Monday, Sept 5: St Cyril of Alexandria on Luke 6:6-11
Posted by Dim Bulb on September 3, 2011
6:6-9. And He was teaching: and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and Pharisees watched if he would heal on the sabbath: that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts and said to the man who had the withered hand: Arise and stand forth in the midst. And rising he stood forth. Then Jesus said to them: I ask you, if it be lawful on the sabbath days to do good or to do evil? To save life or to destroy?
But His teaching was ever of things too high for reason, and such as made plain to His hearers the pathway of salvation opened through Him: and immediately after His teaching He displayed His godlike power, having first by words smoothed, as it were, the road to belief. For the miracle sometimes converts unto faith those who had disbelieved the word. But the Pharisees watched Him, to see if He would heal on the sabbath: for such is the nature of an envious man, that he makes the praises of others food for his own disease, and wickedly is maddened by their reputation. And what once more said He to this, Who knoweth all things, Who searcheth the hearts, and understandeth whatever is therein? “For with Him is the light,” as Scripture declares. “He spake to him that had the withered hand, Stand forth into the midst.” And why did He do this? It might perhaps be to move the cruel and unpitying Pharisee to compassion: the man’s malady perhaps might shame them, and persuade them to allay the flames of envy.
6:9-10. I will ask you something: Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? And looking round about on them all, he said to the man: Stretch forth thy hand. And he stretched it forth. And his hand was restored.
Most wise in very deed is this question, and a statement most suitable to meet their folly. For if it be lawful to do good on the sabbath, and nothing prevents the sick being pitied by God, cease thus picking up opportunities for faultfinding against Christ, and bringing down on thy own head the sentence which the Father has decreed against those who dishonour the Son: for thou hast heard Him where He says of Him by the voice of David, “And I will cut off His enemies from before His face, and put to flight those that hate Him.” But if it be not lawful to do good on the sabbath, and the law forbids the saving of life, thou hast made thyself an accuser of the law, thou hast slandered the commandment, for which the ministry of Moses is regarded with admiration. No, he replies, the God of all did not enact the law of the sabbath for Himself, but for us rather, whose neck is bowed to it. Thou sayest well; I assent to thy words; therefore that which is divine is free from the compulsion of the law. Why, then, dost thou blame Christ for wishing also to shew mercy on the sabbath, and benefit a living soul? And were it our wish to examine closely the law enacted for the sabbath, we should find it ordained by God for purposes of mercy. For He commanded to do no work on the sabbath, and entirely to abstain from labour, and even to give rest at the same time to the irrational animals. For He said, that its purpose was, “that thy manservant may rest, and thy maidservant, thy ox, and thy beast of burden, and all thy cattle.” But He Who has mercy on the ox and other animals, how would not He pity on the sabbath day a man who was attacked by a severe and irremediable malady?
6:11. And they ware filled with madness.
Is not the miracle enough to produce faith? Thou seest Him working with godlike dignity, and with supreme power healing the sick, and travaillest thou with murder, bred of envy and malice? ((Source).)