Wednesday, 30 July 2014

St Luke 7:17-35

Chapter 7 brings us back to St John the Baptist:

17 Et exiit hic sermo in universam Judæam de eo, et in omnem circa regionem.18 Et nuntiaverunt Joanni discipuli ejus de omnibus his. 19 Et convocavit duos de discipulis suis Joannes, et misit ad Jesum, dicens: Tu es qui venturus es, an alium exspectamus? 20 Cum autem venissent ad eum viri, dixerunt: Joannes Baptista misit nos ad te dicens: Tu es qui venturus es, an alium exspectamus? 21 (In ipsa autem hora multos curavit a languoribus, et plagis, et spiritibus malis, et cæcis multis donavit visum.) 22 Et respondens, dixit illis: Euntes renuntiate Joanni quæ audistis et vidistis: quia cæci vident, claudi ambulant, leprosi mundantur, surdi audiunt, mortui resurgunt, pauperes evangelizantur: 23 et beatus est quicumque non fuerit scandalizatus in me. 24 Et cum discessissent nuntii Joannis, cœpit de Joanne dicere ad turbas: Quid existis in desertum videre? arundinem vento agitatam? 25 Sed quid existis videre? hominem mollibus vestibus indutum? Ecce qui in veste pretiosa sunt et deliciis, in domibus regum sunt. 26 Sed quid existis videre? prophetam? Utique dico vobis, et plus quam prophetam: 27 hic est, de quo scriptum est: Ecce mitto angelum meum ante faciem tuam, qui præparabit viam tuam ante te. 28 Dico enim vobis: major inter natos mulierum propheta Joanne Baptista nemo est: qui autem minor est in regno Dei, major est illo. 29 Et omnis populus audiens et publicani, justificaverunt Deum, baptizati baptismo Joannis. 30 Pharisæi autem et legisperiti consilium Dei spreverunt in semetipsos, non baptizati ab eo. 31 Ait autem Dominus: Cui ergo similes dicam homines generationis hujus? et cui similes sunt? 32 Similes sunt pueris sedentibus in foro, et loquentibus ad invicem, et dicentibus: Cantavimus vobis tibiis, et non saltastis: lamentavimus, et non plorastis. 33 Venit enim Joannes Baptista, neque manducans panem, neque bibens vinum, et dicitis: Dæmonium habet. 34 Venit Filius hominis manducans, et bibens, et dicitis: Ecce homo devorator, et bibens vinum, amicus publicanorum et peccatorum. 35 Et justificata est sapientia ab omnibus filiis suis.

[17] And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judea, and throughout all the country round about. [18] And John' s disciples told him of all these things. [19] And John called to him two of his disciples, and sent them to Jesus, saying: Art thou he that art to come; or look we for another? [20] And when the men were come unto him, they said: John the Baptist hath sent us to thee, saying: Art thou he that art to come; or look we for another? [21] (And in that same hour, he cured many of their diseases, and hurts, and evil spirits: and to many that were blind he gave sight.) [22] And answering, he said to them: Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, to the poor the gospel is preached: [23] And blessed is he whosoever shall not be scandalized in me. [24] And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak to the multitudes concerning John. What went ye out into the desert to see? a reed shaken with the wind? [25] But what went you out to see? a man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are in costly apparel and live delicately, are in the houses of kings.[26] But what went you out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say to you, and more than a prophet. [27] This is he of whom it is written: Behold I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee. [28] For I say to you: Amongst those that are born of women, there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist. But he that is the lesser in the kingdom of God, is greater than he. [29] And all the people hearing, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with John' s baptism. [30] But the Pharisees and the lawyers despised the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized by him.[31] And the Lord said: Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? [32] They are like to children sitting in the marketplace, and speaking one to another, and saying: We have piped to you, and you have not danced: we have mourned, and you have not wept. [33] For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and you say: He hath a devil. [34] The Son of man is come eating and drinking: and you say: Behold a man that is a glutton and a drinker of wine, a friend of publicans and sinners. [35] And wisdom is justified by all her children.

Commentary 

de Lapide:

Ver. 29.—And the publicans justified God. Confessed the goodness of God in sending the Baptist, and in offering them salvation through his baptism and preaching. See verse 35; 1 Tim. iii. 16; and S. Matt. xi. l9.

There is a question whether this verse and the one following, give the words of the Evangelist or of our Lord Himself. But as the opening words of the 31st verse, “and the Lord said,” are absent from the best MSS., we may conclude, with Maldonatus, that these two verses are a part of the continuous discourse of Christ.

Ver. 30.—But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, either within themselves, i.e. in their hearts, because they did not dare openly contravene His words, or as against themselves, i.e. for their own condemnation. Bede.

Catena Aurea:

...CYRIL; Or he asks the question by economy. For as the forerunner he knew the mystery of Christ's passion, but that his disciples might be convinced how great was the excellence of the Savior, he sent the more understanding of them, instructing them to inquire and learn from the very words of the Savior, whether it was He who was expected; as it is added, But when the men were come to him, they said, John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, Are you He, &c.

But He knowing as God with what intention John had sent them, and the cause of their coming, was at the time performing many miracles, as it follows, And in the same hour he healed many of their infirmities, &c. He said not positively to them I am he, but rather leads them to the certainty of the fact, in order that receiving their faith in Him, with their reason agreeing thereto, they might return to him who sent them.

Hence He made not answer to the words, but to the intention of him who sent them; as it follows, And Jesus answering said, to them, Go your way, and tell John what things you have seen and, heard: as if He said, Go and tell John the things which you have heard indeed through the Prophets, but have seen accomplished by Me. For He was then performing those things which the Prophets prophesied He would do; that is of which it is added, For the blind see, the lame walk.

AMBROSE; An ample testimony surely that the Prophets acknowledged the Lord. For of the Lord Himself it was prophesied, that the Lord gives food to the hungry, raises up them that are bowed down, looses the prisoners, opens the eyes of the blind, and that he who does these things shall reign for ever. Such then are not the tokens of human, but divine power. But these are found seldom or not at all before the Gospel. Tobias alone received sight, and this was the cure of an Angel, not of a man. Elias raised the dead, but he prayed and wept, and then commended. Elisha caused the cleansing of a leper: yet then the cause was not so much in the authority of the command as in the figure of the mystery.

THEOPHYL. These are also the words of Elias, saying, The Lord himself shall come and save us. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart.

THEOPHYL; And what is not less than these, the poor have the Gospel preached to them, that is, the poor are enlightened by the Spirit, or hidden treasures, that there might be no difference between the rich and the poor. These things prove the faith of the Master, when all who can be saved by Him are equal...

AMBROSE; But we have before said, that mystically John was the type of the Law, which was the forerunner of Christ. John then sends his disciples to Christ, that they might obtain the filling up of their knowledge, for Christ is the fulfilling of the Law. And perhaps those disciples are the two nations, of whom the one of the Jews believed, the other of the Gentiles believed because they heard. They wished then to see, because blessed are the eyes that see. But when they shall have come to the Gospel, and found that the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, then shall they say, "We have seen with out eyes," for we seem to ourselves to see Him whom we read of. Or perhaps through the instrumentality of a certain part of our Body we all seem to have traced out the course of our Lord's passion; for faith comes through the few to the many. The Law then announces that Christ will come, the writings of the Gospel prove that He has come...

AMBROSE; God is justified by baptism, wherein men justify themselves confessing their sins. For he that sins and confesses his sin to God justifies God, submitting himself to Him who overcomes, and hoping for grace from Him; God therefore is justified by baptism, in which there is confession and pardon of sin. EUSEB. Because also they believed, they justified God, for He appeared just to them in all that He did. But the disobedient conduct of the Pharisees in not receiving John, accorded not with the words of the prophet, That you might be justified when you speak. Hence it follows, But the P
AUG. Or, when he says, wisdom is justified of all her children, he show that the children of wisdom understand that righteousness consists neither in abstaining from nor eating food, but in patiently enduring want. For not the use of such things, but the coveting after them, must be blamed; only let a man adapt himself to the kind of food of those with whom he lives.

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