater+ i""ediately after the /ater /as stirred up. s for this particular occasion+ it is not clear for /hich particular feast day the 0ord arrived to .ise. ta!e u# your bed and wal!*.The 5eali!( o* a &aralytic at the "heep Gate &ool %. -o/ever+ this /as no ordinary healin& sprin&: it "anifested its curative po/er only at ti"es+ /hen God’s n&el descended and stirred up the /ater+ and then only that one that strai&ht after stirrin& up the /ater entered the pool+ could &et curedE evidently+ the /ater retained its healin& properties only for a short ti"e+ and then /as losin& the". 4ith this+ the 0ord sho/ed the superiority of -is savin& &race over the Old Testa"ent "ethods.erusale". Thus+ nearly half a year passed bet/een the 0ord’s Baptis" and the first !ascha+ described in the second chapter+ then a further year D before the second !ascha+ /hich is "entioned in the fifth chapter+ then one "ore year D before the third !ascha+ /hich is described in the si'th chapter+ and finally another+ the third+ year D up to the fourth !ascha+ before /hich our 0ord suffered.

be"ause He had done these things on the Sabbath*.e/s+ and they *sought to !ill Him. i. Sin no more.e/s about -i": of course+ not /ith any evil intention+ but . I say to you.esus )hrist. ll the further /ords only develop this basic thou&ht in the 0ord’s reply to the . and I have been wor!ing*. lest a worse thing "ome u#on you*.esus responded to the . -ere+ the 0ord "et hi" /ith the si&nificant /ords9 *See. *or -i"+ as the Son of God+ it is natural to follo/ the co""and"ents &iven to da" and his offsprin&+ but only follo/in& the e'a"ple of God the *ather. The cured paralytic could not ans/er the"+ as he did not $no/ .e/s+ only "ore /ishin& to $ill -i" for -e is callin& -i"self the Son of God: *'ost assuredly. lthou&h they /ere not certain+ they "ost probably &uessed that the -ealer /as no one but the hated . li$e the *ather+ the Son can not only heal the infir"+ but also raise the dead %>G:@>(.uality o* the Father a!d the "o! %.ust to raise the authority of .esus fro" 2a#areth+ and therefore did not /ant even to spea$ about the "iracle.ohn G:>9-?9(. Soon after/ards+ he "ost probably /ent to the te"ple in order to brin& a sacrifice to God+ in &ratitude for his healin&.ust as a spiritual ail"ent can serve as the cause of death+ so the true spiritual life can lead to the eternal life+ con5uerin& death+ as unavoidable.e. nd thou&h God the *ather rested on the seventh day+ it /as fro" the /or$s of creation and not fro" the /or$s of care.e/s’ plans to $ill -i" for violatin& the Sabbath+ /ith the /ords: *'y &ather has been wor!ing until now. *ro" these /ords+ it can be especially clearly seen that a sic$ness overta$es a person for his sins+ and the 0ord /arns the cured paralytic a&ainst repeatin& the sins+ so as not to be afflicted /ith the &reater punish"ent. the Son also does in li!e manner*. .esus. In chapters >F-@:+ the teachin& about the unity of actions of the *ather and Son is revealed+ applicably to the ordinary assu"ptions of the son+ i"itatin& the father+ and the father lovin& his son and teachin& hi" to do his deeds. the Son "an do nothing of Himself. The "an’s perception of the true+ spiritual life is the be&innin& of his triu"ph over death.e/s started to redouble their accusations that -e deserved the death penalty for violatin& the Sabbath and blasphe"y. . . that you may marvel*. 1eco&ni#in& his -ealer+ the for"er ill /ent and told the . They are not interested in that+ /hich brin&s to a"a#e"ent+ but in that /hat is censured6. Initially+ the tal$ here is about the spiritual resurrection+ about the a/a$enin& of the spiritually dead to the truth+ holy life in God+ and then about the &eneral bodily resurrection+ and both of these resurrections have the ti&ht inner connection bet/een the"selves. +! the /. -avin& correctly interpreted the 0ord’s /ords that -e is teachin& about -is e5uality /ith God the *ather+ the . but what He sees the &ather do: for whatever He does. This evo$ed a ne/ hatred attac$ of the . The /ords *$he Son "an do nothing of Himself* have nothin& of rius’s heresy+ but only the fact+ as Saint )hrysosto" says+ that the Son does not do anythin& that is opposite to the *ather+ nothin& that is alien to -i"+ nothin& inco"patible+ contrary to -is /ill. These /ords contain )hrist’s testi"ony of -i"self+ as of the consubstantial Son of God. you have been made well. * nd He will show Him greater wor!s than these.Blessed Theothilactus "a$es an interestin& re"ar$ concernin& this: 6-ere is the sense of the "aliceM They do not as$ 4ho cured hi"+ but 4ho ordered hi" to carry his bed.

In verses A>-AF+ . -e tells the" that their accuser at God’s .ud&e D that is /hy -e beca"e hu"an+ bein& the Son of God by nature %G:@9(. Those /ho believed in -i"+ /ere resurrected to the ne/ life and beca"e the li&ht the"selvesE those /ho re.e/s have had over K: such false "essiahs+ and the last one /ill be anti)hrist+ /ho" they /ill accept as their e'pected !essiah. Since )hrist’s ti"es+ the .oins the spiritual resurrection /ith -is other &reat /or$ D the . )hrist appeared as the 0ife and 0i&ht into the spiritually dead+ steeped in the spiritual dar$ness /orld. The /ords: *shall not "ome into "ondemnation: but is #assed from death unto life* "ean: /ill not be sub. God the *ather testified about -is Son already at the "o"ent of -is baptis"+ thou&h -e &ave the &reater testi"ony about -i" as the !essiah+ throu&h the Prophets in the Old Testa"ent. That is /hy the Son of God’s .e/s+ but to&ether /ith -e says that -e bears "ore testi"ony than .ohn: this is the testi"ony of -is God the *ather+ the testi"ony of si&ns and "iracles that -is Son perfor"s accordin& to -is *ather’s order+ for they are included in the plan for the people’s salvation D /hich /as &iven to -i" by -is *ather for fulfill"ent.ud&"ent. The verses @?-@F contain further depictions of the Son of God’s life-&ivin& activity. and now is.ud&"ent in the present life+ /hich /ill unavoidably lead to the last+ &eneral 3read . In the first place+ here is "eant the "oral .ud&"ent /ill be none other than !oses+ in /ho" they trust D and he /ill accuse the" of disbelief in )hrist+ because he /rote about -i".ud&"ent. This /ill be the . when the dead will hear the voi"e of the Son of God: and those who hear will live* D a&ain+ here is "eant the spiritual revival+ as a result of )hrist’s ser"on+ as the Son is the source of life+ &ranted to -i" by -is *ather %G:@K(. -ere -e . The Son also has the po/er to . for in them you thin! you have eternal life: and these are they whi"h testify of 'e*. In this /ay+ the fate of people eternally stays in the co"plete authority of the Son of God+ that is /hy it is necessary to honor -i" the sa"e /ay+ as the *ather+ for *He who does not honor the Son does not honor the &ather Who sent Him*.ohn the Baptist+ /ho /as hi&hly respected by the .ud&e /ith that of the -eavenly *ather %G:A:(.ust .ud&"ent+ for it /ill be the result of full a&ree"ent of the /ill of the .esus testifies /ith absolute decisiveness of -is 3ivine /orthiness.ud&"ent.e/s’ last basis upon /hich they /ere buildin& their hopes.ud&"ent. *$he hour is "oming. The reason for their disbelief lies in that they see$ hu"an &lory+ and they /elco"e not the one+ /ho accuses the"+ if thou&h he had the ri&ht to do so+ but the one /ho &lorifies the"+ even /ithout any ri&ht to do that. This authority of the Son of God as a . *urther on+ )hrist rebu$es the . In conclusion of -is speech+ the 0ord destroys the . Obeyin& the Savior’s /ords and faith in the fact -e /as sent+ is the "ain condition for acceptin& true life+ in /hich lies the pled&e also of the physical blessed i""ortality.e/s do not heed this Scripture+ because the 4ord of God had not ta$en root in their hearts+ and therefore is not there: they do not hear God’s voice or see -is face in the self-revelation in -is scriptures.ud&e /ill eventually be co"pleted /ith the &eneral resurrection and . s they do not love God+ they do not accept )hrist that had co"e /ith -is co""and"ents D but /hen the other+ the false "essiah co"es+ /ith his self-styled teachin&s+ they /ill accept hi" even /ithout any si&ns. 4ith this+ -e refers to the evidence of . *1ou sear"h the S"ri#tures.ected -i"+ re"ained in the spiritual death+ spiritual dar$ness.The 0ord . But the .ust retribution %G:@H-@F(.e/s for their disbelief+ tellin& the" that -e does not need &lorification fro" the"+ for -e does not see$ the &lory of the people+ but -e &rieves for the"+ because+ not believin& in -i" as in God’s !essen&er+ they reveal the lac$ of love to/ards God the *ather+ 4ho had sent -i".ud&"ent over the people continues throu&hout life+ and /ill finally conclude in the last 3read .ected to .

supposes both the direct prophecies and pro"ises in the boo$s of !oses %Genesis A:>G+ >@:A+ ?F:>:E 3euter. >H:>G(+ and the /hole la/+ /hich /as a shado/ of the co"in& blessin&s in )hrist’s 7in&do" %-eb. >::>( and the tutor %the leader of children( in )hrist %Gal. A:@?(. The &lucki!( o* 'or!heads o! "aturday %!att. >@:>-HE !ar$ @:@A-@HE 0u$e K:>-G(. fter this+ ,esus left ,udea and /ent to Galilee. On the /ay bac$ to Galilee+ on a Saturday that Saint 0u$e calls the *se"ond Sabbath after the first*, i.e. the first Saturday after the second day of Pascha. The 0ord /as passin& /ith -is 3isciples throu&h the so/n fields. *eelin& hun&ry+ the disciples co""enced to pluc$ the corn+ rubbin& the" bet/een their pal"s and eatin& the &rain. This /as per"itted by the 0a/ of !oses+ forbiddin& only the use of scythes on a forei&n cornfield %3eut. @A:@G(. 1e&ardin& even this as a violation of the Sabbath+ the Pharisees did not "iss the opportunity to reproach the 0ord for allo/in& -is disciples to do this. In order to defend -is disciples fro" the censure+ the 0ord re"inds the Pharisees about the incident /ith 3avid+ as described in the first boo$ of 7in&s %@>st chapter(. *leein& fro" Saul+ 3avid ca"e to the city of priests+ 2ob+ and as$ed hi"elech the priest to &ive hi" G breads or /hatever he could find. The priest &ave hi" so"e bread that /as brou&ht as offerin&s and accordin& to the 0a/+ could only be eaten by priests. The efficacy of this e'a"ple is in the fact that if no one ;ud&ed 3avid+ /ho driven by hun&er /as eatin& that bread+ then the 0ord’s disciples do not deserve conde"nation for that in servin& God they so"eti"es do not have ti"e even to eat and bein& overta$en by hun&er on the Sabbath violated the peace of the Sabbath to such an uni"portant e'tent. Thereupon+ the 0ord reveals the source fro" /hich the un;ust conde"nation of the disciples e"anated: it is the erroneous understandin& of the de"ands of God’s la/. If The Pharisees understood that co"passionate love for a sufferer is &reater than the tradition and custo"+ they /ould not conde"n the innocent that pluc$ed cornheads in order to satisfy their hun&er. hu"an /as not created for the Sabbath+ but the Sabbath /as &iven to the hu"an for his benefitE that is /hy the "an hi"self and his preservation fro" death and e'haustion are "ore i"portant than the la/ of the Sabbath. The fact that the la/ does not appear to prohibit any type of activity+ can be seen fro" the fact that on the Sabbath+ the priests in the te"ple slau&hter the sacrificial ani"als+ s$in the"+ prepare the offerin&+ and burn the". nd they+ nevertheless+ are not &uilty in violatin& the Sabbath. But if the innocent servants of the te"ple are not &uilty in violatin& the Sabbath+ then the "ore innocent are the servants of the One+ 4ho is &reater than the te"ple and 4ho is the Lord of the Sa##ath+ possessin& the authority to abolish it+ ;ust as -e had established it. The 5eali!( o* the 1a! 7ith a )ithered 5a!d %!att. >@:F->?E !ar$ A:>-KE 0u$e K:K->>(. 4ith this healin& the 0ord a&ain aroused indi&nation of the Scribes and Pharisees that evidently acco"panied the 0ord every/here /ith the ai" of accusin& -i" of violatin& the 0a/ of !oses.

Posin& the 5uestion to the Pharisees: *What man is there among you who has one shee#, and if it falls into a #it on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out/* %!att. >@:>>(+ the 0ord sho/ed that in -is opinion+ the /or$s of "ercy are far "ore i"portant than the fulfillin& of the la/ about the peace of the Sabbath+ and that in &eneral+ for the sa$e of doin& &ood+ it is not only per"issible+ but necessary to interrupt this peace. The $ord Avoids Fa#e %!att. >@:>G-@>E !ar$ A:9->@(. fter leavin& the syna&o&ue /here the 0ord healed the "an /ith a /ithered hand+ -e /as follo/ed by "any people fro" Galilee+ ,udea and even fro" the ,ordanian and heathen countries. -e perfor"ed "any "iraculous healin&s+ thou&h prohibitin& tellin& about -i". Saint !atthe/ sees in this the fulfill"ent of Isaiah’s prophecy about the Beloved Son of God %?@:>-?(. 8ndoubtedly+ in this prophecy /hich has to do /ith the !essiah+ the Prophet &lorifies the "ee$ness and hu"ility of )hrist. In citin& this prophecy+ Saint !atthe/ /ants to sho/ the ,e/s that their idea of the !essiah as of the earthly $in&-con5ueror+ /ho /ill e'alt the ,e/ish $in&do" and /ill rule /ith the out/ard splendor and &lory on the throne of 3avid are false+ and that the Prophets of the Old Testa"ent predicted the "ee$ and hu"ble !essiah+ 4hose 7in&do" /ill not be of this /orld+ but 4ho+ nevertheless+ /ill present the la/ to the heathens+ and on 4hose na"e /ill rely all the nations. 'hoosi!( the :isciples %!att. >::@-?E !ar$ A:>A->FE 0u$e K:>@->F(. -avin& spent the /hole ni&ht on the "ountain %in the opinion of the ancients+ on the !t. Tabor(+ in prayer+ /hich /as undoubtedly about the stren&thenin& of the )hurch -e had been establishin&+ the 0ord called -is disciples and chose the t/elve fro" the"+ so that they /ould be constantly /ith -i"+ and later+ /ould be able to testify about -i". They /ould be as thou&h leaders of the future t/elve tribes of 2e/ Israel. The fi&ure >@ has a deno"inative "eanin& in the -oly Scripture+ as a product of A and ?E three is the eternal non-created 3ivine Bein&+ and four D the nu"ber of the /orld+ of the four sides of the /orld. 6T/elve6 denotes the fillin& of the hu"an and the earthly /ith the 3ivine. The first three Evan&elists and the Boo$ of cts+ &ive us the na"es of all the t/elve postles. The re"ar$able thin& about this list is that every/here the postles are divided into A &roups of ? people each+ and to&ether /ith that in the head of every &roup are put the sa"e na"es+ and these &roups include the sa"e persons. These are the na"es of the postles: >( Si"on-Peter+ @( ndre/+ A( ,a"es+ ?( ,ohn+ G( Philip+ K( Bartholo"e/+ 9( Tho"as+ H( !atthe/+ F( ,a"es+ lthaeas son+ >:( 0ebbaeus %or Thaddeus+ as ,udas+ the son of ,a"es(+ >>( Si"on the )anaanite %or =ealot(+ >@( ,udas Iscariot. Evan&elist ,ohn calls Bartholo"e/+ 2athanael. 6)anaanite6 is the -ebre/ translation of the Gree$ /ord 3ealot, /hich "eans an ardent follo0er. 6=ealot6 /as the na"e used by the ,e/ish party+ #ealously battlin& for the independence of the ,e/ish state. The /ord 4scariot is co"posite+ "ade up of: is %"an( and cariot %the na"e of the city(. The very /ord apostle is the translation fro" Gree$+ and "eans a messenger, /hich corresponds to the desi&nation of those chosen D to

be sent for the ser"on. In order to have &reater success /ith their ser"ons+ the 0ord endo/ed the" /ith po/ers of healin& the sic$ and e'pulsin& the de"ons.

The "er#o! o! the 1ou!t
%!att. G-9 chaptersE 0u$e K:>@-?F(.

The full Ser"on on the !ount is narrated only by Evan&elist !atthe/. Saint 0u$e recounts the
Ser"on in the abrid&ed version+ the e'cerpts of /hich are encountered in his entire Gospel. The Ser"on on the !ount is re"ar$able+ because it e"bodies the essence of the Evan&elic teachin&. 2ot far fro" the sea of Gennesaret+ bet/een )apernau" and Tiberias+ up to this day they sho/ the 6"ount of beatitudes6+ fro" /hich+ due to the &reat nu"ber of people+ the 0ord &ave -is Ser"on on the !ount. Proud of bein& chosen and un/illin& to accept their loss of autono"y+ the ,e/ish people be&an to drea" of such a !essiah+ /ho /ould free the" fro" the forei&n do"ination+ /ould ta$e ven&eance on all their ene"ies+ rule the" and con5uer for the" all the people on earth+ /hile the ,e/s /ould receive the fairytale-li$e /ellbein&: -e /ill co""and the sea to e'pel all its pearls and other treasures+ clothe the" in purple robes and feed the" /ith "anna+ even "ore s/eeter than that sent to the" in the /ilderness. 4ith such false /ishes of the earthly blessin&s+ /hich the !essiah /ould &ive the"+ the ,e/s surrounded ,esus in the e'pectation that -e /as about to declare -i"self the 7in& of Israel+ and there /ould arrive that blessed+ anticipated by the" era. They assu"ed that the end of their sufferin& and hu"iliation /as at hand+ and fro" that point on they /ould be happy and blessed. The Beatitudes %!att. >::@-?E !ar$ A:>A->FE 0u$e K:>@->F(. In response to these thou&hts and feelin&s+ the 0ord reveals to the ,e/s -is evan&elical teachin& about the beatitudes %blessin&s(+ shatterin& their fallacy at its core. -e teaches the" the sa"e -e said to 2icode"us: that in order to create God’s 7in&do" on earth+ that lost by the people paradise+ it is essential that /e should be reborn spiritually+ and throu&h this prepare for ourselves the blessin&s of eternal life in the -eavenly 7in&do". The first step to/ards this is to reali#e our spiritual poverty+ our sin and insi&nificance+ to be hu"ble. That is /hy: *%lessed are the #oor in s#irit, for theirs is the 8ingdom of Heaven* %!at. G:A(. Blessed are they+ /ho in seein& and reali#in& their sins+ /hich are i"pedin& their entry into this 7in&do"+ /eep+ because then they have the opportunity to reconcile the"selves /ith their consciences and be co"forted. Those /eepin& over their sins reach such inner state of tran5uility that they beco"e incapable of bein& an&ry /ith anyone D they beco"e "ee$. Indeed+ the "ee$ )hristians have inherited the earth+ /hich /as previously ruled by the heathens. They also /ill inherit the earth in the co"in& life+ /hich /ill arise after the destruction of this perishable /orld+ *new earth* %E'odus @K:>AE 1ev. @>:>(. *%lessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled* %!at. G:K(+ i.e. those /ho fulfill God’s /ill in everythin&+ /ill attain that ri&hteousness and

God’s e'culpation+ /hich &ives the &enuine yearnin& to live accordin& to God’s /ill. !erciful God de"ands "ercy fro" people Q the virtue+ /hich is attained by those &enuinely strivin& to live accordin& to -is /ill. *or that reason: *%lessed are the mer"iful, for they shall obtain mer"y* %!at. G:9(+ and on the contrary: *&or 2udgment is without mer"y to the one who has shown no mer"y* %,a"es @:>A(. The &enuine /or$s of benevolence cleanse the hu"an heart of all ini5uities+ and the 6pure in heart6 /ill *see God* %!at. G:H( /ith their spiritual eyes. Those /ho see God+ strive to rese"ble -i"+ i"itate -is Son+ /ho had reconciled the "an /ith God and brou&ht peace+ i.e. tran5uility to the hu"an soul. Those seein& God abhor hostility and conse5uently beco"e peace"a$ers+ strivin& to instate peace every/here. That is /hy they are blessed for *they shall be "alled sons of God* %!at. G:F(. Those+ havin& achieved such a hi&h spiritual level+ should be prepared for this sinful /orld+ the /orld that *lies under the sway of the wi"!ed one* %> ,ohn G:>F(+ /ill hate the" for God’s truth+ the bearers of /hich they are. They /ill be denounced and vilified by it+ and persecuted in all the /ays for their fidelity to the 0ord ,esus )hrist and -is 3ivine teachin&. Those /ho /ould endure "uch in the na"e of )hrist here+ can e'pect &reat re/ards in -eaven %!at. G:>@(. These nine 2e/ Testa"ent co""and"ents+ /hich are called the Commandments of %lessedness, present the"selves as thou&h the /hole Gospel in the abrid&ed for". Their characteristic differences fro" the Old Testa"ent Ten )o""and"ents are: the Old Testa"ent e'a"ines the "an’s out/ard actions and applies strict bans in the definitive for"+ /hereas the 2e/ Testa"ent spea$s "ore about the inner disposition of the "an’s soul+ e'poundin& not de"ands but only conditions+ /ith observance of /hich the eternal ;oy is reachable. Evan&elist 0u$e "a$es the teachin&s of Saint !atthe/ on beatitudes "ore co"plete. -e cites the /ords of ,esus )hrist that contain a /arnin& to those /ho see happiness only in the deli&ht /ith the earthly blessin&s: *%ut woe to you who are ri"h, for you have re"eived your "onsolation* %0u$e K:@?( D says the 0ord+ co"parin& to the" those poor in spirit. -ere of course+ are "eant not si"ply those that possess so"e type of earthly /elfare+ but those /ho rely on it+ proud+ hau&hty+ those /ho treat the others /ith conte"pt. *Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger* %0u$e K:@G( D in co"parison to those /ho *hunger and thirst after righteousness*, because these people are not see$in& God’s truth but are satisfied /ith their o/n false beliefs. *Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and wee#* %0u$e K:@G( D here+ the reference is "ade to the careless people+ li&ht-heartedly treatin& their sinful life+ /hich is bein& seared. The /orld+ steeped in the evil+ loves those /ho indul&e it+ those /ho live in sin+ that is /hy: *Woe to you when all men s#ea! well of you* %0u$e K:@K(+ for this is the si&n of the unfortunate "oral state. The $i(ht o* the )orld *urther on+ the 0ord states that all -is follo/ers /ho fulfill -is directives /ill be called the *salt of the earth* %!at. G:>A(. Salt preserves food fro" spoila&e+ "a$es it sound and pleasant to the taste: si"ilarly+ the )hristians should preserve the /orld fro" the spiritual spoila&e and contribute to "a$in& it sound. Salt co""unicates its properties to any "atter it co"es into a contact /ithE si"ilarly+ the )hristians should report )hrist’s Spirit to all that are not yet )hristian. Salt does not chan&e the essence or out/ard appearance of the substance in /hich it dissolves+ but only adds taste to itE si"ilarly+ the )hristianity does not brin& about any type of

how shall it be seasoned/* %!at. *&or assuredly. Indeed+ )hrist ca"e to earth so that the entire Old Testa"ent 4ord of God /ould be fulfilled in -i"+ to reveal+ fulfill and confir" the /hole po/er of the 0a/ and the Prophets+ to sho/ the true spirit and "eanin& of the Old Testa"ent. and tea"hes men so.out/ard fracture in the "an or hu"an society+ but ennobles the hu"an soul and throu&h it transfor"s his /hole life+ &ivin& it the uni5ue+ )hristian character. 6-o/ did -e fulfill the 0a/I6 D as$s the blessed Theothilactus. I say to you. T7o 1easures o* 9i(hteous!ess ll alon& the Gth chapter+ co""encin& /ith the @>st verse+ Saint !atthe/ narrates about ho/ the 0ord testifies+ in /hat specifically -e ca"e to co"plete the Old Testa"ent la/: -e teaches the deeper and "ore spiritual understandin& and fulfill"ent of the Old Testa"ent co""and"ents. It is i"possible to restore the taste of such salt: si"ilarly+ those /ho once tasted the subli"e co""unication /ith the -oly Spirit and subse5uently fell into an unfor&ivable sin+ are incapable of transfor"in& spiritually /ithout God’s special help. 4ishin& to sho/ -is attitude to/ards the Old Testa"ent+ the 0ord at the outset cal"s the . D *irst+ /ith the fact that -e fulfilled all that /as foretold about -i" by the Prophets. -e fulfilled all the co""and"ents of the 0a/+ for -e co""itted no ini5uities and there /as no flattery in -is /ords. It is not enou&h not to $ill a person physicallyE one should not $ill hi" "orally by &ettin& an&ry . They have to live in such a /ay+ so that in seein& their &ood deeds+ people /ould praise God. till heaven and earth #ass away. Such are the postles and their successors+ /hose desi&nation is to shine /ith )hrist’s li&ht: the pastors of the holy )hurch. shall be "alled least in the 8ingdom of Heaven*. The Pharisees divided the co""and"ents into the "a.esus )hrist+ but because the believers in -i" absorb this li&ht and reflect it into the /orld+ they too appear to be 6the li&ht of the /orld6.or and 6"inor6 ones D and did not thin$ the violation of the latter+ assi&nin& there the co""and"ents re&ardin& love+ "ercy and .e/ish alphabet( or one tittle will by no means #ass from the law till all is fulfilled* %!at G:>H( D says the 0ord+ e"phasi#in& that even the s"allest in God’s la/ shall not re"ain unfulfilled. The ri&hteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees is characteri#ed by their out/ard fulfill"ent of the de"ands and prescriptions of the 0a/+ and /ith that+ "ainly of the trivial ones: and therefore+ this ri&hteousness co-e'isted in their hearts /ith conceit+ arro&ance+ /ithout the spirit of hu"ility and "ee$ love+ and /as out/ard and hypocriticalE behind this "as$+ there could nest various vices and passions+ in /hich )hrist repeatedly and vi&orously accused the".ected and /ill not enter the 7in&do" of -eaven. -e fulfilled the 0a/ as /ell in that -e co"pleted it+ havin& perfectly /ritten that /hich /as only a shado/ in the 0a/6. &ainst such out/ard+ false ri&hteousness the 0ord /arned -is successors.e/s’ #eal about the 0a/+ e"phasi#in& that -e ca"e not to violate but to fulfill it.ustice+ to be a sin. *If the salt loses its flavour. G:>A(. The light of the 0orld is essentially our 0ord . one 2ot %the s"allest letter in the . ccordin& to the 5uality of the Gree$ e'pression+ shall be "alled the least+ "eans D /ill be re. Indeed+ in the east+ there is a type of salt that loses its taste under the influence of hu"idity+ the /ind and sun. -e &ave a full and deep understandin& of all the Old Testa"ent co""and"ents+ preachin& about the insufficiency of the out/ard and for"al sub"issiveness to the 0a/ alone. *Whoever therefore brea!s one of the least of these "ommandments.

o not let the sun go down on your wrath* %Ephes. . Saint thanasius the Great states: 6 "an co""its adultery in his heart /hen he is /illin& to fulfill his desire+ but is i"peded by place+ ti"e or fear of the la/6. fter these idolatrous practices ceased+ the valley beca"e the sub. )onse5uently+ the fri&htenin& and repulsive area+ na"ed as the 6valley of fire6+ be&an to serve as an e'a"ple of the eternal sufferin& of sinners. 25ou fool62 shall be in danger of hell fire* %!at. nd whoever says to his brother. The Old Testa"ent la/ of !oses %3eut.ection: not only a foolish /as called by this na"e+ but also an indecent+ sha"eless individual. In the 1o"an court proceedin&s+ /here the lender had the ri&ht to forcibly brin& his debtor to court+ our offended brother is called our rival+ /ith /ho" /e "ust "a$e up /hile /e are 6on the road6 of this earthly life+ so that he does not &ive us out to . 2)aca2 %an e"pty person(+ shall be in danger of the "oun"il %.e. In those days+ the position of a /o"an /as very hard. In connection /ith this+ the 0ord forbids a husband to divorce his /ife+ *e5"e#t se5ual immorality*+ i. The punish"ent for such e'cessive an&er /as 6the Gehenna fire6 %this /as the na"e &iven to the valley of -inno"+ situated to the south-/est of . This interferes /ith prayin& /ith the clean conscience+ conse5uently+ it is necessary to "a$e peace /ith your brother before the prayer. Thus+ postle Paul hastened the offender to "a$e peace /ith the offended+ sayin&: *. The 0ord teaches that not only actions but also thou&hts+ inner desire or a cravin& loo$ at a /o"an D is already a trans&ression.ect of horror and revulsion. They be&an to carry there all types of i"purities and cadavers+ left /ithout a burial+ fro" . In this instance+ both an eye and a hand are sho/n by the 0ord as a sy"bol of all that precious to us+ /hich /e "ust sacrifice in order to deracinate the passion and avoid sinnin&. The )hristian "ee$ness and love to/ards the nei&hbor should spread not only over not bein& an&ry /ith anyone+ but also not evo$in& any an&er a&ainst oneself fro" the nei&hbor+ possessin& the un$ind feelin&.erusale"+ /here the unri&hteous $in&s carried out the repu&nant rituals to the &od !oloch+ by leadin& the children throu&h the fire and brin&in& infants as sacrifices %@ 7in&s >K:AE @ )hron.e/ish supre"e court(.erusale"E so"eti"es+ the e'ecutions /ere conducted thereE the air in that valley /as so infected that continuous fires /ere "aintained in order to clear it. In such cases+ it is necessary to sho/ total decisiveness to curb the te"ptation+ not sparin& even the "ost precious possession+ /hich for the "an are the parts of his body: an eye or a hand. 0i$e/ise+ it is insufficient to fulfill God’s 9th )o""and"ent purely out/ardly: 6Thou shalt not co""it adulteryM6 by &uardin& oneself fro" sin .erusale" and "ade up of 9@ "e"bers+ presided by a hi&h priest.ud&e-God and /e /ould not &et the deserved retribution. The ordinary city court dealt /ith lesser felonies than the Great Sanhedrin D the hi&hest court+ situated in . To call so"eone 2raca2 "eant to e'press one’s scorn to hi"+ /hile to say to so"eone 25ou fool2 "eant to e'press to the nei&hbor the e'tre"e conte"pt or re. %ut whoever says. -ere+ accordin& to the . @H:A(.ust physically. ?:@K(. 2ot every &lance at a /o"an is a sin D but a &lance /ith the desire to co""it the sin of adultery. if she had been found in adultery. G:@@(./ith hi" needlessly: *Whoever is angry with his brother without a "ause shall be in danger of the 2udgment.e/ish understandin&+ the various de&rees of an&er at the nei&hbor are indicated. @?:>@( per"its a husband to divorce his /ife+ &ivin& her a certificate of divorce as a /ritten testi"ony that she /as his /ife and that he is releasin& her fro" hi" for a certain reason.

ud&"ent /hen -e replied: *It is as you said*+ for such /as the for" of the . G:AF( "ust not be understood in the sense of non-opposin& the evil D as 0eo Tolstoy and the si"ilar to hi" false teachers do. "arria&e can brea$ up only in the case of adultery of one of the spouses. nd postle Paul s/ears+ by callin& God to be the /itness to his /ords %1o". 4hen the hi&h priest e'clai"ed: *I #ut 1ou under oath by the living God*. In the Old Testa"ent+ the practice of ven&eance /as so /idespread+ that it had to be so"eho/ curbed+ and that did the Old Testa"ent la/. and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away*.e/s+ /ishin& to fulfill this co""and"ent in the literal sense+ instead s/ore by heaven and earth+ by . G:AF( in the literal sense+ for /e $no/ that durin& the hi&h priest nnas’s interro&ation+ )hrist -i"self reacted co"pletely differently /hen -e /as slapped on the chee$ by one of servants %. -o/ever+ if *whoever divor"es his wife for any reason e5"e#t se5ual immorality "auses her to "ommit adultery: and whoever marries a woman who is divor"ed "ommits adultery* %!at. These are the types of vo/s that the 0ord . >:@A+ @:>9E Gal. let no man se#arate* %!ar$ >::F(. G:A@(. One should not understand the /ords: 6But /hoever slaps you on your ri&ht chee$+ turn the other also to hi"6 %!at.ohn >H:@@-@A(. The third co""and"ent of God’s la/ forbids the use of -is na"e casually and any li&ht-"inded approach to a vo/ /ith God’s na"e.esus )hrist . 4hat is prohibited is the evil feelin& of ven&eance+ but not the stru&&le /ith the evil. @K:KA-K?(. The Old Testa"ent does not have the co""and"ent 6-ate thy nei&hborM6 yet evidently the . -o/ever+ this does not forbid &ivin& the la/ful oaths or vo/s in the i"portant "atters. E"pty and li&ht-"inded vo/s are forbidden. t the sa"e ti"e+ the state"ent *not to resist an evil #erson* %!at.esus )hrist -i"self confir"ed the oath in . the 0ord .e/s by !oses 6because of hardness of the heart6+ althou&h at the be&innin&+ it /as: *What God has 2oined together. -o/ever /ith -is ne/ la/+ )hrist totally forbids ven&eance in any for"+ preachin& love for the ene"ies.e/s %!at. The la/ of the Old Testa"ent forbids the use of God’s na"e in vo/s in the trifle "atters+ especially in lies.In !ar$’s Gospel+ the 0ord states that the per"ission to divorce /ith the /ife /as &iven to the . >:@: and others(. By itself+ this co""and"ent e'cludes those situations /here help to that as$in& for it /ill not be beneficial but detri"entalE &enuine )hristian love to/ards the nei&hbor+ for e'a"ple+ /ill not allo/ a $iller to pic$ up a $nife+ or+ /ill not allo/ a person to access the poison to co""it suicide. nd not only those doin& evil+ but also our offenders+ /e "ust try to chan&e+ about /hat there is the direct co""and"ent fro" the 0ord in the Gospel of !atthe/ %>H:>G->H(.udicial oath by the . Nuibblin& is prohibited and instead+ the satisfaction of the needs of your nei&hbor is prescribed: *Give to him who as!s you.esus )hrist forbids+ for absolutely everythin& /as created by GodE and to s/ear by -is creation is to s/ear by the )reator+ and to s/ear in a lie is the sa"e as to violate the sanctity of the vo/. 4hereas the rest+ . The conte"porary to the 0ord . The 0ord forbids to revolt a&ainst the "an /ho had inflicted evil+ /ith the response of an&er+ but to/ards every type of evil+ as it is+ a )hristian "ust be totally unco"pro"isin& and "ust fi&ht /ith the evil /ith all the "eans at his disposal+ not per"ittin& it to enter his o/n heart under any &uise.erusale"+ their heads+ and conse5uently+ althou&h not "entionin& -is na"e in vain+ still s/ore by -i" in vain+ and in lies. >:FE @ )or.e/s e'tracted it fro" the co""and"ent about love to/ards the nei&hbor+ for they treated as neigh#ors those+ /ho /as close to the" in faith+ ori&in or by "utual favors. )hristian should be so "uch honest and ri&hteous that he /ould be believed after his personal /ord alone+ /ithout any s/earin&.

)ensurin& verbosity+ the 0ord at the sa"e ti"e co""ands to pray /ith no ceasin&+ teachin& that one has to al/ays pray and not to faint %0u$e >H:>(+ -i"self spendin& the ni&hts in prayer. . G:?H(. The 0ord /ishes that in the "oral sense+ -is follo/ers should be hi&her than the heathens and . 2aturally+ one should &ive al"s+ but this has to be done /ithout the ai" of turnin& attention to oneself+ see$in& the praise fro" the people. The second part of the Ser"on on the !ount+ narrated in the Kth chapter of the Gospel of !atthe/+ e'pounds the 0ord’s teachin&s on "ercy+ prayers and fast+ and also the e'hortation for the "an to strive to/ards the "ain &oal in life D God’s 7in&do".only to pray to sho/ off intentionally. This co""unication /ith God is the ob.i. (et us ma!e man in +ur image. On the contrary+ love for the sa$e of God+ for the sa$e of God’s co""and"ents is /orthy of a re/ard.ective of prayer+ the attain"ent of /hich is not reliant on the 5uantity of the pronounced /ords. The 1ai! Task is to &lease God @. . But )hrist decreed so: .e. It is not forbidden to pray in church . prayer "ust have sense: /e "ust turn to God /ith such re5uests that are /orthy of -i"+ the fulfill"ent of /hich /ill be savin& for us.e/s. -avin& /arned -is disciples /hat they have to+ and /hat they shouldn’t+ in order to reach the blessedness+ the 0ord /ent over to the 5uestion+ ho/ e'actly they are to fulfill that+ /hat -e had co""anded. 2o /or$s of "ercy+ either /orshippin& of God D in particular fasts and prayers D should not be perfor"ed to sho/ off+ for the sa$e of fa"e a"on& the people+ because in this case+ our only re/ard /ould be this public acclai". nd /ishin& to sho/ ho/ the fulfill"ent of this co""and"ent brin&s the /ea$ and i"perfect "an closer to God+ -e ascertains that the ideal for a )hristian is D God: *%e #erfe"t.ain&lory+ li$e a "oth+ devours all &ood deeds+ that is /hy it is better to perfor" the" secretly+ so as not to be deprived of our re/ard fro" the -eavenly *ather. Essentially+ their love to/ards the others+ is based on self-centeredness. >:@K(.ust li$e our -eavenly *ather+ a stran&er to the feelin&s of an&er and hatred to/ards anyone+ loves everyone+ even those bad and unri&hteous+ as -is O/n sons D so /e+ desirin& to be the /orthy sons of the -eavenly *ather+ should love everyone+ even our ene"ies. 4e pray not because God does not $no/ our needs+ but only for to cleanse our heart and beco"e /orthy of -is "ercy+ havin& entered /ith our spirit into the inner co""unication /ith -i". ccordin& to the Saint )hrysosto"’s thou&ht+ one can pray in the roo" alone+ led by vain&lory+ but then 6the closed doors /ill not brin& any benefit6. But love throu&h the natural inclination or for the sa$e of obtainin& reco"pense+ is un/orthy and cannot deserve anythin&. Thus+ in ascendin& hi&her and hi&her the ladder of the )hristian co"pleteness+ a )hristian /ill eventually reach the hi&hest and "ost difficult level D i"possible to reach for the not revived person D love for the ene"ies+ /ith /hich the 0ord concludes the first part of -is Ser"on on the !ount. The divine holiness is unattainable for us+ /hich is /hy here /e have the ine5uality bet/een God and us. . after +ur li!eness* %Gen.erbosity in prayer is interpreted as the heathen’s opinion of prayer+ as of a spell+ /hich+ /hen repeated "any ti"es+ can produce a result. 2ust as your &ather in Heaven* %!at. Teachin& us to pray this /ay+ the 0ord &ives+ as a "odel+ the prayer *+ur &ather* D for /hich it received the na"e of the Lord’s !rayer. This is co"pletely coincides /ith God’s plan+ e'pressed /ith the creation of the "an: * nd God said. -o/ever+ here is "eant the inner li$eness+ the &radual advance"ent of the hu"an soul to/ards its Pri"al I"a&e /ith the help of the &race. people of other faiths+ stran&ers or those /ho have e'hibited so"e type of ani"osity+ /ere treated as enemies+ and love for the" /as supposed to be inappropriate.

*Hallowed be $hy name* "eans: 0et <our 2a"e be holy for all people+ let all people &lorify <our 2a"e in /ord and deed. indeed. The prayer ends /ith the conviction: that /hat has been re5uested+ /ill be fulfilled+ because everythin& in this /orld belon&s to God: the eternal 7in&do"+ the infinite po/er and &lory.ust as /illin&ly+ as do the n&els in -eaven.e. It /as said by those prayin& in the syna&o&ues D in confir"ation of the prayer+ said by the elder.e/s /ere drea"in&+ is incorrect+ concernin& the visuali#ation of this 7in&do"E but here /e also pray so that the 0ord /ould rule in the souls of all people+ and after this te"porary earthly life+ "a$e us /orthy of the eternal and blessed life+ in co""union /ith -i". This attracted the &eneral attention to their unusual appearances+ and that is /hat the 0ord censured. In translation fro" . *%ut deliver us from the evil one* D fro" every type of the evil and its cause D the devil. /e separate ourselves fro" everythin& earthly and ascend /ith the "ind and heart into the celestial /orld. as we forgive our debtors* D Saint 0u$e in his Gospel %>>:?( clarifies these /ords so: * nd forgive us our sins*.ohn >9(. *Give us this day our daily bread* D "eans+ &ive us today all that is essential for our bodyE /hat /ill happen /ith us to"orro/+ /e do not $no/ and /e need only the thin&s of 6this day6 D i. In fastin&+ one should not chan&e his out/ard appearance+ so as not to attract attention to hi"self+ but appear before people the sa"e as usual: it /as co""on in the East that after a bath the body /as rubbed /ith oil+ especially the headE ho/ever the Pharisees+ durin& fasts+ did not /ash and did not co"b or oil their hair. that the 7in&do" of the !essiah )hrist+ about /hich the . the daily+ necessary to support our e'istence. *$hy 8ingdom "ome* D i. *$hy will be done on earth. Thus+ the understandin& of the /ord debts is /ider than the notion of sins+ as of the direct violations of the "oral la/. The sins are our debts+ because in not sinnin&+ /e do not fulfill /hat is re5uired of us+ and beco"e indebted to/ards God and people. truly. 8tterin& the /ords *Who art in the Heavens*. The 0ord’s teachin& on fastin&+ /hich also had to be fulfilled for God and not for the public acclai"+ clearly testifies of ho/ /ron& those /ho say the 0ord did not prescribe fastin& to -is follo/ers are. The appeal for the for&iveness of debts /ith the special force su&&ests us the necessity to for&ive all the offences co""itted a&ainst us by our nei&hbor+ for not for&ivin& the others+ /e have no ri&ht to as$ God to for&ive our debts for -i"+ and /e do not dare to utter the /ords of the 0ord’s Prayer. The /ter!al Treasure . * nd do not lead us into tem#tation* D here /e are as$in& God to protect us fro" the do/nfall+ if the trial of our "oral forces is inevitable and necessary. as it is in Heaven* D let everythin& occur accordin& to the ever-&ood and ever-/ise /ill of God+ and let us hu"ans fulfill -is /ill on earth . 8nder debts+ one should understand all that &ood /e could have done+ but /e did not D because of our la#iness or e&otis". let it be*. * nd forgive us our debts.e/ish+ the /ord * men* "eans *$hus. )allin& God our *ather+ /e ac$no/led&e ourselves -is children+ and in relation to one another D brothers and /e pray not only for ourselves+ but also fro" everybody+ fro" the entire hu"anity.e.The &rayer <+ur Father< This prayer in no /ay e'cludes other prayers D the 0ord -i"self used other prayers %.

4hat is indicated is the de&ree of values: *%ut see! first the 8ingdom of God and His righteousness*. K:@?(. for tomorrow will worry about its own things* D this "eans that the ne't day is not in our po/er for us to /orry about+ for /e do not even $no/ /hat it /ill brin&: perhaps such cares that /e did not and do not even thin$ about. Therefore+ thou&hts about these thin&s should not torture or oppress us li$e they do the unbelievin& heathens. for /hich the 0ord -i"self /ill re/ard us /ith -is personal concern+ so that /e /ill have everythin& necessary for our earthly life. Our /hole life is in God’s hands and does not depend on our efforts: as an e'a"ple+ can /e ourselves increase our hei&ht by even one inchI t the sa"e ti"e+ this in no /ay "eans that /e have to put our concerns aside and plun&e ourselves in idleness D . or else he will be loyal to one and des#ise the other* %!at.ust as so"e heretics interpreted this part of the Ser"on on the !ount. The 0ord leads us to/ards the heavenly and eternal+ /hile the /ealth D to/ards the earthly and physical.ud&e our nei&hbor+ protect the holy thin&s fro" desecration+ about steadfastness in prayer+ about the /ide and narro/ paths of life+ about false prophets+ about true and false /isdo". The person havin& such a treasure continually thin$s of it+ desires and feels itE that is /hy a )hristian+ /ho needs to have his heart belon&in& to -eaven+ should not be aspired by the earthly accu"ulation+ but strive for ac5uirin& the -eavenly treasures+ /hich are virtues.*ro" the >Fth verse of the Kth chapter+ Saint !atthe/ describes in his Gospel ho/ the 0ord teaches us to see$+ first of all+ God’s 7in&do" and not to be distracted fro" this pursuit by other concerns D not to /orry about accu"ulatin& the earthly+ "a$eshift treasures+ /hich are easily e'posed to spoila&e and disinte&ration. That is /hy in order to avoid such duality+ /hich interferes /ith the "atter of eternal salvation+ it is essential to avoid e'cessive+ needless+ an'ious and oppressive concerns about food+ drin$s and clothin& D those an'ieties that devour all our ti"e and attention+ and distract us fro" the concerns about the salvation of our souls. Therefore+ it is necessary to &uard the heart li$e the apple of our eye. @:>G(+ /hich /as confir"ed ane/ /hen da" /as driven out of Paradise %A:>F(. 4e "ust protect our heart fro" the earthly vices+ so that it re"ains chaste and /ould not stop bein& our bearer of the spiritual+ -eavenly li&ht+ .ust as the eyes are our bearer of the physical li&ht.ud(e A. fter all+ if God cares so of the un/ise creatures+ &ivin& food for birds and adornin& the flo/ers in the fields+ "oreover+ -e /ill not leave the "an+ havin& created hi" in -is si"ilarity and called to be the inheritor of -is 7in&do"+ /ithout all the necessary. *$herefore do not worry about tomorrow. . 0abor /as co""anded to the hu"an by God already in Paradise+ before his do/nfall %Gen. K:@G-A?( presents to us the "arvelous picture of God’s Providence+ ta$in& care of -is creations. The third part of the Ser"on on the !ount+ contained in the 9th chapter of the Gospel of !atthe/+ teaches us not to . The one+ /ho intends to serve God and !a""on %!a""on is a Syrian deityE the protector of the earthly /ealth+ the personification of the earthly treasures( si"ultaneously+ is li$e a servant tryin& to please t/o "asters that have contrastin&+ al"ost opposite+ characters and "a$in& the different+ as /ell opposin&+ de"andsE and in this situation *he will hate the one or love the other. This part of the Ser"on on the !ount %!at. It is not the labor that is critici#ed+ but the e'cessive and onerous concern about the future+ about the ne't day+ /hich is not in our po/er and till /hich one still has to live. :o 8ot .

. Because not noticin& the evil+ /e /ould also easily start treatin& the &ood /ith indifference+ and subse5uently lose our feelin&s of differentiation bet/een the &ood and evil. In concludin& -is directions+ concernin& our relationship /ith the others+ the 0ord pronounces the rule that they call golden: *$herefore.4hat is forbidden+ is "alicious feelin&+ spitefulness+ but not the appreciation itself of the actions of a nei&hbor. do also to them*.*Judge not that you be not 2udged* D Evan&elist 0u$e conveys these /ords li$e this: *Judge not. This is /hat Saint )hrysosto" says about it: 6If so"ebody is co""ittin& adultery+ surely I have the ri&ht to say to hi" that adultery is the evil+ and surely I have the ri&ht to correct the profli&ate. and it will be given to you* as the 0ord teaches steadfastness+ patience and fervency in prayer. Evan&elist !atthe/ states: *1our &ather. who is in Heaven give you good things to those who as! Him0*E /hile Saint 0u$e elucidates+ /hich specific blessin&s one should and need to as$ for+ throu&h the /ords: *1our Heavenly &ather give the Holy S#irit to those who as! Him*.ud&"ent+ re&ardin& only the"selves as bein& ri&hteous. )hrist forbids reproachin& people for their deficiencies+ not noticin& the o/n faults+ /hich possibly are &reater than theirs. That is /hy the 0ord /ill &ive the "an only that /hich is truly a blessin& to hi".ust as love for the brothers is the reflection of love to/ards parents. father /ill not &ive so"ethin& har"ful to his son. The 0ord /as tal$in& about the conceited Pharisees+ /ho treated other people /ith "erciless .ectin& hi" to punish"ent D but as a doctor+ offerin& hi" a "edicine. I""ediately after+ the 0ord /arns -is disciples about preachin& -is teachin&s D this true pearl D to those people /ho li$e do&s or s/ine+ are incapable of appreciatin& it because of their e'tre"e petrifaction in the evil and /ho+ deeply entrenched in depravity+ vices and evil deeds+ treat every type of the &ood /ith bitterness and hatred. 9:K(E and the )hristian /ould not be able to fulfill their responsibility D to e'pose and enli&hten the sinners+ /hich is decreed by the 0ord -i"self in the Gospel of !atthe/+ chapter >H+ verses >G->9. If in &eneral+ any opinion of the nei&hbor and his actions /as forbidden+ then the 0ord /ould not have said: *. "tead*ast!ess i! &rayer *urther on+ it is said: * s!. and you shall not be 2udged* %K:A9(.o not give what is holy to the dogs: nor "ast your #earls before swine* %!at. )orrect hi" D not as an ene"y+ sub. &enuine )hristian+ recallin& the 0ord’s directive: *See! first the 8ingdom of God and His righteousness* /ill not start to pursue &ainin& anythin& har"ful to the soul’s salvation+ therefore he should be convinced that as the ans/er to the one /ho prays fervently+ as the 0ord pro"ised+ it /ill be given and it 0ill #e opened to hi". It is not the opinion of a person that is forbidden+ but /udging hi" in the sense of &ossipin&+ /hich "ainly+ co"e out fro" conceited and i"pure i"pulses D fro" vain&lory+ prideE /hat is forbidden is slander+ bad-"outhin&+ "alicious conde"nation of others’ dra/bac$s+ /hich e"anate fro" the feelin& of hatred and "alevolence to/ards the nei&hbor. <ou need to enli&hten+ but not reproach and denounceE not accuse but la"entE not to attac$ /ith pride but correct /ith love6 %3iscourse @A(. whatever you want men to do to you. 9:>@(+ for love for the others is the reflection of love for God+ . Of course+ this does not apply to the civil court+ /hat so"e false teachers are tryin& to sho/+ or to the &eneral appreciation of the "an’s actions. This rule contains *$he law and the <ro#hets* %!at.

One has to be very perceptive and /ise+ in order to reali#e /hat spiritual dan&er they represent. Such co"parison of the false prophets /ith /olves+ pretendin& to be sheep+ /as very convincin& for the .e/ish people for the virtuous life D in other /ords+ led the" to/ards the divine &lory.e/s to/ards the true path+ si"ultaneously+ a &reat nu"ber of the false prophets used to appear in their "idst. They recalled /ith &ratitude such Prophets as !oses+ Sa"uel+ 3avid+ Eli. 3urin& the periods of the spiritual decline+ /hen God sent -is true Prophets so that they "ay direct the .ectin& per. On the bac$&round of the false prophets+ the virtues of the true Prophets /ere especially evident. The false prophets+ /ho /ere not fe/+ pursued co"pletely different ai"s and had the other "anner of actin&.e/s recalled /ith sha"e+ ho/ their ancestors sub"itted the"selves to this deceit %Saint .ere"iah the Prophet+ in his 60a"entations+6 bitterly co"plains about the false prophets that ruined the . lthou&h these &enuine Prophets /ere often re.The 8arro7 &ath )hrist /arns that to follo/ -is co""and"ents is not that easy+ because *diffi"ult is the way that leads to life* and the *gate narrow* %!at. 4hile the true Prophets /ere doin& everythin& for the &ood and unity of God’s 7in&do"+ the false prophets sou&ht the personal &lory and benefits. Pro"isin& prosperity+ they lulled the conscience of the people+ /hat in turn led to the societal "oral decay.ah+ Isaiah+ .e/s+ /hich listened to )hrist+ because over the period of "any centuries+ these people tolerated "any disasters+ co"in& fro" the false prophets. But the 5uic$-ripenin& &lory of these false prophets soon rotted 5uic$er than their "ortal bodies+ and the follo/in& &eneration of .ected by the &eneral "ass of their conte"poraries+ and persecuted by the people /ho /ere the head of the authority+ their actions cleansed the society+ enlivened the best sons of the . Such /ere the fruits+ brou&ht by the activity of the true Prophets+ /hich a"a#ed the follo/in& &enerations of the faithful . In the final run+ their activity contributed to the nationOs ruin. The &enuine Prophets differed in their non-covetousness+ obedience to God+ fearless e'posure of people’s sins+ deep hu"ility+ love+ self-discipline and chaste life.e/s. Thus+ for e'a"ple+ there /as especially a &reat nu"ber of the" .urin& the true prophets and persecuted the".ere"iah+ 3aniel and the others. The false prophets pass off the lies as truth and their o/n rules of life as those of God. Their ai" /as to attract people to/ards God’s 7in&do"+ and they /ere the constructive and unitin& ele"ent in the lives of their people.e/ish people+ see 0a"entations ?:>A(.ust spo$e are not as dan&erous to the faithful as the false prophets+ because their ini5uitous lifestyle is obvious and /ould only repulse fro" the". voidin& the e'posure of sins+ they s$illfully flattered people+ and that secured their success a"on& the co""on "ass of people and the "ercy of those /ith the earthly po/er. They /ere not re. The 6do&s’ and 6s/ine6 about /hich the 0ord . About the False &rophets t the end of -is Ser"on on the !ount+ the 0ord /arns the faithful a&ainst the false prophets+ co"parin& the" /ith /olves in sheep’s clothin&. Such /ere the spiritual and social results of the false prophets’ activity. 9:>?(+ but they lead into the eternal and blessed life+ /hile the path that is /ide and spacious and attractive to those /ho disli$e stru&&lin& /ith their sinful passions+ leads to death.

nor "an a bad tree bear good fruit*. They belon& to one or another branch of the )hristianity+ not accordin& to the ob. The har"ful fruits of the false prophets’ labors+ co""on to all of the"+ are pride and 0renching people a0ay from %od’s 7ingdom. The "odern television 6/onder-/or$ers+6 e'alted de"ons’ e'orcists and vain preachers that represent the"selves God’s elects+ and all those that have converted reli&ion into the personal "oney-"a$in& enterprise+ can be called the false prophets. The see$in& popularity false teachers love to perfor"+ in front of the lar&e a"ount of public+ 6healin&s6 or 6e'orcis"6+ to stri$e their audience /ith bold thou&hts+ and evo$e e'cite"ent fro" the public. ?(ord. In accordance /ith )hrist’s and the postles’ predictions+ before the end of the /orld+ there /ill co"e "any false prophets+ so"e of /ho" /ill even /or$ astonishin& /onders and si&ns in nature %of course+ the false ones( %!at. bout the future of the false teachin&s+ )hrist said that: *Dvery #lant whi"h 'y Heavenly &ather has not #lanted will be u#rooted* %!at.erusale"+ in the seventies of our era. (ord. and done many wonders in 1our name/)* 4hat /onders are they tal$in& aboutI )an a false prophet /or$ /ondersI 2oM But the 0ord sends -is help accordin& to the faith of the as$in&+ and not throu&h the "erit of the individual that pro. >G:>A(. It has to be e'plained+ that it /ould be an e'a&&eration and strained interpretation to assi&n every conte"porary pastor or non-Orthodo' preacher to the false prophets.ust as the /olf’s teeth beco"e visible fro" under the sheep’s s$in+ so does pride e"er&e in the /ords+ &estures and &a#e of a false prophet. One Saint co""ented that the devil could sho/ the for" of any virtue+ e'cept one D humility. The . In the Old Testa"ent ti"e D by lullin& the people’s conscience+ they accelerated the process of "oral decay+ and in conte"porary days D by leadin& people a/ay fro" the truth and i"plantin& heresies+ they tore the branches off the tree of God’s 7in&do". Only the true )hurch of )hrist /ill re"ain till the end of the /orld. "ast out demons in 1our name. . @?:>>-@?E @ Pet. ll sects sooner or later disappear and others sprout in their place. @:>>E @ Thes.ective choice but throu&h inheritance.udean $in&do"s /ere destroyed+ and later D on the eve of the destruction of . false prophet is unable to conceal his pride fro" the sensitive heart of a believer.ects hi"self as a /onder-/or$er. On the other hand+ the false prophets are precisely the founders of the non-Orthodo' reli&ious flo/s. have we not #ro#hesied in 1our name. ll their sho/s end /ith the lar&e collections of "oney. In the 2e/ Testa"ent ti"e+ . In -is Ser"on on the !ount+ the 0ord /arns -is follo/ers a&ainst the false prophets+ teachin& the" not to trust their out/ard attraction and elo5uence but to pay attention to the 6fruits6 of their activities: * good tree "annot bear bad fruit. The conte"porary abundance of every type of sects and 6deno"inations+6 is undoubtedly+ the fruit of the "odern false prophets. @:F(. The ter" 6bad fruit6 should not necessarily be understood as sins or abo"inable deeds+ /hich the false prophets s$illfully conceal. fter all+ a"on& the reli&ious "inisters of different faiths+ undoubtedly are "any &enuinely faithful+ deeply selfless and decent people. -o/ distant this cheap pathos and boldness is fro" the "ee$ and hu"ble i"a&e of the Savior and -is postlesM *urther on+ the 0ord re"inds of the false prophets’ references to -is "iracles: *'any will say to 'e in that day.ust li$e in the days of the Old Testa"ent+ the false prophets caused "uch har" to the )hurch.preachin& fro" the Hth to the Kth century B)+ /hen the Israelite and .

false prophets attributed to the"selves those deeds that the 0ord perfor"ed throu&h -is co"passion to/ards people. In the "ain+ the Pharisees’ teachin&s consisted of trivialities+ of useless verbia&e and contentious /ordsE /hile the teachin&s of . Thus+ you can distin&uish the false prophets by their lives and deeds.esus )hrist /ere plain and elevated because -e spo$e fro" -i"self personally+ as the Son of God: * nd I say to you>* D one clearly feels -is 3ivine authority and po/er in these /ords. but he who does the will of 'y &ather in Heaven* %!at. The follo/in& /ords of the 0ord+ are tar&eted as if a&ainst the conte"porary sectarians+ /ho preach the "an’s .ud&"ent 3ay+ the 0ord /ill re.o not fear.) shall enter the 8ingdom of Heaven. little flo"!.e/s+ for in Palestine the fre5uent torrential rains+ acco"panied by the stor"s that s/ept a/ay the houses+ built on the sandy soil+ /ere a nor"al pheno"enon. 9:@>(. ?(ord. It is also possible that the false prophets+ in their self-delusion+ i"a&ined that they /or$ed /onders. ny/ay+ on the *inal . the fulfillin& of )hrist’s co""and"ents+ &ood deeds. (ord.esus )hrist is insufficient+ but /hat is also needed is the life that is consistent 0ith faith+ i. Such a co"parison /as close+ and therefore understandable for the . Only those that fulfill )hrist’s co""and"ents /ill be able to /ithstand in the hour of trial+ ali$e to the stor"s of intense te"ptations. Evan&elist !atthe/ concludes his narration about the Ser"on on the !ount /ith the testi"ony about ho/ the people /ere a"a#ed /ith this ne/ teachin&+ because the 0ord tau&ht as One havin& authority and not li$e the Scribes and Pharisees. H:>-?( . you who #ra"ti"e lawlessness0* Thus+ althou&h the false prophets /ea$en the )hurch in /renchin& careless sheep fro" It+ the faithful children of the )hurch should not be e"barrassed by the lac$ of Its "e"bers and the see"in& /ea$ness of the true )hurch+ because the 0ord prefers the s"all nu"ber of people that safe&uard the truth+ to the lar&e nu"ber of "is&uided individuals D *.ohn >::@H(.ect the"+ pronouncin&9 *I never !new you: de#art from 'e. This clearly sho/s that only the faith in the 0ord . and they shall never #erish: neither shall anyone snat"h them out of 'y hand* %0u$e >@:A@+ . for it is your &ather)s good #leasure to give you the 8ingdom* and pro"ises to the faithful -is 3ivine protection fro" the spiritual /olves+ sayin&: * nd I give them eternal life. The 5eali!( o* the $eper %!at.e. In conclusion of -is Ser"on on the !ount+ the 0ord repeats this thou&ht: the one+ /ho hears the 0ord’s /ords and does not fulfill the"+ does not do &ood deeds+ is li$e a person that builds his house on the sandE /hile a person that fulfils )hrist’s co""and"ents in reality+ is li$e a person that had built his house on the roc$. -o/ever+ this does not save+ if the "an does not care about the fulfillin& of God’s co""and"ents.ustification throu&h faith alone+ /ithout &ood deeds9 *6ot everyone who says to 'e.udas received such po/er /ith the t/elve postles on an e5ual basis. In the initial sta&es of the )hristianity preachin&+ there /ere indeed "any+ /ho /or$ed /onders /ith )hrist’s 2a"e+ even .+ Those /ho do not fulfill these co""and"ents+ easily fall into despair and perish+ denyin& )hristE that is /hy our )hurch as$s in the cants to affir" us on 6-is roc$ of co""and"ents6.

Then the priests that treated the 0ord /ith ani"osity /ould start to assert that the as if cured leper /as never ill. It is also not surprisin& that this case is very si"ilar to the firstE it is not surprisin& either+ that the 0ord directed to the cured leper to co"e to a priest so that he+ in accordance /ith the 0a/ of !oses+ /ould officially testify about the fact of healin&.erusale" before his arrival.esus )hrist ca"e do/n fro" the "ountain+ a &reat "ultitude of people follo/ed -i"E they /ere undoubtedly very "uch struc$. -is /ords: *(ord. The 5eali!( o* the 'aper!au# 'e!turio!-s "erva!t %!at.e/’s opinion that only they can be the "e"bers of the !essiah’s 7in&do". The &uests /ho did so"ethin& /ron&+ /ere led out of the ban5uet roo"+ /here . s in "any of the 0ord’s sayin&s and parables+ the 7in&do" of -eaven is presented as a supper+ or feast+ at /hich %in the East( people did not sit but reclined. the . nd as it happened once before+ here a&ain %about /hat Evan&elists !ar$ >:?:-?G+ and 0u$e G:>@->K narrate( -e /as approached by a leper+ /ho /as pleadin& to be cured fro" this terrible disease.erusale" to the priest strai&ht then+ but /ould spread the ne/s of the /onder happened to hi" every/here+ then that infor"ation /ould have reached .e/ish reli&ion+ the testi"ony of /hat is the syna&o&ue built by hi". %ut say the word. $herefore I did not even thin! myself worthy to "ome to 1ou. So"e of the cities in Palestine+ under the authority of the 1o"an E"pire+ /ere &uarded by the "ilitary &arrisons of 1o"ans stationed there for protection. lthou&h the centurion /as a heathen by birth+ he /as disposed to/ards the . Thereupon+ he sent his friends and finally D as Saint !atthe/ /rites D he hi"self /ent out to "eet the 0ord+ 4ho /as approachin& his house. and my servant will be healed* %0u$e >:K-9( sound so unusual for a heathen in ter"s of faith and hu"ility+ that the 0ord D as both the Evan&elists tell D 6"arveled6 and considered it necessary to e"phasi#e before those that /ere present+ that -e did not find such faith even a"on& the representatives of God’s chosen people D the Israelites.e/ish elders /ith a re5uest to co"e and heal his servant. H:>@( for their disbelief in the arrived !essiah.fter the Ser"on+ /hen the 0ord .e. -e also foretells that "any of the heathens 6fro" the east and /est6 D to&ether /ith the Old Testa"ent forefathers D /ill be found /orthy to inherit this 7in&do"+ /hile at the sa"e ti"e+ the 6sons of the 7in&do"6+ i.e/s+ /ill be cast do/n into the absolute dar$ness+ /here *there will be wee#ing and gnashing of teeth* %!at. 4ithout that+ the for"er leper /ould not be able to return to the society of the healthy people+ as everybody /ould avoid hi" and be scared of hi"+ $no/in& that he had the dreadful and conta&ious leprosy. Initially+ the centurion sent the .states that he even /as close to death. H:G->A( *ollo/in& this+ the 0ord /ent to )apernau" /here+ once a&ain+ -e perfor"ed the "iracle of distant healin& of the 1o"an centurion’s servant+ /ho /as+ as it see"s+ in the head of the local &arrison of >:: soldiers. ccordin& to Saint !atthe/+ his servant suffered &reatly /ith the paralysis+ /hile accordin& to Saint 0u$e D /ho tells about this case in "ore detail . 2eedless to say+ this /as far fro" bein& a sin&le case of curin& lepers+ ta$in& into account "any "iraculous healin&s+ /hich the 0ord perfor"ed durin& the period of -is service to the people. for I am not worthy that 1ou should enter under my roof. So"e interpreters suppose that if the cured leper had not &one to . *urther on+ as Saint !atthe/ alone tells+ the 0ord refutes the . do not trouble yourself.

Everybody beca"e &ripped /ith fear+ still none of those /ho sa/ the /onder did not ac$no/led&e . so let it be done for you* %!at.ohn did not need an ans/er to this 5uestion+ but his disciples did+ because in hearin& "uch about the /onders of the 0ord+ they /ere baffled+ /hy -e does not openly proclai" -i"self the !essiah+ if -e /as the One indeed. -o/ever+ the 0ord does not &ive a direct ans/er+ because for the . . The 0ord /as acco"panied /ith -is disciples and a "ultitude of people. Seein& the depressed by &rief /o"an+ the 0ord had "ercy on her. I say to you.esus as the 4onder-4or$er !essiah+ re&ardin& -i" as a 6&reat prophet6+ and this opinion spread throu&hout the /hole . The 0ord traveled fro" )apernau" to the to/n called 2ain+ /hich /as located close to the southern border of Galilee+ on the northern side of the "ount !inor -er"on+ in the for"er territory of the Issachar tribe. Only the one+ /hose soul had been cleansed by )hrist’s teachin&s of everythin& earthly+ /as /orthy to listen and $no/ that . Only Evan&elist 0u$e describes this event+ connectin& it /ith .oh! the Baptist %!at.ohn the Baptist’s subse5uent dispatch of his follo/ers to ./as the supper+ into the outside %absolute( dar$ness+ into the cold+ opposite to the /ar" and li&ht roo" D /here the driven out &nashed their teeth fro" cold and sorro/E this i"a&e+ understandable to everyone+ /as ta$en to &ive the "ore visual presentation of the eternal tor"ent of sinners in hell.udea and its suburbs. The 9esurrectio! o* the 8ai! )ido7-s "o! %0u$e 9:>>->9(.esus )hrist /ith the 5uestion: * re 1ou the Coming +ne. The 1esse!(ers o* . >>:@->FE 0u$e 9:>H-AG(. pparently+ 2ain %pleasant( received its na"e fro" its location in the "a&nificent and rich /ith &ra#in&-&rounds territory of the Esdraelon valley.ohn’s disciples’ attention to -is /onders as to the proof of -is 3ivine 1epresentation+ addin&: * nd blessed is he who is not offended be"ause of 'e* %!at.ohn >:A@-A?(.esus )hrist %see . nd here at such a city &ate+ the 0ord ca"e across the funeral processionE a deceased youth+ the only son of a /ido/+ /as bein& carried out of the city.esus )hrist. arise*. >>:KE 0u$e 9:@A(+ or in other /ords: *%lessed is he . Saint .ohn the Baptist could not doubt the 3ivinity of the 0ord . 2evertheless+ findin& hi"self in a dun&eon+ he sends t/o of his disciples to . >>:AE 0u$e 9:>F(.o not wee#* and touched the open coffin /here the youth laid+ &ivin& by that the si&n for the procession to stop+ and resurrected the youth /ith the /ords: *1oung man.esus /as indeed !essiah-)hrist. That is /hy instead of a direct ans/er+ the 0ord cites Isaiah’s prophecy %AG:@-K(+ directin& . In ancient ti"es+ the cities /ere rin&ed by the solid /alls for their protection a&ainst the ene"ies+ so that one could enter and e'it the city only throu&h one &ate. or do we loo! for another/* %!at.e/s+ the na"e of the !essiah /as associated /ith the aspirations of the earthly &lory and splendor. The faith and hu"ility of the centurion /ere instantly re/arded+ as soon as the 0ord pronounced: *Go your way: and as you have believed. -e said: *. H:>A(.

nd e'actly to the" /as revealed the /isdo" of God+ inaccessible to the proud Pharisees.ohn D standin& on the border of both the Testa"ents D the Old Testa"ent havin& only a te"porary+ preparatory "eanin&+ ended+ and )hrist’s 7in&do"+ into /hich enters anybody /ho /as ta$in& pains+ opened. and the violent ta!e it by for"e. In statin& *%ut to what shall I li!en this generation/* %!at.ohn+ did not refuse to share -is "eal /ith sinners in the hope of savin& the". I say to you. Based on the prophecies of !alachi %?:G(+ undoubtedly concernin& )hrist’s Second )o"in&+ the . -ere+ )hrist’s )hurch of the 2e/ Testa"ent is placed opposite to the la/ and the Prophets+ i. .ohn’s disciples+ the 0ord be&an to spea$ of . 0i$e capricious and /illful children+ they can never be satisfied by their friends.e/ish people+ repentin& publicans and sinners+ /ho believed in )hrist and accepted -is 3ivine teachin& /ith all their heartE they are the ones /ho 6. >>:>FE 0u$e 9:AG( are e'cellently interpreted by Blessed Theothylactus: 64hen+ )hrist says+ neither . The 0ord’s /ords: *wisdom is 2ustified by her "hildren* %!at. the Old Testa"ent )hurch.e/s /ere e'pectin& the appearance of Eli.6 These 6children of /isdo"6 D the co""on . * nd from the days of John the %a#tist until now the 8ingdom of Heaven suffers violen"e. To the"+ the Pharisees and Scribes that /ere a/aitin& the !essiah as the &reat $in&-con5ueror+ the &reat faster .ah hi"self.ect all paths for salvation+ then I D God’s Great 4isdo" D turn out to be ri&ht+ not before the Pharisees+ but before !y children.ohn D callin& the" to/ards la"entation and contrition about their sins D could not please the": si"ilarly+ they could not be convinced by .ohn hi"self doubted the &reatness of the 0ord+ after the departure of . nd so that people did not thin$ that .e. among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the %a#tist* %!at.ohn hi"self responded in the ne&ative to the 5uestion as to /hether he /as Eli.ohnE pay particular attention to !y testi"ony about .e.who does not doubt in 'e. >>:>>E 0u$e 9:@H(+ D these /ords indicate the superiority of the )hristianity over the hi&hest Old Testa"ent ri&hteousness. >>:>KE 0u$e 9:A>(+ the 0ord "eans the Scribes and Pharisees.ah before that of the !essiah in the literal sense+ then $no/ that the one /ho had to appear before the !essiah+ has arrived: this is . But !alachi prophesied only of an n&el+ /ho /ill prepare the /ay for the 0ord %A:>(. &or all the #ro#hets and the law #ro#hesied until John* %!at. >>:@:-A:E 0u$e >::>A->K and @>R@@( It is /ith the sincere sorro/ that the 0ord pronounces 6/oe6 to the cities of )hora#in %to the north of )apernau"( and Bethsaida %to the east of it( for not repentin&+ even thou&h they /itnessed "any /onders "ade by )hrist. seeing 'y humble a##earan"e*.ohn’s life nor !ine pleases you+ and you re.ohn+ said: *He will also go before him in the s#irit and #ower of Dli2ah* %0u$e >:>9(E but he /ould not be Eli.ohn and *He who has ears to hear.ah before the !essiah’s co"in&. sho/ed that the 0ord had arran&ed the salvation of the people correctly and /isely. let him hear0* %!at. /3posi!( the 'ities o* Galilee %!at.ohn’s hi&h /orthiness and "inistry as the hi&hest of all the prophets: * ssuredly.ustified6 God and -is /isdo"+ i. he is Dli2ah who is to "ome* %!at. 4ith .ah. The "eanin& of the 0ord’s /ords: * nd if you are willing to re"eive it.esus )hrist -i"self+ 4ho+ opposite to . >>:>G(. The n&el+ foretellin& =achariah about the birth of . >>:>?( is such: if you understand !alachi’s prophecy on the co"in& of Eli. >>:>@>A(. The 0ord co"pares these cities /ith the heathen Tyre .

esus /as truly the !essiah-)hrist. >>:@9E 0u$e >::@@( D these /ords of the 0ord "ean that nobody can co"prehend all the &reatness and &oodness of the Son+ as /ell as the &reatness and &oodness of the *ather. 6or does anyone !now the &ather e5"e#t the Son.ud&"ent+ /ill be better than that of the . The 0ord -i"self &ives stren&th in the for" of &oodness of the -oly Spirit to bear -is burden+ and by the Personal e'a"ple inspires us to carry -is yo$e.onah’s ser"on repented 2ineveh: dressed in a coarse &ar"ent+ "ade of abrasive hair %/hich inflicted pain to the body(+ seated on ashes and sprin$lin& ashes on the head as a si&n of deep contrition. The 0ord co"pares )apernau" /ith the Gree$ cities of Sodo" and Go"orrah+ destroyed by God for indecency /ith a rain of sulphur and fire.e/s+ /ho /ere &iven the opportunity for salvation+ but /ho did not /ant to repent li$e after .e. * ll things have been delivered to 'e by 'y &ather* %!at. and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal to Him* %!at. One Pharisee+ called Si"on+ /ho see"ed to be nurturin& love for the 0ord+ althou&h not havin& the fir" belief in -i"+ invited the 0ord for a "eal+ in order that "aybe+ plun&in& into -is speech and teachin&+ to enter into the closer association /ith -i". ccordin& to the Pharisees’ . all you who labor and are heavy laden* %i.e. >>:@9E 0u$e >::@@( D the 0ord said+ "eanin& the follo/in&: everythin& had been placed under -is authority: the corporeal /orld+ /hich is seen+ and the spiritual /orld+ the invisible D both &iven to -i" not as to the Son of God+ 4ho al/ays has such authority+ but as to -u"an God and the Savior of the people+ so that -e could turn all this over to "an$ind salvation. >>:A:(. Only the Son+ /ithin -i"self+ reveals the *ather to those /ho co"e to -i"+ /hile -e in -is turn+ bec$ons for everyone to co"e to -i": *Come to 'e.e. Proud /ith their i"a&ined /isdo" and $no/led&e of the -oly Scripture+ the Pharisees and Scribes did not understand the 0ord . The /o"an+ $no/n throu&hout the to/n as a &reat sinner+ entered une'pectedly+ and havin& stopped hu"bly behind the 0ord+ she bent do/n to his feet+ and seein& that -is feet /ere not /ashed of the dust of the trip+ be&an to shed floods of tears+ /ashin&+ in such "anner+ the feet of the 0ord+ instead of /ater+ /ith her tears and /ipin& the" /ith her hair instead of a to/el. e'hausted fro" the fussy and fruitless labors under the pressure of sinful passions+ e"anatin& fro" pride and vanity(+ *and I will give you rest* %i.and Sidon of nei&hborin& Phoenicia+ confir"in& that the situation of the latter+ on the 3ay of 0ast . nd the 0ord praises -is -eavenly *ather that the truth of -is teachin&s /hile concealed fro" the 6/ise and the prudent6+ turned out to be open to 6the babies6+ i. Indeed+ God’s punish"ent fell on all these cities soon after: the 1o"ans destroyed the" to their foundations+ as /ell as . I /ill &ive you peace fro" these passions( %!at. for I am gentle and lowly in heart* %!at. Thereupon+ $issin& -is feet+ she be&an to anoint the" /ith the e'pensive "yrrh that she had brou&ht /ith her. For(ivi!( the "i!*ul )o#a! i! the 5ouse o* "i#o! the &harisee %0u$e 9:AK-G:(. >>:@H(. si"ple and artless people+ li$e the postles and -is closest disciples and follo/ers+ /ho sensed not /ith their "inds but /ith their hearts that .esus )hrist and -is teachin&s because of their spiritual blindness. In offerin& to ta$e up -is 6yo$e6+ the 0ord "eans the yo$e of the Gospel la/+ co"parin& it to the yo$e of passions: *$a!e 'y yo!e u#on you and learn from 'e. * nd no one !nows the Son e5"e#t the &ather. The 0ord also predicts the destruction of )apernau"+ for its conse5uential pride and as a conse5uence of its internal fortuity and prosperity. >>:@F(+ *&or 'y yo!e is easy and 'y burden is light* %!at.erusale" in the sa"e /ar.

The 0ord heals the possessed+ in /hich "uteness and blindness acco"panied the de"on’s presence+ and all the people "arvel at this "iracle. One o/ed Goo denarii’s %appro'. >@:@HE 0u$e >>:@:(E here the 0ord "eans that the 7in&do" of God arrived+ instead of the $in&do" of satan+ /ho is fleein& fro" the /orld+ bein& . the !essiah(+ the Pharisees be&an to spread ru"ors that -e e'pulses de"ons /ith the po/er of Beel#ebub D the prince of de"ons D that -e -i"self has the unclean spirit %!ar$ A:A:(+ even callin& -i" Beel#ebub %!at.e.ud&es the 0ord for acceptin& these honors+ thin$in& to hi"self that -e cannot be a prophet for -e /ould have $no/n *what manner of woman this is* and /ould have re. >@:@9E 0u$e >>:>F(. The other &uests reclinin& /ith Si"on %evidently+ also Pharisees(+ did not understand the 0ord’s /ords and be&an to be annoyed internally+ that /as /hy )hrist sent the /o"an a/ay /ith the /ords: *Go in #ea"e0* The 5eali!( o* the &ossessed a!d the /3posure o* the &harisees %!at. The 0ord responded to this /ith a 5uestionin& supposition: /ould satan be&in to destroy his o/n $in&do"I *Dvery !ingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation* %!at >@:@GE 0u$e >>:>9E !ar$ A:@?(. -ere+ the /ord sons "eans both the postles+ havin& received the po/er fro" )hrist to e'pulse de"ons+ and the disciples of the Pharisees that practiced e'orcis"+ and that individual+ about /hich the postles said to )hrist+ that he e'pulses de"ons /ith -is na"e+ /hile not bein& /ith -i" %!ar$ F:AHE 0u$e F:?F(. >@:@9E 0u$e >>:>F( i. they /ill reveal their pre"editated lies on the . *$herefore they %sons( shall be your 2udges* %!at. *ro" the parable+ Si"on should have understood that in the "oral sense+ the 0ord places the repentant /o"an-sinner hi&her than hi"+ Si"on the Pharisee+ because she sho/ed "ore love to/ards the 0ord than he did+ and for such love her sins /ere for&iven. surely the 8ingdom of God has "ome u#on you* %!at. >@:@@-A9E !ar$ A:@:-A:E 0u$e >>:>?-@A(. 1evealin& the hidden thou&hts of the Pharisee+ the 0ord narrated to hi" the parable about the t/o debtors. In the devil’s $in&do"+ there should be the unity in authority and action+ and conse5uently satan is incapable of actin& a&ainst hi"self.esus bein& )hrist %i. the same loves little*. In confir"in& the correctness of the ans/er+ the 0ord adds: *$o whom little is forgiven. >::@G(.e.understandin&+ a touch of a sinful /o"an defiles that person+ therefore Si"on+ co"pletely unaffected by the "oral conversion that had occurred in the soul of this /anton+ does nothin& but only .ected her. 4ishin& to eli"inate a"on& the people all discussions about . by whom do your sons "ast them out/*@ said the 0ord %!at. * nd if I "ast out demons by %eel7ebub. It is easy to respond to the 0ord’s 5uestion: /ho of the t/o loved the lender "oreI Of course+ the one that /as for&iven "ore. >@G rubles( /hile the other D G: denarii’s. s they did not have the "oney to pay the lender+ he e'cused both the debts. ccordin& to the conte't+ those /ords /ere directed a&ainst Si"on+ /ho had little love for )hrist and /as sparse in &ood deeds D even thou&h he invited -i" to his house+ he did not de"onstrate any si&ns of attention to/ards )hrist: $issin& -i" or /ashin& -is feet.ud&"ent 3ay. *%ut if I "ast out demons by the S#irit if God. The /ords *to whom little is forgiven>* contain an obli5ue reference to Si"on that because of his disposition to/ards the 0ord+ he too is for&iven so"e debts before God+ althou&h "uch less than the /o"an-sinner.

or the age to "ome/* That is because+ if a person re. >@:A:E 0u$e >>:@A(. In )hrist’s 7in&do": he+ /ho is not /ith -i"+ is hostile to -i" because he brin&s division into the united 6house6 under one authority. 0i$e ene"ies+ they hypocritically as$ for si&ns and -i" therefore calls the" as *evil and adulterous generation* %"at. 4hy it happens that there is no for&iveness for this sin *either in this age.e/s /ere te"pted by . >@:A>-A@E !ar$ A:@H-@F(. Such a person already partly belon&s to )hrist: he can have one &oal /ith -i" and enter -is 7in&do". but whoever s#ea!s against the Holy S#irit. /hich is the &race of the -oly Spirit+ the 0ord calls #lasphemy against the Spirit. They /anted to see *a sign from Heaven* %!at. But the one+ /ho is not /ith )hrist in -is stru&&le /ith satan in &atherin& all the people into God’s 7in&do"+ is a&ainst -i"+ for anybody+ /ho+ hearin& and understandin& )hrist’s teachin&+ does not .pursued by )hrist: e'pulsin& de"ons+ the 0ord proves that -e has 6bound6 the 6stron&est6 D satan. and he who does not gather with 'e.ects the evident actions of the -oly Spirit’s savin& &race+ he /ould not be able to evo$e the feelin& of repentance+ /ithout /hich there is no salvation.e/s’ idolatry in the for" of unfaithfulness to God . but the blas#hemy against the S#irit will not be forgiven men. >@:A?(. The 0ord then adds the follo/in& thou&ht: *He who is not with 'e is against 'e. Those "iracles /hich )hrist perfor"ed throu&h -is love for sufferin& people+ on prayers of so"e individuals+ /ere not enou&h for the". The $ord-s A!s7er to Those4 )aiti!( *or the "i(!s *ro# 5i# %!at.ects this very "ercy+ /ho stubbornly opposes the very savin& &race of God+ /ill obtain no "ercy and his sin re"ains unfor&iven+ and such a person perishes. -e e'plains the Pharisees’ slander a&ainst the 0ord’s deeds /ith the an&er+ /hich is in their hearts9 *%rood of vi#ers0 How "an you. being evil. If a person blasphe"es a&ainst )hrist+ seein& -i" in a hu"bled state+ that sin /ill be for&iven+ for this is a si"ple error+ easily /ashed out throu&h repentance. The conclusion fro" this is: *Dvery sin and blas#hemy will be forgiven men.esus )hrist’s hu"bleness and they /ere de"andin& a si&n fro" -i"+ /hich /ould clearly indicate -is 3ivine /orthiness of the !essiah. >K:>(. This /as not the case /ith the stu##orn opposition a&ainst the actions of God’s savin& po/er+ /hich /as noted by the Pharisees and /as far fro" repentance. t this unfaithfulness pointed already the Prophets+ presentin& the . it will not be forgiven him.ud&"ent 3ay+ because their an&ry replies sho/ the presence of the evil and contrary to God /ill in the". s#ea! of good things/ &or out of the abundan"e of the heart the mouth s#ea!s* %!at. This intentional opposition to the saving grace of %od. The 0ord threatens the Pharisees that they /ill have to ans/er for every idle /ord on the .oin -i"+ is already -is ene"y+ and especially the one /ho &oes a&ainst -i". >@:AH-?GE 0u$e >>:@F-A@+ @?R@K( The . either in this age or in the age to "ome* %!at. God’s "ercy is eternal+ and there is no sin that could defeat it: but anyone that stubbornly re. It is different+ /hen a person is not yet in )hrist’s 7in&do"+ yet has not been called thereE then+ he at least should not be a&ainst )hrist+ is not in unity /ith the /orld that is hostile to )hrist. This /as clearly e'pressed in the fact that the Pharisees dared to call the al"i&hty /or$s of God the /or$s of the devil. s"atters abroad* %"at. >@:AFE 0u$e >>:@F(+ in the sense that they are not faithful to God. it will be forgiven him. nyone who s#ea!s a word against the Son of 'an.

> 7in&s A::>@E Genesis ?@:>9->HE @ )hron./ithin the short ti"e+ their disbelief /ould appear a&ain /ith even &reater stren&th and stubbornness.ery Incarnated 3ivine 4isdo"+ 4hich /as 6&reater than Solo"on6.oined to the Scripture narratin& about the 0ord’s visit to !aria and !artha+ and is read as one Gospel.e/s to believe in -i" by perfor"in& an astonishin& "iracle+ but because their "oral decay is so &reat+ -.ud&e the .esus %0u$e >>:@9-@HE !ath. t this point of ti"e+ co""ences the &lorification of the !other of God in fulfill"ent of -er o/n prediction: *Hen"eforth. *urther on+ the 0ord narrates the parable about the unclean spirit that after leavin& a person re-entered hi" /ith the others that /ere "ore evil than hi". >A:G?-GK(. One /o"an /as so astonished by the 0ord’s ser"on that she could not curb her deli&ht+ and publicly &lorified -i" and -is Ever-Pure !other+ 4ho /as outside their house /ith his brothers %!at. >::G->@+ and others(. ctually+ )hrist spent one day and t/o ni&hts in the to"b+ but in the East there al/ays e'isted the tradition to count the part of a day or ni&ht as a /hole %e. The 0ord al/ays nurtured &entle feelin&s to/ards -is !other+ and even /hen -e /as crucified+ /as still concerned about -er and char&ed -is beloved disciple+ postle . Throu&h this parable+ the 0ord visually e'plains that althou&h -e could force the .&.esus+ upon -is physical death+ /ill resurrect in three days. The "entioned here Christ’s #rothers in so"e sections of the Gospel+ are na"ed as: .a"es+ . G9:AE E#e$iel >K:>G+ @A-@9(. 3isbelief and decay /ithin the" D is the very evil spirit fro" the parable about the possessed. >@:?K and !ar$ A:A>(.e/s did not /ant to listen to the .D adultery %E'od.onah’s ser"on+ /ill .onah in the bo/els of a /hale durin& A daysE si"ilarly .ud&e the . That is /hy on the !other of God’s feast-day+ this fra&"ent is al/ays .ud&"ent for not acceptin& their !essiah’s ser"ons+ and because of their stubbornness did not /ant to repent.ohn to care about -er. >@:G:E !ar$ A:AGE 0u$e H:@>(. A )o#a! Glori*ies the 1other o* . Nueen Sheba of the south+ /ho ca"e fro" rabia+ also /ill . all generations shall "all 'e %lessed*. If a person re"ains careless+ idle and inattentive to hi"self+ then the evil spirit and passions that once /ere driven out of hi"+ return /ith &reater ferocity. *%lessed is the womb that bore 1ou. ccordin& to the tradition+ that /o"an /as !artha’s servant %0u$e >::AH(+ !arcella.e/s at the 0ast . and the breasts whi"h nursed 1ou* %0u$e >>:@9(+ or in other /ords: blessed is the One+ 4ho &ave birth and brou&ht up such a Teacher.udas %!at. -o/ever+ at this "o"ent+ in sayin& -is e'hortations to the people+ -e sho/ed the" that the fulfill"ent of the -eavenly *ather’s /ill is &reater than -is fa"ily feelin&s: *Whoever does the will of 'y &ather in Heaven is 'y brother and sister and 'other* %!at.osses+ Si"on and . The 0ord tells the" that they /ill not be &iven any si&ns+ pointin& to the &reatest "iracle in the past and placin& it as a sy"bol of the ne/: the preservation of Prophet . )o"parin& the narrations of all the four Evan&elists+ it . >@:?K-G:E !ar$ A:A>-AGE 0u$e H:>F-@>(. Saint Evan&elist !atthe/ notes that it /as specifically at this particular ti"e /hen the !other of God and the so-called brothers /ere outside the house+ and sent a "essa&e to tell -i" that they /ere unable to s5uee#e throu&h+ because of the cro/d of people surroundin& -i". The Ninevians D the inhabitants of the city 2ineveh+ capital of the ssyrian $in&do" on the ban$ of the Tiber river %to the north of Babylon( D /ho repented as a result of Prophet .e/s+ because she ca"e fro" far /ay to listen to the 4isdo" of Solo"on+ /hile the .

The 0ord’s parables are the alle&orical teachin&s+ i"a&es and e'a"ples+ ta$en fro" everyday life of the . If this truth /as sho/n to the "orally corroded and spiritually hardened people in its natural state+ /ithout envelopin& it into so"ethin& that they understood+ then they /ould see it /ithout seein& it+ and hear it+ /ithout hearin& it. ccordin& to one tradition+ that !aria /as the /ife of )lopas+ /ho+ in fact+ /as the father of )hrist’s 6brothers.oachi" and nna. This served as a reason for the "oral coarseness and false ideas of the !essiah and -is 7in&do"+ spread by the Scribes and Pharisees. >A:>:->>E !ar$ ?:>:->> and 0u$e H:F->:(. Saint )hrysosto" e'plains: *$he (ord s#o!e in #arables to ma!e His words more e5#ressive. )orrectly spea$in&+ the Scripture’s parable is a paravoli.e/s called as 6brothers6 not only their blood brothers+ but also the first and second cousins+ and close relatives in &eneral.ohn >F:@G(. The parables+ narrated in the >Ath chapter of the Gospel of !atthe/+ and in the parallel sections of the other t/o forecasters+ !ar$ and 0u$e+ /ere told by the 0ord before such a "ultitude of people+ that -e /as forced to enter a boat+ to distance -i"self fro" the besie&in& cro/d+ and then address the people standin& on the ban$ of the Gennesaret la$e %6sea6(. to im#rint them in the memories of the listeners and #resent the a"tual matters visually*. but to them it has not been given* %!at. s the future "essen&ers of the Gospel+ the 0ord’s disciples D throu&h the special blissful "ental enli&hten"ent D /ere &iven the $no/led&e of the 3ivine truths+ even thou&h not fully+ before the descent of the -oly Spirit. !aria )lopas /as supposed to be the cousin to the !other of God+ for She /as the only dau&hter of .e/ish people and fro" the surroundin& nature. Only /hen the truth is enveloped into a parabolic cover+ .esus 'hrist-s Teachi!( i! &arables bout the So/erE bout taresE bout the invisibly &ro/in& seedE bout the "ustard seedE bout the leavenE bout the treasure hidden in the fieldE bout the precious pearlE bout the dra&net+ cast into the sea. In any case+ the . In order to brin& both traditions to the accordion+ it can be accepted that the 6brothers6 /ere the sons of . 4hile the rest+ not havin& such $no/led&e+ /ere not ready to accept and understand those truths. The $ord .oseph the Betrothed’s children fro" his first "arria&e.can be seen that the "other of all these 6brothers6 of )hrist /as !aria )lopas+ /ho" Saint .oined . To the 5uestion: *Why do you s#ea! to them in #arables/* the 0ord responded: *%e"ause it has been given to you to !now the mysteries of the 8ingdom of Heaven.6 In the literal translation+ the /ord 2parimia2 "eans 6a brief state"ent that e'press the rules of life6 %such for e'a"ple+ are the parables of Solo"on(E 2paravoli2 D is a story+ containin& the concealed "eanin&+ that e'press the hi&her spiritual truth throu&h the i"a&es+ ta$en fro" everyday life.oseph+ and %accordin& to the la/ of the fa"ily ties( of the /ife of his brother that had died childless+ or of a close relative of !aria )lopas. The /ord para#le is "ade up of t/o Gree$ /ords: 6paravoli6 and 6pari"ia. lready Isaiah had prophesied that %K:F->:(.ohn calls as *His 'other)s sister* %.6 4hile accordin& to another+ those 6brothers6 /ere .

and he will have abundan"e: but whoever does not have. who has neither a wish. lthou&h saph /as sayin& that about hi"self+ but bein& a prophet+ he /as a sy"bol of the !essiah+ /hich can be seen fro" the follo/in& /ords of the sa"e verse: *I will utter dar! sayings of old*+ /hich only befits the O"niscient !essiah+ and not a "ortal individual. The &arable about the "o7er %!at. In their stru&&le /ith te"ptations+ they beco"e te"pted+ fall in the spirit and betray their faith and the Gospel.hardened to such an e'tent that he does not co"prehend God’s 4ord+ this 4ord settles on the surface of the "ind and heart+ not ta$in& root+ as the seed alon& the road+ e'posed to every passer-by+ and the sly one D satan or a de"on D entices it and "a$es the heard fruitless.&. nor effort. >A:>@+ @G:@FE 0u$e >F:@K etc. D repeatedly "entions the 0ord throu&hout the different sections of the Gospel %e.ects it+ the truth+ beco"es suitable for perceivin& and understandin&: not forcibly+ but by itself the coarsened thou&ht rises fro" that /hat is seen to the unseen+ fro" the out/ard aspect to the hi&her spiritual "eanin&. The stony surfaces are those /ho+ /hile interested in the Gospel’s ser"on as /ith the &ood ne/s D at ti"es even sincerely and /ith the open heart+ findin& pleasure in the ser"on+ still have their hearts cold+ hard and i""ovable+ li$e a roc$. In this parable+ the 0ord envisa&es -i"self as bein& the So/er+ the seeds as the preached by -i" 3ivine 4ord and the soil upon /hich they are so/n+ as the hearts of the listeners. >A:>-@AE !ar$ ?:>-@:E 0u$e H:?->G(. The &round /ith . would not have any #rofit from that what he seems to have*. who wishes and strives to obtain the gifts of gra"e. In the fact that the 0ord spo$e in parables+ Saint !atthe/ sees the fulfill"ent of saph’s prophecy: *I will o#en my mouth in a #arable* %Psal" 99:@(. In the spiritual sense it "eans: you+ the postles+ already &ifted /ith the $no/led&e of God’s -eavenly "ysteries+ are able to penetrate into these "ysteries further and further+ understand the" "ore co"pletely. Saint )hrysosto" e'plains it this /ay: *He. The so/in& is a "a&nificent e'a"ple of preachin& God’s 4ord+ /hich+ fallin& into the heart+ re"ains either fruitless or brin&s a fruit+ &reater or lesser D dependin& on its state. !at. The 0ord co&ently re"inded the" of their native fields D interrupted by the road runnin& throu&h the"+ so"e sections of /hich /ere over&ro/n /ith thorny bushes %bra"bles(+ /hile the others /ere covered /ith only a thin layer of the &round. t the sa"e ti"e+ the people /ould lose even their sparse $no/led&e of those "ysteries /hich they had retained if+ /ith the revelation of those "ysteries+ they /ere not &iven the assistance throu&h the ser"on that /as "ore appropriate for the". The one+ /hose "ind is dar$ened and heart -. to him more will be given.(. even what he has will be ta!en away from him*. God Himself would grant everything: but he./ith the notions of the /ell $no/n sub. *&or whoever has. The "eanin& of this sayin& is that /ith the effort+ a rich person beco"es richer+ /hile a poor individual+ if he is la#y+ loses even /hat little he has. Such people are incapable of chan&in& their life-style+ leavin& their beloved+ habitual sins for the sa$e of the Gospel’s de"ands and co""ence the stru&&le a&ainst te"ptations+ toleratin& sorro/s and deprivations for the sa$e of the truth of the Gospel’s teachin&. The concealed "ysteries of God’s 7in&do" are of course+ $no/n only to God’s hypostatic 4isdo".

e. The &arable about the Tares %!at. until the 3read . Tares are called the /eeds /hich+ /hile they are s"all+ very "uch rese"ble /heat. In the East+ a "ustard tree can reach the enor"ous si#e+ althou&h its seed is that s"all that the .e. But /hen they are fully-&ro/n and be&in to differ fro" /heat+ pullin& the" out poses a serious threat to the roots of /heat-stal$s.ud&"ent+ /hen the inhabitants D God’s n&els D /ould &ather all the 6tares6 and cast the" into the fiery stove for the eternal hellish torture. lthou&h -is disciples /ere the "ost helpless . St. 6The $inds of virtues are different+ . The 0ord tolerates the latter+ leavin& the" until the 6harvest ti"e+6 i. The &arable about the 1ustard "eed %!at. The &ood and fertile soil represents the people /ith $ind and pure hearts+ /ho hearin& the 4ord of God fir"ly decided it to be the &uide of their lives and to brin& the fruits of virtues. In the e'tensive field of the /orld+ everybody lives to&ether: both the /orthy sons of the -eavenly *ather %/heat( and the sons of the sly one %tares(. durin& the ni&ht+ /hen thin&s can be done in secret+ hidden fro" everyone D /hat indicates the cunnin&ness of the ene"y D *his %people’s( enemy "ame and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way*. *$he 8ingdom of Heaven is li!e a man who sowed good seed in his field*.thorns represents the people’s hearts that are entan&led /ith passions: to the /ealth+ deli&hts+ and the earthly blessin&s in &eneral.e. >A:A>-A@E !ar$ ?:A:-A@E 0u$e >A:>H->F(. The &arable about the 0!visibly Gro7i!( "eed %!ar$ ?:@K-@F(. The "eanin& of the parable is in that+ althou&h the be&innin& of God’s 7in&do" is evidently s"all and insi&nificant+ the po/er concealed in it overco"es all the obstacles+ and is capable of transfor"in& it into the &reat and /orld/ide $in&do". Si"ilarly+ the transfi&uration of the hu"an soul+ perfor"ed /ith the po/er of God’s &race+ can be neither &rasped nor understood. The 0ord /ill then direct the 6/heat6 to be &athered for -is &ranary+ i. The Teachin& of )hrist is bein& so/n all over the /orld D but so does the devil so/in& the evil a"on& the people /ith his te"ptations. >A:@?-A:(. )hrysosto" co""ents: 64ith this parable+ the 0ord /anted to sho/ the /ay in /hich the Gospel’s ser"on /ill be spread. This inner process of that can be neither &rasped nor understood: ho/ fro" a tiny seed the /hole plant e"er&es D nobody $no/s. 6The 7in&do" of -eaven6 is the earthly )hurch+ established by the -eavenly *ounder and leadin& people to/ards -eaven.e/s even had a sayin&: 6Tiny+ as a "ustard seed6.ust as are different those /ho succeed in the spiritual /isdo"6 %Blessed Theothylactus(. *%ut while men sle#t* D i. The 7in&do" of -eaven is li$e a seed that havin& been thro/n into the &round invisibly &ro/s by itself. into -is -eavenly 7in&do"+ /here the ri&hteous /ill shine li$e the sun.

Si"ilarly+ to the /ise+ God’s 7in&do" presents itself as a treasure in the sense of the inner enli&hten"ent and spiritual &ifts.ud&"ent+ . The &arable about the :ra(!et4 'ast i!to the "ea %!at. This parable has the sa"e "eanin& as that of /heat and tares. >A:AA-AGE !ar$ ?:AA-A?E 0u$e >A:@:-@>(. The &arable about the Treasure 5idde! i! the Field %!at. >A:??(. 0i$e/ise in the soul of every individual "e"ber of )hrist’s 7in&do": the po/er of &race invisibly+ but &radually and actively starts to possess all the po/ers of his spirit+ and sanctifyin&+ transfi&ure the". The parable about the leaven has the sa"e "eanin&.e/s+ fornicators+ publicans+ robbers. -avin& concealed the si"ilar treasure+ a follo/er of )hrist sacrifices everythin& and re. The "eanin& of this parable is the sa"e as that of the precedin& one: in order to ac5uire the -eavenly 7in&do" as the &reatest treasure+ it is necessary to sacrifice everythin&+ all the /elfare /hich one possesses. The beach and the sortin& of fish are understood li$e the end of the /orld and the 3read . In order to "a$e use it+ he sells all that he o/ns+ buys the field and beco"es the possessor of the treasure. The &arable about the $eave! %!at. Precisely the sa"e thin& occurs /ith the soul of every individual: God’s /inno/in& &race+ initially hardly perceptible+ envelopes the soul "ore and "ore until it beco"es the receptacle of various virtues.ects everythin& in order to posses it. So"e interpret the three "easures as bein& the three po/ers of the soul: the "ind+ feelin& and /ill. 60i$e the leaven D says Saint )hrysosto" D that reports its properties to the &reat a"ount of flour+ so /ill you %the postles( transfi&ure the /hole /orld6.of all+ and the "ost hu"ble+ but because they possessed the &reat hidden po/er+ it %the ser"on( spread throu&hout the /hole universe6. person learns about the treasure+ buried in a field that did not belon& to hi". )hrist’s )hurch+ s"all in the be&innin& and unnoticeable to the /orld+ e'panded on the earth in such a /ay the "ultitude of nations shelter under its canopy+ that li$e birds in the branches of a "ustard tree. The sea is the /orld+ the dra&net is the teachin& on faith+ the fisher"en are the postles and their successors. The 6dra&net6 represents people of all $ind: the barbarians+ -ellenes+ . The &arable about the &earl %!at. >A:?9-G:(. >A:?G-?K(.

-e calls 7ingdom of 'eaven that eternal blissful state of the ri&hteous+ that /ill be revealed to the" in the ne(t life+ after the *inal 3read .e/s+ hostile to -i"+ /ho only $ne/ 6the Old Testa"ent thin&s6 and even then distorted and perverted the"+ understandin& and interpretin& the" incorrectly+ but those scribes+ instructed in the 7ingdom of 'eaven& /ho /ere capable of bein& the preachers of the 7in&do" of -eaven.ohn )hrysosto"’s e'planation+ the 0ord acted that /ay to "a$e -is /ords "ore "eanin&ful+ to envelop the truth in a livin& i"a&e and to fi' it deeper in the "e"ory. 4hen on the 5uestion posed to the disciples+ /hether they understood everythin& that /as said+ they responded in the affir"ative+ -e called the" 6the scribes6+ but not those Scribes-. This God’s 7in&do" that /as revealed /ith the co"in& of )hrist the Savior enters into the souls of people and transfi&urin& the" internally+ prepares the" for the inheritance of the -eavenly 7in&do"+ /hich /ill open at the end of this a&e./hen the ri&hteous /ill be separated fro" the sinners+ . )onse5uently+ one cannot a&ree /ith the opinion of those+ /ho li$e Ori&en+ thin$ that everybody /ill be saved+ even the devil. )onse5uently+ /ith parables+ one has to loo$ for si"ilarities+ li$eness D but only in the general sense and not in the details D not in every /ord+ ta$en separately. 0i$e/ise+ all the postles’ successors should use both the Old and the 2e/ Testa"ents in their ser"on+ because God has revealed the truths of the both. It is necessary to focus on the fact that )hrist the Savior often ta$es opportunities to differentiate the fate of the ri&hteous and the sinners in the ne't /orld. It is i"portant to note that in -is ser"ons and parables+ the 0ord . 2aturally+ apart fro" this+ every parable has to be understood in the relation /ith the others+ ho"o&enous and /ith the &eneral spirit of )hrist teachin&. Interpretin& the 0ord’s parables+ one should re"e"ber that /hen -e tau&ht trou&h the"+ -e used e'a"ples fro" everyday life of -is listeners+ and not those i"a&inary. About the +7!er4 &reservi!( the 8e7 a!d the +ld %!at.ust li$e a prudent o/ner that /ithdra/s fro" his treasury both the ne/ and the old+ to use either one or the other+ accordin& to the prevailin& need.esus )hrist 5uite clearly delineates the understandin& of the 7in&do" of -eaven fro" that of God’s 7in&do". -avin& been instructed by .esus as$ed the": have you understood all thisI They respond: yes+ 0ordM -e then told the": Therefore every scribe instructed concernin& the 7in&do" of -eaven is li$e a householder /ho brin&s out of his treasury+ thin&s ne/ and old. The $ord-s 9espo!se to Those 5esitati!( to Follo7 5i# . The above-"entioned parables are devoted to the revealin& of these notions. s %od’s 7ingdom -e calls the co""unity of believers that -e had established+ /ho try to perfor" the /ill of the -eavenly *ather.ud&"ent. nd . )onse5uently+ they /ill be able in their forthco"in& ser"on+ . >A:G>-G@(.ust li$e the &ood fish /ill be separated fro" the bad fish+ cau&ht in the dra&line.esus )hrist+ they then $ne/ the 2old2 prophecy and the 2ne02 teachin& of )hrist about the -eavenly 7in&do". ccordin& to Saint .

H:@A-@9E !ar$ ?:AG-?>E 0u$e H:@@-@G(. ccordin& to Saint !ar$+ the disciples even per"itted the"selves to reproach .e. It is as thou&h the 0ord is sayin&: leave those /ho are totally attached to the earthly life to bury their dead+ /hile you+ heedin& the /ord of life+ /hich is bein& preached by !e+ follo/ !e.ostled by people to such an e'tent+ that -e /as unable to seclude -i"self for the prayer and conversation /ith the postles %0u$e ?:?@( D -e did not even have ti"e to eat %!ar$ A:@:(. pparently+ this response "ade a &reat i"pression on the people /ith the 0ord+ /ho already belon&ed to the nu"ber of -is disciples. 4ith ali$e+ not fully understandable prohibition of &ivin& last tribute to his deceased father+ the 0ord apparently /anted to either to test the character and loyalty of this disciple+ or to save hi" fro" his relatives+ /ho could have distracted hi" fro" follo/in& -i". is fit for the 8ingdom of God*. -o/ever+ first he as$s per"ission .%!at. In other /ords: the one+ /ho decided to follo/ )hrist+ should not loo$ bac$ at the /orld /ith its fa"ily ties and earthly attach"ents+ for any type of the earthly bond prevents fro" the co"plete co""it"ent to the teachin& of )hrist. 4hen they left the shore+ e'hausted fro" -is daily activities+ the 0ord fell asleep at the bo/ of the boat. The disciples+ nearly all of the" bein& the local fisher"en and accusto"ed to fi&htin& /ith local stor"s+ /ere e'hausted and in desperation be&an to /a$e their Teacher.ust to part /ith his relatives. and let the dead bury the dead* %!at. having #ut his hand to the #low. the 0ord /anted to say that -e had no place /here -e could seclude and rest fro" -is labors. 'al#i!( the "tor# %!at. 4ishin& to /arn the Scribe that he+ probably+ /as about to underta$e the tas$ that /as beyond his capabilities+ the 0ord re"inded hi" about -is no"adic type of life: *&o5es have holes and birds of the air have nests. To this re5uest the 0ord replied: *6o one. The 0ord "eant that for the sa$e of the &reat underta$in&+ for the sa$e of the &ood ne/s on the 7in&do" of -eaven+ it is necessary to leave everythin& and everybody /ho is 6dead6+ deaf to the /ord of God+ to -is &reat underta$in&. The t/o /ords of the sa"e root dead and the dead+ used here+ have t/o different "eanin&sE the first has the "eanin& of the spiritually dead. nd one of the" started to evade the i""ediate follo/in& the 0ord+ sayin& that he first had to bury his father+ to /hat the 0ord said: *&ollow 'e. H:@:E 0u$e F:GH(E i. &reat te"pest arose+ one of those that happened fre5uently on the 0a$e of Gennesaret+ surrounded by "ountains and ravines+ therefore the local residents called it a sea. )allin& -i"self *the Son of 'an*. H:@@E 0u$e F:K:(. nother disciple+ not /aitin& to be called+ e'pressed to the 0ord his desire to follo/ -i". Then once+ the 0ord directed to -is disciples to sail to the other side of the Tiberias 0a$e. and loo!ing ba"!. To&ether /ith this+ for those a/are of 3aniel’s prophecy %9:>A->?(+ -e incisively indicates -is "essianic 0orthiness /ith this na"e. but the Son of 'an has nowhere to lay His head* %!at. On the one hand+ this decision e'presses the fear for the personal safety+ /hile on the other D the hope for the 0ords o"nipotence. 4hen they /ere ready to enter the boat+ a Scribe approached the 0ord+ e'pressin& his desire to follo/ -i"+ /herever -e /ent. The 0ord /as surrounded and . H:>H-@@E 0u$e F:G9-K@(. the 0ord hu"bly underlines -is hu"an nature.

-o/ever+ these events still did not enli&hten the": they e'perienced ine'plicable terror and+ in all probability+ "is&ivin&+ thin$in& that the 0ord’s further stay "i&ht brin& the" "ore &reat losses. Evan&elists !ar$ and 0u$e spea$ of one person+ /hile Saint !atthe/ D about t/o. To&ether /ith this+ the situation attracted special attention of the inhabitants of that country to the 0ord . -avin& crossed the la$e+ .esus and -is disciples arrived to the country lyin& on its southern ban$+ /hich Evan&elists !ar$ and 0u$e call Gadarenes %after the na"e of one of its cities+ Gadara(+ /hile Saint !atthe/ calls it Ger&esenes %after the na"e of another city+ Ger&esa(E both the cities /ere a"on& the 63ecapolis6. H:@9E !ar$ ?:?>E and 0u$e H:@G( The 'asti!( +ut o* a $e(io! o* :e#o!s %!at. 4e are not that fa"iliar /ith the nature of the evil spirits to understand /hy it is essential for the" to d/ell in the livin& bein&s. The possessed /ith the evil spirit "et the" on the ban$.e/s+ so that the 0ord /ould not drive the" out of the country and thereby+ /ould not deprive the" fro" operatin& there. nd so the possessed be&in to cry+ callin& . ccordin& to the Gospels of !ar$ and 0u$e+ to )hrist’s 5uestion /hat his na"e /as+ the "ost ferocious de"on ans/ered: *(egion* %!ar$ G:FE 0u$e H:A:(+ indicatin& that countless nu"bers of de"ons d/elled in the possessed. The &reatness and o"nipotence of the Son of God+ concealed fro" the hu"an si&ht+ but apparent to the evil spirits /ho have the perfect vision+ brou&ht the" into terror and trepidation.esus )hrist+ for they sa/ the /ell-$no/n de"onically-possessed+ cured and sittin& at the feet of . The nature of possession is in the fact that the de"ons deprive the "an of his conscience+ and subduin& his "ind+ control his /hole body and spiritual stren&th+ causin& hi" the unbelievable tortures throu&h his o/n actions. -o/ever+ it is characteristic that they chose the "ost unclean+ despised ani"al in the eyes of the .esus: *$ea"her.. The disciples and the people+ apparently acco"panyin& the" in the other boats uttered in a"a#e"ent: *Who "an this be. do 1ou not "are that we are #erishing/* %!ar$ ?:AH(. This variance happened "ost probably due to the fact that one of the" /as a /ell-$no/n citi#en of Gadara+ bein& in the a/ful state of de"onical possession+ /hile in co"parison the other individual /as hardly noticed. Their feelin& of re&ret over the loss of their pi&s triu"phed over . pparently allo/in& that+ the 0ord /anted to enli&hten the Gadarenes /ho+ despite the co""and"ents of the 0a/ of !oses+ bred s/ine+ and in such lar&e nu"bers %accordin& to !ar$ G:>A+ nearly @:::(. The 0ord stopped the stor"+ rebu$in& the /inds and the sea. H:@H-A?E !ar$ G:>-@:E 0u$e H:@K-?:(. The de"ons be&&ed the 0ord *that He would not "ommand them to go out into the abyss* %0u$e H:A>( and *that He would not send them out of the "ountry* %!ar$ G:>:(+ but instead+ per"itted the" to enter the bi& herd of s/ine+ &ra#in& nearby at the "ountain. In response+ the 0ord rebu$ed the": *Why are you so fearful/ How is it that you have no faith/* %!ar$ ?:?:E !at.esus.esus the Son of God and be&&in& -i" not to cause the" the intolerable torture+ /hich they e'perienced because of -is closeness. H:@K and 0u$e H:@G(. that even the winds and the sea obey Him/* %!at. The 0ord allo/ed the" to enter the herd+ and the s/ine+ &oin& "ad+ thre/ the"selves fro" the "ountain into the sea and dro/ned.

part fro" that+ it /as apparent that the Gadarenes /ere outstandin& in their unusual reli&ious-"oral coarseness and /ildness+ so the 0ord /anted to arouse their hearts /ith a ser"on about -i"self and -is /or$s throu&h the healed possessed+ endo/ed by -i" /ith blessin&s+ /ho indeed+ as Saint !ar$ told+ be&an to preach about the 0ord throu&hout the /hole 3ecapolis and thus prepared the country to the follo/in& postles’ ser"on and conversion to )hrist.airus D one of the syna&o&ue’s leaders D /hose only t/elve-year-old dau&hter /as about to die.airus’s house+ and as everyone /anted to be close to the Great 4onder-/or$er+ everybody . -e tells that as . -o/ever+ that "iserable /o"an had such fervent faith in the 0ord .F:>H-@KE !ar$ G:@>-?AE 0u$e H:?>-GK(.ostled -i". lthou&h the leaders of the syna&o&ue belon&ed to the party+ hostile to .udea+ /here the ideas of the !essiah /ere incorrect: as the earthly leader of IsraelE and the 0ord did not /ant -is na"e to be lin$ed /ith the political desires of the . They are not per"itted to co"e into contact /ith anyone %0ev.esus )hrist that she decided to leave the house and touch -is clothin&+ bein& sure that only a touch /ould &ive her the total cure. 4hat hu&e folly it is on the part of those people /ho do not /ish to have /ithin their boundaries the One+ 4ho ca"e to destroy the devil’s deedsM )ontrary to the usual prohibition of the 0ord to tell about -is "iracles+ on this occasion )hrist directs the cured possessed to return to his house and tell the" /hat &reat thin&s God had done for hi". lthou&h . Saint !ar$ &ives the "ost detailed description of this event. >G:@G-@H(.esus %.esus )hrist sailed bac$ to the opposite /estern ban$ of the Gennesaret 0a$e+ /here the to/n of )apernau" /as situated. nd her faith /as . The 5eali!( o* a )o#a! 7ith a Flo7 o* Blood a!d the 9esurrectio! o* .airus-s :au(hter %!at. -ere+ cro/ds of people a/aited -i"+ a"on& the" there /as .airus’s re5uest. Seein& this+ the cro/d strea"ed after -i" /ith especial curiosity to/ards . -avin& entered the boat /ith -is disciples+ the 0ord .ohn 9:?9-?H(+ he apparently had heard about the "any "iracles perfor"ed by the 0ord and perhaps+ havin& /itnessed the healin& of the )apernau" centurion’s servant+ /as enli&htened /ith hope that .airus did not possess such faith for /hich the )enturion /as praised by the 0ord+ -e nevertheless /ent to the syna&o&ue leader’s house and to lay -is hands on the dyin& &irl upon .e/ish patriots+ /ishin& the overthro/ of the 1o"an rule.the natural+ as it /ould see"+ feelin& of &ratitude for the "iraculous riddance of their country of the possessed D and they as$ed -i" to leave.esus and unnoticeably touched -is clothin&.esus /ould heal his dau&hter. ccordin& to the 0a/ of !oses+ the /o"en havin& such a disease /ere re&arded as unclean and /ere obli&ed to stay ho"e.ust: she /as cured instantly as she felt the source of the flo/ of blood to desiccate.esus felt -is stren&th leavin& -i"+ -e as$ed those surroundin& -i": *Who tou"hed 'y "lothes/* %!ar$ G:A:E 0u$e H:?G( Of course+ -e $ne/ /ho did that+ and posed the 5uestion for the people’s edification in order to reveal the faith of that /o"an in front of the"+ and the "iracle that follo/ed because of that . One /o"an+ /ho suffered of a flo/ of blood for >@ years and had lost all hope to be cured+ "ade her /ay behind . It has to be sur"ised that the 0ord did that+ because -e did not have those "is&ivin&s in this country+ /hich -e had in Galilee and .

Such type of "ournin& over the dead usually /ent on for H days+ and over a /ell-$no/n person D one "onthE flutes and pipes acco"panied it. -avin& received the affir"ative ans/er+ the 0ord touched their eyes+ and they opened. F:@@ and !ar$ G:A?(.ohn >>:>>->?(+ and only later added: 60a#arus is dead6.e.esus. arise0* %!ar$ G:?>E !at. be of good "heer: your faith has made you well. These /ords cannot be understood in the literal sense+ . Because such a &reat "iracle could only be /itnessed by those /orthy and capable of evaluatin& this "ystery of the 3ivine o"nipotence+ the 0ord directed that everybody should leave the roo"+ e'cept for -is A postles D Peter+ . 4hen the 0ord left . -o/ever+ "oved by .aughter. The 0ord said to . F:@9-A?(.oy and their &ratitude to their -ealer+ they could not restrain the"selves and *s#read the news about Him in all that "ountry*. "a#ed+ the people declared that nothin& li$e that had ever happened a"on& the Israelites+ /hile the Pharisees+ intendin& to de"ean this . ccordin& to -is custo"+ the 0ord banned spreadin& the ne/s about the "iracle.faith. and she will be made well* %0u$e H:G:E !ar$ G:AK(. I say to you.ohn D and the parents of the dead &irl. ccordin& to the understandin& of the . The /o"an+ reali#in& she could not hide+ fell before the 0ord’s feet and e'posed the truth to everybody. have mer"y on us0* The 0ord as if did not pay any attention to those cries+ apparently ai"in& to test the faith of the t/o that /ere callin& -i" Son of 3avid+ i. s in all such cases+ the 0ord strictly forbade the" to spea$ of that "iracle. The 5eali!( o* T7o Bli!d 1e! %!at.airus and his do"estics: *. Go in #ea"e* %0u$e H:?HE !at. F:@? and !ar$ G:AF(.airus’s house+ a cro/d of people follo/ed -i".avid. Therefore+ the 0ord did not in5uire %as -e usually did( hi" if he had faith+ but co""anded the de"on to leave hi"+ and the ability to spea$ ca"e bac$ to the "an. Only /hen the 0ord reached the house %of the unna"ed o/ner(+ -e as$ed the blind "en+ /ho /ere appealin& to be cured+ if they believed that -e could cure the". F:@G and 0u$e H:G?(+ resurrectin& her i""ediately. The possessed could not plead for hi"self as the evil spirit too$ po/er of his ton&ue. 4ith that+ not/ithstandin& the lon& period of her &rave illness+ she /as so stron& that she be&an to /al$ as a health one. Ta$in& the &irl’s hand+ the 0ord calls+ sayin&: *$alitha. Everyone &ot a"a#ed+ and the 0ord directed that she should be &iven so"e food so as to convince her parents+ that before the" /as their real dau&hter D and not a &host of the dead. "on& the" /ere t/o blind "en+ /ho /ere cryin& out: *Son of .esus.airus’s dau&hter had died+ and so"eone of the fa"ily ca"e /ith that sad "essa&e and to re5uest not to burden the Teacher unnecessarily. 3urin& that ti"e .ust as about 0a#arus+ havin& reposed ? days in the coffin and co""encin& to deco"pose+ the 0ord said that he had fallen 6asleep6 %. the !essiah. but slee#ing* %0u$e H:G@E !at.o not be afraid: only believe.ust after the cured "en left+ the "ute+ possessed by the evil spirit+ /as brou&ht to . The real death of the &irl /as so obvious to everyone that they be&an to lau&h at .o not wee#: she is not dead. rrivin& at the house+ they found there the professional "ourners invited to cry over the dead.e/s+ in enterin& the cro/d and "a$in& every person that she had to touch unclean+ she co""itted an offenceE conse5uently+ she a/aited in fear and trepidation the conde"nation of her act+ but the 0ord cal"ed her: *. Seein& the despair of the &riefstric$en father+ the 0ord cal"ed hi": *. "umi*+ /hich "eans: *(ittle girl. .a"es and .

>A:GA-GHE !ar$ K:>-K(. The cro/ds of people that the 0ord observed in /al$in& throu&h the to/ns+ -e co"pares to the floc$s of sheep+ /anderin& /ithout a shepherd D an alle&ory that /as especially understood in . >A:G?E !ar$ K:>(+ i.ohn 9:G(. the devil. This /as not the type of a"a#e"ent that /as sho/n to -i" in other places D this /as "i'ed /ith scorn: as thou&h+ *Is this not the "ar#enter)s Son/ Is not His 'other "alled 'ary/ nd His brothers James. The &le!ti*ul 5arvest4 but Fe7 $aborers %!at.e.esus )hrist+ re&ardin& -i" si"ply as the Son of .esus /as castin& out de"ons throu&h the po/er of the prince of de"ons+ i. /here they even tried to $ill -i" %0u$e ?:@H-@F(.oseph and !ary. Of course+ the si"ilar disbelief e"anated fro" the usual hu"an envy+ /hich is al/ays sly. s an e'a"ple+ such /ere 3avid+ "os+ !oses and the others. 2o/here . The 0ord adds this+ in all probability+ national sayin&: *and in his own house* "eanin& that even -is o/n 6brothers6 did not believe in -is 3ivinity %. The "eco!d 6isit to 8a2areth %!at. F:AG-AHE !ar$ K:KE 0u$e H:>-A(. The 2a#arenes should have sho/n reverence to/ards . There+ the 0ord be&an to teach -is country"en in the syna&o&ue+ a"a#in& the" and pro"ptin& the" to say9 *Where did this 'an get this wisdom and these mighty wor!s/* %!at. In 2a#areth+ the 0ord *did not do many mighty wor!s there be"ause of their unbelief* %!at.esus returned *to His own "ountry* %!at. Simon. >A:GH+ !ar$ K:G(+ because -e al/ays perfor"ed "iracles as a re/ard for having faith& and not to satisfy idle curiosity or to prove -is supernatural po/ers. This is 5uite ine'cusable+ as in the past there /ere "any inconspicuous parents /ho had children+ /ho further on beca"e fa"ous.effect that /as created by the "iracle+ /ere sayin& that .esus found so "uch opposition to/ards -i"self and -is teachin&+ as in -is o/n 2native2 to0n. fter that+ . >A:G9E !ar$ K:?(+ D althou&h this should not be so+ it is "ore li$ely+ for the people pay "ore attention to /hat is bein& preached+ rather than to the preacherE and if so"eone is /orthy of the 3ivine selection and callin&+ he is still re&arded as an ordinary person that they are used to see+ not findin& the prophecies in his /ords and not believin& the". and Judas/* %!at. The 2a#arenes either did not $no/+ or did not believe in the "iraculous incarnation and birth of . >A:GGE !ar$ K:A(. Jose#h. >A:G?E !ar$ K:@(.oseph’s land of birth+ and to the place /here -e /as brou&ht up. People often loo$ /ith envy and hatred upon those+ /ho ca"e fro" their o/n environ"ent+ and once revealed e'traordinary &ifts+ thereby beco"in& "ore pro"inent than the".e. * #ro#het is not without honor e5"e#t in his own "ountry and in his own house* %!at.esus+ especially because havin& such plain parents -e sho/ed such /isdo" that definitely proved to co"e not fro" the hu"an education but fro" the 3ivine &race. Perhaps+ )hrist’s friends in earthly ter"s and those of the sa"e a&e that /ere in constant contact /ith -i"+ did not /ant to ac$no/led&e -is e'traordinary abilities precisely due to this reason. to 2a#areth D -is !other’s and -is so-called father .

but the laborers are few* %!at.e/s only. >::>:(. That is /hy the 0ord e'plains+ that their desire for peace /ill really brin& it to that household or to/n /here they /ill be /elco"ed . F:A9(+ a splendid representation+ understood by all. to the . 3urin& this trip of the 0ord /ith the ser"on in Galilee+ the 0ord /as acco"panied by a nu"ber of /o"en+ blessed by -i" in one /ay or another and /ho+ because of the feelin& of &ratitude+ served -i" /ith their personal resources. The 0ord sends the postles in pairs so that they /ould be able to support one another+ and also+ so that the . *$herefore #ray the (ord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest* %!at.e/s+ but to /ish peace still does not "ean to &ive it.Palestine+ the land of shepherds. >::>A(. In every to/n or villa&e they had to stay at such a house that /ould not evo$e criticis"+ so that+ as Blessed . F:AH(E i. >::>@(. >::9(.e. 7no/in& that they /ill de"and fro" the postles to sho/ si&ns to prove the &enuineness of their ser"on+ the 0ord endo/ed the" /ith the po/er over the de"ons+ and the po/er to heal and resurrect the dead.oyfully and /ith pure heartE in the contrary situation+ the &reetin& /ill re"ain barren+ and it /ould *let your #ea"e return to you* %!at. This ser"on is only preparatory+ for the postles had not been enveloped /ith !o0er from a#ove. -e directs the" only to preach that *$he 8ingdom of Heaven is at hand* %!at. The field that is covered /ith ripe /heat+ /hich needs harvestin&+ but there are fe/ reapers. )onse5uently+ God /ill not allo/ -is /or$ers+ /ho divert any concerns about the"selves for the sa$e of the service trusted to the"+ to be deprived of the necessary for life. .e/s /ould believe their testi"ony "ore+ as the 0a/ of !oses states that 2at the mouth of t0o 0itnesses8. Such a &reetin& /as nor"al for the . >::>-?@E !ar$ K:9->AE 0u$e F:>-K+ >@:>>->@(. /hich /as subse5uently &ranted to the" after/ards+ throu&h the descent of the )o"forter D the -oly Spirit.shall a matter #e esta#lished2 %3euter. The "eanin& of these /ords is this: there is the &reat nu"ber of people /illin& to enter into the !essiah’s 7in&do"+ and already prepared for this+ but there are fe/ that are ready for the &reat tas$ of teachin&. Then+ the 0ord /ill send the postles into the /hole /orld to preach the 2e/ Testa"ent to *every "reature* and to lead all the peoples into -is 7in&do" throu&h the !ystery of baptis"+ teachin& the" faith in )hrist.ero"e states+ *the sermon would not be "om#romised by the host)s unsavory re#utation*+ and also not to &o fro" one house to another+ /hich is natural of the li&ht"inded people. * nd when you go into a household.e. The spiritual leaders of these people are not true shepherds and teachers+ they the"selves are blind and not only do they not enli&hten the people+ but further corrupt the". to as$ *ather-God to facilitate the preparation of ne/ /or$ers that are not instructed in the Pharisee spirit+ to preach on the co"in& !essiah’s 7in&do". >::K(+ i. greet it* %!at.ohn H:>A(. -o/ever at this ti"e+ the 0ord sends the" only *to the lost shee# of Israel* %!at. In order that their ser"on /ould be successful+ -e /arns the" a&ainst the love of "oney and all concerns about the food+ clothin& and d/ellin&+ sayin&: *for a wor!er is worthy of his food* %!at. *$he harvest is #lentiful. They /ere the ones that then follo/ed the 0ord to Gol&otha and for"ed that i"a&e of the !yrrh-bearin& 4o"en+ /ho are &lorified by the -oly )hurch. -avin& "ercy on the "ultitudes of people not havin& a pastor+ and not havin& the opportunity to have the" by -is side perpetually+ the 0ord sends -is disciples for the ser"on+ this "ission is different to that /hich /ill follo/ )hrist’s 1esurrection. >F:>G+ . 'hrist "e!ds 5is Apostles o! their 1issio! %!at.

*urther on+ the 0ord states that /here the postles /ill be denied hospitality+ they should sha$e the dust off their feet. This does not refer to the Second )o"in& of )hrist to . The 0ord /arns the" of those dan&ers+ /hich the postles /ill be sub. The . >::@A(. be careful and /ithout an e'tre"e necessity+ do not e'pose your life to dan&er. Initially+ the 0ord sends -is postles only to the . >::@@(+ D predicted the 0ord D "eanin& that the one /ho /ill tolerate everythin& up to the end %death( and /ill not renounce )hrist+ /ill attain the eternal .oy in the 7in&do" of -eaven. >::>GE !ar$ K:>>(+ /hich /ill refuse to accept the postle’s ser"onE and that those havin& re. The 0ord predicts that the postles /ould have to testify about -i" before lords and $in&s+ "eanin& not their current+ te"porary assi&n"ent+ but their future+ universal apostolic activityE that they /ould be sub. This state"ent of the 0ord has the follo/in& "eanin&: /hile the postles /ill still be travelin& throu&h Palestine /ith their ser"on about the approachin& of )hrist’s 7in&do"+ the hour+ revealin& -is 7in&do" throu&h -is sufferin&s+ the 1esurrection fro" the dead and the ascension of the -oly Spirit /ill arrive. )onse5uently+ if they are bein& persecuted in one to/n+ they are not forbidden to flee to another one. . ll this /as precisely fulfilled durin& the era of the )hristian persecution+ /hen indeed a brother sub. The 0ord /arns the" not to be an'ious or ponder over ho/ and /hat to say at the forthco"in& trials+ for the -oly Spirit /ill be su&&estin& the" the necessary /ordsE and that the hatred to/ards the evan&elical ser"on and its preachers and confessors /ould be so stron& in people of this /orld %called as /olves earlier(+ that even the stron&est and sacred fa"ily ties /ill not be able to /ithstand it.ected to "uch oppression and persecution.e/s /ere li$e the heathens+ and that *it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah %punished in their ti"e for dis&race and debauchery( in the day of 2udgment than for that "ity* %!at.ud&e before the end of the /orld.e/s+ because they /ere re&arded as God’s chosen people+ to /hich the !essiah /as pro"ised by the Old Testa"ent Prophets+ and a"on& /ho" -e appeared.e/s considered that the very soil and dust upon /hich /al$ed the heathens is unclean+ and it /as necessary to sha$e it fro" the feet in order to re"ain cleanE so in &ivin& such a directive+ the 0ord /anted to say that those .e. *%ut he who endures to the end will be saved* %!at. )onsider /here it is necessary to so/ God’s seeds and /here it is better to /ithhold D accordin& to the la/ *nor "ast your #earls before swine*E but at the sa"e ti"e+ be such so that nobody could reproach you for anythin& bla"e/orthy+ be understandable for the people.ected only the de"ands of the natural la/+ /hich is not so clear and cate&orical.esus )hrist in -is 7in&do" is the sa"e as the "o"ent of revealin& of this 7in&do" D and that revealin& of )hrist’s 7in&do" occurred /ith -is 1esurrection and the sendin& of the -oly Spirit to the postles+ after /hat they /ent out into the /hole /orld /ith the ser"on about the revealin& of it. The 0ord added that the postles the"selves should not sacrifice their lives i"prudently+ for they carry /ithin the" the salvation of very "any other people.ected the ser"on about )hrist as the la/ of God+ are "ore cri"inal than those /ho did not $no/ the la/ of God but re. Then later+ there follo/ed the edifications+ concernin& the apostolic service in &eneral. *$herefore be wise as ser#ents and harmless as doves* %!at. *1ou will not have gone through the "ities of Israel before the Son of 'an "omes* %!at.ected a brother to death+ and /hen all the true follo/ers of )hrist e'perienced the "ost heinous hatred fro" the ene"ies of the )hristianity. >::>K( D says the 0ord+ i. The co"in& of .ected to: they /ill feel the"selves defenseless+ a$in to sheep+ surrounded by /olves.

o not fear those who !ill the body but "annot !ill the soul* %!at. for the sa$e of servin& )hrist+ one has to sacrifice all the earthly attach"ents+ even fa"ily love. s#ea! in the light: and what you hear in the ear. They "ean that disa&ree"ent and en"ity bet/een people /ill be the inevitable and necessary reason for the 0ord’s arrival to the earth+ because hu"an hatred /ill raise the severe /ar a&ainst God’s 7in&do"+ -is follo/ers and preachers. The 0ord /arns the" that they should not e'pect any honors and+ on the contrary+ be ready for insults+ for if the . #rea"h on the houseto#s* %!at. >::@?(. *I did not "ome to bring #ea"e but a sword* %!at. * nd a man)s enemies will be those of his own household* %"at. * re not two s#arrows sold for a "o##er "oin/* %!at. there is no need to fear slander: /ith ti"e+ faith and innocence /ill be clearly revealed. nor a servant above his master* %!at.The 0ord sho/ed to the postles the shorta&e of ti"e at their disposal+ for the hour of -is sufferin&s at the cross and -is departure fro" this /orld /as approachin&. -e /ill also turn a/ay fro" those+ /ho turn a/ay fro" -i". The one+ /ho disre&ardin& slander and persecution+ /ill faithfully confess )hrist before people+ )hrist /ill confess+ as -is true servant+ at the . and hidden that will not be !nown* %!at. >::@K(+ D said the 0ord to the postlesE i. >::?:(. >::A?(E these /ords should not be understood in the literal sense. >::AFE 0u$e F:@?(: he /ho prefers the earthly blessin&s to those of the -eavenly 7in&do"+ /ho sacrifices the future blessin&s for the sa$e of the earthly ones+ /ho even renounces )hrist to save his earthly life+ /ill destroy his soul for the eternal lifeE but he /ho sacrifices everythin& for the sa$e of )hrist+ ri&ht up to his o/n life+ /ill save his soul for the eternal life. The further /ords "ean that the one /ho receives the postles as the prophets and ri&hteous+ /ill receive the sa"e re/ard as a prophet or .ud&"ent before the -eavenly *ather.e. >::@9(E here+ the 0ord "eans the follo/in&: that about /hat the 0ord discussed /ith the" in private and in the s"all corner of Palestine+ they /ill have to preach throu&hout the /hole /orld+ to all nations D fro" the roofs of the houses. * nd he who does not ta!e his "ross and follow after 'e is not worthy of 'e* %!at. and he who re"eives 'e re"eives Him Who sent 'e* %!at. Instructin& and co"fortin& the postles+ the 0ord . >::@H(+ for /ithout the /ill of God+ nothin& /ill happen because the 3ivine providence covers everythin&+ even the s"allest birds and the nu"ber of hairs on the "an’s head. *He who finds his life will lose it.esus )hrist "entioned the re/ard a/aitin& all those /ho /ill receive the" in -is 2a"e: *He who re"eives you re"eives 'e. and he who loses his life for 'y sa!e will find it* %!at. >::AHE 0u$e F:@A(+ D this i"a&e is ta$en fro" the 1o"an custo"+ accordin& /hich those conde"ned to crucifi'ion+ had to carry their cross to the place of e'ecutionE these /ords of the 0ord "ean that+ havin& beco"e the disciples of )hrist+ /e "ust bravely endure all trials and sufferin&s in -is 2a"e+ even the "ost difficult and hu"iliatin& ones D if God decides to send the" to us. Sendin& the postles for their preli"inary ser"on+ /hich be useful for the"+ li$e Saint )hrysosto" notes+ as 6a positive battlefield institution+ in /hich they could prepare the"selves for the e'ploits of the evan&elical ser"on in the /hole /orld6 %The interpretation of !at. *. &or there is nothing "overed that will not be revealed. >::@F+ a copper coin+ assary D >S>: part of denary+ so"ethin& li$e @ $opec$s(. *$herefore do not fear them %ene"ies(. *Whatever I tell you in the dar!. >::AK(E i.e. A@(.e/s are rudely slanderin& the 0ord -i"self and callin& -i" Beel#ebub+ then they /ill even "ore defa"e -is disciples: * dis"i#le is not above his tea"her.

ohn+ but his pride and false sha"e did not allo/ hi" to violate his vo/+ so he sent his e'ecutioner to cut off the Prophet’s head and brin& it to the feast on a silver platter. . he "ommanded it be given to her* %!ar$ K:@K+ !at. >?:F(. pparently+ they all &athered ane/ /ith the 0ord /hen -e found out about . She de"anded: *$he head of John the %a#tist*. >?:H(+ D Salo"e de"anded fro" -erod. Salo"e left the hall to consult /ith her "other+ not present at the feast+ /ho unhesitatin&ly stated that the best present she could &et /as the death of the hated .oh! the Foreru!!er %!at.ohn the Baptist D the accuser of her offensive connection /ith -erod. It "ust be assu"ed that the feast did not ta$e place at Tiberias+ -erod’s usual place of residence+ but in his beyond-the-. be"ause of the oaths and be"ause of those who sat with him. *$he !ing was sorry: nevertheless.ohn /as confinedE or perhaps the feast /as held at the fortress itself. >?>->@E !ar$ K:>?-@FE 0u$e F:9-F(.ohn the Baptist. The postles’ ans/er to the 0ord’s 5uestion %0u$e @@:AG(+ posed to the" at the 0ast Supper+ clearly sho/s that durin& their ser"on they did not lac$ anythin& necessary. lthou&h Saint 0u$e does not fully narrate about that+ he does e'plain in brief that that thou&ht did not ori&inate fro" -erod+ but that he accepted it later+ under the i"pression of the conversations /ith people surroundin& hi". *Give me John the %a#tist)s head here on a #latter* %!at.esus /ent out to preach in the to/ns of Galilee+ /hile the postles+ dividin& the"selves into pairs+ /ent to the settle"ents *and #rea"hed that #eo#le should re#ent* %"ar$ K:>@(.the ri&hteousE and even if so"eone 5uenches the thirst of one of -is disciples /ith a cup of cold /ater+ he /ill not be left unre/arded.ohn the Baptist’s death.esus )hrist /as the resurrected fro" the dead . ccordin& to the eastern custo"+ /o"en /ere not per"itted to be present at those feasts+ e'cept for slaves that danced before the "en. Thou&h Salo"e+ the /orthy dau&hter of her depraved "other -erodias+ /ho cohabited ille&ally /ith -erod+ i&norin& that custo"+ appeared at the feast as a dancer in the s$i"py costu"e of a dancer and fired -erod /ith her sensuous dance to such an e'tent+ that he pro"ised to fulfill everythin& she desired. -o/ever+ on the one hand -erod /as afraid of the people and on the other+ he respected the Baptist as *a 2ust and holy man* and even *when he heard him>did many things* %!ar$ K:@:(E conse5uently+ fearin& that the pro"ise /ould not be fulfilled+ -erodias su&&ested her dau&hter to de"and the i""ediate e'ecution. The Beheadi!( o* .e/s /ere not accusto"ed to celebratin& birthdays+ -erod once on his birthday+ in i"itatin& the eastern $in&s+ held a hu&e feast for the lords+ "ilitary co""anders and Galilean elders. The Evan&elists describe this event in connection /ith that the tetrarch -erod. It "eant+ -erod did not /ant to e'ecute .ntipas &ot the idea that . -avin& finished -is edification to the >@ postles+ .ordan residence in .ulias+ /hich /as not far fro" the fortress at !achaerus /here . 4hile the .

sparsely populated area %accordin& to Saint 0u$e(+ /as situated close to the to/n of Bethsaida. ccordin& to Evan&elist !ar$’s narration+ the people+ after havin& deter"ined /here the 0ord /as &oin& /ith -is postles+ *ran there on foot from all the "ities. 4hereas Salo"e+ in travelin& on a fro#en la$e+ fell throu&h the crac$ed ice and /as decapitated by it.e.+ havin& settled at this day the strict fast. >?:>G-@>E !ar$ K:A@-??E 0u$e F:>:->9E . ccordin& to the tradition+ that cave+ situated near the to/nship of Sebaste+ built on the place of for"er Sa"aria contained the re"nants of Prophets Obadiah and Elisha. Evan&elist !ar$ tells us that by that ti"e the postles &athered at the 0ord’s side+ tellin& hi" about everythin& that they "ana&ed to do and /hat they "ana&ed to teach the others. -avin& buried their teacher+ . That secluded i. Evidently+ at that ti"e+ -e /as so"e/here close to the Gennesaret la$e because -e *de#arted from there by boat* %!at. Seein& the "ultitude of people that have &athered around -i"+ the 0ord too$ pity on the"+ *be"ause they were li!e . -erod received the deservin& his action punish"ent: he "et /ith the total defeat at the /ar+ and+ travelin& to 1o"e+ he /as deprived of all his privile&es and estates+ and to&ether /ith unri&hteous -erodias /as i"prisoned at Gaul+ /here he finally died. >?:>A(. . The 1iraculous Feedi!( o* Five Thousa!d &eople %!at.The tradition states that -erodias taunted the Baptist’s head for a lon& ti"e: she /as piercin& his ton&ue /ith a needle for accusin& her of /antonness and ordered his body to be thro/n into the &ully that surrounded !achaerus. was near* %.ohn’s disciples told the 0ord .esus )hrist /as .ordan flo/ed into the la$e of Gennesaret.esus )hrist about /hat had happened+ apparently see$in& soothin&+ and at the sa"e ti"e /antin& to /arn -i" of the possible dan&er+ for e'actly at that ti"e -e /as preachin& in the area that /as under -erod’s control. This sad event of . !ar$ states+ placed it in the coffin+ in a cave. s only Bethsaida /as located on the /estern ban$ near )apernau"+ it can be supposed that this /as another to/n+ Bethsaida-.ohn the Baptist’s death+ the 0ord . Saint 0u$e also adds that -erod+ under the influence of ru"ors and co""ents+ thou&ht that .ulias+ situated to the east fro" the place+ /here the river . -avin& received the ne/s about .ohn the Baptist resurrected fro" the dead D and *sought to see Him* %0u$e F:F(. !oreover+ Saint .ohn K:?(+ the third Passover in the 0ord’s service ti"e. a feast of the Jews. -avin& learned of the Baptist’s violent death+ the 0ord /ithdre/ into the /ilderness.esus )hrist /ithdre/ fro" Galilee /ith -is postles+ /ho recently returned fro" their preachin& trip.ohn the Baptist’s beheadin& is celebrated each year by the holy )hurch on the @Fth u&.ohn connects this /ith the 0ord’s teachin& about the heavenly bread and the !ystery of )o""union of -is flesh and blood and &ives us the i"portant chronolo&ical indication+ that all this /as happenin& at the ti"e of *the <assover. $hey arrived before them and "ame together to Him* %!ar$ K:AA(. They sailed across to the eastern side of the Sea of Tiberias+ to a desolate area close to the to/n of Bethsaida.ohn K:>->G( ll the four Evan&elists describe this "iraculous event.ohn’s disciples pic$ed up his beheaded body and as St.

fter a /hile+ accordin& to Saint . >?:@>E !ar$ K:??E 0u$e F:>?E . 4hen everybody /as full+ the 0ord directed -is disciples to collect the re"ainin& portions+ so that nothin& /ould be /astedE and they collected >@ full bas$ets. Ta$in& the five loaves and t/o fish+ the 0ord raised -is eyes to the s$y+ &ave than$s %. Then all the postles approached -i" and e'clai"ed9 *$his is a deserted #la"e and the hour is already late. The day /as startin& to &ive /ay to the evenin&. nd the people sat do/n on the &reen &rass D >:: across and G: cross/ise. that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food* %!at.ohn K:>>(. The $ord-s )alk o! the )ater %!at.ohn K:F(.e. Evan&elist . The dar$ness descended and *the sea arose be"ause a great wind was blowing* %.ohn tells us that the people+ /ho /itnessed that "iraculous feedin& of the five thousand+ e'clai"ed: *$his is truly the <ro#het Who is to "ome into the world* %.ohn K:>G(+ for to pray. la$e(+ tossed by the waves* .ohn K:>H(+ *the boat was now in the middle of the sea %i. >?:>GE !ar$ K:AG-AKE 0u$e F:>@(. !ean/hile+ the 0ord testin& postle Philip’s faith as$ed hi": *Where shall we buy. Send the multitudes away. Then the 0ord said: *'a!e them sit down in grou#s of fifty* %0u$e F:>?+ !ar$ K:AF-?:(. Then the 0ord said9 *How many loaves to you have/ Go and see* %!ar$ K:AH(.ohn K:9(. -e directed -is disciples to &o to the /estern side of the la$e+ /hile -e -i"self havin& cal"ed the people e'cited by the "iracle+ sent the" a/ay and *de#arted again to the mountain by Himself alone* %. 1ou give them something to eat* %!at.ohn K:>K-@>(. *So they all ate and were filled* %!at. >?:>KE !ar$ K:A9E 0u$e F:>A(. )o"pelled by the 0ord to &o to the /estern ban$ of the Gennesaret 0a$e+ the postles &ot into the boat and sailed off. But the 0ord naturally did not /ant to indul&e those false ideas about the !essiah as the earthly $in&. Thus+ it /as possible to count that there /ere G::: individuals+ e'cludin& /o"en and children %!at.ohn+ -e ascended the "ountain and sat do/n there /ith -is disciples+ /hen -e sa/ a cro/d of people co"in& to/ards -i". -avin& found out+ ndre/ replied to -i": *$here is a lad %probably+ a person+ sellin& food and follo/in& the cro/d( here who has five barley loaves and two small fish.esus+ and ta$e advanta&e of the co"in& feast of Pascha+ lure -i" to . >?:@@-AKE !ar$ K:?G-G@E .ohn K:>>(+ blessed the" %0u$e F:>K(+ bro$e the loaves and &ave the" to the disciples+ so that they distributed the" a"on& the peopleE li$e/ise -e divided the fish for all the people %!ar$ K:A@E . that every one of them may have a little* %.shee# not having a she#herd. >?:@:E !ar$ K:?@E 0u$e F:>9(.erusale" and proclai" -i" the 7in& in the presence of people. So He began to tea"h them many things* %!ar$ K:AA(+ and /as tellin& the" about God’s 7in&do" %0u$e F:>>( and cured the sic$ %!at.ohn K:G(+ to /hat Philip replied: *$wo hundred denarii worth of bread is not suffi"ient for them. >?:>?(. The rest of the disciples /ere tellin& the sa"e.ohn K:>?(E they /anted to co"e and une'pectedly ta$e . -o/ever+ the 0ord did not /ant to send the people a/ay+ sayin& to -is disciples: *$hey do not need to go away.ohn K:>:(. that these may eat/* %. but what are they among so many/* %.

save me0* %!at.ust as the other "iracles stopped the other physical sufferin&sE but nobody /as concerned about the satisfaction of the needs of the spirit+ for /hich+ after all+ )hrist ca"e do/n to earth. why did you doubt/* %!at.ohn K:>F( a/ay fro" the eastern ban$.ohn K:@@-9>(. -e be&an the tal$ /ith reproachin& the . s soon as the 0ord landed+ the local inhabitants i""ediately surrounded -i": they reco&ni#ed -i" and infor"ed all the people in the nei&hborin& settle"ents+ /ho brou&ht -i" all their sic$. -avin& found -i" on the other side of the la$e+ teachin& in a syna&o&ue at )apernau"+ they /ere astounded and be&an to 5uestion -i" about ho/ -e &ot there. The 0ord i""ediately stretched forth -is hand to support hi" and said: *+ you of little faith. *I am the %read of life. s soon as *they got into the boat.e. >?:@9E !ar$ K:G:E . not because they /ere enli&htened throu&h the "iracles by God’s &oodness+ /hich offers eternal and incorrupt blessin&s+ but because throu&h the "iracle+ "ade the day before+ their hun&er /as satiated D . >?:A@(+ *and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going* %. but be"ause you ate of loaves and were filled*E i.ohn K:@>(. It /as the fourth /atch of the ni&ht+ i. not be"ause you saw the signs. Peter stepped out of the boat+ and the po/er of his faith "ade a "iracle D he /al$ed on the /ater. he who "omes to 'e shall never hunger.%!at. >?:AA(. >?:@?(+ and the 0ord /as not /ith the"E -e re"ained alone on land+ but *saw them straining at the rowing* %!ar$ K:?H(. 7no/in& that the 0ord did not enter the boat /ith -is disciples+ the people sou&ht -i" in the /ilderness. But the 0ord cal"ed the" /ith the /ords: *%e of good "heer0 It is I: do not be afraid* %!at. The 0ord did not respond the 5uestionE -e used it as a reason to &ive the detailed ser"on about -i"self+ as about the -eavenly Bread. *$hey had rowed about three or four miles* %. Possessin& a fiery te"pera"ent+ postle Peter beca"e infla"ed /ith the desire to &reet the 0ord by /al$in& to/ards -i"+ and as$ed per"ission to do so D to /hich the 0ord replied: *Come* %!at. The 0ord’s "iraculous crossin& of the Gennesaret 0a$e+ provo$ed a"a#e"ent a"on& the people+ /ho already tried the "iraculous bread. and he who believes in 'e shall never thirst. -o/ever the stron& /ind and turbulent /aves distracted Peter’s attention fro" . This event is narrated by Evan&elist .esus: the fear that sei#ed hi" /ea$ened his faith+ and he started to sin$+ cryin& out in despair: *(ord. *1ou see! 'e.* D this reproach of the 0ord /as directed at those /ho treat the )hristianity valuable only .esus and e'clai"ed: *$ruly you are the Son of God* %!at.e.e/s for the fact that they re"ain slaves to their sensations in everythin& D even in follo/in& -i". >?:@F(. The faith in the "iraculous po/er that e"anated fro" the 0ord /as so stron&+ that the local residents+ in receivin& per"ission fro" the 0ord to touch -is clothin& instantly &ot cured. close to the sunrise+ and suddenly the postles sa/ . The Talk about the 5eave!ly Bread %.esus /al$in& on the /ater to/ards the" *and would have #assed them by* %!ar$ K:?H(. the wind "eased* %!at. >?:A:(.ohn alone+ /ho also conveys the 0ord’s ser"on about -i"self as about the bread that had descended fro" heaven+ revealin& the necessity to have co""union of -is *lesh and Blood in order to be saved. >?:A>(. They thou&ht it /as a spirit and cried out in fear.ohn K:@:(. Then+ everybody /ho /as in the boat ca"e up to .

The 0ord e'plains their co"plaints by sayin& that they are not a"on& those elected by God+ /ho" God the *ather attracts to -i" throu&h the po/er of -is &race.e/s do not believe in -i"+ that /ill not interfere /ith the reali#ation of the -eavenly *ather’s /ill. -o/ever+ the . To that+ instead of pointin& at "any deeds of pleasin& God accordin& to the 0a/ of !oses+ the 0ord points at . This food *the Son of 'an will give you* D says the 0ord D *be"ause God the &ather has set His seal on Him*. . The 0ord notes /ith sorro/ that+ althou&h the . 8nder the /ord *seal* "ust be understood those si&ns and "iracles+ /hich the 0ord perfor"ed on God’s /ill.e/s as$ed -i": *What shall we do.esus could say that -e had descended fro" -eaven /hen everybody $no/s -is earthly ori&in. )o"prehendin& that .because it is beneficial for establishin& the /elfares of our te"porary earthly life. This bread *gives life to the world*. about that+ /hich re"ains forever and serves the eternal life. the . nd the .ust one: *$his is the wor! of God. -e does not attract to faith.-e hafd of ho/ unstable the faith+ /hen it is based on "iracles alone+ is: it de"ands &reater and &reater "iracles.esus+ &ivin& the" not the visual "anna but *the true bread from Heaven*. The 0ord responds to that sayin& that the "iracle perfor"ed by God throu&h !oses is less i"portant than that /hich -e perfor"ed throu&h !essiah-.e/s understand that li$e the sensual+ physical bread+ althou&h so"e/hat special D and they e'press their desire to al/ays receive that type of bread. E'cited by the reproach+ the .ust as a "a&net does not attract all that it co"es into the contact /ith+ but only iron+ so does God+ co"in& close to everyone+ attracts only those /ho are capable of revealin& so"e .e/s are no "ore satisfied that )hrist had fed G::: people /ith G loaves+ and start de"andin& a &reater "iracle+ so"ethin& li$e the "iraculous "anna fro" -eaven that /as sent to the" durin& their forty-year /anderin& period in the /ilderness.e/s reply that they do not have such faith in -i"+ as the Israelites had in God and !oses+ -is prophet+ because the si&ns that -e /as perfor"in& /ere not enou&h. Then the 0ord directly and decisively reveals the teachin& about -i"self as about the 6bread of life6+ sayin& that -e is that bread+ /hich *"omes down from Heaven and gives life to the world*E that the one /ho co"es to -i" /ill have no hun&er+ and the one /ho believes in -i" /ill never thirst a&ain. *. that you believe in Him Whom He sent*.* i. This is the "ain /or$ that is pleasin& to God+ /ithout /hich there is no life that is God-pleasin& in &eneral+ for in it+ li$e in a seed+ are contained all the /or$s that are pleasant to God. This response reflects their e'tre"ely physical inclination of their thou&hts and ideas of the !essiah D as bein& a /onder-/or$er and nothin& "ore. 2onetheless+ the . Everybody see$in& salvation throu&h the 0ord+ 6/ho co"e to -i"6+ /ill beco"e the inheritors of the !essiah’s $in&do" established by -i"+ and they /ill be resurrected by -i" on the last day and beco"e /orthy of the eternal life. -ere is the proof-e had perfor"ed. that we may wor! the wor!s of God/* They understood that -is /ords contained the de"and for "oral actions on their part+ but they did not understand /hich ones e'actly.esus is callin& -i"self *the 'essenger of God*.e. -o/ever+ this thou&ht does not destroy the concept of the "an’s free /ill. s blessed Theothylactus /rote: 6God the *ather attracts those /ho have the capability+ 0ith their consentE but those+ /ho have made themselves incapa#le. 4ithout such a blissful call+ it is not possible to start believin& in the !essiah D -is Son+ sent to the earth by -i" to save the people.e/s are be/ildered and /ith co"plaints start to discuss a"on& the"selves ho/ .o not labor for the food whi"h #erishes* to&ether /ith the body+ *but for the food whi"h endures to everlasting life.

e. person studies as thou&h directly fro" God -i"self /hen he studies the Scripture attentively and /ith faith+ for the "ain the"e of the Scripture is )hrist. *I am the %read of life*. Whoever eats 'y &lesh and drin!s 'y %lood has eternal life.a"bs and the entrances of their d/ellin&s /ith the blood of sacrificial la"bs+ in order to save their ne/-born fro" the hands of the n&elslayers %E'odus >@:9->A(. unless you eat the &lesh of the Son of 'an and drin! His %lood. and I will raise him u# at the last day*.ust as the conte"porary sectarians /ho re. nd this Bread is the very 0ord . -ere+ the 0ord reveals in all its fullness and clarity+ -is teachin& on the necessity of )o""union of -is *lesh and Blood+ in order to have the eternal salvation.esus )hrist. one should see as the replace"ent of the Old Testa"ent la"b /ith )hrist’s Body+ and the sy"bolic /ine D /ith -is Blood. This is the Ne0 !ascha. The paschal la"b /as only a sy"bol of 0a"b-)hrist+ D throu&h /hich the 0ord /anted to sho/ -is listeners that the ti"e of the sy"bolis" had passed+ because the .a"bs and entrances of the . 4ith the $illin& of the paschal la"b at the te"ple+ its blood /as used to s"ear the entrance to the altar+ re"indin& the door.e/s s"eared the door .e/s+ havin& accepted the /ords of the 0ord literally+ beca"e confounded and started ar&uin& a"on& the"selves over those /ords9 *How "an this 'an give us His flesh to eat/* They indeed understood those /ords literally and not fi&uratively+ . The "eanin& of )hrist’s /ords is conse5uently in the fact that the one+ /ho /ants to understand the atone"ent perfor"ed by )hrist throu&h -is death on the cross+ "ust eat -is *lesh and drin$ -is Blood. The teachin& &iven by God is not li$e loo$in& at God+ for God the *ather is only seen by the One+ 4ho is fro" -i"+ i. It is as thou&h the 0ord is sayin&: 63o not co"plain about !e+ but about yourselves+ for not havin& the ability to believe in !e as in the !essiah. Other/ise+ he /ill not beco"e a participant of this atone"ent+ /ill not have /ithin . On the paschal supper+ the blood /as sy"bolically replaced /ith /ine. says the 0ord of -i"self: not lifeless as the "anna /as+ but the bread that is alive. The . /hich is prophetically depicted by the 0ord in -is ser"on.e/ish d/ellin&s.ect the !ystery of the -oly )o""union+ /hich &rants the blissful unity /ith )hrist+ /ant to treat the". !essiah-)hrist.rese"blance to -i"6.ust as the liberation of the .e/s fro" the E&yptian captivity served as a sy"bol of the /orld’s rede"ption+ then in the /ords of )hrist that in order to have eternal life it is essential to *eat the flesh of the Son of 'an and drin! His blood*. you have no life in you. Because the paschal la"b /as a sy"bol of )hrist+ . 4ith their fleein& fro" E&ypt+ the . In connection /ith the approachin& feast of Pascha /ith -i"self+ the 0ord teaches about -i"self+ as about the true Paschal 0a"b that accepts the sins of the /hole /orld upon -i"self. *ollo/in& this+ the 0ord says "ore clearly and definitively: this Bread that has co"e do/n fro" heaven is -is *lesh+ 4hich -e &ives for the life of the /orldE here -e is tal$in& about -is forthco"in& death on the cross at Gol&otha for the redee"in& of hu"anity fro" its sins.6 ll the Old Testa"ent boo$s testify to the co"in& of )hrist+ and those /ho consciously study the"+ cannot but be tau&ht by God+ and accept the !essiah-)hrist sent by -i". The "anna fed only the body+ and that /as /hy those /ho ate it died any/ayE the real Bread+ that co"es do/n fro" heaven is such+ that all /ho eat it /ill not die but receive the eternal life. I say to you. In order to stop their ar&u"ent+ the 0ord decisively and cate&orically repeats: *'ost assuredly.ery Truth had arrived in -is person: the parta$in& of the paschal la"b /ill be replaced in the 2e/ Testa"ent by the parta$in& of the Body of )hrist+ brou&ht as a sacrifice for the sins of the /hole /orld.

ust to believe in )hrist. In other /ords+ it is to accept life purely physically or sensually. the Son of the living God*. That is /hy after this ser"on+ as the Gospel states+ "any people left )hrist+ especially because the tal$ /ent a&ainst the .e/s that at that ti"e not only -is ene"ies but so"e of -is disciples /ere te"pted+ sayin&: *$his is a hard saying: who "an understand it/* -avin& read their thou&hts and feelin&s+ the 0ord replied: *. Statin& *$he flesh #rofits nothing*. So+ )hrist’s /ords need to be understood in the spiritual sense and not sensually or rou&hly+ as thou&h -e is offerin& -is *lesh+ li$e the "eat of an ani"al+ to satisfy bodily hun&er. This occurs because they &ive the parta$er the closest internal co""union /ith )hrist+ "ysterious . -o/ever+ these /ords of the 0ord /ere so unusual for the . . 4hat does it "ean to understand sensuallyI It is too loo$ upon the ob.e. In such a /ay+ throu&h this !ystery+ the "an that had fallen into sin+ is grafted a ne/ life. -o/ever+ one should not . The teachin& about the -oly Eucharist /as and /ill be the touchstone of faith in )hrist. There are "any people that are i"pressed by )hrist’s "oral la/+ but /ho yet do not understand the necessity of unity /ith -i" in this !ystery. This "eans to understand life spiritually %St.ust li$e a &ardener &rafts a piece of cuttin& fro" one tree to another in order to "a$e it fruit-bearin&+ so does )hrist+ /ishin& to "a$e us the participants in the 3ivine life D -e -i"self physically enters into our body+ desecrated by sin+ and &ives the start for the internal transfor"ation and sanctification+ "a$in& us a ne0 creation. By the 0ord’s o/n /ords+ -is *lesh and Blood are food indeed and drin1 indeed+ for only they report to a person eternal life.hi"self eternal life+ i. Of course it is difficult to believe in the hu"ble 3ivinity+ /ithout the assistance of God’s &race. /ill re"ain alienated fro" God+ /hich is+ actually+ eternal death. Then the 0ord+ testin& -is closest disciples+ the t/elve postles+ in their faith in -i"+ as$ed if they /ould li$e to leave -i" too.ud&e accordin& to /hat he sees. It is necessary to fuse /ith -i"+ abide in -i" so that -e too "ay abide in us+ and this is achieved only throu&h the "eans of the -oly )o""union of -is Body and Blood. -o/ever+ the 0ord .oes this offend you/ What then if you should see the Son of 'an as"end where He was before/* -ere+ the 0ord "eans ho/ they /ould be te"pted+ seein& -i" crucifiedM *urther on+ the 0ord e'plains ho/ to understand -is /ords properly: *It is the S#irit Who gives life: the flesh #rofits nothing. But in response Peter-Si"on+ spea$in& undoubtedly on the behalf of the rest+ pronounces the &reat confession of faith in the 0ord as *Christ. !ean/hile+ /ithout this !ystery of unity /ith )hrist+ /ithout the &raftin& of -is 6cuttin&+6 it is i"possible to follo/ even the "oral la/ in one’s life+ because it is beyond the hu"an po/er. and they are life*. ll its "ysteries have to be vie/ed /ith the inner si&ht. )hrysosto"(. the 0ord /as not spea$in& of -is o/n *lesh D not at all D but of those+ /ho understood -is /ords sensually. *%ut there are some of you who do not believe*. s it can be seen later+ these /ords of the 0ord contained the first indication at .e/s’ earthly understandin& of the !essiah.oinin& /ith -i" %GK(. If )hrist’s *lesh /as separated fro" -is spirit+ it /ould not be able to &ive lifeE and of course+ it &oes /ithout sayin&+ )hrist’s /ords are not about -is soulless and lifeless *lesh+ but of the *lesh that is united /ith -is 3ivine Spirit. It is as thou&h the 0ord is sayin& that -is teachin& is not about the "eat or food+ /hich nourishes the physical life+ but about the 3ivine Spirit+ the &race and eternal life+ /hich is developed in people throu&h the blissful "eans. $he words that I s#ea! to you are s#irit.udas-betrayer. In order to be saved it is not sufficient .ects si"ply and thin$ about nothin& "ore but satisfyin& one’s natural needs.

erusale" Pharisees never paused their surveillance on -i" and not findin& -i" in . !eetin& -i" /ith -is disciples there+ they rene/ed their previous conde"nations of -is disciples for not follo/in& the traditions of the elders. Specifically+ the 0ord pointed out that in the na"e of their tradition+ the Pharisees /ere violatin& the direct and definite co""and"ent about honorin& parents. Their reason /as that -is disciples did not /ash their hands before eatin&. )hrysosto"(.noticed that not all the t/elve believed in -i"+ and that one of the" /as devilE of course+ not in the literal sense+ but as the ene"y of )hrist and -is /or$s.udas hi"self+ as -e $ne/ beforehand that he /as plannin& to betray -i". The 0ord -i"self responds to the Pharisees’ accusations: *Why do you also transgress the "ommandment of God be"ause of your tradition/* %!at.erusale"+ /ent to Galilee.erusale".Traditio!s %!at. 6Throu&h this+ the 0ord sho/ed that the one sinnin& in &reat deeds should not note+ /ith such solicitude+ the "inor trans&ressions of the others6 %St. The un/ritten la/ /as re"ar$able for its &reat pettiness.ohn 9:>(+ /hile the hour of -is sufferin&s on the cross had not arrived. >G:AE !ar$ 9:F(.e. >G:>-@:E !ar$ 9:>-@A(. -o/ever+ but the . nd such dedication as a &ift to God could include everythin&: a house+ a field+ sanctified and unsanctified livestoc$E at the sa"e ti"e+ the .e. The disciples+ /ith their 3ivine Teacher /ere /or$in& for a &reat "atter+ buildin& God’s 7in&do" on earth and did not have ti"e to even eat bread %!ar$ A:@:+ /hile the Pharisee’s de"anded that they should strictly follo/ all these petty traditions. the traditions of the ancient "en+ ancient rabbis.e/s believed that !oses received t/o sets of co""and"ents on the Sinai: the one /as recorded in boo$s+ /hile the other /as not+ and passed orally fro" fathers to sons+ and thereafter /as eventually recorded in the Tal"ud. 4ith that the 0ord /anted to &ive a /arnin& to .e/s /ere see$in& to $ill -i" %. The . That second la/ /as na"ed 6the elders’ traditions6+ i. !oreover+ the Tal"ud deter"ines precisely the re5uired "easure of /aterE the ti"e and order of /ashin& the hands+ dependin& on the fact if there /ere "ore than G people+ or if there /ere less. *ollo/in& these rules /as supposed to be so i"portant that those /ho violated the"+ /ere sub. The Third &ascha /3posi!( the &harisees. as dedicated to God.udice and to&ether /ith the si"ilar re5uire"ents+ obscured the "ore i"portant de"ands of the la/ of God+ beco"in& senseless and har"ful. t the third Pascha+ the 0ord /as not in . On the feast-day of Pascha+ the 0ord did not &o to . ccordin& to the la/s of the Pharisee piety+ before eatin& and after/ards+ the hands had to be /ashed obli&atory. This tradition per"itted children to deprive their parents of the "aterial support+ if they declared their possessions as 2Cor#an2& i. Thus+ for e'a"ple+ the la/ on /ashin& the hands+ initially inspired by the strife for hy&iene and /as useful by itself+ beca"e a pre.erusale" this ti"e+ because the .ected to the Sanhedrin’s punish"ent D up to e'co""unication.

*or e'a"ple+ ac$no/led&in& that drun$enness is the evil+ /e do not assert that /ine is the evil because it desecrates a person. But the sins that co"e forth fro" the "outh and heart of the "an+ desecrate hi". >G:>>E !ar$ 9:>G(. *urther on+ the 0ord e'plains to the postles that the food+ co"in& throu&h the "outh+ bypasses the soul and is e'pur&ated+ not leavin& any trace in the soul. ddressin& then all the people+ the 0ord further added that to e'pose the Pharisees: *6ot what goes into the mouth defiles a man: but what "omes out of the mouth. The Pharisees &ot te"pted because the 0ord had no respect for the tradition of the elders+ and evidently+ not even for the 0a/ of !oses+ /hich established the strict difference bet/een different types of food. The 5eali!( o* a 'a!aa!ite )o#a!-s dau(hter %!at. this defiles a man* %!at. 2aturally+ the food enterin& the "outh does not "a$e a person unclean+ if this is not associated /ith &luttony+ disobedience and other types of sinful inclinations of the heart.e. 4e fast not because /e are afraid to desecrate ourselves /ith the non-0enten food+ but for the sa$e of "a$in& it easier to stru&&le /ith the other sinful passions+ to con5uer our sensuality+ to train ourselves to curb our /ill throu&h the obedience to the -oly )hurch deter"inations. )allin& the Pharisees hypocrites+ the 0ord ascribes Isaiah’s prophesy %@F:>A( to the"+ confir"in& that they honor God superficially+ /hile their hearts are far a/ay fro" -i"E and it is futile to thin$ that in such a /ay they are pleasin& God+ and fruitless that they are teachin& the others to do the sa"e thin&. But for that+ he re&arded hi"self free of any social obli&ations+ even fro" the responsibility to ta$e care of his parents D denyin& the" even the very necessary for life and sustenance. But the 0ord sho/s that /hat "a$es a person "orally unclean is everythin& /hat co"es out fro" an unclean heart. The Pharisees did not understand the difference bet/een physical and "oral cleanliness. They presu"ed that if food is unclean or is ta$en by the unclean hands+ it /as capable of soilin& the person "orally+ "a$in& hi" unclean before God. >G:@>E !ar$ 9:@?(+ i.or to/ns of Tyre and Sidon. -o/ever+ sectarians and the other opponents of fastin&+ "aintain a co"pletely &roundless presu"ption that these /ords of the 0ord /ere a&ainst the fasts+ established by the -oly )hurch. *%ut He "ould not be hidden* %!ar$ 9:@?(+ because the /o"an+ /ho Saint !atthe/ calls a Canaanite+ /hile Saint !ar$ D a Syrian+!hoenician+ heard about -i". *ro" the /ords of Saint !ar$ *and wanted no one to !now it* %!ar$ 9:@?(+ it can be assu"ed that the 0ord’s ai" of departin& into the "idst of other tribe’s population of different faith /as to be alone for a /hileE to rest fro" the ubi5uitous cro/ds follo/in& -i" constantly in Galilee+ and perhaps fro" the i"placable hatred of the Pharisees. to the heathen land of Phoenicia+ to the north/est of Galilee+ and their "a. >G:>?(+ and so there /as no need to follo/ the invented by the" teachin&: any si"ilar teachin& that does not e"anate fro" God /ill be uprooted. >G:@>-@HE !ar$ 9:@?-A:(. 0eavin& Galilee+ the 0ord departed to *the region of $yre and Sidon* %!at. ccordin& to Saint !ar$’s /ords+ an evil spirit possessed this heathen /o"an’s dau&hter and she be&an as$in& -i" to cast the de"on out of her dau&hter.one /ho dedicated could continue usin& his possessions by "a$in& a s"all pay"ent into the te"ple’s coffer. The 0ord cal"ed -is disciples+ callin& the Pharisees *blind leaders of the blind* %!at. .

e/s’ idea of the heathens. The 0ord ca"e throu&h the borders of the 3ecapolis fro" Phoenicia to the 0a$e of Galilee. nd at that "o"ent+ the dau&hter of the )anaan /o"an /as healed. Throu&h her response to the 0ord+ the /o"an truly displayed the full stature of her faith+ to&ether /ith the e'traordinarily depth of hu"ility+ by acceptin& the offensive na"e of a do&+ bein& a heathen: *1es (ord. *It is not good to ta!e the "hildren)s bread and throw it to the little dogs* %!at. This "iracle is note/orthy in that it /as perfor"ed at a distance fro" the ill person+ . Gradually &ettin& closer to . Testin& her faith+ the 0ord *answered her not a word* %!at. >G:@@(+ thereby professin& her faith in -is !essianic /orthiness. 8sually+ the 0ord healed only /ith -is /ord./are fro" the . -avin& pronounced authoritatively 2. . Such &reat faith and deep hu"ility /ere re/arded i""ediately: *+ woman* D said the 0ord @ *great is your faith0 (et it be to you as you desire* %!at. 0oo$in& up to heaven -e si&hed in prayer+ so as to "a$e clear to the surroundin& people that -e is healin& throu&h the 3ivine D and certainly not throu&h de"on’s po/er+ as the Pharisees said of -i" in the slanderous ru"ors.avid* %!at. >G:@HE !ar$ 9:@F(. yet even little dogs eat the "rumbs whi"h fall from their masters table* %!at. >G:@?(E after all+ the . This land represented a union of ten cities+ /hich+ /ith the e'ception of the city Scythopolis+ /as situated to the east of the la$e of GalileeE fro" the ti"e of the ssyrian captivity of . 4ishin& to discover the full "easure of the /o"an’s faith in front of -is postles+ and to edify the"+ perhaps the 0ord adapted -is /ords in such a "anner as to reflect the . Of course+ those /ords /ere uttered so as to reveal before everyone the po/er of that /o"an’s faith+ and also to sho/ that even the heathens+ /hen they believe+ are /orthy of God’s "ercy D contrary to the conte"pt that the . >G:@9E !ar$ 9:@H(.e/s of the co"in& !essiah+ she called -i" *Son of . -o/ever+ that ti"e -e led the afflicted person aside D apparently to evade idle curiosity of the se"i-heathen cro/d D inserted -is fin&ers into the ailin& person’s ears+ and havin& spat+ touched his ton&ue: apparently all that /as done to arouse faith in the sic$ person D an essential prere5uisite for healin& D for he /as deaf+ and it /as i"possible to co""unicate /ith hi". s usual+ -e .esus+ the /o"an finally+ on the /ords of Saint !ar$+ fell at -is feet+ pleadin& for her dau&hter to be healed. >G:@KE !ar$ 9:@9(.phphatha2 %!ar$ 9:A?(+ /hat "eans 2open2 in Syrian+ the 0ord healed hi". lthou&h $no/in& her faith+ but continuin& to test her+ the 0ord refuses the /o"an /ith the /ords that "i&ht have see"ed cruel+ if they /ere not said by the 0ord+ filled /ith love for the sufferin& hu"anity.e/s /ere God’s chosen people and it /as to the" that God’s 1edee"er /as pro"ised+ and to nobody else+ and it /as to the" specifically+ that -e had to co"e in the first instanceE to save the" and perfor" "iracles a"on& the".esus replied: *I was not sent e5"e#t to the lost shee# of the house of Israel* %!at. The 5eali!( o* the "peech-0#peded :ea* &erso! %!at >G:@F-A>E !ar$ 9:A>-A9.e/s+ the land /as populated essentially by the heathens. The "eanin& of these /ords is that the 0ord did not /ithdra/ fro" the chosen people+ so as to ta$e a/ay -is &race&ivin& "iraculous po/er and dissipate it in the land of the heathens.e/s nurtured to/ards the". >G:@A(+ so that even the disciples be&an to as$ on her behalf.ust as the healin& of the )enturion’s servant at )apernau" %!at. H:>A(+ also the sa"e heathen+ /hose faith also earned God’s praise. On the /ay+ the 0ord healed a speech-i"peded deaf individual+ about /hat is narrated only by Evan&elist !ar$.

Such a rash did not &ive the postles an opportunity to replenish their bread supply. -avin& fed the people+ the 0ord let the" &o+ /hile -e and -is postles "ade their /ay to the /estern ban$ in the boat+ to the re&ion of !a&dala or+ as Saint !ar$ notes+ to the 3al"anuthian re&ion. They te"pted -i"+ hypocritically and insincerely as$in& -i" to sho/ the" such a si&n fro" heaven that /ould serve as a definite proof of -is 3ivine /orthiness as the !essiah to the" and to the rest of people. >G:A@-AFE !ar$ H:>-F(. The 1iraculous Feedi!( o* Four Thousa!d &eople %!at.ud&e on the forthco"in& /eather+ they did not /ant to notice the evident si&ns testifyin& of -is !essianic /orthiness. 2or"ally+ the Pharisees %the conservatives( and the Sadducees %the liberalsSfree thin$ers( /ere hostile to/ards each other+ but they /ere united in one spirit a&ainst the 0ord. Seein& those "iracles+ the people *glorified the God of Israel* %!at. 2ot /ishin& to continue conversin& /ith the hypocrites+ the 0ord+ havin& . 3al"anutha /as a s"all villa&e beside the city of !a&dala that /as located on the /estern ban$ of the 0a$e of Galilee. !ean/hile+ &rievin& over the spiritual . On this occasion+ there /ere 9 bas$ets of bread re"ainin&. The 0ord sternly ans/ered the Pharisees+ callin& the" hypocrites+ because /hile $no/in& ho/ to . Bein& convinced that the 0ord /ould refuse the"+ they /anted to use that as another reason to proclai" to the people that because . >K:>->@E !ar$ H:>>-@>(. >G:A:(. ccordin& to Saint !atthe/+ havin& passed throu&h 3ecapolis+ the 0ord arrived at the 0a$e of Galilee+ "ore than li$ely+ fro" the east or the northeast. They brou&ht to -i" the la"e+ blind+ "ute+ "ai"ed and those sufferin& /ith different types of illnesses. nd a&ain -e told the" that no si&ns /ould be &iven to the"+ *e5"e#t the sign of the #ro#het Jonah* %!at. The supplies of bread /ere over+ there /as no/here to buy it and the 0ord perfor"ed the "iracle of feedin& the "asses ane/E that ti"e D feedin& four thousand /ith 9 loaves. The /3posure o* the &harisees "eeki!( the "i(!s %!at. But no "atter ho/ "uch -e prohibited that+ the "ore those /ho had /itnessed the "iracle told and repeated about /hat they had seen.esus could not &ive the" a si&n+ -e could not be the !essiah.ust arrived at that side of the la$e+ &ot bac$ into the boat /ith the postles and /ent bac$.ust silently placed the ill at -is feet+ *and He healed them* %!at. >G:A>(+ re&ardin& -i"+ li$e the chosen people+ as their o/n God. >K:?(.co""anded the surroundin& eye/itnesses not to tell anyone+ in order perhaps not to e'cite the people and thereby not to ar" the Pharisees further a&ainst -i"self. s soon as the 0ord stepped off the boat+ the Pharisees and Sadducees approached -i"+ evidently /aitin& for -i" specially. -ere+ as usual+ "asses of people a/aited and follo/ed -i"+ and /herever -e stayed+ there /as an instant con&re&ation of people. The 0ord spent three days /ith the people on the barren ban$ of the Gennesaret 0a$e. Their faith in )hrist’s "iraculous po/er /as so &reat that they did not as$ -i" for anythin&+ but .

ntipas belon&ed to the Sadducees sect.esus is 'hrist4 the "o! o* God %!at.ulias+ in the na"e of Tetrarch Philip’s dau&hter . On the /ay to )aesarea Philippi+ in the to/n of Bethsaida %also $no/n as . )onse5uently+ the 0ord sou&ht opportunities to be alone /ith the" "ore fre5uently.ulias+ the 0ord and -is disciples headed to/ards the land of )aesarea Phillipi. The "iracle about /hich only Saint !ar$ narrates+ the 0ord perfor"ed after -e and -is disciples /ent to the eastern ban$ of the Gennesaret 0a$e. he /as already a/are of /hat people and trees loo$ed li$e. /hich doesn’t chan&e the "eanin& of the phrase+ for -erod. Thereupon+ the 0ord sent hi" ho"e+ co""andin& hi" not to enter the settle"ent+ and not to tell anyone there about the "iracle. . This city %for"erly $no/n as Panis+ located on the northern boundary of 2aphtali tribe+ at . In the contrast to the other D Palestinian )aesarea+ situated on the ban$s of the Inland Sea+ this )aesarea /as called Philippi. -avin& cured hi"+ the 0ord acted as -e did /ith the healin& of the speech-i"peded deaf individual: -e led the "an out of the settle"ent+ spat on his eyes and his si&ht returned+ not instantly but &radually+ after the 0ord laid -is hands on hi" t/ice. Only then did the postles reali#e that the 0ord /as /arnin& the" a&ainst the Pharisees’ and Sadducees’ teachin&. Saint !ar$ replaces the /ord *Saddu"ees* /ith another D *Herod)s*. pparently+ by -is actions the 0ord once a&ain /as tryin& to arouse faith in the "an+ /hich /as essential for the perfor"ance of the "iracle. >K:>>(. The 5eali!( o* a Bli!d &erso! i! Bethsaida %!ar$ H:@@-@K(. The 0ord then truly chastised the" for their lac$ of faith+ for their lac$ of understandin& and for&etfulness+ and re"inded the" of the t/ice happened "iracle of feedin& several thousands /ith fe/ loaves.blindness of the Pharisees and Sadducees+ and /ishin& to /arn -is postles of the sa"e destructive state+ the 0ord said: *%eware of the leaven of the <harisees and Saddu"ees* %!at. In -is conversations /ith the"+ -e atte"pted to accusto" the" to the idea+ that the !essiah is not an earthly $in& that /ill help the . -o/ever+ the postles did not understand the 0ord’s /arnin&+ thin$in& that -e /as reproachin& the" for /astin& the opportunity of obtainin& bread. &eter-s 'o!*essio!.e.ulia(+ a blind person /as brou&ht to the 0ord so that -e could cure hi" /ith the touch of -is hands. 4hile the 0ord’s earthly life /as co"in& to the end+ the preachers of -is Teachin&+ those chosen by -i"+ /ere not so /ell-prepared for their &rand "ission. >K:>A-@:E !ar$ H:@9-A:E 0u$e F:>H-@>(. !ore than li$ely+ he /as not born blind+ for /ith the first touch of the 0ord’s hands+ he announced that he could see trees and peopleE i.ordan’s river-bed+ at the foothill of the !ount 0ebanon(+ /as e'panded and decorated by the Tetrarch Philip+ and na"ed )aesarea D in honor of the 1o"an )aesar %Tiberius(. *ro" Bethsaida-.

8nder the /ord 6roc$6 they understood the confession of faith in . 4ith those /ords+ the 0ord sho/ed to Si"on-Peter that he should not re&ard his faith as the result of his /atchful "ind+ for it is the precious &ift fro" God. well you told 'e.ust the forerunner of the !essiah.ohn >:?@(. Then+ -e as if /as /itnessin& that Peter /as . now I am telling you9 1ou are <eter.ntipas re&arded -i" as resurrected .. >K:>9(.esus as the !essiah+ they supposed -i" to be . >::?(. but 'y &ather Who is in Heaven* %!at. 4ith those /ords+ Evan&elists !ar$ and 0u$e li"it the narration of that episode+ statin& that the 0ord co""anded the" not to tell anyone about this. E'odus @H:>KE Genesis ?:>>E 1o"ans F:AAE > )or. There /as a belief a"on& the people that before the arrival of the !essiah+ another prophet /ill precede -i"+ and not re&ardin& very . Simon %arEJonah.ere"iah or so"e other one(. @ adds the (ord in the sense that. It /as at the first "eetin& that the 0ord na"ed Si"on as Peter in Gree$+ or )ephas in Syrian)haldean+ "eanin& 2a roc12 %.esus )hrist+ 4ho is often "entioned in the -oly Scripture as a roc1 %e. The 0ord then poses a direct 5uestion to -is disciples: *%ut who do you say that I am/* %!at. *ro" this+ it is clear that the 0ord addressin& Peter pro"ises to establish -is )hurch not on hi" but on that faith+ /hich Peter displayed+ i. >K:>AE !ar$ H:@9 and 0u$e F:>H( The postles ans/ered that the people had different opinions of -i": for e'a"ple+ the court of -erod. on the &reat truth that *Christ is the Son of the (iving God*. -o/ever+ Saint !atthe/ adds to this+ that the 0ord praised Peter+ tellin& hi": *%lessed are you. the Son of the living God* %!at >K:>KE !ar$ H:@F and 0u$e F:@:(.ah or . and on this ro"! I will build 'y Chur"h. It is re"ar$able that postle Peter hi"self in his first Epistle calls .ohn the Baptist+ /hile the people considered -i" to be the one of the &reat Old Testa"ent Prophets %Eli. 4hat is used is the /ord petra+ "eanin& a cliff. re2e"ted .esus )hrist as the !essiah+ the Son of God+ or even si"ply faith in very .e.&. nd so it /as durin& that lon& . for flesh and blood had not revealed this to you. -e encoura&es the faithful to approach the 0ord *as to a living stone. This is the /ay ho/ Saint )hrysosto" and other &reat *athers of the )hurch interpreted this e'tract. The /ord !etros is not repeated there+ althou&h it too "eans a roc1. >K:>H(.ustifyin& the na"e &iven to hi"+ and that he by the fir"ness of his faith is truly a roc$. * nd I also say to you. >K:>GE !ar$ H:@FE and 0u$e F:@:( Then the 6al/ays fervent Peter6+ 6the voice of the postles6 D as )hrysosto" called hi"+ e'clai"ed: *1ou are the Christ.e/s to con5uer all the nations of the /orld+ but that the !essiah is the 7in&+ 4hose 7in&do" is not of this /orld+ 4ho /ill suffer for the /orld+ 4ho /ill be crucified and /ill then resurrect fro" the dead.ustify their false teachin& on the pri"acy of the 1o"an Pope+ as the successor of postle Peter+ over the /hole )hristian )hurchI )ertainly notM If the 0ord had in "ind very Peter’s personality+ -e /ould have said so"ethin& li$e this: 6<ou are Peter+ and I shall build !y )hurch upon youM6 -o/ever+ /hat /as said /as totally different+ /hich is especially evident in the Gree$ te't of the Gospel+ /hich it is necessary to consult in the cases of "isunderstandin&.esus )hrist as the stone+ but not hi"self. -o/ever+ can an assertion be "ade that throu&h these /ords+ the 0ord pro"ises to establish -is )hurch on Peter’s personality D . am/* %!at. the Son of 'an.ourney+ bein& left alone /ith -is postles and /ishin& to provo$e the tal$ about -i"self+ the 0ord said9 *Who do man say that I. and the gates of hades shall not #revail against it* %!at.ust li$e the 1o"an )atholics are doin&+ tryin& to .

>K:>F(.e"eive the Holy S#irit.indeed by men.e/s’ sensual ideas of the !essiah and to consecrate the" into the &reat !ystery of -is redee"in& e'ploit. ?. >K:@>-@HE !ar$ H:A>-AH and F:>E 0u$e F:@@-@9(. and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven* %!at. (ord: this shall not ha##en to 1ou0* %!at.) nd when He said this. pparently+ the further pro"ise /as &iven to Peter alone: * nd I will give you the !eys of the 8ingdom of Heaven.erusale" in order to prepare the" to the thou&ht about the earthly fate of the !essiah+ and also to refute the . and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven. If you forgive the sins of any. ?<ea"e to you0 s the &ather has sent 'e. lthou&h already deeply devoted to the 0ord+ but still not free fro" the .esus )hrist as the !essiah+ as .e/s’ ideas of the !essiah as of the earthly $in&+ ardent and decisive Peter could not tolerate such a revelation of his deeply beloved Teacher+ but+ not /ishin& to disa&ree /ith -i" in front of everyone+ Peter ta$es -i" aside sayin&: *&ar be it from 1ou. and said to them. but "hosen by God and #re"ious* %> Peter @:?(+ and the"selves /ould *be as living stones* %> Peter @:G(+ bein& a part of the spiritual d/ellin&. I also send you. These /ords e'press the thou&ht that sufferin& and death are inco"patible /ith the /orthiness of .ud&e and punish sinners+ up to their e'co""unication fro" the )hurch. they are retained)* %. The 0ord su""ons the disciples for professin& -i" as the !essiah and the Son of God+ and notifies the" of the sufferin&s a/aitin& -i" in . The e'pression 6the &ates of hell6 /as characteristic of the eastern custo"s of those ti"es: because of the possibility of attac$s+ the &ates of a city or a fortress /ere al/ays especially reinforced+ and there the people in authority &athered for various deliberations+ trials and punish"ent of the &uilty individuals+ as /ell as for other societal "atters. The $ord Foretells 5is :eath a!d 9esurrectio! %!at. pparently+ Peter is teachin& the faithful to /al$ on the sa"e path as he had done+ havin& beco"e 2!etros2 after confessin& his faith in )hrist the 1oc$. >K:@@(. The po/er to loose "eans the authority to for&ive sins+ acceptin& people into the )hurch throu&h confession and baptis". Thus+ the "eanin& of this profound and /onderful state"ent of )hrist is in the follo/in&: 6Blessed are you Si"on+ the son of . The 0ord prohibited -is disciples to spea$ of -i" as of )hrist+ so as not to infla"e passions a"on& the people+ as they had the false understandin& of the !essiah. He breathed on them. The sa"e pro"ise /as later &iven to all the postles and is the part of the authority of the postles and their successors D bishops: to .ohn @::@>-@A(.onah+ because you co"prehended this not throu&h the hu"an "eans+ but throu&h !y -eavenly *ather’s revelationE and I shall tell you that it /as not by chance that I na"ed you Peter+ havin& affir"ed !yself on /hat you have confessed as on a roc$E you /ill truly re"ain the roc$ and !y )hurch /ill be erected indestructibleE no hostile forces of hell /ill be able to con5uer It6. they are forgiven them: if you retain the sins of any. fter the 0ord’s 1esurrection+ this &race /as &ranted by -i" to all the postles e5ually: *So Jesus said to them again.

But this is the path upon /hich the devil tries to attract people+ /ishin& their destruction. )an the foundation of )hrist’s )hurch+ /hen 6the &ates of hades shall not prevail a&ainst it6+ be so "utable+ inconstant and unreliableI nd if /e are to ta$e all of )hrist’s /ords literally+ /e /ould be obli&ed to co"e to the co"pletely absurd+ yet strictly lo&ical+ fro" the catholic point of vie/+ conclusion that the )hurch is established on satanM The 0ord further says: *1ou are an offen"e to 'e0* %!at. &or what #rofit is it to a man if he gains the whole world %/ill attain all the /orld’s honors and pleasures+ ac5uire all its i"per"anent treasures for his personal use( and loses his own soul/ +r what will a man give in e5"hange for his soul/* %!at. >K:@A(. *&or whoever desires to save his life will lose it %in the sense of earthly blessin&s(+ but whoever loses his life for 'y sa!e %/ho /ill not spare hi"self for )hrist( will find it %/ill save his soul for eternal life4. In other /ords+ the 0ord /ants to say that Peter is not thin$in& of that /hat is pleasin& God+ and /hat -e had predeter"ined concernin& the sufferin&s and death of the !essiah but about that+ /hat is advanta&eous to the . -e clearly felt that it /as not Peter that /as sayin& that to -i" D atte"ptin& to turn -i" aside fro" the forthco"in& sufferin&s D but the seducer-satan hi"self+ ta$in& advanta&e of Peter’s pure feelin&s+ /anted )hrist’s hu"an nature to hesitate before -is e'ploit of redee"in& "an$ind.ect your natural /ill and inclinations(+ and ta!e u# his "ross %condition yourself in such a /ay+ in order be ready for any deprivations and sufferin&s+ includin& death+ for the sa$e of )hrist(+ and follow 'e %i"itate )hrist in -is e'ploit of selfrenounce"ent and self-denial(. Evan&elists !ar$ and 0u$e si"ilarly report of the other i"portant /ords of the 0ord: *&or whoever is ashamed of 'e and 'y words in this adulterous and sinful generation %he /ho is asha"ed to be in the nu"ber of the follo/ers of )hrist+ particularly to fulfill the co""and"ent of carryin& his cross(+ of him the Son of 'an also will be ashamed %/ill refuse to reco&ni#e hi" as -is follo/er( when He "omes in the glory of His &ather with the holy ngels %on the . =i&aben(.ud&"ent 3ay(* %!ar$ H:AHE 0u$e F:@K(. The re"ar$able thin& is that the 0ord+ havin& . satan0* %!at. >K:@AE !ar$ H:AA(. -ere+ the 0ord "eans that Peter+ 6in opposin& -i" and in /ishin& that the ai" for /hich the 0ord ca"e and /hich has the eternal pre-destination of God not to happen+ he beco"es an obstacle6 %Evph. . The 0ord couples the thou&ht about the eternal destruction of the people that "aintain the"selves for this /orld only+ /ith the thou&ht of -is Second and 3read )o"in&+ /hen each one /ill &et re/ards *a""ording to his wor!s* %!at. >K:@9(. >K:@AE !ar$ H:AA(. This is the i"portant thou&ht+ as it refutes the Protestant and sectarian assertions that &ood deeds are not i"portant in order to be saved. The 0ord responds to this /ith indi&nation: *Get behind 'e.e/s: treatin& the !essiah as an ordinary person D althou&h the po/erful $in&-con5ueror. but the things of men. It is natural for a person to preserve his life+ avoid sufferin&s and strive for content"ent and earthly pleasures and deli&hts. >K:@?-@KE !ar$ H:A?-A9 and 0u$e F:@A-@G(. nd the 0ord adds: *1ou are not mindful of the things of God.* %!at.the Son of God. *If anyone desires to "ome after 'e %be a faithful follo/er(+ let him deny himself %deny yourself+ re. This is not )hrist’s path and that of -is &enuine follo/ers.ust recently na"ed Peter 2a roc12 suddenly calls hi" 6satan2E this disproves the false 1o"an-catholic teachin& that )hrist’s )hurch /as built upon Peter’s hu"an personality. The hu"an soul is "ore precious than all the treasures of the /orld+ and the ruined soul it /ould not be possible to save /ith anythin&+ /ith none of the earthly treasures.

su"h as no launderer on earth "an whiten them*. The sa"e Evan&elist+ as distinct fro" the others+ adds that durin& the prayer+ *<eter and those with him were heavy with slee#* %0u$e F:A@( and havin& . Saint !ar$ adds to that: *$hey will see the 8ingdom of God #resent with #ower* %!ar$ F:>(.ust a/a$ened+ sa/ the transfi&ured 0ord’s &lory and appearin& in &lory !oses and Eli. They tal$ed /ith . *ro" these /ords+ it can be seen clearly that the conversation is not of the 0ord’s Second )o"in&+ but of the revelation of God’s 7in&do"+ i. The Tra!s*i(uratio! o* the $ord %!at.erusale". and Saint 0u$e %F:@F( si"ply states: *His robe be"ame white and glistening*.ah.The 0ord concluded this conversation /ith the follo/in& si&nificant /ords: * ssuredly I say to you. and His "lothes be"ame as white as the light* %!at. >9:>E !ar$ F:@ and 0u$e F:@H(. about its blessed po/er on earth a"on& the faithful D about establishin& )hrist’s )hurch. >9:@(+ /hile accordin& to Saint !ar$ %F:A(+ *His "lothes be"ame shining.ohn D the 0ord *led them u# on a high mountain by themselves* %!at.estic "ountain+ the hei&ht of /hich is nearly A::: feet+ is covered half/ay up /ith the beautiful ve&etation+ and the "a&nificent lon&-distant panora"a presents itself fro" its top.ah appeared /as because so"e of the people re&arded )hrist as Eli. Those /ords &ave %and are still &ivin&( cause for so"e people to conclude about the nearness of the Second )o"in& of )hrist D te"ptin& the" to thin$ that the prophecy /as not fulfilled. This "a. 0u$e clarifies+ about -is end+ /hich -e had to face in .ah+ or as one of the Prophets. in order to differentiate the servant from the (ord*.e. Ta$in& -is closest and trusted disciples+ /ho /ere /ith -i" durin& the "ost triu"phant and i"portant "o"ents of -is earthly life D Peter+ . >9:>->AE !ar$ F:@->AE 0u$e F:@H-AK(.ohn )hrysosto" e'plains that the reason /hy especially !oses and Eli. >K:@HE 0u$e F:@9(. The 0ord *transfigured before them*. li!e snow. e5"eedingly white. -o/ever+ the other t/o Evan&elists D Saints !ar$ and 0u$e D define this+ "a$in& it possible to understand the 0ord’s /ords correctly. 2either !oses D throu&h /ho" God’s 0a/ /as &iven D nor . there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the 8ingdom of God* %0u$e F:@9(.esus )hrist+ as St. Evan&elist 0u$e also "a$es an i"portant supple"ent+ pointin& out that the purpose of &oin& up the "ountain /as to pray and that the 0ord transfi&ured+ *as He #rayed* %0u$e F:@F(. That is /hy *the ma2or <ro#hets a##ear. So *the 8ingdom of God #resent with #ower* is )hrist’s )hurch+ established by the 0ord+ /hich disse"ination across the face of the /hole /orld "any of -is disciples and conte"poraries /ere /orthy to see. !oses appeared to sho/ that . *ll the three Evan&elists narrate about this eventE "oreover+ it is /orthy to note that they all lin$ it to the 0ord’s ser"on+ "ade si' days D H days accordin& to 0u$e Q prior to -is forthco"in& sufferin&s+ about the carryin& of the cross by -is follo/ers and about the i""inent revelation of God’s $in&do"+ co"in& /ith po/er. appearin& before -is disciples in all -is heavenly &lory+ fro" /hich *His fa"e shone li!e the sun.esus /as not a violator of his la/+ /hich is /hat the Scribes and Pharisees often atte"pted to present -i" as. there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of 'an "oming in His glory* %!at. s Saint . 4hile the Evan&elists do not na"e this "ountain+ the ancient )hristian traditions unani"ously testify that it /as the !ount Tabor in Galilee+ to the south of 2a#areth+ on the "a&nificent Israeli plain.a"es and . Saint 0u$e conveys it so: *%ut I tell you truly.

?:G-K(+ i.ah’s po/er and spirit D but they did not reco&ni#e hi"+ thre/ hi" into a dun&eon and put hi" to death.esus )hrist’s soverei&nty over life and death+ over the heaven and earth. The sa"e /ords /ere heard durin& the 0ord’s Baptis"+ but /ith an addendu" *Hear Him*. nd he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the "hildren. and the heart of the "hildren to their fathers: lest I "ome and smite the earth with a "urse* %!al. I will send you Dli2ah the #ro#het before the great and terrible day of the (ord "ome. in Whom I am well #leased.esus. Eli. it is necessary for Eli. The 5eali!( o* the &ossessed Adolesce!t %!at. The appearance of the deceased !oses and Eli. nd the 0ord confir"s that indeed+ *Dli2ah is "oming first and will restore all things* %!at. Hear Him* %!at.e.ah /ould not present the"selves or follo/ the orders of the One+ 4ho /as not truly the Son of God. it is good for us to be here: and let us ma!e three taberna"les9 one for 1ou. to restore(.ust as the Prophet !alachi prophesied: *%ehold.ah had already co"e li$e . >9:>>E !ar$ F:>@( %in Gree$ D apo1atastisi& i. Evan&elist !ar$+ undoubtedly fro" Peter’s o/n /ords+ testifies that the feelin& of .Eli. >9:? and !ar$ F:G(. "iraculous cloud D bein& an indication of the e'ceptional 3ivine presence D enveloped the" %a si"ilar cloud that /as constantly present in the -oly of -oliest /as called 2sheheena2 D > 7in&s H:>:->>(. >9:GE !ar$ F:9 and 0u$e F:AG(. The particularly a"a#in&+ &race-filled feelin& that over/hel"ed the postles’ souls /as e'pressed by Saint Peter’s e'cla"ation: *)'aster. The voice of God the *ather /as heard fro" the cloud: *$his is 'y beloved Son. .e. Totally convinced that the Teacher .ohn the Baptist+ /ho /as endo/ed by God /ith Eli.e/s about the !essiah+ the 0ord directed -is postles not to reveal this to anyone until -is resurrection fro" the dead.e.ust as they did not reco&ni#e Eli. Saint !ar$ adds a detail ta$en fro" Peter’s o/n /ords+ that the disciples *!e#t this word to themselves* %F:>:(+ be/ildered+ /hy the 0ord had to die to resurrect later+ and /hat "eans: *rising from the dead* %F:>:(. one for 'oses.ah to appear in the /orld and restore the ori&inal &ood and pure feelin&s in people’s souls+ /ithout /hat the !essiah’s /or$ /ould not be successful+ for it /ould not find the favorable &round in people’s hearts barnacled /ith sin and hardened by their on&oin& ini5uitous lifestyle.ah and $illed hi"+ so they /ill not reco&ni#e the !essiah and also put -i" to death. It /as as thou&h postle Peter /anted to say: it’s better not to return to the distant /orld of hatred and slyness+ /here sufferin&s and death a/ait you. So as not to arouse the sensate feelin&s of the . and they did not !now him but did to him whatever they wished* %!at. The 0ord continues further: *%ut I say to you that Dli2ah has "ome already. >9:>@E !ar$ F:>A(+ i.oy so over/hel"ed Peter+ *he did not !now what to say* %!ar$ F:K(. >9:>@E !ar$ F:>@(+ i.esus is truly the !essiah+ they in5uire: *Why then do the S"ribes say that Dli2ah must "ome first/* %!at. >9:>?-@AE !ar$ F:>?-A@ and 0u$e F:A9-?G(. .ah+ /ho had not seen death as he /as ta$en up to -eaven alive+ denoted the 0ord . /hich "ust re"ind of !oses’ prophecy about )hrist %3eut.e. >H:>G(+ /hile its fulfill"ent is found in the persona of . . >9:>:E !ar$ F:>>(. The 0ord concludes -is thou&ht li$e this: *(i!ewise the Son of 'an is also about to suffer at their hands* %!at. and one for Dli2ah) @ not !nowing what he said* %0u$e F:AAE !at.

ccordin& to Saint !ar$+ the disciples /ere ar&uin& /ith the Scribes. pparently+ this /as because -is face and -is /hole appearance retained so"e of the &lo/ of that &lory+ in /hich the 0ord &listened at Tabor. To that+ the 0ord said: *If you "an believe. you will say to this mountain. have "om#assion on us and hel# us*. Evan&elists !ar$ and 0u$e brin& up so"e additional detail.e/ish people. ?'ove from here to there. Such hu"ble confession /as re/arded: the youth /as released fro" the de"on. 4hen the youth /as brou&ht before the 0ord+ he /ent into a fri&htenin& fit of fren#y. * ll things are #ossible to him who believes* "eans+ that the 0ord is ready to do anythin& for a person+ havin& his faith as the condition. Sheddin& tears+ the father of the unfortunate youth cried out: *(ord. In conclusion+ the 0ord said: *However. 4ith that+ he added that he had already brou&ht hi" to -is disciples+ but they /ere not able to cure hi". *aith is li$e the conductor of -is al"i&hty po/er.ust as Peter+ havin& co""enced /al$in& on the /ater to/ards the 0ord+ and then seein& the stron& /ind and /aves+ be&an to have doubts in his ability to reach the 0ord and started to sin$. 3urin& that ti"e+ "any people &athered around )hrist’s disciples+ /aitin& for -i" at the foot of the "ountain.* This is because there is no &enuine faith /ithout the e'ploits of prayer and fastin&.e. Saint !atthe/ then narrates that the 0ord directed the youth be brou&ht to -i"+ and *rebu!ed the demon.e. this !ind %i. 4hen the disciples in5uired as to /hy they could not cast the de"on out+ the 0ord replied: *%e"ause of your unbelief*. 4ith that+ the 0ord added: *If you have faith as a mustard seed. Genuine faith be&ets prayers and fastin&+ /hich in their turn further assist in stren&thenin& it "ore. *aith is li$e the receiver or bearer of God’s &race+ /hich /or$s /onders. even the s"allest faith+ if only it e'ists+ is already capable to perfor" &reat "iracles+ because it contains the &reat po/er D si"ilar to that hidden in a "ustard seed nondescript in appearance+ yet eventually &ro/in& into a hu&e tree. I believe: hel# my unbelief0* i.Of this healin& is narrated by all the three synoptic+ indicatin& that it /as perfor"ed by the 0ord+ directly after -e ca"e do/n fro" the "ountain of Transfi&uration.e. and it "ame out of him*. he hu"bly ac$no/led&ed that his faith /as not co"plete+ insufficient. That is /hy the Orthodo' )hurch chants praise prayer and fastin& are the double-ed&ed . all things are #ossible to him who believes*. i. Perhaps learnin& fro" the father about the stren&th of the de"on+ the len&th of his presence and the tenacity of possession+ that ti"e they doubted that they could cast hi" out+ and therefore failed to do so+ . The sa"e Evan&elist testifies that seein& )hrist descendin& fro" the "ountain+ *all the #eo#le were greatly ama7ed*.) and it will move: and nothing will be im#ossible for you*. To the 0ord’s 5uestion+ ho/ lon& the youth had been that /ay+ the father replied that since infancy+ addin&: *%ut if you "an do anything. -earin& about -is disciples’ failure to heal+ even thou&h -e &ave the" the po/er over the evil spirits+ the 0ord e'clai"ed: *+ faithless generation %not havin& faith(+ how long shall I be with you/ How long shall I bear with you/* So"e interpreters assi&n the 0ord’s reproach to -is disciples+ because they /ere unable to cure the possessed because of their lac$ of faith+ /hile the others D to all the . 2aturally+ God can perfor" "iracles even /ith insufficient faith+ li$e -e cured the possessed youth+ not/ithstandin& his father’s little faith. -o/ever+ one should not thin$ that faith has its o/n po/er: it is but an essential condition+ /ith /hich God’s al"i&hty po/er /or$s. de"onic( does not go out e5"e#t by #rayer and fasting. "an ca"e to the 0ord /ith an appeal to cure his son /ho+ /ith every ne/ "oon fren#ied and suffered &reatly by thro/in& hi"self first into the fire+ then /ater.

)an it be sur"ised that /here there is no fastin& and prayer+ there are de"onsI D <es+ it can be6.e/ish ideas of the !essiah+ found all that inco"prehensible. and were afraid to as! Him* %!ar$ F:A>-A@(. ? drach"as+ to pay the ta' for the both of the". )onse5uently+ in order to prepare the" for this+ -e reiterates that to the" to fi' it in their "e"ory "ore fir"ly. Of course+ as the Son of God+ -e should have been free fro" the pay"ent. In other /ords+ if you do not abandon your false opinions about the !essiah’s $in&do" and your conceited hopes to obtain . ?Who then is greatest in the 8ingdom of Heaven/)* The 0ord’s response is direct and definite+ ai"ed a&ainst any inclinations a"on& -is disciples to/ards supre"acy: *If anyone desires to be first. The 0ord sa/ that it /as especially at that ti"e+ that -is disciples needed to $no/ about the closeness of -is sufferin&s+ death and resurrection. >H:>-GE !ar$ F:AA-A9E 0u$e F:?K-?H(.says Saint Theophan+ the 1ecluse of . This "iracle+ accordin& to the Gospel interpreter Bishop !ichael+ directly testifies about the 3ivinity of 0ord . -o/ever+ they+ /ho not yet renounced the usual . They re5uired fro" the 0ord . ?$he Son of 'an is being betrayed into the hands of men. you will by no means enter the 8ingdom of Heaven*. The 1iraculous &ay#e!t o* the Te#ple Ta3 %!at.e.) %ut they did not understand this saying. 3urin& that stay in Galilee /ith -is disciples+ the 0ord once "ore *taught His dis"i#les and said to them. he shall be last of all and servant of all*. He will rise the third day. I say to you. nd after He is !illed. -o/ever+ not /antin& to &ive a ne/ reason for the accusations in violatin& the la/+ and not havin& any "oney /ith -i"+ -e sho/ed postle Peter /here and ho/ to obtain the re5uired statir+ i. >9:@?-@9(. The Talk about )ho is the Greatest i! the =i!(do# o* 5eave! !at. and they will !ill Him. -avin& called a little child D /ho+ accordin& to 2icephorus’s testi"ony+ further on beca"e holy "artyr I&natius God-bearer+ the Bishop of ntiochia D the 0ord put hi" in the "iddle of -is disciples and pointin& at hi" said: * ssuredly.esus: 6If -e $ne/ that the first fish that Peter /ould catch had a s/allo/ed statir in its "outh+ then -e is o"nispective. /ho /ould have pree"inence in po/er and honor in that !essiah’s $in&do"+ /hich they e'pected to be revealed shortly. It is as thou&h the 0ord is sayin&: 63on’t strive for pri"acy in !y )hurch+ because this is connected /ith the &reatest labors and &reatest self-renounce"ent+ and not peace and &lory as you i"a&ine6./eapons a&ainst de"ons and passions. unless you are "onverted and be"ome as little "hildren.esus )hrist to &ive "oney for God’s te"ple+ as thou&h for God.yshens$+ D 6and flee fro" hi" so as not to receive a painful blo/. 63e"ons can sense a person that fasts and prays fro" afar+6 -.e. If -e $ne/ that the fish had a statir in its "outh+ then -e is o"nipotent6. 4ith that+ they approached the 0ord *saying. fter the "iraculous pay"ent of the Te"ple ta' in )apernau"+ the disciples be&an an ar&u"ent about /ho /as the &reatest a"on& the"+ i.

pparently+ postle .e.the first places in that $in&do"+ then you shall not be able to enter it. !ean/hile+ durin& the evident hostility of the leaders of the .esus )hrist did not approve of their action.oseph of ri"athea. They do not have preconceived thou&hts about fa"e or possession.e/ish people+ it /as not safe to be an apparent disciple of )hrist and to follo/ -i" every/here. the postles refused to reco&ni#e hi" as one of the" and forbad hi" to continue his activity+ "otivatin& it by the fact that he did not &o /ith the". )onse5uently+ the 0ord had "any secret disciples+ a"on& /hich+ as it is $no/n+ /as . anybody /ho /ill treat these little children D or any "ee$ and hu"ble people+ a$in to the children D /ith love in the na"e of )hrist+ i. to fulfill !y co""and"ent about lovin& all the /ea$ and hu"iliated+ /ill do it as thou&h for !e Personally. -ere the speech of the 0ord+ narrated by Evan&elist !atthe/ /ithout a brea$+ accordin& to Evan&elists !ar$ and 0u$e+ /as interrupted /ith postle . The 0ord’s /ords about the fact+ that /hoever+ receivin& anyone that is /ea$+ ti"id and hu"ble resi&nedly receives )hrist -i"self+ re"inded postle . But because he did not follo/ the"+ they prohibited hi" to do this. )hildren have pure heart.e. They are "ee$ and hu"ble+ they do not have envy and vain&lory yet+ and the desire to be first D the 5ualities that should be i"itated by those /ho /ish to enter the 7in&do" of -eaven.ohn of the seen by the postles person+ castin& out de"ons /ith )hrist’s 2a"e.o not forbid him*. Therefore+ the one /ho /ould set aside the i"a&ined self-i"portance+ /ho /ould turn a/ay fro" a"bition and pride to/ards hu"ility and "ee$ness+ and beco"e as di"inutive as a little child+ /ould have the &reater si&nificance in the -eavenly 7in&do". t the sa"e ti"e+ the 0ord tau&ht -is disciples a lesson on the interrelationship bet/een the !e"bers of )hrist’s 7in&do": *Whoever re"eives one little "hild li!e this in 'y name re"eives 'e*.ust a . *$herefore whoever humbles himself as this little "hild is the greatest in the 8ingdom of Heaven* D only the one /ho /ould hu"ble hi"self+ ac$no/led&e his un/orthiness to enter the 7in&do" of -eaven+ re&ard hi"self less /orthy than the others+ /ill appear as the &reatest.ohn’s /ords about the "an+ castin& the de"ons out /ith the na"e of )hrist. i. *. *ro" the fact+ that they left everythin& and follo/ed )hrist+ as /ell as they beca"e the part of -is t/elve closest and "ost trusted disciples+ and accepted the &race of healin&+ they derived the reason for superiority and re&arded the"selves to have the ri&ht to prohibit the use of )hrist’s na"e to the person /ho did not belon& to their &roup. Probably+ the postles ca"e upon one of such disciples /hen he /as castin& out the de"ons /ith )hrist’s na"e+ yet did not dare to follo/ )hrist openly. he told the"+ because the one+ /ho perfor"s a "iracle /ith !y 2a"e+ undoubtedly believes in !eE the one /ho believes in !e cannot be !y ene"y+ at least not no/ and in the nearest future.ohn’s tender and sensitive heart felt that in that case the postles acted opposite to the 0ord’s teachin&s. The 0ord . )orki!( )o!ders i! 'hrist-s 8a#e %!ar$ F:AH-?> and 0u$e F:?F-G:(. *&or he who is not against us is on our side*E conse5uently+ do not forbid the perfor"ance of &ood deeds in !y 2a"e to those /ho+ for so"e reason+ do not openly declare the"selves as !y disciplesE on the contrary+ assist the" and $no/ that everyone /ho &ives a helpin& hand to any of !y follo/ers in !y na"e+ even if it is .

*&or everyone will be seasoned with fire* D every person has to be sub.ected by the po/erful of this /orld: *%ut whoever "ause one of these little ones who believe in 'e to sin. The e'pression that it is necessary to cut the te"ptin& ar" or le& off+ either to pluc$ the te"ptin& eye out and cast the" a/ay+ "eans that there is no &reater evil for a person than to sin.ust as every sacrificial offerin& to God had to be seasoned /ith salt in accordance /ith the 0a/ of !oses %0ev. as the /orld cannot avoid te"ptations because it is i""ersed in the evil %> . . if they are neither cold nor hot+ this already "eans that their inner bein& is *against Him* %!at. The Teachi!( about the "tru((le 7ith Te#ptatio!s %!at. )onse5uently+ in order to avoid fallin& into a sin+ it follo/s+ if necessary+ to sacrifice that /hich is closest and dearest+ so as to avoid the sinful do/nfall. D /hoever te"pts one of )hrist’s follo/ers+ it /ould be better for hi" to die+ because throu&h te"ptation he can destroy the "an’s soul for /hich )hrist died. )onse5uently+ that person is co""ittin& the &reatest cri"e+ deservin& the "ost severe punish"ent. ?:K(. >@:A:(. The postles’ ar&u"ent on the pri"acy+ the child e"braced by the 0ord+ the ne/s of a "an castin& out de"ons /ith )hrist’s na"e D directed the 0ord’s conversation to/ards the protection of the s"all and the /ea$+ a&ainst te"ptations+ to /hich they "ay be sub.ected to sufferin&s: conse5uently+ the one /ho had not suffer in his earthly life+ deadenin& and subduin& his passions %> )or. and he were drowned in the de#th of the sea*. peace+ as a fruit of love+ as an e'pression of co"pleteness+ achieved throu&h self-renounce"ent. >H:K->:E !ar$ F:?@-G:E 0u$e >9:>-@(. In order to sho/ /hat enor"ous evil a person co""its /hen he te"pts+ the 0ord re"inds ane/ of the sayin&s in -is Ser"on on the !ount+ re&ardin& the ar" or le& that te"pts. F:@9(+ /ill suffer in the fire of eternal fla"es. -o/ever+ this does not "ean that it is per"issible to te"pt. .e. those hi&hest "oral ele"ents and rules+ /hich cleanse the soul and protect it fro" the "oral decay D the salt of &enuine /isdo" and sound teachin&s %)ol. The /ord 6"illstone6 "eans a lar&e upper stone at the "ill that /as put into "otion by a don$ey. it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his ne"!.cup of cold /ater to 5uench the thirst+ *he will by no means lose his reward*. * nd have #ea"e with one another*. *Have salt in yourselves*. @:>A(+ li$e/ise+ the fla"es of "isfortune+ trials and stru&&le "ust prepared the postles and all -is follo/ers as a sacrifice+ pleasin& God. The 0ord continues /ith a heavy heart: *Woe to the world be"ause of offen"es0 &or offen"es must "ome*. Saint !ar$’s e'pression: *Where their worm does not die* presents sinners in the i"a&e of a corpse that is bein& devoured by /or"s+ /here a /or" is a sy"bol of conscience that incessantly tortures at the person /ith recollections of past trans&ressions %Isaiah KK:@?(.ohn G:>F(+ people are in the state of sinful destruction /hile the devil constantly searches of prey a"on& the people. The 0ord spo$e totally different about people that /ere li$e a "eado/+ /hich /as /ell /atered yet re"ained fruitless: if such people *are not for Christ*. i. On the contrary: *Woe to that man by whom the offen"e "omes0* D /oe to hi" that deliberately+ or in conte"pt+ or ne&lectin& the nei&hbor+ involves hi" into a sin. One should not thin$ of /ho is &reater in the 7in&do" of -eaven+ because this can lead to divisions+ dissatisfaction and ani"osityE but about ho/ to be 6salt6 and be in peace and unity of love a"on& the"selves.

*%ut if he refuses even to hear the Chur"h. do not re&ard the" as bein& so insi&nificant as to find it uni"portant to even te"pt the"E *those little ones* i. Such obdurate sinners that re. if he had ta$en root in his sin so that he does not care about the authority of the )hurch pastors+ then let hi" be e'co""unicated fro" the co""unication /ith you+ . ac5uired that person+ /ho /as lost throu&h the sin and ceased to be a "e"ber of )hrist’s 7in&do"+ ane/.ust as all heathens and ta'-collectors /ere e'cluded fro" the co""unication /ith the . i. Each one of the" has his Guardian n&el fro" GodE therefore if God -i"self is concerned about the"+ so "i&ht the people despise the"I *&or the Son of 'an has "ome to save that whi"h was lost* D this ne/ encoura&e"ent is to not despise these little ones+ because the 0ord -i"self ca"e do/n to earth for their salvation.e. *$a!e heed that you do not des#ise one of these little ones* D do not despise+ al"ost the sa"e as 6do not te"pt6 i. let him be to you li!e a heathen and a ta5 "olle"tor*. s Blessed Theothylactus e'plains+ the "eanin& of this ser"on is 6that God is concerned about convertin& sinners+ and re.oices over the" "ore than over those confir"ed in ri&hteousness6. Then follo/ the 0ord’s directives on ho/ to correct the nei&hbor+ /hich is ti&htly bound /ith the prohibition of te"ptin& hi". This ser"on depicts the boundless love and "ercy of God to/ards the fallen hu"an. If he does not listen to your brotherly e'posure and ad"onish"ent+ bein& persistent in his sin+ then it is necessary to ta$e one or t/o "ore people+ /ho /ill be the /itnesses of that brother’s persistent pausin& in the sin+ and at the sa"e ti"e /ill influence and encoura&e hi" to repent %the 0a/ of !oses de"anded that in all court "atters+ there had to be t/o or three /itnesses present D 3eut.e. >F:>G(.ect the authority of the )hurch hierarchy are totally e'pun&ed fro" the )hurch+ as it is sho/n by postle Paul’s e'a"ple in > )orinthians Gth )hapter. In order to sho/ "ore evidently ho/ dear the salvation of "an$ind in the eyes of God is+ the 0ord co"pares -i"self to a shepherd+ /ho leavin& the /hole floc$+ i. If enticin& the nei&hbor is contrary to love+ then it is no less contrary to love to allo/ hi" to re"ain in sin and not /orry about his correction /hen he sins. >H:>:-@: and 0u$e >G:A-9(. -ere+ the ter" 6)hurch6 naturally does not "ean the /hole co""unity of believers but those placed in Its char&e D the presidin& cler&y+ the pastors to /ho" there has been &iven the authority to bound or to release. These /ords of )hrist provide the foundation fro" the apostolic ti"es on /hich the .e.e/s+ because they /ere re&arded as the e'tre"ely defiled people.The &arable about the $ost "heep %!at. But this has to be done carefully+ /ith brotherly love: initially+ one should e'pose hi" privately+ and if he ac$no/led&es his sin and conde"ns hi"self+ then *you have gained your brother*. If he does not listen even to the"+ *tell it to the Chur"h*. the countless le&ions of n&els+ /ent searchin& for one lost sheep D the fallen "an.e. The "eanin& of the state"ent is such: the person /ho does not reco&ni#e the authority of the )hurch should not be re&arded as your brotherE put an end to your brotherly co""unication /ith hi" so as not to beco"e infected /ith his sic$ness. those that have+ for -eavenly 7in&do"’s sa$e+ belittled the"selves+ D the &enuine )hristians.

In accordance /ith the la/s of !oses D 0eviticus chp. one needs to for&ive al/ays+ the unli"ited nu"ber of ti"es. >H:@>-AG and 0u$e >9:A-?(. 6 nathe"a6 %e'co""unication( is the e'tre"e enli&htenin& "easure for the persistent sinners+ un/illin& to chan&e+ and also for /arnin& the others a&ainst follo/in& the". Si"ilarly+ the "an appears as a debtor before God+ because he does not have &ood deeds+ /hich he is obli&ed to do+ but sins instead. whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven.e/ish talent e5ualed A::: sacred she$els+ /hile in turn a she$el /as /orth H: 1ussian silver $ope$s.e/ish Scribes’ teachin&+ one "i&ht for&ive only for three ti"es. The 5uestion /as raised because accordin& to the .e. This is a /onderful e'a"ple of God’s "ercy to/ards every penitent sinner. The 0ord’s edification about the for&iveness of the sinned and repentant brother+ caused Peter’s 5uestion as to ho/ "any ti"es one should for&ive the brother. The postles passed this authority to bind or loose the sins to their successors D the pastors of the )hurch that have been placed to continue their /or$ on earth. 6 nathe"a6 does not "ean 6curse6+ as "any conte"porary people thin$+ conde"nin& the )hurch+ as thou&h per"ittin& the act a&ainst the )hristian love. I say to you. In this parable+ God appears as a $in&+ to /ho" his servants o/e the certain su"s of "oney. Instead of an uncertain su"+ the specific a"ount of the debt is no"inated here.ud&"ent+ and partly+ at the individual . The &arable about the >!#erci*ul :ebtor %!at. -o/ever+ havin& "ercy on hi" after his dili&ent plea+ the $in& for&ave hi" his debt. The debtor that o/ed ten thousand talents represents every "an-sinner /ho appears before God as an unfor&iven debtor.oin for a united prayer+ concernin& any need+ the 0ord pro"ises to fulfill their desire+ *&or where two or three are gathered together in 'y name. I am there in the midst of them*. 4ishin& to surpass The Old Testa"ent ri&hteousness and appear &enerous+ Peter as$s if it is sufficient to for&ive up to seven ti"es. 6To settle accounts6 "eans to de"and the debt to be paid+ /hich is depicted in the Parable throu&h Gods de"and of the account of every person at the 3read .)hurch practices e'co""unication called 6anathe"a6+ /hich is in full accord /ith )orinthians >K:@@. This ri&ht /as &iven to the )hurch hierarchy by the 0ord -i"self+ 4ho said: * ssuredly. and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven.* That+ /hat /as previously pro"ised to Peter %>K:>F(+ no/ is bein& pro"ised to all the postles. The for&iven debtor+ locatin& his a&ent /ho o/ed hi" so"e >:: denarii+ %one denary bein& /orth @: cents( D an a"ount that could not be co"pared to the first su" D started cho$in& hi" %accordin& to the 1o"an la/s+ the lender could tor"ent his debtor until the a"ount /as paid(+ de"andin& the repay"ent of that insi&nificant a"ount. Ten thousand talents is an enor"ous su": one . To that+ the 0ord responded that one had to for&ive until seventy ti"es seven+ i.ud&"ent after the death of each "an. s an e'planation for such constant and boundless all-for&iveness+ the 0ord narrated the parable about the "erciful $in& and the un"erciful debtor. But in any other situation+ /hen )hrist’s postles . Therefore+ one talent e5ualed @?:: silver rubles. -e did not have "ercy on hi"+ in spite of his plea to .@GE the $in& ordered the unfor&iven debtor to be sold.

*&or even His brothers did not believe in Him* notes the Evan&elist: they /ere perple'ed about their na"ed Brother and /ished to be released fro" that state of perple'ityE on the one hand+ they could not deny -is e'traordinary deeds+ bein& the /itnesses of the"E /hile on the other hand+ they /ere un/illin& to accept the "an+ /ith 4ho" they /ere in the ordinary earthly relations since their childhood+ as the !essiah.e/s about -i"self as of the 6bread of life6+ Evan&elist .udea+ as 6the . *6ow the Jews) &east of $aberna"les was at hand*.ect us to eternal tortures.e. n&ered by the evil servant’s actions+ the $in& su""oned hi"+ and after &ivin& hi" a severe repri"and for not follo/in& his e'a"ple of "ercy to/ards his debtor+ he /as handed over to his tor"entors+ until the ti"e+ /hen he /ould pay his debt D i. The /hole 9 days of the feast /as spent by the people in the tents+ especially constructed for this occasion. The 0ord didn’t /ant to &o to . from his heart. Before that feast day ca"e+ the 0ord had not already visited .e/s in the /ilderness.ail.e/s sou&ht to $ill -i"+6 /hile -is hour of sufferin& had not arrived yet. s /e have read above+ the 0ord’s lon& stay in Galilee and -is /or$s there are depicted in detail by the first three Evan&elists./ait and put into a . 'hrist Goes to the Feast o* . This /as one of the three "ain . This parable appears to be a /onderful de"onstrative e'planation of the petition in the 0ord’s Prayer: *and forgive us our debts. does not forgive his brother his tres#asses*. The 0ord’s re. .ud&"ent+ . It /as established in the "e"ory of the ?:-year-/anderin& of the .erusale" for the feast. They /anted the 0ord to enter . Because the feast /as celebrated shortly after the harvest ti"e+ the celebrations /ere very "erry /ith parta$in& of /ine+ /hich &ave cause for Plutarch to co"pare it /ith the heathen celebrations in the honor of Bacchus.ohn 9:>-F(.erusale" triu"phantly+ li$e the !essiah in the absolute "iraculous "anifestation of -is po/er. -avin& seen that and feelin& upset+ his friends /ent and told about all that to the $in&.ection of hu"an &lory /as not understandable to the"+ and /as te"ptin& the".ust . Throu&h this parable the 0ord /ishes to su&&est us that as all of us sin so "uch+ so that /e appear before God as unfor&iven debtorsE the sins of our brothers a&ainst us are as insi&nificant as that su" of >:: denarii D in co"parison /ith the hu&e su" of >:+::: talentsE ho/ever+ throu&h -is boundless "ercy+ the 0ord for&ives us our sins only if /e+ in our turn+ reveal the "erciful attitude to/ards our nei&hbors and for&ive the" their sins a&ainst usE althou&h+ if /e sho/ ourselves cruel and "erciless to/ards our nei&hbors and do not for&ive the"+ then the 0ord /ill not for&ive us+ but /ill sub. The "eanin& of the parable is briefly e'pressed in the last AGth verse: *So 'y Heavenly &ather also will do to you if ea"h of you. -avin& described in the Kth chapter the 0ord’s conversation /ith the .erusale" for nearly one and a half years %fro" the second to the third+ and fro" the third to the *east of Tabernacles /ere nearly K "onths(+ and -is brothers /ere su&&estin& -i" to &o to . as we forgive our debtors6. forever+ as he /ill be in no position to repay such a hu&e su" ever %a sinner is saved only throu&h God’s "ercy D he+ /ith his o/n forces+ is never in the position to satisfy God’s .e/ish feasts %Pascha+ Pentecost and the *east of Tabernacles( and /as celebrated for 9 days fro" the >Gth day of the "onth of Tisrah+ accordin& to our calendar+ at the end of Septe"ber and the be&innin& of October.erusale# %.ust li$e the unfor&iven debtor(.ohn narrates that after that the 0ord /al$ed in Galilee.

"e!di!( "eve!ty :isciples to &reach %0u$e >::>->K(.erusale"6+ the Sa"aritans apparently did not receive -i" because of the deep hatred they had for the .e/s and Sa"aritans /as such that -e didn’t hope to "eet the $ind reception.ordan district of Perea. )onse5uently+ they can &o there /henever they /ish+ but -e can &o there not any ti"e+ but only at the appointed hour of -is sufferin& for the /orld+ deter"ined fro" above.ah dealt /ith those that /ere sent to sei#e hi"+ destroyin& the" /ith fire fro" the heavens %@ 7in&s >:F->@(+ they as$ed their Teacher if -e /anted the"+ by their /ord+ to brin& do/n fire fro" heaven and destroy as /ell those Sa"aritansI Throu&h God’s /ill+ they had already perfor"ed "any "iracles /hile &ivin& ser"ons throu&hout .ourney to . 6Because -is face /as set for the . -o/ever+ it can be sur"ised that it /as probably located in the north of Sa"aria+ closer to Galilee+ one day travelin& distance fro" there+ /here presu"ably they /ould stay overni&ht. In reply+ the 0ord e'plains to -is brothers that -is appearance in . .erusale" has a "eanin&+ /hich differed to that+ "aintained by the others+ includin& -is brothers.ohn+ /ho /ere na"ed by the 0ord *Sons of $hunder* %!ar$ A:>9(+ because of their spiritual stren&th and ener&y+ and for their rash and stron& i"pulses+ &ot the fire of #eal because of the insult of their Teacher’s honor. The 0ord /as already fa"ous in Sa"aria+ but the hostility bet/een the . The "a#arita!s do !ot Accept 'hrist %0u$e F:G>-GK(.e/s throu&h the-beyond-.In that state of the spirit+ they su&&ested -i" to &et out fro" such an uncertain %in their opinion( position /hich . *ro" the subse5uent descriptions of Saint 0u$e+ it is evident that the 0ord /as also in Galilee and Perea+ and only /ent to .udeaE conse5uently+ they didn’t feel incapable of perfor"in& such a "iracle+ should that be accepted by their o"nipotent Teacher.udea "uch later. -is brothers /ill not see any hatred to/ards the"selves there+ because they belon&ed thereE /hile the 0ord /ill be "et /ith hostility as the denouncer of the evil deeds of the /orld.erusale"+ as the !essiah should doI -e "ust appear there in all -is &reatness and &lory %the Interpretation of the Gospel by Bishop !ichael(. 1eceivin& such a reception+ the 0ord apparently returned to Galilee and /ent to . 1ecollectin& ho/ the Prophet Eli.esus "aintained.udea /ith the other /ay+ /hich /as usually used by the .e/s. If -e /as truly the !essiah+ /hy -e /as afraid to appear before the /hole /orld in . )onse5uently+ he sent so"e of -is disciples in advance to predispose the Sa"aritans. . -avin& let his brothers &o+ the 0ord re"ained in Galilee /ith the intention to co"e to the feast secretly+ only in the co"pany of -is trusted disciples. To that+ the 0ord told the" that they didn’t reali#e of /hat spirit they /ere: the spirit of the 2e/ Testa"ent /as different to the spirit of the la/s of the Old Testa"ent D there+ it /as the spirit of strictness and punish"ent+ /hereas here+ it /as the spirit of love and "ercy+ because the ai" of the Son of !an’s co"in& /as not to destroy+ but to save %!at >H:>>(.a"es and . part fro" that+ the 0ord apparently /anted to point at the fact that in the &iven case+ /ithin the postles /as not love to/ards -i"+ but sooner the feelin& of ani"osity to/ards the Sa"aritans D and that old feelin& of ani"osity to/ards people had to be for&otten by servers of the 2e/ Testa"ent. It is un$no/n /hich settle"ent the 0ord’s "essen&ers visited.

/hen the 0ord decided to leave Galilee per"anently+ as the hour of -is sufferin&s on the cross ca"e close+ -e chose other 9: disciples D additional to the >@ -e had chosen previously D and sent the" out in pairs into the areas that -e /ould visit.e. The na"es of those 9: disciples are not $no/n /ith full certainty. The instructions &iven further on to the 9: disciples+ re"ind us in "any /ays the instructions &iven to the >@ postles before+ about /hich Saint !atthe/ narrates in the >:th chapter of his Gospel.ohn chap. *Son of #ea"e* "eans the peaceful "an+ ready to accept that peace+ /ith /hich he /ill be &reeted by the "essen&ers of peace+ the 0ord’s disciples+ into his heart. The prohibition of &reetin& people+ "et alon& the road+ is repeated. That /as done+ so that the testi"ony of )hrist /ould be stron&er in the eyes of the people+ and that they /ould be prepared for -is arrival.ectin& -i"+ re.e/s treated the Sa"aritans+ as it /as un/orthy of the preachers of peace and love. G(+ -e appears as a traveler+ but -is actions and ser"ons arouse ani"osity to/ards -i"+ and intents to $ill -i". not triu"phantly D li$e on the eve of -is last Pascha /hen -e /as &oin& for -is sufferin&s D /ithout the cro/ds of people that usually acco"panied -i"+ but 5uietly and unobtrusively. On the first Pascha+ -e triu"phantly appears in the te"ple as the Son of God+ the !essiah+ /ith authority %.e.t that ti"e+ i.ects the One 4ho sent -i"+ i.ohn 9:>:-GA(.erusale" for the ne't Pascha at all+ but $eeps a/ay fro" it for >H "onths+ after /hat -e is forced to co"e there secretly66 . The 0ord concludes -is edification /ith the /arnin& of God’s punish"ent to those cities+ /here -is po/er /as revealed+ but yet they did not repent. 3irectin& the" to eat /hat they are offered+ the 0ord prescribes to -is disciples to be decorous+ non-de"andin& and non-choosy. 64hat a sad &radation is in the 0ord’s appearance in . The e'planation for such a prohibition is that the people of the East+ did not e'press &reetin&s li$e /e do+ /ith a sli&ht bo/ or a handsha$e+ but /ith bo/s to the &round+ e"bracin& and $issin&+ to&ether /ith e'pressions of various &ood /ishes+ /hat re5uired "uch ti"e. . The nu"ber 9: /as honored by the .* i.ectin& the"+ re.e.erusale"+6 notes Bishop !ichael+ the Gospel interpreter+ 6enforced+ of course+ not by -is o/n actions+ but by the increasin& hostility of -is ene"ies. Throu&h that prohibition+ the 0ord tried to su&&est -is disciples the haste+ /ith /hich they should visit the to/ns and villa&es. *$he harvest truly is great. but the laborers are few6 D Sa"aria and . s a conse5uence+ -e doesn’t &o to . @(E on the second %chap. -e also points out ho/ i"portant -is disciples’ ser"ons should be for everyone: the one+ re. *ather-God. E'actly the sa"e instructions /ere &iven in his ti"e by the Prophet Elisha to his disciple Geha#i+ /hen he sent hi" /ith his baton to resurrect the son of a /ido/ %@ 7in&s ?:@F(.esus at the Feast o* the Taber!acles %. -e also tells the" to disre&ard that s5uea"ishness+ /ith /hich the .erusale" for the *east of the Tabernacles+ the 0ord /ent there -i"self so"e ti"e later+ *but as it were in se"ret.udea /ere not "uch resound /ith )hrist’s ser"on+ /hile there /ere "any souls there that had ripened li$e the ears of corn+ ready for )hrist’s &ranary+ for -is )hurch.e/s+ as the nu"bers ?: and 9. The Sanhedrin consisted of 9: "e"bers.ects -i"+ and the one re. -avin& sent -is brothers to .

ud&"ent can be re&arded as correct. 6It is as thou&h )hrist re"onstrates to the . This is evident fro" the fact that the leaders stood out fro" the people sayin& that 6-e /as deceivin& the people6. *'oses. but 2udge 'e for brea!ing the Sabbath through the good deed. Bein& a/are that the 0ord did not study at school under any $no/n 1abbi+ the . The 0ord underlines that sayin& that -e preaches+ to see$ &lory of the One+ 4ho had sent -i"+ and not for -i"self+ as the One preachin& -is personal teachin&.e/s+ JIf you . It /as only "id-/ay throu&h the feast+ i. 4ith that the 0ord as thou&h said to the": 6I didn’t study at your 1abbi schools+ but I have the perfect Teacher+ 4ho is the -eavenly *ather that had Sent !e6. apparently+ on its fourth day+ /hen the 0ord entered the te"ple and be&an to teach+ i..ud&e about the la/ not accordin& to its /ritten /ord+ the outer for" but by its spirit+ so that the .ect of the tal$s+ especially as the conse5uence of -is opposition to the e'a&&erated i"portance of the Sabbath. you free from the e5#osure. 7eepin& in "ind the .ust and not biased’6 %Bishop !ichael(.e/ish leaders+ the 0ord says further that they see$ to $ill -i" for violatin& the la/+ /hich they the"selves are not fulfillin&.e.esus+ the people thou&ht the 0ord’s /ords /ere said about the"+ and feelin& hurt+ so"e of the" e'clai"ed: *Who is see!ing to !ill 1ou/* and isn’t it the evil spirit that pro"pts <ou to say thisI *1ou have a demon*.ud&"ent /ould have been . .e/ish leaders+ /ith the "e"bers of Sanhedrin and the Pharisees at the head. The 0ord concludes -is ser"on by callin& to . who bro!e the Sabbath with "ir"um"ision. made to the man*D e'cellently co""ents Blessed Theothylactus.erusale". Everybody /as tal$in& about )hrist there. The one+ /ho decides to carry out the /ill of God+ /ill be convinced throu&h the internal feelin& that the teachin& is fro" God. It is evident that -is ene"ies $ept a vi&ilant eye on -i"+ /atched -i" and -is actions+ at /hat pointed the 5uestion: *Where is He/* "on& the people+ there /ere "any ideas of the "ost contradictory nature about -i" D but nobody spo$e openly *for fear of the Jews*. The ter" 6the /ill of God6 "ust be understood as the co"plete "oral la/ of God: both the la/ of conscience+ and the Old Testa"ent la/. )haracteristically+ they /ere deaf to the content of -is teachin&s+ but fi'ed their attention only at the fact that -e didn’t study. The one /ho /ishes to &o alon& the path of "oral co"pleteness in fulfillin& this la/+ then that person throu&h the internal feelin& /ill understand that )hrist’s teachin& is the divine teachin&. /hich Evan&elist . fter this+ one should not be a"a#ed that -e cured the /hole person on a Sabbath. The "eans to be convinced in the divine source of this teachin& lies in the "an’s decision to do *the will of the &ather*. Saint )hrysosto" and Blessed Theothylactus both sur"ise that people in &eneral spo$e /ell of the 0ord+ /hile the leaders spo$e hostilely: 6The leaders said that -e /as deludin& the people+ /hile the people said that -e /as $ind6.e/s.erses >> to >A &ive the visual representation of /hat /as occurrin& at that ti"e in . 8na/are of their leaders’ intentions to $ill . probably+ -e /as interpretin& the Bible+ /hich /as the custo" of the .e/s /ere a"a#ed /ith -is $no/led&e of the Scriptures that -e /as revealin&. The 0ord points to the fact that &ood deeds "ay be perfor"ed on the Sabbath because+ as an e'a"ple+ the circu"cision occasionally ta$es place on the Sabbath so as not to violate the la/ of !oses+ /hich decrees this be carried out on the Hth day after birth.ohn understands to be the usual hostile to the 0ord party of the . This indicates their conte"pt and hostility to/ards the 0ord.ud&ed !y act of healin& fro" the "oral point of vie/ and not fro" the for"al one+ then you /ouldn’t have conde"ned !eE then+ your . but His Who sent 'e*. The 0ord then solved their pu##le"ent: *'y do"trine is not 'ine.e. *ro" the 0ord’s follo/in& ser"on+ it is evident that the cure of the paralytic on Saturday continued to be the sub.

i. 6 ssu"in& that you $no/ !e+ you state that I ca"e fro" !yself+ i. -e then had to disappear unnoticeably+ and then reappear in such a /ay that nobody /ould be a/are fro" /here and ho/. t the sa"e ti"e+ decidin& not to postpone the reali#ation of their intentions+ they sent their servants to sei#e the 0ord.( This /as the unintentional prophecy of the future enli&hten"ent of heathens throu&h the faith in )hrist. in other /ords+ they /anted to say that the si&ns and "iracles+ perfor"ed by .e/s livin& in the heathen countries %6-ellenic 3ispersion6(+ so that -e can preach to the heathens as /e /ell %the ter" 6-ellenes6 usually "eant heathens in &eneral. the ei&hth day+ /hich /as assi&ned+ accordin& to the Boo$ of 0eviticus @A:AK+ to the seven-day feast of Tabernacles and /as celebrated /ith special &reat sole"nity+ . -avin& heard such tal$s of the people+ the Pharisees arran&ed a "eetin& /ith the hi&h priests. ccordin& to the rabbis’ teachin&+ the !essiah had to be born in Bethlehe".e/s’ /anderin& in the /ilderness.erusale"ites’ interpretations that -e cannot be the !essiah-)hrist because they $no/ /here -e is fro"+ the 0ord+ /ith particular sole"nity+ responds in a raised voice that althou&h they state that they $no/ -i"+ their $no/led&e is incorrect.e. *+n the last day.This po/erful ser"on of the 0ord "ade an e'traordinary i"pression upon the . I a" the self-appointed "essiahE but I ca"e not fro" !yself but a" the true "essen&er of -i"+ 4ho you don’t $no/ D God6. In response to the . 8nable to e'plain this+ they e'press their thou&ht that perhaps their leaders have been convinced *that this is truly Christ*.e. 1espondin& to their plan to sei#e and $ill -i"+ the 0ord said: *I shall be with you a little while longer. t that ti"e the people /ere chantin& to the "usic the /ords of Prophet Isaiah %>@:A(+ addressed to the !essiah.e/s to ta$e advanta&e of -is presence by learnin& fro" -i".e. the hour of -is co"in& sufferin&s+ their atte"pt /as unsuccessful: *no one laid a hand on Him* because apparently -is ene"ies /ere afraid of the people+ /ho /ere predisposed to/ards )hrist. i.ectin& to the 0ord’s ene"ies+ e'clai"in&: *When the Christ "omes. But the cruel . let him "ome to 'e and drin!*. Perhaps+ it /as because their conscience /as not yet co"pletely e'tin&uished+ as happened subse5uently.erusale"ites+ /ho $ne/ of the 0ord’s ene"ies’ intentionsE that is /hy they find it stran&e that see$in& -is death+ they per"it -i" to spea$ freely+ not opposin& -i". But i""ediately+ they also e'press their doubts. In these and further /ords+ the 0ord too$ advanta&e of the rituals that /ere perfor"ed durin& the Tabernacles’ feast day: at the end of the "ornin& offerin& in the te"ple+ the servin& priest and the people /ent to the holy /ell of Siloa"+ /here the priest filled a &olden vessel /ith /aterE acco"panied by the . !any a"on& the people believed in -i" as the !essiah+ at the sa"e ti"e+ as thou&h ob. Those /ords /ere particularly hurtful to the proud Pharisees and *they sought to ta!e Him*.esus stood and e'clai"ed+ sayin&+ *If anyone thirsts.e. .esus sufficiently po/erfully testify of -i" as of the !essiah. that great day of the feast. will He do more signs than these whi"h this 'an has done/*.* i. but *be"ause His hour had not yet "ome*. The further /ords of the 0ord have the follo/in& "eanin&: 6)urrently you are pursuin& and persecutin& !e+ but the ti"e /ill co"e /hen you /ill be see$in& !e as the o"nipotent /onder-/or$er+ able to deliver you fro" your /oes D but it /ill be too late6.e/s /ere not enli&htened by the 0ord’s /ords and be&an to "oc$ at -i": 64here does -e intend to &oI 3oes -e intend to &o to the .oyful cries of the people and the sounds of tru"pets and cy"bals+ he carried it into the te"ple and poured it over the altar of burnt offerin&s+ thereby perfor"in& the 6sacrifice of libation6+ /hich /as "eant to be the re"inder of ho/ !oses produced /ater fro" a roc$ durin& the . and then I go to Him who sent 'e* D that aroused /ithin -i" the thou&ht of -is forthco"in& death+ and -e ad"onished the .

after )hrist’s 1esurrection and scension. The Evan&elist e'plains that here+ the 0ord "eans the &race of the -oly Spirit+ /hich had to be sent to the people after the &lorification+ i.oes our law 2udge a man before it hears him and !nows what he is doing/* The la/ in E'odus @A:> and 3eut. They atte"pt to discredit that faith+ e'plainin& it as 6the i&norance of the la/. i.esus+ but every ti"e they could not raise their ar"s: they didn’t dare to do that: evidently+ their conscience told the" that it /ould be a sin to touch such a "an. That ans/er caused a "ost annoyed response fro" the "e"bers of the Sanhedrin: * re you also de"eived/* To the servants+ ori&inatin& fro" the si"ple people+ they say that none of the 6rulers6 or 6Pharisees6 started to believe in )hrist. .e. This is narrated by Evan&elist . %ut what do 1ou say/* If the 0ord /ould have said: 6stone her6+ -e /ould have been accused by the" before the 1o"an authorities+ because the ri&ht of proclai"in& death sentences by the Sanhedrin /ould be revo$ed D especially+ and especially the ri&ht to carry it out.e. "ommanded us that su"h should be stoned. 4antin& to carry out the orders of the authorities+ the servants of the Sanhedrin atte"pted to sei#e . in the very a"t.ud(#e!t o* the Adulteress %.onah /as fro" Galilee. only a Galilean could thin$ li$e that. The 0ord’s /ords i"pressed the cro/d: "any a"on& decisively passed to -is side+ ac$no/led&in& -i" as a 6Prophet+6 /hile so"e /ere openly sayin& that *this is Christ*.erusale" D -e ca"e to the te"ple in the "ornin& and a&ain be&an to teach people. Stoopin&+ the 0ord /rote on the &round /ith -is fin&er+ *as though He did not hear*. >:>K de"ands that the "atter of the accused should be investi&ated and the e"pty ru"ors should not be accepted.e/ish leaders a&ainst the co""on people that believed in )hrist. The . They didn’t notice that they /ere falsifyin& the history+ because for e'a"ple+ Prophet . *%ut this "rowd that does not !now the law is a""ursed* D that is the e'pression of "ad fury of the . That only aroused annoyance: * re you also from Galilee/*.ohn H:>->>(.erusale"+ behind the )edron flo/ /here the 0ord used to /ithdra/ to for the ni&ht at the ti"e of -is visits to . On the other hand+ if -e /ould have said 6release her6+ -e /ould have been accused before the people as bein& a violator of !oses’ la/. -avin& spent the ni&ht in prayer on the !ount of Olives D situated to the east of . The Pharisees be&an to su&&est the people D /ho /ere not a/are that .6 But there+ 2icode"us %hi"self a Pharisee and the "e"ber of the Sanhedrin( spo$e+ decidin& to sho/ the" bravely that they the"selves /ere for&ettin& the la/: *. 1eturnin& to their "asters in such a "ood+ they confessed that the po/er of the 0ord’s /ord /as so "i&hty and over/hel"in&+ that they couldn’t carry out their instructions.ohn only.The 0ord .esus )hrist co"pares -i"self /ith the roc$ that &ave /ater to the thirsty people in the /ilderness+ pointin& to -i"self as bein& the Source of &oodness+ the i"a&e of /hich /as that very roc$.esus )hrist /as born in Bethlehe" D that -e couldn’t be the !essiah: *Will the Christ "ome from Galilee/) and this started to 5uarrel over -i". in the law. The 0ord also points out that /hoever believes in -i" /ill also beco"es the source of &oodness+ /hich /ill 5uench the spiritual thirst of everyone that see$s salvation. this woman was "aught in adultery. The Scribes and Pharisees+ endeavorin& to *have something of whi"h to a""use Him*. 6ow 'oses. brou&ht the /o"an cau&ht in the sin of adultery+ and *testing Him* they said: *$ea"her.

ehovah’s n&el+ in /hich the -oly *athers see the second *ace of the Ever--oly Trinity. let him throw a stone at her*. s they persisted in &ettin& the ans/er+ the 0ord lifted -is head and told the": *He who is without sin among you. 2aturally+ one shouldn’t interpret these /ords as not conde"nin& the sin. To that the 0ord responded /ith e'ceptional po/er+ that the hu"an state"ent cannot be applied to -i"+ that -e cannot be .ust as in the Old Testa"ent+ the colu"n of fire sho/ed the . This e'tract of the Gospel teaches us to avoid the sin of .e/s the /ay out of E&ypt to/ards better life in the Pro"ised 0and+ so )hrist in the 2e/ Testa"ent sho/s+ not only to the .e7s i! the Te#ple %.The Evan&elist does not reveal /hat -e /as /ritin&+ and it’s useless to try to &uess /hat it /as.ohn H:>@-GF( This conversation+ /hich apparently too$ place also on the ne't day after the end of the *east of Tabernacles+ the 0ord applied another i"a&e fro" the history of the .ohn A:>9E >@:?9(: That’s /hy -e conde"ns the sin but not the sinners+ /ishin& to predispose the" to/ards repentance. It is characteristic that the /o"an did not ta$e advanta&e of the favorable "o"ent and did not leave 5uic$ly. Evidently+ in recollectin& their o/n sins D evidently+ si"ilar to that of the /o"an’s D they started to leave one after another+ accused by their conscience+ until the 0ord /as left alone /ith the /o"an. The Pharisees+ relyin& on the co""only accepted rule that no person can be a /itness to his o/n /or$s+ ob.ud&in& the nei&hbor. Instead+ it offers us to conde"n ourselves for our personal sins and repent in the".e/s+ but to all hu"anity+ the /ay fro" the real" of sin into eternal life. Evidently+ her conscience and the penitent feelin&s a/o$e. The "ost co""on supposition is that the 0ord in response /as /ritin& the sins co""itted by those /ho posed the 5uestion. nd the 0ord be&ins -is conversation /ith the /ords: *I am the (ight of the world*.e/s and their /anderin& in the /ilderness to -i"self D that of the fiery colu"n that "iraculously lit the /ay for the . The colu"n contained . >H:>>E 0u$e 9:?HE . This /ould e'plain /hy the 0ord then said: *6either do I "ondemn you: go and sin no more*. )onse5uently+ the /ords addressed to the adulteress have the follo/in& "eanin&: 6I a" not punishin& you for your sins+ but /ant you to repent: &o forth and sin no "ore6 D all the potency is in these final /ords. The 0ord acted that /ay+ because the Pharisees that had brou&ht the /o"an+ did not represent the le&al court that /as capable of deter"inin& a "easure of punish"ent for her cri"e. The 0ord’s /ords produced the stri$in& reaction on the not yet co"pletely sleepin& conscience of the Pharisees. The 0ord ca"e not to .uridical field into the "oral one and placed the very accusers into a position of the accused before their consciences.e/s at ni&ht.ected that -is /itness about -i"self cannot be accepted as &enuine.ud&e+ but to see$ out and save lost souls %!at. In doin& so+ the 0ord+ as the ans/er to the tric$s of the Pharisees+ /isely transferred the 5uestion of conde"nin& that /o"an fro" the abstract-. They brou&ht the sinner to the 0ord /ith the evil intentions+ e'posin& her to sha"e+ tal$in& scandals and conde"nin& her+ /hile for&ettin& about their o/n sins+ of /hich they /ere accused by the 0ord. .ud&ed 6accordin& to the flesh6+ as the Pharisees are doin&+ re&ardin& -i" as an . The 'o!versatio! 7ith the . Thus+ as /e can see+ the 0ord responded to the cunnin&ness of the Pharisees by shiftin& their 5uestion of &uilt of the /o"an+ fro" the abstract-le&al real" into a "oral one.

Those /ords+ once a&ain+ irritated the" and caused their "oc$ery: *Will He !ill Himself/*. The Evan&elist notes that this /as uttered by the 0ord *in the treasury*.e. -o/ever+ they pretended not to understand+ as they didn’t /ant to hear that na"e fro" -i"+ and therefore they as$ed -i": *Who are 1ou/* 0i$e/ise to that 5uestion+ the 0ord didn’t &ive the" the direct ans/er that they e'pected.ordinary person.e. i. -avin& heard the 0ord’s ser"ons about -is *ather sendin& -i" "any ti"es+ they+ pretendin& not to understand+ "oc$in&ly and blasphe"ously pose -i" the 5uestion: *Where is your &ather/* The 0ord responds that they don’t $no/ the *ather because they don’t /ant to $no/ the Son. if -e /as thin$in& of a suicideI I&norin& their rou&h "oc$ery+ the 0ord points at their "oral character that pro"pts that type of their behavior: *1ou are from beneath>*. This ad"ittance of -is ori&in fro" God the *ather by the 0ord confir"s the absolute authenticity of -is testi"ony about -i"self+ as /ell as the i"possibility of self-deception. /hich /as located close to the "eetin&-hall of the Sanhedrin that /as hostile to the 0ord. That’s /hy -e further tells the" about the ti"e /hen they /ill involuntarily reali#e the truth of -is teachin& about -i"self and -is *ather 4ho sent -i": this /ill happen /hen they /ould raise -i" on the cross+ because the death on the cross served as the be&innin& of the Son of God’s &lorification+ that dre/ everyone to -i": the subse5uent events+ such as )hrist’s 1esurrection+ -is scension into -eaven+ the descent of the . lthou&h the 0ord testified of -is !essianic "erit before+ so to spea$+ in front of the eyes and ears of the Sanhedrin+ *no one laid hands on Him* because the hour of -is sufferin&s had not yet arrived: in other /ords+ the people the"selves didnOt have any authority over -i".ud&e about everythin& throu&h the e'a"ple of "an$ind+ led by the earthly and sinful concepts+ and therefore if you don’t believe in !e %*that I am He* D "eanin& the !essiah(+ *you will die in your sins*. you have lost the ability to co"prehend the 3ivine+ heavenlyE you . The hostile "ood of the listeners turned the 0ord’s thou&hts ane/ to/ards the sufferin&s a/aitin& for -i"+ and -e once a&ain said about their hopeless situation+ in /hich they /ill find the"selves in+ after -e /ould &one+ if they did not believe in -i" as in the !essiah %verse @>(: *Where I go you "annot "ome*.e/ish people+ the 0ord e'plains that -e has to do this+ for the One 4ho sent -i" is the very truth+ and -e has to testify about the truth that -e had heard fro" -i". i. ccordin& to the ancient interpreters+ the "eanin& of the 0ord’s ans/er is: 6I a" That+ about /hat I /as tellin& you fro" the be&innin&6 or: 63idn’t I call !yself the Son of God D ri&ht fro" the startI nd such I a"6. The 0ord didn’t call -i"self the !essiah once+ but -e spo$e so transparently+ e'plainin& it thou&h the other /ords+ so that the Pharisees had to understand that. The 0ord’s ans/er is translated into )hurch-Slavonic too literally %6tin arhin6 D 6the be&innin&6( D /hich is the peculiarity of the )hurch-Slavonic translation+ pro"pted by the fear of sinnin& by not translatin& the Gree$ te't ine'actly D so conse5uently+ it doesn’t respond to the thou&hts enclosed /ithin itE the 1ussian translation D *from the %eginning* D is also incorrect. -ere is the concealed indication to the consubstantiality of God the Son /ith God the *ather+ to the fact that the *ather revealed -i"self to hu"anity in -is Son. Once a&ain they didn’t understand that -e /as tellin& the" about the *ather. )ontinuin& -is speech about the sad "oral state of the . *I !now where I "ame from and where I am going6 D these /ords+ accordin& to Saint )hrysosto"+ "ean the sa"e as: *I !now that I am the Son of God and not an ordinary #erson*. The 0ord adds: 6!y /itness is also &enuine fro" the for"al point of vie/+ because not only I testify of !yself+ *$he &ather who sent 'e bears witness of 'e*.

<ou can receive &enuine freedo" and beco"e the sons of God+ only if you believe in the Be&otten Son of God+ abide in -is /ord D and -e /ill liberate you fro" the captivity of sin6. s braha" didn’t co""it anythin& li$e the thin&s they had+ then their father is not braha" or God as they $eep on insistin&+ but the devil /ho *was a murderer from the beginning* because he in. The one /ho is co""itted to sin+ cannot re"ain in the !essiah’s 7in&do"+ /here there should be absolute spiritual freedo" and /here everybody should reali#e that they are nothin& but the children of the -eavenly *ather. Spea$in& of the devil+ the 0ord indissolubly connects the fact that he is an ancient "urderer /ith that he is the ene"y of the truth and 6father of lies. *We are braham)s des"endants* and the braha"’s descendants /ere pro"ised by God the do"inion over the /orld+ and the blessin& of the /orld throu&h us %Gen. *or this+ they *must abide in His word*: only then they /ill $no/ the truth D /hich contains &enuine freedo" D and the truth /ill liberate the" fro" sin.o we not say rightly that 1ou are a Samaritan and have a demon/* because only Sa"aritans and those possessed by the de"on that hate us+ the . *I do not see! 'y own glory: there is +ne .-oly Spirit on the postles D all that testified about the truth of )hrist’s teachin& and -is 3ivine "ission.e/s hostilely inclined to/ards -i" before. The 0ord 5uietly i&nores this insult and states that throu&h such tal$s+ /hich see" to the" as those of the possessed+ -e only honors to -is -eavenly *ather: I spea$ /ith you this /ay+ because I *honor 'y &ather* /hile you dishonor the One+ 4ho says the truth to you on the behalf of the *ather. and evidently+ even so"e fro" the nu"ber of those . Then a"on& the listeners+ the voice of national pride /as heard. If the .e/s+ can deny our braha" ori&in. There /ere those ne/ believers /hich 0ord addressed /ith -is ne't ser"on. ccordin& to the 0ord’s /ords+ the . i.e/s are not acceptin& the truth of -is teachin&+ then let the" prove the sinfulness of -is life: *Whi"h of you "onvi"ts 'e of sin/* -o/ever+ if nobody can accuse the 0ord of leadin& sinful life+ then as a conse5uence of -is piety+ the Truth tau&ht by -i" "ust be accepted as inseparable /ith it. found no favorable soil in their hearts for its &ro/th. 6 s those sinnin&+ you are the slaves of sin. -e instructs the" ho/ to beco"e and re"ain -is &enuine disciples.e. These /ords produced the &reat i"pact on the listeners+ so that *many believed in Him*.ect their ori&in fro" braha" D but doesn’t reco&ni#e the" as his &enuine children in the spirit+ since they see$ to $ill -i" only because *His word has no #la"e in them*. * nd a slave does not abide in the house forever* because the "aster+ bein& dissatisfied /ith hi"+ can sell or send hi" a/ay: such a position of a slave is contrary to that of the son /ho+ as the inheritor of the /hole house+ cannot be sold or sent a/ay+ but re"ains the son forever. "id such a passionate and painful cry of e'acerbated nationalistic conceit+ they see"in&ly for&ot about their E&yptian+ Babylonian captivity and the current 1o"an one.e/s clearly de"onstrate throu&h their disbelief they *are not of God*. The 0ord responds that -e is spea$in& about the different type of captivity D the spiritual one+ /hich every sinner finds hi"self in: *Whoever "ommits sin is a slave of sin*.ected the lethal disease of sin into hu"anity. *urther on+ the 0ord tells the" that -e does not re.6 ccordin&ly+ spea$in& of -i"self+ the 0ord sets the sa"e ti&ht lin$ bet/een -is sinless nature and the fact that -e teaches the truth. That provo$ed their violent indi&nation: *. >@:9E @@:>9(+ *and have never been in bondage to anyone*.

In response to -is disciples’ 5uestion+ the 0ord indicates the purpose for the "an’s blindness instead of the cause: *6either this man nor his #arents sinned*.e. *I must wor! the wor!s of Him who sent 'e while it is day*.ect of his e'pectations durin& his earthly life+ and upon his death+ /as the sub. -o/ever+ havin& finished -is testi"ony of -i"self on a triu"phant note and surrounded by -is disciples and other people+ the 0ord "er&ed /ith the cro/d that filled the )hurch yard+ *going through the midst of them. if anyone !ee#s 'y word he shall never see death* D of course+ in the sense that *he will re"eive eternal life*. I '*.e/s about -is 3ivine ori&in and /orthiness+ is narrated only by one Evan&elist+ . i. that -e ca"e into the /orld for hu"anity’s enli&hten"ent+ /hich abode in the spiritual blindness+ sy"boli#ed by the "an’s physical blindness. the ti"e of !y departure fro" the /orld+ /hen )hrist the Savior’s activity as a 4onder-4or$er in the /orld /ill not be as apparent to everybody as it is no/. i.e. Then+ addressin& those that believed in -i"+ the 0ord spea$s: *I say to you.e/s: 6<es+ I a" &reater than your father braha"+ for I /as the sub.e. -e then sho/s -is predo"inance over braha"+ as thou&h sayin& to the .ect -is Son.who see!s and 2udges* D and that is the -eavenly *ather+ 4ho /ill conde"n those /ho re. before braham was. so that his healin& /ould reveal that )hrist /as the *(ight of the world*. i. This belief /as based on the 0a/ of !oses that declared that God punished children for the sins of their fathers+ up to the fourth &eneration %E'odus @::G(+ and on the 1abbi’s teachin&+ /hich asserted that a child could sin in his "other’s /o"b+ for he could differentiate bet/een ri&ht and /ron& fro" the day of his conception.ohn+ and in detail. althou&h+ of course+ bein& hu"an bein&s+ they /ere not /ithout sin in &eneral+ *but that the wor!s of God should be revealed in him*.or "isfortunes happened /ith people+ as the punish"ent for their personal sins+ or the sins of their parents+ &randparents or &reat &randparents. i. 6I a" "ore ancient than braha" hi"self+ because I a" D Eternal God6. this man or his #arents.oy D in -eaven6: *he saw it and was glad*. Seein& the "an D $no/n to be blind fro" birth D be&&in& for al"s+ the disciples as$ed the 0ord: *Who sinned.e/s find another incon&ruity+ in order to reproach the 0ord a&ain: *1ou are not FG years old and 1ou have seen braham/* The 0ord &ives to this reproach the decisive ans/er+ /hich /ould be understood even by the Pharisees that /ere blinded by their o/n hatred: *'ost assuredly. The 5eali!( o* the Bor! Bli!d 1a! %. Evidently+ this &reat "iracle perfor"ed in the te"ple strai&ht after the 0ord’s ser"on to the . The non-believers pretended that they understood the 0ord’s /ords literally D concernin& the natural+ physical death D and a&ain found a reason to accuse -i" of bein& possessed: * re 1ou greater than our father braham. that he was born blind/* The . . /hile I a" on earth and can be seen by everybody+ because *night is "oming*. I say to you. who is dead/* The 0ord ans/ers to this that -e is not &lorifyin& -i"self+ but is &lorified by -is *ather+ 4ho" -e $no/s and 4hose /ord -e fulfils.e.ohn F:>-?>(.ect of his . ssi&nin& that+ /hat /as said by the 0ord about braha"+ to the earthly life+ the .e/s believed that all "a. and so #assed by*. -o/ definitely the 0ord teaches here about -is 3ivinityM The Pharisees understood that correctly+ but instead of believin& in -i"+ they beca"e e"bittered+ seein& only blasphe"y in -is /ords+ and pic$ed up stones to beat -i".

ust: *How "an a 'an who is a sinner do su"h signs/* Then the unbelievin& in the 0ord Pharisees turned to the cured "an /ith the 5uestion+ about /hat he could say about his -ealer. ?Go wash in the #ool of Siloam*. I am the (ight of the world* D althou&h )hrist al/ays /as and /ill be the 0i&ht of the /orld+ -is visible activity on earth /ill continue only for the duration of -is earthly life+ /hich /as co"in& to its end.e/s su""oned his parents for 5uestionin&.erusale" and in the te"ple. The Evan&elist e'plains that 6Siloa"6 "eans 6the sent6. )onse5uently+ it /as &ranted an a special &ift+ or sent by God to -is people+ as an e'traordinary blessin&+ and therefore it /as re&arded as a holy sprin& /ith the sy"bolic "eanin&. The sa"e happened that ti"e: *He s#at on the ground and made "lay with the saliva: and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the "lay. -o/ever+ the cured individual confir"ed that it /as he+ and e'plained to the" ho/ the "iracle had happened. That "iracle produced the stron& effect on his nei&hbors and those /ho $ne/ hi"+ even that so"e of the" hesitated if he /as the one and the sa"e blind person that they re&ularly sa/ be&&in& for al"s. fraid of bein& e'co""unicated fro" the syna&o&ue+ the parents &ave the evasive ans/er: they confir"ed that he /as their son /ho /as born blind+ but to the 5uestion /hy he could see a&ain D they ans/ered that they did not $no/+ su&&estin& that they as$ hi"self as he /as an adult and could spea$ for hi"self. The bathhouse of Siloa" /as built on the Siloa" sprin&+ /hich flo/ed fro" the foot of the holy !ount Sinai+ as a place of God’s special presence in . This story caused a 5uarrel bet/een the Pharisees. pparently they /ere tryin& to find so"ethin& in his /ords /ith /hat to find faults+ in order to re.esus )hrist tryin& to e'press that -e is the true !essen&er of God+ the fulfill"ent of all the 3ivine blessin&s+ the representation and sy"bol of /hich the Siloa" sprin& /as to the .ect the authenticity of the "iracle or to re-interpret it. now I see*.e/s atte"pt to su&&est hi" that after the detailed investi&ation concernin& that Person+ they reached the indisputable belief that *this 'an is a sinner*.ust a /ord of -is+ /hile so"eti"es -e resorted to the particular preli"inary actions. fter listenin& to his narration+ the people too$ hi" to the Pharisees in order to e'a"ine such an e'traordinary event and to learn their opinion+ ho/ to re&ard it+ because the "iracle /as perfor"ed on a Saturday+ /hen+ accordin& to the Pharisee la/ re&ardin& the Sabbath’s tran5uility+ even treatin& the ill /as not per"issible. 4as the 0ord . It can be assu"ed that all this /as done in order to evo$e faith in the healed "an: to let hi" $no/ that a "iracle is about to occur /ith hi". The others thou&ht . *Give God the glory* /as an oath for"ula to say the truth under oath applied by the . 2ot havin& any success in their in5uiries+ the Pharisees once a&ain re5uest that he recount the "iracle in hope of findin& so"e ne/ trait+ /hich . *indin& no support in hi"+ the irate . be"ause He does not !ee# the Sabbath*. So"e D and it "ust be assu"ed the "a.* s long as I am in the world.ority D /ere sayin&: *$his 'an is not from God. But the cured individual &ives an ans/er to the Pharisees+ that is filled /ith truth and deep irony: *Whether He is a sinner or not I do not !now. Su""onin& the cured "an for the second ti"e+ the .e/s in those ti"es+ "eanin&: ac$no/led&e -i" on your part as a sinner+ /ho violates the la/s of the tran5uility of the Sabbath. +ne thing I !now9 that though I was blind. The cured "an e'plained to the Pharisees all he $ne/ about his healin&. nd He said to him. -o/ever+ the healed decisively declared: *He is a <ro#het*. The 0ord perfor"ed "any "iracles /ith .e/sI -avin& /ashed hi"self in the Siloa" /aters+ the blind "an re&ained his si&ht.

he responds the Pharisees D yet you should $no/ /here -e is fro"+ havin& perfor"ed such an unheard of "iracle: sinners are incapable of perfor"in& such "iracles D therefore it is clear that -e is a holy !an+ sent by God.ohn >::>-@>(. you would have no sin: but now you say. and you did not listen. They are the false elders+ /hich /ere the Pharisees+ /ho re. this is a marvelous thing. But they lied /hen they said they did not $no/ -i". Because they thou&ht "ore of their personal profit than about the /elfare of the people+ they /ere not 6&ood shepherds+6 and as a conse5uence+ /ere leadin& the people to/ards destruction instead of salvation. and that those who see may be made blind*. -o/ever+ because you state that you can see+ and re&ard yourselves as the e'perts and interpreters of God’s 1evelation and you have at hand the la/s and Prophets+ in /hich you can see the truth D your sin is nothin& else but that of stubbornness and obdurate opposition to God’s truth. but we are 'oses) dis"i#les.* The "eanin& of these /ords is such: if you /ere a"on& those blind that I a" spea$in& about+ then you /ould have no sin+ because your disbelief /ould have been a for&ivable sin of i&norance and /ea$ness.) $herefore your sin remains.e/ish leaders had to ascertain /here that Person 4ho /as constantly follo/ed by "ultitudes of people+ ca"e fro". We !now that God s#o!e to 'oses: as for this fellow. The . that you do not !now where He is from*. Such a lie outra&ed the cured "an even "ore+ a"plifyin& his boldness in defendin& the truth. -o/ever+ this be&ins to annoy hi": *I told you already. The Pharisees only at the very end understood the sense of that "arvelous alle&orical ser"on+ borro/ed fro" shepherd’s life in Palestine. *Who do not see* D are the hu"ble+ poor in spirit /ho believed in )hristE *who see* D are those /ho thou&ht the"selves to be seein& and sensible+ and therefore felt no need to believe in )hrist.ected )hristE the 0ord calls the" as *blind* because they /ere spiritually blind+ not seein& the 3ivine truth+ /hich -e had brou&ht into the /orld. ?We see. 0earnin& about this and /ishin& to open his spiritual eyes as /ell+ the 0ord found hi" and by revealin& -i"self as his -ealer+ brou&ht the cured "an to the faith in -i"+ as in the Son of God. *&or 2udgment I have "ome into this world. -avin& e'plained to the" their responsibility for 6those /ho see "ay be "ade blind6 the 0ord %in an alle&orical for"( reveals the" that they are not the true spiritual leaders of the reli&ious life of the people+ as they i"a&ined the"selves to be.esus. To this+ the Pharisees as$ed: * re we blind also/* But the 0ord &ave the" an une'pected ans/er9 *If you were blind. The . *Why. they thre/ hi" out. we do not !now where He is from*. Why do you want to hear it again/ . nd this sin is unfor&ivable because it is the sin of blasphe"y a&ainst the -oly Spirit %!at. ll those events &ave occasion for the 0ord to e'press -is thou&hts+ that an unavoidable conse5uence of -is arrival to the /orld /as the sharp separation of people into believers and disbelievers. The "er#o! about the Good "hepherd %. that those who do not see may see.o you also want to be"ome His dis"i#les/* This audacious sarcas" provo$ed a reproach for the darin& confessor of the truth: *1ou are His dis"i#le. >@:A>-A@(. stounded by such i"placable lo&ic of the si"ple person+ the Pharisees /ere incapable of continuin& their ar&u"entE e'posin& hi" in that he /as *"om#letely born in sins*./ould &ive the" a chance to conde"n . This conversation is the continuation of the 0ord’s accusatory /ords+ addressed to the Pharisees in connection /ith the healin& of the "an that /as born blind.

The 0ord calls -i"self 6the 3oor6 and the 6&ood Shepherd6+ 4ho 6&ives -is life for the sheep6 protectin& the" fro" /olves.e/ish people+ or God’s )hurch of the Old Testa"ent+ fro" /hich the 2e/ Testa"ent church /as for"edE the /ord 6shepherd6 "eans every &enuine leader of the reli&ious-"oral livin&E the /ords 6thieves6 and 6robbers6 "ean all false+ self-styled prophets+ pseudo-teachers+ heretics+ false leaders of the reli&ious life of the people+ thin$in& only of the"selves and their o/n interests+ li$e the e'posed by the 0ord Pharisees. Everyone+ /ho avoids -i"+ *"limbs u# some other way* %not the nor"al /ay(+6 are 6thieves and robbers+6 i. In order to protect the floc$ at ni&htti"e fro" /olves and robbers+ it /as driven into caves or specially arran&ed co"pounds. @( 7no/in& his sheep. even so I !now the &ather*.* because -e has the po/er to *lay it down* and *the #ower to ta!e it again* D the e'pression of absolute freedo"+ i.e. )onse5uently+ in the second part+ the 0ord revealed -i"self as the 6&ood Shepherd6. 6Sheepfold6 is the earthly )hurch+ /hile 6pasture6 is the -eavenly )hurch. These /ords caused another 5uarrel a"on& the .e/s+ resultin& that so"e e"pathically accepted the 0ord’s /ords+ /hile the others continued to declare -i" as the possessed. In the hi&hest sense+ this $no/led&e belon&s to -i": this "utual $no/led&e of one another+ pastor and sheep+ should be a$in to the "utual $no/led&e of God the *ather and God the Son: * s the &ather !nows 'e. not true pastors but the i"posters that are pursuin& personal &oals+ and not the &ood of the floc$. In the "ornin&+ the &ate-$eepers opened the &ate+ allo/in& the shepherds to co"e in and separate their floc$ by callin& out the individual na"es of their sheep: the sheep /ould reco&ni#e the voice of their shepherds+ listen to the" and follo/ the" out of the co"pound to &ra#e D this practice can be /itnessed in Palestine up to this day. The 0ord’s /ords 6other sheep+6 *whi"h are not of this fold* but /hich *also I must bring*+ "ean the heathens /ho are also called into )hrist’s 7in&do". The "er#o! at the Feast o* the :edicatio! .e. The 0ord points out the "ain distinctive 5ualities of a &enuine pastor: >( Selflessness D even to the point of death for the sa$e of the floc$. The Pharisees didn’t understand the first part of the ser"on. The 0ord concludes -is parable /ith the /ords: *I lay down 'y life for the shee#* voluntarily: *6o one ta!es it from 'e. but I lay it down of 'yself.0ord co"pares the people /ith a floc$ of sheep and the leaders+ /ith the shepherds of this floc$. !a$in& use of such a /ell-$no/n e'a"ple fro" life+ the 0ord uses the /ord 6sheepfold6 for the God-chosen . It /as co""on to have so"e floc$s+ belon&in& to different o/ners+ driven in one co"pound. The 0ord calls -i"self the 63oor6 in the sense that -e is the only &enuine "ediator bet/een God and the people+ the only path for the pastors and the floc$: into the 7in&do" of God+ depicted by -i" as the 6sheepfold6 and only throu&h -i" the entry can be &ained. 2aturally+ afraid to confront the ar"ed &ate$eeper+ the robbers secretly cli"bed over the fence into the co"pound. The /ord 6/olves6 "eans the devil and his servants that destroy 6sheep6. The "eanin& of the /ord 6hirelin&6 "ust be understood as that of the un/orthy pastors /ho+ accordin& to the Prophet E#e$iel+ *feed themselves* %A?:@( and at the first si&n of a dan&er+ abandon their floc$ to the "ercy of the four /inds. )hrist’s death /as the chosen by -i" and voluntarily fulfilled "eans of savin& -is floc$.

There+ -e /as surrounded by the .udas of !accabea in >KF B)+ and co""e"orates the restoration+ purification and sanctification of the Te"ple of . In citin& e'cerpts fro" this Psal"+ the 0ord is see"in&ly sayin& to the . That /as /hy they let the stones and tried to .* The 0ord /as unable to respond 6plainly6 because they associated the /ord 6!essiah6 /ith the false representation of the earthly leader of people+ /ho /as supposed to liberate the" fro" the 1o"an rule. *ro" all this+ they should have reali#ed a lon& ti"e before that -e is the !essiah+ althou&h not in the sa"e sense that they i"a&ined. and I in Him. Evan&elist 0u$e narrates about the return of the 9: disciples soon after their departure+ althou&h undoubtedly+ the si&nificant a"ount of ti"e passed bet/een their departure and return.ustify their actions+ by statin& that they didn’t /ant to stone -i" for -is &ood deeds+ but for -is 6blasphe"y6.* Once a&ain+ the .erusale"+ desecrated by ntiochus Epiphanes.ohn >::@@-?@(. -o/ever+ if I fulfill these deeds+ you "ust understand that I and the *ather D are One+ *&ather is in 'e. tell us #lainly. The reason /hy they did not understand that /as because they 6/ere not of -is sheep6 and 6did not hear -is voice. There "any+ /ho had heard about -i" fro" . The 9etur! o* the 70 :isciples %0u$e >::>9-@?(.%.ordan to Perea.e/s understood the" correctly and pic$ed up the stones to stone the 0ord as a blasphe"er+ -e disar"ed the" /ith the short 5uestion: *'any good wor!s I have shown you from 'y &ather. 4hen the . In response+ the 0ord refers to the H>st Psal"+ /here the people called to .ohn’s ser"on and convinced in its &enuineness+ believed in -i". This festival /as established by . &or whi"h of those wor!s do you stone 'e/* The une'pectedness of the 5uestion confused the . It /as cold+ therefore the 0ord /al$ed around the covered &allery /ithin the Te"ple.e/s+ and sho/ed a&ainst their /ill+ that they in/ardly ac$no/led&ed the &reatness of the 0ord’s "iracles.e/s atte"pted to sei#e the 0ord+ *but He es"a#ed out of their hands* D left so that nobody dared to touch -i"+ and traveled over .e/s as$in& -i": *How long do you !ee# us in doubt/ If 1ou are the Christ. The 0ord ans/ers the 5uestion /isely: -e points to -is past testi"onies of -i"self+ -is /or$s and -is relationship to -is -eavenly *ather. The others thin$ that they returned to the place+ fro" /hich they .6 1e"e"berin& about -is sheep+ the 0ord pronounces the pro"ise about &rantin& eternal life: nobody /ill be able to ta$e the" fro" -is hand+ because as -e said: *I and 'y &ather are one* There could be no "ore definite testi"ony of )hrist’s 3ivine /orthiness than those /ords. This feast is celebrated annually over the ei&ht-day period+ co""encin& /ith the @G of the "onth of 3ece"ber. So"e presu"e that the "eetin& bet/een the 0ord and the disciples too$ place in Perea+ /here the 0ord had not yet &iven any ser"ons.e/s: 6you cannot accuse the Psal"ist of blasphe"yE if he called those that /ere /orthy of havin& 3ivine authority+ 6&ods+6 then ho/ can you accuse !e of blasphe"y D the One 4ho has na"ed -i"self the Son of God and havin& perfor"ed /or$s that only God can doI6 The 0ord continues: 6<ou could disbelieve !e+ if I had not fulfilled the deeds that are typical of God alone.ud&e and protect the /ea$ fro" the infrin&e"ents of the po/erful+ /ere titled 6&ods6 D naturally+ not in the direct sense.

/ere sent out+ i.e/ish Scribes. s Blessed Theothylactus says: 6God hid &reat "ysteries fro" those /ho thin$ the"selves to be /ise+ because they had beco"e un/orthy as they re&arded the"selves bein& /ise6. ccordin& to Saint )hrysosto"+ the /ord 6hidden6 doesn’t "ean that God /as the cause of that hidin&+ but it is rather used in the sa"e sense as it is applied by Paul: *&or they being ignorant of God)s righteousness. * ll things have been delivered to 'e by 'y &ather* D the control of the /orld belon&s to )hrist as to the 6Interceder6 and 6!ediator6 in the atone"ent of "an$ind. The &arable about the Good "a#arita! %0u$e >::@G-A9(. This should "a$e one re. In this case+ the 0ord "eant -is postles+ to /ho" -e had revealed the "ysteries of God’s 7in&do". The /ord 6babes6 "eans the si"ple fol$+ not havin& studied hu"an /isdo" at schools and not havin& attended the schools of the . To be /ritten in heavens+ is to be the citi#en of the -eavenly 7in&do".oy in -eaven.e. The 0ord responded to this: 63o not be surprised that the de"ons obey you+ as their leader has already been toppled: *I saw satan fall li!e lightning from Heaven*. It is possible that the 0ord repeated those state"ents a nu"ber of ti"es.oy about the fact that the de"ons obeyed the" 6in the na"e of . -o/ever+ God reveals -i"self in His Son %. The 0ord’s further /ords of honorin& God the *ather %in verse @>(+ the state"ents about the $no/led&e of God the *ather and the Son %verse @@(+ and pleasin& -is disciples %verses @A-@?( /e also find /ith Evan&elist !atthe/+ but e'pressed in different situations and under the different circu"stances %see !at. -o/ever+ 0u$e’s chronolo&ical connection is indisputable+ /hich is identified /ith the /ords: *In that hour. 2aturally+ sayin& about God that -e had *hidden*+ -e did not "ean it in the direct sense+ but li$e+ as for e'a"ple+ in the 1o"ans >:@H.* as /ell as the 0ord’s "ove"ents: *turned to His dis"i#les and said. >>:@G-@9 and >A:>K->9(.oice "ore than fro" any earthly deeds+ even thou&h they "i&ht be e'traordinary+ li$e the castin& out of the evil spirits. !eetin& the 0ord+ before anythin& else they e'pressed their .esus6. and see!ing to establish their own righteousness. 8nderstandin& of the divine nature is inaccessible to any "ortal. *urther+ the 0ord praises the postles for bein& /orthy of seein& -i"+ the incarnate Son of God D of that+ /hat the livin& before Prophets and ri&hteous fathers /ere unable of+ seein& -i" only throu&h their faith+ but not /ith their physical eyes+ li$e the postles. pparently+ in this instance+ the 0ord /as tal$in& about the Scribes and Pharisees proud /ith their $no/led&e of !oses’ 0a/. >::A(. to Galilee. have not submitted to the righteousness of God* %1o". In other /ords+ the 0ord tells the postles that -e /itnessed the defeat of the prince of de"ons and his s/ift fall D li$e li&htnin& D and therefore+ if he /as defeated+ so /ere his le&ions.* The /ords 6/ise6 and 6prudent6 do not refer to those that re&ard the"selves as such. The flash of 6li&htnin&6 is used to present une'pectedness and s/iftness. The latter /ords e'pressed their hu"ility.ohn >?:H-F( and throu&h -is Son %-eb. >:>(+ to the e'tent of that+ ho/ the person hi"self throu&h faith and love is able to accept such a revelation. 6The i"portant thin& is not this+ but that you have beco"e /orthy of salvation and .6 In the Scripture+ God is so"eti"es depicted /ith a boo$ in -is hand+ into /hich the na"es and the deeds of -is faithful servants are recorded. s the )on5ueror of the hostile po/ers+ the 0ord "a$es possible for -is disciples to feel the victory over the"+ callin& the evil spirits alle&orically as 6sna$es6 and 6scorpions6. .

pparently+ the la/yer felt this+ and that’s /hy he+ *wanting to 2ustify himself* as$ed: 6 nd /ho is "y nei&hborI6 i.e/s. By pointin& hi" at the de"ands of the la/+ the 0ord /ants to force hi" to plun&e into the po/er and "eanin& of these de"ands+ and co"prehend ho/ far he is fro" fulfillin& the". Both of the" appear here /ith the sa"e 5ualities as described by Saint . s /e can see+ the parable is not fully suitable to the 5uestion of the la/yer. The $ord .ohn: !artha /as notable for her active and lively character+ !ary D for 5uiet and deep sensitivity. In response+ the 0ord narrated the /onderful parable about a person that fell into the hands of robbers+ and /as subse5uently i&nored by the passin& priest and 0evite+ and /ho only sa/ co"passion fro" a Sa"aritan D the "an+ hated and despised by the . The 0ord instructs hi" that he should "a$e hi"self a nei&hbor to the one in need+ and not 5uestion+ /hether he is his nei&hbor or not: he should not be loo$in& at the people but into his o/n heart+ so that he /ould not have the coldness of the pa&an priest or 0evite+ but the "ercy of the Sa"aritan.e/ D /as their nei&hbor. what shall I do to inherit eternal life/* The 0ord forces the sly la/yer to ans/er his o/n 5uestion throu&h the /ords of 3euterono"y K:G and 0eviticus >F:>H+ about love for God and for the nei&hbors.ust li$e the priest and 0evite+ even thou&h that "iserable D as a . The "oral la/ of the 2e/ Testa"ent abolishes those differences and teaches the all-e"bracin& Evan&elical love to/ards all the people. The la/yer /as as$in&: /ho is "y nei&hbor D as if fearin& to love those people that he shouldn’t. The difference bet/een the la/yer’s 5uestion and 0ord’s ans/er is of &reat si&nificance+ because in the Old Testa"ent+ in order to shield God’s chosen people fro" vile influences+ there /ere found the differences bet/een the surroundin& people+ and only the country"en and people of the sa"e faith /ere re&arded as 6nei&hbors6 by the . 1eali#in& that it /as difficult to cope /ith everythin& herself+ !artha turned to the 0ord D as thou&h /ith the reproach+ /hich sho/ed the friendly attitude of the 0ord to/ards her fa"ily: *(ord. If you are &oin& to differentiate lo&ically bet/een the nei&hbor and stran&er+ you /ill not be able to avoid the cruel coldness to/ards the people.erusale". he /anted to sho/ that even thou&h he "ay not be fulfillin& the la/ as re5uired+ it’s because of the uncertainty of its de"ands+ for it is unclear+ for e'a"ple+ /ho" one should re&ard as a 6nei&hbor6. do 1ou not . !ercy is the condition of inheritin& eternal life. -avin& received the 0ord+ !artha be&an to fuss over the preparation of food+ /hile !ary sat at the 0ord’s feet+ listenin& to -i".ohn in the >>th chapter. 4hile the la/yer /as as$in&: 64ho is "y nei&hborI6 the parable indicated ho/ and /ho of the three+ seein& the "iserable+ beca"e his nei&hbor. That Sa"aritan $ne/ better than the priest or 0evite+ that in order to fulfill the la/+ there shouldn’t be any distinction bet/een the people: everyone is our nei&hbor.This parable is narrated only by St. )onse5uently+ the parable doesn’t instruct on /ho should be re&arded as a nei&hbor+ but ho/ one can ma1e himself a neigh#or for every person that is in the need of co"passion.e/s.esus 'hrist i! the 5ouse o* 1artha a!d 1ary %0u$e >::AH-?@(. The t/o /o"en that "et the 0ord+ !artha and !ary+ /ere easily reco&ni#able as the loved by the 0ord sisters of 0a#arus+ /hose resurrection is narrated by Saint .e. pparently+ a *"ertain village* that the 0ord entered /as Bethany D the settle"ent situated on one of the slopes of the !ount of Olives+ near . 0u$e+ as the 0ord’s reply to the te"pter’s %Scribe’s( 5uestion+ /ishin& to trap -i" in -is /ords: *$ea"her. <ou /ill pass those /ho 6fell a"on& thieves6+ .

The t/o conde"natory speeches+ addressed to the Scribes and Pharisees+ /hich are very si"ilar in both the content and e'pressions+ are "entioned by both Evan&elists !atthe/ and 0u$e+ but /ith a difference: the e'posure presented by Saint 0u$e+ /as e'pressed by the 0ord at the dinner to /hich -e /as invited by a certain Pharisee+ concernin& the /ashin& of hands. It is 5uite probable that+ /hile not narratin& the 0ord’s &ri" ser"on that /as described by Saint !atthe/+ Saint 0u$e 5uoted a fe/ pronounce"ents fro" it+ /hich he attributed to the 0ord /hen he /as e'posin& the Pharisees durin& the dinner+ about /hich he narrated alone. *ollo/in& -is ine'plicable &oals+ God does not &rant i""ediately that /hat is as$ed for+ even thou&h it "ay be in confor"ity /ith -is /ill. whi"h will not be ta!en away from her. you are worried and troubled about many things. 'artha. and 'ary has "hosen that good #art. In both the ser"ons+ the 0ord co"pares the Pharisees /ith coffins+ 6/hich indeed appear beautiful out/ardly+ but inside are full of dead "en’s bones and all type of dirt6. cleansin& their souls of sinful passions and vices. This se&"ent of the Gospel is al/ays read durin& every 0itur&y that co""e"orates the !other of God+ because the fi&ure of !ary appears as the sy"bol of Ever--oly . In both the ser"ons+ the Pharisees are e'posed for the e'a&&erated attention to *outer* cleanliness+ /hile ne&lectin& their *inner* cleanliness+ i. On the other hand+ the e'posin& speech+ narrated by !atthe/+ /as uttered by the 0ord in the Te"ple of . 4hat !ary is ac5uirin& by listenin& to the 0ord+ /ill never be ta$en a/ay fro" her. The /3posure o* the "cribes a!d &harisees %!at. @A:>-AF and 0u$e >>:A9-G?(. s /ell+ the . This se&"ent is connected /ith the verses >>:@9-@H+ /here the !other of God is directly &lorified and a&ain are honored those /ho 6hear the /ord of God and do it6.e.* The "eanin& of this rebu$e is that !artha’s efforts are directed at the transitory fuss+ /ithout /hich one can live+ /hile !ary chose that+ /hich is the only thin& needed for a hu"an bein& D attentiveness to/ards the 3ivine teachin& of )hrist and follo/in& it. tell her to hel# me.ir&in !ary+ 4ho too had 6chosen that &ood part6.ustifyin& !ary+ the 0ord responds to !artha /ith the sa"e friendly rebu$e: *'artha. By the narration about a friend+ /ho /as as$in& for bread and receivin& it as the result of his insistence+ the 0ord /ishes to instill the essentiality of resoluteness in prayer. The &arable about the &ersiste!t Appeal %0u$e >>:G-H(."are that my sister has left me to serve alone/ $herefore. It has to be assu"ed that the 0ord not once e'clai"ed si"ilar e'posures in the si"ilar e'pressions. %ut one thing is needed.* .erusale"+ shortly before -is sufferin&s at the cross. Both Evan&elist !atthe/ and Evan&elist 0u$e in >>:>-?+ e'pound the te't of the 0ord’s Prayer+ be&innin& /ith the /ords *+ur &ather* and further+ be&innin& /ith verse G+ the precise 0ord’s teachin& about the persistency in prayer.

oash+ /as stoned in the courtyard of the 0ord’s house. The others sur"ise that this /as =echariah D the father of .e. i. be concerned about obtainin& eternal+ incorruptible treasures or virtues+ /hich can be ac5uired by e'pendin& earthly riches not on the lo/+ carnal pleasures but on good deeds of various types. as thou&h they have ta$en co"plete possession of the Old Testa"ent la/+ /hich /as supposed to lead people to/ards )hrist. part fro" that+ -e preached the renounce"ent of earthly possessions.e. nd havin& ta$en possession of this $ey+ do not enter )hrist’s 7in&do" the"selves and do not allo/ the others to enter+ falsely interpretin& the la/. The &arable about the 9eckless 9ich 1a! %0u$e >@:>A-@>(.* -e had no in$lin& that his last day on earth /ould arrive and he /ould be unable to en. The 0ord also accuses the Pharisees in stonin& God’s Prophets+ sent to the" by the *Wisdom of God*.oyin& the earthly blessin&s. drin! and be merry. t the sa"e ti"e+ that /as not the reason /hy hu"an interests in &eneral /ere stran&e to the 0ord+ but in that -is tas$ /as not to deter"ine the e'terior "easures of order+ but to re-educate the hearts and "inds of the people. i. i. i. the passion of ac5uirin& possessions for the purpose of en. The 0ord refused hi"+ because -e didn’t co"e to earth to sort out the petty conflicts based on hu"an passions. Seein& the 0ord’s &reat influence+ a certain person turned to -i" /ith the re5uest to order his brother to share the inheritance /ith hi". *&ool0 $his night your soul will be re=uired of you: then whose will those things be whi"h you have #rovided/* D 6you /ill not receive any benefit fro" the treasures you &ained+ and /ho /ill end up /ith those treasures+ /ill be of no i"portance to you6.e.ohn the Baptist.e. bein& true to God and -is "oral la/. In relation to the re5uest addressed to -i"+ the 0ord told a parable+ /arnin& a&ainst the sic$ness of *"ovetousness*. The 0ord also conde"ns the la/yers because they *have ta!en away the !ey of !nowledge*. by -i"+ as -e is the -ypostasis 4isdo" of God+ represented under such a na"e in the Hth chapter of Proverbs. . pparently+ this /as the sa"e =echariah /ho by the order of .oy his &ained treasures.e. One individual had the abundant harvest in his fields. -e has no thou&hts of God+ of spiritual life+ but only about the ani"alistic+ carnal pleasures: *eat.e. In conclusion+ the 0ord calls upon the" the blood of all the ri&hteous+ be&innin& /ith bel+ slain by his brother )ain+ to the blood of =echariah+ the son of Berechiah+ $illed bet/een the altar and the te"ple. *+ne)s life*.udicial la/suit D so"ethin& the 0ord did not /ish to happen. 4ith that+ any $ind of -is decision could raise dissatisfaction /ith one or the other side of the conflict+ and even a clash and . Instead of accu"ulatin& earthly treasures for oneself+ one "ust &ro/ rich in God+ i.ustice+ "ercy and faith+ i.0ord conde"ns the Pharisees for their love of bein& honored+ that they apply unbearable burdens on "en’s shoulders+ /hile they the"selves 6/ill not "ove the" /ith one of their fin&ers+6 that they for"ally and punctually fulfill the out/ard re5uire"ents of the la/ on 6tithes6+ 6but have ne&lected the /ei&htier "atters of the la/6: . his /ell bein& or happiness+ *does not "onsist in the abundan"e of the things he #ossess*. 4ithout any thou&ht for his life thereafter+ all he thin$s about is ho/ to utili#e his /ealth for the earthly pleasures. This is the e'a"ple for all the preachers of the Gospel and servants of the )hurch.

-e also predicts the sad fate of that house-ste/ard /ho+ not e'pectin& the early return of his "aster+ be&ins to ne&lect his responsibilities throu&h the i"proper behavior: he *begins to beat his fellow servants. )onse5uently+ this e'pression "eans D to be ready.esus )hrist be "orally ready to "eet -is Second )o"in&. This blessedness is fi&uratively presented in that the "aster /ill *gird himself* and be&in to serve his servants+ as if "a$in& the" his &uests D a tre"endous honor that can only be besto/ed to the servants accordin& to the Eastern custo"s. for the proper fulfill"ent of the entrusted to hi" duty D *to give them food in due season*. *(et your waist be girded* D the i"a&e ta$en fro" the Eastern loose clothin&: /henever anythin& had to be done+ such loose and lon& attire /as &irded around the /aist /ith a belt+ so that it /ould not &et in the /ay.* Such a type of servant /ill be sub.ust as alert servants have to be ready to "eet their "aster at any hour of the ni&ht+ /henever he returns ho"e D *"ome in the se"ond wat"h. or "ome in the third wat"h* D so should the true follo/ers of 0ord . The 0ord pro"ises blessedness for this spiritual vi&ilance D *blessed are those servants*. The one+ /ho /as &iven "ore opportunity to fulfill that /ill+ /ill be punished &reater for ne&lectin& to fulfill it. and how I wish it were already !indled* D the -oly *athers understand the /ord 6fire6 to "ean spiritual #ealousness+ /hich the 0ord ca"e to i"plant in the .The &arable about the "erva!ts4 A7aiti!( the 9etur! o* their 1aster %!at. But it can be seen fro" the further dialo&ue that the 0ord’s e'hortation about the spiritual vi&ilance applies to all the follo/ers of )hrist. @?:?G-G>E 0u$e >@:?@-?H( The 0ord does not &ive a direct ans/er to Peter’s 5uestion as to /hether that parabolic speech is addressed to the postles only+ or to everybody. @?:?@-G> and 0u$e >@:AG-?H(. and to eat and drin! with the drun!ards. About the :ivisio!s a#o!( the &eople %0u$e >@:?F-GA(. Evan&elist 0u$e adds that the punish"ent for such derelict servants /ill not be identical: the one /ho $ne/ the "aster’s /ill+ /ill bear the heavier punish"ent than the one /ho didn’t+ althou&h+ the latter /ill be punished for not concernin& to learn his "asters /ill. .ect to &reat tortures: *"ut him in two* D the punish"ent applied in the East to the /orst cri"inals. *I "ame to send fire on the earth. *1our lam#s burning* e'presses the sa"e thou&ht: the servants should be ready to "eet their "aster /ith the li&hted la"ps /hen he returns ho"e at ni&ht. In this second parable+ the 0ord praises the faithful and /ise house-ste/ard+ *whom his 'aster made ruler over His household*. In both instances+ a person /ill be obli&ed to &ive an account to God on ho/ he lived his earthly life. The &arable about the )ise 5ouse-"te7ard %!at. One has to be ready at all ti"es+ because it’s un$no/n /hen )hrist’s Second )o"in& or death /ill arrive D /hich has the sa"e "eanin& for a person.

ud&"ent+ held over the .esus )hrist e'plained+ that such a violent death in such a holy place cannot be e'plained in that those Galileans /ere "ore sinful than the others: therefore+ one shouldn’t thin$ that those /ho perished /ere less ri&hteous than those /ho /ere unhar"ed D those+ /ho the 0ord did not punish in such a severe "anner. .e/s died inside the te"ple+ si"ilarly to those Galileans $illed by Pilate. i. It is possible that here the 0ord is hintin& at God’s .erusale" and the &reat nu"ber of . The 0ord is only forbearin&+ /aitin& for their repentance.e/s often sta&ed uprisin&s a&ainst the 1o"an rule. to under&o the sufferin&s+ /aitin& for -i"+ for hu"anity’s salvation+ /hich /ill result in the fire of #ealousness bein& infla"ed. The &arable about the Fruitless Fi( Tree . The 0ord’s . The Fall o* the "iloa# To7er %0u$e >A:>-G( 1eturnin& fro" . 3evelopin& this thou&ht+ the 0ord tells the parable about the fruitless fi& tree. The hostility+ arisin& on those &rounds+ even a"on& close relatives+ could be seen especially durin& the persecution of )hristians by the heathens.e. death /ill overta$e you /hen you are not ready+ burdened /ith sin. The .hu"an hearts+ and /hich /ill inevitably spa/n the division and hostility a"on& people+ because so"e /ill accept )hrist’s teachin&s ardently+ /ith all their hearts+ /hile the others /ill oppose it. The "eanin& of the 0ord’s /ords is such: you are the si"ilar sinners as they are and /ill also perish li$e/ise if you don’t repent. -o/ever+ it is inevitable as the evil hates &oodness and strives to destroy it. In all probability+ this /as one of these uprisin&s that occurred /ithin the te"ple durin& a "a.e.ud&"ent had already passed for the"+ /hile for you+ it /ill arrive this /ay or another+ *unless you re#ent*.erusale"I D 4ho $no/s. .erusale"+ the people told the 0ord about the Galileans /hose blood Pilate had "i'ed /ith their sacrifices. Both the accidents the 0ord offers to be understood differently: this is only the /arnin& to the livin&: *unless you re#ent you will all li!ewise #erish0* D I. This /as at the sa"e ti"e as the sacrifices /ere bein& offered+ and as a conse5uence+ the blood of the dead "in&led /ith the blood of the sacrificial ani"als. Because that fla"e of #ealousness had to infla"e /ith especial potency only after )hrist’s cruciferous sufferin&s+ -is 1esurrection+ scension and the descent of the -oly Spirit upon the postles+ the 0ord e'presses -is desire to be speedily *ba#ti7ed* /ith that baptis" that -e *had to be ba#ti7ed with*.or feastday+ /hen the ar"ed 1o"an soldiers /ere safe&uardin& the peace.ud&in& by this narration+ Pilate ordered the rebellious Galileans to be put to death in the te"ple. 4ith this+ the 0ord -i"self recalls another occurrence+ /hen a to/er of Siloa" collapsed+ crushin& >H people D /ere they "ore sinful than the other inhabitants of . s the result of )hrist’s redee"in& act+ a"on& the people there /ill e'ist no lon&er that evil /orld+ /hich united the people on the &rounds of a cri"e and distanced the" fro" God+ but the savin& division /ill arrive: the follo/ers of )hrist’s teachin& /ould separate fro" -is ene"ies.e/ish people /hen Titus *lavius destroyed .

The /ords *Satan has bound* have differin& interpretations: so"e sur"ise that the /o"an’s sic$ness /as the result of the action of an evil spirit+ to /hich the 0ord per"itted to defor" her body+ . The rest of the people D the co""on people D re. Saint Gre&ory the 3ialo&ist considers that as the fruitless fi& tree+ so the defor"ed /o"an+ are t/o e'a"ples of one and the sa"e state of corruptness of the hu"an race.e/ish people’s repentance %they are represented in the parable as the fruitless fi& tree(.esus )hrist+ havin& co"e to the God-chosen . the cured /o"an /as a native .ust li$e he allo/ed+ for e'a"ple+ ri&hteous . i.oiced for all the &lorious deeds+ co"in& fro" -i". be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath/*. Turnin& to the people+ he e'pressed this indi&nation aloud. whom satan has bound @ thin! of it @ for eighteen years.ust as the fi& tree stood alone in the vineyard.aughter of braham*.udean+ and the head of the syna&o&ue+ on /ho" rested the responsibility of carin& for his floc$’s /ell-bein&+ should have been happy for )hrist Savior’s benefaction+ yet he /as indi&nant.ealousy to/ards the 0ord--ealer. * fter that you "an "ut it down* D this is the &ri" forecast of God’s punish"ent that reached the . To plant a fi& tree in the vineyard is unusual+ ho/ever+ this also bears an i"portant thou&ht D that the . being a daughter of braham. The vineyard o/ner is to be understood li$e the 0ord . The head of the syna&o&ue beca"e indi&nant+ because the healin& too$ place on a Saturday+ /hich accordin& to the la/ prohibited any type of activity.e. it is precisely on the Sabbath that it is possible to do benefactions to those in need. The 8arro7 &ath to7ards the 5eave!ly =i!(do# .erusale" and the te"ple.esus )hrist’s "inistry+ delivered -i" to death on the cross.e/ish people to/ards the savin& faith in -i"+ as in the !essiah+ and e'pectin& fro" the . *or that+ the 0ord called hi" a hypocrite %as -e usually called the Pharisees(+ indicatin& that his indi&nation /as aroused not by the i"a&inary violation of the Sabbath+ but throu&h plain .e/ish people occupied the special position as the chosen people+ standin& alone a"on& the other nations of the /orld+ . i.%0u$e >A:K-F( The o/ner of the vineyard in this parable is understood to be 0ord God+ 4ho is /aitin& for the . *.e/ish people+ spendin& A years of the public "inistry and doin& everythin& possible to convert the . *So ought not this woman.ob to be afflicted /ith leprosy: the others assu"e that the /o"an’s illness /as the result of her ini5uitous life.e/ish people+ for still not turnin& to God+ not brin&in& any e'pected fruits+ /ho on the fourth year of the 0ord .ected by God and punished by the 1o"an invasion and terrible destruction of . *or that+ it /as re. The Son of God %the vineyard o/ner in the parable( is presented as the Interceder for the people+ be&&in& God the *ather about "ercy to/ards the". fter hearin& the 0ord+ those opposin& to -i" beca"e asha"ed+ because they+ of course+ could not deny the fairness of -is /ords.e/s the fruits of -is labor. 4ith that+ the 0ord e'plained that the perfor"ance of &ood deeds is not prohibited on the Sabbath+ if it is per"itted to do the essential earthly "atters+ li$e care about the far" ani"als. The 5eali!( o* the :e*or#ed )o#a! %0u$e >A:>:->9( 3urin& -is stay in Galilee+ /hile teachin& in the syna&o&ue+ the 0ord perfor"ed a "iracle by curin& a /o"an that /as defor"ed for ei&hteen years and could not strai&hten up.e.

i. fter death there is no repentance.%0u$e >A:@@-A:(.ected their !essiah and as a conse5uence+ /ere forfeited their ri&ht for the entry into the !essiah’s 7in&do". Everybody /ill be .6 5erod-s Threats %0u$e >A:A>-AG and !at.e#art from 'e. -o/ever+ they /ere not the &enuine )hristians+ and that is /hy they /ill be re. 64e ate and dran$ in <our presence+ and <ou tau&ht in our streets6 -.ected+ they /ill start sayin&: *We ate and dran! in 1our #resen"e.e/s of that ti"e the entrance throu&h repentance and selflessness into the !essiah’s 7in&do" did appear ti&ht+ for it /as throu&h repentance and self-denial+ of /hich+ o/in& to the spread by the Pharisees pre. @A:A9-AF(. from the north and the south*. The "eanin& of this i"a&e is that to the .erusale"+ so"eone posed -i" a 5uestion: *(ord.ud&"ent over every hu"an bein&+ and over everybody after the Second )o"in& of )hrist.6 The sa"e /ill happen to all those that re&arded the"selves as 6the first+6 but in reality did not fulfill )hrist’s co""and"ents as they should have done that.e/s+ in the literal sense+ especially as they re.these /ords are particularly fittin& the .ected the !essiah+ they /ill end up bein& 6the last6E 6the first6 to enter the !essiah’s 7in&do" /ill be the heathens+ /ho" they re&arded as bein& 6the last. They /ill reali#e their error /ith -is Second )o"in&+ but then it /ill be too late+ and they /ill receive the ans/er: *I tell you I do not !now you>. .e. those un/orthy of enterin& for the supper /ill re"ind the !aster that they are $no/n to -i"+ that out/ardly they /ere follo/ers of )hrist’s teachin&. i.ud&ed outside the place+ /here the supper of the 0ord /ith -is friends is ta$in& place D as those un/orthy of the blessed co""union /ith God+ even thou&h they ac$no/led&e their sins and /ill be tryin& to enter there. *When on"e the 'aster of the house has risen* D God is presented as the !aster of the house+ sittin& and /aitin& for -is friends for the supperE then &ettin& up and loc$in& the doors of -is house+ and not per"ittin& the others to enter.ected .e. 7in&do" of the !essiah or )hrist’s )hurch+ is presented here in the i"a&e of a house+ /hich apart fro" its &rand entrance doors+ also has another narro/+ ti&ht door throu&h /hich the entry /as per"itted occasionally. The heathens that have believed in )hrist *from the east and the west.* D the . Bein& re.e/s. The 0ord responds to this 5uestion sternly and tersely+ not only to hi" personally+ but to everybody there: *Strive to enter through the narrow gate>* D the i"a&e often used by -i". -o/ever+ it /ill be too late.ud&"ent as 6the last+6 /hile those+ /ho" they despised+ /ill be 6the first. * nd indeed there are last who will be first. This is the depiction of the ti"e of the 0ord’s . are there few who are saved/* pparently+ the in5uirin& individual posed this 5uestion /hile bearin& in "ind so"e of )hrist the Savior’s strict de"ands for those /ho /ished to enter the 7in&do" of the !essiah. all you wor!ers of ini=uity*.ected. !any /ould see$ the entry throu&h this narro/ door+ but /ould not be successful D because they are "uch corrupted "orally and have all types of preconceptions re&ardin& the !essiah’s 7in&do". s the 0ord traveled fro" Galilee to .e/s re&arded the"selves as bein& 6the first. fro" all the corners of the universe+ /ill enter the !essiah’s 7in&do" instead of the re. They /ill all appear at the 3read .6 But because they re.udices+ they /ere incapable. and there are first who will be last. and 1ou taught in our streets*.

It /as so convincin& that *they "ould not answer Him regarding these things*. Throu&h this action+ -erod revealed traces of cunnin&ness and slyness of a fo'.e.es#ite any threats. apparently one of the . This evo$es the deepest sadness in the 0ord about this holy city: as Saint . -ere /e have a prophecy about God’s dreadful . 4hen the supper be&an+ the Pharisees hurried to occupy the best places. )andidly and boldly+ the 0ord be&an to chastise their a"bitiousness and in addition+ narrated a 6parable6. The 0ord then healed hi" /ith one touch+ and "ade edification for the Pharisees about a don$ey or an o' that had fallen into a pit+ de"onstratin& clearly that &ood deeds could be perfor"ed on the Sabbath. That’s /hy the 0ord concluded -is parable /ith the /ords: *&or whoever e5alts . They decided no to ans/er ne&atively+ because the la/ did not forbid this+ but only the contrived 6tradition of the elders6 did. The &arable about Those that $ove to be First %0u$e >?:9->G(.ohn )hrysosto" notes+ 6.e.ubilant of all feasts. ctually+ it /as not a parable in the strict sense of the /ord but edification+ ta$en fro" the parabolic for" of a /eddin& feast+ often used by the 0ord+ applied because it is the lar&est and . ?%lessed is He who "omes in the name of the (ord0* D This is said about )hrist’s Second )o"in&+ /hen the disbelievers /ill involuntarily /orship the 0ord.e/ish leaders belon&in& to the Pharisee sect+ or one of its pro"inent "e"bers+ a "an sufferin& /ith incurable dropsy+ /hich /as supposed to be incurable+ appeared before -i". 2ot /antin& to deal /ith the 0ord hi"self+ he therefore decided to re"ove -i" in such a /ay. -o/ever+ the 0ord said: *.erusale".By sayin& these /ords+ the 0ord did not "ean .ourneyin& to/ard . Before curin& the afflicted person+ the 0ord as$ed the Pharisees: *Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath/*. This /ere the 0ord’s final days in Galilee+ as -e /as already . Evidently+ because the 0ord /as continually surrounded by the cro/ds of people+ -erod feared to cause a public riot. The 5eali!( o* the 1a! 7ith :ropsy %0u$e >?:>-K(. I shall "ontinue with 'y wor! u# to the given time*.8nder the &uise of friendship and concerned involve"ent+ the Pharisees advise the 0ord to leave -erod ntipas’ precincts. *1ou shall not see 'e until the time "omes when you say. /ere /aitin& for the opportunity to accuse -i" of so"ethin&. *ro" the fact that the 0ord called -erod a fo' in response+ it can be assu"ed that those Pharisees /ere sent by -erod+ /ith the ai" of fri&htenin& the 0ord and drivin& -i" out of Galilee. One Saturday+ /hile the 0ord /as in the house of one of the 6rulers of Pharisees6+ i.oice+ &race+ co"passion and &reat love. *When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast6P.ust to sho/ the sensible eti5uette rule: here+ the dialo&ue is about the inner disposition of the heart. because they 6/atched -i" closely+6 i.erusale" in the year 9:+ /hen the 1o"ans devastated it.ud&"ent that befell on .erusale" %0u$e >A:@@(+ /here death on the cross a/aited -i" D deeply-sad+ hallo/ed irony+ because indeed+ as the history sho/s+ "ost of the enforced deaths of the Prophets too$ place in .

Those /ords /ere said to the &uests+ /hile the 0ord &ave especial edification to the host. But a"on& those . Initially+ the !essiah appeared only to the *"hosen* D to the . In so"e prophesies+ li$e in those of Isaiah G@:>A+ the !essiah /as called as the 60ord’s Servant+6 /ho appeared as a hu"an. Everyone that responded to the Gospel’s ser"on+ entered the !essiah’s 7in&do" D God’s 7in&do"+ /hile those /ho spurned the call+ the Scribes and Pharisees+ found the"selves e'cluded.ery !essiah-)hrist. *or this+ there /ill be the reco"pense fro" God in the ne't /orld D *the resurre"tion of the righteous.e/s+ /ith the ne/s that 6The 7in&do" of God has co"e near6: because everythin& /as ready.* The &eneral "eanin& of this edification is si"ilar to that of the Ser"on on the !ount: *%ut if you love those who love you. and he who humbles himself will be e5alted*.e/s+ to /ho" the initial call /as "ade+ li$e the e'perts of the Old Testa"ent 0a/ D the Scribes and Pharisees and other leaders of God’s chosen people+ be&an to refuse the invitation D as thou&h bein& in collusion a"on& the"selves. what "redit is that to you/* %0u$e K:A@(.e/ish people to enter the 7in&do". The &arable about the 0!vitees to the "upper %0u$e >?:>K-@?(. The 0ord responded to the e'cla"ation of one of the participants of the supper /ith a parable+ in /hich 6&reat supper6 /as "eant to be the !essiah’s 7in&do"+ or )hrist’s )hurch. he /as led by hu"an co"prehension6+ D supposes Blessed Theothylactus. -earin& that+ so"eone a"on& the &uests e'clai"ed: *%lessed is he who shall eat bread in the 8ingdom of God.himself will be humbled. -o/ever+ it could be that he+ applyin& the fi&urative narrative co""enced by the 0ord+ si"ply /anted to state ho/ blessed are those+ /ho /ill be the participants in the !essiah’s 7in&do"6.ected the !essiah)hrist that ca"e to the". Instead+ he should invite the poor+ "ai"ed+ la"e and blind+ /ho are incapable of &ivin& hi" his due for the invitationE it’s /ron& to loathe the poor as the Pharisees did+ but one should loo$ upon the feast as at the deed that can have the "oral /orth+ as a &ood deed. The or&ani#er of that supper+ the 0ord God+ by "eans of the la/ and the Prophets+ as throu&h -is servants+ invited all the . -avin& observed that he invited only his friends+ relatives and /ealthy nei&hbors+ the 0ord su&&ested to hi" that it /as /ron& to invite only those /ho /ill &ive hi" his due for that hospitality. D In other /ords+ he e'pressed the sensate idea that prevailed a"on& the Pharisees+ about the !essiah’s $in&do". . About the True Follo7ers o* 'hrist %0u$e >?:@G-AA(.* 6 pparently+ this individual /as not spiritually inclined for to understand this properly+ i. Their earthly+ sensate "otives served as the prete't for that denial+ throu&h /hich they beca"e deaf for the 3ivine callin&+ and thereby re. 4hen that 7in&do" dre/ near+ -e a&ain invited the"+ but that ti"e throu&h . The 0ord then directed the !essiah to call the ta'-collectors and sinners+ an as there /ere still "any seats left after that call+ the 0ord then su""oned the heathens into -is 7in&do".e.

* In response+ the 0ord told the" those parables+ /hich depicted the &reat . The &arable about the &rodi(al "o! %0u$e >G:>>-A@(. The youn&est+ apparently havin& co"e of a&e+ but of course bein& ine'perienced and thou&htless+ re5uests+ in accordance /ith the 0a/ of !oses+ his portion of the father’s property %3eut. This parable+ /hich is narrated only by Evan&elist 0u$e+ is prefi'ed by the t/o short parables about the lost sheep %>G:>-9( and the lost coin %>G:H->:(. If physical attach"ents present the"selves the definitive obstacles in follo/in& )hrist+ then it is necessary to hate the" for )hrist’s sa$e+ and to brea$ the connection /ith the" co"pletely. The interpreters of the Gospel re&ard the FF sheep as either God’s n&els or the ri&hteous D livin& and those that have already departed and deserved the blissE that have no need of repentance. The "eanin& of the parable about the to/er is such: havin& decided /ith all selflessness to beco"e a follo/er of )hrist+ a person "ust evaluate his stren&th beforehand and prepare hi"self properly to the forthco"in& e'ploit+ so as not to beco"e the source of lau&hter for the people later. In the parables+ not all the features have the e'planation in the spiritual sense: so"e are utili#ed to &ive "ore life to the narrative+ /ithout any inner "eanin&. @>:>9( D one third of all+ /hile the eldest son nor"ally .ected to the dan&ers of defeat+ cause by the spiritual ene"ies.oices over the lost+ but found ite"+ even thou&h its value is far less than of those+ /hich hadn’t been lost.*If anyone "omes to 'e and does not hate his father and mother*>*"annot be 'y dis"i#le* D 64atch that you are not te"pted by this state"ent6+ /arns Blessed Theothylactus+ 6because the 0over of !en doesn’t teach inhu"anity+ neither -e instills suicide+ but /ants -is faithful disciple to Jhate’ his relatives only /hen they prevent hi" fro" honorin& God+ and /hen he+ in relation to the"+ finds difficulties in doin& &ood6.oy about the repentance of a sinner to that of the lovin& father+ to /ho" returned the prodi&al son %>>-A@(. 3rach"a is a s"all silver coin+ /orth about @G $ope$s. -atred ceases to be an i""oral feelin& /hen it is directed at that+ /hat diverts a person fro" his hi&her callin& D his soul salvation. -o/ever+ )hrist’s disciples that don’t have "oral selflessness are &ood for nothin&+ . *urther on+ in the parable about the prodi&al son+ the 0ord li$ens God’s . The follo/ers of )hrist are li$ened to salt that dissolves /ith /hatever it is "i'ed. The Pharisees conde"ned . The 0ord stren&thens -is instructions on selflessness+ /hich is essential to every )hristian+ /ith the parables about buildin& a to/er+ about the /ar bet/een t/o "onarchs and about salt %A?-AG(. The second parable has the sa"e "eanin& D a person /ishin& to beco"e a follo/er of )hrist+ "ust first &ain the spiritual "eans for this+ the first of /hich is selflessnessE other/ise he /ill be unable to fulfill his &ood intention+ and could even be sub.oy that occurred in the heavens /hen a sinner+ that appeared to be destroyed and lost to the 7in&do" of -eaven+ repented. * s!s "onditions of #ea"e* D this of course+ is applied to "a$e the parable visually e'pressive+ and doesn’t "ean that one has to conclude peace /ith the spiritual ene"ies.esus )hrist because -e *re"eives sinners and eats with them. In these parables+ the 0ord utili#es the natural attribute of the hu"an heart+ /hich re.ust li$e salt that has lost its stren&th. man had two sons: the "an represents GodE the t/o sons D the sinners and pseudo-ri&hteous individuals D the Scribes and Pharisees.

*I have sinned against Heaven. *I will arise and go to my father* D is the sinner’s decision to abandon his sinful /ays and repent. before the holy place /here God and the pure+ sinless spirits d/ell+ *and before you*. *Was dead and is alive again* D the sinner+ estran&ed fro" God is li$e bein& dead+ because a person’s true life depends only on the source of life D GodE that’s /hy the sinner’s return to God is a$in to the resurrection fro" the dead. throu&h ne&lectin& the lovin& father+ *am no longer worthy to be "alled your son* D this is the e'pression of deep hu"ility and reali#ation of the o/n un/orthiness+ /hich al/ays acco"panies the sincere repentance of the sinner. The elderly father+ havin& seen his returnin& son fro" afar+ /ithout $no/in& anythin& about his inner feelin&s+ runs to/ards hi"+ e"braces and $isses hi" /ithout &ivin& hi" a chance to finish his /ords of repentance.received the re"ainin& t/o thirds. *$o feed swine* D this is the "ost hu"iliatin& for" of activity+ because the .* i. *$here arose a severe famine6 D so God often sends to the sinner that is entrenched in his sinful life+ the out/ard "isfortunes so as to force hi" to co"e to his senses.oy+ /hich occurs+ accordin& to the 0ord’s /ords: *there will be more 2oy in Heaven over one sinner who re#ents* %0u$e >?:9(.e. 0i$e/ise the person+ endo/ed by God /ith spiritual and physical &ifts+ havin& felt an attraction to/ard sin+ be&ins to feel burdened by God’s la/+ re. .ects to live accordin& to God’s /ill+ sub"its to ini5uity and throu&h physical and spiritual dissoluteness+ s5uanders all those &ifts /ith /hich he /as endued by God. * nd he would gladly have filled his stoma"h with the #ods the swine ate* D these pods /ere used to feed s/ine and /ere the fruit of a certain tree+ that &ro/ in Syria and sia !inor. *inally+ the &rave conse5uences of sin to&ether /ith the out/ard "isfortunes+ force hi" to co"e to his senses: it is as thou&h he a/a$ens+ co"es out of his previously unconscious condition+ and returns to his sober senses: he be&ins to see and understand his "iserable state+ and see$s "eans to escape fro" it. *'a!e me li!e one of your hired servants* D is the e'pression of deep love for his father’s house+ and a&ree"ent /ith even the "ost difficult conditions in order to enter his father’s house. -avin& received his inheritance+ the youn& son decided to live freely accordin& to his /ill. -e orders hi" to be clothed instead of the ra&s in the finest attire+ and then holds a feast to celebrate his return. These outer tribulations are God’s si"ultaneous punish"ent and call for repentance+ at the sa"e ti"e. 4ith that+ he /ent to the fara/ay land /here he s5uandered his possessions+ leadin& the prodi&al life.ust li$e an ill person that is in the state of recoverin& after a serious illness+ acco"panied /ith the loss of "e"ory+ suddenly re&ains it+ so can a sinner that is filled /ith sin+ be li$ened to such a sic$ person+ that lost his senses+ because he is not a/are of the de"ands of God’s la/+ it is as thou&h his conscience dies a/ay. Then he *"ame to himself* D this is the e'traordinarily e'pressive phrase. 0i$e/ise a sinner /hen he &ets attached to so"e ite"+ throu&h /hich he satisfies his sinful passion+ often sin$s to the lo/est de"eanin& position. This indicates the desperate state of the sinner.+ ll these are the anthropo"orphic features of ho/+ throu&h -is love for a contrite sinner+ the 0ord receives his repentance and &enerously endo/s hi" /ith ne/ spiritual blessin&s and &ifts+ to substitute those that /ere lost throu&h his sin.e/ish la/ detested s/ine as unclean ani"als. The elder brother+ an&ry /ith his father for his "ercy to/ards his youn&er brother+ is a livin& i"a&e of the Scribes and Pharisees+ proud /ith their out/ard precise and e'act fulfill"ent of the la/+ but cold and heartless in their souls to/ards their . ll the follo/in& illustrations carry the purpose of underlinin& God’s li"itless love to/ards the repentant sinner+ God’s all-pardonin& and that .

fter all+ /e are &oin& to lose the /ealth one /ay or another D /e shall not be able to ta$e it /ith us D /hile the &ood deeds that /e acco"plished /ith its help+ /ill al/ays re"ain /ith us and /ill serve as our .ect+ /hich it is tryin& to e'plain.e. that> they may re"eive you into an everlasting home. Bishop Theophan the 1ecluse e'plains this e'cellently: 6Every parable has a hidden "eanin& and e'plains the essence of so"e sub.ust as the older brother *was angry and would not go in*. so did the Pharisees+ the false precise fulfillers of the la/+ &ettin& an&ry /ith the 0ord . That’s /hy it is unnecessary to e'plain every part of the parable in "inute detail. )onse5uently+ /e "ust utili#e these earthly blessin&s so that /ith their help to secure ourselves in the forthco"in& eternal life. $herefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon. Instead of sho/in& co"passion for his brother and father+ the elder brother be&ins to flaunt his achieve"ents+ refuses to call his youn&er brother as a 6brother+6 conte"ptuously sayin&: 6this son of yours. who will "ommit to your trust the true ri"hes/ nd if you have not been faithful in what is another man)s.* 4ealth is called 6the un. But the "aster didn’t praise his servant for his s/indle as such+ but for his resourcefulness that he had sho/n /hen findin& hi"self in a disastrous situation.ust "a""on6 because it is often secured un. i.ust house-ste/ard.6 Only the basic thou&ht of a parable is i"portant. The &arable about the >!?ust 5ouse-"te7ard %0u$e >K:>->9(.6 The father’s response: *1ou are always with me. This parable co"pletely unnecessarily confuses "any people.* Besides+ li$e the house-ste/ard+ /e "ust *ma!e friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon. In conclusion+ the 0ord states: *He who is faithful in what is faithful also in mu"h: and he who is un2ust in what is least is un2ust also in mu"h.ect fi&uratively+ althou&h it is not analo&ous in all respects to the sub. The "eanin& of the parable is that /e are only the te"porary "asters of the earthly &ifts+ /hich are under our control purely because God entrusted the" to us durin& our terrestrial life.ustification at God’s 3read . )onse5uently+ the only /ise usa&e of /ealth is to use it to help the needy+ to use it for all types of the benevolent /or$s+ so as to "a$e the" the "eans of &ainin& the -eavenly 7in&do" for ourselves. to re&ain their support after losin& his position. .brothersE boastin& /ith their fulfill"ent of God’s /ill+ but un/illin& to associate /ith the repentin& ta' collectors and sinners.ustly+ is often applied un.ust to/ards others+ and never .e. -o/ever+ they /ere unable to earn the -eavenly *ather’s benevolence /hile bein& in such a distorted and bitter+ spiritual-"oral disposition.ud&"ent. i. if you /ere .ustifies the concerns about it and the hopes for it. and all that I have is yours* Q this indicates that the Pharisees+ in /hose hands the la/ rested+ could al/ays have access to God and -is spiritual &ifts.esus )hrist+ because he entered into the close association /ith the repentin& sinners. 4e+ ho/ever+ often fail to do this D /e do not display the /isdo"+ sho/n by the un. who will give you what is your own/*. )oncernin& this parable+ "any are confused that the o/ner of the estate D /hich undoubtedly is understood to be God D praised his house-ste/ard+ /ho had been stood do/n fro" runnin& the estate+ for his fraud+ havin& falsified his "asters receipts in collusion /ith his debtors+ so that they *may re"eive him into their houses*. That’s /hy the 0ord stated that *the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.ustly+ often "a$es a person un.

fter his death+ the be&&ar’s soul /as ta$en up into braha"’s boso". It /as indeed in this be&&ar that the rich "an could have ac5uired a friend /ho+ accordin& to the precedin& parable’s idea+ /ould have accepted hi"+ after his death+ into the eternal d/ellin&s. -is sufferin& further /as increased throu&h the do&s lic$in& his scabs+ as apparently he /as too /ea$ to drive the" a/ay. The rich "an lived lavishly+ holdin& &reat feasts daily+ livin&+ conse5uently+ purely for his o/n pleasures. -e didn’t spare his "oney+ but spent it on his o/n pleasures. t the &ates of his residence there laid a be&&ar+ na"ed 0a#arus. The purple "antle /as an outer Syrian &ar"ent of the e'pensive reddish fabric+ /hile the /hite byssin /as a /hite+ soft fabric "ade of E&yptian fine linen. )onte"platin& the . 4hat is e'pressed here is that bein& a true son of braha"+ 0a#arus shared his after-death fate /ith braha"+ findin& hi"self in the state+ full of consolatory hopes for the future . 4ithout a doubt+ 0a#arus earned his consolatory state throu&h his &reat sufferin& /ithout co"plaints. It is not said that he /as ta$en 6into -eaven+6 as it /as open only /ith the 0ord . To e'pose the"+ the 0ord narrated the /hole parable on the "isuse of the /ealth D about the rich "an and 0a#arus.oy of the ri&hteous by the sinners increases their sufferin& in hell+ and+ perhaps+ &ives the" hope+ thou&h it is vain+ for so"e relief.esus )hrist’s sufferin& and resurrection. The /ord 60a#arus+6 in the literal sense+ "eans 6God’s help6 D i. But he is denied even in such s"all relief: as 0a#arus is co"forted in proportion to his for"er sufferin&s+ so the rich "an is sufferin& in proportion to his li&ht-"inded and heartless &aiety. .6 pparently+ the burial is "entioned because it /as lu'urious+ /hile 0a#arus’s cadaver /as si"ply thro/n out to be devoured by /ild ani"als.untrust/orthy /ith the earthly /ealth+ /ere unable to "ana&e it as you should have to+ for the benefit of your soul+ then ho/ can you be entrusted the spiritual /ealth+ of blessed &iftsI In response+ the covetous Pharisees be&an to lau&h at the 0ord+ as it see"s+ un/illin& to ad"it that passion for the earthly /ealth can be an obstacle for the ac5uisition of the spiritual &ifts.ust as previously 0a#arus /ished to satisfy his hun&er /ith cru"bs+ no/ the i"poverished rich "an be&s for fe/ drops of /ater to cool his burnin& ton&ue. -o/ever+ as it can be seen+ the rich "an /as a heartless person+ pitiless to/ards the be&&ar D althou&h not stin&y+ for he had feasts daily. So"e /ealthy "an+ used to dress in the purple "antle and byssin attire. The funda"ental thou&ht of this parable+ is that the incorrect application of /ealth deprives a person of the 7in&do" of -eaven+ and leads hi" do/n into hell for eternal tortures. nd so+ fro" afar+ he sees braha" and 0a#arus in his boso". 6The rich "an also died and /as buried. part fro" this+ braha" presents another basis of his refusal: God’s immuta#le sentence+ throu&h /hich bet/een the place of .e. a 6be&&ar6+ /ho /as abandoned by everyone and /ho could only rely on God.oy+ /hich a/aited all the ri&hteous.oy for the ri&hteous and the place of sufferin& for the sinners+ has been . The &arable about the 9ich 1a! a!d $a2arus %0u$e >K:>F-A>(. But the rich "an found hi"self in hell+ tortured.

The unbeliever astounded by the e'traordinary appearance of the dead+ /ill be&in to e'plain that appearance in the different li&ht+ and /ill a&ain re"ain the sa"e unbeliever and unchan&ed. There can only be one e'ception per"ittin& the divorce: *se5ual immorality*.esus )hrist /ith so"e $ind of 5uestion+ they did that not to learn but to 6te"pt6 -i"+ hopin& that -e "i&ht be bla"ed for sayin& so"ethin& contrary to the la/. *$hey have 'oses and the <ro#hets. This "arital bond is closer and ti&hter than the blood-ties of a son /ith his father and "other+ /ho" he leaves for the sa$e of his /ife: t/o people beco"e one+ in thou&hts+ feelin&s+ ai"s+ actions D they have to be one creature.esus )hrist perfor"ed: they did not even believe+ seein& the resurrection of 0a#arus+ and had thou&hts of $illin& -i".established the abyss+ /hich cannot be crossed+ in full accord /ith the "oral abyss that separates the ones fro" the others. -earin& that+ braha" replied that if they have reached such "oral do/nfall that they /ould not listen to the voice of God+ e'pressed in the -oly Gospel+ then all the other persuasions /ill also be futile. There they too as$ed -i": *Is it lawful for a man to divor"e his wife for 2ust any reason/* This caused ar&u"ents a"on& the Pharisees and the public. ccordin& to the 0a/ of !oses %3eut. the /ritten Old Testa"ent+ fro" /hich they can learn ho/ to live+ so as not to end up in that place of sufferin&s. nd if throu&h God’s initial deter"ination+ they are united in such a /ay+ they should not be se#arated. God created one "an and one /o"an: conse5uently+ the )reator’s intention /as for the "an to have one /ife and not leave her. This is because adultery in itself destroys the "atri"onial concept+ and the "arria&e as such ceases to e'ist. So"e D the follo/ers of the teachin& of 1abbi Gillel D /ere sayin& that one could divorce for any reason+ /hile the others D the follo/ers of 1abbi Sha"ai+ insisted that one could divorce only on the &rounds of adultery. The /hole thin& is that the heart+ corrupted by sin+ stubbornly refuses to believe in the future sufferin&s that a/ait the sinner+ and one cannot convince it /ith any "iracles. braha" also refuses the rich "an’s re5uest to send 0a#arus to his father’s house+ to /arn his brothers not to follo/ in the footsteps of his lifestyle.6 Sho/in& no si&ns of disa&ree"ent /ith the thou&hts e'pressed by the rabbis+ the 0ord 5uotes the Gospel+ and points at God’s i"a&e of husband and /ife+ and throu&h this+ reveals the true purpose of "arria&e as the God-established institution+ thereby resolvin& the enticin& 5uestion. .* i. @?:>(+ it is per"issible to &ive a /ife a divorce bill+ 6if she find no favor in his eyes+ because he hath found so"e unsee"ly thin& in her. The Pharisees /ere /aitin& to see /hat /ould say 0ord+ so that they could raise the losin& side a&ainst -i". The fact that it happens ali$e+ can be seen fro" the e'a"ple+ /hen the stubbornly disbelievin& . >F:A->@E 0u$e >K:>H( Each ti"e the Pharisees approached . The Teachi!( o! the "a!ctity o* 1arria(e a!d o! 'elibacy %!at.e.e/s /ere unconvinced by the countless si&ns and "iracles that the 0ord . The rich "an confesses that li$e hi"self+ his brothers are deaf to the teachin& of God’s 0a/+ and that only the e'traordinary appearance of the dead can brin& the" to their senses and thereby+ force the" to chan&e their lifestyle for the better.

i. it is better not to marry. The 0ord corrects -is disciple’s flippant conclusion /ith -is ans/er. The postles approached the 0ord /ith the re5uest to increase their belief+ because they felt that their faith /as insufficient to perfor" that+ /hat they /ere called to do %co"pare /ith !at.e.!oses per"itted to divorce because of *hardness of the hearts*.e. /hich resulted that husbands tor"ented and "altreated their unloved /ives+ i. let him a""e#t it* D no one is forced to ta$e this e'ploit+ but those /ho feel stron& enou&h to lift it+ /ith God’s help+ should do so. it’s better not to enter into "arria&e at all+ than havin& "arried+ to endure a "alicious and shre/d /ife /ithout an option of sendin& her a/ay. >9:>F-@:(. -o/ever+ as they had not totally detached the"selves fro" the Pharisees’ concepts of the !essiah and -is 7in&do"+ their faith so"eti"es /avered+ and that tor"ented the". )onfused by such a de"and+ the disciples said: *If su"h is the "ase of the man with his wife. )hrist re-establishes the initial la/ of "arria&e+ confir"in& its inviolability. To distort oneself+ to beco"e an eunuch for the sa$e of the -eavenly 7in&do"+ "eans to cut off the carnal desire+ to $ill the internal physical lust and decide to lead un"arried life for the sa$e of the "ore favorable service to God+ and reachin& the 7in&do" of -eaven+ /hat can be &reatly disturbed by the fa"ily responsibilities.e. and there are eunu"hs who were made eunu"hs by men. *urther on+ the 0ord co"pares chastity /ith the voluntary eunuchs+ /hich of course shouldn’t be understood literally D only in the absolute physical sense D as can be seen fro" the conte't. he allo/ed the "inor evil+ in order to avoid the "a.* It cannot be said of the" that they had underta$en the e'ploit of chastity+ because by the very physical nature+ they are incapable of havin& "arried life. >A:>>: the faith of Peter>K:>9 and "any others(. The 0ord opposes the" specifically to the physical eunuchs /hen -e states: *$here are eunu"hs who were born thus from their mother)s womb. "ay pic$ up and carry it+ *but only those to whom it has been given.ohn )hrysosto" states that it is &iven to those /ho see$ it. These eunuchs are not physical+ but spiritual. Saint .or one. -e confir"s that on the one hand 6it is better not to "arry+6 /hile on the other+ -e points out that the state of bein& un"arried+ to&ether /ith preservin& the chastity+ is not only easier than bein& in a "arried state+ but is so difficult and heavy that not everybody can underta$e such a feat: *all "annot a""e#t this*. s Saint )hrysosto" states: 64ith these /ords+ the 0ord sho/ed the co"plete possibility of achievin& this virtue and throu&h that to sti"ulate the desire in people to achieve it6. About the &o7er o* Faith %0u$e >9:G->:(.esus )hrist.* 4ith these /ords+ the 0ord elevates "hastity to such a hi&h "oral level+ /here the hi&hest and "ost co"plete state of spiritual life can be found+ for all the best+ that any hu"an can possess+ -e al/ays as a precious &ift of the -eavenly *ather %for e'a"ple+ see: understandin& the "ysteries of God’s 7in&do"+ !at. The 0ord responded to their re5uest by repeatin& -is previous /ords on the stren&th and "i&ht of true faith+ even thou&h it could be . t the sa"e ti"e+ *but only those to whom it has been given* doesn’t "ean that this &ift of God doesn’t depend on our personal /ill. The postles undoubtedly believed in the 0ord . *He who is able to a""e#t it.* i. Those enterin& the e'ploit of chastity+ have the &reat need in God’s help and receive it+ if they see$s conscientiously.

The 0ord directed the" to &o and sho/ the"selves to the priests.oy+ and only one of the" D the Sa"aritan D returned to than$ the 0ord for his cure.very s"all D li$e the 6"ustard seed. The 'lea!si!( o* te! $epers %0u$e >9:@:-A9(. -ere they sound reassurin&ly for the postles and appear to be e'hortin&+ /hile at the sa"e ti"e evo$e faith in the". Their sub"issiveness to the 0ord’s /ords D to appear before the priests for to be e'a"ined D sho/s their livin& faith.6 hu&e tree &ro/s fro" the tiny "ustard seed D such &reat force is contained in this s"all+ insi&nificantly loo$in& seed: precisely in the sa"e /ay+ if the postles had the /ea$est yet &enuine faith+ it /ould &ro/ and stren&then so that it /ould be able to produce e'traordinary+ "iraculous /or$s. This "iracle /as perfor"ed by the 0ord durin& -is last travels fro" Galilee to . having a servant #lowing>. We have done what was our duty to do. This is the &ift of God+ /hich has to be used /ith &reat hu"ility+ and throu&h /hich this &ift $indles.e/s despised the Sa"aritans+ .erusale"+ on the last day of the Sabbath holiday+ /hen -e /as crucified. nd indeed+ alon& the /ay+ they noticed that their leprosy left the". ?We are un#rofitable servants. This /as follo/ed by the sacrificial offerin& and the per"ission to live freely in the co""unity. say. Thus the 0ord doesn’t ans/er directly to the postles’ re5uest to increase their faith+ but indirectly indicates the "eans of stren&thenin& it throu&h hu"ility and /arns the" a&ainst the dan&ers.)* The "eanin& of this is not that the 0ord /ill not praise -is servants and not &ive the" rest+ but that /e ourselves "ust loo$ upon our evil deeds as at a debt+ and at ourselves D as at the ineffectual servants that cannot brin& to the 0ord anythin& "ore than the debt pay"ent.* have such "eanin&: /hen your faith &ro/s to such an e'tent that it /ill be able to perfor" &reat "iracles+ be/are of pride and vain-&lory+ not to loose the fruits of such faith. when you have done all those things whi"h you are "ommanded. This event sho/s that althou&h the . This "eant that throu&h -is "iraculous po/er+ -e cured the" of their leprosy+ because -e /as sendin& the" to the priests so that they D accordin& to the la/ D "i&ht testify of their cure fro" leprosy. This particular e'tract doesn’t not have any unfavorable undertones for the postles+ as in !at >9:@:+ /here the 0ord’s /ords sound as a reproach. s an e'a"ple+ the 0ord tells+ /hat occurs bet/een the "aster and servant: if the servant plou&hs the field and &ra#es the floc$+ does the "aster re&ard this "eritoriousI 2o+ because the "aster directs that he should be served first. The follo/in& /ords: * nd whi"h of you. -o/ever+ as it is often the case+ havin& received their cure they for&ot the Source of their . This /arnin& /as especially needed by the postles+ because at that ti"e they still /ere &uided by the inco"plete concepts: ar&ued about pre-e"inence in the !essiah’s 7in&do"+ e'pected the out/ard re/ards+ etc. The &roup of ten lepers+ *who stood afar off* because the la/ banned the" fro" co"in& close to the healthy people+ be&an to plead in a loud voice for the 0ord to have "ercy on the". In other /ords D a #erson "annot have any a"hievements before God. fter he had carried out all his instructions+ /ill he then than$ the servantI *I thin! not* D answers the 0ord+ and then concludes -is ser"on /ith the /ords: *So li!ewise you.

ud&e in the parable+ /ho refused to respond to the plea of the a&&rieved /ido/ to protect her.ud&e . In the ter" 6God’s 7in&do"6 the Pharisees sa/ the earthly rei&n of the !essiah+ /hich they e'pected /ould rid the" of the hated by the" 1o"an yo$e. The 0ord doesn’t /ant to co"pare God /ith this unri&hteous . The 0ord directs ho/ to pray throu&h the fi&urative presentation of a callous . there the eagles will be gathered together* %-aba$$u$ >:H(+ i.erusale" by the 1o"ans in the year 9:(+ and of the clear revelation of -is 7in&do"+ /hich /ill arrive /ith -is Second )o"in& in all the &lory. Stunned by those /ords+ the disciples as$ed /hen all this /ill happen.e/s+ /ho haven’t noted the advent of -is 7in&do" %the destruction of .ust li$e predatory birds &ather /here there is corpse+ God’s .ust as une'pectedly as the day of the Great *lood in 2oah’s ti"es and the destruction of Sodo" and Go"orrah in 0ots era+ so /ill be )hrist’s co"in& to . *Within you* has a dual "eanin&: >( God’s 7in&do" has already arrived D it is a"on& you+ a"on& the . -avin& said about the co"in& of God’s 7in&do"+ /hich /ill only be li$e the spiritual leaven+ transfor"in& the /orld in/ardly+ the 0ord turns to the thou&hts of "isfortunes that a/ait the . To the Pharisees’ 5uestion about /hen God’s 7in&do" /ill arrive+ the 0ord replies: *$he 8ingdom of God does not "ome with observation. But eventually+ because she /as &ivin& hi" no peace botherin& hi"+ he fulfilled her re5uest. It /ill be li$e li&htnin& that flashes in the s$y fro" one end to the other. Then one /ould have to &o to/ards the 0ord+ /ithout loo$in& bac$ on the conde"ned /orld a$in to 0ot’s /ife D because it is then that the final separation bet/een the ri&hteous and sinners /ill ta$e place+ even thou&h that ni&ht they shared the sa"e lod&e+ or /ere to&ether+ busy /ith the sa"e activity.erusale" before its destruction D and -is Second )o"in& before the end of the /orld+ to .the latter so"eti"es stood hi&her than the".e/ish people+ even thou&h because of your spiritual blindness you cannot see itE @( God’s 7in&do" is invisible to the physical eyes+ because it settles in the "an’s soul. The 0ord su&&ests the" that this is the spiritual $in&do"+ the inner and not the out/ard+ earthly+ sensate one+ and that it has already arrived.ud&e %an e'tra proof that not all the details in a parable should be interpreted in the spiritual sense(+ but . the 8ingdom of God is within you. . The 0ord ans/ered the" /ith a sayin&: *Wherever the body is. ?See here0) or ?See there0) &or indeed. nor will they say.* There is no certain place on earth for God’s 7in&do"+ because it is not of "aterial substance: the essence of God’s 7in&do" is in the inner restoration and sanctification of people. .ud(e %0u$e >H:>-H(.ud&e the hu"an $ind.ud&"ent /ill appear /here the inner life has died a/ay and "oral decay started. -ard ti"es /ill be before the Second )o"in& of )hrist+ but there is no need to be desponded because of that but *always #ray*. Saddened+ the 0ord in5uired /ith a short rebu$e: *Were there not ten "leansed/ %ut where are the nine/ Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God e5"e#t this foreigner/* These nine are the livin& e'a"ple of hu"an in&ratitude to Benevolent God.e. The &arable about the >!ri(hteous . 'hrist-s "eco!d 'o#i!( %0u$e >9:@:-A9(.

The Pharisee prayed /ith a feelin& of conceit and selfe'altation+ sho/in& off his &ood deeds before God as his "erits and hu"iliatin& the others. and do not forbid them: for su"h is the 8ingdom of God* D the conclusion here is that those parents and educators that do not brin& children to )hrist+ don’t teach the" the )hristian faith+ are co""ittin& the enor"ous sin. >F:>A->GE !ar$ >::>A->K and 0u$e >H:>G->9(. The &arable about the &ublica! a!d the &harisee %0u$e >H:F->?(. the Pharisee.* )onse5uently+ one "ust pray /ith hu"ility+ /ith the sincere repentance about one’s sins. The publican’s prayer: *God. i. The 0ord e'plains -is love for children by pointin& to their "erits+ and for all /ho /ish to enter the 7in&do" of -eaven+ these "erits -e places as the e'a"ple for i"itation+ sayin& *whoever does not re"eive the 8ingdom of God as a little "hild.only as the result fro" the bad to the co"plete+ "a$es a conclusion that "ore so+ the Ever-&ood and ri&hteous God /ill protect -is chosen if they /ill appeal to -i" day and ni&ht+ even thou&h -e "ay be initially slo/ in protectin& the". *6evertheless. The publican prayed+ reali#in& his sinfulness and un/orthiness.usticeE -e beca"e displeased /ith -is disciples.e. The 9ich @ou!( 1a! %!at. will by no means enter it*. Thus+ the 0ord e'presses the idea of this parable in its last /ords: *everyone who e5alts himself will be humbled. The Blessi!( o* the 'hildre! %!at. will He really find faith on the earth/* D not/ithstandin& the certain truth of God’s speedy protection of -is chosen+ /ould -e find such faithful that /ill have such co""it"ent and such persistence in prayer that is re5uiredI In other /ords: there is no need to fear that God /ill not protect -is faithful fro" i""inent "isfortunes and troubles+ but sooner one should fear that /ith the Second )o"in& of )hrist+ there /ill be no such faithful. This sho/ed that the 0ord’s love for children /as that &reat that even possessin& enor"ous hu"ility and patience to tolerate people’s in. . the 7in&do" of God "ust be accepted into the heart /ith the sa"e unspoiled+ innocent and pure disposition of the spirit+ /hich is present in the youn&+ not yet "orally spoilt children. when the Son of 'an "omes. and he who humbles himself will be e5alted. >F:>K-@KE !ar$ >::>9-@9 and 0u$e >H:>H-@9(. rather than the other6+ i. Of the three Evan&elists that infor" of this event+ Saint !ar$’s narration is the "ost detailed+ /hich states that the 0ord /as *greatly dis#leased* /ith -is disciples for not allo/in& the children to approach -i". nd an even &reater sin is the burden of those+ /ho intentionally "a$e children turn a/ay fro" the path of faith. *(et the "hildren "ome to 'e. s a result+ he /ent ho"e *2ustified. be mer"iful to me a sinner0* has beco"e a speci"en for the universal usa&e. Throu&h tellin& the parable+ about ho/ t/o people D a Pharisee and a publican D prayed in the te"ple+ the 0ord sho/s /hat $ind of prayer is re5uired of the faithful 0ord’s follo/ers so that it can attract -is help and protection.e.

if you are referrin& to !e only as a to the 6Teacher6+ that is as to an ordinary person+ conse5uently+ you shouldn’t call !e &ood+ because this ter" is befittin& only God. So"e understood the /ord 6ca"el6 to "ean a ship’s ha/ser that /as "ade out of ca"el fur. 0u$e calls hi"(+ /ho in5uired the 0ord . i. t the sa"e ti"e+ the 0ord places it as a stron& barrier alon& the path to/ards God’s 7in&do". *It is easier for a "amel to go through the eye of a needle than for a ri"h man to enter the 8ingdom of God0* D this is the popular sayin&+ /hich is as /ell used these days in the East+ "eanin& that the "atter is either i"possible or e'tre"ely difficult to achieve. Turnin& to the 0ord+ the youn&ster called -i": *Good $ea"her*. Still+ it is i"portant to note that he re&arded hi"self as not havin& co"pleted everythin& that /as re5uired+ in order to be saved: evidently+ his conscience /as pro"ptin& hi" that it /as not enou&h to fulfill the co""and"ents . In response to that call to/ards the hi&hest co"pleteness+ the youn& "an /al$ed a/ay fro" the 0ord+ *sorrowful*. Others thou&ht that 6the eye of a needle6 "eant the lo/ and narro/ &ates throu&h /hich a loaded ca"el found very difficult to pass throu&h. It has to be assu"ed that he had the Pharisee’s understandin& of these co""and"ents D other/ise he /ould not have responded in such a /ay. -e preferred that idol to eternal life+ /hich he apparently+ &enuinely sou&ht.e. because he had &reat possessions. follow 'e*. I say to you that it is hard for a ri"h man to enter the 8ingdom of Heaven. This tal$+ as the follo/in& one+ too$ place on the /ay to . the "erciful and savin& 3ivine &race is po/erful . Bearin& in "ind that /ealth by itself does not enslave the "an but passions do+ the 0ord said: * ssuredly. cal"in& the" /ith -is very loo$ and said: *With men this is im#ossible. 4ealth itself is not dan&erous+ only /hen a person relies on it and thin$s it to be all his earthly happiness+ then it beco"es as if an idol to hi". nd this is understandable+ because /ealth is so"ethin& that everybody desires+ and accordin& to the la/+ is God’s blessin& to the "an.ust out/ardly.esus )hrist /hat to do to inherit eternal life.e.erusale"+ /here the 0ord /as &oin& for -is forthco"in& sufferin&s. In order to cal" -is disciples and e'plain to the" in /hat sense that /as stated+ the 0ord says: *Children. To this+ the youn& "an ans/ered: *all these things I have !e#t from my youth*.* s Saint )hrysosto" e'plains: 6The 0ord doesn’t censure riches+ but those that are attached to the"6+ because for the sinful nature of the "an+ riches present "any te"ptations and obstacles in fulfillin& God’s co""and"ents. go sell what you have and give to the #oor.The first three Evan&elists narrate about the youn& "an %6the ruler6+ as St. that is. but with God all things are #ossible*. God*. how hard it is for those who trust in ri"hes to enter the 8ingdom of God.* Evan&elist !ar$ adds that the dis"i#les were astonished at his words. i. The 0ord offered the follo/in& ans/er to his 5uestion: *8ee# the "ommandments*. pparently+ the youn& "an assu"ed that the 0ord /as spea$in& of so"e special co""and"ents un$no/n to hi"+ and therefore as$ed: *Whi"h ones/* But the 0ord told of so"e of the ordinary co""and"ents fro" the 3ecalo&ue+ "entionin& only so"e of the" D K+9+H+F and G D and then the &eneral co""and"ent on the love for one’s nei&hbor. The 0ord responded: *Why do you "all 'e good/ 6o one is good but +ne.e. )onse5uently+ the riches that he had /ere such an idol to hi" that he /as unable to part /ith the". The 0ord then revealed to hi" the "ystery of )hristian co"pleteness: *If you want to be #erfe"t. and you will have treasure in Heaven: and "ome. -o/ever+ the a&itated postles still /ere a"a#ed: *Who then "an be saved/* To that+ the 0ord *loo!ed at them6+ i.

Bein& God’s chosen people+ the . The Apostles 7ill 0!herit /ter!al $i*e %!at. -o/ever+ the 0ord said that *many* of the"+ for their disbelief in -i" as in the !essiah+ /ill find the"selves *the last*.id you not agree with me for a denarius/ $a!e what is yours and go your way. The &arable about the )orkers that 9eceived /. /hile the penitent publicans and sinners+ as /ell as heathens+ /ill beco"e *the first*.or re/ard /as of course *in the age to "ome.ud&"ent of the Israelite nation and all the people of the /orld throu&h their testi"ony and intercession. @::>->K(.* This "ercy /ill be sho/n throu&h the 3ivine &race. The ones that started early in the day be&an co"plainin& that it /as unfair+ to /hat the landlord replied: *&riend. -o/ever+ the "a.enou&h to do that+ /hat a person is incapable of doin& /ith his o/n stren&th: God can cure a rich "an of his ulcer of avarice that prevents hi" of his salvation. -avin& a&reed to pay a *denarius a day* to those hired in the "ornin&+ he too &ave a denarius+ /hen the ti"e for payin& ca"e+ to the rest of the /or$ers hired later in the day: so"e in the Ard hour+ so"e in the Kth+ Fth and even >>th hour.esus )hrist+ participatin& in -is . I wish to . The postles /ill then ta$e part in &lorifyin& -u"an-God . They /ere poor people that had very little D fishin&-nets+ hoo$s+ boats and poor d/ellin&s D but that /as all they had+ /hat they really left for the sa$e of follo/in& )hrist and throu&h that sho/ed real self-denial.ud&"ent and transfi&uration of heaven and earth. >F:@9-A:E !ar$ >::@H-A> and 0u$e >H:@H-A:(. In relation to the 0ord’s ans/er to the rich youn& "an+ Saint postle Peter D on behalf of all the postles D poses a 5uestion to the 0ord about /hat re/ard they /ill receive for leavin& everythin& behind and follo/in& -i".e/s re&arded the"selves as 6first6 a"on& the others: and they considered that they /ould be the first in the ne't life. The ter" *age to "ome* is understood to "ean the renovated /orld+ /hich /ill be open /ith the resurrection of the dead+ universal . The ai" of this parable is to elucidate ho/ the *last will be first. . eternal life*. Indeed+ in the first a&es of )hristianity+ all the )hristians for"ed as if one fa"ily+ everybody /as a brother and sister in )hrist+ and every ho"e /as opened to every )hristian+ /as li$e his o/n ho"e to replace the one he had left for )hrist’s sa$e. I am doing no you no wrong. The one+ leavin& his house and his close ones+ /ill receive >:: ti"es "ore ho"es and relatives in the for" of faithful )hristians and their ho"es. The 0ord cal"ed the" sayin& that not only they+ but anyone that /ould leave everythin& that is close to his heart for -is sa$e and the Gospel’s+ /ill receive a &reat re/ard+ not only in the future life+ but in this earthly life. -avin& renounced his ho"e and fa"ily for )hrist and the Gospel+ one entered every )hristian’s house as thou&h it /as his o/n+ and found in it a ne/ fa"ily for hi"self: ne/ father+ "other+ brothers+ sisters and children.ual &ay#e!t %!at. God’s 7in&do" is presented here as a lando/ner+ hirin& /or$ers for his vineyard. Perhaps the postles doubted that /ith their poor bac$&round+ they /ould be able to achieve perfection.

1o"ans+ /ho after spittin&+ beatin& and abusin& -i"+ /ould crucify -i"+ /hile on . It could happen that the first in "erit /ill receive the last re/ards+ /hile the ones su""oned by the 0ord in the last "o"ent of their lives+ could receive the first re/ards.erusale"E that -e /ould be sub.* -avin& called -is >@ disciples aside as apparently there /ere "any people follo/in& the"+ -e privately told the" that everythin& /ritten about -i" by the Prophets+ /ould happen in .give to this last man the same as to you. nd as they followed they were afraid.* i. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things/ +r is your eye evil be"ause I am good/* The 6denarius6 /as e5ual in value to one Gree$ drach"a or @G $ope$s %in those days(+ and /as the nor"al daily /a&e in the East. t the sa"e ti"e+ throu&h the parable+ -e sho/ed that the reco"pense is not dependent on the hu"an "erit but e'clusively on God’s "ercy.e. -is disciples+ thin$in& in earthly ter"s and only of the !essiah’s earthly &lory+ *were ama7ed.ected to abuse+ conde"ned to death and &iven over to the heathens+ i. @::>9-@HE !ar$ >::A@-?GE 0u$e >H:A>-A?(. 4hat /as the ai" of this parableI Peter . few are "hosen. 2aturally+ as /ithin the other parables+ it is unnecessary to see$ out the "eanin&s of its every individual feature: the only i"portant thin& is its basic idea+ its basic thou&ht that a person is not re/arded accordin& to the nu"ber of his "erits+ but solely because of God’s "ercy. althou&h "any+ in fact everyone+ are called to/ards the eternal . ll the three forecasters narrate concordantly that on the /ay to .oy in the -eavenly 7in&do"+ only a fe/ are chosen for this bliss. The 0ord re/ards not because of so"e type of dues+ but *through His benevolen"e*: therefore+ -e does it /ith full freedo" and accordin& to -is Personal deter"ination. It "ust be also understood that on the "atter of the "an’s salvation+ the "an hi"self does very little about it that there can be no tal$ of the due retribution. That’s /hy the one /ho labored less can receive as "uch as one /ho labored "uch. About the Forthco#i!( "u**eri!(s o* 'hrist %!at. The "eanin& of this parable is that the 0ord -i"self disposes the re/ards to those /ho serve -i": people cannot enter into a&ree"ents /ith -i" or deter"ine conditions. -e states that the 0ord /as "archin& in front+ apparently to/ards the i"pendin& voluntary sufferin&s+ thirstin& to fulfill God’s /ill %co"pare to 0u$e >@:G:(.ust as$ed: *We have left everything behind to follow 1ou9 what reward will we re"eive for this/* The 0ord didn’t e'pose this arro&ance of a . This is /here hope lies for the sinners+ /ho /ith a solitary repentant si&h+ e"anatin& fro" the botto" of the soul+ can attract God’s "ercy and &race+ cleansin& the" of their sins. The 0ord re/ards people purely throu&h -is &oodness.erusale"+ the 0ord once a&ain be&an to tell -is disciples about -is forthco"in& sufferin&s+ death and 1esurrection.e. The "ost detailed and lively account is fro" Saint !ar$+ /ho had undoubtedly heard about that fro" the "outh of postle Peter.e/s re&arded a day as >@ hours D co""encin& /ith sunrise.uvenile "ind i""ediately+ but+ it see"s+ on the contrary+ pro"ised the postles &reat re/ards. The . In conclusion of this parable+ the 0ord said: *&or many are "alled.

The 5eali!( o* the . The Son of God is presented as the One conde"ned+ to 4ho" the chalice of death is sent by -is -eavenly *ather %. In order to liberate the"+ a ranso" /as needed %in Gree$ 6litron6(. The other postles D apparently throu&h . This i"a&e is ta$en fro" the custo" of the Eastern $in&s+ /ho used to send a chalice /ith poison to those conde"ned to death. Sufferin&s here are presented as a cup+ /hich is to be shared /ith )hrist by those /ho /ish to be close to -i". It /as then that the "other of the =ebedee brothers+ .a"es and .* The postles at that ti"e truly did not understand that as$in& to be the first+ "eant to be in the forefront of self-denial and "artyrdo" in the 2a"e of )hristE they thou&ht they /ere as$in& for only honors+ authority and happiness.e.ohn+ approached the 0ord %and accordin& to Saint !ar$+ to&ether /ith both of the"(+ /ith a re5uest D for one to sit on -is 6ri&ht hand6+ i. in the $in&do" of &lory+ by-passin& the 7in&do" of God+ that has to be fou&ht for in this /orld+ *is not 'ine to give.* ans/ered the postles+ 6in the heat of enthusias"+ not reali#in& /hat they had said6 %)hrysosto"( D sayin& the sa"e thin& as all the disciples+ pro"isin& to follo/ the 0ord+ even unto death. occupy the second place after the 0ord in the unfoldin& %as they i"a&ined( earthly $in&do" of the !essiah+ and for the other Q to sit on the 6left hand+6 occupyin& the third place.ohn >H:>>(. *We "an.e. s an e'a"ple of such hu"ility and selflessness+ the 0ord points to the postles at -i"self: -e *did not "ome to be served*: *but to serve. . Saint 0u$e adds that the disciples did not understand any of this+ because *this saying was hidden from them6.ericho Bli!d %!at.* i. The 0ord "a$es the su&&estion to everyone+ persuadin& the" not to see$ pri"acy.* Instead of 6all+6 the /ord 6"any6 is used.ealousy D beca"e displeased+ /hishin& that the brothers /ould not receive /hat they /ere see$in&. and to give His life a ransom for many. It /as the 0ord+ /ho &ave that pay"ent+ ranso" %6apalitrossi6(+ /ith the price of -is cruciferous sufferin&s and death. but it is for those for whom it is #re#ared* D this "eans: 6it’s not in !y po/er to &rant this to every person that desires this+ only to those for /ho" it has been prepared+ those that have earned this throu&h their e'ploits6. *1ou will indeed drin! 'y "u#*P 6even thou&h the pro"ise had not been thou&ht throu&h+6 /as as if the 0ord’s ans/er+ 6but indeed in the future %seein& this /ith -is 3ivine eyes(+ you /ill be a$in to !e in patience and e'ploit6+ *but to sit on 'y right hand and on 'y left. *%e ba#ti7ed with the ba#tism that I am ba#ti7ed with/* D conveys the follo/in& "eanin&: endurin& sufferin&s is presented as thou&h a person is i""ersed and /ashed in the" as thou&h in /ater. The 0ord responded to that re5uest: *1ou do not !now what you as!.the third day+ -e /ould 1esurrect. @::@F-A?E !ar$ >::?K-G@E 0u$e >H:AG-?A(. That’s /hy the 0ord’s 5uestion: * re you able to drin! the "u# I drin!/* specifically sho/s that the nearness to -i" in -is 7in&do" /ill be deter"ined by the co"parison to -is sufferin&s. In response to their display of a"bition+ the 0ord teaches the" that the funda"ental rule of "orality for the "e"ber’s of -is 7in&do" that differs fro" the earthly $in&do"s+ is hu"ility and self-denial. ll people /ere spiritually enslaved by the devil and /or$ed for sin.

ordan re&ion Perea+ *a great multitude followed Him6+ /ho li$e -i" /ere &oin& to .e/s %. Sittin& by the road and be&&in& for al"s+ the blind be&&ars be&an to cry out: *Have mer"y on us. That’s /hy the other t/o forecasters didn’t "ention hi". Its suburbs /ere outstandin& in its lu'urious flora and e'cellent cli"ate. Son of . =acchaeus a purely .6 .e/ish na"e "eanin& 6pure6 and 6. 0ater+ it had the schools for prophets %7in&s @:G(+ and it /as there /here the Prophet Elisha perfor"ed the "iracle of s/eetenin& the bitter /aters %@ 7in&s @:@>(.ericho /here he /as "uch sou&ht by the very /ealthy publican leader+ =acchaeus.* the 0ord touched their eyes and cured the" of their blindness+ after /hat they follo/ed -i".ericho. -o/ever+ further on the /ay to . The 6isit o* Aacchaeus %0u$e >F:>->:(. Evidently+ $no/in& =acchaeus’s &ood "oral disposition+ ho/ he /anted to see the 0ord+ and that it /asn’t . 4hen the 0ord /as leavin& .In those days+ . The 0ord en5uired the" about /hat they /anted fro" -i". 4hile all the three forecasters narrate about this event+ only Saint !atthe/ spea$s of t/o blind "enE Saints !ar$ and 0u$e spea$ only of one.oshua A:>K(.e/ish city+ situated so"e >@ "iles northeast of .ericho /as a lar&e . The e"phasis here is laid on that he /as a /ealthy "an: after all+ very fe/ rich individuals follo/ed the poor Galilean Teacher.ericho D and /hile enterin& or leavin& D it is i""aterial. There is another difference in the narrations: accordin& to the first t/o forecasters+ the 0ord healed the" /hen -e /as leavin& .ust.avid0* Those cries proved their livin& faith in .ericho+ ta$in& the road usually used by the .ordan+ and accordin& to historical records+ /as an i"portant city. This /as the first city+ that /as "iraculously ta$en by the . It has to be assu"ed that one of the blind /as /ell $no/n to everybody+ /hile the other /as an un$no/n and /as unseen by "any.ordan in their e'odus fro" E&ypt %.e/s crossed the river . + (ord. Bishop !ichael e'plains that Saint 0u$e’s use of the Gree$ /ord 6an&isin6 in fact doesn’t "ean enterin&+ but "eans 6to be near so"ethin&6E conse5uently+ it /ould have been "ore correct to state that the "iracle /as perfor"ed by the 0ord /hen -e /as near .erusale" and ? "iles to the /est fro" . that our eyes may be o#ened.esus )hrist as in the !essiah. The 0ord’s visit to the chief publican+ =acchaeus+ is narrated only by Evan&elist 0u$e. s /ell+ Saint !ar$ narrates about this "iracle /ith &reat detail+ even pointin& out the na"e of one of the" D Barti"aeus+ /hich "eans 6the son of Ti"aeus6.oshua K:@:(. 2earby /as /here the .ericho+ /hile accordin& to Saint 0u$e+ /hen -e /as approachin& . =acchaeus /as not an ordinary publican+ but the chief of all the publicans in the area+ havin& authority+ apparently+ over the publicans of the /hole re&ion.esus+ 4ho apparently at the ti"e /as &ivin& an ad"onish"ent to the". The people /ere forcin& the" to $eep silent so as not to disturb . . fter healin& the blind+ the 0ord entered . -avin& received the ans/er *(ord.ust senseless curiosity+ the 0ord honored his house /ith -is visit.erusale" for the feast of Pascha.erusale"+ there laid the &ri" and roc$y /ilderness+ populated by /ild beasts and robbers. Bein& short in stature+ =acchaeus cli"bed upon a syca"ore tree to &et a better vie/ of the 0ord+ 4ho /as surrounded by the cro/d of people.ericho /as fa"ous /ith its production and trade of balsa"+ and the post of a publican /as especially i"portant D as /ell as beneficial and lucrative.e/s to &o fro" Galilee throu&h the beyond .

In both the parables+ the individual is understood to be )hrist+ fro" 4ho" "any . Of course in both the parables+ the servants "eant the disciples and follo/ers of )hrist+ /ho received various &ifts fro" -i"+ as /ell as different out/ard blessin&s+ /hich they had to utili#e and "ultiply for God’s &lory+ for the benefit of their nei&hbors and for the salvation of their souls. I restore fourEfold.udea. Evidently+ this e'a"ple is ta$en fro" the situation /ith the "onarchal rule in . In the parable about the talents+ the narration is si"ply about the individual /ho &oes off to a forei&n land. The citi#ens started to hate that noble "aster and sent the "essen&ers after hi"+ sayin&: *We don)t want him to rule over us. rchelaus+ the son of -erod the Great had to do that+ and -erod ntipas+ the Tetrarch of Galilee+ did the sa"e. The &arable about the Tale!ts %0u$e >F:>>-@H and !at. The Savior responds to this /ith: *$oday salvation has "ome to this house. @G:>?-A:(. That’s /hy the Gospel about =acchaeus is al/ays read before the first preparatory /ee$+ before Great 0ent D the /ee$ about the Publican and the Pharisee.e/ish $in&s had to travel to 1o"e to receive their authori#ation to rule. In the parable about the !inas+ the "aster &ives his ten servants one "ina each+ orderin& the" to put this silver into use. =acchaeus’ repentance is the "odel of true confession+ /hich is not li"ited only /ith the barren re&rets of the co""itted sins+ but has the aspiration to erase those sins 0ith the opposite good deeds. 2evertheless+ the basic idea of both the parables is one and the sa"e+ allo/in& the" to be e'a"ined on the parallel basis.e/s at the ti"e /ere /aitin& the co""ence"ent of the &lorious $in&do" of the !essiah.The &reat . The 0ord’s further /ords /ere addressed to those /ho /ere displeased+ because *He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.* i.e/s that disli$ed hi"+ sent a .oy over the fact that the 0ord did not despise hi" as a sinner+ co"pletely a/a$ened =acchaeus’ conscience and produced the co"plete "oral turnaround in his soul. 4ith all their &reat si"ilarity+ there is the substantial difference bet/een the t/oE /ith that+ as it can be seen fro" the Gospel of !atthe/+ the parable about the talents /as told by the 0ord si&nificantly later+ in relation to -is tal$s about -is Second )o"in&+ the end of the /orld and the 3read .* This is the trait that re"inds us of the recent episode of rchaleus’s travel to 1o"e. In the parable about the !inas+ the narration is about the person of hi&h position+ /ho travels to a fara/ay land to receive his $in&do" and then return. The . *urther on in the parable about the !inas+ /e find the circu"stance /hich doesn’t e'ist in the parable about the talents. The .* -o/ever+ =acchaeus too /as a *son of braham* D not only by flesh+ but especially in spirit.ud&"ent. 4hile in the house of =acchaeus+ the 0ord told a parable about the >: !inas+ /hich contained "any si"ilarities to the parable about the talents+ narrated by Evan&elist !atthe/. cceptin& that his conscience is sullied by the "ethods of obtainin& his /ealth+ he loudly &ave the sole"n pro"ise to erase his sin of covetousness: *I give half of my goods to the #oor: and if I have ta!en anything from anyone by false a""usation.* %in accordance /ith the la/ concernin& thieves+ outlined in the Boo$ E'odus @@:>(. Each talent is e5ual to K: !inas.e. !ina /as /orth >:: 3rach"as+ or appro'i"ately @G rubles. In the parable about the talents+ the "aster upon leavin&+ handed over all his possessions to his servants+ handlin& each one such a part+ /ith /hich he /as able to cope. to the house of =acchaeus.

erusale".ohn tells of this event. That’s /hy+ *to everyone who has.* The 0ord doesn’t specify Bethany+ but .dele&ation of G: people to 1o"e+ to as$ that he should not be put as their ruler D althou&h in vain. -avin& lost the feelin& of filial affection for God+ he presents God as cruel and un. Those /ords /ere used by the 0ord to i"plant the idea of the necessity+ and thereby the inevitability of their Teacher’s sufferin&s and death.e/s /anted to stone -i" in . The one+ /ho uses his &ifts in a &ood /ay+ increases the"E the ne&li&ent and indifferent person /ill be deprived of even that /hat he possesses. It /as durin& the ti"e of the 0ord’s stay at Perea that the ne/s of -is beloved friend 0a#arus’s sic$ness reached -i".erusale"+ -e visited the" in order to rest and &et a/ay fro" the noisy cro/ds that acco"panied -i"+ as /ell as fro" the sly cross-e'a"iners+ the Scribes and Pharisees. The 9esurrectio! o* $a2arus %. even what he has will be ta!en away. Only Evan&elist . -o/ever+ the 0ord no only didn’t hurry+ but re"ained /here -e /as for further *two more days. 0a#arus lived in Bethany /ith his sisters !artha and !ary. Probably+ that too$ place in the early hours of the day+ at sunrise: conse5uently+ they had >@ hours of dayli&ht for their trip.esus )hrist as the !essiah. The 0ord responded to the disciples’ /orry /ith the alle&orical ser"on+ based on the situation+ in /hich -e /as in at that ti"e.ud&"ent+ about ho/ he utili#ed his God-&iven talents and the out/ard /elfare. The servant’s accusation of the "aster bein& a cruel person is the sinner’s usual self-. It /as only after t/o days since 0a#arus’s death+ /hen the 0ord said to -is disciples: *(et us go to Judea again.e/s re.ust. but for the glory of God.udea as their trip’s destination+ so as to brin& out into the open+ $no/n to -i" and nestin& in the hearts of the postles thou&ht of the dan&er a/aitin& -i" in . The disciples indeed e'pressed their fear for -i"+ re"indin& -i" that it /as only recently that the .erusale".esus )hrist+ the .* The parable about the !inas is concludes /ith a threat of the &rave punish"ent to the .ohn >>:>-?K(. Those+ /ho hid their !inas or talents+ /ill be punished as a *wi"!ed and la7y servant* for bein& un/illin& to /or$ /ith God&iven &ifts of &oodness+ in /hich God’s &race re"ained unproductive. )oncernin& the 0ord .* sayin&: *$his si"!ness is not unto death. .* in hope that the 0ord -i"self /ould hurry to the" to cure 0a#arus. that the Son of God may be glorified through it. more will be given.ustification.ected -i" as their !essiah.* The 0ord $ne/ that 0a#arus /ould die+ and if -e said that his sic$ness is not unto death+ it is because -e intended to resurrect hi". Those /ho "ultiplied their !inas and talents+ /ill be /orthy of praise and /ill receive the re/ard e5ual to their efforts. This fa"ily /as especially close to the 0ord and it "ust be assu"ed+ that /henever -e /as in .ud&e+ 4ho /ill de"and the account fro" -is servants and punish those /ho refused to accept -is authority. The return of the "aster in both the parables is to be understood as the Second )o"in& of )hrist+ /hen every person /ill be obli&ed to &ive an account at the 3read . -o/ever+ this /as ineffectual as -e re"ained their+ as /ell as the /hole /orld’s 7in& and . whom 1ou love is si"!.udea. The sisters sent a "essa&e to the 0ord: *he.e/ish people for not acceptin& the 0ord . Endin& -is ser"on+ the 0ord traveled further in the direction of . and he will have abundan"e: but from him who does not have.

This is "entioned in order to e'plain ho/ so "any people /ere present at the house of !artha and !ary+ in the sparsely populated villa&e.6 Settin& aside all the ob.* lthou&h their indecisiveness /as con5uered+ their an'iety did not disappear+ and one of the" D Tho"as+ called 3idi"us D the T/in D e'pressed that an'iety in a very touchin& /ay: *(et us also go. Bethany /as situated close to .esus )hrist /ould not cease earlier than it is established fro" above+ and therefore+ the disciples should not fear the dan&ers that are threatenin& -i". but I go that I may wa!e him u#*.ust li$e the li&ht of the sun protects those /ho travel in the dayti"e. There /ould be dan&ers if the ni&ht overtoo$ us durin& our /or$s+ i. *ollo/in& the path in the li&ht of God’s /ill+ -u"an God cannot be sub.* To that+ the 0ord added that -e /as &lad for the postles that -e /asn’t in Bethany /hen 0a#arus /as ill+ as the si"ple healin& of 0a#arus /ould not stren&then their faith in -i"+ as /ould the i"pendin& &reat "iracle of his resurrection fro" the dead.* i.e. God will give you.ourney+ surely /e /ill not leave -i". if opposite to God’s /ill+ /e /ould decide to continue our activity: then /e /ould stu"ble. 4ith &reat sadness+ not rebu$in& the 0ord+ but only e'pressin& re&ret that this happened+ she e'clai"s: *(ord. This "eans in the spiritual sense that our ti"e on earth is deter"ined by the hi&her /ill of God. The 0ord called 0a#arus’ death sleep+ . that we may die with Him. if 1ou had been here. -eavin& heard of the 0ord’s arrival+ !artha+ bein& noted for her lively character+ hurried to "eet -i" /ithout even tellin& her sister !ary+ /ho /as *sitting in the house* in &reat sorro/+ receivin& condolences fro" those+ /ho ca"e to console her.* The 0ord responds to this directly: *1our brother will rise .esus )hrist+ it "eans that the life and /or$s of the 0ord . In relation to .* *aith in the 0ord establishes in her an assurance+ that even at that ti"e all is not lost. if one cannot divert -i" fro" this .udea: *+ur friend (a7arus slee#s. F:@?+ !ar$ G:@F(. -avin& e'plained this+ the 0ord e'presses the ai" of their travel to . 3ecisively endin& the conversation+ brou&ht about by the disciples’ /orries+ the 0ord declares: *(et us go to him. *If he slee#s he will get well* D /as apparently said to dissuade the 0ord fro" travelin& to . -o/ever+ there /as no need for that as it /as possible to reach Bethany before the sunset. lthou&h she doesn’t state directly that there still could be a "iracle+ she declares: *I !now that whatever 1ou as! of God.e. 4hen they &ot close to Bethany+ it turned out that 0a#arus /as in his coffin for ? days.udea: 6There is no need to &o as the illness had ta$en a turn for the better.ect to unforeseen dan&ers. my brother would not have died.3urin& all that period+ it /as possible to travel /ithout any difficulties: it /ould be dan&erous if it /as necessary to travel after the sunset D at ni&ht.erusale"+ so"e @ "iles or A:-"inute /al$ a/ay.ust as -e had done in other si"ilar cases %see !at. The disciples+ ta$in& into account -is previous /ords that the sic$ness /as not unto death+ didn’t understand that the 0ord /as spea$in& about the death of 0a#arus: they supposed that the 0ord /ill co"e and cure hi" "iraculously.ections of the disciples and /ishin& to underline the unconditional necessity to &o to . That’s /hy+ /hile this ti"e continues+ /e can &o for/ard on our established path /ithout fear+ perfor"in& /or$s to /hich /e /ere called: /e are safe because God’s /ill is protectin& us fro" all dan&ers+ . Then let us too &o for death /ith -i". To 0a#arus+ death /as indeed li$e sleep because of its short duration.udea+ the 0ord said directly: *(a7arus is dead.

* follo/ed her. But as 0a#arus died+ -e obviously /as incapable of stoppin& that and that’s /hy -e /as cryin& then. 2o/+ /ithout any prior a&ree"ent+ they both e'press their hope for the 0ord /ith the sa"e /ords.e/s didn’t $no/ /here she /as headin&+ and thin$in& that she /as &oin& to the to"b *to wee# there.esus+ e'clai"in& the sa"e /ords that !artha uttered previously. also have !e#t this man from dying/* They thou&ht that+ of course -e couldn’t+ because as -e loved 0a#arus+ -e /ould not have per"itted hi" to die. *. though he may die.* The "eanin& of these /ords is: I have the source of revivification and eternal life: conse5uently+ if I /ant to+ I can resurrect your brother before the &eneral resurrection.e/s buried their dead on the sa"e day of their death. The 0ord /anted to perfor" that "iracle in order to &ive -is ene"ies the opportunity to chan&e their "ind and repent+ believe in -i"+ before -is forthco"in& sufferin&s: but instead+ they beca"e even "ore infla"ed /ith hatred to/ard -i"+ and pronounced the decisive for"al death sentence to -i". In the face of that si&ht of sorro/ and death+ the 0ord *groaned in the s#irit and was troubled. The Evan&elist further on describes the i"pression those tears "ade on the present. He who believes in 'e.* *Jesus we#t* D this+ of course+ is attributed to -is hu"an nature.* Bishop !ichael supposes that the 0ord’s &rief and distress is e'plained by the presence of the . The to"bs in . So"e /ere "oved+ /hile the others &loated+ sayin&: *Could not this 'an. he shall live. by this time there is a sten"h.* !artha e'pressed her faith in that God /ill fulfill every re5uest of .again.esus -i"self+ as in the l"i&hty Son of God. for he has been dead four days.* 1e"indin& !artha about /hat /as said to her previously+ the 0ord states: *.id I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God/* 4hen the stone /as rolled a/ay+ the 0ord raised -is eyes to .erusale" be&an very 5uic$ly+ and as a conse5uence+ the . nd whoever lives and believes in 'e shall never die.erusale" /ere arran&ed in the for" of caves+ the entrances to the" /ere bloc$ed by stones. Overco"in& the feelin& of sorro/ over the hatred of the . Probably because of their &rief+ the sisters often said a"on& the"selves that if the 0ord-Teacher /as /ith the"+ their brother /ould not have died. The sisters replied: *(ord. That’s /hy the 0ord elevates her to/ards such faith by concentratin& her faith on -is o/n personality+ sayin&: *I am the resurre"tion and the life. Because !ary /as called secretly+ the consolin& her .* s thou&h chec$in& herself to see if she is not /ron& and /ishin& to induce the 0ord to let her understand clearly about /hich resurrection -e is tal$in& D the one -e intends to perfor" no/+ or about the &eneral resurrection after the end of the /orld D !artha says: * I !now that he will rise again in the resurre"tion at the last day.e/s in -i"self+ the 0ord approached the to"b and as$ed for the stone to be rolled a/ay. who o#ened the eyes of the blind.o you believe this/* as$s the 0ord !artha+ and receives the affir"ative ans/er that she believes -i" to be the !essiah-)hrist that has co"e into the /orld. 3eco"position of cadavers in the /ar" cli"ate of .e/s+ /eepin& insincerely /hile burnin& /ith hatred a&ainst -i"+ the One+ 4ho /as preparin& to perfor" that &reat "iracle. t the 0ord’s order+ !artha /ent to fetch !ary and brin& her to -i". -avin& overco"e that &roanin& of the spirit+ the 0ord as$s: *Where have you laid him/* The 5uestion /as directed to the sisters of the deceased. "ome and see. On the fourth day+ the deco"position "ust have reached such a sta&e that even faithful !artha could not refrain fro" protestin& to the 0ord: *(ord. Those entrances /ere opened only in e'tre"e circu"stances+ and even then+ shortly after intern"ent and not at the ti"e /hen the corpse had started to deco"pose. 6-u"an God $ne/ /here 0a#arus /as buried+ but in dealin& /ith people+ acted hu"anly6 %Blessed u&ustine(.esus: conse5uently+ she didn’t have faith in . 4eepin&+ !ary fell to her $nees before .

ohn points at the involuntary prophecy in )aiaphas’s /ords that the 0ord . The details of that event testify of the fact that it /as described by the eye/itness.ohn >>:?9-G9( The ne/s of the "iracle disturbed the 0ord’s ene"ies so "uch+ that the hi&h priests and Pharisees i""ediately asse"bled the hi&h .esus )hrist had to *die for the #eo#le*.esus 'hrist %. The "a!hedri!-s :ecisio! to =ill .ericho desert because the ti"e for -is sufferin&s had not arrived. The hi&h priests+ as the foretellers of God’s /ill+ /ere li$e "iddle"en bet/een God and the "an+ and bein& such+ they /ere foretellin& involuntarily+ /hat is /hat happened in this case /ith such an un/orthy hi&h priest as )aiaphas.* 7no/in& that -is ene"ies ascribe -is healin& po/ers to the po/ers of de"ons+ the 0ord /anted to sho/ throu&h this prayer+ that -e perfor"ed that "iracle throu&h -is po/er of full unity /ith God the *ather.e/s rebel+ headed by )hrist a&ainst the 1o"ans D by $illin& -i". They /eren’t afraid to spea$ 5uite openly a"on& the"selves+ and therefore directly raised the 5uestion about /hat they had to do+ in order to preserve their authority and influence a"on& the people. Caia#has.heaven and e'clai"ed: *&ather.e. suffer for the salvation of "an$ind. s the .e/ish people+ )hrist died for the salvation and &atherin& to&ether in -is )hurch+ even the heathens+ as *"hildren of God who were s"attered abroad.e. There /as another "iracle+ /hich ca"e to&ether /ith that "iracle of resurrection: 0a#arus havin& his hands and feet bound /ith burial banda&es+ could still by hi"self co"e out fro" the cave+ after /hat the 0ord directed that they should be re"oved.e/s: "any believed+ but the others /ent to the Pharisees D the 0ord’s /orst ene"ies D evidently+ /ith ani"osity and bad intentions+ in order to tell the" about /hat had happened. 4hile )aiaphas spo$e only about the . i.e/ish independence that they still had.* s the final sentence+ the decision to $ill the 0ord /as approved and the orders D issued for -is arrest.e/ish court of the Sanhedrin. Evan&elist .e/s /ere e'pressin& their fear that -e "i&ht beco"e the head of the civil riot+ /hich /ould inflict a disaster upon their nation. -avin& found out about their sentence+ the 0ord left Bethany and /ent to the to/n of Ephrai"+ close to the . The fatal lie of such a reason laid in the fact that not reco&ni#in& the 0ord as the !essiah D because -e didn’t correspond to their perverted idea of the !essiah D the . I than! 1ou that 1ou have heard 'e. ?1ou !now nothing at all. s a result of this "iracle+ there occurred the usual division a"on& the . The soul of 0a#arus returned to his body+ and in a loud voice+ the 0ord co""anded: *(a7arus. it is necessary to prevent the possibility of such a dan&erous to the . being high #riest that year* D this doesn’t "ean that the archbishops+ or the .e/ish hi&h priests+ /ere elected to that post only for one year+ but sho/s the fre5uent chan&e of hi&h priests+ /hich depended on the 1o"an ruler of .udea D *said to them. 4hile ac$no/led&in& the 0ord’s "iracles as &enuine+ they e'press their /orry that that could brin& about the civil disorder+ /hich the 1o"ans /ould ta$e advanta&e of+ in order to eli"inate the last vesti&es of . -ere+ )aiaphas puts on the "as$ of the #ealous about the national &ood and finds the e'cuse for the planned "urder /ithin the considerations of the state-national politics. nor do you "onsider it is e5#edient for us that one man should die for the #eo#le6+ i. "ome forth0* -ere+ the loud voice /as "eant either as an e'pression of the decisive /ill+ /hich /as certain of absolute sub"ission+ or the a/a$enin& fro" the deep sleep. * nd one of them.

ll four Evan&elists describe this &reat event /hich serves as a threshold to )hrist’s sufferin&s+ accepted for "an$ind’s sa$e and its salvation+ 5uite in detail+ and Saint . The "upper at $a2arus-s 5ouse %.6 t that supper+ !ary anointed the feet of the 0ord /ith the e'pensive oil+ .true Paschal 0a"b+ -e had to die on the day of Passover in the triu"phant "anner D not secretly+ as apparently the Sanhedrin desired+ fearin& the people %!at. The 0ord .ohn >@:>->>(.ohn >@:>@->F(.udas "ade a re"ar$+ concernin& the value of the oil: /hile accordin& to the first t/o Evan&elists D the other disciples co""ented as /ell.ust as at the supper+ about /hich narrate the t/o Evan&elists+ /hen a /o"an anointed the 0ord’s head /ith oil. She /as said "ore than !ary.ohn+ only . That supper /as arran&ed for the 0ord si' days before Passover and it differed fro" that supper+ /hich is described by the first t/o Evan&elists and /hich occurred t/o days before Passover in the house of Si"on the leper.esus )hrist /as then &oin& to . @K:?(. The $ast :ays o* the $ord-s Terrestrial $i*e The $ord-s /!try i!to . -e /as &oin& to drin$ the cup of the redee"in& . pparently !ary *!e#t this* since her brother’s burial+ as thou&h in the prophetic prediction. ccordin& to the tradition+ that particular /o"an /as a sinner %/hich is reflected in our church service of Great 4ednesday+ /hen that anoint"ent is recalled(. There is nothin& e'traordinary in that the 0ord /as anointed t/ice /ith oil: !ary did it throu&h her feelin&s of &ratitude for resurrectin& her brother+ /hile the /o"an-sinner D as a si&n of her repentance+ the feelin& that is "ore disinterested+ and that /as /hy she received a pro"ise of a &reat re/ard.ohn describes it "ore briefly than those first three.erusale"+ so that all the prophecies of the Prophets about -i"+ as of the !essiah+ /ould be fulfilled.erusale# %!at. @>:>->>E !ar$ >>:>->>E 0u$e >F:@H-??E . ccordin& to Evan&elist . 2aturally+ the supper too$ place in the house of resurrected 0a#arus. This is clearly indicated by the fact that !artha+ 0a#arus’ sister+ /as servin& there+ /hile 0a#arus /as the one+ *who sat at the table.

and riding u#on an ass.e. + daughter of Cion: shout. thy 8ing "ometh unto thee9 He is 2ust.e2oi"e greatly. even u#on a "olt the foal of an ass* %=ech.erusale"+ there /as the Gethse"ane &arden. It is re"ar$able that because of the 0ord’s /ords+ the o/ners of the ani"als &ave the" up i""ediately /hen they /ere told by the postles+ for 4ho" they /ere ta$in& the". /hen they approached the ed&e of the do/n/ard slope+ fro" /hich . There /ere t/o roads fro" Bethany to . bein& poor and not havin& the outer &ar"ents+ *"ut down bran"hes from the trees and s#read them on the road*. thy salvation "ometh: behold.ohn point out that it /as the fulfill"ent of Prophet =echariah’s prophecy+ 5uotin& it in the short for"+ /hich in full reads: *. + daughter of Jerusalem9 behold.erusale" fro" the !ount of Olives /as superb. On the eastern slopes there laid t/o settle"ents %"entioned by Saints !ar$ and 0u$e D Bethpha&e and Bethany %!atthe/ spea$s only of the first(. It is situated to the /est of .esus )hrist’s entry into . There /ere very fe/ horses in Palestine and they /ere used e'clusively for /arfare.erusale": one ca"e around the !ount fro" the south+ /hile the other traversed throu&h the very top of the !ount: the latter /as the shorter route+ althou&h "ore difficult and e'haustin&.sufferin&s+ &ive -is life to deliver "any and then to enter into -is &lory.erusale" should possess the especial triu"ph. 4hen the 0ord and -is disciples+ surrounded by "any people that acco"panied -i" fro" Bethany and those they ca"e across alon& the /ay+ ca"e close to the !ount of Olives+ -e sent t/o of -is disciples ahead /ith the order to brin& a don$ey and her colt.ohn+ the 0ord rode on the colt /hile+ apparently+ the don$ey /al$ed alon&side. In ti"es of peace+ even $in&s and civil leaders traveled on these ani"als. *ollo/in& the e'a"ple of the disciples+ *a very great multitude s#read their "lothes on the road* /hile *others*. * fter they threw their "lothes on him>* s it is clearly seen fro" the narratives of Saints !ar$+ 0u$e and . 3on$eys+ "ules and ca"els /ere used for the household needs and travelin&. )onse5uently+ in co"plete opposition to the /ay the 0ord conducted -i"self previously+ -e desired that the last entry into . 1eali#in& the "a&nificence of these "o"ents+ the postle the"selves atte"pt to adorn this procession /ith the air of sole"nity: they cover the don$ey and the youn& colt /ith their o/n clothin&+ /hich should as if substitute the &olden fabric+ /hich adorned the horses of $in&s. On the /estern slopes of the "ount+ facin& . *urther on+ co"parin& the narratives of all the Evan&elists+ one can i"a&ine the follo/in& scene: *$hen. 2otin& the incredibility of this circu"stance+ Saint )hrysosto" says that the 0ord /anted to reveal throu&h that fact that 64hen the cruel .erusale" on a don$ey /as the sy"bol of peace: the 7in& of the /orld travels to -is capital on a don$ey D it is the e"ble" of peace.e/s ca"e to sei#e -i"+ -e could have prevented that and "a$e the" speechless+ but -e didn’t /ant that6. F:F(. That /ay+ the 0ord . This prophecy is very close to that of the Prophet Isaiah+ fro" /ho" Saint !atthe/ borro/s the first /ords: *Say ye to the daughter of Cion. The vie/ of all parts of . as He was now drawing near the des"ent of the 'ount of +lives* %0u$e >F:A9(+ i. The first three Evan&elists convey the details on the preparation that acco"panied that triu"phant entry. The !ount of Olives /as called so because of the "ultitude of the olive trees+ &ro/in& on it %6elea6 is an olive(. His reward is with Him. and His re"om#ense before Him* %Isaiah K@:>>(.erusale"+ and is separated fro" it by the strea" of )edron+ /hich al"ost absolutely /ithered in the su""er. and having salvation: lowly. To saddle a horse /as the si&n of /ar+ /hile to saddle a don$ey or "ule D the si&n of peace. to "a$e the path soft and co"fortable for the colt+ thereby servin& and honorin& its 1ider. Evan&elists !atthe/ and . behold.

this praise to )hrist the !essiah is been set in the hearts and lips of the people by God -i"self+ and if the people /ould oppose this directive+ then soulless stones /ould replace these people in /orshippin& the 0ord.ust as the "essen&ers and leaders arrive fro" the earthly $in& in order to substitute hi" %co"pare . 1e"ar$ably+ /hen the 1o"ans started their sie&e of .ohn e'plains that the 0ord’s recent resurrection of 0a#arus /as the cause for such . The si&ht of .oyful and loud e'cla"ations: *Hosanna0 %lessed is He who "omes in the name of the (ord0 $he 8ing of Israel0* In the literal sense+ the /ord 6-osanna6 translated fro" ancient . 1ou have #erfe"ted #raise/)*+ that is God -i"self perfected -is praise out of the "outh of babies and suc$lin&s %Psal" H:AE !at.ohn adds to this: * great multitude that had "ome to the feast.ohn G:?A(.erusale" to "eet -i". the stones would immediately "ry out* %0u$e >F:AF-?:(E i. Evan&elist !ar$ attaches to it the follo/in& e'cla"ation: *%lessed is the !ingdom of our father .oyous &reetin&s of -i"+ /hile Saint 0u$e’s reason is in the 0ord’s "iracles in &eneral. ?+ut of the mouth of babes and nursing infants. The )hurch also sees in these /ords the alle&orical reference to the heathens+ /ho for"erly had the hearts of a stone+ but conse5uently replaced Israel+ /hich re.oy and reverence+ a$in to today’s *(ong live0*.ohn >@:>@->A(. This e'cla"ation /as used as an e'pression of .erusale"+ seen fro" the "ount in all its &lory+ evo$ed elation a"on& the "asses that burst into . It is in these /ords that the sons of Israel are &lorifyin& )hrist+ co"in& to restore this $in&do" of 3avid. *%lessed is He who "omes in the name of the (ord6 D "eans: /orthy of the blessin& or /orship is the One+ 4ho co"es fro" . The sa"e "eanin& is contained in postle !atthe/’s narration about the 0ord’s response to the Pharisees+ indi&nant throu&h their hatred and envy about the fact that the children in the te"ple e'clai"ed: *Hosanna to the Son of . when they heard that Jesus was "oming to Jerusalem.erusale" opened up+ *the whole multitude of the dis"i#les began to re2oi"e and #raise God* for the salvation of the /orld+ brou&ht by )hrist+ and especially for all the "iracles *they had seen. rebu!e 1our dis"i#les %because <ou+ li$e ourselves+ understand ho/ all this is indecent and dan&erous for <ourself(6 D *If these should !ee# silent. Saint . Our )hurch perceives this event as the special 3ivine arran&e"ent and the instillin& of the -oly Spirit+ about /hich the Syna$sarion on the 4ee$ of Pal"s tells: *$his was "aused by the Holy S#irit. @>:>G->K(.* in the sense that all true spiritual blessin&s and eternal salvation descend fro" -eaven.* Saint . &rant us salvation.e. -ence+ t/o "ultitudes of people blended: one /as travelin& /ith the 0ord fro" Bethany+ /hile the other "oved fro" .avid. Saint 0u$e conveys another e'cla"ation: *<ea"e in Heaven.opened the a"a#in& si&ht of .erusale" in the year 9:+ they . $hat "omes in the name of the (ord0* 3avid’s 7in&do" had to be re-established by the !essiah+ 4hose throne /as to re"ain forever and -is authority had to spread over all nations.avid0* @ *Have you never read. s Saint 0u$e relates %>F:?>-??( loo$in& at the city+ the 0ord *we#t over it* because of its soon destruction.6 *ro" this point of vie/+ the 0ord’s reply to the sly and full of hatred advice of the Pharisees is understandable: *$ea"her.ected )hrist.ehovah /ith -is directions+ -is authority+ . *Hosanna in the Highest* D is a /ish so that in heaven the sa"e .e/ish+ "eans: *Save us*. too! bran"hes of #alm trees and went out to meet Him* %.oyful e'cla"ation 6-osanna6 /ould also brou&ht as a &ift to the 7in& of Israel+ the Son of 3avid.

So"e accept that there /ere t/o cleanin&s of the te"ple fro" tradin& "erchants: once on the day of the 0ord’s entry in .erusale"+ and the second ti"e on the follo/in& day. The very sie&e be&an not lon& before Pascha. ite"s that had nothin& to do /ith the church services in the te"ple. es#e"ially in this your day. t the fourth Pascha+ the . t the Pascha of the follo/in& year+ the 0ord apparently did not find any tradin& activity /ithin the te"ple area.ectin& !e+ you hasten your o/n destruction P *%e"ause you did not !now the time of your visitation6+ i. *If you had !nown. :rivi!( the :ealers +ut *ro# the Te#ple %!at.e. Saint !atthe/ observes that *when He had "ome into Jerusalem.erusale". lso+ the narration of Saint !ar$ differs to that of Saints !atthe/ and 0u$e+ in the fact+ that accordin& to hi"+ the 0ord entered the te"ple and after havin& *loo!ed around at all things. He went out to %ethany with the twelve. In re.erusale" the 0ord headed directly to the te"ple and drove out the "erchants that /ere tradin& there. @>:>@->9E !ar$ >>:>G->FE 0u$e >F:?G-?H(. fter the triu"phant &reetin& by the people /ith the cries of 2'osanna2 no one dared to oppose -i" /hen+ in -is first year of "inistry+ -e *began to drive out those who bought and sold in the tem#le. Evidently+ at that "o"ent+ the 3ivine &reatness and "i&ht shined in the face of the 0ord so that nobody presu"ed to react a&ainst -i". The first three Evan&elists narrate about this event. On the third Pascha of the 0ord’s service+ -e didn’t visit .e/s /ere /orried about the fact if .* i.e.* nd it /as only the follo/in& day %after the conde"nation of the fi& tree(+ that -e entered the te"ple and drove out the traders. 8pon enterin& .esus /ould attend this holiday. even you. as the hour was already late.pitched their ca"p on the e'act place of the !ount of Olives /here )hrist the Savior /as stayin& at that ti"e. the things that ma!e for your #ea"e0 %ut now they are hidden from your eyes. There is no contradiction here: in describin& events+ the postles did not al/ays adhere to a chronolo&ical order.erusale" for -is first Pascha after -is Baptis"+ -e found the yards and porches of the te"ple transfor"ed into tradin& areas+ so -e drove out the "erchants. that favorable ti"e+ /hen God sho/ed -is special "ercy and bec$oned you to/ards salvation throu&h the !essiah that /as sent to you. The 0ord’s entry into the te"ple /as 5uite une'pected for the". nd He would not allow anyone to "arry wares through the tem#le. and overturned the tables of the money "hangers and the seats of those who sold doves. Three years earlier+ /hen the 0ord ca"e to . The presentation of lo&ical se5uence of events /as "ore i"portant to the". Instead+ they involuntarily .* D O people of Israel+ if only no/ you co"prehended that this is for your salvationE but you stubbornly close your eyes not to see. 1eali#in& that the authorities had pronounced their death sentence to the 0ord+ the "erchants %/ith the per"ission of the hi&h priests(+ pac$ed the te"ple &rounds and side porches /ith ani"als+ pitched tents that offered a variety of &oods+ set up tables /ith "oney-e'chan&e facilities and benches /ith doves D /hich /ere bred by the hi&h priests in order to increase their inco"e D and be&an tradin&. all the "ity was moved* D so &reat the i"pact fro" this triu"phant "eetin& /as.

erusale"+ /hich apparently /as on the follo/in& day+ so"e -ellenes approached postle Philip and as$ed hi": *Sir. The )hurch teaches that the fi& tree /as a sy"bol of the representatives and leaders of the .e/ish faith.:esire to "ee . It is characteristic that -e never used -is 3ivine al"i&hty po/ers to satisfy -is hu"an needs+ but resorted to nor"al hu"an "eans+ re. @>:>H-@@E !ar$ >>:>@->?(. The hi&h priests also didn’t dare to ta$e "easures a&ainst the 0ord+ seein& *how all the #eo#le were astonished by His tea"hings* %!ar$ >>:>H and 0u$e >F:?H(. That they addressed hi" 6sir6 sho/s that they re&arded the disciple of the very fa"ous Teacher /ith . The 5elle!es. 4ith this+ Saint !ar$ notes that the fi& tree didn’t have any fruit because it 0asn’t the right time. s a punish"ent for their hypocrisy+ the 0ord doo"ed the" to /ither+ and as /e /ill see later+ predicted that *the 8ingdom of God will be ta!en from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it* %!at. we wish to see Jesus. 8sually+ leaves appear on a fi& tree after it had &iven fruit. -o/ever+ throu&h its lush &reenery+ that tree pro"ised fruit to the passerby /hen in fact it had nothin& but leaves. fter all+ -e /asn’t only God+ but -u"an God.ectin& once and forever the devil’s te"ptation to turn stones into bread.esus )hrist+ possessin& hu"an nature+ /as sub.erusale"+ -e spent the ni&ht /ith -is disciples in Bethany+ In the "ornin& of the ne't day+ /hile /al$in& bac$ to .esus 'hrist %. Great 1o!day The 'urse o* the Fruitless Fi( Tree %!at.* -ellenes D in reality "eant Gree$s+ but in .udea+ all heathens /ere called li$e that. Evidently+ these /ere so-called 6proselytes+6 i.erusale"+ the 0ord noticed a fi& tree. Philip passed on the re5uest to ndre/. The Evan&elists say that the 0ord 6/as hun&ry6 and that’s /hy -e /as loo$in& for the fruit. 4hile /ishin& to parta$e of its fruit+ -e couldn’t find any on it althou&h it /as covered /ith leaves+ and said: *(et no fruit grow on you ever again* D *Immediately the fig tree withered away*.sub"itted. Philip and ndre/ /ere the only 0ord’s disciples that bore Gree$ na"es. @>:?A(. fter the 0ord’s triu"phant entry into . Then /hy did the fi& tree /as sub. T/o Evan&elists+ Saints !atthe/ and !ar$+ tell that after the 0ord’s triu"phant entry into .ohn >@:@:-G:(.ected to all hu"an /ea$nesses+ and /as li$e us in all respects+ e(cept sin. the heathens /ere converted to the . This is not surprisin&+ because the 0ord .ected to a curseI D Because it /as deceivin& and deludin& throu&h its appearance.e/ish Old Testa"ent )hurch D the hi&h priests+ Scribes and Pharisees+ /ho /ore the loo$ of fulfillers of God’s 0a/+ but in reality+ bore no fruits of faith.e. There /as a nu"ber Gree$s livin& in 3ecapolis+ and as Philip /as born in Galilean Bethsaida+ it is 5uite possible that the Gree$s turned specifically to hi"+ because they $ne/ hi". /hat a"a#ed the disciples &reatly.

That’s /hy the re5uest of the -ellenes forced )hrist to i""erse -is thou&hts in the forthco"in& sufferin&s and the profound "eanin& of -is )ross.* i. This /as the first si&n of conversion to )hrist of the /hole heathen /orld D as the result of -is cruciferous sufferin&s and redee"in& sacrifice for the sins of all "an$ind. In respondin& to those erroneous ideas+ the 0ord e'plains that the voice /as *for your sa!e. Evidently+ those -ellenes sou&ht to &et closer to the 0ord+ they /anted to spea$ /ith -i". The physical nature i"pels to pray: *&ather. .oin )hrist’s 7in&do" that /as about to be revealed. s the *ruler of this world* the devil+ is called to in "any parts of the 4ord of God as that rulin& all non-believers and those hostile to )hrist.* i. the 0ord’s crucifi'ion and subse5uent ascension into -eaven /ill lead to the conversion to )hrist of the /hole hu"an race. The people understood that 6lifted up fro" the earth6 "eant that the 0ord /as spea$in& of -is death+ and therefore e'pressed their be/ilder"ent as to /ho /ould rule on earth+ as their understandin& of the !essiah /as that of the earthly ruler+ /ho /ould rei&n on earth forever.ust as a &rain of /heat "ust die in the &round to "ultiply+ so the 0ord’s death /ill beco"e the be&innin& of the ne/ life+ /hich /ill "ultiply the follo/ers of -is 7in&do" on earth. Those that didn’t believe in )hrist /ere sayin& that it /as . -o/ever+ the 0ord’s hu"an nature is a&itated /ith the thou&ht of the i""inent dreadful sufferin&s: *6ow 'y soul is troubled. The 0ord calls -i"self here *the Son of 'an* indicatin& that -e /ill have to bear sufferin&s and death as a hu"an+ in order to enter into -is &lory as -u"an God and throu&h this attract the /hole hu"an race to -i".e.ust as in the visible nature+ death isn’t al/ays the cause of destruction+ but on the contrary+ is the be&innin& of life.* i.e. 6I have already &lorified throu&h "any /or$s+ si&ns and "iracles+ and /ill a&ain &lorify throu&h the i""inent cruciferous sufferin&s+ death and resurrection. This e'plains /hy such inspired speech /ent off fro" -is lips+ /hich is described only by Evan&elist . In any case+ those /ords e'pressed the heathens’ desire to .e. Their /ords: *We wish to see Jesus* are not an indication of idle curiosity+ because everybody could see -i" as -e /as /al$in& around the te"ple courtyard+ teachin&.6 The effect of the heavenly voice /as not the sa"e on all the listeners+ /hich is e'plained by their different spiritual state. *$he hour has "ome that the Son of 'an should be glorified. 60et the purpose of !y co"in& to earth be fulfilled. if I am lifted u# from the earth. * nd I.6 4hat is that hourI In relation to )hrist -i"self D it is the hour of -is sufferin&s on the cross+ death and resurrectionE in relation to the prince of the /orld+ the devil+ the hour of his banish"entE in relation to "an$ind+ the hour of their invitation to )hrist+ raised on the cross. save 'e from this hour.* This is the be&innin& of that stru&&le bet/een the hu"an and 3ivine natures of )hrist+ /hich later attained its ut"ost tension in the &arden of Gethse"ane.ohn.6 In response+ God the *ather -i"self stren&thened -is Beloved Son for -is i""inent sufferin&s+ by thunderin& fro" heavens: *I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.ust li$e $in& v&ar of Edessa did+ accordin& to the tradition(. In response+ the 0ord e'horted the" that /hile -e /as still a"on& the"+ to utili#e .e.ud&"ent of *the ruler of this world* %the devil( and his banish"ent fro" the hu"an souls is approachin&. so that they "i&ht believe in -i" and be clever at least durin& -is last hours on earth+ because the hour of . . 0i$e/ise+ the 0ord’s follo/ers shouldn’t be afraid of death %6love his life6( but should sacrifice their earthly lives in order to obtain the eternal one. glorify 1our name. will draw all #eo#les to 'yself*.* but the 3ivine nature i""ediately con5uers this confusion+ co"pellin& to pray: *&ather.ust thunder+ /hile the others said that it /as the voice of an n&el spea$in& to -i". Bishop !ichael supposes that+ $no/in& the Scribes’ and Pharisees’ hatred to/ards the 0ord+ they /anted to propose -i" to visit their land /ith ser"on+ %. i.special respect.

That’s /hy all prayers of appeal "ust be uttered /ith faith in order that they /ould be ans/ered. In conclusion+ Saint . -e as$s the": *$he ba#tism of John @ where was it from/ &rom Heaven or from men/* This 5uestion about . *urther on+ the Evan&elist reflects /ith sadness about the reasons of the . 4hen the 0ord a&ain returned to the te"ple and as usual be&an to teach+ the hi&h priests and elders approached -i" /ith a sly 5uestion: *%y what authority are 1ou doing these things/ nd who gave 1ou this authority/* i. /hat ri&ht -e had to ta$e char&e in the te"ple D drive the traders out and instruct the".ud&e people on the final day+ because this 4ord is nothin& else than the co""and"ent to "an$ind fro" the -eavenly *ather -i"self.ohn’s baptis"s si"ultaneously raised the 5uestion of his /orthiness as of a Prophet and his 3ivine "ission.e/s’ disbelief in the 0ord+ pointin& to the fact that it /as foretold by the Prophet Isaiah %GA:> and K:F->:(+ as about the chosen nation heart-hardness.erusale"+ apparently alon& the sa"e road as the day before+ the disciples noticed that the fi& tree had /ithered. . -e narrates that as the 0ord /al$ed /ith -is disciples fro" Bethany to . )learly+ this is not a 5uestion of the people /antin& to $no/ the truth+ but the sly 5uestions of hateful ene"ies see$in& to catch the 0ord in -is /ords.e.their ti"e by believin& in -i" D the (ight to the whole world. 2ot to for&ive is an insult to God’s love+ and therefore+ /ithout for&iveness there can be no &enuine fir" faith+ and+ conse5uently+ no effectual prayer. The cause of hostility to/ards the 0ord is also their preference of hu"an fa"e to God’s &lory.) it will be done. -o/ever+ the 0ord does not directly ans/er their devious 5uestion+ but -i"self catches the" in their /ords. In verses @G@K+ Saint !ar$ adds that the condition for the prayer’s efficacy lies in for&ivin& the nei&hbor. Great Tuesday The )ithered Fi( Tree %!at.* Of course+ the re"oval of the "ountain is only an e'a"ple that for faith+ free of doubt D nothin& is i"possible.e/s in the te"ple+ that -e ca"e to save the /orld and -is 4ord /ill .ohn testified about . Then+ leavin& the"+ -e apparently /ent to the !ount of Olives or Bethany+ /here -e spent the ni&hts D teachin& in the te"ple durin& the day. The 'o!versatio! 7ith the /lders %!at.esus as bein& the !essiah+ the Son of God+ . The circu"stances surroundin& the 0ord’s curse of the fi& tree are e'plained by Saint !ar$ in "ore detail than that by Saint !atthe/. ns/erin& to the a"a#e"ent e'pressed by the" about that incident+ the 0ord instructs the" in the po/er of faith+ sayin& that if they have God’s faith and overco"e all doubts+ they /ould be able to perfor" even &reater "iracles: *If you say to this mountain ?%e removed and be "ast into the sea.ohn cites the 0ord’s last ad"onitory /ords+ said to the . @>:@A-@9E !ar$ >>:@9-AA and 0u$e @::>-H(. @>:@:-@@E !ar$ >>:@:-@K(.

ohn the Baptist’s ser"ons D and be&in to fulfill God’s /ill. The &arable about the )icked 6i!edressers %!at.* The 0ord then revealed the "eanin& of the parable+ tar&eted at .ud&in& the".e/s+ . Sinners respond to God’s directive /ith: *I will not* /ith their very life+ but then repent D . The Pharisees and the false-ri&hteous respond /ith *I go*.* It /ould have been superfluous to ans/er+ because they obviously $ne/ perfectly /ell by /hat authority the 0ord acted+ yet consciously continued to oppose that po/er. sinners in &eneral+ /hile the second son D the Scribes and Pharisees+ i.ohn as a Prophet+ they /ere afraid that the people /ould stone the" if they decided to ans/er that .ust as the publicans and fornicators repented hearin& .4ho had ta$en the sins of the /orld upon -i"self. )onse5uently+ they declined to &ive a definite ans/er+ sayin&: *We do not !now. The curiosity see$ers /ere placed in an obviously difficult position.ected to its .ohn /asn’t a prophet.e. everyone in &eneral that re&ards hi"self ri&hteous. To ac$no/led&e that -e /as sent by God+ /ould "ean that -e had to be ac$no/led&ed as .e.esus the !essiah+ and then the 5uestion about /ith /hat po/er the 0ord perfor"ed that+ /hat annoyed the . ll three forecasters describe this event in co"plete accord. 2ot understandin& the "eanin& of the parable and bein& curious+ they responded to the 0ord’s 5uestion+ /hich of the t/o sons had fulfilled God’s /ill /ith: *$he first. )ontinuin& -is conversation /ith the"+ the 0ord related a parable+ /ishin& that they /ould brin& over the sentence to the"selves. @>:AA-?KE !ar$ >@:>->@E 0u$e @::F->F( So"e lando/ner+ "eanin& the 0ord God+ established a 6vineyard+6 /hich "eans to be the )hurch of the Old Testa"ent.ohn /as a Prophet /ould "ean the acceptance of his testi"ony about .e/s+ /ould be solved auto"atically. wor! today in 'y vineyard*9 the /ord 6vineyard6 "eans church+ /hile the /or$ in it D the pious deeds+ the fulfill"ent of God’s co""and"ents. @>:@H-A@(. they see" to fulfill God’s /ill in /ords+ but not in deeds+ because they don’t accept the 0ord’s ser"ons about repentance.e. That’s /hy the 0ord responded /ith: *6either will I tell you by what authority I do these things. -e pointed out to the" that the people+ /ho" they despised as sinners+ appeared "ore /orthy than the"+ to enter the !essiah’s 7in&do" D )hrist’s )hurch. Bein& a/are that the people revered Saint . * man had two sons* D as it can be seen fro" the previous e'a"ples+ the "an "eans God+ the first son D publicans and fornicators+ i. To ad"it openly that .* Such Sanhedrin+ /hich /as incapable of carryin& out a decision on such an i"portant issue that /as sub.esus as bein& the Son of God.urisdiction+ proved itself to be irresponsible and undeservin& the ans/er fro" the 0ord. *Go. The &arable about the T7o "o!s %!at. i. -avin& set a hed&e around it+ /hich the analysts interpret as the la/ of !oses and all institutions in &eneral+ elected to safe&uard God’s chosen people+ the .

The -oly *athers suppose that the /ords 6/inepress6 and 6/atchto/er6 "eant an altar and a church. *inally+ the lando/ner sent 6his son6 %accordin& to !ar$+ his only beloved son(E the last e'traordinary God’s "essen&er to the .erusale"+ the abolition of the hi&h priests’ services and the Sanhedrin’s po/er. *$his is the heir* said the evil vinedressers: *Come.e. @?:@:-@>E 2ehe". let us !ill him and sei7e his inheritan"e. -avin& finished -is parable+ the 0ord /ished that the listeners /ould pronounce the sentence for the"selves+ /hich accordin& to Saint !atthe/ they did indeed+ /hile accordin& to Saint !ar$+ the 0ord on -is part confir"ed the fairness of the sentence.esus )hrist is called 6the heir6 in the sense that everythin& /as &iven to -i" by -is *ather. The e'pression: 64hen the o/ner /ill co"e6 "ust not be understood as )hrist’s Second )o"in&+ because further on it says that God -i"self /ill 6&ive the vineyard to others.e/ish hi&h priests and elders decided to $ill -i".e/ish leaders treated God’s "essen&ers+ the Prophets.uice /as e'tracted+ and erected a 6/atchto/er6 for the &uards+ to &uard the vineyard a&ainst robbers and /ild ani"als. *ro" the hu"an point of vie/+ the co"in& of the Son of God -i"self /as the 60ord’s doin&6 and 6is "arvelous6 in the eyes of the people. )oncludin& -is parable+ the 0ord applies to -i"self the @@-@A verses of the >>Hth Psal"+ callin& -i"self the )oc1+ /hich the builders have re. fter a /hile+ the lando/ner sent his 6servants6+ /ho are to be "eant li$e Prophets. )allin& -i"self a roc$+ the 0ord points at the t/o types of people+ /ho /ill not believe in -i" and /ho /ill+ for this+ be sub. *So they too! him and "ast him out of the vineyard and !illed him* D that’s ho/ the . But the /ic$ed vinedressers *too! his servants.e/ish hi&h priests+ ta$in& the 0ord . The cultivation of God’s vineyard /ill be then handed over 6to others6 D the postles and their successors+ the pastors of )hrist’s )hurch.e/ish people+ but 4hich beca"e 2the chief cornerstone2 D the "ain stone of the &rand buildin& of the 2e/ Testa"ent )hurch. -avin& arran&ed everythin& for the co"fort of the vinedressers+ 6he leased it6 to the" D as /as the custo" D /ith the plan that after harvest the &rapes+ all of the" or the certain a"ount+ /ould be brou&ht to the lando/ner.e. They &overned the people /ith no care about their spiritual develop"ent+ pursuin& their o/n personal avarice and interests+ /hich pro"pted the" to viciously $ill God’s Prophets+ /ho re"inded the" of their responsibilities. and stoned another* D this is ho/ the . So as not to lose their authority over the . 8nder the 6vinedressers6 are "eant the leaders of the .6 )onse5uently+ life /ill continue after the destruction of .ected to punish"ent: the first type /ill be those+ to /ho" -e /ill be the Stum#ling Bloc1& i. this /ill not happen to us.e/ish people+ so that later they "i&ht present to -i" the fruits of their "ana&e"ent D sho/ that they raised the people properly+ in the spirit of God’s la/. The /hole history of the Old Testa"ent testifies of this %. the leaders of the . The lando/ner then left: /hich "eant that the 0ord entrusted to the" -is full authority over the . 4hile accordin& to Saint 0u$e+ havin& reali#ed that they pronounced the sentence upon the"selves+ the hi&h priests and elders e'clai"ed: 6)ertainly not+6 i.ere". te"ptation+ /hile the others+ re"ainin& unrepentant+ that /ill rise up a&ainst the 0ord .e.ected+ i.esus )hrist outside .fro" the heathen’s influenceE du& a 6/inepress6 in it+ a pool or a hole+ in /hich the .esus )hrist -i"self.erusale" %/hich /as the holy center of the Old Testa"ent )hurch+ its /alls( $illed -i".e/ish people+ the . beat one. ??:?-KE @ )hron.* The 0ord .e/ish people /as the One and only Son of God+ .e/ish people+ pri"arily the hi&h priests and "e"bers of the Sanhedrin. F:@K and others(. !illed one.

to God’s ne/ nation D all future "e"bers of God’s 7in&do" or )hrist’s )hurch+ /hich are presented here as one nation+ the ne/ Israel. *ll are invited to the /eddin& D God’s 7in&do": the good and the 0ic1ed+ because to enter it doesn’t re5uire holiness or "erit: they are called to God’s $in&do" not for their deeds+ but on the "ercy of the )allin&. -o/ever+ these parables undoubtedly /ere pronounced at different ti"es.e/s re. 8nder the e'ter"ination of the $illers and the burnin& of their to/n "ust essentially be understood the ruin of the .ected the postolic ser"on %see cts >A:?K(.e/s+ /ho /ere initially appointed to be God’s chosen people+ *the 8ingdom of God will be ta!en from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.ected to the e'tre"e punish"ent. )onse5uently+ those that are called should bear the"selves /orthy of their position D to be clothed in the 20edding2 attire. The "ain thou&ht in the first parable is that because of the earthly cares+ "any /ill refuse God’s 7in&do".erusale"+ /hereas this parable /as told by the 0ord after -is entry into . The one+ /ho had ne&lected this clothin& and . 0i$e/ise+ everybody that is called to God’s 7in&do"+ is &iven bri&ht clothin& of spiritual purity at the baptis". -ere+ as in the first parable+ under the invited &uests "ust be understood the .erusale"’s destruction.ud&"ent that /ill establish the difference bet/een the &ood and /ic$ed+ /orthy of enterin& into God’s 7in&do" and those un/orthy /ill happen later.* i. the opportunity of public indi&nation in defense of the 0ord+ 4ho /as revered as a Prophet. The &arable about the 0!vited to a )eddi!( Ba!.obdurately and be&in to stru&&le a&ainst the spread of -is 7in&do". Both the parables+ follo/in& one another+ spea$ of the servants+ so"e of /ho" /ere sub. The . ccordin& to Saint )hrysosto"’s e'planation+ 6to enter in dirty clothin& "eans to have unclean life+ to lose the &race. @@:>->?( By its content and basic thou&ht+ this parable is si"ilar to the parable about the &uests invited to the ban5uet+ narrated in 0u$e’s Gospel %chap.e. but feared the multitude.e/ish people+ /hile the $in&’s servants represent the Old Testa"ent Prophets. In ancient ti"es+ $in&s and princes of the East had a custo" of &ivin& the special occasion attire to the invited &uests+ /hich they had to /ear to the feast.e/ish people and .uet %!at.e. The parable about the /eddin& feast of the $in&’s son is associated /ith the parable about the /ic$ed vinedressers.ected to abuse+ /hile the others $illed+ and also of the nasty de"ise of the offenders and $illers.erusale"+ in all probability+ on Tuesday. The &uilt of the latter is &reater. The parable about those invited to the ban5uet /as narrated by the 0ord on Saturday in the Pharisee’s house+ lon& before -is triu"phant entry into . >?:>K-@?(.oined the spiritual feast in the attire that had been desecrated by sin+ deserves conde"nation and punish"ent. s the result of such disobedience of the . That’s /hy it is said: 6he /as speechless6P 2ot havin& anythin& to defend hi"self+ he conde"ned hi"self and beca"e sub. Invitin& all those that are "et alon& the /ay to the /eddin& feast+ "eans the callin& into God’s 7in&do" of all those+ /hich follo/ed+ /hen the .* i.6 Those /ho refused to dress in the attire &iven by the $in& /ere driven outside of the bri&htly-lit pavilion of the $in&’s feast and into the outside %hellish( . -avin& reali#ed the total profound "eanin& of the parable+ the hi&h priests and Pharisees *sought to lay hands on Him. Those+ /ho have stu"bled over the stone and crashed+ can be restored and healed+ /hile the erasure of faith e'presses final destruction+ /hich /ill overta$e all those e"bittered ene"ies of )hrist.

*ro" their point of vie/+ that . or not/* That snea$y 5uestion /as ai"ed at catchin& the 0ord. If -e ans/ered that they had to pay ta'es to the heathen e"peror+ hated by the .ustice.ected fro" the body of those saved in )hrist’s )hurch on the 3read . fter the Pharisees and -erodians /ere covered /ith sha"e+ so"e Sadducees i""ediately approached the 0ord+ /ho represented a sect that didn’t believe in the resurrection of souls and eternal life %see cts @A:H(. They invented the story about seven brothers /ho too$ the sa"e /o"an as their /ife after the death of the previous husband. 0i$e/ise+ those unrepentant sinners that had sullied their spiritual attire /ith their sins /ill be e. @@:>G-@@E !ar$ >@:>A->9E 0u$e @::@:-@K(.ud&"ent. Thus+ all the . -o/ever+ the true "e"bers of this 7in&do" are not everyone that /as called+ but only the chosen ones. The co""on concludin& thou&ht of this parable /ith that of Saint 0u$e’s is: *'any are "alled.e/ish people are God’s people that reco&ni#e only God as their 7in&. @@:@A-AAE !ar$ >@:>H-@9E 0u$e @::@9-?:(.e/s /ere called into )hrist’s )hurch+ but only a fe/ entered It: in e'actly the sa"e /ay as the other nations+ althou&h called+ presented and /ill present only fe/ true )hristians a"on& the".esus )hrist to be solved. therefore.e. Those posin& the 5uestion had the follo/in& hidden thou&ht behind it: The . They constantly ar&ued /ith the Pharisees+ strivin& to prove that in the boo$s of !oses there /ere no indications of the i""ortality of the soul+ but they contained so"e state"ents that contradicted to the teachin&s about the resurrection of the dead+ li$e for e'a"ple the la/ about the levirate "arria&e. fulfill your obli&ations in the relation to God as /ell as in the relation to the state authority+ for the latter doesn’t contradict the first. -avin& heard all that and bein& hu"iliated by the 0ord+ the "e"bers of the Sanhedrin be&an consultin& a"on& the"selves+ /hat "easures to ta$e a&ainst -i". and to do the things that are God)s*. what do 1ou thin!/ Is it lawful to #ay ta5es to Caesar. i.dar$ness+ /here they &round their teeth because of &rief and cold. They planned to send so"e people /ho /ould be able to catch 'im in 'is 0ords+ so that it /ould be easier to accuse and hand -i" over -i" to . It /as that ar&u"ent that they presented to the 0ord . The "ha#i!( o* the "adducees %!at. but few are "hosen* D "eans that "any that responded to the ser"on of the Gospel are called into )hrist’s 7in&do".ender therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar)s. Therefore+ it could not serve the forei&ner+ especially the heathen $in&+ as he /ould then appear as God’s ene"yE conse5uently+ /hat had they to do D pay the ta(es to Caesar or maintain their firm loyalty to %od9 The 0ord /isely ans/ered that they had to do both thin& D *. "on& their disciples and the -erodians+ the adherents of -erod+ to /ho" not everybody /anted to pay ta'es as he /as of another tribe+ the Pharisees chose the "ost cunnin& people and sent the" to the 0ord /ith a devious 5uestion: *$ell us.e/s+ -e /ould alienate -i"self fro" the people+ and if -e told not to pay the"+ -e /ould be i""ediately accused before the 1o"ans of tryin& to incite the people. About &ayi!( Ta3es to 'aesar %!at.

avid)s* because naturally thin$in&+ 3avid /as pro"ised that the !essiah /ould e"er&e fro" his $in.esus+ the "ost difficult %in their opinion( of all 5uestions D /hich /as the greatest co""and"ent /ithin the la/. )onse5uently+ if -e e'isted then and 3avid called -i" his 0ord+ -e /as not a "ere hu"an as the Pharisees thou&ht+ but also God+ i.deter"ination of !oses’ la/ refuted the teachin& about the future life+ because 20hen they rise& 0hose 0ife she 0ill #e92 Saint )hrysosto" ri&htly notes the i"probability of such a story+ because the . So"e re&arded the "ain co""and"ent that of the sacrifice+ others D about the Sabbath+ still others D that of the circu"cision.* and added+ that *the se"ond is li!e it9 ?you shall love your neighbor as yourself. -u"an God.* fter all those unsuccessful atte"pts to catch the 0ord /ith -is /ords+ the Pharisees did not dare to as$ -i" any further 5uestions about anythin&. The 0ord &ave the Sadducees a /ise ans/er+ e'posin& the" for not co"prehendin& the future eternal life+ /here there /ill be no physical sensation+ and the people /ill live a different life D spiritual+ an&elic+ 2#ut are li1e *ngels in 'eaven2.e.e. About the Greatest 'o##a!d#e!t %!at. . >F:>H(. the God of Isaa". The 0ord ans/ered that 5uestion by 5uotin& the /ords of 3euterono"y %K:G(: *(ove the (ord thy God with all thine heart.* %0ev. nd in response+ the 0ord as thou&h ans/ered D so you thin$ that )hrist /as /ust a "an+ but 3avis hi"self said /ith the -oly Spirit: J$he (ord said to my (ord.oy"ent %!ar$ >@:A9(. 1ou have s#o!en well.e/s+ re"ar$able for their superstition+ /ould never "arry a /o"an+ /hose husbands $ept dyin& one after another. -avin& e'perienced such a serious defeat+ the Pharisees didn’t dare to te"pt the 0ord /ith their insidious 5uestions+ /hile the people listened to -i" /ith &reat en. @@:A?-?KE !ar$ >@:@H-A9E 0u$e @::?:-??(. -avin& heard of the Sadducees’ sha"e+ the Pharisees i""ediately &athered in the te"ple and decided to propose to . and with all thy might. Saint !ar$ adds that the 0ord’s ans/er "ade such a profound i"pression upon the very la/yer that he e'clai"ed: *Well said tea"her. Saint 0u$e notes that even the Scribes /ere pleased /ith the response and could not help sayin&: *$ea"her.* -is sincerity i"pressed the 0ord+ and seein& that that sinner could refor"+ -e said to hi": *1ou are not far from the 8ingdom of God. but of the living*.esus /as a "ere descendant of 3avid+ then ho/ could -e have e'isted at the ti"e 3avid /as /ritin& about -i". If people /ere totally obliterated after death then God /ould not have said to !oses+ appearin& in the burnin& bush: *I am the God of braham. Thus+ the 0ord e'posed their i&norance+ concernin& the la/+ /hile si"ultaneously &ave the" the testi"ony of -is 3ivine /orthiness and eternal e'istence. 1ou have s#o!en the truth. and with all thy soul.e/ish Scribes "ade distinctions bet/een the ma/or and minor co""and"ents in the la/+ about /hat they have been constantly 5uarrelin&+ the &uile of the 5uestion beco"es 5uite clear. Blinded by the letter of the la/ and havin& lost the $eys to/ards the correct understandin& of its "eanin&+ the Pharisees could &ive no reply to the 0ord’s 5uestion. *Sit at 'y right hand> If !essiah-. and the God of Ja"ob* because *God is not the God of the dead. those forefathers that have died are alive to God+ because God cannot be God of the non-e'istent.* The people+ seein& the Sadducees sha"e+ "arveled at the 0ord’s /isdo". Generally spea$in&+ they re&arded the la/s of rites as bein& the "ost i"portant ones. If /e ta$e into account that the . i. -o/ever+ in order to sho/ the" their lac$ of $no/led&e of the Scriptures and ho/ i&norant they /ere in their false understandin& of the !essiah+ the 0ord posed the" a 5uestion: *What do you thin! about the Christ/ Whose Son is He/* 4ithout &ivin& it any thou&ht+ they ans/ered: *.

4hen the Pharisees do fulfill so"ethin& that they de"and fro" the others+ it is not for the sa$e of pleasin& God+ but to sho/ off and receive the public praise. 6 nd do not #e called teachers6. and the best #la"es at feasts* D in those ti"es+ people dined not sittin& but reclined on the special lon& and broad pillo/s+ restin& a&ainst the table+ /hich rese"bled the letter 8. This speech is narrated in full only by Evan&elist !atthe/+ /hile Saint !ar$ and 0u$e present only the e'cerpts fro" it.e.ohn @:>AE Ephes. *$herefore whatever they tell you to observe.* i. and for a memorial between thine eyes. The privile&ed places and those of honor /ere in the centre of the table+ and /ere the sits the Pharisees sou&ht: /hile in syna&o&ues they de"anded to occupy the places closest to the lectern. they have occupied !oses’ place and appropriated the e'clusive ri&ht to interpret and teach the people the 0a/ of !oses. K:?E Phil. *(ove>the best seats in the synagogue. Because of their vanity+ the Pharisees "ade those brushes bi&&er than nor"al. To "a$e the" and to /ear /as directed by the la/+ as a re"inder of God’s co""and"ents and in order to distin&uish the .ust as heavy loads upon the ani"als+ they 6lay the" on "en’s shoulders+6 all the "ultiple and varied resolutions of the la/ of !oses % cts >G:>:(+ strictly de"andin& fro" the people their fulfill"ent up to the last detail+ /hile the"selves do not /ant to assist the" in it.e/s fro" other nations %2u". hard to bear>* @ . This "eans: 63o not see$ to be honored as teachers+ fathers and instructors+ because in the personal sense+ the only *ather to everyone is God+ and the only Instructor and Teacher is )hrist.e. Of course+ 6/hatever6 has to be understood /ith a li"itation+ because the Savior hi"self often accused the Scribes and Pharisees in their incorrect understandin& and interpretation of the 0a/ co""and"ents. /ithout any need but .* The . *$hey ma!e their #hyla"teries broad*.a"es A:>E 1o"ans @:@:+ ?:>KE > )or. The custo" of carryin& these depositories ca"e out fro" the literary interpretation of the /ords fro" E'odus >A:FE * nd it shall be for a sign unto thee u#on thine hand. i. The 0ord be&an that speech /ith the /ords: *$he S"ribes and the <harisees sit in 'oses) seat. @A:>-AFE !ar$ >@:AH-?:E 0u$e @::?G-?9( -avin& sha"ed the Pharisees and "ade the" speechless+ the 0ord in order to /arn -is disciples and the people a&ainst the Pharisee spirit+ pronounced a for"idable accusatory speech a&ainst the"+ in /hich -e conde"ned their "ain delusion+ concernin& the teachin& and life itself. ?:>G+ >@:@H-@F+ > Ti".The /3posure o* the "cribes a!d &harisees %!at. ?:AE -eb. G:>@+ >A:9+ >9.e/s believed that those depositories protected the" a&ainst the evil spirits+ *and enlarge the borders of their garments* D those /ere the four brushes bein& so/n to the ed&e of the outer &ar"ent+ and the ruby-colored threads co"in& fro" the brushes alon& the ed&es. @:9E @ Ti".ust to i"press people enlar&e those leather ba&s or bo'es+ /hich contained the sheets of papyrus or parch"ent /ith the phrases fro" the la/: E'odus >A:>-FE 3eut. >G:A9-?:(. *$hey bind heavy burdens. @:@@E cts >A:>E . that observe and do. K:?->: and >>:>A-@@+ /hich durin& the prayer+ they /ere attached /ith belts D one to the forehead and the other to the left ar". Such forbiddance to be called a teacher+ father or instructor+ "ust not be interpreted literally D li$e the sects do D because as can be seen throu&h the postolic Epistles+ the very postles used those ter"s in relation to the"selves: > . It’s should not be per"itted that the postles violated &iven . but do not do a""ording to their wor!s* D here the Pharisees are accused of teachin& the la/ /hile not livin& accordin& to it the"selves.

*I send you <ro#hets.or oaths+ and tau&ht that it /asn’t necessary to fulfill the first.e. he is obliged to #erform it* D the .ustice in court "atters+ benevolence to/ards the poor and "iserable+ faithfulness to God and -is la/. *1ou devour widows) houses>* you deceive /ido/s /ith your see"in& piety and plunder their possessions. They see"in&ly /orship the slain ri&hteous+ but in reality are /orse than their fathers %fro" /ho" they ori&inated and feel proud about it(+ because they are ready to $ill the 0ord -i"self. *1ou "leanse the outside of the "u# and dish. *Woe to you. *Woe to you.. The 0ord e'posed the" because /hile they strictly fulfill the trivial+ they i&nore the i"portant+ such as: . S"ribes and <harisees.. Every year+ on the >Gth day of the "onth of dar+ the caves that served as burial places had their coffins /hite/ashed so that they /ould not be approached and touched by passers-by+ as that /ould D accordin& to the la/ %2u".ustice. s"ribes and <harisees.* D "eans the sendin& of the postles and their collea&ues to preach evan&elical teachin&E here+ the 0ord predicts ho/ the .e/s /ill pursue and persecute the"+ rese"blin& their fathers that "urdered the Old Testa"ent Prophets. per"it &rave sins. *&ill u#.e. *%ut woe to you. >F:>K( D cause the unclean state for 9 days. the measure of your father)s guilt* D i. *irst of all+ it is necessary to care about this inner cleanliness+ so that to ac5uire the daily bread in the honest /ay. >?:@@-@H(+ the Pharisees used to pay their tithes even of those herbs that /ere not "entioned in the la/ because of their insi&nificance. The correct interpretation is that this co""and"ent related to the postles personally+ /arnin& the" a&ainst e'tollin& one before another and su&&estin& that they all are e5ual a"on& the"selves and anyone /ishin& to beco"e &reater+ "ust beco"e a servant to the rest.* In fulfillin& the la/ re&ardin& tithes %2u". *ro" the outside+ those /hite/ashed coffins loo$ed attractive: . blind guides. and have negle"ted the weightier matters of the law9 2usti"e and mer"y and faith. One should not render honor that is befittin& only God to the "an+ and it is e'cessive to revere teachers and instructors as thou&h they are pronouncin& their o/n /ords and not the 4ord of God. *Who strain out a gnat and swallow a "amel0* D this /as a proverb in the East: concerned about trifles /hile ne&lectin& the i"portant thin&s+ the Pharisees /ere a$in to those /ho strain out a &nat that has fallen into a drin$+ but s/allo/ a /hole ca"el %naturally+ in the hyperbolic sense(+ i. hy#o"rites0 &or you shut u# the 8ingdom of Heaven against men>* because you did not believe in the !essiah )hrist+ and turned others a/ay fro" that savin& faith. *$hat on you may "ome all the righteous blood*: bein& evil+ the Pharisees /ill accept the responsibility for all the ri&hteous+ /hose blood /as shed D not only $illed by the" but by their ancestors+ .ust as the Pharisees+ /ho out/ardly see"ed ri&hteous+ but in reality /ere hypocrites and la/brea$ers. *1ou are li!e whitewashed tombs* i. >H:@:-@?E 3eut. /hite/ashed /ith li"e. *1ou travel land and sea>* you receive the converts fro" heathens and do not care about instructin& the" in true faith D and further corrupt the" /ith the bad e'a"ple of your hypocritical life. you /ill surpass the villainy of your fathers.or+ /hile /ith the church itself or its altar+ as "inor. who say.e. then. They re&arded s/earin& /ith the church &old or a &ift as "a. ?Whoever swears by the tem#le. The 0ord points out that to s/ear /ith any of these ite"s "eans to s/ear /ith God -i"self and therefore D one "ust not brea$ the oath. hy#o"rites0 &or you #ay tithe of mint and anise and "ummin. it is nothing: but whoever swears by the gold of the tem#le. but inside they are full of e5tortion and selfEindulgen"e* D the out/ard cleanliness of the vessel+ /hich concerned the Pharisees+ is co"pared /ith the in/ard content of the vessel D the food+ &ained throu&h plunder and in.e/ish scholars "ade distinctions bet/een "inor and "a. *urther the 0ord e'poses the Pharisees for buildin& to"bstones to the Prophets and adornin& "onu"ents to the ri&hteous+ /ho /ere slain by their fathers.to the" )hrist’s co""and"ent by usin& those na"es.

ehoash+ =echariah /as stoned to death in the yard of the 0ord’s house %@ )hron. So"e sur"ise that upon the orders of $in& . About the "eco!d 'o#i!( %!at. bout the 6/ido/’s "ite6 that had beco"e an aphoris"+ concordantly narrate t/o Evan&elists: Saint !ar$ and Saint 0u$e. *%lessed is He who "omes in the name of the (ord0* D This "eans the ti"e of )hrist’s Second )o"in&+ /hen even the unbelievers /ill be forced a&ainst their /ill to /orship -is 3ivinity. @?:>-G>E !ar$ >A:>-A9E 0u$e @>:G-AH(.be&innin& /ith the blood of bel $illed by his brother )ain+ up to the blood of =echariah+ the son of Berechiah+ "urdered bet/een the te"ple and the altar. 6"ite6 /as the s"allest coin D e5ual to a 5uarter of one $opec$: t/o "ites e5ualed the s"allest 1o"an coin+ /hich /as called 65uadrant6. not concernin& the su" but in co"parison /ith the others’ "eans.erusale" /as ta$en by the 1o"ans and converted it into ruins. i. *1ou shall see 'e no more till you say. Then shortly after+ E"peror Tro. lon& the road+ -e predicted the destruction of the te"ple+ /hich occurred in the year 9:+ /hen . fter leavin& the te"ple+ the 0ord and -is disciples headed to the !ount of Olives.e/ish custo" to have t/o na"es. The 0ord spea$s about this event /ith deep sadness+ pointin& at all -is love for the "alicious people+ a$in to a bird’s love for its fled&lin&s.erusale": *1our house is left to you desolate.ected . ll the others &ave fro" a surfeit that /ould not cause the" proble"s+ /hen she dedicated to God all that she had+ puttin& in the last.e. "a&nificent vie/ on the .erusale" . The /ealthy donated lar&e su"s+ /hile a poor /ido/ &ave t/o "ites.e/ish people D the Pharisees and Scribes D the 0ord announces the severe sentence to . @?:@:(.erusale" to total destruction. The )ido7-s 1ite %!ar$ >@:?>-?? and 0u$e @>:>-?(.an obliterated the last traces of the city.* /hat happened AK years later+ /hen in the year 9:+ Titus *lavius /ith the 1o"an troops sub.ehoiada+ this "ay be his second na"e+ because it /as a . *or all the trans&ressions co""itted by the leaders of the . So"e ancient interpreters li$e Saints Basil the Great+ Gre&ory the Theolo&ian and others+ sur"ised that he /as the father of . Thou&h that very =echariah /as called the son of . There /as a treasury+ or a lar&e collection plate+ located in the socalled 6/o"en’s section6 of the te"ple /here people placed their free-/ill donations. The 0ord stated that the poor /ido/ *has #ut in more than all*. In spite of the 1o"an co""ander Titus’s /ish to save the te"ple as a "iracle of art+ God’s /ill /as fulfilled: because of the fla"in& torch thro/n accidentally by a 1o"an soldier the te"ple burnt do/n. Nuadrant /as e5ual to half a $opec$ or the 5uarter of as+ and >: as /as e5ual to one denary Q it is about @: $opec$s. It /as custo"ary to donate &enerously before the feast day of Pascha: everybody enterin& the te"ple placed a donation on the plate+ accordin& to his "eans and #eal.ohn the Baptist.

e/s the help fro" heaven. 3urin& the 1o"an sie&e of .erusale" fell only after the 0ord did everythin& to save it: it /as resounded /ith the evan&elical ser"ons: li$e/ise+ the end of the /orld /ill co"e only after all . the 0ord /ill not co"e before the Gospel /ould be preached. !any false prophets /ill appear. -ere the fact that the destruction of . and of the end of the age/* The 0ord responds+ apparently not separatin& the t/o events+ li$e they supposed that to be.ud&"ent day.erusale" and the horrible events follo/in& it+ as the representation of those horrors that /ill occur before the end of the /orld+ and )hrist’s Second )o"in&+ leaves no doubt. 2ero’s persecutions and others. they /ill renounce fro" their faith in )hrist and /ill be&in to betray D to hand over their brothers for torture and death D in order to save the"selves. t the sa"e ti"e+ the 0ord &ives a chance to understand clearly that -is Second )o"in& /ill not happen soon after the destruction of .e.oseph *lavius+ the historian+ testifies that before the fall of . The very /ord 6a )hristian6 /as truly hated by the heathen+ /hich resulted in the e"er&ence of countless "artyrs for the sa$e of )hrist.erusale" arrived as the conse5uence of its ini5uities and i"poverish"ent of love /ithin its /alls %6love of "any /ill &ro/ cold6 for 6la/lessness /ill abound6(E li$e/ise+ the end of the /orld /ill arrive as the result of the ini5uities "ultiplication and di"inution of love a"on& the people+ /ho /ill for&et that they are brothers in )hristE @( . .6 The closest i"a&e is the destruction of .ud&"ent.erusale" /ould stand till the end of ti"e+ and conse5uently posed t/o 5uestions to -i" as one: *$ell us. )hrist’s disciples assu"ed that . when will these things be/ nd what will be the sign of 1our "oming. This ser"on /ill then beco"e the accusin& /itness at the .ud&"ent co"in& close /ill the preaching of the %ospel throughout the 0hole 0orld.ud&"ent of . The 0ord presents the appearance of false 2christs2 as the first si&n of the co"in& of God’s .e.erusale"+ those false prophets pro"ised to the .erusale"+ there really appeared "any false "essiahs-deceivers.erusale". In prophetic visions+ distant and i""inent events are so"eti"es seen as thou&h in one perspective+ they as if blend into one+ especially if the i""inent event serves as the representation of the follo/in& one.te"ple opened up fro" the top of the !ount of Olives+ and the disciples continued the conversation+ concernin& their future /ith the 0ord.ud&"ent a&ainst those /ho after hearin& it+ did not believe. The 0ord presents as the third si&n the severe persecutions of -is disciples and their follo/ers+ /hich are described in the Boo$ of cts and about /hat the history testifies as for e. *$hen the end will "ome.erusale"+ althou&h all these si&ns /ill be foretellin& the co"in& of the end of the /orld and the 3read . i. Thus: >( The . These si&ns are co""on for the both of these events. *$hen many will be offended*. The second sy"pto" /ill be the 0ars+ local and distant ones %6 nd you /ill hear of /ars6(.&. The 2e/ Testa"ent /ill be preached 6as a /itness to all the nations+6 i. *He who endures to the end shall be saved. The fourth si&n of the God’s .* D those /ho /ill endure all the cala"ities /ithout betrayin& )hrist+ and succu"bin& to the false prophets+ /ill earn eternal salvation. But even these /ars and natural cala"ities /ill only be the be&innin& of the co"in& a&oni#in& horrors+ /hich by their &ravity are co"pared by the 0ord /ith childbirth pains.

undeniably evident to everyone. On a Sabbath D accordin& to the interpretations of the Scribes+ one could not travel "ore than > "ile a/ay.erusale"+ havin& re"e"bered that prediction of the 0ord+ really ran to Pella and the other beyond-. The 0ord persuades the" to pray so that these cala"ities do not occur /hen one cannot flee very far a/ay. @:F->:( and 1evelation %chap. The Son of God’s appearance /ill be li$e a flash of li&htnin&+ i. The 0ord then continues to enu"erate the particular si&ns that concern the very destruction of . @H:?F-G9(. !any perished fro" starvation+ /hich /as so &reat that one "other $illed and ate her o/n infant..erusale"+ ori&inally /anted to force the . ccordin& to p.* The rooftops /ere flat and /ere used for /al$in& or seclusion: durin& the cala"ity+ those found on the rooftops should i""ediately flee and not /aste the ti"e to &o into the house to ta$e the belon&in&s.e/s /ere crucified+ thereby fulfillin& their o/n curse /hen they de"anded fro" Pilate the crucifi'ion of )hrist: *His blood is on us and on our "hildren* %!at. *(et him who is on the houseto# not go down. Saint 0u$e adds that .erusale" by stor"+ thereby shortenin& the period of sufferin& for the besie&ed. The historian Eusebius testifies+ that the )hristians in .e/s D they /ould stand speechless.ud&"ent over the /orld+ /ill "a$e it evident and fri&htenin& every/here /here /ill be the spiritually dead sinners D . )ontrary to the false "essiah %/ho /ill be hidin& in the /ilderness or in hidden 5uarters(+ the true !essiah+ in co""encin& -is .e/s perished /ithin those boundaries.erusale" and its outlyin& areas+ "ore than a "illion .ordan to/ns+ /hen the 1o"ans /ere approachin&+ and thereby avoided the horrors that fell onto the besie&ed city. Titus+ /ho surrounded . *&or then there will be great tribulation>* i.6 3urin& the sie&e of .erusale".its nations /ill hear the Evan&elic ser"on+ so that at the 3read . * bomination of desolation.* about /hich Prophet 3aniel spo$e in F:@9+ D this is about the 1o"an soldiers+ enterin& into the half-ruined te"ple /ith the banners bearin& i"a&es of the e"peror and ea&les+ /hich they /orshiped+ as idols.. *&lee to the mountains. >A(+ these si&ns /ill be perfor"ed by antichrist and his servants.e/s to surrender the city by hun&er.erusale" /ill end and people /ill beco"e indifferent+ /hich is "entioned further on %!at. vast nu"ber of . 0i$e/ise those /or$in& in the fields should flee to the "ountains /ithout returnin& ho"e to retrieve their clothin&+ as they nor"ally /or$ed in the fields /ithout their outer &ar"ents.ust li$e ea&les &ather /here there are corpses.ud&"ent D li$e the . such cala"ities that everybody /ould have perished if there had been no *"hosen* a"on& the . The 0ord then proceeds ane/ /ith the speech on -is Second )o"in&. @?:A9-AF(. ll those disasters /ere the fulfill"ent of the prophecies uttered by !oses %3eut.e.oseph *lavius testifies that indeed+ 6all the cala"ities that had befallen on the different peoples of the /orld+ are insi&nificant co"pared to those that had been inflicted on the . Paul %@ Thes. * fter the tribulation>* the cala"ities that had befallen .e. @9:@G(. -o/ever+ the affairs of the E"pire de"anded his speedy return to 1o"e+ so he decided to ta$e .e/s %those /ho believed in )hrist(+ for /hose sa$e those days 20ill #e shortened. *&alse "hrists and false #ro#hets will rise and show great signs>* D this "eans the false "iracles+ /hich /ill so"eti"es "islead even the ri&hteous.e/ish people.* /here there /ere "any caves and shelters to hide fro" the 1o"ans.2 -istorian .

@>:@G-@K points at the characteristic features of those fri&htenin& ti"es: there /ill be despondency and confusion a"on& the nations of the /orld: the seas /ill roar /ith a&itation+ people /ill be&in to "oan fro" fear and anticipation of the arrival of cala"ities+ co"in& over the universe. -o/ever+ they do let $no/ that before the end of the /orld+ the totally different days+ /hich throu&h their fri&htenin& events /ill surpass every i"a&ination+ /ill arrive. Saint 0u$e in chap. the /hole structure of earth /ill be sha$en. Then the sun /ill dar$en and the "oon /ill not &ive its li&ht etc. >>:@G(. *<owers of the heavens will be sha!en.ud.e/s for &atherin&s by blo/in& into silver tru"pets: this for" of convenin& beca"e a custo" and /as used by the .* On the si&nal of the "ysterious tru"pet+ all the dead /ill resurrect and be &athered by the n&els fro" all the corners of the /orld..e/s and denyin& God+ in the late and fruitless burst of repentance+ to e'clai" involuntarily: *%lessed is he that "omes in the name of the (ord0* nd seein& ho/ they had been deluded+ livin& previously in the dar$ness of disbelief+ all the unbelievers 6/ill "ourn.erusale" and the end of the /orld.* D the lon& period of ti"e "ust pass fro" the destruction of .erusale" bein& tra"pled by heathens for a len&thy period(+ tellin& about the si&nificance of the period bet/een the destruction of .e. A:@9(.* i. *Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be dar!ened. -o/ever+ this e'pression can be related to the end of .6 *$hey will see the Son of 'an "oming on the "louds of heaven with #ower and great glory.. This is /hy the Savior uses this descriptive for"+ fa"iliar to all the .ud&e about the co"in& of the end of the /orld by the si&ns of the ti"es+ /hich the 0ord had enu"erated previously.e.*Jerusalem will be tram#led by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.erusale" to )hrist’s Second )o"in&+ durin& /hich %accordin& to p. !oses used to call the . -o/ever+ in the -oly Scripture+ it doesn’t nor"ally "ean 6i""ediately+ strai&ht a/ay+ follo/in& that6 but si"ply: 6une'pectedly+ suddenly6+ /hich is li$e it is translated in the 1ussian te't. @G:FE 2u". fro" all the ends of the earth. >::@E . It /ill be that si&n+ /hich /ill force the unbelievin& .ust as an earthly $in& is preceded by his royal heraldic banner.6 Saint !atthe/ applies the /ord 6abbeya6 %then(.e/s+ to denote the act of God+ on 4hose order the n&els *will gather together His ele"t from the four winds.erusale"+ !y )o"in& and the end of the /orld /ill follo/.ust as about the co"in& of Su""er it /as . *6ow learn this #arable from the fig tree>* .ud&ed by the branches of the fi& tree+ so is it necessary to . Bishop !ichael states that so"eti"es under this ancient Prophetic /ord 6abbeya6 "any centuries "i&ht be "eant. The n&els /ill &ather the 6elect6 for eternal &lory+ as /ell as 6all the /or$ers of ini5uity6 for eternal sufferin&. and the moon will not give its light* D these /ords are not as definitive as those of 0u$e’s verse @? %about . Indeed+ the destruction of . Paul(+ the &reat nu"ber of heathens /ill enter )hrist’s )hurch+ and /ill beco"e the ne/ spiritual Israel %1o".erusale" too$ place durin& the 0ord’s conte"porary &eneration. *or that to happen+ there /ill co"e the different days.* i. The Gree$ te't of this particular verse+ &ives the basis for the follo/in& paraphrasin&: 63o not thin$ that i""ediately after the destruction of . *$his generation will by no means #ass away till all these things ta!e #la"e* D the /ord 6this6 is contrasted to 6that6+ about /hich it is said further in verse AK. 2o+ it /ill be other/ise. *$hen the sign of the Son of 'an will a##ear in heaven* D Saint )hrysosto" considers that it /ill be the si&n of a )ross+ /hich /ill appear before the co"in& of )hrist the Savior -i"self+ .e/s thereafter %0ev.

The &arable about the 10 6ir(i!s %!at. -e /as "et by people /ith li&hted la"ps in their hands+ and as he "i&ht be late+ they had to have a supply of oil in case the la"ps’ oil /ould run out before his late arrival. -avin& /itnessed the precise fulfill"ent of the 0ord’s prophecy about the destruction of . The 6/ise6 vir&ins represent all the true )hristians that are al/ays ready to "eet the 0ord+ and that have /ith their sincere faith+ &ood /or$s %oil(E /hile the 6foolish6 vir&ins represent the . This co"parison of the last days /ith those of 2oah’s ti"es is found in the Gospel of Saint !atthe/. ccordin& to Saint 0u$e+ . This parable has an especially close relation to the cler&y and civil leaders+ /ho conse5uently "ust fear to be ne&li&ent in fulfillin& their responsibilities+ re"e"berin& that they /ill have to &ive an account of their actions. In this parable+ the Second )o"in& of )hrist is portrayed as the arrival of the bride&roo" at the bride’s house. Because of its une'pectedness and suddenness+ the 0ord’s co"in& is often co"pared to the appearance of a thief. *$hen two men will be in the field>* D these /ords sho/ ho/ s/iftly and decisively the separation bet/een the ri&hteous and the unri&hteous /ill occur+ even thou&h at the "o"ent of )hrist’s Second )o"in& they /ould be very close to one another+ involved in the sa"e activity+ and even if they slept in the sa"e bed %0u$e >9:A?(. 8sin& this e'a"ple that /as /ell $no/n in the East+ the 0ord co"pares the /aitin& for -is Second )o"in& /ith that of the bride&roo"+ /ho /as to be "et by >: vir&ins /ith li&hted la"ps in their hands. far-seein& and carried e'tra oil+ /hile the other five /ere *foolish*. @G:A>-?K(.ust as before the Great *lood durin& 2oah’s ti"es+ people /ill be livin& 5uite care-freely+ and the day of )hrist’s Second )o"in& /ill arrive une'pectedly li$e a net+ snarin& all livin& "atter on earth %0u$e >9:@K-@9 and @>:A?:AG(. *$herefore you also be ready. *ive of the" /ere *wise*. The ensuin& parable about the faithful overseer or servant and the ne&li&ent one+ is ai"ed at su&&estin& the necessity of constant spiritual vi&ilance. i. *%ut of that day and hour no one !nows. 4hile they /ere a/ay purchasin& "ore oil+ the bride&roo" arrived and the doors of the /eddin&-hall /ere loc$ed+ and they /ere not allo/ed by the bride&roo" to participate in the /eddin& feast. but 'y words will by no means #ass away* D this confir"s the irrevocability of the said prophesy. for the Son of 'an is "oming at an hour you do not e5#e"t* D fro" this naturally co"es out the necessity for constant vi&ilance: the 0ord desires that /e should not sleep spiritually+ should not be indifferent+ but be attentive to the si&ns of the ti"es and al/ays be ready to "eet -i" by leadin& virtuous live.* and accordin& to Saint !ar$+ not even the Son D naturally+ as a hu"an+ not as God. *Heaven and earth will #ass away. F:>G(+ /as celebrated very triu"phantly. i.ohn A:@FE !at.erusale"+ no one can have a doubt that the prophecy about -is Second )o"in& /ill also be fulfilled /ith e5ual accuracy.e.the /orld: then+ as Saint )hrysosto" interprets+ the /ords 6this &eneration6 can be understood as 6This is the &eneration of the" that see$ hi"6 %Psal" @?:K(+ the &eneration of the believed in )hrist+ /hich despite all the horrors /ill endure till the end.e. The arrival of the bride&roo"+ acco"panied by 6friends of the bride&roo"6 %. not very reasonable+ and didn’t ta$e any spare oil /ith the"+ so their la"ps’ oil started to run out and the li&ht fade.

ud&"ent+ the ri&hteous /ill inherit the 7in&do" of -eaven for their /or$s of love and "ercy to their nei&hbors. >:>?(. 0i$e/ise+ prayer and other deeds of faith are not "entioned+ because /ithout the"+ there is no true love for one’s nei&hbor or the sincere+ .ud&"ent 3ay ho/ he utili#ed his God-&iven abilities D both natural and &race-endo/ed D and /hat &ood he achieved /ith their help.ud&e of the universe. Such /ill not attend the /eddin& feast+ i.* D the sheep represent the ri&hteous+ because they serve as an e'a"ple of innocence and si"plicity %. The description of the 3read . (ord.)hristians by na"e only+ /ho are indifferent and lac$ virtues. as a she#herd divides his shee# from the goats. *He will se#arate them one from another. s /e can see fro" this portrayal of the 3read . That is /hy at the very be&innin&+ -e had deter"ined the appropriate reco"pense for those /or$s: for the &ood /or$s D the 7in&do" of -eaven+ /hile for the evil /or$s D tortures.ud&"ent over the /hole hu"anity+ + is dra/n only by Evan&elist !atthe/ throu&h the /ords of the 0ord .ud&"ent is preceded by the parable about talents %!at.ohn >::9->?E Psal" >:::A and Psal" 9?:>(+ /hile the &oats D the conde"ned+ as they serve as an e'a"ple of evil "oral 5ualities %E#e$. A?:>9( and they produce no fruit D no /ool+ no "il$+ no la"bs D that /hat all sheep produce. The sheep /ill be placed on 6-is ri&ht hand+6 because the ri&ht side /as al/ays re&arded as an honored position+ appointed only to the very close people+ /hile the 6&oats6 /ill be placed on the left less honored side+ in this instance+ bein& the place for the conde"ned. you blessed of 'y &ather.* and /ill be "et by all the people that /ould alive at the ti"e of -is co"in&+ as /ell as by those+ /ho ever lived on the earth.esus )hrist -i"self+ in connection /ith the 0ord’s ser"ons on the necessity of continuous spiritual vi&ilance and readiness to "eet -is Second )o"in&.) shall enter the 8ingdom of Heaven* %!at. *aith is not "entioned because it is supposed to e'ist by the actual acts of love the"selves+ /hich are the fruits of love %. >G:@G-G?(. About the Fi!al . *Come. The idea of this parable is that everyone /ill have to &ive the ans/er to God at the 3read . ?(ord. @G:>?-A:(+ very si"ilar to the parable about the ten minas+ narrated by Saint 0u$e %>F:>>->H(.ud(#e!t %!at.@G:A>-?K(. inherit the 8ingdom #re#ared for you from the foundation of the world* D those )hristians that have been /orthy of receivin& God the *ather’s blessin&+ often are called in the 2e/ Testa"ent as the inheritors of the pro"ised blessin&s+ the true children of God+ to /ho" belon& the blessin&s that have been prepared for the" by God %1o". the -eavenly 7in&do"+ because the 0ord said: *6ot everyone who says to 'e. ?:K-9E -eb.e. -e /ill be acco"panied by *all the holy ngels.ud&"ent by co"parin& -is Second )o"in& /ith the triu"phant entrances of earthly $in&s 6in their &lory.6 *He will sit on the throne of His glory6 D that "eans that the 0ord /ill appear as the 7in& and . The last /ords of the parable: *Wat"h. H:>9E Gal. Before )hrist’s co"in&+ there /ill be the universal resurrection. 9:@>(. The 0ord co""ences -is narrative about the 3read . God at the very be&innin& had foreseen the /or$s that /ill be done. therefore>* %Therefore+ be alert( a&ain indicate the necessity for constant spiritual vi&ilance in order to "eet the 0ord+ as the day and hour of -is co"in& is hidden fro" us. The full picture of the 3read . !oreover+ those resurrected /ill be in the 6spiritual6 bodies+ /hile those that are alive /ill chan&e instantly %> )or.ohn >A:AGE > )or. >A:>(.

erusale"+ /here durin& the . The eternal tortures /ere specifically allotted to the rebellin& a&ainst God spirits. The /ord 6Pascha6 itself is a derivative fro" the .* The feast of the Passover be&an on the evenin& of the >?Th of 2isan+ /hich fell on a *riday that year %see . It /as celebrated in the "e"ory of the liberation of .a"es @:>?-@KE > . you "ursed* D cursed+ "eanin& deprived of blessin&s. *.ohn A:>G->H+ ?:@:-@>(. @K:>->KE !ar$ >?:>->>E 0u$e @@:>-K( -avin& finished the above ser"ons to -is disciples+ the 0ord predicted the fast approach of the hour of -is sufferin&s on the cross throu&h the /ords narrated only by Evan&elist !atthe/: *1ou !now that after two days is the <assover. This e'a"ple is ta$en fro" the fire in the valley of Geno"es+ to the south/est of . The 0ord calls -is follo/ers 6!y brothers+6 as close and related to -i" in spirit+ in disposition+ in sufferin&E -e calls the" 6the least+6 because they are hu"bled+ because they are poor+ outcasts. and the Son of 'an will be delivered u# to be "ru"ified.ected God’s love.e/s. s "any sur"ise+ these tortures /ill consist of the terrible pan&s of conscience+ /hich /ill re"ain fruitless. This is the la/ of "oral self-i"prove"ent: the "ore a person i"proves+ the "ore he reali#es the insi&nificance of his achieve"ents.e/ish 6peisah+6 /hich "eans: 6a passa&e6+ 6"ercy6 in "e"ory of that "o"ent+ /hen after $illin& the E&yptian first-born+ the n&el seein& the blood of a sacrificial . The reply fro" the ri&hteous testifies of their hu"ility and reali#ation of their un/orthiness.e/s’ di&ression fro" the true faith+ /ere brou&ht the sacrifices to !oloch. * nd these will go away into everlasting #unishment* D the tortures for the sinners+ /hich contrary to the teachin&s of so"e false prophets+ /ill have no end as they voluntarily re. This is ho/ the area &ot its na"e as the valley of fire+ /hich be&an to serve as an e'a"ple of eternal tortures for the sinner.:ecisio! to =ill 'hrist %!at.ohn >F:>?(: /e can conclude fro" this+ that those /ords /ere pronounced either on a Tuesday ni&ht or on 4ednesday. Great )ed!esday The 5i(h &riests. Passover /as the &reatest and "ost triu"phant feast a"on& the .non-hypocritical /or$s of "ercy.e/s fro" the E&yptian bonda&e. There are "entioned only the /or$s of "ercy+ because they attest to true faith and piety of a )hristian %see .e#art from 'e. So &reat /ill be the bliss of the ri&hteous+ be&innin& so"eti"es here on the earth. -o/ever+ as the sinners beco"e the participants in that evil+ /hich the devil and his an&els so/+ they too are sentenced for the tortures. 0ater+ it /as used to du"p /aste and corpses of the e'ecuted+ and in order to purify the area+ there /as a constant fire burnin&. They are conde"ned *into the everlasting fire #re#ared for the devil and his angels* D here+ the fire represents the hi&hest de&ree of tortures+ as the death by burnin& /ith the fire is the cruelest for" of punish"ent. So"e of its traces are already e'perienced in this life+ such is+ for e'a"ple+ the state of perpetual "elancholy.

The la"b had to be totally consu"ed before the ne't day.esus. is eaten in memory of the (ord s#aring our homes in Dgy#t*: raisin& the bread and the bitter &reens+ he e'plained that the first re"ind the" of the haste of their fli&ht fro" E&ypt+ /hile the second D the bitterness of their E&yptian bonda&e. >@(. 3urin& the Passover celebrations+ in the "e"ory of the ori&inal s"earin& of door. The ba$ed la"b /as eaten in its entirety+ /ithout leavin& the bones or veins D /ith the unleavened bread and bitter &reens.* sho/s the 3ivine prevision of the 0ord.ah %Psal"s >>G->>H( /as sun&. lest there be an u#roar among the #eo#le. That’s /hy the la"b /as sacrificed near the tabernacle+ and then /ithin the te"ple.* 0ater+ all the three forecasters relate about the "eetin& of the hi&h priests and . Then on the >?th day+ it /as prepared accordin& to established practice+ sacrificed in the courtyard of the sanctuary and ba$ed. They a&ain /ashed their hands and ate the la"b+ bitter &reens and bread. In conclusion+ the fourth chalice& called 2gallel2& /as drun$ because follo/in& that+ the second part of -allelu. >@:@K-@9(. This /as called the first cup. 4hen the servin& dishes /ere brou&ht in a&ain+ he /ould pronounce: *$his @ <as"ha. Before anythin& else+ everybody approached the chalice filled /ith /atered-do/n /ine: after praisin& God+ the head of the fa"ily dran$ fro" it+ follo/ed in turn by everybody that /as present. )hap. The /ords: *after two days is the <assover. t the sa"e ti"e they pronounced the /ords of praise+ after /hat the servin& plates /ere ta$en a/ay and another chalice of /atered-do/n /ine /as brou&ht in. The servin& plates /ere re"oved in order to arouse interest a"on& the children+ pro"ptin& the" to as$ 5uestions that /ould receive a detailed narrative about the feast day history %E'od. On the >:th day of 2isan+ the heads of fa"ilies had to select a one-year-old la"b+ free of any defects. The head of the fa"ily told the story of the . To&ether /ith the feast day of 68nleavened Bread6 /hich be&an on the second day of the Passover+ the Passover itself /as celebrated for H days D fro" the evenin& of the >?th up to the @>st of the "onth of 2isan+ /hich corresponds to the end of our !arch and the be&innin& of pril. Possessed by fren#ied ra&e and findin& the betrayer+ they decided not to /ait for the end of the feast period. The eatin& co""enced precisely at the sunset+ on the >?th of 2isan. They then co""enced to taste the Pascal la"b+ to&ether /ith the unleavened bread+ bitter &reens and thic$ sauce+ "ade of dates+ fi&s+ &rapes and vine&ar.a"bs and cross-bea"s of the .la"b upon the door . Everybody then /ashed their hands and than$ed God. Saint !atthe/ narrates that this "eetin& too$ place in the house of the hi&h priest . Then they a&ain /ashed their hands and dran$ fro" the third chalice D called the chalice of #enediction+ because drin$in& fro" it+ the head of the fa"ily uttered a special prayer of praise to God for -is e'ceptional &race. and the Son of 'an will be delivered u# to be "ru"ified. -e $ne/ the day of -is death+ despite -is ene"ies statin&: *not during the feast. The co""on belief a"on& the litur&ists is that this paschal supper laid the foundation for our )hristian Eucharist D the "ystery of )o""union. *ollo/in& that+ they san& the first part of the so-called 'allelu/ah+ na"ely Psal"s >>:->>?+ said the short prayers and once a&ain dran$ /ine fro" the chalice+ /hich /as called the second chalice.e/ish houses passed by+ thereby sparin& the .e/ish first-born %E'od.e/ish elders about the destruction of . *earin& to a&itate the people /ho "i&ht intervene for the 0ord+ they decided to ta$e -i" cunnin&ly and 5uietly a/ay fro" the people+ after the feast day.e/ish bonda&e in E&ypt+ their liberation and the establish"ent of the feast day D the Passover D to co""e"orate that event.a"bs and crossbea"s /ith blood+ the sacrificial table /as sprin$led /ith the blood of the slau&htered la"b.

F:H and others(+ and as a si&n of e'ceptional respect D to the feet.ases+ urns+ perfu"in&-pans and containers for preservin& the aro"atic substances /ere "ade fro" this "arble. nd /e see this D the narration about it is not only recorded in the Gospel+ but also included in our )hurch Service: follo/in& Great 4ednesday+ our )hurch &lorifies this /o"an’s action+ dra/in& the parallel bet/een that and . part+ the 0ord &ives a special sy"bolic "eanin& to this action9 *She has "ome beforehand to anoint 'y body for burial* D as this /as an ancient practice to anoint the bodies of the dead /ith aro"atics. *&or you have the #oor with you always* and you can al/ays sho/ benevolence to/ards the": *%ut 'e you do not have always* D this /as the concealed indication about -is death. *Why was this fragrant oil wasted/* D not $no/in& the thou&hts and profound feelin&s of reverence in the /o"ansinner+ and bein& a/are of the 0ord’s intolerance to/ards e'trava&ance+ /ho put "ercy and benefaction above all else+ the disciples conde"ned her act. . The "yrrh /as applied to the head+ forehead+ face+ beard+ clothin& %Psal" @A:GE >AA:@E Eccl.oseph+ /hile )aiaphas /as his nic$-na"e of the fa"ily na"e. . ccordin& to the )hurch tradition %represented in a very "ovin& /ay in the church service follo/in& Great 4ednesday(+ the /o"an that approached the 0ord /ith the intention of anointin& -i" /ith e'pensive oil+ /as a repentin& sinner. *urther+ the first t/o Evan&elists+ Saints !atthe/ and !ar$+ narrate about the anoint"ent of the 0ord by a certain /o"an in the house of Si"on the leper. The first na"e of )aiaphas /as . The incident in the house of Si"on the leper finally "ade hi" understand that it /as futile to e'pect enrich"ent fro" the Teacher of voluntary poverty and self-abase"ent. *%ut there were some who were indignant among themselves.udas e'pected earthly &ifts+ /orldly riches and do"inion fro" . Si"on /as called the leper+ because apparently the 0ord had healed hi" of leprosy. -e /as the son-in-la/ of the for"er hi&h priest nna or nnanas+ /ho /as replaced by the order of the 1o"an pro-consul.esus )hrist: his avarice /as losin& patience in seein& the Teacher’s total non-covetousness. The "yrrh /as the aro"atic li5uid+ "ade of oil and scented additives D usually+ the oil /as the finest olive oil+ co"bined /ith fra&rant resins li$e nard or )o""iphora &u" and various flo/ers. *$hen one of the twelve "alled Judas Is"ariot went to the "hief #riests and said. She brou&ht the myrrh in an alabaster container. s a re/ard for her action+ the 0ord foretells the perpetual co""e"oration of her deed a"on& the )hristians. -o/ever+ in that case they /ere "ista$en. The courtyards in the East /ere found inside of the buildin& and often served as the "eetin& places.ohn %. labaster is the type of "arble+ $no/n for its li&htness+ transparency and beauty. and said. In the East+ the anoint"ent /ith oil /as used not only in the hi&hest sense+ li$e anointin& the $in&s and hi&h priests+ but /ithin the ordinary life by the people of /ealth and fa"e for deli&ht. ccordin& to Evan&elist . The annoyance /ith the 0ord+ 4ho .ohn >@:K(+ he be&an to re/ard hi"self fro" the treasury bo'+ secretly appropriatin& the put into the bo' donations. ?What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you/* D 6Then6 D this e'presses not only the conse5uential events+ but also the inner+ lo&ical connection.ustified her actions as co"in& fro" /ar" faith and sincere contrition.udas’ betrayal+ /hich occurred later on the sa"e day+ soon after that case.)aiaphas+ in his courtyard.erusale". The )hurch tradition differentiates this anoint"ent to that perfor"ed by !ary+ the sister of resurrected 0a#arus+ occurred K days before the Passover and before the 0ord’s entry to . The 0ord .

accordin& to our calendar+ Thursday.esus )hrist+ ta$in& into account the stin&iness and &reed of the betrayer that /ould not start bar&ainin&. nd indeed+ . part fro" that+ the e'pressions used by the first three Evan&elists about the day+ /hen the !ystical Supper happened+ appear so"e/hat contradict to those applied by the fourth Evan&elist+ Saint . @K:>9 *6ow on the first day of the &east of Anleavened %read>* !ar$ >?:>@ *6ow on the first day of Anleavened %read. Great Thursday The 1ystical "upper %!at.e. The no"inated su" fulfilled =achariah’s prophecy %>>:>@->A( about the A: silver pieces+ /ith /hich the un&rateful people evaluated the fatherly care of . *What are you willing to give me/* D These /ords indicate his annoyance and rancor to/ards his Teacher+ /ho" he decided to betray /ithout ar&uin& about the price. i. 7no/in& of the Sanhedrin’s decision to sei#e the 0ord+ he approached the hi&h priests in order to offer his services for "oney D to betray the 0ord in an isolated place+ a/ay fro" people. 0i$e/ise it is clear that the 0ord /as conde"ned and crucified on the si'th day of the /ee$ D riday+ re"ained in the to"b on the seventh day of the /ee$ D Saturday+ and resurrected fro" the dead on the first day of the /ee$. on the eve of the Passover celebrationI These confusions re&ardin& the 0ast Supper day+ are born fro" the follo/in& indications of the Evan&elists: !at.ehovah about the".e. thee opportunity /hen the 0ord /as alone+ /ithout "any people that usually surrounded -i".udas /as very co"pliant+ not de"andin& "ore+ and 6from that time he sought o##ortunity to betray him*. @K:>9-@F+ !ar$ >?:>@-@GE 0u$e @@:9-AH and . -o/ever+ /hat brin&s out the difference in opinion is the relation of the 0ast Supper to the celebrated then .ohn. the appro'i"ate value of each bein& H: $opec$s+ "a$in& in totality @? silver rubles. /as the 0ast Supper on the >?th of 2isan in the evenin& of the .e/ish Passover+ i.as he thou&ht+ deceived his e'pectations and a desire to utili#e any situation for personal &ain+ "ade hi" a betrayer.e/ish Passover+ or /as it on the >Ath of 2isan+ i. pparently+ this su" /as offered to sho/ their conte"pt to the 0ord .ay of Anleavened %read>* . when they !illed the <assover lamb>* 0u$e @@:9 *$hen "ame the .ohn >A->9( *ll the four Evan&elists narrate about the 0ord’s !ystical Supper /ith -is disciples D on the eve of -is cruciferous sufferin&s+ but not all report the circu"stances of this supper /ith e5ual detail.e. That’s /hy they no"inated a paltry su" D the price of a /hite slave D *thirty #ie"es of silver*.e. The only thin& of absolute certainty is that the 0ast Supper too$ place on the fifth day of the /ee$+ i. A: silver coins+ socalled *blessed she!els*.

e/ish Passover one day earlier than it /as re5uired+ %/hich -e undoubtedly perfor"ed on the day at the !ystical Supper(+ even thou&h the postles do not describe it in detail+ because their "ain attention /as focused on establishin& the 2e/ Testa"ent Pascha+ the -oly )o""union of )hrist’s *lesh and Blood.e/s D especially the Galileans D be&an to celebrate even those days+ precedin& the approachin& of the feast day and in particular+ for the Galileans that arrived at . not on the >?th but on the >Ath of 2isan.* i.e.e. on the >Ath instead of the >?th. This /as the &reat relief to the te"ple /or$ers+ to /ho" slau&hterin& @GK+::: la"bs in one day of the >?th of 2isan /ould have been too burdenso"e. #re#ared "hamber /here they prepared the Pascha.e/s hurried to brea$ the $nees of those crucified+ so as not to leave the bodies on the crosses on Saturday+ *for that Sabbath was a great day. !oreover+ Saint . ?'y time is at hand. In any case+ /e $no/ that the ai" of Saint .* ccordin& to Saint 0u$e+ Peter and .esus to Pilate didn’t enter the Praetoriu"+ *lest they should be defiled.* I cannot postpone the celebration of the Passover+ and today *will !ee# the <assover at your house with 'y dis"i#les. The o/ner of the house &ave the" a large. There appears a 5uestionD /hy did )hrist perfor" the .e. but that they may eat the <assover. The actual preparation for the 0ast Supper /as 5uite "iraculous.ohn+ statin& that the 0ast Supper /as 2#efore the east of the !assover2.e.erusale"+ tellin& the" that they /ould "eet the person carryin& a /ater urn.* and .ohn /as to co"plete the narratives of the first three Evan&elists. That’s /hy it /as possible to call 6the first 3ay of the *east of 8nleavened Bread+6 not the >Gth of 2isan+ /hich falls on the day after the parta$in& of the Pascha+ not even the >?th %/hen the Pascha is eaten(+ but the >Ath D the day before the Passover D as it is clearly indicated by Evan&elist .ohn >A:> *6ow before the &east of the <assover>* The Passover be&an on the evenin& of the >?th 2isan and conse5uently+ if to ta$e to the strict+ biblical /ord usa&e+ 6the first 3ay of the 8nleavened Bread feast6 can only be the day after it+ i. The 0ord sent t/o disciples fro" Bethany to . They /ere to follo/ hi" into /hatever house he entered+ and tell its o/ner: *$he $ea"her says.ohn+ the disciples /ent forth and everythin& happened . Therefore+ /e "ust accept his indisputable indication that the 0ast Supper too$ place before the Passover feast ca"e+ i. pparently+ the first three Evan&elists didn’t ta$e to the strict+ biblical phraseolo&y+ but to the everyday+ conversational one.e/s and be crucified(+ so that the Sacrifice on the )ross D sy"boli#ed by the Paschal la"bs D /ould be brou&ht the sa"e day and hour /hen the Passover la"bs /ere slain. Saturday coincided /ith the first day of the Passover and conse5uently+ the Pascha /as eaten on the eve+ on *riday+ after the 0ord /as crucified.e/ish Passover be&an only on *riday evenin&+ /hen the 0ord /as crucified: . This coincides /ith Saint !ar$’s denotation: *When they !illed the <assover lamb* and /ith Saint 0u$e’s: *When the <assover must be !illed6 Besides+ it /as $no/n that after the Babylonian bonda&e+ the .erusale"+ the la"b /as al/ays slain one day earlier+ i.ohn >F:A> D the . the >Gth of 2isan. The 0ord’s all-$no/in& po/er . The basic assu"ption is that because the evenin& of the >?th of 2isan that year /as the be&innin& of the Sabbath’s rest %Saturday /as approachin&(+ so the Passover la"b /as slain on the evenin& of the >Ath. *inally+ it is assu"ed that the 0ord perfor"ed the Passover one day earlier %as -e $ne/ that the follo/in& day -e /ould fall into the hands of the .ohn has other testi"onies that the .ust as the 0ord said..ohn >H:@H+ D those leadin& .

This 2e/ Testa"ent supper be&an /ith /ashin& the feet. Their tas$ /as to denote the co"pletely ne/ )hristian Passover established by the 0ord D the !ystery of the Eucharist.beca"e evident in all these events.oy and happiness+ the ne/ &rape harvest+ the ne/ /ine+ is the 3ivine .oy of )hrist’s $in&do". nd this love of -is 6till the end6 the 0ord revealed in everythin& that /as said and done durin& the !ystical Supper.ohn be&ins his narrative about the Supper in a "ovin& /ay: *6ow before the &east of the <assover. That /as the last Old Testa"ent Passover for all -is follo/ers: fro" that "o"ent on+ they /ould have -oly )o""union of -is *lesh and Blood until they enter into the closest and "ost sincere co""union /ith -i" in the ne't blessed life D *in the day without night of His !ingdom*. for I say to you. There /as a custo" to have the feet /ashed before the supper+ and that /as done by a servant. The closeness of co""union of all the true )hristians /ith )hrist in that future life can be partly co"pared to that closeness /hich the 0ord had /ith -is disciples at the !ystical Supper. as it is sun& in one of the Troparions of the Paschal canon.* The )hurch teaches us about /hat ne/ /ine is that /hen it sin&s on the day of )hrist’s 1esurrection: *Come to the birth of the new wine and 2oin in the . when Jesus !new that His hour had "ome that He should de#art from this world to the &ather. )onse5uently+ the "eanin& of the above "entioned /ords of the 0ord is: 6Such Passover as /e are perfor"in& today /ill not be repeated a&ain until in the ne't life+ in the triu"phant )hurch+ it /ill be perfor"ed in its co"plete and final "easure6. I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the 8ingdom of Heaven.ohn >A:@-@:(. 4ith that+ in the vie/ of the ti"e co"in& close /hen the &reat and final events of -is earthly life had to ta$e place+ the 0ord’s /ords indicate the sense of haste. ccordin& to Saint 0u$e+ i""ediately after and follo/in& the Old Testa"ent ritual+ the 0ord &ave -is disciples a chalice /ith /ine to drin$+ sayin&: *I will not drin! the fruit of the vine until the 8ingdom of God "omes* and accordin& to Saint !ar$+ *when I drin! it new in the 8ingdom of God. -o/ever this custo" /as not al/ays carried out %0u$e 9:??(E evidently+ this /as not fulfilled in . He loved them to the end* D here+ the 3ivinity and hu"anity of )hrist are bein& united: as God+ -e $no/s of the nearness of -is hour and approaches it -i"selfE as a hu"an+ -e hu"anly &rieves over -is forthco"in& physical separation fro" -is disciples+ and this creates the surplus of love to/ards the". The )ashi!( o* the Feet %.* This /as the last Paschal supper that the 0ord could celebrate /ith -is disciples in -is earthly lifeE instead of that le&ally sanctioned Passover+ -e then intended to establish the &enuine Pascha D the !ystical Supper of -is *lesh and Blood+ the "ystery of the Eucharist.* -ence+ as /ine is the sy"bol of . Saint . Saint 0u$e states that the 0ord be&an the supper /ith the follo/in& /ords: *With fervent desire I have desired to eat this <assover with you before I suffer. having loved His own who were in the world. It "ust be assu"ed that after those /ords of )hrist+ the Passover viands /ere consu"ed /ith the usual prayers and rituals+ /hich the Evan&elists re&arded as superfluous to spea$ of.ivine 2oy of Christ)s 8ingdom.

udas. !nowing that the &ather had given all things into His hands. Peter /as astounded by the 0ord’s actions and found the" inco"patible /ith -is hi&h "eritE that /as /hy for the second ti"e in his life+ he contradicted )hrist %!at >K:@@(: *1ou shall never wash my feet0* Because of this declaration+ he heard the fri&htenin& threat D if he persisted in bein& disobedient up to the end and placin& his "ind instead of )hrist’s+ then he /ill have no 6part6 /ith )hrist+ i. and that He had "ome from God and was going to God. Then -e ties a to/el around -is /aist li$e a servant+ -e fills a /ash basin /ith /ater and co""ences to /ash the feet of -is disciples+ dryin& the" /ith the to/el+ /ith /hich -e /as tied around. The $ord A!!ou!ces o* the Betrayer %!at. *1ou are not all "lean* D is the distinct hint about traitor . pparently that ar&u"ent beca"e the cause to sho/ the disciples the visual e'a"ple of hu"ility and "utual love+ by /ashin& their feet. Saint 0u$e tells that durin& the supper+ an ar&u"ent bet/een the disciples about /ho a"on& the" /as the senior+ too$ place.e. e'presses as thou&h readiness to obey -is 0ord even "ore than others+ /ho only have their feet /ashed. Bein& the closest to the 0ord at the 0ast Supper+ havin& rested his head On )hrist’s boso" as narrated by hi"+ Saint . @K:@>-@GE !ar$ >?:>H-@>E 0u$e @@:@>-@A and . Scared of that threat and infla"ed /ith love for his 3ivine Teacher+ Peter offers: 6/ash not "y feet only+ but also "y hands and "y head+6 i.ohn >A:@>-A:(. This /as a silent yet de"onstrative behest of the departin& Teacher to -is disciples D the behest of humility and mutual service+ /ithout any superiority of one before another.* D the "eanin& of these /ords is such: -u"an God /as allo/ed by *ather God to utili#e all "eans that -e "i&ht find useful in order to save people D that’s the reason /hy no/ -e perfor"s such an unusual tas$+ /hich does not coincide /ith the hu"an notions. 4hat a po/erful refutation of the false 1o"an-catholic teachin& about the supre"acy of Saint postle Peter above all the other postles+ and built on that false do&"a about the Pope’s pri"acy in the )hurch. -avin& finished /ashin& their feet+ the 0ord e'plained -is intention to -is disciples+ instructin& the" that they too should serve one another /ith love+ not re&ardin& any effort as bein& de"eanin& and not boastin& one in front of another.)hrist’s s"all co""unity+ because the 0ord -i"self "eant to sho/ -is disciples the e'a"ple of hu"ility and selfless love. The 0ord stands up+ re"oves -is outer &ar"ent so that it /on’t be in the /ay+ only /ith -is tunic left. 6-o/ in this personal feature in characteri#ed Si"on Peter6+ says Bishop !ichael+ 6/ho decides to &o to the 0ord on the /aves and then cries out D I sin$+ /ho stri$es the servant of the hi&h priests /ith his s/ord and then runs a/ay+ /ho penetrates into the courtyard /here the 0ord /as . he /ill be e'co""unicated fro" )hrist’s co"pany. -avin& /ashed the feet of -is disciples and &iven the" the edification about it+ the . verse @?(. 6Then -e ca"e to Si"on PeterP6 it can be seen fro" this phrase that Si"on /as not the first one that -e approached+ and that evidently he /as reclinin& a/ay fro" the 0ord %co"p.ud&ed+ there repudiates -i" and leaves /ith bitter tears6.ohn alone D /ho usually co"pletes the narratives of the other Evan&elists. This /ashin& of the feet is described in detail by Evan&elist . In -is ans/er to Peter+ the 0ord reveals the hi&h purpose of -is actions and at the sa"e ti"e as thou&h consoles hi" after the threat+ e'pressed to hi".e. *Jesus.ohn &ives the "ost detailed description of the 0ord’s e'posure of -is betrayer.

I say to you. In &ivin& . nd of course throu&h this act the 0ord once a&ain /anted to a/a$en the feelin& of repentance in . Of course+ "aybe in order to arouse repentance /ithin . s the first three Evan&elists narrate+ the 0ord told the other postles about the betrayer only in &eneral ter"s: *$he hand of 'y betrayer is with 'e on the table. If one doesn’t loo$ at the intention+ then the devil can be released fro" bla"e.* *Woe to that man by whom the Son of 'an is betrayed* D here+ the 0ord focuses attention on the "iserable lot of the betrayer+ and not on the hideousness of the act+ and e'presses &rief about hi". That’s /hy .udas is conde"nedI -e only fulfilled /hat /as /ritten. is it I/* and the 0ord 5uietly ans/ered hi": *1ou have said it*.ohn+ perple'ed about /ho" the 0ord "eant.ohn+ he dre/ very near to the 0ord’s chest and softly as$ed: *(ord.udas’s betrayal that &ave us salvation+ but )hrist’s /isdo" and -is &reat plan that converted the evil acts of others to our benefit. Nuite understandably+ those /ords provo$ed uproar a"on& the disciples: it produced the feelin& of profound sorro/ because their Beloved Teacher /ould find betrayal a"on& the".0ord /as 2trou#led in spirit2 fro" the $no/led&e that in those sole"n hours+ /hen -e /as preparin& to establish the &reat "ystery of )o""union of -is *lesh and Blood and &ive the disciples -is last directives+ -is betrayer /as in their "idst.ohn to as$ the 0ord about the betrayer.* t the Passover supper+ the bread /as usually dipped in a sauce of dates and fi&s. 6-o/ever+ so"e /ill say+6 says Saint )hrysosto": 6If it is /ritten that )hrist /ill suffer li$e this+ then /hy .ohn. Then /hat+ one "i&ht as$+ if . is it I/* and e'chan&e &lances+ accordin& to Saint . ccordin& to Saint !ar$+ *they began to be sorrowful*. whom Jesus loved* Q so narrates the beloved disciple of )hrist+ .abbi. That sho/s that Peter /asn’t that close to the 0ord and in the ter"s of the conte"porary to the" custo"s+ didn’t occupy the place ne't to the 0ord D contrary to the 1o"an-catholic false teachin& about Peter’s pri"acy(.udas about that planned by hi" terrible cri"e /hen the 0ord e'clai"ed: *'ost assuredly.udas a piece of bread+ . 4ith especial te"erity+ /ith /hich could dare to spea$ only the beloved disciple . -is 4isdo" is &reat and inco"prehensible.udas as /ell as$ed *. But no+ no.He gave it to Judas Is"ariot.ohn had his head close to )hrist’s chest D in other /ords+ his head /as restin& on )hrist’s chest. So"eti"es+ the head of the fa"ily distributed such pieces of bread as a si&n of his special affection. The le&s /ere lyin& at an an&le+ a/ay fro" the table so that the ne't person /ould be not at the feet of the first person+ but close to his chest. It /as precisely that /ay that . tryin& for the last ti"e to arouse repentance in hi"+ even thou&h it /as fruitless. who is it/* nd the 0ord ans/ered: *It is he to whom I shall give a #ie"e of bread when I have di##ed it>. Because it /asn’t . Ta$in& advanta&e of this+ Saint Peter "ade a si&n to Saint .udas. -o/ever+ he didn’t do that /ith that thou&ht but throu&h "alice. *6ow there was leaning on Jesus) bosom one of His dis"i#les. one of you will betray 'e*.6 )learly reali#in& the profound decline of hu"an nature+ they all+ as thou&h havin& no reliance upon the"selves+ as$: *(ord.esus calls hi" a /retched "an6.udas didn’t betray )hrist+ /ouldn’t -e be betrayed by so"eone elseI If everyone /as ri&hteous+ then there /ould be no fulfill"ent in the for"ation of our salvation D let it not be so D because the 4ise One -i"self $ne/ ho/ to arran&e our salvation+ even if there /as no betrayal. ccordin& to Saint !atthe/+ . )usto"arily+ the face and chest of those reclinin& at the refectory faced the table+ the left elbo/ rested on a pillo/ /hile the ri&ht ar" /as free to reach out to/ards the food. This /as evident only to . /hile accordin& to Saint !atthe/+ 6they /ere e'ceedin&ly sorro/ful.ohn the Theolo&ian+ not na"in& hi"self because of his hu"ility. The one and the other deserve countless tortures+ even thou&h the /hole /orld /ould be saved.

udas D as it happens /ith the souls that are deeply polluted /ith evil D beca"e "ore e"bittered a&ainst the 0ord. It /ould have been i"possible to purchase anythin& on the evenin& of the feast-day itself+ and it /ould not have been possible to find be&&ars to help the"+ because that ni&ht+ everyone D the rich and poor D did not co"e out of their ho"es+ celebratin& the Passover accordin& to the la/. *urther on+ Saint .udas about purchasin& all that /as necessary for the feast-day. satan entered him. Saint . 2ot /antin& to e'pose that openly before all the disciples D in case they "i&ht decide to ta$e forceful "easures a&ainst .* The /ord 6bread6 here is 2artos2 in Gree$+ /hich "eans 6the leavened bread6+ that one "ade /ith yeast+ /hich is different to 6a$si"on6+ the bread that is unleavened+ /hich /as eaten by the . 2Blessed2& 2gave than1s2 indicate the verbal e'pression of &ratitude to God the *ather+ as it . It /as only after that+ /hen -e addressed to the disciples /ith those /ords+ /hich Saint . @K:@K-@FE !ar$ >?:@@-@G and 0u$e @@:>F-@:(.ohn be&ins to narrate the 0ord’s fare/ell conversation /ith -is disciples+ be&innin& /ith the /ords: *6ow the Son of 'an is glorified. -o/ever+ it is i"perative to assu"e that /ith .udas-betrayer.ohn confir"s that no one understood those /ords+ includin& .udas+ /hich he alone /ould understand: *What you do.e/ish Passover+ >Ath of 2isan.* /hich is heard in the evenin& durin& our )hurch service on Great Thursday+ /hile readin& the first Gospel of the -oly Passions.udas D and not to raise any useless thou&hts of i"pedin& the 3ivine predeter"ination+ the 0ord uttered the /ords to .ohn does not.udasE establish the &reat "ystery of the Eucharist 0ithout his un/orthy participation+ and &ive the disciples final+ partin& edification.udas’s e'it+ the 0ord first established the "ystery of the Eucharist+ about /hich narrate the first A Evan&elists+ /hile . The /stablish#e!t o* the /ucharist 1ystery %!at. The 0ord 2too12 the bread+ blessed it and in distributin& it a"on& the disciples+ said: *$a!e.ohn hi"self+ not suspectin& the betrayal to occur that very ni&ht. It "ust be assu"ed that such leavened bread /as especially prepared on the 0ord’s instructions+ in order to establish the ne/ !ystery. eat: this is 'y %ody.* 3espite the 0ord’s &esture and /ords of /arnin&+ callin& hi" to/ards repentance+ . 1eadin& the hearts+ the 0ord sa/ /hat /as happenin& in .udas’s soul. Everyone thou&ht that the 0ord /as &ivin& instructions to . The si&nificance of such bread lies in that it is see"in&ly alive+ sy"boli#in& life+ as opposed to unleavened bread+ /hich is lifeless. This is the fresh proof that the feast-day had not yet arrived and conse5uently+ the 0ast Supper /as perfor"ed on the eve of the . Blessed Theothylactus as if supposes that /ith the /ords * nd it was night* the Evan&elist "i&ht have had in "ind the "ental ni&ht+ that spiritual &loo" that finally covered the &loo"ed /ith covetousness soul of . do =ui"!ly* D 64hatever you have decided upon+ do it 5uic$ly6 D is the 0ord’s authoritative order+ ea&er to reali#e God’s /ill as soon as possible and to fulfill -is act as the toner of "an$ind.the 0ord /anted to arouse repentance in Iscariot+ but /ith his &loo"y soul happened the absolutely opposite thin&: *6ow after the #ie"e of bread. t the sa"e ti"e+ the plausible e'cuse /ould liberate the &roup of disciples fro" the presence of . ll the three forecasters narrate about this event in nearly the sa"e detail.e/s in the Passover.ohn tells of in detail+ addin& it to that /hich /as not "entioned by the first three Evan&elists.

The ter" 6Body of )hrist6 "eans all the physical nature of -u"an God+ inseparably connected /ith -is soul and 3ivinity. s there /as one chalice+ it had to be passed fro" hand to hand. It is for this reason that the 0ord said: 6all of you6. This sa"e nature of -u"an God is &iven in the for" of /ine+ not as a separate identity but only for the fullness of its visible for". whi"h is shed for many for the remission of sins. 6Because /e are /ea$+6 says Blessed Theothylactus+ 6and /ould not dare to eat ra/ "eat+ especially hu"an flesh+ /e are offered bread+ thou&h in reality it is flesh. That’s /hy the e'pression 6Parta$e the -oly )o""union in its t/o for"s6 is an absolutely precise e'pression D "eanin&: parta$e the -oly )o""union of one and the same essence. It is e'tre"ely i"portant to note that the 0ord said: *$his is 'y %ody6: -e didn’t say 2this #read2 but specifically 2this2 because at that "o"ent+ the bread ceased to be bread and beca"e the &enuine Body of )hrist+ retainin& the appearance of bread. By its initial "eanin&+ the /ord 6testament6 is identical to the /ord 6/ill6. &or this is 'y %lood of the new "ovenant.* -ere one cannot but see the accusation of the 1o"an-)atholics+ /ho deprived their lay"en of )hrist’s chalice. all of you. &ain+ the 0ord declares: *This is 'y %lood* D not only its i"a&e+ not sy"bolic blood+ but &enuine+ real blood. That’s /hy -e "entions the 2e/ and the Old Testa"ent+ for it too /as rene/ed /ith blood.rin! from it.* It is not by chance that the /ords 2all of you2 /ere included. If this /as so+ the 0ord /ould not have established the )o""union under the t0o forms. all of you. That’s /hy at that "o"ent it too beca"e the ob. -o/ever+ this doesn’t "ean that the *lesh can replace the Blood and that it is sufficient to have )o""union of the *lesh alone. s all the three forecasters narrate+ havin& co""uned -is disciples /ith the *lesh+ the 0ord pic$ed up the chalice and a&ain gave than1s+ i.e.ust as the Old Testa"ent had sheep and la"bs+ so the 2e/ Testa"ent has the 0ord’s Blood.ohn chap.6 64hy did the disciples+6 as$s Saint )hrysosto"+ 6not beco"e a&itated /hen hearin& thisI Because prior to this+ the 0ord said "any i"portant thin&s to the" about that !ystery6 %recall -is ser"on about the bread descendin& fro" heavens+ .ect of &ratitude. The 0ord didn’t say: 6-ere is the i"a&e of !y Body+ but 6this is !y Body6 %Saint )hrysosto" and Blessed Theothylactus(. nd the 0ord /ants to say that the Old Testa"ent bet/een God and the people is replaced by the 2e/ a&ree"ent+ si&ned /ith 'is Blood.6 4ith that the 0ord sho/s that -e endured death. The testa"ent holds /ithin itself pro"ises+ to&ether /ith the conditions for obtainin& the"E n this instance+ it is the observance of God’s co""and"ents. The /ine could not be divided li$e the bread+ /hich the 0ord -i"self divided and distributed a"on& the disciples. s Blessed Theothylactus e'plains: 6 s not everyone can ta$e in the fir" food+ but only those of the perfect a&e+ everybody can drin$. So that nobody /ould be "issed and /ould not let the chalice to pass by+ the 0ord resolutely declares: *. n a&ree"ent is al/ays confir"ed and si&ned. *Shed . s a result of the 0ord’s Prayer+ the bread too$ on the nature of flesh /hile preservin& its out/ard appearance of bread. *ro" this point of vie/+ the /ord testament "ay be e'plained as the 6a&ree"ent6 bet/een God and people. appealed to the -oly Spirit in a prayer that chan&ed the /ine into the &enuine Blood of )hrist+ and said: *.rin! from it.happened before+ for instance+ at the "o"ent of 0a#arus’s resurrection: the re5uested /as fulfilled at the very "o"ent of appealin&. K(. 4hat does 2of the Ne0 Testament2 "eanI s Saint )hrysosto" e'plains: 6.

for many for the remission of sins6 D "eans+ that the sufferin&s of the One and only Son of God served as the relenting sacrifice for the sins of the /hole hu"an race %many is said instead of all(+ /hich are for&iven to all those+ /ho believe in )hrist and parta$e of -is Ever-Pure *lesh and Blood. In the >>th chapter of the first Epistle to )orinthians+ both Saints 0u$e and Paul state that the 0ord added to that: *.o this in remembran"e of 'e*. Therefore+ the Eucharist cannot be ta$en as ;ust a plain 6re"e"brance6 of the 0ast Supper D as the sectarians do. This /as said because the 0ord /ould not be /ith -is disciples and follo/ers in the visible "anner+ and that they /ill be enterin& into a "ysterious co""union /ith -i" throu&h the parta$in& of -is *lesh and Blood+ re"e"berin& -is for"er bodily presence a"on& the". In the Boo$ of the cts of the -oly postles+ in postle Paul’s Epistles and in the )hristian literature+ /e find "any proves that every )hristian prayer &atherin&s of those days /as acco"panied by the parta$in& of )hrist’s *lesh and Blood+ in the for" of bread and /ine. In the initial centuries+ all )hristians %e'cludin& those banned and e'co""unicated( that ca"e to the church on Sundays and feast days+ invariably partoo$ of the -oly Gifts. The Ar(u#e!t about the "uperiority %0u$e @@:@?-A:( Saint 0u$e narrates that after that+ the ar&u"ent about /ho /as superior a"on& the" arose bet/een the disciples. By /ashin& the feet of the postles+ the 0ord tau&ht the" to hu"bly serve one another. -o/ever+ this did not eradicate the very idea of superiority or authority+ and havin& su&&ested the &eneral unifor" e5uality in -is )hurch+ li$e /ashin& the feet+ -e didn’t lose -is "erit of the Lord and Teacher. In enli&htenin& -is disciples+ the 0ord stated that even the po0erful "ust serve to the others. If /e /ere to ta$e the point of vie/ of the 1o"an-)atholics that postle Peter /as the head of all the postles+ then that ar&u"ent a"on& the postles /ould "a$e no sense+ and the 0ord /ould have stopped the ar&u"ent by confir"in& Peter to be the superior one a"on& the". !ean/hile+ /e hear so"ethin& totally different fro" the 0ord: ;ust as before+ in the si"ilar cases+ the 0ord su&&ests to the postles that they shouldn’t strive for pri"acy but thin$ about the "utual service a"on& the". *or their faithfulness to -i"+ they are pro"ised the inheritance of the -eavenly 7in&do"+ and that they /ill any0ay all sit on thrones to /udge the :; tri#es of 4srael& i.e. they /ill receive the especial honor in the ne't /orld.

The Fi!al 'o!versatio!
%,ohn >A:A>-AH and chaps. >?->K !at. @K:A:-AGE !ar$ >?:@K-A>E 0u$e @@:A>-AH(

Only Evan&elist ,ohn tells of this /onderful and "ovin& conversation of the 0ord /ith -is
disciples+ in full. Saint 0u$e presents only a s"all se&"ent+ /hile the first t/o Evan&elists only relate about the 0ord’s predictions of Peter’s renunciation and the "eetin& in Galilee after the 1esurrection. The /hole conversation is 5uite e'tensive and covers a nu"ber of chapters. To&ether /ith the follo/in& so-called 0ord’s 6Pontifical prayer+6 it is read in its entirety durin& the church service on Great Thursday+ as the first readin& of the Gospel about the -oly Passions.

ccordin& to Saint ,ohn+ as soon as ,udas left+ the 0ord ,esus )hrist be&an -is dialo&ue /ith the /ords: *6ow the Son of 'an is glorified, and God is glorified in Him>* -o/ever+ it has to be assu"ed that the 0ord be&an his speech not only after ,udas’s departure+ but also after -e had established the !ystery of the Eucharist+ because Saint ,ohn does not "ention about it D li$e the one+ co"pletin& the narratives of the first three Evan&elists. -avin& &iven -is *lesh and Blood to the disciples and seein& the "ystery of rede"ption as thou&h bein& fulfilled D as if -e had already been brou&ht as a sacrifice+ con5uerin& the hostile forces D the 0ord e'clai"s those triu"phant /ords: *6ow the Son of 'an is glorified>* 62o/6+ "eanin& at that "ysterious and fri&htenin& ni&ht+ the &lorification of the Son of !an happened+ /hich si"ultaneously /as the &lorification of God the *ather+ 4ho had dei&ned to &ive -is Be&otten Son as a sacrifice for "an$ind’s salvation. This earthly &lorification of -is Son /as the be&innin& of -is future heavenly &lorification as the destroyer of death and hell. 4ishin& to lead -is disciples out of their depressin& "ood+ in /hich they found the"selves+ under the influence of the thou&ht that one of the" /as a betrayer+ the 0ord turned their thou&hts to -is 3ivine &lory+ /hich /ould be revealed in both -is forthco"in& sufferin&s and in -is 1esurrection and scension into -eaven. *Glorify Him immediately* "eans that -is hu"iliation /ill not continue for very lon& and soon+ -is visible &lorification /ill co""ence. *(ittle "hildren, I shall be with you a little while longer* D this e'traordinarily tender address by the 0ord to -is disciples cannot be seen any/here else in the Gospel: it ste""ed fro" the deep feelin& of the i""inent fare/ell under such difficult and te"ptin& for their faith circu"stances. ,ust as I have said to the ,e/s before+ so a" I tellin& you+ that I a" leavin& you+ usin& the path upon /hich you cannot follo/ !e no/. I a" leavin& you in this /orld for the continuation of !y /or$s+ * new "ommandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you>* Because of !y love for the people+ I &ive !y life for the"+ and you "ust continue to i"itate !e in this. The co""and of love for the nei&hbors had already been &iven in the la/ of !oses+ but )hrist &ave it a ne/ character un$no/n before D about love even for the o/n ene"ies+ to the point of self-sacrifice in the Name of Christ. Such pure+ selfless and self-denyin& love is the si&n of &enuine )hristianity. Saint Paul then poses a 5uestion full of sorro/ and fear: *(ord, where are 1ou going/* The 0ord confir"s that no/ he is unable to follo/ -i"+ but Peter forecasts that in the future he shall follo/ the sa"e path of "artyrdo". Then follo/s the prediction of the renunciation to Peter+ about /hich narrate all the ? Evan&elists. 4arnin& Peter a&ainst self-confidence+ /hen he started to assert that he /ill lay his life do/n for the 0ord+ Saint 0u$e /rites that the 0ord said to hi": *Simon, Simon0 Indeed, Satan has as!ed for you, that he may sift you as wheat>* It is characteristic that the 0ord calls hi" here Simon and not !eter+ because havin& renounced the 0ord+ Peter sho/ed that he had ceased to be a 6roc$.6 Such 6so/in&6 "eans the satan’s te"ptations+ to /hich the postles /ere indeed sub"itted in the hours of their Teacher’s sufferin&s D /hen their faith in -i" /as ready to /aver. This re5uest of the satan re"inds us of his si"ilar re5uest concernin& the 0on&-sufferin& ,ob+ /ho /as sub"itted to such a painful te"ptation because the 0ord per"itted it. The 0ord’s al"i&hty prayers protected -is disciples D in particular Peter D fro" the total do/nfall. The 0ord per"itted Peter to fall te"porarily+ so that throu&h this+ he /ould beco"e stron&er and fortify his fello/ disciples. *I have #rayed for you* D althou&h the dan&er fro" the side of the satan /as threatenin& everyone+ the 0ord

especially prayed for Peter because bein& "ore passionate and deter"ined+ he /as threatened /ith "ore dan&er. * nd when you have returned to 'e, strengthen your brothers* D this indicates that after Peter’s repentance+ concernin& his denial of )hrist+ he /ould appear to be a "odel of true confession and an e'a"ple of resoluteness. To this %as recorded by all the ? Evan&elists(+ Peter co""ences to assure the 0ord of his un/averin& loyalty to -i"+ in his readiness to follo/ -i" to the dun&eon and death. Then ho/ /as Peter’s renunciation possible+ if the 0ord prayed for hi" so that his faith /ould not di"inishI -o/ever+ Peter’s faith didn’t di"inish: he renounced )hrist in the fit of faint-hearted fear+ and instantly indul&ed in the "ost profound contrition. ll the Evan&elists describe the episode about )hrist foretellin& Peter that in the co"in& ni&ht+ he /ould renounce -i" thrice+ before the rooster had cro/ed three ti"es D t/ice+ accordin& to !ar$. This absolute preciseness of postle !ar$ is e'plained by the fact that he /as /ritin& his Gospel under the direction of postle Peter hi"self. The first cro/in& of roosters usually occurs in the "iddle of the ni&ht+ the second D before the "ornin&E conse5uently+ the "eanin& of this is in that before the "ornin& co"es+ Peter /ould thrice deny his Teacher and 0ord. s it can be seen+ the 0ord t/ice predicted to Peter his forthco"in& renunciation: the first ti"e /as at the 0ast Supper+ as narrated by Saints 0u$e and ,ohn+ /hile the second ti"e /as /hen they left the 0ast Supper+ on the /ay to Gethse"ane+ as narrated by Saints !atthe/ and !ar$. To the prediction of the renunciation %accordin& to Saint 0u$e(+ the 0ord also adds the prediction about the deprivation and stru&&le that a/ait -is disciples. *When I sent you without money bag, !na#sa"! and sandals, did you la"! anything/* D so as before the postles had no need to /orry about anythin& because every/here they found food and everythin& necessary /hile they traveled and preached throu&hout ,udea and Sa"aria durin& )hrist’s ti"e+ the sa"e /ay different ti"es arrive+ /hen the hatred of people a&ainst their Teacher is spreadin& onto the". The rest of the 0ord’s speech about ta$in& a $napsac$ and "oneyba& and buyin& a $nife %or a s/ord(+ "ust obviously not be interpreted literally but sy"bolically. The 0ord is si"ply /arnin& the" of the e'tre"ely difficult approachin& period in their lives+ and that they should prepare for it the"selves D that /hat a/aits the" are hun&er+ thirst+ "isfortunes and the ani"osity of peopleE if their Teacher -i"self /ould be assi&ned to villains in the eyes of the people+ then /hat &ood can they e'pect for the"selvesI Throu&h their naivety+ the postles accepted the 0ord’s /ords literally and said: *(ord, here are two swords.* 1eali#in& that -e is bein& "isunderstood+ the 0ord ended the conversation /ith the /ords: 6enou&h.6 *(et not your heart be troubled* D the thou&ht of the 0ord’s soon departure fro" the" shouldn’t trouble the disciples+ because it is only a "eans of brin&in& the" into the constant+ eternal co""union /ith -i": the 0ord pro"ises the" that /hen that ti"e co"es+ -e /ill ta$e the" into the eternal real" of -is -eavenly *ather. Still deceived by the for"er false i"a&es of the !essiah’s earthly $in&do"+ the disciples don’t understand the 0ord’s /ords+ so Tho"as utters: *(ord, we do not !now where 1ou are going>* In reply+ the 0ord e'plains that -e is that path alon& /hich they "ust &o to reach the *ather+ in order to settle into the eternal d/ellin&s. *6o one "omes to the &ather e5"e#t through 'e* D as )hrist is the 1edee"er+ and salvation can only be achieved throu&h faith in the fulfilled by -i" "atter of "an$ind atone"ent. *If you had !nown 'e, you would have !nown 'y &ather also+6 because in )hrist there is the co"plete revelation of God+ ;ust as -e had previously said to the ,e/s: *I and 'y &ather are one6 %,ohn

>::A:(. nd the 0ord’s disciples+ $no/in& )hrist+ "ust $no/ the *ather. lthou&h it is true that they didn’t $no/ )hrist very /ell+ they /ere &radually approachin& to that $no/led&e+ /hich the 0ord had &iven the" D especially throu&h the /ashin& of their feet at the 0ast Supper+ parta$in& of -is *lesh and Blood and -is edifyin& conversations. Si"ilar in character to Tho"as and li$e hi"+ re"ar$able for his sobriety+ Philip said to the 0ord: *Show us the &ather, and it is suffi"ient for us6 "eanin& his /ish to see the vision+ li$e so"e of the Prophets appeared to be /orthy to see. The 0ord e'presses so"ethin& li$e re&ret about Philip’s inco"prehension and sho/s hi" the lac$ of necessity in his re5uest+ for in -i" D throu&h -is /or$s+ throu&h -is teachin& and the very -u"an God’s nature D they should have lon& a&o reco&ni#ed the *ather. The 0ord continues to co"fort -is disciples further by pro"isin& to endo/ the" /ith po/er to /or$ /onders+ fulfillin& everythin& that they /ould as$ throu&h the prayer: the prayers in the na"e of the 0ord-1edee"er /ill /or$ /onders. On the condition that the disciples+ lovin& the 0ord /ould observe -is co""and"ents+ -e pro"ises to send the" the Consoler& 4hich /ill be /ith the" al/ays+ the Spirit of Truth+ 4hich /ill as if replace )hrist for the"+ and because of 4hich+ they /ill have continuous "ysterious co""union /ith )hrist. 6The /orld6 as a union of those that do not believe in the 0ord and those that are hostile to/ards -i"+ that is alien and opposed to the Spirit D )onsoler+ is unable to accept -i" D /hile -e abode in the postles o/in& to the disciples co""union /ith the 0ord durin& -is terrestrial life+ and /ill continue be /ith the" eternally+ /hen -e descends upon the" at the Pentecost. *I will not leave you or#hans: I will "ome to you,* in the visible sense+ after the 1esurrection and throu&h the spiritual co""unication in the "ystery of )o""union+ by "eans of the -oly Spirit. *1ou will live also* in the union /ith !e+ as /ith the source of eternal life+ /hile at the sa"e ti"e+ the spiritually dead /orld /ill not see the 0ord. * t that day,* i.e. the day of the Pentecost+ *1ou will !now that I am in 'y &ather, and you in 'e, and I in you,* and you /ill understand the essence of the spiritual co""unication /ith God in )hrist. The only condition for this 3ivine co""unication is to love the 0ord and follo/ -is co""and"ents. ,udas %not Iscariot(+ called 0ebbaeus or Thaddaeus+ /ho apparently had not left the favorite thou&ht of the ,e/s about the sensuous 7in&do" of the !essiah+ too$ the 0ord’s /ords literally that -e /ould appear in a sensuous-physical for" to those /ho love -i" and follo/ -is co""and"ents. )onse5uently+ he e'presses his be/ilder"ent about the fact+ /hy the 0ord /anted to appear only to the" and not to the /hole /orld+ as the founder of the &lorious /orld/ide $in&do" of the !essiah. The 0ord e'plains that -e spea$s of -is "ysterious spiritual appearance to -is follo/ers+ repeatin& -is previous thou&ht about the necessity of lovin& -i" and fulfillin& -is co""and"ents. 4hile the /orld+ not lovin& -i" and not fulfillin& -is co""and"ents+ is incapable of havin& such spiritual co""unication /ith -i". t the sa"e ti"e+ )hrist’s co""and"ents appear as the co""and"ents of the *ather. Perhaps at that ti"e+ this /as not clear to the disciples+ but /hen the )onsoler+ the -oly Spirit /ould co"eD -e /ould be sent by the *ather in the na"e of )hrist D -e /ill instruct the postles. -e /ill teach the" everythin& and /ill recall the" of everythin& that )hrist had tau&ht: open to the" the "ystery of the spiritual life+ the life in )hrist. 8sually+ finishin& the Passover supper+ the head of the fa"ily said to those present: 6Peace be to you+6 and the supper ended /ith the sin&in& of Psal"s. The 0ord+ intendin& to leave the Pascal roo"+ and "eanin& that he /ould soon depart fro" -is disciples+ follo/in& the tradition+ offers the" peace+ but the hi&her peace co"pared to the one offered by the /orld layin& in the evil:

On the /ay to the !ount of Olives and on its slopes there /ere "any &rapevines+ loo$in& at /hich the 0ord "ade use of such a de"onstrative and lively e'a"ple. 61ise+ let us be &oin&6 D let us &o and "eet the approachin& ene"y+ the prince of the /orld in the face of . they went out to the 'ount of +lives. !any interpreters incline to the idea that after these /ords+ it is necessary to read the /ords of Evan&elist !atthe/+ /hich correspond /ith Evan&elist !ar$’s /ords: * nd when they had sung a hymn.e. The 0ord sees the approach of -is ene"y /ith -is spiritual eyes+ 6the prince of this /orld6 D the satan in the i"a&e of . The supper /as finished. )onse5uently+ the postles should not be confused /ith anythin& or &et scared.*<ea"e I leave with you* D this is the peace that &ives co"plete stability to all the po/ers of the hu"an spirit+ brin&s full har"ony to the internal disposition of a person+ cal"s all tur"oil and an'ieties D it is that very peace about /hich the n&els san& on the ni&ht of the 2ativity.ohn( s sur"ised+ /hile /al$in& throu&h the vineyard and pointin& at the &rapes+ the 0ord borro/s fro" the &rapevine an e'a"ple of the spiritual relationship bet/een -i" and those that believe in -i": *I am the true vine. -o/ever+ Saint Theophan the 1ecluse considers that the conversation still continued in the roo"+ and that it /as left only after the end of the conversation and the hi&h priest’s prayer of )hrist.ah6 %>>G->>H(+ and /ent to/ards the !ount of Olives+ and further conversation /as held alon& the /ay. The 'o!ti!uatio! o* the Fare7ell 'o!versatio! %)hapters >G and >K fro" . That’s /hy the 0ord a&ain co"forts -is disciples /ith a pro"ise to co"e to the"+ sayin& that they had to re.udas /ith a spire %a detach"ent of troops( in the Gethse"ane &arden. It /as hi&h ti"e they left the =ion cha"ber /here it /as held. because of )hrist’s sinless nature+ the satan cannot find anythin& /hat he could ta$e po/er of.* s the o/ner of the vineyard+ the *ather vinedresser cultivates it -i"self and throu&h othersE -e sent -is Son to the earth and planted -i"+ li$e the fruit-bearin& Grapevine+ so that the /ild and unproductive branches of .e/ish custo"+ the 0ord and disciples san& the Psal"s fro" the second part of 6-allelu. This proves the 0ord’s total "oral freedo"+ /ith /hich -e+ only throu&h -is love and for the fulfill"ent of -is *ather’s /ill+ &ives -is life to save the /orld.ust as the 0ord pre-/arned the disciples. The first hypothesis has the proof in the fact that the 0ord further says about -i"self as of the &rapevine.oice over the fact that -e /as &oin& to -is *ather+ * for 'y &ather is greater than I* D &reater of course as the Pri"ary Source %the Son is born of the *ather and borro/s fro" -i" -is e'istence(+ and &reater that God in co"parison /ith )hrist as -u"an God.* That is+ in accordance /ith the . This is /here the devil previously attac$ed the 0ord+ te"ptin& -i" /ith the fear of tortures and the hour of death D his final atte"pt to prevent the Savior fro" co"pletin& -is redee"in& act for the salvation of "an$ind. and 'y &ather is the vinedresser. Everythin& has to pass accordin& to /hat /as /ritten+ . Throu&h the reali#ation of predictions+ the disciples /ill be convinced in the &enuineness of )hrist’s /ords *I will no longer tal! mu"h with you* D there /ere . Outside+ there /as the &loo" of uncertainty+ the fear of partin& /ith )hrist and helplessness in the hostile /orld.udas and the soldiers /ould sei#e )hrist. 4ith this+ the 0ord states that the devil 6doesn’t have anythin&6 in -i"+ i.ust a fe/ hours left before .udas-betrayer.

ected to that hatred.ects the false teachin& of the 1o"an-)atholics that the -oly . They should not be disturbed by this hatred of the /orld+ $no/in& that their 3ivine Teacher /as the first to be sub. *urther on+ the 0ord pro"ises to the disciples that if they abide in the constant spiritual co""unication /ith -i"+ each of their prayers /ill be ans/ered D naturally+ if it coincides /ith God’s /ill.* *urther on %in verses >@->9 and >-A of the >Kth chap. This verse co"pletely re.( the 0ord e'tensively /arns the disciples of those persecutions that a/ait the" fro" the side of the /orld that is hostile to )hrist. In order to reali#e this+ it is necessary that they constantly d/ell in )hrist’s love and fulfill -is co""and"ents. -o/ever+ the sin of the /orld is unpardonable+ for the Son of God -i"self ca"e into it /ith the ser"on of repentance and the /orld+ seein& -is &lorious /or$s+ did not repent but also be&an to hate -i": to hate the Son is to hate the *ather.6 4hen the 0ord /as "a$in& this state"ent+ it /as the ti"e for cleanin& the &rapevine yards. Only the one+ /ho is in continuous spiritual co""unication /ith )hrist+ can brin& the fruits of the )hristian perfection: *Without 'e you "an do nothing. The 0ord . But in order to brin& to life and sustain this purity+ they have to be continually concerned of bein& in unity /ith )hrist.ud&"ent 3ay. Supportin& the disciples in their forthco"in& sorro/s+ the 0ord once a&ain re"inds the" of the forthco"in& ascension of the Consoler& the Spirit of Truth& Who proceeds from the ather+ 4ho /ill testify about )hrist to the /orld throu&h the postles.hu"anity /ould &raft /ith this Grapevine+ obtain ne/ sap fro" It and beco"e productive as /ell. In the persecutions fro" the /orld+ the disciples should console the"selves /ith the thou&ht that they are not &reater than their 0ord and Teacher. s the e'pression of d/ellin& in )hrist’s love serves their "utual love for each other+ /hich should e'tend up to the /illin&ness to sacrifice o/n life for a nei&hbor. that you love one another. This hatred is understandable+ because the 0ord separated the disciples fro" the /orld that loves only that+ /hich belon&s to it+ /hich corresponds /ith its spirit of every type of sin+ "alice and slyness. Perhaps+ in front of the eyes of the 0ord and -is disciples /as the fire of burnin& the dry &rapevines.esus )hrist /ill send the )onsoler+ on the ri&ht of -is redee"in& deeds D but not from 'imself+ #ut from the ather+ because the eternal ori&in of the -oly Spirit is not in the Son+ but co"es fro" the *ather: *Who #ro"eeds from the &ather* %verse @K(. The faithful that bear fruits are cleansed by the po/er of the -oly Spirit+ the te"ptations of various types and sufferin&s+ in order to i"prove "ore in their "oral life. 0istenin& to the 0ord’s teachin&s+ )hrist’s postles had already cleaned the"selves. The branches that are unproductive are bein& cut off: those /ho do not prove their faith throu&h deeds+ are e. This /as an e'pressive i"a&e of the spiritually dried up individuals+ for /ho" the fiery Gehenna /as prepared in the ne't /orld. *1ou are 'y friends if you do whatever I "ommand you* D their "utual love a"on& the"selves "a$es the" friends+ and as the union of this "utual love is in )hrist+ 4ho has the sa"e love for the"+ then beco"in& friends /ith one another+ they beco"e )hrist’s friends. Because of this love+ the 0ord revealed to the" the co"plete /ill of God: this is the proof that they are not the slaves+ but the friends of )hrist.ected fro" the co""unity of the faithful D so"eti"es in this life+ and definitely on the . -avin& fully portrayed -is love to/ards the postles+ /hich /as "anifested in the fact that -e chose the" for the &reat service+ the 0ord concludes this part of -is speech %verses >@>9( /ith a ne/ e'hortation: *$hese things I "ommand you.* The branches that do not have fruit+ 6they &ather the" and thro/ the" into the fire+ and they are burned.

e. The third ob. that you should not be made to stumble*.e/s /ere convinced that 6/ho sheds blood of the unholy+ is doin& the sa"e as brin&in& a sacrifice.Spirit proceeds not only fro" the *ather+ but also fro" the Son. >>:9(. i. Evidently+ these /ords of )hrist plun&ed the disciples into such deep sorro/+ that co"fortin& the"+ the 0ord started to e'plain to the"+ ho/ "uch -is departure is i"portant for the" and the /hole /orld+ because only in that case the Consoler+ 4ho *will "onvi"t the world of sin. ll this *I have s#o!en to you. so that your faith /ould not /aver in the forthco"in& persecutions a/aitin& you.ect D 6 bout the truth that I &o to !y *ather D is about )hrist bein& truly the Son of God+ 4hose ri&hteousness is co"pletely distinct fro" that of the Pharisees+ bein& attested by God /ith that he sat -i" at -is ri&ht hand %Ephesians @:K(. The . >:>A->?(. This e'posure is the sa"e as the "oral . >H:>GE 0u$e A:>F(.ud&"ent over the /orld.ect of this e'posure is the sin of disbelief in the 0ord bein& the !essiah. The e'posure of the /orld by the -oly Spirit should be reali#ed throu&h the ser"ons of the postles and their successors+ and all the faithful in &eneral that have accepted the -oly Spirit+ beco"in& -is or&ans.ected all the unrepentant and hard-hearted+ li$e the devil. *urther+ the 0ord foretells that the postles /ould testify about -i" in the /orld as those+ /ho sa/ -is &lory and /ho /ere the first to receive -is &race and truth. These persecutions /ill reach the point that you /ill be e'co""unicated fro" the syna&o&ues and that they /ill re&ard $illin& you as a God-pleasin& act.ects the 1edee"er and Savior of "an$ind.e/ish fanaticis" did reach such a sta&e of blindness. The second ob. ll these revelations of the -oly Spirit /ill be dra/n fro" the sa"e source of God’s /isdo"+ li$e the teachin& of . *I still have many things to say to you.esus )hrist: 0i$e )hrist+ -e /ill spea$ .6 Saint *irst-!artyr Stephan beca"e a victi" of such fanaticis".ud&"ent and conde"nation+ to /hich /ill be sub. >::>H(.ect D the . But /hen the -oly Spirit co"es+ 6-e /ill &uide into all truth6+ i. and of righteousness. Thus the postles+ /ith the help of the -oly Spirit+ /ill be able to /in the &reat "oral victory over this /orld that lies in the evil+ even thou&h it /ill pursue and persecute the". The first ob.e/s6+ be&an to preach )hrist fearlessly+ after the -oly Spirit descended upon the"+ to the lar&e cro/ds of people+ testified of -i" in the /hole /orld /ithout any fear+ even /hen they /ere 6brou&ht6 before $in&s and leaders of the /orld %!at. This is the "ost substantial and &rave sin+ because it re. >@-@?E Titus >:FE !at.e. The conse5uence of such a . -e /ill &uide the" in hard to understand at that "o"ent real" of the )hristian truth. and of 2udgment* /ill co"e to the". but you "annot bear them now6 D the 0ord is sayin& that before they are enli&htened by the Grace of the -oly Spirit+ they are incapable of properly understandin& and assi"ilatin& that /hich -e has to say to the".ud&"ent can only be one of the t/o: either convertin& to )hrist throu&h repentance+ or co"plete spiritual blindness and bitterness. This prediction of the 0ord ca"e true /hen the for"erly ti"id and fearful disciples+ /ho ran in all directions /hen the 0ord /as captured and then hid in a loc$ed roo" 6fro" the fear of . % cts @?:@GE 1o". The persecutor Saul+ /ho later beca"e postle Paul+ also thou&ht that by participatin& in the $illin& of the )hristians+ he /as pleasin& God % cts H:>E @@:@:E @K:F->>E Gal.ohn A:@:E H:HFE H:?KE > )or.ud&"ent over the prince of this /orld D the devil+ the sa"e . Indeed+ the . 2Will convict2 /as used to "ean: /ill brin& to the outside+ let $no/ of in.ustice+ cri"e and sin %.

* D so that you don’t let your spirit fall in the hour of the forthco"in& trials+ recallin& that I have /arned you beforehand. and you will not see 'e* D the 0ord &oes ane/ to the thou&hts of -is leavin& the disciples+ but i""ediately consoles the" /ith hope for a ne/ "eetin& /ith -i"+ apparently as /ith the 0ord’s appearance upon the 1esurrection and throu&h the "ysterious spiritual co""unication /ith -i".udice about the !essiah’s earthy $in&do". *In the world* that is hostile to !e and !y /or$+ in the co"pany of people you /ill be unhappy. But do not lose your coura&e+ re"e"berin& that *I have over"ome the world* D con5uered it throu&h the fulfill"ent of the &reat /or$ of redee"in& hu"anity throu&h !y death+ overca"e the do"inatin& in the /orld spirit of pride and hatred /ith !y hu"ility and self-abase"ent even unto death+ and established the co""ence"ent of the conversion of this /orld fro" the satan’s do"inion into God’s 7in&do". and will leave 'e alone. gain.ected to+ /hen *you will be s"attered.oy that never left the" for the rest of their lives: * nd your 2oy no one will ta!e from you. )hrist /ill be glorified throu&h these actions of the -oly Spirit+ because the Spirit /ill be teachin& the sa"e thin& that )hrist tau&ht+ and that /ay see"in&ly vindicate )hrist’s "ission in the /orld.6.ust as the sorro/ of a /o"an &ivin& birth turns to .o you now believe/* D -e as$s: no+ your current faith is not perfect yet.* Thus+ for the 0ord to &o to the *ather+ "eans to return to that state+ in /hich -e /as before the incarnation+ as the -ypostatic 4ord. They noted /ith special satisfaction that the 0ord /as spea$in& to the" directly+ /ithout the concealed parables+ and they e'pressed their fervent faith in -i" as in the true !essiah.* . If the 0ord /ants to establish -is $in&do" on earth+ then /hy is -e leavin&I nd if he doesn’t /ant to establish this $in&do"+ /hy is -e pro"isin& to co"e bac$ a&ainI The 0ord responds: * little while. *I go to the &ather* "eans *I "ame forth from the &ather and have "ome into the world.ohn A:A@E G:A:E >@:?F-G:(+ as fro" the Pri"ary Source of the 3ivine truth. To so"e of the disciples those /ords see"ed "ystical D a&ain revealin& the i""aturity of their spiritual understandin&. <ou /ill find essential tran5uility of the spirit in the spiritual co""unication /ith !e. nd in that day>* D in the day /hen the -oly Spirit descends upon the"+ they /ill enter into the constant spiritual co""unication /ith )hrist+ and all the 3ivine "ysteries /ill beco"e clear to the"+ and every prayer of the" /ill be ans/ered+ in co"pletin& the fullness of their . *. Once a&ain+ the basis of the disciples’ baffle"ent lays in their sa"e pre. The . The follo/in& course of the conversation /as devoted to e'plainin& those /ords of )hrist.oy. and you will see 'e* "eans: *your sorrow will be turned into 2oy. It /as &enuine and deep faith+ but the 0ord sa/ its deficiency+ for their faith /as not yet enli&htened by the -oly Spirit. The clarity of these /ords stunned the disciples.* *$hese things I have s#o!en to you. 6-e /ill ta$e of !ine+6 because the *ather and Son are the One+ and everythin& that the Spirit /ill be sayin&+ belon&s e5ually to the *ather as to the Son. * little while. and you will not see 'e. ea"h to his own. It /ill not stand the first test+ /hich you soon %in so"e hours( /ill be sub.* This "eans: *1ou will wee# and lament.oy.* because the /orld /ill fulfill its "urderous plans D this is the concealed indication of -is i"pendin& sufferin&s and death.oy here is that of the disciples+ /hich they e'perienced upon seein& resurrected )hrist D the .ust as the *ather had told -i"6 %. * gain a little while. . I leave the world and go to the &ather. that in 'e you may have #ea"e.

The 0ord states further that -e+ bein& in the /orld+ protected the" fro" do/nfall+ and *none of them is lost e5"e#t the son of #erdition. The 0ord prays for the": *$hat they all may be one.* God entrusted the /hole hu"an race to -is Son+ so that -e "i&ht arran&e its salvation and &rant eternal life to hu"anity. that the S"ri#ture might be fulfilled* %. -avin& finished the prayer about -i"self+ the 0ord prays further about -is disciples %verses K>F(+ about those+ to /ho" -e /as entrustin& the "ission of spreadin& and affir"in& -is 7in&do" on earth. &ather. with the glory whi"h I had with 1ou before the world was.udas the betrayer(+ i.ohn chap. *&ather. that the world may believe that 1ou sent 'e* D the union of the faithful in )hrist "ust be si"ilar to the union of God the *ather /ith God the Son. This prayer is usually called the *rchpriest !rayer+ because the 0ord prays in it to God the *ather as the Great rchpriest+ brin&in& -i"self as a sacrifice that has a &reat ine'plicable "eanin& to the /hole /orld. The hour of !y sufferin&s has arrived: allo/ !e to de"onstrate all !y love for <ou and for the /orld created by <ou in this hour+ so that throu&h !y forthco"in& e'ploit of "an$ind atone"ent+ <our &lory /ould be revealed. 2aturally+ this "eans the . The 0ord defines eternal life as the $no/led&e of God and the 1edee"er of the /orld that /as sent by -i". In God’s eyes+ all -is /or$ appears as acco"plished. to report the" the special blissful &ifts for their successful service of spreadin& the truth throu&hout the /hole /orld.e. are in 'e. The third part of the 0ord’s Prayer D for the faithful D be&ins fro" the @:th verse. That’s /hy -e says: *I have glorified 1ou on the earth>* 2o/+ it follo/s to enter into the 3ivine &lory in hu"an ter"s+ of /hat -e prays: * nd now.The Archpriest &rayer %. >9( ccordin& to so"e interpreters’ supposition+ i""ediately after the end of the partin& conversation+ and on the /ay to Gethse"ane+ the 0ord and -is disciples ca"e to the strea" of -ebron+ and before crossin& it+ the 0ord read out loud before -is disciples the triu"phant prayer to God the *ather. * s 1ou have given Him authority over all flesh. Glorify 1our Son. They also co"prehended the 3ivine "ystery of buildin& God’s )hurch. and I in 1ou: that they also may be one in As..* This is the first part of the 0ord’s Prayer about -i"self %verses >-G(. glorify 'e together with 1ourself. Prayin& to -is *ather about the preservation of -is disciples fro" all the evil in this /orld that hates the"+ the 0ord as$s for their enli&hten"ent /ith the Word of $ivine truth+ i. + &ather. The 0ord states further that -e dedicates 'imself for them+ D brin&in& -i"self as a sacrifice+ so that they "i&ht follo/ -is steps and beco"e -is /itnesses and the sacrifice for the truth.e. The 0ord further prays for -is disciples+ so that the -eavenly *ather /ould ta$e the" under -is special protection in this /orld+ hostile to/ards the"+ /here they re"ain alone+ after the 0ord’s departureE that -e /ould preserve the" pure and holy in the spiritual accord of faith and love a"on& the"selves+ in the unity that is a$in to the unity bet/een God the *ather and God the Son. The 0ord as thou&h &ives the account to God the *ather on /hat -e had achieved: -e revealed to -is disciples the full and correct understandin& of God+ and they beca"e God’s special elects+ havin& received the 3ivine teachin&+ brou&ht to the" fro" the *ather by -is Son. as 1ou. accordin& to the prophesy of Psal" ?::>:. that 1our Son also may glorify 1ou* D it is /ith these sole"n /ords that the 0ord co""ences -is prayer. the hour has "ome..

erusale" fro" Eleon.erses @G and @K represent the conclusion of the rchpriest prayer+ /here the 0ord addresses God the *ather as the ll-ri&hteous 3ue-Giver. -o/ever+ he doesn’t na"e the &arden and doesn’t say /hat happened there before the arrival of .ohn %>H:@(+ -e often &athered there /ith -is disciples.ohn >?:@(. Such a union of all )hristians in love and faith /ould assist to brin& the /hole /orld to the believin& in )hrist as in the !essiah. Gethse"ane "eans a press for s5uee#in& oil.ohn /rites that behind that valley+ there /as a &arden that the 0ord entered /ith -is disciples.ohn >H:>(.esus -i"self pro"ises to 6be in the"+6 so that the love of the *ather that continuously d/elled in the Son+ "i&ht e'tend fro" and for the sa$e of the Son+ over those+ in /ho" the Son abides. The /ords: *&ather. The Appeal about the 'up %!at. The 0ord points at the superiority of the faithful over the rest of the /orld in that they 6have 1no0n the %od6 and conse5uently are capable of receivin& the &ifts of 3ivine love. pparently+ in the &arden &re/ olives and olive oil /as prepared there. . The 0ord deter"ines this union of all the faithful as bein& the unity in the &lory of God and )hrist. -e as$s so that God the *ather could distin&uish the" in front of the /orld /ith -is &enerosity+ and "a$e the" the participants in the "atter of the love that -e has for -is Son: *$hat the love with whi"h 1ou loved 'e may be in them. whi"h He and His dis"i#les entered*. 4e can see this in the first centuries of the )hristianity+ /here the .udas and the soldiers. Thus+ the all-envelopin& love /ill be all fulfillin& in the eternal &lory of the 7in&do" of the *ather+ the Son and the -oly Spirit. I desire that they also whom you gave 'e may be with 'e where I am* are a$in to the last /ill of the 3yin&+ /hich should undoubtedly be carried out+ especially /hen the Son of God’s /ill is inseparable /ith that of God the *ather: here &ivin& -is life for the /orld’s salvation+ the Son of God is appealin& to God the *ather+ as$in& for those -eavenly habitats about /hich -e told -is postles at the be&innin& of -is fare/ell conversation at the 0ast Supper+ for all the faithful %. s narrated by Saint Evan&elist . Evan&elists !atthe/ and !ar$ call it Gethse"ane+ /hile 0u$e indicates its location at the !ount of Olives.ohn+ havin& finished -is rchpriest prayer+ *He went out with His dis"i#les over the %roo! 8edron. @K:AK-?KE !ar$ >?:A@-?@E 0u$e @@:AF-?KE .e/s and heathens /ere captured by the elevated beauty of )hrist’s teachin&+ beco"in& )hristians the"selves D e'cept those that /ere co"pletely spiritually blinded and hard-hearted. That’s /hy after the 0ast Supper+ . It can be assu"ed that the &arden’s o/ner /as favorably inclined to/ards the 0ord+ because accordin& to Saint .ehoshaphat valley and separated . t other ti"es it re"ained dry+ or nearly so."oral union. It flo/ed throu&h the . The broo$ of 7edron %"eanin& 6blac$6( /as an insi&nificant broo$+ /hich filled up /ith /ater only after heavy rains.* *or this+ the 0ord . ll the three narrate about the 0ord’s prayer in this Gethse"ane &arden. . Saint .esus is the true !essiah. where there was a garden.udas led the soldiers there+ bein& fir"ly assured of findin& -i" at that place+ and he /asn’t /ron&. In the follo/in& verses %@@-@?(+ the 0ord as if conte"plates about -is )hurch in the -eavenly &lory and in the union /ith God in the !essiah’s 7in&do" and says that this &lory /ill brin& even the hostile /orld D a&ainst its /ill D to reali#ation that the 0ord .

-o/ever+ instead of findin& co"fort in their attentiveness and faithfulness to -i"+ their readiness to be vi&ilant /ith -i"+ -e finds the" sleepin&. a""ording to Saint (u!e.* The prayer /as so intense that accordin& to Saint 0u$e+ *His sweat be"ame li!e great dro#s of blood falling down to the ground.* God the *ather as if left -is Son te"porarily %see !at. 4hat /as the reason for the incarnate Son of God to &rieve and suffer so e'tre"ely in the Gethse"ane &ardenI 4ho a"on& us+ the sinful souls+ /ould dare to state that he truly $no/s everythin& that /as &oin& on in the holy soul of -u"an God at that "o"ent+ /hen the decisive hour of &ivin& -i" over for the death on the cross for the sa$e of "an$ind salvation approachedI )urrently+ . lest you enter into tem#tation. *Stay here and wat"h with 'e. To it+ the "atter of death /as unnatural: that’s /hy the pure+ sinless nature of the 0ord is rebellin& a&ainst death+ la"entin& and e'periencin& "elancholy at its si&ht.* It is said that so"eti"es e'tre"e "oral sufferin&s+ can truly produce perspiration of blood..* *'y soul is e5"eedingly sorrowful.* said the 0ord to -is "ost closest and trusted disciples. but as 1ou will. These "oral sufferin&s of )hrist are the proof of e'istence of t/o natures /ithin -i": the 3ivine and hu"an+ /hich denied the heretics-!onophysites+ and also that -e had t/o /ills+ /hich denied the !onophylites.* -o/ could it happen that the disciples fell asleep at such a "o"entI Saint 0u$e e'plains that they fell asleep #ecause of sorro0. @9:?K(. The 0ord’s sorro/ /ere also caused by the reali#ation of the hu"an e"bittered state and in&ratitude to God.* $neelin&+ -e fell on -is face and prayed: *+ 'y &ather. )hastisin& the" "ee$ly+ the 0ord adds: *Wat"h and #ray. 0ife testifies that so"eti"es intense sufferin&s indeed produce stron& over-e'haustion of the nervous syste"+ so that the person is incapable of stayin& a/a$e. not as I will. That’s /hy hu"an nature is afraid of it and flees fro" it. The "ost natural hypothesis is that it /as 'is human nature that /as &rievin& and afraid of death. The 0ord specifically directs -is reproach to Peter+ . strengthening Him.-avin& entered the &arden+ the 0ord stopped -is disciples+ sayin&: *Sit here while I go and #ray. James and John. The first t/o Evan&elists say that havin& finished -is prayer+ the 0ord t/ice approaches the three disciples that stayed nearby. let this "u# #ass from 'e: nevertheless. 8ndoubtedly+ to&ether /ith this+ the "oral sufferin&s too$ place because of the fact that the 0ord had accepted all the sins of the /orld upon -i"self D and /as &oin& to die for the": the fact that he had to suffer for the 0hole 0orld’s sins 0as concentrated only on 'im . That’s /hy -e is bein& co"forted and stren&thened by an n&el.* and ta!ing <eter. withdrew from them *about a stone)s throw* D at a distance+ /hich reaches the thro/n stone+ and be&an *to be troubled and dee#ly distressed.6 3eath is the conse5uence of sin %1o". if it is #ossible. s Blessed Theothylactus says: 63eath entered "an$ind not throu&h its nature. G:>@+ >G(+ and that’s /hy the sinless nature of -u"an God should not have been e'posed to death. Saint 0u$e states+ that *an ngel a##eared to Him from Heaven. but the flesh is wea!. $he s#irit indeed is willing.* ccordin& to both Saints !atthe/ and !ar$+ havin& /al$ed *a little farther.ust as before+ they tried to e'plain the causes of the 0ord’s "oral tortures+ endured by -i" in the Gethse"ane &arden+ in those pre-death hours. It is also 5uite possible that the devil+ havin& departed fro" -i" te"porarily %0u$e ?:>A(+ had then approached -i" /ith his te"ptations+ atte"ptin& %even thou&h unsuccessfully( to distract the 0ord fro" -is forthco"in& sufferin&s on the cross.

The first ti"e+ -e prayed so that the cup of sufferin& /ould pass -i" by+ the second ti"e -e e'pressed -is the outri&ht subordination to God’s /ill+ and an n&el /as sent to -i" to finally stren&then -i" in this choice+ after /hat -e e'clai"ed /ith full deter"ination: *1our will be done. He is the +ne: for 4ho" /e ca"e+ sei7e Him and lead Him away safely* %!ar$ >?:??(. The 0ord prayed for three ti"es.* indicatin& that -e has no need of their assistance.esus and uttered in confusion: *.ohn narrates %co"ple"entin& the first three Evan&elists(+ the 0ord as$ed: *Whom are you see!ing/* 2aturally+ there /ere .because he had s/orn in his faithfulness to the 0ord . ccordin& to Saint . -o/ever+ he /as unable to achieve this.6 In order to sho/ .abbi. 4hen he ca"e up to . let us &o and "eet the betrayer+ so that /hat /as to happen accordin& to the Scripture+ /ould be fulfilled. and the Son of 'an is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. It can be assu"ed+ that . pparently+ it /as not told to the detach"ent of troops+ 4ho" they had to sei#e: they /ere told to ta$e the One+ at 4ho" /ould point .ohn >H:@->@( ll the four Evan&elists tell of the betrayal of )hrist in full accordance. Evidently+ they e'pected the possibility of serious resistance. The $ord-s Arrest %!at.e. 6Into the hands of sinners+6 D accordin& to Saint )hrysosto"+ the 0ord is sayin& this to encoura&e the disciples’ spirit+ sho/in& that /hat is happenin& to -i" is an act of the "alice of the sinners+ and not of -is fault in any sin.6 61ise+ let us be &oin&+6 i. !oreover+ each one only brin&s his o/n details that co"plete the /hole scene.abbi..udas in his confusion e'clai"ed: *Greetings .* -avin& prayed the third ti"e+ -e ca"e to the disciples to /arn the" of the betrayer’s approach: * re you still slee#ing and resting/ %ehold.ohn+ .udas to use caution in arrestin& )hrist.esus &ently as$ed hi": *&riend.udas+ $eepin& his "ission secret+ li"ited hi"self /ith only one indication: *Whomever I !iss. why have you "ome/* 2ot $no/in& ho/ to respond to this 5uestion+ . .udas brou&ht the /hole spire+ the part of a le&ion of soldiers+ called a cohort+ and consistin& of >::: people+ co""anded by a centurion.* . *earin& of the public uprisin&+ the hi&h priests ordered . The soldiers /ere ar"ed /ith s/ords /hile the servants D /ith staves.udas+ separatin& hi"self fro" the detach"ent+ intended to approach the 0ord /ith the usual &reetin&+ $iss -i" and /ithdra/ to the postles+ thereby concealin& his betrayal. lthou&h there /as a full "oon+ the cro/d arrived /ith la"ps and torches supposin& that the 0ord "i&ht hide in the concealed parts of the &arden. @K:?9-GKE !ar$ >?:?A-G@E 0u$e @@:?9-GA and . 6The spirit indeed is /illin&+ but the flesh is /ea$6 "eans: your soul is /illin& to fi&ht /ith these te"ptations and is capable of overco"in& the"+ ho/ever+ hu"an nature is /ea$ and+ /ith /ea$ vi&ilance and prayer+ is capable of a tre"endous do/nfall.e/ish elders .abbi* and $issed -i". Great te"ptations and trial of faith a/aited the disciples that are /hy the 0ord convinces the" to pray and be vi&ilant to overco"e this te"ptation. the hour is at hand.ust before that event. The betrayal is characteristic /ith $issin&.udas. This is especially "entioned in verse >@+ as /ell as the servants of the hi&h priests and Pharisees. nd . are you betraying the Son of 'an with a !iss/* t the sa"e ti"e+ the detach"ent ca"e near and+ as Saint .udas that he could not conceal his betrayal+ the 0ord said: *Judas.. %4hen the 0ord /as ready to be betrayed+ -e said: no/ you are sleepin&E or pronounced that to sha"e the"+ as thou&h sayin&: no/ that the betrayer has approached+ if it is convenient to you and the ti"e allo/s sleepin&+ then sleep+ D Blessed Theothylactus(.

esus.ohn e'plains+ concernin& this+ that the 0ord’s /ords of -is rchpriest prayer had to be fulfilled: 6Of those /ho" <ou &ave !e I have lost none. and He will #rovide 'e with more than twelve legions of ngels/* The 1o"ans called a le&ion a division+ "ade up of >@ cohorts and >:+::: soldiers. $hen all the dis"i#les forsoo! Him and fled. The une'pectedness of such an ans/er and the po/er of the spirit revealed+ produced e'traordinary i"pression: they stepped bac$ and fell to the &round. *How then "ould the S"ri#tures be fulfilled. @K:G?( D this "eans that everythin& happenin& is the fulfill"ent of the prophesies.esus cunnin&ly+ carefully+ because -e had adherents that "i&ht stand out for -i". *+r do you thin! that I "annot now #ray to 'y &ather. Evan&elist !ar$ /as the only one to add that a youth+ covered /ith .ohn /atched distantly the detach"ent of troops that too$ .erusale"+ seein& /here their Teacher /as brou&ht. 0ivin& nearby+ he /as a/a$ened by the noise+ and not dressin& but . This is the sa"e thou&ht that is contained in the co""and"ent &iven after the *lood: *Whoso sheddeth man)s blood.ust /rappin& hi"self in a blan$et+ hurried to have a loo$ at /hat’s happenin&. The fact+ . 0u$e narrates that a"on& those that had co"e to sei#e )hrist+ there /ere the hi&h priests and church leaders the"selves. by man shall his blood be shed* %Gen. F:K(. The 0ord addressed the" /ith e'posure: *Have you "ome out.ust before+ ca"e true %!at.ust a cloth+ follo/ed the detach"ent that had sei#ed . 4hen they so"e/hat recovered fro" that shoc$+ the 0ord repeated -is 5uestion: 64ho" are you see$in&I6 and a&ain they replied: *Jesus of 6a7areth. and the #ower of dar!ness. that it must ha##en thus/* %!at. Thin$in& that this suspicious+ they &rabbed the youth+ but he "ana&ed to escape na$ed+ leavin& the cloth in their hands. It /as at that "o"ent /hen the postles decided to intervene for -i".* *I am He* the 0ord responded loudly./ith the detach"ent+ a/are of 4ho" the soldiers had to sei#e+ and they /ere the ones that replied: *Jesus of 6a7areth.esus. with swords and "lubs to ta!e 'e/* The "eanin& of this e'posure is that they evidently /ere ready to co""it the unri&hteous act+ for they didn’t /ant to accuse the 0ord openly+ in front of all the people and then sei#e -i" as a violator of the la/ D in the "iddle of the day+ in the presence of the people. The 0ord as if contrasts >@ le&ions /ith -is >@ disciples. Instead+ they used that clandestine "ethod to sei#e the 0ord at ni&ht: *%ut this is your hour. let these go their way. $herefore. 6Put your s/ord in its place6 said the 0ord to Peter+ 6for all /ho ta$e the s/ord /ill perish by the s/ord6 D of course+ this is not a prophesy but "erely the la/ of GodOs truth+ of the &eneral nature: the one+ /ho attac$s another /ith the intention of $illin& or /oundin& hi"+ deserves that hi"self. -o/ever+ not all the postles abandoned the 0ord co"pletely. ll the n&elic 4orld /ould have ta$en up ar"s in defense of the Son of God+ if -e had not co""itted -i"self to the sufferin&s voluntarily. as against a robber.esus to ta$e -i".6 Indeed+ the &uards left the postles alone and approached .* The 0ord then said: *I have told you that I am He. They follo/ed -i" at a distance+ and thereby reached . 2ot /aitin& for a response to the 5uestion posed by one of the": 60ord+ shall /e stri$e /ith the s/ordI6+ i"patient Peter dre/ his s/ord and struc$ one of the hi&h priest’s servants+ !alch+ nearly cut off his ear+ but not fully+ so that /ith one touch the 0ord healed hi" %0u$e @@:G>(. @K:A>(. The ancient tradition reco&ni#es this youth to be Evan&elist !ar$. nd -e suddenly and openly D as thou&h not fearin& anythin& D declares: *I am He0* Those /ords of )hrist contained the incredible force for -is ene"ies.* D so the 0ord’s prophesy+ pronounced .* The 0ord’s concern for -is disciples is 5uite touchin&. The arrived /ere instructed that they /ould have to ta$e . Peter and . Saint . if you see! 'e.

To prove this+ the 0ord offered to interro&ate the /itnesses that had heard -i" preachin&. Besides+ sly old nnas had special respect a"on& his public. Therefore+ in order to stop the evil in its initial sta&e and put sense into the servant+ the 0ord ob.ected: *If I have s#o!en evil.esus+ the ene"ies led -i" bound %Saint .esus endured this silently+ it could have been ta$en that -e accepted that blo/ as . ccordin& to Saint .ohn hi"self+ as he /as $no/n to the hi&h priest+ even thou&h it is un$no/n to /ho" e'actly and /hy: accordin& to the tradition D throu&h his fishin&.ohn( to the house of the hi&h priests. 'avin& ta$en the 0ord . )unnin& nnas did not accuse the 0ord of anythin&+ but . But apparently they /ere so shoc$ed and fri&htened /ith everythin& that happened that they hid behind the loc$ed doors D as /e $no/ fro" . In co"ple"entin& the first three Evan&elists testi"onies+ Saint . lthou&h both lived in the sa"e residence and shared a co""on courtyard+ they each had separate 5uarters in the lar&e hi&h priests’ house. bear witness .esus /as follo/ed not only by Peter+ about /hose renounce"ent tell all the four Evan&elists+ but *so did another* D undoubtedly it /as Saint . That’s /hy he entered inside the hi&h priest’s courtyard+ and then told the door$eeper to let Peter. -o/ever+ it "ust be assu"ed that after he /as replaced fro" the post of the rulin& hi&h priest+ nnas continued to live in the hi&h priests d/ellin&+ especially as the ne/ hi&h priest )aiaphas /as his close relative.ohn is the only one to "ention that the 0ord /as brou&ht first to nnas+ /ho conducted a preli"inary interro&ation+ and then sent -i" to )aiaphas. Saint . where the Jews always meet.ohn also e'plains /hy the 0ord /as first brou&ht to nnas and not to )aiaphas D /ho /as the rulin& hi&h priest that year D as nnas %or+ nnanas as he /as called to by . -o/ever+ the 0ord revealed his cunnin&ness /ith -is ans/er: *I s#o!e o#enly to the world. )o"pletin& the narration of the first Evan&elists+ Saint .o 1ou answer the high #riest li!e that/* If .esus as at so"e $ind of the leader of a hidden conspiracy+ /ith the secret teachin& and clandestine ai"s.ohn >H:>@-@AE !at. and in se"ret I have said nothing*.* The 0ord’s captors thou&ht that by doin& that+ they /ould sho/ special attention and honor to the fa"ous relative of the rulin& hi&h priest.oseph *lavius( *was the fatherEinElaw of Caia#has. I always taught in synagogues and in the tem#le. 2ot /ithstandin& that there /as nothin& offensive for the hi&h priest in this reply+ one of the servants+ apparently /ishin& to please the hi&h priest+ hit the 0ord on the chee$ /ith the pal" of his hand+ sayin&: *.ohn+ here happened the first renounce"ent of Peter+ /hen+ durin& the 0ord’s interro&ation by nnas+ he /as standin& close to the open fire and /ar"ed hi"self up. The Trial over the $ord4 5eld by the 5i(h &riests %.ohn narrates that .ust as$ed -i" /hat -e preached and /ho -is disciples /ere.ohn+ @::>F./here to the rest of the disciples fled+ is un$no/n. @K:G9-KHE !ar$ >?:GA-KGE 0u$e @@:G?-+ KA-KG(. 4ith this+ he intentionally set the o"inous tone of the further proceedin&s+ havin& cast suspicion upon .ust+ and the pride of the over-#ealous servant /ould have increased throu&h the silent acceptance of his action.

The 0ord /as spea$in& of the te"ple of -is Body+ /hile the false /itnesses presented those /ords as so"e sort of boastin&+ in /hich+ essentially+ there /asn’t anythin& cri"inal.esus of so"e cri"inal act+ but 6they found none.* i. nd -e ans/ers: *It is as you said. *1es. Saint . ccordin& to the . saying.erusale"+ /hen -e first drove out the traders fro" the te"ple+ "odifyin& the" /ith an evil intention and assi&ned the" a different "eanin&. The 0ord could not i&nore ans/erin& to such a direct 5uestion+ particularly as it /as as$ed under the oath+ especially as -e had no "ore need to hide -is !essianic 3ivine /orthiness. This /as annoyin& )aiaphas+ so he decided to co"pel the 0ord to "a$e such confession+ that /ould a reason to announce -i" the death sentence as to a blasphe"er. They re"e"bered of the /ords said by the 0ord in .e/s+ the tearin& of clothin& /as the usual e'pression of sorro/ and la"entation. pparently+ the 0ord /as led only throu&h the internal courtyard of the sa"e house+ /here there /as set the fire+ close to /hich Peter %/ho had once already renounced )hrist( /as standin& and /ar"in& hi"self.* and further adds to this: *Hereafter you will see the Son of 'an sitting at the right hand of the <ower.estroy this tem#le. and in three days I will raise it u#* %. and "oming on the "louds of heaven. That’s /hy Saint !ar$ states: *%ut not even then did their testimony agree* %!ar$ >?:GF(. it is true @ I am Christ.e. *or that+ they be&an to see$ false /itnesses+ /hich could accuse . . 4hat the 0ord tried to say is that all those i"pious .* This of course+ refers to the /ords of Psal" >:F:>+ in /hich the !essiah is depicted as sittin& to the ri&ht of God+ and also D to 3aniel’s prophesies in 9:>A->? of the !essiah as the 6Son of !an+6 co"in& on the clouds of heaven.ohn @:>F(. Throu&hout this+ the 0ord re"ained silent+ because there /as no need to respond to such absurd and "oreover confused accusations %accordin& to Saint !ar$+ another /itness testified so"e/hat differently(. the Son of God/* 6I put <ou under oath6 D /as the usual for"ula of the oath+ callin& upon God to be the /itness. t place happened the &atherin& of all the hi&h priests+ elders and Scribes D in a /ord+ nearly all the Sanhedrin. *$hen the high #riest tore his "lothes.ohn states further that nnas sent bound . On the contrary+ -e had to testify about it triu"phantly.of the evil: but if well.e.esus+ so that they /ould have everythin& necessary for the other+ official "ornin& "eetin& of the Sanhedrin+ /here they could officially announce death sentence to -i". if you can prove that I /as teachin& the people so"ethin& bad+ then reveal it+ prove it+ but don’t hit !e /ithout any reason. -e didn’t say: 6I could destroy itE and 6in three days I /ill raise it up6 D in )hurchSlavonic 6erect6+ in Gree$ 6e&ero+6 but -e didn’t say 6create+6 /hich is a co"pletely different /ord in Gree$: 6i$odo"iso6. why do you stri!e 'e/* D i.esus to hi&h priest )aiaphas %verse @?(. *He has s#o!en blas#hemy0* D to the . 3espite the late hour of the ni&ht+ they all hurried to &ather evidence a&ainst . t the ti"e+ the 0ord said: *. >9:K and others(. This /as applied /hen the court de"anded the accused to ans/er the 5uestion put to hi" by the accusers and to do it truthfully.udicial custo"s of those days+ he addressed the 0ord /ith a resolute 5uestion: *I #ut 1ou under oath by the living God9 tell us if 1ou are the Christ.6 *inally+ t/o false /itnesses ca"e forth D as the la/ re5uired that there should be no less than t/o+ in order to sentence the accused %2u". Both Saints !atthe/ and !ar$ &ive detailed narrations about /hat happened at )aiaphas’. AG:A:E 3eut.ud&es /ould soon see the "anifestation of -is 3ivine po/er+ as of the Son of God+ throu&h "any si&ns and "iracles.

-o/ever+ the servant &irl didn’t leave hi" alone.* and also said to the bystanders: *$his man was also with Him* %0u$e @@:AK(. @K:9:(. 2oticin& hi" a&ain+ the sa"e servant &irl %!ar$ >?:KF( be&an to tell those standin& ne't to hi": *$his is one of them.ust li$e /ith the already convicted cri"inal: they spat in -is face+ as a si&n of e'tre"e loathin& and deni&ration+ hit -is ears+ beat -i" on the head+ -is chee$s+ tauntin& and as$in&: *<ro#hesy to us Christ0 Who is the one who stru"! 1ou/* i.ud&es but ani"als+ unable to conceal their ra&e.ohn’s help %/ho $ne/ the hi&h priest(+ Peter ca"e into the courtyard+ the servant &irl+ that let hi" co"e in+ told hi": 6<ou are not also one of -is disciples+ are youI6 *I am not* replied Peter+ and stood closer to the fire that /as set because of the cold and bad /eather.* She /as . >::KE @>:>:(+ in doin& so+ )aiaphas /anted to e'press his especial &rief+ /hich even forced hi" to for&et that forbiddance. @K:9>(+ also sayin&: *$his fellow also was with Jesus of 6a7areth. t any rate+ these differences do not concern the "atter’s essence: the Evan&elists only co"plete and interpret one another+ so that throu&h the co"parison of their testi"onies+ the precise and full history of this event can be built. &eter-s 9e!ou!ce#e!t %!at. if <ou are the all-$no/in& !essiah+ then na"e the person /ho hits you+ /ithout $no/in& or seein& hi".ud&"ent /as a rou&h spectacle+ /hich concealed bloodthirsty and sava&e hatred.* They then started to s/ear and "oc$ at )hrist . @K:KF-9GE !ar$ >?:KK-9@E 0u$e @@:GG-K@E .ust a hypocritical act on his part+ so that he could declare the 0ord’s ac$no/led&"ent of -i"self as bein& the !essiah D a blasphe"y. This is ho/ the first renounce"ent happened+ be&innin& at the &ate and finishin& by the fire. !uch ti"e passed. 4hen throu&h Saint . The fact that it /as one and the sa"e courtyard of the hi&h priests’ house+ /here nnas and )aiaphas resided in the separate sectors+ effaces the see"in& contradiction bet/een the narratives of+ Evan&elist . Peter continued his renounce"ent+ sayin&: *Woman.e. This last act sho/s that the /hole . It is obvious that it /as the co""on courtyard.ohn+ on the one hand+ and of the first three Evan&elists on the other.ohn+ /ho /as $no/n to the hi&h priest brou&ht hi". ll four Evan&elists narrate about Peter’s renounce"ent+ althou&h so"e differences in their narrations are obvious. Saint . Of course+ this /as .lthou&h it /as forbidden for a hi&h priest to tear his clothin& %0ev. *What do you thin!/* D 4hat is your opinion on this "atterI D as$s )aiaphas of those present+ and receives the desired response: *He is deserving of death.ohn presents Peter’s renounce"ent as be&innin& and finishin& in nnas’s courtyard+ /hile the other three Evan&elists+ not even "entionin& )hrist’s interro&ation by nnas+ narrate as thou&h the /hole three renounce"ents too$ place in )aiapha’s courtyard. Those /ere not .ohn >H:>K->H+ @G-@9(. 3urin& the trial over the 0ord+ first at nnas’ and then at )aiaphas’+ Peter stayed in one and the sa"e inner courtyard of the hi&h priests’ house+ /here the door$eeper at the re5uest of Saint . ccordin& to Saint !ar$ %>?:K9(+ starin& at his face+ illu"inated by the fire+ she affir"atively declared: *1ou also were with Jesus of 6a7areth.* <et another addressed Peter /ith: *1ou also are .oined by another servant &irl %!at. *I neither !now nor understand what you are saying* %!ar$ >?:KH and !at. I do not !now Him* %0u$e @@:G94. s Saint !ar$ narrates+ Peter+ /ishin& to &et rid of the persistent servant &irl+ /al$ed a/ay fro" the fire to the front of the court-yard+ at the threshold of the &ates so that if needed he could run a/ay.

The trial over the 0ord+ carried out by hi&h priest )aiaphas+ /as about to be finished.* The third renounce"ent occurred under the si"ilar circu"stances+ and evidently coincided /ith the "o"ent /hen the 0ord D already conde"ned and sub. This &atherin& /as called to observe the for"ality of the out/ard . The sunrise /as close+ and /ith it the *"rowing of the rooster* %!ar$ >A:AG(. One of the servants %a relative of !alchus+ /hose ear /as cut off by Peter( said to Peter: *. ?I do not !now this 'an of whom you s#ea!. @9:>E !ar$ >G:> and 0u$e @@:KK-9>( This second+ already official &atherin& of the Sanhedrin is "entioned briefly+ only in one verse+ by Evan&elists !atthe/ and !ar$: the narrative of Saint 0u$e is "ore detailed.@K:9A(. The Tal"ud D the collection of all the ancient .e/ish la/s D states that in the cri"inal "atters+ the final sentence "ust not be announced before the ne't day after the trial starts.esus /as bein& led fro" nnas to )aiaphas. how He had said to him.* as Saint !ar$ testifies+ undoubtedly 5uotin& the /ords of Peter hi"self %!ar$ >?:9>-9@(.) So <eter went out and we#t bitterly. *ear overca"e Peter and *he began to "urse and swear. ?%efore the rooster "rows.ohn >H:@G( started sayin&9 *1ou are not also one of His dis"i#les. This /as follo/ed by "any sayin&: *Surely you are one of them: for you are a Galilean.oined the Scribes D as it is said by Saint 0u$e @@:KK(+ and not at )aiaphas’s .ohn >H:@K(+ /hile another added: *Surely this fellow also was with Him. Great Friday The "a!hedri!-s "e!te!ce %!at. Once a&ain+ Peter chan&ed his position and dre/ closer to the fire+ but here as /ell so"e %.ohn’s verses @? and @G+ chapter >H+ one can assu"e that it occurred at the sa"e ti"e /hen . That ti"e+ the Sanhedrin &athered at da/n in the &reater nu"ber %to the" . you will deny 'e three times. $hen <eter remembered the word of the (ord. ccordin& to Saint !ar$’s testi"ony+ /hen the rooster cro/ed the first ti"e after the first renounce"ent %verse KH(+ * nd the (ord turned and loo!ed at <eter.ustice of the death sentence+ announced to . for he is a Galilean* %0u$e @@:GF(.id I not see you in the garden with Him/* %. se"ond time a rooster "rowed. -ere+ bein& &uarded+ the 0ord had to /ait for the da/n %0u$e KA-KG( and the ne/+ official asse"bly of the Sanhedrin+ /hich /ould hand do/n the for"al sentence.ected to hu"iliation and beatin& D /as led into the courtyard out of )aiaphas’ house. are you/* -e denied it+ sayin& 62oM6 This /as the second renounce"ent+ and on the basis of . rooster’s cro/ and the 0ord’s &lance+ cast at hi"+ evo$ed burnin& and bitter re"orse in Peter’s soul: he ran a/ay fro" the place of his do/nfall+ and /eeps bitterly over it. and your s#ee"h shows it* %!ar$ >?:9:(+ *&or your s#ee"h betrays you* %!at. -o/ever+ neither )aiaphas+ nor the Sanhedrin /anted to postpone the final sentence till the ti"e after the feast of the Passover.esus at the previous ni&ht session.of them* %0u$e @@:GH(. That’s /hy they hastened to observe at least the for"ality of the secondary trial. fter the second renounce"ent+ a period of one hour passed %0u$e @@:GF(.

That’s /hy it is fruitless and useless+ and that’s /hy it led .e. -o/ever+ he is considerin& /ithout the help fro" above but only /ith his forces to chan&e /hat he had done: returnin& the "oney+ he testifies: *I have sinned by betraying inno"ent . <ou /ould not &ive !e the opportunity to .esus to be sentenced to death+ or in &eneral+ bein& blinded by avarice+ didn’t thin$ of the conse5uences of his betrayal. fter spendin& all the ti"e till the da/n in the courtyard of the hi&h priest+ bein& hu"iliated by the hi&h priest &uards and servants+ the 0ord /as brou&ht there. They led -i" into the hall of the Sanhedrin asse"bly and as$ed: 6If <ou are the )hrist tell us.udas %!at.6 Pleased that the 0ord had openly declared -i"self the Son of God+ and thereby &ave the" the ri&ht to accuse -i" of blasphe"y+ the "e"bers of the Sanhedrin announced that there /as no need for the further e'a"ination and announced -i" the death sentence.udas to/ards a suicide.udas+ -is betrayer+ seein& that -e had been conde"ned+ /as re"orseful and brou&ht bac$ the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders6 D it is of course possible+ that . -e repented+ but unfortunately that repentance /as "i'ed /ith despair /ithin hi" and not /ith the hope for God’s all-for&ivin& "ercy.ust the unbearable a&ony of the conscience+ /ithout any hope for chan&e. That’s /hy+ in order to &et the death sentence confir"ed+ they needed to receive the 1o"an &overnor Pontius Pilate’s a&ree"ent. you will by no means answer 'e or let 'e go. That’s /hy the 0ord replied: *If I tell you. It’s not silver coins that he should have thro/n do/n before the hi&h priests+ but hi"self D before the 0ord . nd if I also as! you. 4hen his Teacher /as conde"ned and his &reed satiated /ith the possession of the silver coins+ his conscience suddenly a/o$e: the /hole horror of his "indless act appeared before hi". This type of repentance is . In reality+ they had no ri&ht to co""it anyone to death. Such is any sin in &eneral.6 They did that+ partly because there /ere the ne/ "e"bers that /ere not present at the ni&ht session+ and partly because they /ere hopin& to hear so"ethin& ne/ fro" the 0ord. you will by no means believe.* * re 1ou then the Son of God/* Dthey a&ain as$ed persistently+ and the 0ord for"ally confir"ed that /ith: *1ou rightly say that I am0* ccordin& to the .esus )hrist+ pleadin& for for&iveness of his sin+ and of course+ he /ould have then been for&iven then.ustify !yself before you and to be set free: but $no/ this D after all that has to happen because of your "alice+ you /ill see "e no other /ay+ but in the &lory of !y *ather: *Hereafter the Son of 'an will sit on the right hand of the #ower of God.e/ish . The :eath o* .udicial protocols+ such an ans/er "eant a fir" and decisive 6<esM I a" the Son of God. it is pointless for !e to tal$: if I as$ed you about that+ /hat could lead to the clarification of !y !essianic /orthiness and the end of your blindness+ you all the sa"e /ould not ans/er !e.udas the betrayer.* i. 6 nd brou&ht bac$ the thirty pieces of silver6 D that+ /hat a short ti"e before see"ed so te"ptin&+ at that ti"e+ /hen he be&an to feel the pan&s of conscience+ see"ed to hi" 5uite repu&nant. 6Then . The trial /as for"ed purely for the sa$e of for"alis": the 0ord’s fate had already been deter"ined+ irrespective /hat -e said. Before &ivin& the" a direct ans/er the 0ord e'poses the"+ sho/in& that bein& the ll-Seein&+ -e $no/s their thou&hts.house but in the Sanhedrin hall.udas didn’t e'pect . @9:A->:(. Only Evan&elist !atthe/ tells us about the further fate of .

esus )hrist at A: pieces of silver D the price of a slave D and /ith that "oney purchased the land fro" the potter. There /as a field belon&in& to a $no/n potter+ /hich /as useless because it /as used for e'cavatin& clay+ firin& clay pots and *bury strangers in6 D the . The "eanin& of this section of the Boo$ of =echariah is this: God had placed the Prophet as the representative of the -i&h Shepherd God+ to &ra#e the sheep of the house of Israel.6 -o/ever+ nothin& rese"blin& these /ords can be found by the Prophet . In . In order to de"onstrate to the .e.ust as it beca"e apparent that they valued -is betrayal at A: pieces of silver.udas and the hi&h priests: 6-is D because he didn’t repent+ or /hen he did+ it /as too late+ and he conde"ned hi"self+ because he confessed that he betrayed the 0ord uselesslyE their &uilt is increased+ because /hen they had the opportunity to repent and chan&e their "ind+ they didn’t repent.* By the /ay+ they apparently /ere basin& their action on 3eut. Perhaps it /as a later transcriber’ insertion. God then said to the Prophet: put this &reat su" %it is irony+ of course(+ at /hich they valued !e+ into the te"ple treasury. nd I too$ it %said the Prophet(+ and thre/ it unto the potter+ in the house of the 0ord %=ech.* ccordin& to Saint .* i.e.e/s didn’t listen to the Prophet i.esus )hrist. 4e find the si"ilar state"ents+ "ade by the Prophet =echariah >>:>@->A.e/s and proselytes that died a"on& the hu&e nu"bers+ /hich &athered in .e/s+ ho/ little they value the care of the Prophet and conse5uently of God -i"self+ God directs to the Prophet to as$ the": /hat su" /ould they &ive hi" for his pastoral effortsI They &ave hi" the price of a slave D A: pieces of silver+ i. At the Trial o* &ilate . 6Then he thre/ do/n the pieces of silver in the te"ple and departed+ and /ent and han&ed hi"self6. The . The Pharisees’ tendency to fulfill a "inor co""and"ent+ /hile violatin& an i"portant one D not to conde"n the innocent D characteri#es the" very definitely.ere"iah’s prophesy /as fulfilled: 6 nd they too$ the thirty pieces of silver+ the value of -i" /ho /as priced+ 4ho" they of the children of Israel priced6: 6 nd &ave the" for the potter’s field. -e thre/ do/n the unaccepted coins in the te"ple+ thin$in& that perhaps this act "i&ht cal" his pan&s of conscience D but in vain: the inner tortures brou&ht hi" to such a state+ that he /ent and han&ed hi"self.erusale" for the Passover and other si&nificant feast-days. he burst o#en in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. The . Besides+ in ancient ti"es it /as a co""on thin& to abbreviate the personal na"es+ and it’s possible that the transcriber "i&ht by "ista$e put . they didn’t listen to God -i"self.esus )hrist beca"e apparent+ .udas heartlessly+ coldly and "oc$in&ly. This prophecy /as fulfilled /ith the betrayal of the 0ord .* Even /ith all their corruption+ the hi&h priests found it i"possible to utili#e that "oney for the te"ple D *#ut them into the treasury.ere"iah’s abbreviated na"e %.ere"iah: the only part in A@:9+ spea$s in &eneral ter"s of the purchase of the potter’s field.e/s evaluated their Good Shepherd+ . *What is that to us/ 1ou see to it0* This indicates their e'tre"e "oral coarseness.ohn )hrysosto"+ this testi"ony increases the &uilt of both .6 They treated .ere"iah chaps. *ollo/in& this+ he apparently fell to the &round+ as postle Peter states in cts %>:>H(: *and falling headlong.riah( instead of =achariah’s %=riah(. >H>F the potter is also "entioned of+ and it is possible that =echariah too$ his i"a&e fro" there. they valued the Prophet’s labors+ and conse5uently of God -i"self+ as trivial+ li$e those of a slave. >>:>>->@(. Thus+ the Prophet . into the te"ple treasury+ as it /as the *#ri"e of blood.e. @A:>H+ and in this case+ their hatred to/ards the 0ord .blood.

@9:>-@+ >>-A@E !ar$ >G:>->FE 0u$e @A:>-@G and .ect the cri"inal+ /ho in their opinion is /orth of death+ to the e'ecution. the ruler.ohn >H:@H->F:>K( * nd they bound Jesus. Saint Evan&elist . Soon after )hrist’s crucifi'ion+ he /as su""oned to 1o"e+ tried and i"prisoned in northern Gaul+ /here he co""itted suicide.ohn >H:A>. Pontius+ na"ed Pilate+ /as the fifth procurator or ruler of . Pilate $ne/ too /ell the type of people he /as dealin& /ith.ud&"ent+ /ithout first hearin& the details+ so therefore *1ou ta!e Him and 2udge Him a""ording to your law.e/s and in turn /as hated by the". Procurators usually resided in )aesarea. )han&in& their proud attitude to one of sub"issiveness+ the .* *that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled whi"h He s#o!e. The stonin& of Stephen /as a /illful act. -e hated the . They didn’t enter it because to touch anythin& heathen /as counted as desecration+ and "i&ht have prevented the" fro" parta$in& of Pascha. A .e/s didn’t /ant a ne/ e'a"ination of )hrist’s case: they /ere hopin& that Pilate /ould be the e'ecutioner of their sentence.%!at.ohn D /ith a 5uestion fro" Pilate to those /ho brou&ht the 0ord: thus+ fro" the very openin& and further+ concernin& the subse5uent narratives+ Saint . This is the clear indication that the Passover /as approachin& that ni&ht+ and that )hrist partoo$ of the Pascha on the eve of the feast-day+ and -e brou&ht -i"self as a sacrifice+ as the true Paschal 0a"b+ at the day of the Old Testa"ent Passover+ /hich /as the sy"bol of -is sufferin&. -e /as a proud+ arro&ant and cruel person+ and at the sa"e ti"e indecisive and co/ardly.udicial procedure+ thereby co"pletin& the first three Evan&elists. *Why. -o/ever+ on the feast-day of the Passover+ they "oved to . ccordin& to the la/+ the accused of blasphe"y /ere punished by stonin&. Pilate invites the" to use their ri&ht.e.ohn adheres to the "ore detailed and se5uential order of the .erusale"+ /here they could $eep an eye on the order.udea.ud&e and carry out the punish"ent for certain trans&ressions /ithout the 1o"an sanction: the only e'ception /as the death penalty. and delivered Him to <ilate6 D Since the ti"es of Israel’s subordination to the 1o"ans+ the ri&ht to pronounce death sentences had been ta$en a/ay fro" the Sanhedrin+ as can be seen fro" . *It is not lawful for us to #ut anyone to death.ustice. what evil has He done/ I have found no reason for death in Him* D the . led Him away. In all probability+ it /as situated to the north/est of the te"ple+ near or inside ntonius’s fortress /here the 1o"an &arrison /as placed.ohn has the "ost detail on Pilate’s trial. Pilate+ in this instance+ "ade a concession to the . -o/ever+ the . -e narrates that the .e/s led .e/s unconsciously fulfilled God’s /ill by /antin& to sentence the 0ord .esus )hrist to a "ore deni&ratin& death D crucifi'ion on the cross D and /ith this ai"+ after the Sanhedrin pronounced the death sentence+ they brou&ht -i" to the &overnor Pontius Pilate+ i. -e received that post in the year @K 3 fro" the 1o"an E"peror Tiberius.e/ish custo"s %it is /ell $no/n that the 1o"ans atte"pted to spare the custo"s and traditions of the con5uered nations+ so as not to rise the" too "uch a&ainst the"selves(+ by /al$in& out to the" to the rostru" D an open+ elevated area in front of the Procurator’s 5uarters D and in5uired: *What a""usation do you bring against this 'an/* The first t/o Evan&elists be&in their narrative about Pilate’s trial /ith the interro&ation of the 0ord+ the third D /ith -is accusations by those /ho brou&ht -i"+ /hile Saint .esus to the Praetoriu"+ the 1o"an &overnor’s court of . -e therefore i""ediately placed the accusers in their place+ in relation to hi"self+ as to the representative of the 1o"an authority: I cannot "a$e a .e/s ac$no/led&e the li"itations of their ri&hts+ that they couldn’t sub.* Indeed+ the Sanhedrin /as e"po/ered to .

Then the 0ord confir"s that -e is truly a 7ing+ the 7in& of the spiritual 7in&do" of Truth+ and that -e ca"e to earth so as to testify of the Truth D "eanin& of course+ under the /ord 6truth+6 the reli&ious truth of -is 3ivine teachin&.ects are those /ho are able to heed this Truth.esus. t that point+ they "entioned that -e /as incitin& the people+ teachin& throu&hout . as$ed the 0ord: it /as necessary to $no/ the source of that 5uestion D if Pilate hi"self /as as$in& that+ the ans/er /ould be ne&ative+ because )hrist /as not a $in&+ in the sense Pilate /asE if Pilate’s 5uestion /as a repetition of /hat the . Pilate then in5uired *if the 'an were a Galilean/6 and sent -i" to 7in& -erod+ /ho at that ti"e D because of the feast days D also resided in . @::>F(+ that -e /ould be raised fro" the &round+ i.udais": * m I a Jew/ 1our own nation and the "hief #riests have delivered 1ou to me.e. if he personally /as accusin& -i" of appropriatin& that title+ or if he /as . fter that+ the 0ord’s ene"ies /ere obli&ed to e'press their accusations a&ainst -i"+ /hat /e find by Saint 0u$e: *We found this fellow #erverting the nation.udea+ be&innin& fro" Galilee %0u$e @A:G(. Pilate’s historic 5uestion *What is truth/* serves as the e'pression of despondent disbelief in truth+ the ans/er to /hich he even didn’t /ant to hear+ but si"ply /al$ed out to the .e/s /ere sayin&+ then the ans/er /ould be affir"ative+ because )hrist /as indeed the 7in& of Truth. )hrist /as not a political $in& of the .esus /as not political+ and /as in no /ay a threat to the 1o"an rule. What have 1ou done/* D i. s Saint . So the 0ord "ade Pilate say in /hat sense he /as applyin& the /ord J$in&6 to -i"6+ i. .ohn narrates %>H:AA(+ Pilate as$ed the 0ord in privacy+ inside of the praetoriu"+ the 5uestion+ concernin& that accusation: * re 1ou the 8ing of the Jews/* D * re you s#ea!ing for yourself about this. or did others tell you this "on"erning 'e/*. saying that He Himself is Christ.e/s and stated that he found no fault in . be crucified %!at. pparently+ Pilate /as . he doesn’t ad"it any royal /orthiness in )hrist+ but . 0istenin& to that+ the 0ord $ept silent all the ti"e.erusale".ust /ants to $no/+ /hy the people and hi&h priests delivered -i"+ accusin& -i" of appropriatin& the title of a $in&. and forbidding to #ay ta5es to Caesar.esus. 6Pilate therefore said to -i"+ J re <ou a 7in& thenI’ D havin& understood that . *so that the governor marveled greatly* %!at. Only Evan&elist 0u$e narrates of )hrist’s trial before -erod %@A:9->@(. a 8ing* %0u$e @A:@( D the sly hypocrites+ /ho the"selves hated the 1o"ans+ invent that slanderous accusation of purely political nature+ so as to "a$e it easier to &ain the confir"ation of the death sentence for .esus is not a political pretender for the terrestrial $in&do"+ Pilate e'presses his doubts about the possibility of e'istence of so"e other spiritual real". @9:>?(.ust repeatin& the .* Indeed+ not once the 0ord foretold that -e /ould be betrayed to the heathens %!at.ohn >@:A@(.signifying by what death He would die.esus ans/ers: *'y 8ingdom is not of this world* D the 0ord confir"s that -e is truly a 7in&+ but in the spiritual and not political sense of the /ord+ not the type of $in& as he i"a&ines. @K:@E . Bein& a coarse heathen+ Pilate of course couldn’t co"prehend those /ords of the 0ord and said disdainfully: *What is truth/* But he reali#ed that the 7in&do" of . -is sub. Pilate’s ans/er is filled /ith conte"pt for the . That declaration deeply stun& the pride of the Sanhedrin "e"bers+ and they D as the first three Evan&elists narrate D be&an to insistently accuse the 0ord of "any thin&s+ /antin&+ /hatever it too$+ to achieve -is conviction.e. t that ti"e+ the heathen Greco-1o"an /orld reached such a level of "ental and "oral decay+ that it lost its faith in the possibility of truth e'istence in &eneral+ and didn’t believe that there /as such a thin& as truth.e/s’ accusations.e.e/s+ but /as the theocratic ruler of the universe.

e/ish custo"+ accordin& to /hich+ before the Passover+ they ca"e to the &overnor /ith the re5uest to have one of the conde"ned prisoners released+ and hi"self offered: *Whom do you want me to release to you/ %arrabas.udicial place+ called in Gree$ 6lifostron+6 or in . It /as to that "ultitude of people+ /hich &athered in front of the procurator’s house+ that Pilate directed his 5uestion: *Whi"h of the two do you want me to release to you/* 4hile he /as sittin& on his .ud&"ent seat+ situated in the open+ elevated . 4hen Pilate . @9:>H(. -e thou&ht to satisfy the" /ith so"e "inor punish"ent. This /as the sa"e -erod ntipas that "urdered .e/ish faith+ or /as at least disposed to/ards it+ /hile the tradition states that she later beca"e a )hristian.esus to be released.esus only as so"e co"ical candidate to the royal .e/ish D 6&avvapha+6 a "essen&er appeared before hi" /ith the "essa&e fro" his /ife: *Have nothing to do with that Just 'an. Probably she heard "uch about the 0ord . By dressin& the 0ord in that type of attire+ -erod /anted to e'press that he re&arded .esus. %0u$e @A:>G(. pparently+ Pilate /as hopin& that he /ould find a different feelin& for . They presu"ed that she confessed the . 4hile the "essen&er /as reportin& to Pilate his /ife’s "essa&e+ the .ohn resurrected fro" the dead. -erod /as very &lad to see .hopin& to receive "ore definite infor"ation fro" -erod on the personality and /or$s of the accused+ /hich to hi" /ere not co"pletely clear. The first t/o Evan&elists add to this: *&or he !new that they had handed Him over be"ause of envy* %!at. and "arvel at that %Blessed Theothylactus(.* So"e of the ancient )hristian /riters "ention her na"e+ as Claudia !roculus. *ro" the further re"ar$ of Saint 0u$e D that fro" that "o"ent Pilate and -erod beca"e friends D it can be concluded that Pilate sent )hrist to -erod on purpose and that /ay stopped the ani"osity that e'isted bet/een the".e/ish leaders be&an to influence the people+ so that they /ould as$ Pilate to release Barabbas D and the people succu"bed to their sinful su&&estions. for I have suffered many things today in a dream be"ause of him. It is un$no/n /hat type of drea" she had+ but it can be supposed that . pparently -erod re&arded the 0ord as so"eone li$e a sorcerer. Perhaps he /as hopin& to receive a favorable response about )hrist fro" -erod+ in order to liberate -i" fro" the hands of -is persistent accusers.ohn the Baptist+ and hearin& of )hrist’s /or$s+ thou&ht that -e /as . -e posed "any 5uestions to -i"+ hopin& to hear so"ethin& interestin&+ but to all his 5uestions+ the 0ord preserved total silence. 4ith 1o"ans+ a candidate for an authoritative or honored position %the very /ord 6candidate+6 co"es fro" the 0atin /ord 6candidus6 "eanin& /hite+ bri&ht(+ used to /ear the /hite %bri&ht( vest"ent. nd in her drea"+ she suffered because of the thou&ht that her o/n husband appeared as -is e'ecutioner.esus the Galilean appeared in her drea" as a 1i&hteous+ bein& tortured innocently. 2o /onder he later points to the fact+ that -erod too didn’t find any fault in -i"+ /hich deserved the death sentence.esus a"on& the co""on people+ and that they /ould as$ e'actly .e/ish throne+ and that he did not consider -i" as a serious and dan&erous cri"inal. @9:>9(.esus )hrist+ and /as afraid that by conde"nin& -i"+ her husband /ould brin& upon hi" God’s punish"ent. -erod /as hopin& to see a "iracle fro" the 0ord: not to start believin& in -i"+ but only to satisfy his curiosity+ li$e /e /atch the sho/s /here "a&icians see"in&ly s/allo/ sna$es+ s/ords etc. The hi&h priests and Scribes accused the 0ord incessantly+ apparently tryin& to prove that -is ser"ons /ere as "uch dan&erous for -erod as they /ere for )aesar. -avin& "oc$ed at the 0ord+ -erod dressed -i" in the /hite vest"ent and sent -i" bac$ to Pilate. 4ith that+ he re"e"bered that there /as an old . 1eferrin& to that even -erod found nothin& that /arranted the death sentence+ Pilate proposes to the hi&h priests+ Scribes and the people+ that after punishin& the 0ord he /ill release -i". nd Pilate understood that. or Jesus who is "alled Christ/* %!at.

Those "antles /ere /ithout sleeves and /orn around the shoulders so that the ri&ht ar" re"ained free. . They placed a cro/n "ade of sharp thorns on -is head+ and put a cane in -is hands+ /hich supposedly represented a royal scepter. -e probably hoped that by "a$in& such a concession to the people’s fury+ he /ould be still able to save .ohn >F:>(. The soldiers re"oved the top attire fro" . -earin& the enra&ed roar of the people+ /hich he apparently didn’t e'pect+ Pilate beca"e co"pletely be/ildered.e.esus and be&an to scour&e -i". -e /as afraid that his further persistence in defendin& the 1i&hteous "i&ht provo$e a serious disturbance a"on& the people+ /hich /ould have to be 5uelled /ith the ar"ed force+ and that the infuriated hi&h priests /ould then be able to report about that to )aesar+ accusin& hi" of causin& that disturbance by defendin& the federal cri"inal+ as they /ere tryin& to portray the 0ord . That /as the terrible punish"ent+ to /hich Pilate inflicted the One+ in 4ho" he found no fault.esus into the praetoriu" to have -i" scour&ed %in Slavonic: praetoriu" --6the . -avin& finished the scour&in&+ the cruel soldiers be&an to "oc$ at the Sufferer: they dressed -i" in a 6purple robe+6 i. @9:>KE .e/s. This torture /as so painful+ that "any died durin& the scour&in&. 0i$e that the prophecy about the very type of )hrist’s death for us+ had to be fulfilled. ccordin& to the first t/o Evan&elists+ the soldiers led . what evil has He done/* *%ut they "ried out all the more.for the second ti"e as$ed the 5uestion: *Whi"h of the two do you want me to release to youI6 they replied: *%arabbas. The /hips /ere "ade of ropes or belts+ and their ends /ere e"bedded /ith the bone and "etal stic$s. 8sually+ the conde"ned individual /as tied to a post+ in a leanin& position. into the courtyard+ probably to have "ore roo"+ because the area in front of the courtyard /as con&ested /ith people.esus )hrist. ll the Evan&elists narrate of the scour&in&. The Evan&elists tell us that Barrabas /as a /ell-$no/n "alefactor+ /ho /ith the band of acco"plices+ co""itted "urders and "ade in the city a certain sedition %!at.esus+ raised his voice+ sayin&: *Why. That cape /as supposed to represent the royal "antle for the 7in& of the .* To&ether /ith that+ they slapped -i" across the chee$s+ spat on -i"+ &rabbed the cane fro" -is hands+ and beat -i" on the head+ so that the thorns of the cro/n /ould drive deeper and cause &reater /ounds. ?Cru"ify Him0)* Euthy"ius =i&aben underlines the point: 6They are not sayin&: 0et -i" be $illed+ but let -i" be crucified+ so that the very type of death /ould sho/ -i" as a villain6. They then called up the /hole re&i"ent+ or cohort+ a&ainst -i".ud&"ent place6(+ i. a soldier’s red cape+ a$in to those "antles /orn by $in&s and hi&hest "ilitary leaders. -avin& done all that for to "oc$ at the 3ivine Sufferer+ the soldiers then be&an to $neel before -i".e. They responded /ith: *(et Him be "ru"ified0*: accordin& to Saint 0u$e+ they cried out: *Cru"ify Him0* Pilate+ still /ishin& to release . -o/ever+ it has to be assu"ed that it /as done to satisfy the cro/d’s lust for blood and save -i" fro" the cruciferous death. The soldiers then /hipped his bare bac$+ /hat fro" the initial blo/s+ caused deep flesh /ounds that bled profusely.ohn >H:?:E 0u$e @A:>F and !ar$ >G:9(.esus. *So then <ilate too! Jesus and s"ourged Him* %. 8nder the pressure of such feelin&s+ Pilate decided to satisfy the people’s lust for blood by handin& over the Innocent for scour&in&. )orrupted by their spiritual leaders+ the people preferred Barabbas to the 0ord .esus fro" the death on the cross. S/earin& at -i"+ they be&an to say+ as thou&h &reetin& -i": *Hail0 8ing of the Jews.* *What then shall I do with Jesus who is "alled Christ/* as$ed Pilate. 4ith the 1o"ans+ such a type of scour&in& /as assi&ned for serious cri"es+ and "ainly for the slaves.

ohn >F:F(.ustice+ cannot participate in such an un/orthy act of conde"nin& the !an that is co"pletely innocent.ccordin& to the first t/o Evan&elists+ those events happened after )hrist had been finally conde"ned to death. The "eanin& of Pilate’s /ords for the )hristians is: here is the "odel of the !an+ /hich all the )hristians should try to reach.esus into the praetoriu" and privately as$s -i": *Where are 1ou from/*. part fro" e'tre"e annoyance and i"patience+ Pilate’s /ords e'pressed nothin& else. i.esus+ added: *%ehold the 'an0* Pilate /as addressin& to the trial of their conscience /ith that e'cla"ation: it /as as thou&h he /as sayin& D here is the Person+ lonely+ hu"iliated+ and tortured: is it possible that -e loo$s li$e a dan&erous rebel: by -is very appearance+ doesn’t -e evo$e "ore pity than fearI To&ether /ith that+ apparently unintentionally+ Pilate said the truth: even in -is hu"iliated state+ the 0ord revealed "ore spiritual &reatness and "oral beauty of the true !an+ /hich -e has be accordin& to the )reator’s desi&n+ than -e /ould have in the state of &lory and royal brilliance. -o/ could a coarse+ heathen-s$eptic understand the teachin& about the true Son of GodI )on5uerin& his fear+ Pilate decided to sho/ his authority as /ell as to influence . -o/ever+ Saint .esus in the .ohn’s ai" /as to e'pand and e'plain the narratives of the first three Evan&elists+ and he pointed at the fact that the scour&in& and acts of "oc$ery over )hrist too$ place earlier+ and presu"ably+ /ere underta$en by Pilate /ith the specific ai" of liberatin& )hrist fro" the death sentence at least in such a /ay. )onse5uently+ the 0ord’s ene"ies+ in presentin& a ne/ accusation+ continued to see$ Pilate’s a&ree"ent to the death sentence: *We have a law.* and pointin& to . s they sa/ e'hausted and tortured )hrist+ they started to cla"or: *Cru"ify.: /here did <ou ori&inate fro"+ are <ou fro" heaven or earthI re <ou indeed the Son of GodI *%ut Jesus gave him no answer. -e hoped that the a/ful si&ht /ould cause their hearts &ive a shudder+ and that they /ould no lon&er insist on the 0ord’s death.* D It /as useless respondin& to the 5uestion. The 0ord atte"pted to e'plain to Pilate+ 4ho -e is+ but -is /ords only provo$ed a flippant and facetious re"ar$ %. -o/ever+ nothin& touched the hi&h priests and their servants. I+ as the representative of . Pilate then leads . 4hen the 0ord /as led out onto the rostru"+ Pilate said: *%ehold.esus to ans/er: * re 1ou not s#ea!ing to me/* The 0ord responds to these vain /ords /ith the 3ivine /isdo": *1ou "ould have no #ower at all against 'e unless it had been given you from above* D it is . This is ho/ a heathen+ not $no/in& the true God and -is co""and"ents on ho/ to love the nei&hbor+ thou&ht.e/s+ Pilate ordered -i" to be brou&ht out+ tortured and e'hausted. and a""ording to our law He ought to die. "ru"ify Him0* Such persistence of the accusers aroused sadness in Pilate+ and forced hi" to e'clai" /ith abruptness and causticity: *1ou ta!e Him and "ru"ify Him.* Of course+ Pilate could only understand the e'pression D *the Son of God* in the heathen sense+ "eanin& the se"i-&ods+ heroes+ that /ere nu"erous in the heathen "ytholo&y.e. In order to cause the feelin& of co"passion for . be"ause He made Himself the Son of God. I am bringing Him out to you. that you may !now that I find no fault in Him. for I find no fault in Him6: If you are so insistent+ then you crucify -i" at your o/n responsibility.* -earin& this+ Pilate *was the more afraid. But this /as enou&h to confuse hi"+ as he recalled of his /ife’s /arnin&+ /hich sa/ so"e "ysterious drea" about that eni&"atic Person. las+ ho/ever+ this /as not the /ay the spiritual leaders and chiefs of God’s chosen nation thou&ht+ ra&in& in their indefati&able hatred.

-o/ is it that instead of bo/in& in front of -i"+ you de"and -is deathI 3o you /ant "e+ the hated by you 1o"an &overnor+ to ta$e a/ay your 7in& /ho can fulfill all your cherished drea"sI Evidently+ the accusers understood those /ords li$e/ise+ because they started to ho/l /ith especial fury: * way with Him. Settlin& hi"self in the .e. away with Him0 Cru"ify Him0* ccordin& to Bishop !ichael’s /ords D 6this ho/l ca"e fro" the /ound+ inflicted into the "ost sensitive part6 but 6before &ivin& in co"pletely+ Pilate once "ore t/ists the $nife in this /ound /ith the /ords: *Shall I "ru"ify your 8ing/* D if . pparently+ annoyed at bein& forced to carry out the sentence a&ainst his o/n conscience+ he once a&ain severely reproaches the /hole Sanhedrin: he is as thou&h sayin& D you drea" of the return of independence+ of your so"e sort of hi&h callin& a"on& all the nations of the /orld: nobody /ould be capable to fulfill this hi&h tas$+ but this Person+ the One /ho calls hi"self the spiritual 7in& of Israel. 2evertheless+ you /ill be &uilty of conde"nin& !e+ because you do so a&ainst your conscience. That threat caused the decision on the /hole "atter.ay of the <assover.esus+ the hi&h priests pronounced the fri&htenin& and fatal /ords that beca"e the sentence for all the future history of the .ohn /ould see" to differ /ith the other Evan&elists+ especially /ith Saint !ar$+ /ho notes: *6ow it was the third hour. it /as *riday before the Passover and the si'th hour+ bein& around >@ of the noon by our ti"e. -avin& delivered -is people into the slavery of the heathen+ 1o"an rule+ God passed the authority over !e to you throu&h it.esus calls -i"self your 7in&+ then /ith this declaration+ -e pro"ises you liberation fro" the 1o"an rule: ho/ can you de"and that I+ the representative of the 1o"an authority+ /ill co""it -i" to deathI Thin$ a&ain+ /hat are you doin&I6 D In response to this ad"onish"ent+ blinded by their hatred to/ards . * nd he said to the Jews.* The accusers then decided to resort to e'tre"e "easures D to threaten the procurator hi"self by accusin& hi" of treachery a&ainst )aesar’s authority: *If you let this 'an go. *inally+ there is an opinion %of Glad$ov( that Saint .e.only due to God’s per"ission that I a" in your hands. -o/ever+ the &reater sin /ill be on the" that had not been &iven authority over !e fro" above+ on those /ho had done this /illfully+ throu&h hatred+ i. it /as around K o’cloc$ in the "ornin&+ as /e count no/+ be&innin& fro" the "idni&ht. )onse5uently+ the 2e/ Testa"ent "entions only the >st+ Ard+ Kth and Fth hour. 6li$e the si'th hour6: accordin& to our ti"e+ this could be the /hole period bet/een the Fth hour in the "ornin& till noon.ohn doesn’t say 6the hour /as the si'th+6 but 6about the si'th hour+6 i. ?%ehold your 8ing0* D althou&h it’s difficult to say /hat Pilate tried to e'press /ith those /ords+ one can’t help seein& in the" the last atte"pt to free the 0ord fro" death.e.e/ish people: *We . -o/ever+ the "atter is that the day+ li$e ni&ht+ /as divided into ? parts of three hours. That’s /hy the Evan&elist notes the day and hour 0hen the Lord 0as condemned: *6ow it was the <re#aration . Evidently+ Pilate li$ed the 0ord’s /ise /ords+ and *from then on <ilate sought to release Him. you are not Caesar)s friend>* That fri&htened Pilate+ because the E"peror at the ti"e /as the suspicious and e'tre"ely cruel Tiberius+ /ho /as al/ays /illin& to listen to the infor"ers. This indication by Saint . @9:?GE !ar$ >G:AA and 0u$e @A:??(.* i.udas Iscariot.ud&e’s seat on the rostru"+ Pilate for"ally and sole"nly concludes the trial. Saint .e. and they "ru"ified Him* %!ar$ >G:@G(+ /hile fro" the si'th to the ninth hour+ there /as dar$ness over all the land %!at.ohn is indicatin& the 1o"an calculation of ti"e+ /hich corresponds to ours+ i. and about the si5th hour. on the Sanhedrin+ on )aiaphas as its instru"ent+ on .

iena+ /here in t/o years+ e'hausted by an&uish+ tortured by conscience and despondency+ he co""itted a suicide.* i. Since that ti"e+ the e'pression 6to /ash the hands6 beca"e a proverb.esus+ 4ho" he re&arded as an innocent and 1i&hteous.ohn )hrysosto" D 6such evil passionPeven if you had cursed yourselves: but /hy to incur the curse on your descendantsI6 This curse that the . The first t/o D Saints !atthe/ and !ar$ D spea$ of this identically.ust to &et the procurator’s confir"ation about the death penalty: *His %lood be on us and on our "hildren. 6ow as they "ame out. The 'ruci*erous )ay to Gol(otha %!at.6 Saint !atthe/ infor"s that prior to that+ Pilate /ashed his hands %!at. they too! the #ur#le off Him. ?I am inno"ent of the blood of this <erson. -e /as sent to e'ile to Gaul Fto/n of . It also ca"e to pass %throu&h the fulfill"ent of !oses’ prophecy in 3eut.e/s a&reed to everythin&+ not thin$in& of the conse5uences+ . #ut His own "lothes on Him.ust conde"nation of the One+ 4ho" he hi"self called 1i&hteous. *$hen he released %arrabas to them: and when he had s"ourged Jesus. saying.e/s had a custo" of /ashin& the hands as a proof of bein& innocent in sheddin& the blood of another+ /hen so"eone /as found $illed %3eut.erusale"+ a vast nu"ber of .ected to countless 6"assacres6+ /hich they constantly faced+ so that the prophesy of !oses fro" the 3euterono"y could be fulfilled %chap.e/s incurred upon the"selves /as soon fulfilled: in the year 9: 3+ durin& the 1o"an sie&e of . Pilate too$ advanta&e of that custo"+ as a si&n that he freed hi"self of the responsibility for the e'ecution of .e/s and *delivered Him to them to be "ru"ified. The "alicious .esus )hrist+ by crucifi'ion.ust "urder. but rather that a tumult was rising.ust for the sa$e of achievin& )hrist’s crucifi'ion+ they renounce everythin&+ declarin& that they do not have+ nor /ish to have any other $in& than 1o"an )aesar. 6Such senseless fury6 D co""ents Saint . @9:@?(: *When <ilate saw that he "ould not #revail at all.* i. 1ou see to it*. havin& confir"ed the Sanhedrin’s death sentence+ Pilate supplied the" /ith soldiers to carry out the e'ecution of the 0ord . ll ? Evan&elists narrate about the 0ord’s /ay to Gol&otha.e.have no !ing but Caesar0* Before+ the hi&h priests /ere sayin&: 64e have no other 7in&+ e'cept God6: and that ti"e+ . @>:K-H(. and led Him away to be "ru"ified. -avin& /ashed his hands+ Pilate of course couldn’t &et rid of his responsibility %as he had /anted( by that act: after all+ he /as the hi&h . if this is a cri"e+ then let God’s /rath fall on us and our descendants. *1ou see to it* D you yourselves /ill ans/er for the conse5uences of this un. God’s punish"ent reached Pilate for his faint-heartedness and un. they .ohn >F:>K->9(.ud&e+ $no/in& that the ccused /as co"pletely innocent. * nd when they had mo"!ed Him.e. -avin& suffered defeat at his atte"pts to liberate )hrist+ Pilate finally decided to &ive /ay to the /ishes of the . @9:A>-A@E !ar$>G:@:-@>E 0u$e @A:@K-A@E . @H:?F-G9E K?-K9(.e/s+ fro" thereon scattered around the /orld and bein& continually sub.e/s /ere crucified on crosses. he too! water and washed his hands before the multitude. @H:?F-G9+ K?-K9( in the further history of the . he delivered Him to be "ru"ified. The .

aughters of Jerusalem* D is a tender for" of addressin&+ indicatin& the 0ord’s $ind disposition to those /o"en+ /ho had e'pressed such "ovin& co"passion. ?Cover us0)* D that’s ho/ &reat the disasters /ill be. !oved+ of course not by co"passion but by the desire to reach the place and acco"plish their evil deed sooner+ the 0ord’s ene"ies &rabbed alon& the /ay an individual na"ed Si"on. ?&all on us0) and to the hills. 8ndoubtedly+ the dialo&ue is about the destruction of . Saint 0u$e adds that *a great multitude of the #eo#le followed Him. @::?9(E if the fire destroyed &reen /ood+ /ith /hat ferocity /ill it destroy the dryI6 %Bhp. *$he days are "oming>* D the days of terrible cala"ities are approachin&+ /hen the hi&hest blessin& of childbirth /ill transfor" into a curse+ and those that had previously been re&arded as bein& under God’s /rath as childless+ not child-bearin&+ /ill be re&arded as blessed. -e /as an e"i&rant fro" )yrene+ a to/n in 0ibya+ on the northern shore of frica+ to the /est of E&ypt %/here "any recently "i&rated . but wee# for yourselves and for your "hildren>* *.e/s brou&ht upon the"selves so flippantly /hen they screa"ed: *His %lood be on us and on our "hildren* %!at. Saint !ar$ adds that Si"on /as the father of le'ander and 1ufus+ later $no/n in the early )hristian )hurch+ "entioned in the Epistle to the 1o"ans by Saint Paul %>K:>A(. Saint .erusale" in the year 9:+ by Titus. The "ost detailed narrative is that of Saint 0u$e. and women who also mourned and lamented Him. Him they "om#elled to bear His "ross. . what will be done in the dry/* D evidently+ this /as a fol$ sayin&. -o/ever+ -e /as so e'hausted after -is inner stru&&le in Gethse"ane+ and after the sleepless ni&ht and terrible tortures+ that -e did not have the stren&th to carry the cross to the destination. do not wee# for 'e.* Saint . *Wee# for yourselves and for your "hildren* D /ith these /ords the 0ord /arns the" of the catastrophes that "i&ht reach the" and their children.* -e /as follo/ed not only by -is ene"ies+ but by -is co""iseratin& /orshippers.ectin& the !essiah. 8nder 6the &reen /ood+6 The 0ord "eans -i"selfE under 6the dry6 D the . Their co"passion /as so deep and &enuine+ that the 0ord found -e had to respond and turned to the" /ith the /hole ho"ily. *&or if they do these things in the green wood. *. *$hen they will begin to say to the mountains.found a man of Cyrene.aughters of Jerusalem. Presu"ably+ it occurred at the ti"e /hen the procession stopped so that the 0ord’s cross could be transferred to Si"on the )yrenian. -ere+ it is as thou&h the 0ord had in "ind that fri&htenin& oath+ /hich the . If they didn’t sho/ "ercy to -i"+ /ho’s Innocent+ then /hat /ill they do /ith the &uilty nationI 6The fire is headin& to/ards Israel %see E#e$. The 0ord as if for&ets of -is forthco"in& sufferin&s+ -e turns -is spiritual &a#e to the chosen nation’s future+ to that fri&htenin& punish"ent that /ill reach the" for re. 2ot/ithstandin& that the custo" prohibited to e'press sy"pathy to a conde"ned "an+ bein& led to the e'ecution+ "any /o"en in the cro/d sho/ed their e"pathy to the 0ord throu&h loud sobbin&. @9:@G(.e/s lived(+ and /as returnin& to the city fro" the field+ /hen he /as forced to carry the 0ord’s cross.ohn narrates about that very briefly+ not "entionin& anythin& about Si"on of )yrene. !ichael(.e/ish people.ohn reports that as it /as accepted &enerally+ concernin& those /ho /ere sentenced to death throu&h the crucifi'ion+ the 0ord carried -is o/n cross to the place of e'ecution. Simon by name.

It is uncertain as /hy this hill carried such a na"e.ust co""encin& and only the third hour of the first 5uarter passed.ohn /as 5uite ri&ht to say that it /as the Kth hour+ because the second section of the day+ co"prised of the ?th+ Gth and Kth hours+ /hich the .ohn >F:>?(.* 4hen they brou&ht . So"eti"es the hands and feet /ere nailed to the cross+ /hile other ti"es+ they /ere si"ply tied to it. It is thou&ht that perhaps because it either rese"bled a s$ull+ or because it /as littered /ith nu"erous s$ulls of the people e'ecuted there. -o/ever+ it "ust be understood that as /ith ni&ht+ that /as divided into ? /atches D three hours in each D the sa"e happened /ith the day that /as divided into ? sections+ each one called after the last hour of each /atch: the third hour+ the si(th hour and the ninth hour. and they "ru"ified Him* D li$e that Saint !ar$ says %>G:@G(. @9:AA-??E !ar$ >G:@@-A@E 0u$e @A:AA-AHE . He would not drin!* D the 0ord did not ta$e in that drin$+ /ishin& in full consciousness to drin$ the /hole cup of sufferin&s up to the end. in the ter"s of no/adays ti"e D around F a"+ then Saint . ccordin& to Saint !ar$ >G:@A+ it /as /ine "in&led /ith "yrrh+ /hile accordin& to Saint !atthe/ @9:A?+ it /as vine&ar "i'ed /ith &all.e/s called after the last hour li$e the Kth hour+ be&an. The 1o"ans called hi" 6soporific.suffered outside the gate.ohn >F:>H-@?( 4n accordance /ith all the ? Evan&elists+ the 0ord /as brou&ht to the place called %olgotha+ "eanin& 2the place of e(ecution2 and /as crucified bet/een t/o robbers.e. So"eti"es+ the person /as nailed to the cross /hile it /as lyin& on the &round+ and then fi'ed in the &round verticallyE so"eti"es the cross /as first fi'ed in the &round+ and then the conde"ned "an /as raised and nailed to it. The seasonin& of /ine /ith "yrrh &ave it a tart and bitter taste. ccordin& to the ancient tradition+ the last re"ains of the father of "an$ind D da" D reposed here.e/ish syste"+ i. This drin$+ /hich stupefied and dulled the senses+ /as &iven to the people conde"ned to crucifi'ion+ so as to so"e/hat reduce the painful sufferin&s. Saint 0u$e /rites that they too /ere led /ith the 0ord to their death. In his Epistle to the . *6ow it was the third hour.The 'ruci*i3io! %!at.ohn’s testi"ony+ that at si' o’cloc$+ the 0ord /as still at Pilate’s trial %. So"eti"es the crucifi'ion /as upside do/n %as /as the case /ith postle Peter+ accordin& to his o/n /ish(.e/ish rabbis’ testi"ony that /ine /as "i'ed /ith crushed resin+ /hich dulled the senses of the conde"ned and thereby alleviated his sufferin&s. The ar"s and le&s so"eti"es /ere nailed+ . This as thou&h contradicts to Saint . ssu"in& that that the final sentence /as announced by Pilate fro" the rostru" at the end of the third hour+ accordin& to the . * nd they "ru"ified Him* D the crosses /ere of various for"s and crucifi'ions varied.e/s+ Saint postle Paul points at the special "eanin& of the fact that *Jesus>. On the other hand+ Saint !ar$ could state that it /as the third hour+ because in the sense of the second 5uarter of the day+ the Kth hour /as .esus to Gol&otha+ they &ave -i" drin$.6 ccordin& to the .erusale" and situated outside its /alls. That’s /hy Saint !atthe/ calls it 6&all+6 and the /ine 6vine&ar+6 /hich apparently is the /ine that had &one sour. *%ut when He had tasted it. !yrrh is the type of resin D that is /hy Saint !ar$ "entions it. %olgotha+ or 6place of e'ecution+6 /as a s"all hill+ to/ards the north/est of .

*&or had they !nown.6 Because the "e"bers of the Sanhedrin accused the 0ord of appropriatin& that royal honor+ Pilate ordered that to be /ritten as -is &uilt+ to sha"e the SanhedrinE the .ust fi'ed+ tied. *$hen they "ru"ified Him. )ontrary to the custo"+ the pla5ue /as inscribed in three lan&ua&es: localSnational . The body of the crucified hun& helplessly in terrifyin& convulsionsE all the "uscles had painful cra"psE /ounds of the nails+ tore under the /ei&ht of the bodyE as the result of nail-/ounds and loss of blood+ the victi" /as tor"ented /ith unbearable thirst. into 1our hands I "ommit 'y s#irit.e/s. for they !now not what they do.e/ish+ Gree$ and the prevalent 1o"an D that of the con5uerors. So that the nailed hands /ould not tear pre"aturely+ so"eti"es a foot-restScrossbar /as nailed at the botto"+ on /hich the conde"ned could stand.* The 0ord’s first utterance /as a prayer for -is e'ecutioners+ /hich is 5uoted by Saint 0u$e %@A:@?(: *&ather forgive them. as did also your rulers* % cts A:>9(. The sufferin&s of the crucified /ere so &reat and incredibly tor"entin&+ and besides lon& %so"eti"es the crucified hun& on the cross for three days and lon&er+ /ithout dyin&(+ so such a for" of e'ecution /as applied to only to the &reatest cri"inals and /as re&arded as the "ost horrifyin& and sha"eful of all the types of e'ecution. On the top+ re"ainin& free end of the cross+ hori#ontally there /as nailed a board+ /ith the inscription of the fault of the conde"ned.ohn+ the fourth ti"e /as an e'cla"ation: *'y God.esus )hrist /as announced to the entire /orld as a 7ing. The 0ord’s accusers too$ this to be a cruel "oc$ery+ and de"anded that Pilate should chan&e the inscription+ but the proud 1o"an sharply refused the"+ lettin& the" feel his po/er.oy to the repentant cri"inal+ the third ti"e D entrusted -is Pure !other to Saint postle .and so"eti"es . why have 1ou forsa!en 'e/* -is fifth /ord /as D *I thirst. 4ishin& to hurt the Sanhedrin once a&ain+ Pilate ordered the follo/in& to be inscribed: 6. Of course+ the 1o"an soldiers /ere not a/are that they /ere crucifyin& the Son of GodE bein& so blinded by their hatred and havin& sentenced the 0ord to death+ the .esus /as a/are that -e /as the Son of God. The first ti"e -e said a prayer for -is crucifiers+ the second ti"e -e besto/ed -eavenly . 2ot reali#in& it+ Pilate fulfilled the hi&her providential purpose: at the "o"ent of -is lo/est point of hu"iliation+ the 0ord .ohn testifies that on Pilate’s order+ accordin& to the tradition+ a s"all /ooden pla5ue /ith the inscription about the 0ord’s &uilt /as "ade %. ccordin& . they would not have "ru"ified the (ord of glory* %> )or. *6ow <ilate wrote a title>* Saint . Throu&h the indescribable sufferin&s+ the 0ord did not re"ain co"pletely silent: -e spo$e seven times fro" the cross.ohn >F:>F-@@(. and divided His garments. -o/ever+ this una/areness doesn’t . The 0ord’s Prayer testifies of the &reatness of -is spirit and serves us as an e'a"ple+ so that /e too do not reven&e us on our ene"ies+ but pray for the" to God. 'y God.e/ish people. -e even spo$e of this to the -ebre/s in his second ser"on+ /hile healin& the la"e: *I !now that you did it in ignoran"e.e/s really did not thin$ that they /ere crucifyin& their !essiah. The ai" of that /as to allo/ every person to read that inscription.* the si'th D *It is finished.* 2one of those /ho /ere crucifyin& .ustify their cri"e+ because they had the opportunity and means to 1no0.e/ish $in&+ 4ho /as crucified on the de"and of the representatives of the . @:H(+ states postle Paul. "asting lots>* The 1o"an la/ decreed that the clothes of the conde"ned person belon&ed to the soldiers that crucified hi".esus of 2a#areth+ the 7in& of the .* the seventh D *&ather.

oy+ but for the s"allest thin&+ . and for 'y "lothing they "ast lots. seeing you are under the same "ondemnation/ nd we indeed 2ustly.ohn D /ho /as narratin& about the division of the 0ord’s clothes+ attests that the outer &ar"ents /ere torn into ? parts+ *$o ea"h soldier a #art. If that tunic /as to be torn apart+ the parts /ould have no value. 3oin& that+ the soldiers unconsciously fulfilled the ancient prophecy about the !essiah fro" Psal" @>:>F+ /hich is 5uoted by Saint . The other robber+ obviously not corrupted to such an e'tent+ havin& retained so"e reli&ious feelin&s+ be&an to ad"onish his co"panion. ccordin& to the tradition+ the Blessed !other of God /ove that tunic. In one /ay or another+ his conscience spo$e up stron&ly+ and he /asn’t afraid to openly defend the 0ord a"on& the "oc$ery and blasphe"y.* /hile the under&ar"ent D the tunic D /as not stitched but /oven+ or $nitted %fro" the top do/n(+ startin& /ith the openin& for the head.* Evidently+ he heard the tor"ent and cryin& of the .6 -e doesn’t as$ for &lory or . The 9epe!ta!ce o* the )ise 9obber %0u$e @A:AF-?A( )o"pletin& the first t/o Evan&elists’ narration+ Saint 0u$e narrates about the repentance and appeal to the 0ord of one of the robbers. One of the"+ evidently &ettin& "ore e"bittered fro" the tortures and see$in& an ob. Besides+ there ca"e such co"plete and decisive brea$ /ithin his soul that e'pressin& his belief in the crucified 0ord as the !essiah+ he turned to -i" /ith the repentant /ords: *(ord. 1ecallin& everythin& that the 0ord said and did+ they pointed at -is current helplessness+ and sarcastically su&&ested -i" to perfor" a "iracle that /as evident and clear to all D to come do0n from the cross+ pro"isin& hypocritically+ of course+ that in that case they /ould believe in -i".erusale" /o"en+ acco"panyin& the 0ord to Gol&othaE perhaps the si&n on the 0ord’s cross produced an i"pression that "ade hi" thin$ over their /ords: 2saved others&2 or perhaps the "ost i"portant ser"on about )hrist for hi" /as the 0ord’s prayer for -is ene"ies+ the crucifiers. That’s /hy the soldiers cast lots in order that the /inner /ould &et the /hole tunic. for we re"eive the due rewards of our deeds: but this 'an has done nothing wrong.* *urther on+ the first three Evan&elists narrate on the "oc$ery and blasphe"y that the 0ord /as sub. *. remember me when 1ou "ome into 1our 8ingdom0* In other /ords: 6re"e"ber "e+ 0ord+ /hen <ou co"e to rule. This re"ar$able confession bri&htly testified to the po/er of faith in the repentant robber.o you not even fear God.to the testi"ony of Philon+ there /ere four soldiers that carried out the crucifi'ion. *ro" then on+ those /ords of the /ise robber beca"e an e'a"ple of &enuine+ deep repentance+ and they have even entered into usa&e in our church services. ccordin& to Saint !atthe/’s /ords+ both the robbers+ crucified on -is ri&ht and left side+ participated in that blasphe"y.ohn: *$hey divided 'y garments among them. The One in pain+ e'hausted and dyin&+ he ac$no/led&es as a 7in&+ 4ho /ill co"e into -is 7in&do" that -e /ill .ust li$e the )anaanite /o"an /ishin& to receive a breadcru"b fro" the 0ord’s supper. Those blasphe"ies had the one+ "utual basis in the co"parison of the past /ith the present.ected to by the soldiers+ as /ell as by -is ene"ies a"on& the people+ passin& -i" by+ and of course+ by the hi&h priests+ Scribes+ elders and Pharisees. Saint .ect upon /hich he could turn his hatred+ be&an to blasphe"e the 0ord+ i"itatin& the e'a"ple of -is ene"ies.

ohn narrates about ho/ the 0ord .ohn’s+ /ho cared for -er li$e a lovin& son. ccordin& to the testi"ony of the first three Evan&elists+ the 0ord’s death on the cross /as preceded by the dar$ness that covered the land: *6ow when the si5th hour had "ome. That confession earned hi" the hi&hest re/ard that one can i"a&ine: * ssuredly.ect the fact that She /as and re"ained a . Saint 0u$e adds that *the sun was dar!ened. today he /ill enter -eaven+ /hich /ill a&ain be opened to the people throu&h the redee"in& death of )hrist.esus She bore other children+ born throu&h naturally fro" . This is especially si&nificant for the follo/in& reason.ir&in !ary and Saint . there was dar!ness over the whole land until the ninth hour*.ohn >F:@G-@9( s an eye/itness and participant of the event+ only Evan&elist . The Gree$ historian Phallus also testifies to this e'traordinary eclipse of the sun.ohn >F:@H-A9(.oseph+ and that they /ere those 60ord’s brothers6 that are "entioned in the Gospel.ohn often calls hi"self in the Gospel(+ /ho /ere standin& nearby+ approached it. I say to you. 4ith the departure of )hrist fro" this /orld+ -is Ever-Pure "other /ould have re"ained alone+ and there /ould be no one to loo$ after -er. The 1o"an astrono"er lagonus observed that dar$ness+ durin& /hich even the stars /ere visible. The 1other o* God at the 'ross %.ohnI It has to be assu"ed that the Ever--oly .ohn points out in his Gospel+ that he /as an eye/itness of the 0ord’s death hi"self+ and of everythin& that follo/ed %. The :eath o* 'hrist %!at.e. That’s /hy /ith the /ords: *Woman. Saint 3ionysius the reopa&ite . 2ot "issin& the opportunity to blasphe"e a&ainst the -oly !other of God+ the Protestants and sectarians re. This confession /as such+ that it /as even beyond the po/ers of those closest to the 0ord+ /ho /ere unable to bear the thou&ht of the sufferin& !essiah. 4hen the "alicious ene"ies started to slo/ly "ove a/ay fro" the cross+ the Ever--oly Theoto$os+ -er sister !ary )lopas+ !ary !a&dalene *and the dis"i#le whom He loved* %as Saint .establish.e/ish Passover on the >?th of 2isan+ al/ays happens at the full "oon+ /hereas an eclipse occurs only /ith the ne/ "oon D not the full "oon.ohn the Theolo&ian re"ained at the cross till the end+ because Saint . -ere undoubtedly /as the influence of God’s &race that had enli&htened the robber+ so that he "i&ht be the e'a"ple and edification to all &enerations and nations. i.esus )hrist entrusted the Ever-Pure !other of God to his care and concern fro" the cross.* This could not have been a nor"al eclipse+ because the . behold 1our son* and to -is disciple: *%ehold your 'other0* the 0ord entrusts -is Ever-Pure !other to -is beloved disciple. today you will be with 'e in <aradise* D said the 0ord+ i. @9:?G-GKE !ar$ >G:AA-?>E 0u$e @A:??-?FE .ir&in. This /as a "iraculous si&n+ /hich testified to the astonishin& and e'traordinary event D the death of God’s beloved Son.ohn >F:AG(. -o/ever+ there arises the 5uestion: if the Ever--oly Theoto$os had -er o/n children+ /ho undoubtedly could and should ta$e care of -er as of their o/n !other+ then /hy /as it necessary to entrust -er to a stran&er D Saint . * nd from that hour that dis"i#le too! Her to his own home* D as the )hurch tradition testifies+ fro" that point on until -er death+ the Ever-pure "other lived at Saint .e. in our ti"e D fro" noon till A p". They say that after .

the ste" of a plant %called as*hysso#* by Saint . ll first three Evan&elists narrate+ that at that "o"ent of )hrist’s death+ *the veil in the tem#le was torn in two from to# to bottom.ohn >F:A:(. He gave u# His s#irit6 %. the curtain that separated the Sanctuary fro" the -oliest of -oly+ tore in half by itself. * nd at the ninth hour Jesus "ried out with a loud voi"e. Dloi.ohn >F:A:(. In order for the redee"in& sacrifice could be acco"plished+ it /as essential that -u"an God /ould drin1 the chalice of human sufferings to its #ottom. into 1our hands I "ommit 'y s#irit* %0u$e @A:?K(+ *and bowing His head. 0au&hin& at the 0ord+ they /ere as if sayin&: even no/+ crucified and abused+ -e still i"a&ines that that -e is the !essiah and is callin& for Eli. He is "alling for Dli2ah0* The sarcas" of this derision /as based on the fact that before the !essiah’s co"in&+ the . ?Dloi. In -ebre/+ 6Eloi6 /as pronounced as 6. Evidently+ this /as sour /ine+ /hich /as the ordinarily bevera&e of the 1o"an soldiers+ especially in hot /eather.e/s /ere e'pectin& the arrival of Eli.%/hen he /as still a heathen( "entions this in his letters to pollophanus. s it /as that ti"e for the offerin& of the evenin& sacrifice D nearly A o’cloc$ in the afternoon %by our ti"e( D then apparently a priest+ /ho /as there+ /itnessed that "iraculous tearin& of the curtain. God’s entire /rath+ /hich+ o/in& to the 3ivine truth+ had to be vented on the sinful hu"anity+ at that "o"ent+ /as as if concentrated on Christ alone+ and it /as as if God had left -i". -o/ever+ it’s notable+ ho/ both Saint )hrysosto" and Blessed Theothylactus e"phasi#e+ that this *dar!ness was over all the earth.esus.* In depictin& the sufferin&s of the !essiah+ the Psal"ist in the KFth Psal"+ verse @>+ truly foretold that: * nd in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drin!. Evidently+ that dar$ness follo/ed after the sneerin& and "oc$ery at crucified )hristE and it stopped that sneerin&+ causin& the "ood a"on& the people+ as narrated by Saint 0u$e: * nd the whole "rowd who "ame together to that sight.ohn+ havin& received the sour /ine+ the 0ord e'clai"ed: 24t is finished62& i. .6 Of course this la"entation /as not that of despondency+ but only an e'pression of the profound &rief of -u"an God. That’s /hy the 0ord’s la"entation served as a ne/ cause for "oc$in& at -i": 6(oo!. seeing what had been done. The spon&e that /as absorbin& li5uid+ /as placed on a reed+ i.lyahoo6.e.ah to help -i".esus could not feel the /oy of -is unity /ith God the *ather. The crucifi'ion caused e'traordinarily stron& and torturin& thirst in the crucified sufferers+ and Saint .e. "id the "ost heaviest physical and spiritual sufferin&s that can be i"a&ined+ that separation /as the "ost a&oni#in&+ causin& that painful cry to co"e off the lips of .ah.: the "atter+ predeter"ined at the 3ivine council+ /as acco"plished D there happened the redemption of the human race and its reconciliation 0ith %od through the death of the "essiah %. saying.ohn(+ because those han&in& on the cross /ere 5uite hi&h above the &round+ "a$in& it si"ply i"possible to co"e up and &ive the" drin$.e. *or this /as necessary that crucified .* and not in so"e part only D as it happens /ith an ordinary eclipse. beat their breasts* %0u$e @A:?H(. lama saba"hthani/* Saint !ar$ reports these /ords as 6Eloi6 instead of 6Ili.* i.* ccordin& to Saint .ohn narrates that apparently the 0ord . ccordin& to Saint 0u$e+ that /as follo/ed by the 0ord cryin& out: *&ather. The first t/o Evan&elists narrate that one of the soldiers i""ediately ran and too$ a spon&e+ filled it /ith vine&ar and havin& placed it on the end of a reed+ &ave -i" to drin$.ust before that e'clai"ed: *I thirst0* %>F:@H-A:(+ addin& to this: *$hat the S"ri#ture might be fulfilled.

were there loo!ing on from afar. Because it /as riday D in Gree$ 2paras1evi2 "eanin& 6a preparation+6 i.e. %ut one of the soldiers #ier"ed His side with his s#ear.ohn G:H(. ccordin& to Saint 0u$e+ all the people that &athered at Gol&otha /ere also be/ildered: *beat their breasts and returned* D these sharp chan&es in "oods are 5uite natural of an a&itated cro/d.This sy"boli#ed the end of the Old Testament and the be&innin& of the 2e/ Testa"ent+ /hich opened to hu"ans the 7in&do" of -eaven that /as previously closed for the". the roc$y hills split+ revealin& the caves+ used for burials.ohn >F:AA-A?E > .erusale" to the people that $ne/ the". fter all+ /e don’t $no/ the full details of the 0ord’s crucifi'ion and death+ and therefore cannot "a$e an opinion about these details. ll the three Evan&elists narrate that those "iraculous si&ns+ /hich acco"panied the 0ord’s death+ had such a profound and .ohn narrates about the events follo/in& the death of .a"es and of . ministering to Him. In order to 5uic$en their de"ise+ the cruel 1o"an custo" had the le&s of the crucified bro$en+ i.esus+ and as usual+ co"ple"ents the first three Evan&elists’ narration+ and as he confir"s in his narrative+ he /as a /itness of all that. The ne&atively disposed critics occupied "uch ti"e+ discussin& the 5uestion /hether it /as possible for blood and /ater to flo/ fro" )hrist’s /ound+ provin& that it /as i"possible as blood could not flo/ fro" a cold dead body.e/s %the ene"ies of )hrist or the "e"bers of the Sanhedrin( as$ed Pilate *that their legs may be bro!en. -o/ever+ it is the /ell-$no/n fact that crucified suffers of feverish condition. ll three Evan&elists point out that the /itnesses of the 0ord’s death and the events acco"panyin& it /ere *many women who followed Jesus from Galilee.e.e. -avin& received Pilate’s per"ission+ the soldiers bro$e the le&s of the t/o robbers crucified /ith )hrist+ /ho /ere still alive. 6the day before Saturday+6 and that Saturday /as 2a great day2& as it coincided /ith the first day of the Passover+ so as not to leave the crucified bodies on crosses on such a 6&reat day+6 the . Only Saint . ta$en do/n and buried before the ni&ht ca"e+ /hen it /ould be the ti"e to parta$e of the Passover.e. i. they did not brea! His legs.oltin& effect on the 1o"an centurion+ that %accordin& to the first t/o Evan&elists( he pronounced: *$ruly this was the Son of God0*. *ro" that earth5ua$e *ro"!s were s#lit*. ll these ar&u"ents are unfounded. *%ut when they "ame to Jesus and saw that He was already dead. *$he earth =ua!ed* D as a si&n of God’s /rath at those /ho put to death -is Beloved Son+ a stron& earth5ua$e occurred.oses+ and the "other of the =ebedee sons+ Salo"e.* and a"on& the"+ as enu"erated by Saints !atthe/ and !ar$+ /ere: !ary !a&dalene+ !ary+ the "other of . and immediately blood and water "ame out* %. s a si&n of the 0ord’s triu"ph over death D *many bodies of the Saints who had fallen aslee# were raised* D on the third day /hen the 0ord resurrected+ those bodies that /ere buried in those caves+ resurrected and appeared in . This is because blood re"ains in a fluid state in a dead body for a very short ti"e+ not "ore than an hour+ and the separation of fluid fro" blood occurs only /ith the onset of deco"position+ and /ith certain illnesses li$e typhoid+ a&ue+ etc.* -avin& $illed the" this /ay+ 6they "i&ht be ta$en a/ay6+ i. /hile Saint 0u$e /rites: *Certainly this was a righteous 'an0* The tradition says that this centurion+ /hose na"e /as 0on&inus+ beca"e a )hristian and later a "artyr for )hrist %his "e"ory is on October >K(. The very piercin& of the rib undoubtedly occurred very soon after the death D and in any case+ certainly not after one hour . shattered.

Standin& at the cross and /itnessin& all that+ Saint .e. it has to be supposed that it "ust have been one or t/o hours before the sunset+ /hen Saturday be&an. The Purest Body of -u"an God could not be sub. The burial too$ place /hen the evenin& ca"e+ althou&h before the arrival of Saturday+ i.ohn hi"self underlines this by considerin& it "iraculous in his Gospel %* nd he who has seen has testified. nd there are three that bear witness on earth9 the S#irit. The holy *athers e'plain that in the sy"bolic sense+ this is a si&n of the "ysterious unification of the faithful /ith )hrist in the "ysteries of baptis" and the Eucharist: 6/e are born throu&h /ater and nourished by blood and flesh6 %Blessed Theothylactus and Saint )hrysosto"(. The 0ord’s burial is narrated of har"oniously by all the four Evan&elists+ at the sa"e ti"e each conveys his o/n details.ohn testifies that /hat he says is true and that he is not bein& deluded+ confir"in& this D *and his testimony is true* %. The flo/ of blood fro" )hrist’s perforated side si&nifies that -e beca"e our 1edee"er+ havin& cleansed us /ith 0ater in the "ystery of Baptism& and nourishing us 0ith 'is Blood in the "ystery of Communion. >@:>:(. The Burial o* the $ord . &or there are three that bear witness in Heaven9 the &ather.ected to the ordinary la/ of deco"position of the hu"an body. There is another section of the Bible that prophesies: *they shall loo! unto me whom they have #ier"ed* %=ach.esus 'hrist %!at.ehovah is depicted as the !essiah that had been pierced by -is people+ and havin& loo$ed upon the /ounded !essiah+ the sa"e people present the"selves as the confessin& to -i" /ith /eepin& and sobbin&. @9:G9-KKE !ar$ >G:?@-?9E 0u$e @A:G:-GKE .* i. nd it is the S#irit that bears witness. part fro" that+ there is no need to e'a"ine the flo/ of blood and /ater+ as a natural "anifestation. -e /as a "e"ber of the Sanhedrin+ a pious+ clandestine follo/er of )hrist+ as St. Saint . This is especially e"phasi#ed by Saints !ar$ and 0u$e.oseph arrived fro" the . be"ause the S#irit is truth.esus )hrist+ had to be eaten /ithout any bones bein& bro$en and /hat re"ained+ had to be burned. and his testimony is true* D >F:AG(.ohn >F:AH-?@(. the Word. @9:G9+ !ar$ >G:?@+ 0u$e @A:G? and .ohn /rites9 *$his is He who "ame by water and blood @ Jesus Christ: not only by water. and the blood: and these three agree as one* %> .erusale".ohn+ that /as not involved in )hrist’s conde"nation %0u$e .e.ohn G:K-H(. !ar$ states+ and accordin& to Saint . t that ti"e+ as Saint !ar$ testifies+ . That’s /hy in his first Epistle+ the sa"e postle . These /ords /ere slo/ly bein& fulfilled upon the . and the Holy S#irit: and these three are one.e/s to )hrist+ as foretold by Saint postle Paul in his Epistle to the 1o"ans >>:@G-@K.ohn >F:?@. but by water and blood. not only the piercin& of the side+ but also that the 0ord’s le&s /ere not bro$en+ *that the S"ri#ture should be fulfilled. In this se&"ent+ .e/ish to/n of ri"athea near . Probably+ fro" the "o"ent of death+ It be&an to enter into a transfor"in& state+ /hich ended /ith Its resurrection in a ne/+ &lorified and spirituali#ed appearance.e/s /ere hurryin& to co"plete their "alicious deed.* This /as foretold in the Boo$ of E'odus >@:?K: the Paschal la"b+ that /as the i"a&e of the 0ord . the water. This is clearly indicated by all the four Evan&elists: !at.D as the ni&ht /as approachin& and the .e/s that conde"ned )hrist to death D and /ill continue to be fulfilled till the end of the /orld+ before /hich there /ill be a universal conversion of the .ohn >F:AG(. *&or these things were done.

esus at ni&ht %see . Then accordin& to Saint 0u$e+ they later returned and prepared aro"atic herbs and paste+ so that at the end of Saturday’s 5uiet and in accordance /ith the .e.esus )hrist’s teachin& about -i"self as the Son of God+ the !essiah+ /hile the 6last deception6 D the ser"on about -i" as the resurrected )on5ueror of hell and death. .a"es and .@A:G>(. lest His dis"i#les "ome by night and steal Him away.ohn+ 2icode"us D /ho previously ca"e to .ohn chap. Pilate dryly ans/ered their re5uest: *1ou have a guard: go your way. ll that ti"e+ the /o"en that stood at Gol&otha before+ observed the activity. s the !other of God /as called the /ife of .* t the disposal of the "e"bers of the Sanhedrin there /ere the 1o"an soldiers-&uards for the ti"e of the feast+ /hich they used in order the order and peace /ould be "aintained+ because of the hu&e &atherin& of people fro" all the countries in the /orld in .esus had already died+ as the crucified so"eti"es hun& there for several days.) $herefore "ommand that the tomb be made se"ure until the third day. s narrated by Saint !atthe/ %@9:K>(+ they all /ere sittin& close to the openin& of the cave.ay of <re#aration. -o/ever+ it /as possible to obtain the per"ission fro" the authorities for the body to be buried.oseph bou&ht a lon& and e'pensive shroud. and say to the #eo#le.e. while He was still alive. ccordin& to the 1o"an custo"+ crucified bodies /ere left on the crosses as birds’ ba&.e. There are no contradictions here. -avin& rolled a stone across the entrance+ they left.erusale".6 The others /ere of the opinion that it /as !ary+ the /ife of )leopas+ the cousin of the "other of God.e/ish custo"+ they /ould anoint the body of )hrist %0u$e @A:GK(. ? fter three days I will rise. s the sun /as settin& in the /est+ everythin& /as perfor"ed hastily+ but dili&ently. at Saturday ni&ht. ccordin& to Saint . They prepared it partly on *riday+ and /hat they didn’t finish+ they did on Saturday evenin&. -avin& chec$ed /ith the centurion+ /ho confir"ed )hrist’s death+ he ordered to &ive the Body to . Saturday+ the hi&h priests and Pharisees &athered at Pilate’s residence %not even thin$in& about violatin& the rest on the Sabbath( and as$ed hi" to place a &uard at the to"b for three days. Evidently+ there /as very little ti"e left on *riday evenin& before the sunset. ?He has risen from the dead. . They too$ the Body do/n and accordin& to the custo"+ anointed it /ith aro"atic oils+ /ound the shroud around it and placed it in a ne/ burial cave in . ccordin& to Saint !ar$+ those /o"en+ na"ed 6"yrrh-bearin&6 didn’t purchase the aro"atic herbs on the day the 0ord /as interred+ but after Saturday had passed+ i.e. how that de"eiver said. Evan&elist !atthe/ narrates about another i"portant circu"stance+ /hich occurred on the day after the burial D *+n the ne5t day. Saint )hrysosto" and also Blessed Theothylactus consider that *'ary the mother of James and Joses*. "entioned by the Evan&elists+ /as the Ever -oly Theoto$os+ 6for .) So the last de"e#tion will be worse than the first.)* s 6the first deception6 they call the 0ord .oseph’s &arden+ situated close to Gol&otha. sealing the stone and setting the guard* D i. ma!e it as se"ure as you !now how.oseph+ then She /as ri&htfully called the "other+ i.oseph and his first /ife. They declared their "otive as: *We remember.* i.oseph. A( D arrived+ brin&in& /ith hi" about >:: pounds of "yrrh and aloe "i'ture. whi"h followed the . pproachin& Pilate+ he as$ed for )hrist’s body to be buried. the step"other of his sons. placin& a cord and a seal on the stone+ /ith /hich the to"b /as closed in the presence of the soldiers+ /ho re"ained at the to"b to &uard it. Pilate e'pressed surprise that . *So they went and made the tomb se"ure. Pilate offers that they utili#e those &uards as they /ished+ so that later they /ould not be able to bla"e anyone for anythin&. They feared that ser"on "ore+ and in that they /ere 5uite ri&ht+ as the future history of spreadin& the )hristianity sho/ed.oses /ere the sons of .

4hy isn’t it "entioned directlyI s the Sinar$sis .e/ish custo" of anointin& -is body. @H:>-HE !ar$ >K:>-HE 0u$e @?:>->@ and .ohn @::>->:(. @9:K>(+ and then D in that about the resurrection %!at. The 9esurrectio! Narratin& about this &reatest event+ all the four Evan&elists say nothin& on the "ysterious and the inco"prehensible for us side of it. It /as a /hole "ultitude of /o"en+ so"e of /ho" /al$ed fast+ nearly runnin& /hile the others /al$ed slo/ly+ /ithout any &reat haste. That’s /hy in accordance /ith the la/+ after spendin& all Saturday at rest+ on the first day of the /ee$ D at sunrise D they hurried to the to"b in order to fulfill their /ish and final duty of love to their Beloved Teacher. Before all: /ho is this 6other !ary+6 t/ice "entioned as such by Saint !atthe/ in his narration about the 0ord’s burial %!at. To the /o"en that /ere present at Gol&otha and then at the 0ord’s burial+ it see"ed that -is priceless Body /as too hastily prepared for the burial+ and they /ere &rief-stric$en because they /ere not involved in the . ccordin& to the ancient )hurch tradition+ enunciated in the Sinar$sis on the day of the Passover+ it /as no one other than the "other of %od. They don’t describe ho/ it happened+ and ho/ the 1esurrected 0ord ca"e out of the to"b /ithout brea$in& the seal. @H:>(. The Arrival o* the )o#e! 1yrrh-Bearers at the To#b %!at. t the head of those deeply co""itted to )hrist /o"en+ /ho entered into the history /ith the na"e of 6myrrh+#earers6 %as testified by all the four Evan&elists( /as "ary "agdaleneE she /as follo/ed by the 6other !ary6 or !ary+ the "other of .Thus+ /ithout reali#in& it+ the "ost evil ene"ies of the 0ord prepared undisputable proof of -is &lorious resurrection fro" the dead. Therefore+ it is not surprisin& that+ the ti"e of their arrival at the to"b as deter"ined by the Evan&elists varies+ /hat at the first &lance creates a feelin& of contradiction bet/een the"+ /hich in reality does not e'ist.a"es+ Salo"e and the others that follo/ed the 0ord fro" Galilee %0u$e @A:GG(. They spea$ only of the earth5ua$e+ /hich /as the result of the 0ord’s n&el rollin& the stone a/ay fro" the entrance of the to"b %after the 0ord had risen D /hich is e"phasi#ed in our church son&s D and not as is co""only thou&ht+ that the n&el rolled the stone a/ay so that the 0ord "i&ht co"e out of the to"b(+ and of the n&el’s speech addressed to the /o"en "yrrh-bearers that ca"e to the to"b+ and a further ran&e of appearances of the 1esurrected 0ord to the the" and to -is disciples.

ohn D *6ow on the first day of the wee! 'ary 'agdalene went to the tomb early. Saint !atthe/ D *6ow after the Sabbath.erusale". .ohn’s description is the one that differs "ost fro" the other Evan&elists’ ones+ /hich is understandable+ for as usual+ he o"its /hat had been narrated by the first three Evan&elists+ but co"pletes the" /ith /hat relates to !ary !a&dalene and the t/o disciples.ohn.a"es and .oanna+ "entioned by Saint 0u$e %@?:>:(+ /as the /ife of )hu#a+ 7in& -erod’s ste/ard. The Evan&elists use different e'pressions+ concernin& the ti"e of the "yrrh-bearers’ arrival at the to"b.e.. . as the first day of the wee! began to dawn>* Saint !ar$ D *-ery early in the morning. The purpose to this /as to "a$e the &uards run a/ay and reveal the to"b e"pty. on Saturday evenin& %!ar$ >K:>(. That’s /hy the depiction of )hrist’s 1esurrection+ /ith the stone re"oved+ )hrist e"er&in& fro" the to"b+ and the &uards fallin& on the &round /ith fear D is /ron&.e'plains+ 6so that it /ould not appear 5uestionable6 %that the testi"ony of such an enor"ous event belon&ed to -is !other(+ the Evan&elists say: the 0ord appeared first to !ary !a&dalene %!ar$ >K:F(+ /ho sa/ an n&el sittin& on the stone.. Saint . That brou&ht the &uards in the state of tre"blin& and stupor+ and "ade the" flee to . when the sun had risen* Saint 0u$e D *6ow on the first day of the wee!. The n&el descended fro" -eaven and rolled the stone+ only after )hrist had risen. In co"parin& the narratives of the four Evan&elists+ there e"er&es a full picture of everythin& that happened.ust as it is sun& in our church cants: *4hile the to"b /as sealed+ Thou+ O life+ didst shine forth fro" the &rave+ O )hrist GodP. on the first day of the wee!. The other /o"en-"yrrhbearers are not "entioned by na"e+ but Saint 0u$e clearly states that there /ere *other women with them* %0u$e @?:>:(. very early in the morning>* Saint . The earth5ua$e+ described by Saint !atthe/ alone+ that occurred /hen the n&el rolled the stone+ too$ place before the arrival of the /o"en-"yrrh-bearers.6 %Troparion on the /ee$ of Tho"as(. Salo"e /as the "other of the 6sons of =ebedee6 D postles . while it was still dar!>* Thus+ all these indications of ti"e coincide+ only that they spea$ of different "o"ents of the co"in& "ornin&+ fro" /hich can be seen that the /o"en-"yrrh-bearers didn’t all arrive at one and the sa"e ti"e. !oreover+ as Saint 0u$e states+ so"e of the" had purchased so"e aro"atic spices on *riday evenin& %@A:GK(+ /hile the others D 6/hen the Sabbath /as passed+6 i. The 0ord resurrected prior to that+ . "on& these 6others+6 the )hurch tradition also points at: !ary and !artha+ the sisters of 0a#arus+ /ho /as resurrected by the 0ord+ !ary+ the /ife of )lopas and Susanna+ and "any others+ 6 s 3ivine 0u$e narrates: those servin& to )hrist and the disciples /ith their possessions6 %Syna$sarion on the /ee$ of the 4o"en !yrrh-bearers(. The /o"en "yrrh-bearers /ere a/aitin& the end of the Sabbath rest.

marveling to himself at what had ha##ened* %0u$e @?:>@(.ohn.e. I""ediately after+ there arrives Si"on Peter /ho+ bein& bolder and "ore coura&eous+ decides to enter the to"b and sees . *&or as yet they did not !now the S"ri#ture. but folded together in a #la"e by itself* %. !ean/hile+ as a result of the ne/s brou&ht to the" by !ary !a&dalene+ %and perhaps by the other "yrrh-bearers+ /ho" they didn’t believe @ * nd their words seemed to them li!e idle tales.ohn D rapidly /ent+ or even ran to the to"b. and they did not believe them* 0u$e @?:>>( the t/o postles D Peter and .ust the s/addlin&-cloth lyin& on the &round and a face cloth that /as /rapped around the 0ord’s head+ *not lying with the linen "loths. believed in the truth of )hrist’s resurrection+ because if they robbed the Body+ there /ould have been no need to un/ind and divest the s/addlin&-cloth fro" it and then leave the" in such a neat order. nd thus+ apparently after his return fro" the to"b+ the "erciful 0ord appeared in front of Peter in order to console hi" and pacify his heart. s can it be seen fro" Saint . @H:G-HE !ar$ >K:?-H and 0u$e @?:A-H(.ohn’s narrative+ because /hen she returned to postles Peter and . Because of her especial love for the 0ord and her lively te"pera"ent+ she overtoo$ the other /o"en and arrived /hile it /as still dar$+ /hereas the other /o"en approached the to"b /hen the day /as brea$in&. bout Peter+ Saint 0u$e stays that *he de#arted.ohn @::@(.ohn ran faster and therefore approached the to"b sooner+ /hen the /o"en had left+ but did not &o inside.e.ohn+ she spo$e in the plural and not in the sin&ular: *We do not !now where they have laid Him* %.ohn. -o/ever+ hunched over and peerin& into the opened to"b+ he sa/ so"e s/addlin&-cloth lyin& on the &round.ohn @::A-9(. Bein& youn&er than Peter+ . who "ame to the tomb first. fter his triple renounce"ent of )hrist+ the state of his spirit /as very heavy and /as not inclined to/ards the livin& belief. She /asn’t alone+ but /ith the "ultitude of "yrrh-bearers+ as narrated by the first three Evan&elists. *and he saw and believed. *$hen the other dis"i#le. This is "entioned briefly by Saint 0u$e @?:A? and Saint postle Paul in > )or. Perhaps+ it /as his ti"idity of bein& alone in the &arden that held hi" bac$.oy /ith the". >G:G.By co"parin& the four Evan&elists’ narratives+ a clear picture of the se5uence of events appears.* i. ll of this is narrated in detail by the first three Evan&elists %!at.* i.ohn+ /as that circu"stance the s/addlin&-cloth and the faith cloth /ere left in the to"b+ carefully folded. s it can be seen fro" these se&"ents+ the 0ord appeared to Peter alone+ prior than to the other postles.ohn’s narrative+ the first to arrive at the to"b /as !ary !a&dalene+ *while it was still dar!* %. That fact convinced in the truth of /hat had happened only . that they might "om#rehend the S"ri#tures* %0u$e @?:@G(+ there /as "uch that they didn’t understand clearly: they didn’t co"prehend the 0ord’s /ords about -is forthco"in& sufferin&s and resurrection %as it can be seen+ for e'a"ple+ in 0u$e >H:A? and !ar$ F:>:(+ and therefore /ere in need of "aterial evidence. 4hile she /as &oin& to the postles+ the rest of the /o"en-"yrrh-bearers approached the to"b+ sa/ the n&els+ heard the &ood ne/s of )hrist’s resurrection+ and hurried bac$ to the postles to share the &reat . Such an evidence of the verity of )hrist’s resurrection to . that He must rise again from the dead* D until the 0ord *o#ened their understanding. .ohn about this. Thus+ it is clearly evident fro" the Gree$ te't+ and that’s the /ay it /as translated into the 1ussian lan&ua&e.ohn @::>(. On the /ay bac$+ she of course "et the other /o"en+ occupied /ith the idea about /ho /ould "ove the stone for the"+ !ar$ >K:A(+ and told the" of her fears. . That she /as not alone can be seen fro" . Seein& the stone re"oved fro" the entrance %she did not see the n&el that later appeared to the /o"en(+ she thou&ht that the 0ord’s Body had been carried a/ay+ and i""ediately ran to infor" postles Peter and .

-er &rief /as so &reat that it deadened all the other feelin&s. and that He had s#o!en these things to her* D co"parin& these /ords /ith the narration of Saint !atthe/+ /e have to assu"e that alon& the /ay+ !ary !a&dalene encountered the *other 'ary. for I have not yet as"ended to 'y &ather: but go to 'y brethren and say to them. !aybe she didn’t reco&ni#e -i"+ because her eyes /ere full of tears+ as she /as overa/ed by &rief and didn’t e'pect to see the 0ord alive. The 0ord forbad her to do that+ sayin&9 *.oy+ fell at -is feet /ishin& to clin& to the"+ perhaps to convince herself that she /as seein& real alive . -er soul /as in upheaval and she /as cryin&+ thin$in& that the 0ord’s Body had been stolen. She didn’t even reco&ni#e -is voice /hen -e as$ed her: *Woman. if you have "arried Him away. pparently+ she didn’t reco&ni#e -i"+ because -e appeared 2in another form2& li$e to the E""aus travelers+ in the 6hu"ble and ordinary6 appearance %Saint )hrysosto"(. and I will ta!e Him away.* -avin& said this+ "aybe by chance+ in the state of perple'ity+ and then a&ain perhaps+ driven by an instinctive inner feelin&+ she turned around and sa/ .esus Appears to 1ary 1a(dale!e %. @H:F->:(. nother "eanin& of this forbiddance is that the 0ord /anted to tell !ary: 60eave !e+ as you cannot re"ain /ith !e per"anently.* not even considerin& /hether she+ bein& a /ea$ /o"an+ /ould be able to lift -i".6 *'ary 'agdalene "ame and told the dis"i#les that she had seen the (ord.esus and not a spirit. 'aster* and obviously+ full of indescribable .abboni0* whi"h is to say. *saying9 re2oi"e0* They stretched the"selves at -is feet. 3on’t detain !e+ but &o and proclai" !y resurrection.)* It is as thou&h the 0ord told her: 6Believe !y /ord and not your sense of touch6. The 0ord then revealed -i"self by callin& her na"e /ith a special and lon&-fa"iliar to her intonation: *'ary0* D this sho/s that after her /ords to the see"in& &ardener+ she turned her &a#e to/ards the to"b+ D *and said to Him. and I do not !now where they have laid Him. -e repeated ane/ -is behest that they should &o to -is disciples %havin& called the" *His %rethren*(+ and announce of -is resurrection to the"+ repeatin& that /hat the n&el stated prior to that: *$ell 'y brethren to go to Galilee. It is needed that I should not re"ain /ith you but ascend to the -eavenly *ather. and to 'y God and your God.* The resurrected 0ord+ already the &lorified !essiah ready to &o to -is *ather+ very touchin&ly calls -is disciples *brethren*. )ryin&+ she leaned to/ards the openin& of the to"b+ and sa/ inside t/o n&els+ sittin& on the bier upon /hich the bodies of the dead /ere placed+ inside the burial cave.6 &ood e'planation of this forbiddance in touchin& the 0ord can be found in the "atins hy"n of the ei&hth verse: 6Because the /o"an /as thin$in& in earthly ter"s+ she /as sent a/ay and forbidden to touch -is &ar"ent.ohn: *%e"ause they have ta!en away my (ord. ?.* and the 0ord a&ain appeared to both of the" %the second appearance4. That’s /hy !a&dalene is not sta&&ered by the si&ht of those n&els+ and to their consolin& 5uestion: *Woman.esus+ but did not reco&ni#e -i". fter postles Peter and ..ohn had left the to"b+ !ary !a&dalene+ /ho perhaps arrived there /ith the" or . why are you wee#ing/ Who are you see!ing/* Ta$in& -i" for a &ardener %/hich is 5uite natural+ because /ho else /ould be in the &arden so early other than a &ardener(+ she says to -i": *Sir.o not "ling to 'e.ohn @::>>->HE !ar$ >K:F->>E !at. ?I am as"ending to 'y &ather and your &ather.ust after the"+ /as left on her o/n. -e . tell me where you have laid Him. why are you wee#ing/* she si"ply D as thou&h spea$in& to the terrestrial creatures D e'presses her &rief in the sa"e /ords as she had e'pressed it before to postles Peter and . That’s /hy she too$ -i" for a &ardener.

?His dis"i#les "ame at night and stole Him away while we sle#t)* D that’s /hat they tau&ht the soldiers to say.esus )hrist -i"self. The Evan&elists say+ that the /o"en-"yrrh-bearers’ story about /hat they sa/ and heard at the to"b about the appearance of the resurrected 0ord -i"self+ see"ed senseless to the" and /ere not believed %0u$e @?:>>(. If even the postles didn’t believe the"+ /ould stran&ers believe the /itness of the !otherI The Bribi!( o* the Guards %!at. It has to be assu"ed that because of the Ever-Pure !other of God’s hu"ility+ it /asn’t to -er li$in& that the concealed secrets of -er life /ould be "ade $no/n D that’s /hy there is e'tre"ely little said about -er in the Gospel+ e'cept for the very essential facts+ directly connected /ith the life of the 0ord .* This has to be understood in the sense that+ /hen they /ere runnin& alon& the /ay+ they did not "ention anythin& to anyone about /hat they sa/ and heard. Saint !ar$ states that the /o"en "yrrh-bearers /ere so overco"e /ith e'cite"ent and horror %of course+ reverential(+ that they *said nothing to anyone. Evidently+ the Evan&elists didn’t /ant to "ention the Ever-Blessed Theoto$os at all+ as the /itness of the &enuineness of )hrist’s 1esurrection+ because the testi"ony of the "other /ould have been "et /ith s$epticis" by those that doubted %see the Syna$sarion of the Paschal /ee$(. *urther on+ Evan&elist !ar$ hi"self %as /ell as other Evan&elists+ 0u$e @?:F( narrates that havin& co"e ho"e+ they told everythin& to the postles %!ar$ >K:H and K:>: ccordin& to the Evan&elic stories+ it /ould see" that the 0ord’s first appearance /as to !ary !a&dalene %!ar$ >K:F->:(.erusale"+ they sho/ the place of the 0ord’s appearance to -is Ever-Pure !other+ not far fro" the 6cuvuclia6. (. The hi&h priests &athered the Sanhedrin and decided to bribe the &uards to slander the truth of the 0ord’s 1esurrection. -o/ever+ fro" the ancient ti"es+ our )hurch preserves the tradition+ that before !ary !a&dalene+ the resurrected 0ord first appeared to -is Ever-Pure "other D /hich is 5uite natural and understandable. nd if it /as not "entioned in the Gospel+ it is because in &eneral+ there is "uch that is not recorded+ as Saint . 6Their /ords are co"pletely unbelievable and have no plausibility+6 reasons Saint )hrysosto": 6In /hat "anner did -is disciples steal the body+ these poor and si"ple people+ /ho didn’t even dare to sho/ the"selvesI nd /asn’t there a seal placed at the to"bI 4asn’t that area surrounded by "any &uards+ soldiers and ordinary .ohn testifies %@>:@GE @::A:-A>(. The tradition+ sanctified /ith centuries+ cannot be but based on the real fact.e'actly to the" and not to Pilate+ because they /ere placed after their co""and and not the procurator’s one./asn’t asha"ed to call the" as such D as postle Paul later e"phasi#ed that in his Epistle to the -ebre/s @:>>->@. 8p to this day /ithin the te"ple of 1esurrection at . *Some of the guard.e/sI nd for /hat purpose /ould they steal -i"I Is it so that they could invent a teachin& about the resurrectionI But ho/ /ould it occur to the people .* %that ran fro" the 0ord’s to"b( /ho apparently /ere in char&e and responsible for leavin& their position+ infor"ed the hi&h priests of everythin& that had occurred+ -. 6They bou&ht -is blood+6 D states Saint )hrysosto" D 6/hen -e /as alive+ and /ith -is crucifi'ion and resurrection+ they a&ain are usin& "oney to under"ine the truth of the resurrection. @H:>>->G(.6 *$ell them.

>F:>>->@(. so they did not !now Him.e/s’ fabrication+ their stubborn un/illin&ness to believe in the authenticity of )hrist’s resurrection only confir"s this &reat )hristian truth. 1e"ar$able is also the fact that the soldiers /ould spread such reports about the"selves+ /ithout arousin& a"a#e"ent a"on& their listeners about /hy they /eren’t punished for such breach of duty. This /as the *same day.e/s+ fearin& desecratin& the"selves throu&h touchin& a corpse %2u".e. *%ut their eyes were restrained.that /ished to live in anony"ity+ to invent so"ethin& li$e thatI nd ho/ did they re"ove the sealed stoneI -o/ did they re"ain undetected by so"e "any &uardsI nd /hat benefit /ould it brin& to the"+ if )hrist didn’t resurrectI6 ll the interpreters of the Gospel note in a . the very day of )hrist’s resurrection. $ord-s Appeara!ce to 5is :isciples o! the 9oad to /##aus %0u$e @?:>A-AG and !ar$ >K:>@( Evan&elist 0u$e D accordin& to the tradition+ bein& one of those t/o disciples D /as the only one to describe this event in detail+ the other one bein& )leopas+ a relative of the !other of God. They /ere travelin& there at the slo/ pace+ it /ould re5uire nearly A hours to fulfill the trip+ /hile for a 5uic$ return trip+ it /ould ta$e the" > T .* . lon& the /ay+ the 0ord -i"self . Both /ere a"on& the seventy disciples of )hrist. They /ere /al$in& slo/ly+ discussin& a"on& the"selves all the sad events associated /ith the 0ord’s last days on earth that laid as heavy burden upon their hearts. Even if they decided to fall asleep D /hich is totally untypical of the 1o"an soldiers D they /ould have done so in front of the entrance+ so that it /ould have been i"possible to roll the stone /ithout crushin& the". The disciples /ere headin& to/ards E""aus+ a settle"ent located appro'i"ately 9 "iles to the /est of .oined the" as a traveler+ headin& in the sa"e direction.@ hours. fter all+ the stealin& of bodies /as co"pletely unheard of a"on& the .* i. s it can be seen further on+ they also discussed the events of the current day+ /hich evidently couldn’t affir" their faith in the authenticity of )hrist’s resurrection+ for they /al$ed in sadness. Even the very vivid description of the narrative of this event+ and the fullness of the portrayal /ith all its inner sufferin&s+ sho/s that one of its t/o participants undoubtedly /as 0u$e hi"self+ /ho accordin& to the custo" of the holy /riters+ does not call hi"self by na"e.erusale". The "ost unbelievable thin& about this is that the fri&htened and scattered disciples /ould decide to co""it such a senseless theft+ /ith /hich they /ould have &ained no benefit+ but an apparent enor"ous dan&er. Saint !ar$ briefly "entions of this event as /ell %>K:>@(.ust /ay+ that all the endeavors of the Sanhedrin D to retain the 0ord’s Pure Body in the to"b as secure as possible+ /ere invented and e'ecuted as thou&h purposely to confir" the authenticity of the event+ /ith all historical clarity+ /hich the "e"bers of the Sanhedrin /anted to obscure and present li$e false. -o/ could it happen that the &uards fell into a deep sleep at the precise ti"e+ /hen the actual theft /as e'pected on the third dayI Their sleep "ust have been e'traordinarily deep+ if they couldn’t even hear the stone of the to"b bein& rolled a/ay. 2ot/ithstandin& the obviousness of the hateful .

blessed and bro!e it.ohn+ about /hat narrates the latter %.* i. 4ithout still revealin& -i"self+ the 0ord be&ins -is dialo&ue+ lettin& the" understand that the reason for their uncertainty in the spiritual state lies /ithin the" D in their inco"prehension and in the slu&&ish state of their hearts. s Saint Theothylactus thin$s+ -e /anted the"+ 6to reveal their perple'ity+ e'pose their /ound and then accept the "edicineE to appear before the"+ after a lon& brea$+ as "ore pleasin&E to instruct the" throu&h !oses and the Prophets+ and only then to be reco&ni#edE so that they "i&ht believe that -is Body is no lon&er the sa"e+ /hich can be seen by everyone in &eneral+ but that /hile it is the sa"e body that resurrected and suffered+ at the sa"e ti"e+ it can visible only to those+ /ho" -e allo/s to see -i".e. *+ught not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory/* D -e directly calls their Teacher as )hrist and e'plains+ that everythin& happened in accordance /ith the Old Testa"ent prophesies about )hrist+ that e'actly throu&h the sufferin&s+ the !essiah had to 6enter into -is &lory6 D the &lory of -is spiritual and not terrestrial $in&do". The disciples listened to their "ysterious co"panion /ith &reater attention an inner #eal+ and their hearts &ot so pre-disposed to/ards -i"+ that they started to persuade -i" to stay /ith the" for the ni&ht+ pleadin& that the ni&ht /as approachin& and to travel alone at ni&ht in Palestine /as not at all safe.Saint !ar$ e'plains that the 0ord appeared to the" *in another form. and gave it to them.erusale" fro" so"e other country for the Passover+ as one could not visuali#e that a Palestinian resident /ouldn’t $no/ all about /hat happened durin& those days. The disciples then confessed their sorro/ to the 0ord.erusale" before hearin& about the appearance of the 0ord to !ary !a&dalene and the other "yrrh-bearers. It /asn’t li$e the for"er "ortal hu"an body: there /ere no barriers to it+ and it could appear and beco"e invisible suddenly. *Certain of those who were with us went to the tomb* D here+ evidently+ the conversation is about the postles Peter and . The 0ord stayed+ and /hen it /as ti"e for supper+ as the eldest+ *He too! the bread. -e did that+ so as to edify the" &ivin& the necessary in their spiritual state instructions. in a different appearance+ that’s /hy they did not reco&ni#e -i". The 0ord did that intentionally+ because it /asn’t &ood for -i" to be reco&ni#ed i""ediately.* s it can be seen fro" the Evan&elists’ narratives+ the &lorified Body of the 0ord /as already e'traordinary.ohn @::>->:( D *but Him they did not see* D and because of this they find the"selves in the predica"ent+ for they do not $no/ /hat to thin$ of all this. . Evidently+ 0u$e and )leopas left .udean+ havin& arrived at .ust to a 6prophet+6 at the sa"e statin& that their e'pectations of -i"+ as of the !essiah+ had not been reali#ed: *We were ho#ing that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. -o/ever+ characteristically+ they refer to their Teacher as .* Evidently this &esture+ characteristic of their Teacher+ served as an i"pulse that their eyes beca"e open+ and *they !new Him: and He vanished from their sight. )leopas then perceives the 0ord to be a .* !oreover+ they the"selves still don’t $no/ /hat to thin$ of everythin& that happened+ because so"e /o"en+ havin& been to the to"b early+ related so"e a"a#in& thin&s: they didn’t find -is Body+ but sa/ the appearance of the n&els+ /ho said that -e /as alive.6 Bein& o"niscient D -e /ants to $no/ fro" the"selves+ /hat is the reason for their sorro/: *What !ind of "onversation is this that you have with one another as you wal! and are sad/* 4ith this 5uestion+ the 0ord is tryin& to provo$e the disciples to reveal their feelin&s before -i".

ust /hen 0u$e and )leopas+ /ho returned fro" E""aus+ /ere continuin& their narration+ as thou&h for the purpose of dispellin& all the disciples’ doubts and curin& the" of their re"nants of disbelief. being the first day of the wee!. That’s /hy /hen -e appears to the" collectively+ behind the closed doors+ they re&ard -i" as a &host.ohn abandons the nor"al .4hy /as it that only then the 0ord allo/ed -i"self to be reco&ni#edI The purpose of -is appearance /as to e'plain to the disciples+ ho/ all the prophesies of the Old Testa"ent had been reali#ed throu&h -i".erusale"+ to share their . and has a##eared to Simon0* ccordin& to Saint !ar$ %>K:>@->A(+ 0u$e’s and )leopas’s story 0as not #elieved by the other disciples.* *Jesus "ame and stood in the midst. 2ot/ithstandin& that the ni&ht had fallen+ they i""ediately hurried to .e/s that /ere hostile to/ards the". The Appeara!ce to the Te! :isciples %!ar$ >K:>?E 0u$e @?:AK-?G and . and su##osed they had seen a s#irit* D they thou&ht that this /as only the 0ord’s spirit+ detached fro" the body and havin& co"e to the" fro" 6sheol6+ i. s indicated by Saint 0u$e+ the 0ord appeared to the ten disciples %Tho"as /as absent+ accordin& to Saint .e/ish calculation of ti"e accordin& to /hich+ the evenin& is the be&innin& of the ne't day. that the appeared to the" as dead and not alive.* -ere+ .oy /ith the other disciples. and said to them. In order to assure the" that it /as -i" indeed+ the 0ord sho/s the" -is hands and feet+ the /ounds+ /hich testify that it is the sa"e body that /as crucified on the cross.ohn @::>F-@A(.6 They didn’t understand the 0ord’s ne/ bein& upon the resurrection+ conse5uently their faith /as not yet very fir" D they didn’t $no/ the nature of -is resurrected Body. It has to be assu"ed that /hat confused the"+ /ere the inco"prehensible appearances of the 0ord+ first here then else/here+ /hich /as i"possible for an ordinary person+ and as /ell that -e appeared to the travelers to E""aus 6in another for". Saint !ar$ spea$s briefly about this appearance+ /hile Saints 0u$e and .ohn+ this /as *the same day at evening.e.e/s’ fear6E evidently+ so"e ru"or reached the disciples that the body of )hrist /as as if stolen by the". ccordin& to Saint .oy that /ould have undoubtedly ta$en the" "i&ht have hindered the 5uiet reflection about the authenticity of -is resurrection and conviction in its reality. If only they reco&ni#ed -i" instantly+ the i"pulsive .e/s+ the doors of the house /ere loc$ed D 6for the sa$e of the . Because of the fear of . The 0ord’s "iraculous passa&e throu&h the closed doors caused confusion a"on& the disciples+ about /hich Saint 0u$e says: *%ut they were terrified and frightened. *<ea"e be with you.ohn(+ . nd so D *when the doors were shut. The 0ord parta$es of the food in front the" %probably so"e ba$ed fish and honeyco"b .ohn+ narrate about this in detail+ bein& the co"ple"ent of one another. That’s /hy they naturally feared so"e type of violent "easures on the part of those . s the 0ord &uided the" slo/ly to/ards the profound conviction in this truth+ by their o/n ad"ission+ "a$in& their hearts infla"e+ -e finally revealed -i"self to the"+ havin& i&nited the" /ith such burnin& faith+ inaccessible to any doubts or te"ptations. They in turn related to the" that *$he (ord is risen indeed. -e offers the" to touch -i"+ so as to convince the"selves that it is -i" and not -is &host.* -ere+ an especial 5uality of the &lorified Body of )hrist "anifested itself+ accordin& to /hich "aterial substances /ere not an obstacle for penetratin& throu&h the".

-ere+ the 0ord is pointin& at the three-part division of the Old Testa"ent holy boo$s+ /hich e'isted a"on& the .ohn notes that /hen the 0ord first appeared to all -is disciples+ /ho /ere &athered to&ether+ Tho"as %called the T0in+ or $idimus+ in Gree$( /as absent. 4ith that breathin&+ all the postles /ere &iven the po/er to absolve sins+ /hich /as previously pro"ised to Peter D for professin& )hrist as the 0ivin& Son of God %!at. Thus+ throu&h the indications of the 0ord -i"self+ the /hole Old Testa"ent+ in its co"plete co"position+ is filled /ith prophecies about -i". the /o"en "yrrh-bearers+ 0u$e and )leopas %!ar$ >K:>?(.oy+ about /hich the 0ord foretold the" at the 0ast Supper+ enveloped the": *%ut I will see you again and your heart will re2oi"e.ohn @::@?-A>( Evan&elist . s it can be seen fro" the Gospel+ the character of this postle /as distinctive in its persistence+ borderin& /ith . Tho#as-s :isbelie* %.the faith in that they /ere not only the for"er travelin& co"panions and listeners of the 0ord .esus )hrist+ but 6the postles6 D -is envoys+ appointed by -i" for the &reat service of spreadin& the &ood ne/s of the Gospel throu&hout the /orld: 6 s the &ather has sent 'e.ohn >K:@@(. *$hese are the words whi"h I s#o!e to you* D everythin& that happened D this is the fulfill"ent of that+ /hich I repeatedly foretold you before+ sayin& about !y forthco"in& sufferin&s and resurrection.ohn adds that the 0ord then told the" for the second ti"e: *<ea"e to you0* -avin& said that+ -e then throu&h the visible si&n of breathin& reported to the" the preli"inary &race of the -oly Spirit D before the day of Pentecost D instructin& the": *. Before+ the postles didn’t co"prehend those prophecies correctly: no/+ throu&h the e'traordinary blessed enli&hten"ent+ the 0ord *o#ened their understanding. They divided their sacred boo$s into three sections:>( The la0+ /hich e"braced the *ive Boo$s of !osesE @( The !rophets+ /hich included nearly all the rest of the historical and Prophetic boo$s+ and A( The !salms+ or angiographs+ to /hich /ere assi&ned the instructive boo$s and "inor historical ones. that they might "om#rehend the S"ri#tures*. *$he dis"i#les were glad when they saw the (ord* D their doubts dispersed and the . I also send you.e.left over fro" the supper(+ /ith the ai" of eradicatin& the last re"nants of doubt in the disciples. they are detained. >H:>H(.* The full descendin& of the -oly Spirit’s &ifts on the postles occurred on the day of the PentecostE but evidently+ before this day+ it /as essential that the postles /ould receive those &ifts of the -oly Spirit+ that /ould stren&then the" in the absolute and fir" belief in the &enuineness of )hrist’s resurrection+ that /ould help the" to understand the Gospel correctly+ and especially to a/a$e /ithin the >> postles the belief in their 3ivine "ission -. ll this had been predicted in the Old Testa"ent D 6the La0 of "oses6 6prophesies6 and 6!salms6. Saint .e/s. That /as /hy all that had to be fulfilled. they are forgiven them: if you retain the sins of any.e"eive the Holy S#irit. and your 2oy no one will ta!e from you* %. If you forgive the sins of any. ccordin& to Saint !ar$+ the 0ord reproached the" for their disbelief and their hard-heartedness that they didn’t believe those that had seen -i" resurrected+ i.* This /as the co""ence"ent of the Spirit+ /hich /as essential for the stren&thenin& of the apostolic asse"bly. >K:>F( D as /ell as to the other postles %!at.

s in the first case+ the 0ord appeared a"on& the" 5uite une'pectedly+ and after /ishin& the" peace+ the 0ord turned to Tho"as: *. The spread of the 0ord’s teachin& throu&hout the /orld /ould have been "ade i"possible+ if everyone de"anded the si"ilar confir"ation for his belief li$e Tho"as did+ or continuous "iracles in &eneral. Perhaps+ under the influence of co""unication /ith the other disciples+ the obdurate disbelief be&an to leave hi"+ and his soul+ slo/ly but surely started ane/ to be capable of believin&. confessin& /ith those /ords+ not only his belief in )hrist’s 1esurrection+ but also in -is 3ivinity. 4hen the 0ord stated to -is disciples in -is fare/ell speech: * nd where I go you !now. That’s /hy+ edifyin& Tho"as+ the other postles and all the people+ the 0ord reveals to the ulti"ate path to/ards faith+ praisin& those that have achieved it+ in other /ay than Tho"as did: *%lessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. The 0ord appeared specially to fire his faith. that we may die with Him* %. * nd #ut my hand into His side* D it can be seen throu&h these /ords of Tho"as+ that the /ound+ inflicted by a soldier to the 0ord+ /as very deep.* nd in the past+ the 0ord "ore than once &ave preference to that belief+ /hich is based on the /ord rather than on a "iracle. we do not where 1ou are going.* i. Obviously+ Tho"as should have been stunned by the very fact that the 0ord $ne/ of his doubts.stubbornness+ /hich /as natural for the people of a si"ple+ yet fir"ly for"ed vie/point. and loo! at 'y hands>* The 0ord is ans/erin& to Tho"as’s doubts /ith his o/n /ords+ /ith /hich he preconditioned his belief in the 0ord’s resurrection.6 )onsistent /ith his character+ he sharply and definitively refuses to believe their /ords. In any case+ belief fired /ithin hi"+ and he e'clai"ed: *'y (ord and my God0*. Even /hen the 0ord /as &oin& to .ea"h your finger here. nd then+ havin& "et the other disciples and suddenly hearin& fro" the": 64e have seen the 0ord. In ten days after the 0ord’s first appearance to the ten postles+ the 0ord a&ain appeared /ith *the doors being shut*. This is the #est 0ay to #elieve.e. 1e&ardin& the resurrection of his Teacher as i"possible+ he declares that he /ould believe that not only if he sa/ that /ith his o/n eyes+ but also felt the nail /ounds on the 0ord’s hands and feet /ith his o/n hands+ as /ell as the /ound "ade by a spear to -is side. evidently in the sa"e house. That’s /hy the 0ord praises those+ /ho attain faith only throu&h trust+ throu&h trustin& the testi"ony by 0ord and the teaching of Christ.ohn >>:>K(. and the way you !now. That ti"e+ Tho"as /as /ith the". you are in the position to decide definitively: there are no/ only t/o /ays before you D the absolute belief and decisive spiritual hard-heartedness. but believing. and how "an we !now the way/* %.* Tho"as started to contradict: *(ord. -e /as so depressed that he even /asn’t /ith the other disciples on the day of the resurrectionE he evidently decided that there /as no reason for the" to be to&ether+ because everythin& /as finished+ everythin& had fallen apart and no/+ every disciple had to return to his previous+ individual and independent life.udea to resurrect 0a#arus+ Tho"as e'pressed his conviction that nothin& /ould co"e out of that .ourney: *(et us also go. . nd the 0ord added: *. That’s /hy the Teacher’s death at the cross produced an especially painful+ depressin& i"pression on Tho"as: it /as as thou&h he sta&nated in the conviction that the loss of -i" /as irretrievable. 2onetheless+ this belief /as still based on the sensuous verifications.ohn >?:G(.o not be disbelieving. lthou&h the Gospel doesn’t say /hether Tho"as really touched the 0ord’s /ounds D it can be assu"ed that he did.

*%ut when the morning had now "ome. -ere *Jesus showed Himself again to the dis"i#les at the Sea of $iberias.ohn+ that /as the third appearance of the 0ord to -is disciples+ &athered to&ether.ohn places hi"self and his brother last+ not even "entionin& their na"es+ /hereas+ in the other Gospels+ they are usually placed after ndre/ and Peter. and that believing you may have life in His name* D and that little /hat has been recorded+ is sufficient to support the belief in )hrist’s 3ivinity and for salvation throu&h this faith.a"es and .ohn+ as he usually calls hi"self+ stunned by that "iraculous catch+ i""ediately $ne/ in his heart+ 4ho that "ysterious stran&er that stood on the beach /as+ and infor"ed Peter of -is supposition: *It is the (ord0* 2ot darin& to appear before the 0ord undressed+ Peter put on his *outer garment* and plun&ed into the sea+ to e"er&e before the 0ord fro" the /ater+ on the other side+ fully clothed. This /as also stated by the n&els to the /o"en-"yrrhbearers+ at the 0ord’s to"b %!at. Perhaps the disciples didn’t reco&ni#e -i" because+ as /ith 0u$e and )leopas+ -e "i&ht appear 6in another for"+6 or perhaps si"ply because the dar$ness of ni&ht or the "ornin& fo& had not yet disappear. The Appeara!ce at the "ea o* Tiberias %.e. -avin& spent the full H days of the Passover in . . have you any food/*+ as it can be seen further+ the /ord *food* /as "eanin& fish. *or the "o"ent+ Saint . t the sa"e ti"e+ as it can be seen+ he feels that /hat has been /ritten is sufficient *that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ. The postles fished throu&hout the /hole ni&ht but cau&ht nothin&. This undoubtedly should have re"inded the" of that ni&ht+ /hich accordin& to Saint 0u$e %G:G and others( preceded their selection for apostolic "ission A years before.* ccordin& to Saint . @K:A@ and @H:9(. This event sho/s us the distinctive . nd that ti"e+ once a&ain+ so"ethin& si"ilar occurred. whi"h are not written in this boo!. Even before -is sufferin&s+ the 0ord had /arned -is disciples that upon -is resurrection+ -e /ould appear to the" in Galilee. To their ne&ation+ the 0ord su&&ested the" to cast their net *on the right side of the boat6 and a&ain+ the "iracle that they e'perienced three years before it /as repeated: because of the hu&e si#e of the catch+ they couldn’t haul in the net. *$hat dis"i#le whom Jesus loved.Saint . . Jesus stood on the shore: yet the dis"i#les did not !now that it was Jesus* D an e'pression of a sudden appearance.e. -is @>st chapter /as /ritten so"e ti"e later+ as they thin$+ concernin& the ru"or+ statin& that he /as to live until the Second )o"in& of )hrist. 8ndoubtedly+ that "iracle li$e the first one+ sy"boli#ed their future fruitful apostolic activity+ in /hich their personal labors /ould be under the 0ord’s directives.ohn had a &oal of supple"entin& the narratives of the first three Evan&elists+ he recorded not everything+ far fro" that. The 0ord turned to the" /ith: *Children.* i.ohn @>:>->?(.ohn concludes his Gospel /ith this final passa&e.erusale"+ the postles returned to Galilee+ /here+ naturally enou&h+ they a&ain be&an to practice their profession D catchin& fish on the 0a$e of Gennesaret to earn their livin&. In this outline+ because of his hu"ility+ Saint . the Son of God.ohn+ and t/o "ore+ /ho /ere not na"ed.* Even thou&h Saint .ohn concludes his narrative /ith the testi"ony that *truly Jesus did many other signs in the #resen"e of His dis"i#les. That ti"e there /ere seven of the": Si"on+ Peter+ Tho"as+ 2athanael+ the sons of =ebedee+ i.

I am ready to go with 1ou. @K:AA(E *I will lay down my life for 1our sa!e* %. -o/ever+ they 1ne0 that it /as undoubtedly -i". I will not deny 1ou0* %!ar$ >?:A>(E *(ord. The other apparent "iracle /as the fact that the net didn’t burst fro" such an a"ount of fish.o you love 'e/* D /ith 61es. In spite of that ardent reassurin&+ Peter renounced the 0ord three ti"es+ and of course throu&h this lost his apostolic callin& and apostolic ri&hts D he ceased to be an postle. son of Jonah. ?Simon. and bread*. and fish laid on it. It "ust have been to their particular reverence that the a"a#ed by /hat had happened postles stood a/ay fro" the 0ord at a respectful distance. I will never be made to stumble* %!at. Peter renounced for three ti"es+ so three ti"es the 0ord forces hi" to ans/er the 5uestion: *. That’s /hy -e invited the" to co"e closer and be&in the "eal /ith the /ords: *Come and eat brea!fast. both to #rison and to death* %0u$e @@:AA(. they saw a fire of "oals there.characters of these t/o postles: . ?Who are 1ou/’ D $no/in& that it /as the 0ord D the disciples sa/ so"ethin& e'traordinary in the appeared 0ord: evidently+ -e didn’t appear to be as they /ere accusto"ed to see -i"+ because upon the resurrection+ -is body beca"e e'ceptional+ &lorified+ filled /ith special &reatness and 3ivinity. do you love 'e more than these/)* D before the 0ord’s sufferin&s+ Si"on D "ore than anyone else D had pro"ised his loyalty to -i": *Dven if all are made to stumble be"ause of 1ou.* Si"on Peter returned to the boat and evidently+ /ith the help of the other disciples+ dra&&ed the net+ filled /ith >GA fish+ ashore.ohn is "ore acute+ Peter "ore ardentE . *6one of the dis"i#les dare as! Him. Once a&ain+ the 0ord had "iraculously prepared food for the"+ but so that they could also try the bread of their o/n labors+ -e said: *%ring some of the fish whi"h you have 2ust "aught. That’s /hy they /ere dra&&in& the net to/ards the beach+ /here they could haul it onto the beach "ore easily+ /ithout any ris$. (ord: 1ou !now that I love 1ou0* nd after every affir"ation+ the 0ord entrusts hi" D as an postle D to feed -is la"bs+ -is sheep.ohn+ "ore able to observe+ Peter D "ore decisive in action. *$hen.ohn /as the first to reco&ni#e the 0ord+ /hile Peter+ the first to hurry to/ards -i".ohn @>:>G-@G(. This is noted by Evan&elist !ar$ D undoubtedly fro" postle Peter’s /ords D /ho narrates that the n&el /hich appeared to the /o"en "yrrh-bearers+ said: *%ut go. *So when they had eaten brea!fast. In any case+ it can be assu"ed that this "iraculous catch of fish produced a profound i"pression on .ohn D he even re"e"bered the nu"ber of the cau&ht fish for the rest of his life. as soon as they had "ome to land. *or his sincere and profound repentance+ the 0ord "ercifully restores Peter to his apostolic /orthiness.* The 0ord too "ust have been standin& at so"e distance+ because further it is said: *Jesus then "ame. Because the catch /as so lar&e+ they did not dare to haul the fish into the boat so that it /ould not be capsi#ed under the /ei&ht of the cau&ht fish. Jesus said to Simon <eter.* s a host+ -e be&an to treat the" to bread and fish.ohn D elevated+ Peter D #ealous+ . The 9estoratio! o* Apostle &eter %.ohn >A:A9(E *If I have to die with you. Peter /as . s Blessed Theothylactus says: 6.6 In the "eanti"e+ the other disciples ca"e in their boat+ dra&&in& the net /ith the fish. tell His dis"i#les @ and <eter>* sin&lin& out Peter as the one+ /ho throu&h his renounce"ent+ had fallen a/ay fro" the postolic i"a&e+ placin& hi" as the last+ after the other postles.

6the roc$. lso very characteristic is the fact that the 0ord calls Peter by his for"er na"e D 6Simon6 D and not Peter+ because havin& renounced+ he revealed his instability+ the lac$ of spiritual fir"ness+ and throu&h that ceased to be 6!eter6+ i. do you love 'e more than these/*. you will stret"h out your hands.o you love 'e/* @ *1ou !now that I love 1ou* %that’s /hy on the @Fth of .6 That saddened Peter that his personal attach"ent to -i" /as as if bein& sub. -e ans/ered Peter+ that it /as not his business to $no/ that: *What is that to you/ 1ou follow 'e. *When you were younger. . *&ollow 'e* D /ere the last definitive /ords of restorin& fallen Peter’s to his apostolic ran$. That’s /hy+ on the third ti"e+ he confesses his love /ith the e'ceptional force+ referrin& to -is o"niscience. and another will gird you and "arry you where you do not wish6 D here+ under the &uise of a helpless elder+ bein& dealt /ith a&ainst his /ill+ the 0ord sy"bolically predicts the "artyr’s violent death. as if hintin& at Peter’s pro"ise to the 0ord of his &reater fidelity and loyalty+ than the other disciples. But the 0ord did not /ish to reveal the type of death of -is beloved disciple. -e even doesn’t dare to reassure the 0ord of his love for -i"+ but only alludes to -is o"niscience: *1ou !now that I love 1ou. you girded yourself and wal!ed where you wished: but when you are old.6 If the 0ord in fact entrusted Peter+ as -is vicar+ the other disciples+ then Peter /ould of course be fully entitled to as$ about . 6The la"bs6 are the ordinary+ spiritually "ature "e"bers of the )hurch+ /hich do not need special and dili&ent care.ected to doubt by the 0ord.ust as he had renounced the 0ord for the third ti"e /ith the e'ceptional force+ oaths and s/earin&+ the 0ord is no/ co"pellin& Peter D for the third ti"e D to confess his love for -i"+ /ith the sa"e e'ceptional force. s$in& Peter for the third ti"e+ the 0ord uses that sa"e /ord 6filin.ohn+ and the 0ord /ouldn’t have responded /ith: 64hat is that to youI6 . The 1o"an-)atholics+ 5uite fruitlessly and /ithout a base+ /ish to see in this a special endo/"ent of ri&hts and seniority to the postle Peter by the 0ord D in co"parison /ith the other postles. It is very characteristic that the 0ord as$s Peter for the first ti"e: *Simon.a&&rieved because he /as as$ed for the third ti"e: *. The 0ord co"bines the restoration of Peter in his postolic callin& /ith the prediction+ that his currently attested love for the -i" /ill lead to his "artyr-li$e death at the end of his postolic "ission. fter those /ords+ the 0ord left and evidently the disciples follo/ed -i".une+ in the church service+ on the day of co""e"oration of the holy supre"e postles Peter and Paul+ the verse for 6Glory6 is sun&(.6 -u"bly ac$no/led&in& the depth of his fall+ Peter doesn’t no/ co"pare his love for the 0ord /ith that of the other disciples.* -ere /e find another refutation of the 1o"an-catholic false teachin&+ about that the 0ord entrusted the other disciples to Peter and that he had been appointed as their 6prince. Indeed+ Peter /as in fact crucified in 1o"e durin& the rei&n of 2ero+ in the year KH. 6The la"bs+6 /hich the 0ord entrusts to Peter to feed+ are the youn&est+ ne/ly born+ so to spea$+ "e"bers of )hrist’s )hurch+ /hich are in need of special attention of the shepherd.* !oreover+ throu&h his hu"ility+ instead of the /ord 6love6 D 6agapan6 used by the 0ord in -is 5uestion and "eanin& full and co"plete love+ Peter uses another /ord D 6filin6 "eanin& the personal sincere attach"ent and loyalty. Seein& the 0ord’s beloved disciple .ohn+ Peter /as overta$en /ith the desire to $no/ his future D if a "artyr’s death for )hrist a/aited hi".e. son of Jonah.

ohn the Theolo&ian+ and the truth of everythin& that he narrated in the Gospel. to the mountain whi"h Jesus had a##ointed for them.* /rites Saint !atthe/+ or as Saint !ar$ relays: *Go into all the world and #rea"h the Gos#el to every "reature. saying. *Go therefore and ma!e dis"i#les of all the nations. *$hen the eleven dis"i#les went away into Galilee. @H:>K-@:E !ar$ >K:>G->H and 0u$e @?:?K-?F(. they worshi##ed Him: but some doubted* D as the n&els told the /o"en "yrrh-bearers that the 0ord /as precedin& the" in Galilee+ then it "ust be assu"ed that the postles /ere not the only ones to rush to/ards Galilee in order to see -i"+ as -e had pro"ised to be there.e.6 This confir"s this Gospel to belon& to Saint .* i. and thus it was . !any thin$ that it /as that specific appearance of the 0ord on the "ountain+ about /hich the postle Paul /rites about in > )orinthians >G:K+ that the 0ord *was seen by over five hundred brethren at on"e.ohn’s Gospel by his readers of the ancient ti"es+ /ho /anted to confir" the truth of this Gospel for eternity. Throu&h -is resurrection+ -e assu"ed the fullness of -is 3ivine authority already as -u"an God. and wrote these things: and we !now that his testimony is true. * ll authority has been given to 'e in Heaven and on earth. approached the" so as to dispel all doubts that it /as really -i"+ *and s#o!e to them. what is that to you/* -o/ever+ the Evan&elist hi"self refutes this+ underlinin& the fact that the 0ord’s speech /as conditional: *If I will that he remain>* The narrative about this and in fact his Gospel+ Saint . -avin& appeared on the earth as a hu"an+ the Son of God curbed -i"self in the use of -is 3ivine authority+ because -e didn’t /ant to acco"plish the rede"ption of "an$ind "atter purely throu&h -is o"nipotence. So"e of those &athered 6doubted+6 /hich definitely sho/s that it couldn’t be a "assive hallucination+ as the unbelievers atte"pt to convince. The Appeara!ce i! Galilee %!at.The /ords said by the 0ord about . In conclusion+ Saint .ohn concludes /ith a testi"ony: *$his is the dis"i#le who testifies of these things.* lthou&h this "ay see" an e'a&&eration+ a hyperbolical e'pression+ the discourse here is na"ely about the immensity of the Lord’s 0or1s+ the "eanin& of /hich the li"ited /orld is unable to absorb.* Since the be&innin& of the /orld+ as the Be&otten Son of God+ -e had the full authority in heaven and on earth: no/+ as the )on5ueror of hell and death+ -e ac5uired the si"ilar authority over everythin& and as the 1edee"er of the /orld D over "an$ind. When they saw Him.* or as Saint 0u$e conveys the authority &iven by the 0ord to -is postles: *$hus it is written.ohn+ &ave a reason to thin$ that he /ouldn’t die+ but /ould live till the Second )o"in& of )hrist: *If I will that he remain till I "ome. So"e assu"e that the last t/o verses D @? and @G D /ere subse5uently added to . nd then it depended on -i" to cro/n the /hole "atter of "an$ind’s salvation by sendin& the -oly Spirit+ establishin& -is )hurch and sendin& the postles to preach throu&hout the /hole /orld. * nd Jesus "ame.ohn a&ain repeats that "uch *that Jesus did* /as not recorded in the Gospel+ because if everythin& /as to be recorded in detail+ *I su##ose that even the world itself "ould not "ontain the boo!s that would be written.* The na"e of the "ountain is not "entioned+ but it /as "ost li$ely the Transfi&uration !ount Tabor+ /here the disciples had a chance to /itness the transfi&ured &lorious state of the 0ord+ in /hich -e then appeared to the".

beginning at Jerusalem. 62o+ it is then that -e /ill be present6 %Blessed Theothylactus(. and the re#entan"e and remission of sins should be #rea"hed in His name to all nations. >::G-KE >G:@?(+ but sends the" out to teach all the nations+ because the 0hole 0orld had been redee"ed throu&h )hrist’s sufferin&s+ and should be su""oned to )hrist’s 7in&do". These "iracles+ /hich the subse5uent history of the )hurch testifies of+ /ere truly perfor"ed by the postles and "any true )hristians. they will ta!e u# ser#ents: and if they drin! anything deadly. even to the end of the age.ne"essary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day. *%a#ti7ing them in the name of the &ather and of the Son and of the Holy S#irit* D -u"an God is &ivin& -is disciples the ri&ht+ and i"poses the responsibility+ of bapti#in& all the peoples in the name of the 'oly Trinity.esus )hrist+ /hich concludes /ith -is ascension into -eaven. *I am with you always. and they will re"over. it will by no means hurt them: they will lay hands on the si"!.* D char&in& the postles /ith the heavy tas$ of spreadin& the &ood ne/s of the Gospel throu&hout the /hole /orld+ the 0ord encoura&es the"+ pro"isin& -is "ysterious+ invisible presence /ith the" 6al/ays+ even to the end of a&es. Baptis" is the sy"bolic si&n of the cleansin& of a person’s sins throu&h the invisible action of the -oly Spirit+ and the si&n of the person’s entry into )hrist’s )hurch for a ne/+ revived life in God. Baptis" should be preceded /ith instructions+ and those receivin& It+ should follo/ all that /as decreed by )hrist the Savior: *$ea"hing them to observe all things that I have "ommanded you. Thus+ throu&h -is disciples and their successors+ the 0ord reinstates the har"ony that the /orld lost.* Saint !ar$ adds to it the "iraculous si&ns that /ill appear as a conse5uence to those+ that have believed: *In 'y name they will "ast out demons: they will s#ea! with new tongues.ust the . nd you are witnesses of these things. nd those receivin& baptis" accept throu&h this the responsibility of believin& in the -oly Trinity+ and dedicatin& their lives to the 3ivine Trinity+ 4hich called+ atoned and revived the". It si"ply "eans that till the end of a&es+ -e /ill be found unseen a"on& the faithful+ as the head of the )hurch+ established by -i"+ &uidin& it to/ards "an$ind’s salvation.* 2o/+ the 0ord doesn’t restrict their ser"ons to be preached .van&elist 0u$e has the "ost detailed narrative about the final appearance of the 1esurrected . This doesn’t "ean that to the end of a&es+ the 0ord /ill not be /ith -is disciples. Evan&elist !ar$ also spea$s . This "eans that those bapti#in& are not actin& on their o/n volition+ but by the authority &ranted to the" by the Trinity of %od.6 -o/ever+ because the postles did not live to 6the end of a&es+6 then this pro"ise has to be applied to all of their successors.udeans as before %!at.* *ro" the "an’s sin+ the /hole /orld has co"e to the state of disorder+ and the evil has beco"e its "aster: those /ho have believed in )hrist the 1edee"er /ill receive the authority to con5uer all types of the evil+ as /ell as the fallen spirits+ /ho incite people to/ards evil /or$s. . The Asce!sio! o* the $ord %0u$e @?:G:-GA and !ar$ >K:>F-@:(.

It /as as thou&h they /ere born a&ain D no doubt+ as a result of the 1esurrected 0ord’s ?:-day stay /ith the"+ 4ho tau&ht the" the "ysteries of God’s 7in&do". 4hat does this "eanI It "eans that -e doesn’t /ant to cease -is blessin&+ but continues endlessly to bless -is )hurch and all that believe in -i". The sy"bolic act of liftin& the hands durin& a blessin&+ is /ell $no/n in the Old Testa"ent e.* /ith God’s help+ *and "onfirming the Word through the a""om#anying signs.oy is to those that love -i". Saint !ar$ concludes his Gospel /ith the testi"ony of /hat had happened after the descent of the -oly Spirit: about ho/ the postles 6/ent out6 of .erusale"+ /here subse5uently D after ?: days D the postles a&ain arrived fro" Galilee+ durin& /hich ti"e the 0ord appeared to the" several ti"es+ teachin& the" about God’s 7in&do".about this briefly.* This is a &raphic phrase+ based on a nu"ber of visions % cts 9:AK(+ /hich "eans that the 0ord had accepted the 3ivine authority over hu"anity and the /hole /orld /ith God the *ather+ because bein& placed on the ri&ht hand side+ in the Biblical lan&ua&e+ "eans the separation of authority bet/een the one+ /ho is seated+ /ith that /ho is placed on the ri&ht side. #raising and blessing God* for everythin& that they had to endure+ see and hear+ and for their forthco"in& hi&h "ission of preachin& the Evan&elic teachin&. 0eviticus F:@@. 4hat sha"e and fear to those /ho for&et this in the earthly hustle and bustle. ll the Gospels end /ith the /ord: 2*men2& /hich "eans: truly so+ that is it all happened the /ay+ as it /as narrated in the Gospel. provin& the truth of their /ords by the acco"panyin& their ser"ons "iracles.* D i. The 0ord &ave instructions to the postles to re"ain in . In this prayerful state of the elevated spiritual ascension+ they *were "ontinually in the tem#le. This has to be understood as the descendin& of the -oly Spirit+ to assist in their tas$ of the universal ser"on. Saint !ar$ adds that the 0ord+ havin& ascended into -eaven+ *sat down at the right hand of God.* This .* and evidently pronouncin& the traditional /ords+ as it /as typical of in the Old Testa"ent+ /hich the Evan&elists didn’t record.erusale"+ certainly 6preached every0here6+ throu&hout the /hole /orld+ /ith *the (ord wor!ing with them. 4hat .6 The disciples 0orshipped the ascendin& to -is *ather -u"an God+ *and returned to Jerusalem with great 2oy. while He blessed them.e.* 64hat a /onderful $ind of act+6 D co""ents the !osco/ !etropolitan Philaret on this event: 6The 0ord is blessin& and doesn’t stop but continues /hile ascendin& into -eaven. that He was #arted from them and "arried u# into Heaven. . The 0ord then led -is disciples out of . *6ow it "ame to #ass. This appearance too$ place in . This is narrated in detail in the postolic Boo$ of cts.erusale"+ until they /ere endued /ith po/ers fro" above+ pled&in& to send upon the" the Pro"ise of -is *ather.erusale" to Bethany+ situated on the eastern slopes of the !ount of Olives+ /here *He lifted u# His hands and blessed them. 0et us ponder brethren+ that even no/ -is hands are lifted over us+ and -is &a#e+ and -is blessin&. Saint 0u$e conveys that in the first chapter of the cts %>:@-G(.oy e"anated fro" the fact that they then sa/ /ith their o/n eyes the &lory of their 0ord and Teacher+ and /ere anticipatin& the fulfill"ent of -is pro"ise to send do/n the -oly Spirit.&.

The 0i&ht of the 4orld. The Teachin& about the Stru&&le /ith Te"ptations. The E'posure of the Pharisees See$in& the Si&ns.e/s in the Te"ple. The -ealin& of Peter’s "other-in-la/. The -ealin& of the 2oble"an’s Son.esus )hrist’s dialo&ue /ith 2icode"us. bout Payin& Ta'es to )aesar. The -ealin& of a Paralytic at the Sheep Gate Pool. The Beatitudes.Adde!du# The "elected "er#o!s o* 'hrist The 0ord . Steadfastness in prayer. -ealin& in )apernau".ud&e. bout the Greatest )o""and"ent. The -ealin& of the 0eper. The )onversation /ith the . bout the 3ivisions a"on& the People. The . The 2arro/ Path to/ards the -eavenly 7in&do". bout the True *ollo/ers of )hrist. The -ealin& of a Paralytic in )apernau". The Teachin& on the Sanctity of !arria&e and on )elibacy. )hrist Sends -is postles on their !ission. bout the *alse Prophets. The postles /ill Inherit Eternal 0ife. The 2arro/ Path. The *inal )onversation.esus )hrist. The )allin& of !atthe/. The Tal$ about the -eavenly Bread. On the E5uality of the *ather and the Son. T/o !easures of 1i&hteousness. The -ealin& of the !an /ith a 4ithered -and. 3o 2ot . The Prayer 6Our *ather6. The Ser"on in the 2a#areth Syna&o&ue. The E'posure of the Scribes and Pharisees. )hrist’s Second )o"in&. The !ain Tas$ is to Please God. The 0ord’s 1esponse to Those -esitatin& to *ollo/ -i". The Ser"on on the !ount. The Sha"in& of the Sadducees. The rchpriest Prayer. The Plentiful -arvest+ but *e/ 0aborers. The Ser"on about the Good Shepherd. The 0ord *oretells -is 3eath and 1esurrection. The -ellenes’ 3esire to See . The Ser"on at the *east of the 3edication. The )ontinuation of the *are/ell )onversation. The Eternal Treasure. bout the Po/er of *aith. The E'posure of the Scribes and Pharisees. 'hrist-s 1iracles The *irst !iracle at the 4eddin& at )ana of Galilee. The -ealin& of the 0eper. The Tal$ /ith the Sa"aritan /o"an. The Tal$ about 4ho is the Greatest in the 7in&do" of -eaven. Sendin& Seventy 3isciples to Preach.

The )ircu"cision and !eetin& of the 0ord. The -ealin& of the !an /ith 3ropsy. The -ealin& of the 3efor"ed 4o"an. The Parable about the 8n. The Parable about the T/o Sons. The Gospel-s &arables The 0ord . The )ircu"stances and Ti"e of the 2ativity of )hrist. . The )leansin& of ten 0epers. The 1esurrection of 0a#arus. The Parable about the Publican and the Pharisee. The -ealin& of the Possessed dolescent.ir&in !ary /ith Eli#abeth The Birth of St. The Parable about the *ruitless *i& Tree. bout the *inal . The -ealin& of T/o Blind !en. The -ealin& of a 4o"an /ith a *lo/ of Blood and the 1esurrection of . The Parable about those that 0ove to be *irst.-ealin& of the )apernau" )enturion’s Servant. The Parable about the Servants+ /aitin& the 1eturn of their !aster. The Parable about the Invitees to the Supper. The Parable about the 1ich !an and 0a#arus. The )astin& Out of a 0e&ion of 3e"ons. "atthe0 "ar1 Lu1e >:>-? >:>-@G >:@K-AH >:AF-GK >:G9-H: A:@A-AH John @::A> >:>->? >:>->9 >:>H-@G @:>-@: @:@>-AF . The Parable about the Pearl. The Parable about the 8n"erciful 3ebtor. The -ealin& of the Born Blind !an.airus’s 3au&hter. The -ealin& of a Blind Person in Bethsaida.ir&in !ary The !eetin& of the -oly . The Parable about the Treasure -idden in the *ield. The Parable about the >: .vents The Gospels’ Preface: their uthenticity and Purpose The Pre-Eternal Birth and the Incarnation of the Son of God The conception of )hrist’s *orerunner+ . The Teachin& about the Stru&&le /ith Te"ptations.ud&"ent. The Parable about the Invited to a 4eddin& Ban5uet. bout the O/ner+ Preservin& the 2e/ and the Old.ust -ouse-Ste/ard. The 1esurrection of the 2ain 4ido/’s Son. The 0!de3 o* 'hapters a!d 6erses . The Ser"on about the Good Shepherd. The Parable about the So/er. The Parable about the 8nri&hteous .ericho Blind. The !iraculous *eedin& of *our Thousand People. The !iraculous Pay"ent of the Te"ple Ta'. The -ealin& of the .esus )hrist’s Teachin& in Parables. The Parable about the 4or$ers that 1eceived E5ual Pay"ent. The Parable about the 1ec$less 1ich !an. The Parable about the Prodi&al Son. The Parable about the Talents.inedressers. The Parable about the 0eaven.ohn the Baptist The Earthly 0inea&e of the 0ord . The Parable about the 4ic$ed . The Parable about the 4ise -ouseSte/ard. The Parable about the Persistent ppeal. The Parable about the !ustard Seed. )al"in& the Stor".esus )hrist The 2avity of )hrist The 1evelation of the "ystery of the incarnation. The Parable about the 3ra&net+ )ast into the Sea. The Parable about the Tares. The -ealin& of the Possessed and the E'posure of the Pharisees. The Parable about the Good Sa"aritan.ud&e. The 0ord’s 4al$ on the 4ater.ohn The nnunciation of the -oly .ir&ins. The Parable about the 0ost Sheep.

The 1esurrection of the 2ain 4ido/’s Son. -ealin& of the Possessed in )apernau". The 0ord .ohn. 3o 2ot .esus )hrist’s dialo&ue /ith 2icode"us. The Prayer 6Our *ather6. The *li&ht into E&ypt and the Slayin& of the Infants. The 0i&ht of the 4orld.ud&e. On the E5uality of the *ather and the Son.ohn the Baptist. The 2arro/ Path. The Savior’s Social Service. The Ser"on in Galilee. The -ealin& of the )apernau" )enturion’s Servant.esus )hrist’s adolescence. The *irst 3isciples of )hrist. The Beatitudes. The rrival to Galilee and the Be&innin& of the Ser"on. The !ain Tas$ is to Please God. The -ealin& of the 2oble"an’s Son. The *orty-3ay *ast and Te"ptin& by the 3evil. @:>->@ @:>A-@A @:?:-G@ A:>->@ A:>A->H ?:>->> >:>-H A:>->H >:F->> A:@>-@@ >:>@->A ?:>->A >:>G-A> >::A@-A? >:AG-G> @:>->@ @:>A-@G A:>-@> A:@@-AK >?:A-G ?:>@ ?:>A->9 ?:>H-@@ H:>?->9 ?:@A-@G K:>9-@: A:>F-@: >:>? ?:>? >:>G ?:>?->G >:>K-@: >:@>-@H >:@F-A? >:AG-AF G:>->> ?:A>-A9 ?:AH-?> ?:?@-?? ?:>K-A: >:>?-?G G:>@->K @:>->@ G:>9-@K @E>A-@@ G:@9-AF G:>->K G:>9-?9 >@:>-H >@:F->? >@:>G-@> >::@-? G:>D 9:@F G:>->@ G:>?->K G:@: 9:@> K:F->A K:>F-@> 9:>-G 9:9-H 9:>A 9:>G-@: H:>->? H:G->A @E@A-@H K:>-G A:>-K K:K->> A:9->@ A:>A->F K:>@->F K:>@-?F ?:>-?@ ?:?A-?G ?:?K-G? F:>-H F:F->9 9:>->: 9:>>->9 .ohn the Baptist and his testi"ony of our 0ord . The Baptis" of the 0ord . The -ealin& of a Paralytic at the Sheep Gate Pool.The doration of the !a&i. The -ealin& of the !an /ith a 4ithered -and. 3rivin& the sellers out of the Te"ple. . The )allin& of the *isher"an. The I"prison"ent of Saint . The -ealin& of the 0eper. The 0ast Testi"ony of . The -ealin& of a Paralytic in )apernau". The -ealin& of the 0eper. The )allin& of !atthe/. The -ealin& of Peter’s "other-in-la/. . The Ser"on in the 2a#areth Syna&o&ue. The 0ord voids *a"e.esus )hrist. bout the *alse Prophets. The *irst Pascha. The Tal$ /ith a Sa"aritan /o"an. Steadfastness in prayer. The Ser"on on the !ount. )hoosin& the 3isciples. The Eternal Treasure. The *irst !iracle at the 4eddin& at )ana of Galilee. The Pluc$in& of )ornheads on Saturday. T/o !easures of 1i&hteousness.esus )hrist.

The -ealin& of a 4o"an /ith a *lo/ of Blood and the 1esurrection of F:>H-@K G:@>-?A H:?>-GK . *or&ivin& the Sinful 4o"an in the -ouse of Si"on the Pharisee. >>:@->F >>:@:-A: . >9:>->A F:@->A F:@H-AK The Transfi&uration of the 0ord >9:>?-@A F:>?-A@ F:A9-?G The -ealin& of the Possessed dolescent. ?:@K-@F The Parable about the Seed That Gro/s 8nnoticeably >A:A>-A@ ?:A:-A@ >A:>H->F The Parable about the !ustard Seed. >H:@>-AG >9:A-? The Parable about the 8n"erciful 3ebtor. >A:?G-?K The Parable about the Precious Pearl. >?:>G-@> K:A@-?? F:>:->9 K:>->G >?:@@-AK K:?G-G@ K:>K-@> The 0ord’s 4al$ on the 4ater. >A:?? The Parable about the Treasure -idden in the *ield. >H:>-G F:AA-A9 F:?K-?H The Tal$ about 4ho is the Greatest in the 7in&do" of -eaven. The -ealin& of the Possessed and the E'posure of the Pharisees. >H:K->: F:?@-G: >9:>-@ The Teachin& about the Stru&&le /ith Te"ptations. >A:G>-G@ bout the O/ner+ Preservin& the 2e/ and the Old. The 0ord’s ns/er to Those 4aitin& for the Si&ns fro" -i". H:@A-@9 ?:AG-?> H:@@-@G )al"in& the Stor". >G:>-@: 9:>-@A E'posin& the Pharisees’ Traditions. >A:?9-G: The Parable about the 3ra&net+ )ast into the Sea. >::>-?@ K:9->A F:>)hrist Sends -is postles on their !ission. F:@9-A? The -ealin& of T/o Blind !en. >G:@>-@H 9:@?-A: The -ealin& of a )anaanite 4o"an’s dau&hter. H:>H-@@ F:G9-K@ The 0ord’s 1esponse to Those -esitatin& to *ollo/ -i". >H:>:-@: >G:A-9 The Parable about the 0ost Sheep. E'posin& the )ities of Galilee. K:@@-9> The Tal$ about the -eavenly Bread. F:AG-AH K:K H:>-A The Plentiful -arvest+ but *e/ 0aborers. >G:@F-A> 9:A>-A9 The -ealin& of the Speech-I"peded 3eaf Person. H:@H-A? G:>-@: H:@K-?: The )astin& Out of a 0e&ion of 3e"ons. >9:@?-@9 The !iraculous Pay"ent of the Te"ple Ta'. >K:@>-@H H:A>-A? F:@@-@9 The 0ord *oretells -is 3eath and 1esurrection.esus.airus’s 3au&hter. >G:A@-AF H:>-F The !iraculous *eedin& of *our Thousand People. The !iraculous *eedin& of *ive Thousand People. >K:>->@ H:>>-@> The E'posure of the Pharisees See$in& the Si&ns. >K:>A-@: H:@9-A: F:>H-@> Peter’s )onfession: . K+>@:>@ >?:>->@ K:>?-@F F:9-F The Beheadin& of . The !essen&ers of .ohn the Baptist.ohn the *orerunner.esus is )hrist+ the Son of God. >A:AA-AG ?:AA-A? >A:@:-@> The Parable about the 0eaven. F:AH-?> F:?F-G: 4or$in& 4onders in )hrist’s 2a"e. >A:GA-GH K:>-K The Second . H:@@-@K The -ealin& of a Blind Person in Bethsaida.isit to 2a#areth. >A:@?-A: The Parable about the Tares. H:@> >A:>-@A ?:>-@: H:?->G The Parable about the So/er.9:>H-AG >::>A-@@ 9:AK-G: >@:@@-A9 A:@:-A: >>:>?-@A >@:AH-?G >>:@F-A@ >@:?K-G: A:A>-AG >>:@94o"an Glorifies the !other of .

The Parable about the Publican and the Pharisee. The Parable about the 8nri&hteous . The *all of the Siloa" To/er. )hrist’s Second )o"in&. The Parable about the Good Sa"aritan. The postles /ill Inherit Eternal 0ife. The Ser"on about the Good Shepherd. . The Parable about the 1ec$less 1ich !an. The .e/s in the Te"ple. The E'posure of the Scribes and Pharisees. The Parable about the Prodi&al Son. The Blessin& of the )hildren. The -ealin& of the !an /ith 3ropsy.ud&e. The Parable about the Persistent ppeal.erusale".ust -ouse-Ste/ard. The Parable about the 1ich !an and 0a#arus. The Teachin& on the Sanctity of !arria&e and on )elibacy. The Parable about the *ruitless *i& Tree. The Parable about the 8n.ericho Blind. The -ealin& of the Born Blind !an. The Parable about those that 0ove to be *irst. -erod’s Threats. The 1ich <oun& "an. bout the 3ivisions a"on& the People. The )onversation /ith the .esus )hrist in the -ouse of !artha and !ary. The -ealin& of the 3efor"ed 4o"an. The Parable about the Invitees to the Supper. The Ser"on at the *east of the 3edication.ud&"ent of the dulteress. bout the *orthco"in& Sufferin&s of )hrist. The 1eturn of the 9: 3isciples. The Parable about the Servants+ /aitin& the 1eturn of their !aster. The Parable about the 4or$ers that 1eceived E5ual Pay"ent. Sendin& Seventy 3isciples to Preach. bout the Po/er of *aith. The Parable about the 4ise -ouse-Ste/ard.)hrist Goes to the *east of . The )leansin& of ten 0epers. The 2arro/ Path to/ards the -eavenly 7in&do". 9:>-F F:G>-GK >::>->K 9:>:-GA H:>->> H:>@-GF F:>-?> >::>-@> >::@@-?@ >::>9-@? >::@G-A9 >::AH-?@ >>:G-H >>:A9-G? >@:>A-@> >@:AG-?> >@:?@-?H >@:?F-GA >A:>-G >A:K-F >A:>:->9 >A:@@-A: >@:A>-AG >?:>-K >?:9->G >?:>K-@? >?:@G-AA >G:>>-A@ >K:>->9 >K:>F-A> >K:>H >9:G->: >9:>>->F >9:@:-A9 >H:>-H >H:F->? >H:>G->9 >H:>H-@9 >H:@H-A: @A:>-AF @?:?@-?? @?:?G-G> @A:A9-AF >F:A->@ >F:>A->G >::>A>K >F:>K-@K >::>9@9 >F:@9-A: >::@HA> @::>->K @::>9-@H >::A@?G @::@F-A? >::?KG@ >H:A>-A? >H:AG-?A .esus at the *east of Tabernacles. The Sa"aritans do not ccept )hrist. The -ealin& of the . bout the True *ollo/ers of )hrist. The 0ord .

Great Thursday. The Supper at 0a#arus’s -ouse. The r&u"ent about Superiority.@>:>-? ?? @?:>-G> >A:>-A9 @>:G-AH @G:>->A @G:A>-?K @K:>->K >?:>->> @@:>-K @K:>9-@F >?:>@@G @K:@>-@G >?:>H@> @K:@K-@F >?:@@@G @K:A:-AG >?:@KA> @@:9-A: >A:>-A: >A:@-@: @@:@>-@A >A:@>-A: @@:>F-@: @@:@?-A: @@:A>-AH >A:A>>?:A> UVWUV>?>K >G:>->K:AA >9:>-@K @@:AF-?K >H:> The *inal )onversation The )ontinuation of the *are/ell )onversation. The )urse of the *ruitless *i& Tree. The Parable about the 4ic$ed . @K:AK-?K >?:A@?@ .@::>-H AA @>:@H-A@ @>:AA-?K >@:>->@ @::F->F @@:>->? @@:>G-@@ >@:>A. The 1esurrection of 0a#arus. bout the *inal . The Establish"ent of the Eucharist !ystery.@::?:-?? A9 @A:>-AF >@:AH. The E'posure of the Scribes and Pharisees. The 4ido/’s !ite. @G:>?-AF >F:>->: >F:>>-@H >>:>-?K >>:?9-G9 >@:>->> @>:>->> >>:>->> >F:@H-?? >@:>@->F @>:>@->9 >>::>G. The !ystical Supper The 4ashin& of the *eet. bout Payin& Ta'es to )aesar.@::@9-?: @9 @@:A?-?K >@:@H.isit of =acchaeus.esus )hrist.ud&"ent. The -ellenes’ 3esire to See .@::@:-@K >9 @@:@A-AA >@:>H.erusale". The )onversation /ith the Elders. The Sanhedrin’s 3ecision to 7ill . The 4ithered *i& Tree.ir&ins. 3rivin& the 3ealers out fro" the Te"ple.>F:?G-?H >F @>:>H-@@ >>:>@>? >@:@:-G: @>:@:-@@ >>:@:@K @>:@A-@9 >>:@9. The Parable about the >: . The Parable about the T/o Sons. The -i&h Priests’ 3ecision to 7ill )hrist. The ppeal about the )up.esus )hrist. bout the Second )o"in&.The . The Parable about the Invited to a 4eddin& Ban5uet. The Parable about the Talents. The 0ord’s Entry into .@::?G-?9 ?: >@:?>.inedressers. The rchpriest Prayer. The 0ord nnounces of the Betrayer. bout the Greatest )o""and"ent. The Sha"in& of the Sadducees.

The Bribin& of the Guard. The ppearance in Galilee. The 3eath of .@?:?K-?F >H >K:>F. The Burial of the 0ord . The Trial over the 0ord+ -eld by -i&h Priests. The ppearance to the Ten 3isciples. Peter’s 1enounce"ent. . The scension of the 0ord @K:?9-GK >?:?AG@ @K:G9-KH >?:GAKG @K:KF-9G >?:KK9@ @9:> >G:> @9:A->: @9:>-A@ >G:>->F @9:A>-A@ >G:@:@> @9:AA-?? >G:@@A@ @@A?9-GA >H:@->@ @@:G?-KG >H:>@-@A @@:GG-K@ >H:>K->H@9 @@:KK-9> @AA>-@G >H:@->F:@@ @A:@K-A@ >F:>K->9 @A:AA-AH >F:>H-@? @A:AF-?A @9:?G-GK >G:AA?> @9:G9-KK >G:?@?9 >F:@G-@9 @A:??-?F >F:@H-A9 @A:G:-GK >F:AH-?@ @H:>-H >K:>-H @?:>->@ @::>->: @H:F->: >K:F->> @::F->: @H:>>->G >K:>@ @?:>A-AG >K:>? @?:AK-?G @::>F-@A @::@?-A> @>:>->? @>:>G-@G @H:>K-@: >K:>G. The 1epentance of the 4ise 1obber. The 1estoration of the postle Peter. The 1esurrection. The )rucifi'ion. The !other of God at the )ross. The ppearance at the Sea of Tiberias.esus ppears to !ary !a&dalene.udas. The rrival of the 4o"en !yrrh-Bearers at the To"b.The 0ord’s rrest. 0ord’s ppearance to -is 3isciples on the 1oad to E""aus. t the Trial of Pilate The )ruciferous 4ay to Gol&otha. The 3eath of )hrist.@?:G:-GA @: .esus )hrist. The Sanhedrin’s Sentence. Tho"as’s 3isbelief.