The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

St Cyril Of Alexandria’s Commentary On John 10:18-39

Posted by Dim Bulb on April 20, 2010


10:18. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.

In this place He teaches that He is not only a Good Shepherd enduring peril for the sake of His flock, but also in His Nature God. Therefore He would not have suffered death, had He not been willing, through His possessing the very God-befitting power of undertaking this work, so very advantageous to us. And the structure of the discourse taught the Jews this also, that they were never going to prevail against Him unless He was willing. And not only as regards laying down life did He say: I have power; but this expression: I have power, He used with regard to both His Death and His Resurrection, in order that the action of might and energy might not appear to be that of another, as though it were a concession granted to Him as to a minister and servant in office; but in order that He might display as a fruit of His own Nature the power to exercise authority over the very bonds of death, and easily to modify the natures of things in whatever way He wished, which is really a characteristic of Him Who is by Nature God. This then He wishes to show by saying: I have power to lay down |93 My life, and I have power to take it again: because, neither commanded as a servant or a minister, nor even as it were from necessity, nor being violently compelled by any, but willingly, He came to do this.

This commandment received I from My Father.

For lest any one should say that against the will of the Son the Father is not able to take away His life, and hence introduce discord and variance into the One Godhead of the Father and the Son; by these words which He says: I received commandment, He shows that the Father also agrees and consents to this, and professes that They come forward to it as with one accord, although He is the Will of the Father. And this will be found consistent also with His Incarnation. By saying that He received in the way of a commandment that which seemed right in the eyes of His Father, He being by Nature God does not make Himself inferior to the Father, but observes what befits His participation of man’s nature. Again, He puts us in mind that He is Himself the Prophet concerning Whom the Father said: He shall speak according as I shall command Him; speaking of the common Will of both Father and Son as received like a commandment. This He spake to the Jews lest they should think that He said things contrary to the ordinances of the Father. And if the Father named His own Consubstantial Son a Prophet, be not troubled; for when He became Man, then also the name of Prophet was suitable to Him, then also we may say that commandments were given to Him by the Father agreeably to His human nature. But one who receives commandments is not for that reason inferior or unlike in essence or nature to one who gives commandments, inasmuch as men give commandments to men, and angels to angels, and we do not for that reason say that those who are commanded are of different nature or inferior. Therefore the Son is not inferior to the Father, although He became Man, in order that He might become a Pattern of all virtue for us. By this means He also |94 teaches us that we ought to obey our parents in all things, although we are equal to them as regards our nature. And in some places when it is said by the Father: “I will command,” the meaning is: “I will deal fitly with,” as when He said: And I will command the whole world for their evil deeds, and the ungodly for their sins. Moreover there are times when the Son speaks with helpful condescension, so that we may as far as is possible get an understanding of the ineffable oracles: yet His having said: I received a commandment, does not make One Who is in His Nature God cease to be God. Either therefore say He is God and ascribe to Him all that properly befits the Godhead, or say plainly He is a creature. For the fact of having received a commandment does not strip any one of the qualities which naturally belong to him. But since the Son speaks whatever the Father commands Him, and He says: I and the Father are One, thou art obliged to say, either that the Father commanded the Son to tell the truth, or to tell a lie. For what the Son hath received commandment to speak, He speaketh; for He saith: The Father which sent Me, He hath given Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And although He also said: My Father is greater than I, that is nothing to the contrary. For in so far as He is in His Nature God, He is equal to the Father; but in so far as He became Man and humbled Himself, He in accordance with this speaks words which befit His Humanity. Nevertheless, as the name of commandment is something external to the essence of a person, it could not be made an objection to His Essence. For it is not in the Father’s giving Him commandment that the Son has His Being, nor could this ever be made the limit of His Essence. The Son, therefore, as being the Counsel and Wisdom of the Father, knows what is fittingly determined by Him; and if He receives it as a commandment, do not marvel. For by human modes of expression He signifies things beyond expression, and things unspeakable by our voices are brought down to the mode of expression usual amongst |95 us, so that we may be enabled to understand them. Accordingly let us blame, not the inconsistency of the matter, but the weakness of the words, which cannot reach to the full expression and accurate interpretation of the matters, as they ought.

19, 20, 21 There arose a division again among the Jews because of those words. And many of them said, He hath a devil and is mad: why hear ye Him? Others said, These are not the sayings of one possessed with a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?

The words of the Saviour go down into the hearts of His hearers, and those whom they find gentle and yielding they immediately mould and transform to a good condition, but those whom they find hard they recoil from or in some manner turn away from. So that he who has his mind somewhat prepared for fair reason will gladly receive the saving words, but he who is not so will not. Something of this sort was what happened to the people of the Jews to experience. For when they had heard the Saviour’s words, they are divided into two parties, and those who are more amenable to reason now incline towards the first principle of salvation, but the hard of heart become worse than they were at first. And the inspired Evangelist seems to be struck with astonishment as to how it happened that the people of the Jews were divided on account of these words. For I think it is very evident that from surprise at the hardness of those who did not believe he says: There arose a division because of these words; by means of which, he seems to imply, the Jews ought to have been fully persuaded that Jesus was the Christ. So wonderful were the words of the Saviour. But when even these words were spoken, by which it was fair to expect that even the very hard to catch would be ensnared into conviction, there arose a division among them. He marvels much therefore that they had given themselves over in an unholy manner to a shameless disregard of evidence. For I suppose it was just to accuse them in |96 proportion as it was reasonable to marvel at the words of Our Saviour. He certainly spake God-befitting words and such as went beyond man; and the magnificence and God-befitting boldness of His superhuman words drive the multitude to intemperate folly. And since it was usual for those who were in truth possessed with devils to speak evil very readily, being of course easily provoked to rage and outside the pale of all intelligence, and since they thought that the Lord was a mere man, not understanding that He was in His Nature God; for these reasons they said He had a devil, as one who blasphemed so intemperately. Because they heard Him say such things as it befitted only God to say. Looking upon Him as one like ourselves, and not yet knowing Who He was by Nature, they considered Him to speak evil when He spake in any way that befitted God. Therefore, agreeably to His Incarnation and condescendingly, because of the infirmity of His hearers, He also often employs our manner of speech. The people of the Jews therefore are divided: and some, understanding nothing whatever of the mysteries concerning Him, are insolent in an unholy manner; but others, who are more reasonable in their habit of mind, do not condemn Him rashly, but ruminate on His words, and carefully test them, and begin to perceive the sweetness in them. And in this way they arrive at a most praiseworthy discernment, and do not attribute to the babblings of a demoniac words so sober and full of the highest wisdom. For it is the custom of those [demons] when they are driving men mad, to speak beside the mark. The Pharisees therefore were more like demoniacs, who called by this name One Who was free of all disease; and did not notice that they were proclaiming the disease which was in themselves, and were doing no other than explaining in their folly the very evil that possessed themselves. And for my part I think that they speak with the highest degree of evil craftiness, when they say the Lord is demoniac. For since He charged them with being wretched and hireling shepherds, who abandoned their sheep to the |97 wolf, and cared altogether so little for their flock; being in no small alarm lest perhaps the people, understanding what was said, should now refuse any longer to be shepherded by them, and follow the instruction given by Christ; on this account, trying to cheat the understanding of the common people, they say: He hath a devil; why hear ye Him? But these words too, the words of those men who spake with evil craft, had the opposite result to that which they intended. And the others, judging from the quality of the words, discern that the words of the Lord are without blame, not such as would be those of one possessed with a devil: moreover, the miracles, says one, offer an irresistible testimony. For although you find fault with His words as not blamelessly spoken, yet it is impossible that any one can at the same time be possessed with a devil and do such works as only God is able to do. Therefore, fair judges recognised Him from His works and also from admiration of the words which He spake.

22, 23 And it was the feast of the dedication at Jerusalem, and it was winter; and Jesus was walking in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

But the Lord was not present at the feasts as one Who would share the feasting, for how could He? He Who said: I hate, I reject your feast days: but in order that He might speak His most profitable words in the presence of many people, showing Himself openly to the Jews, and to mingle Himself with them without being sought. And we must suppose that the feast of the dedication here signifies, either the chief feast [called by this name], in memory of that when Solomon performed the dedication; or [the other], when Zorobabel at a later time, together with Jeshua, rebuilt the temple, after the return from Babylon. And as it was winter and rainy weather at this time, probably all the people flocked to the porch. Therefore Christ also went there, in order that He might make Himself known to all who were willing to see Him, |98 and distribute blessings to them. For those who saw Him were provoked to ask somewhat of Him, because at holidays more than at other times men are naturally given to stir up anxiously such arguments.

24 The Jews therefore came round about Him, and said unto Him, How long dost Thou hold us in suspense? If Thou art the Christ, tell us plainly.

The envy which embitters them takes away all keenness to perceive what might lead to faith, but the greatness of the works He performed forces them to admiration. Nevertheless they find fault with His words, and say that the obscurity of His teaching stood in the way of their being able to understand what they ought to learn. They accordingly request Him to speak more clearly, although they had often heard Him and had received a long instruction on this point. For though He did not say distinctly: “I am the Christ,” yet He brought forward in His public teaching many statements of the honourable names which naturally belonged to Him, at one time saying: I am the Light of the world; and again at other times: I am the Resurrection and the Life; I am the Way; I am the Door; I am the Good Shepherd. Surely by these names which He gives Himself, He signifies that He is the Christ. For the Scripture is wont by such honourable names to decorate the Christ, although the Jews required Him to call Himself plainly by that title. Yet it would perhaps have been in vain and not very easy of acceptance to say in simple words: “I am the Christ,” unless actions followed for proof, by which it might have been reasonably believed that He was the Christ. And it is beyond comparison better that He should be recognised as the Christ, not from the words which He said, but from the attributes which naturally belong to Him, and from which the Divine Scriptures concerning Him foretell and declare that He would be manifestly known. Which things the Jews in their littleness of soul not understanding, they say: How |99 long dost Thou hold us in suspense? For it is usual for those who are contemptuous to speak thus.

25    Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believe not: the works that I do in My Fathers name, these bear witness of Me.

Even Christ therefore considered it superfluous to say the same things over again to those who had often heard them and had not been persuaded by them. For every one’s nature ought to be estimated from the quality of his works, and we ought by no means to look [solely] at his words. And He says of Himself that He accomplishes His works in His Father’s Name, not enjoying the use of power from above in the manner of an ordinary saint, nor accusing Himself of want of power, being God of God, Consubstantial with the Father, the Power of the Father; but as ascribing to the Divine Glory the Power of His performances, He says that He does His works in His Father’s Name. Yet He also gives the honour to the Father, lest He might give the Jews a pretext for attacking Him. Moreover He also thought it fitting not to overpass the limit of the form of a servant, although He was God and Lord. And by saying that in His Father’s Name He did His works, He teaches that the Jews blasphemed when they said that He cast out devils by Beelzebub. And since the Father does the marvellous deeds, not because He is a Father, but because He is in His Nature God; so the Son also, not because He is a Son, but as God of God, is able Himself to do the works of the Father: wherefore suitably to His Nature He said He did His works in His Father’s Name.

26, 27, 28 But ye believe Me not, because ye are not of My sheep. But as I said unto you, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.

A willing readiness to obey characterises the sheep of Christ, as disobedience marks those that are not His. For thus we understand the word “hear,” as equivalent to |100 “obey,” namely, the words that are spoken: and they who thus hear God are known by Him, and “known” signifies “brought into friendly relationship:” for no one is altogether unknown by God. When therefore He saith: I know Mine, He saith this: “I will receive them and bring them into friendly relationship both mystically and firmly. And any one might say that, inasmuch as He has become Man, He brought all men into friendly relationship by being of the same race; so that we are all united to Christ in a mystical relationship, inasmuch as He has become Man: but they are alienated from Him, who do not preserve the correspondent image of His holiness. For in this way also the Jews, who are united in a family relationship with Abraham the faithful, because they were unbelieving, were deprived of that kinship with him on account of the dissimilarity of character. And He saith: And My sheep follow Me; for they who are obedient and follow, by a certain God-given grace, in the footsteps of Christ, no longer serving the shadows of the Law, but the commandments of Christ, and giving heed to His words, through grace shall rise to His honourable Name, and be called sons of God. For when Christ ascends into the heavens, they also shall follow Him. And He says that He gives to those that follow Him as a recompense and reward, eternal life and exemption from death, or corruption, and from the torments that will be brought upon the transgressors by the Judge. And by the fact of His giving life, He shews that He is in His Nature Life, and that He furnishes this from Himself and not as receiving it from another. And we understand by eternal life, not [only] the length of days which all, both good and bad, are going to enjoy after the resurrection, but also the spending it in bliss.

It is possible also to understand by “life” the mystical blessing by which Christ implants in us His own life through the participation of His own Flesh by the faithful, according to that which is written: He that eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood hath eternal life. |101

29, 30 And no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, Which hath given them unto Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are One.

The faithful also have the succour of Christ, the devil not being able to snatch them; and they who have an endless enjoyment of good things, remain in it, no one henceforth snatching them away from the bliss that is given to them into punishment or torments. For it is not possible that they who are in Christ’s hand should be snatched away to be punished, because of Christ’s great might; for “the hand,” in the Divine Scripture, signifies “the power:” it cannot be doubted therefore that the hand of Christ is unconquerable and mighty to all things. But when He saw the Jews mocking at Him as being a mere man, not understanding that He Who to sight and touch was Man was in His Nature God, to persuade them that He is the power of the Father, He saith: No one shall snatch them from My Father’s hand, that is, from Mine. For He says that Himself is the all-powerful Right Hand of the Father, forasmuch as by Him the Father effecteth all things, even as by our hand the things are effected which we do. For in many places of the Scripture, Christ is named the Hand and Right Hand of the Father, which signifies the Power; and the all-producing energy and might of God is named simply His hand. For in some way the language used concerning God is always superior to bodily representation. And the Father is said to give to the Son, not as to one who had not alway creation under His hand, but as to Him Who is in His Nature Life; bringing us who are in need of life to the Son, that we may be made alive through Him Who is in His Nature Life, and has it of His own. But also, inasmuch as He has become Man, it is suitable for Him to ask and to receive from the Father things which He already had as being in His Nature God.

For Christ, having admitted what pertained to His humanity, recurs to His God-befitting dignity, taking |102 pleasure in the advantages of His Nature for the profit of the faithful and for the sake of sound faith, which is, never at all to suspect that the Son is inferior to the Father. For thus He is shewn to be the undamaged Image of the Father, preserving in Himself whole and sound the Very Impress of the Father. And we say the Son and the Father are One, not blending their Individualities by the use of that number, as do some who say that the Father and the Son are the same [Person], but believing the Father by Himself and the Son by Himself to personally subsist; and collecting the two into One Sameness of Essence, also knowing them to possess one might, so that it is seen without variation now in One and now in the Other.

I and the Father are One. By the word “One” He signifies the Sameness of their Essence: and by the word “are” He severs into two that which is understood, and again binds them up into One Godhead.

But this also we must understand, in opposition to the Arians, that in His saying: I and the Father are One, there is signified, not the proof of sameness of will, but the Oneness of their Essence. For indeed the Jews understood that in saying this, He said that Himself was God and equal to the Father; and Christ did not deny that He had said this as they understood it.

31 The Jews therefore took up stones again to stone Him.

For not refraining themselves from Him, when He said that Himself was One with the Father, they rush to kill Him; although each of the works wrought by Him proclaimed that He was in His Nature God. And not only now, but on other occasions also when they took up stones to kill Him, they stood motionless through the power of Christ; so that it became evident from this also, that He would not suffer except He was willing. Moreover in His gentleness Christ checked their unreasonable impulse, saying not: “For which of the words that I said, are ye angry?” but: “For which of the works that I did?” For |103 if I had not done, He says, many God-befitting works which shew that I am in My Nature God, ye might be reasonably angry with Me now, hearing Me say that I and the Father are One. But I should not have said this, had I not shewn it by all things that I did. And He speaks of the works as from the Father, not from Himself, shewing this modesty for our profit, so that we may not boast when we receive anything from God. And He says the works were shown from the Father, not to indicate that the power exhibited in them was other than His own, but to teach that they were the works of the whole Godhead. And we understand One Godhead in Father and Son and Holy Spirit. For whatsoever the Father does, this is accomplished by the Son in the Spirit; and again, what the Son does, this the Father is said to do in the Spirit. Wherefore also Christ saith: I do nothing of Myself, but the Father abiding in Me, He doeth the works.

33 For a good work we stone Thee not, but for blasphemy.

Having a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge, they became angry when they heard Christ saying: I and the Father are One. For what was the impediment to His being One with the Father, if they believed that He was God by Nature? Wherefore also they attempt to stone Him, and in self-defence giving the reason why they did so, they say: “We stone Thee, not on account of the good works which Thou didst, but because Thou blasphemest.” They were the blasphemers, on the contrary, because they wished to stone One Who was truly God, not knowing that Jesus was destined to come, not in the undisguised Godhead, but Incarnate of the Seed of David; [and thus] they speak of His true confession as blasphemy.

I said, Ye are gods, &c.

Since therefore the Father called certain men gods, and of necessity the honourable name was something external, super-added to them, for He Who is God by Nature is One only; lest Jesus also should be deemed to be one |104 of that class—-clothed in the glory of the Godhead, not as essentially His own, but rather as something external, super-added to Himself, in the same way as was the case with those others—-He as a matter of necessity clearly distinguishes Himself from them. For He shews that He differed so far from their poverty, that when He was in them, [then only, and] on that very account they were called gods: because He is the Word of God the Father. And if the Word, being in them, was in any cases sufficient to make those who were really [only] men shine with the honour of the Godhead; how could He be anything else than God by Nature, Who bestowed freely even upon those others His splendour in this way?

Now convicting the Jews, that not because He said: I and the Father are One, they were stoning Him, but without reason; He says: “If, because I said I was God, 1 seem to blaspheme; why, when the Father said by the Law to certain men: Ye are gods, did ye not judge that to be blasphemy?” And this He says, not as instigating them to say anything against the Father, but to convict them of being ignorant of the Law and the inspired Scriptures. And seeing that the difference between those who were called gods and Him Who is in His Nature God is great, through the words which He uses, He teaches us the distinction; for if the men unto whom the Word of God came were called gods, and were illumined with the honour of the Godhead, by admitting and receiving the Word of God into their soul, how could He through Whom they became gods, be other than in His Nature God? For the Word was God, according to the language of John, Who also bestowed this illumination on the others. For if the Word of God through the Holy Spirit leads up to superhuman grace, and adorns with a Divine honour those in whom He may be, Why, saith He, say ye that I blaspheme when I call Myself Son of God and God? Although by the works I have done from Him I am borne witness to as in My Nature God. For having sanctified Me He sent Me into the world to be the Saviour of the |105 world; and it is the attribute only of One in His Nature God, to be able to save men from the devil and from sin and from corruption.

But perhaps when the Divine Scripture saith that the Son was sent from the Father, the heretic straightway deems the expression a support to his own error, and will say in all probability: “Ye who refuse to speak of the Son as inferior to the Father, do ye not see that He was sent from Him, as from a superior and a greater one?” What then shall we say? Surely, that the mention of His being sent is particularly suitable to the measure of His self-humiliation; for thou nearest that Paul, uniting Both, then says that the Son was sent from the Father, when He was also made of a woman and under the Law as a Man amongst us, although being “Lawgiver and Lord. And if the Son be understood as made in the form of a servant, then said to be sent from the Father, He suffers no damage whatever, with regard to His being also Consubstantial with Him and Coequal in glory and in no respect at all falling short. For the expressions used among ourselves, if they are applied to God, do not admit of being accurately tested; and I say that we ought not to understand them just exactly as they are usually understood among ourselves, but as far as may be suitable to the Divine and Supreme Nature itself. For what [else could happen], unless the tongue of man possessed words competent to suffice for setting forth the Divine glory? Accordingly it is absurd that the preeminence of the glory which is highest of all should suffer injury through the weakness of the human tongue and its poverty of expression. Remember that which Solomon says: The glory of the Lord maketh language obscure. For when we waste our labour in trying to express accurately the glory of the Lord, we are like to those who wish to measure the heavens by a span. Therefore when anything is said concerning God in words generally applied to men, it must be understood in a manner befitting God. Else what wilt thou do when thou hearest David singing in his psalm: |106 O Thou that sittest upon the Cherubim, shew Thyself; stir up Thy strength and come to save us? For how does the Incorporeal sit? And where does He call upon the God of the universe to come to for us, the God Who saith by the Prophets: Do not I fill heaven and earth, saith the Lord? Where therefore should He come to for us, when He filleth all things? Again, it is written that some were building a tower to reach unto heaven, and the Lord came down to see the city and the tower; and the Lord said, Gome and let Us go down and there confound their tongues. Where did the Lord go down? Or in what manner doth the Holy Trinity urge Itself on to the descent? And how, tell me, did the Saviour Himself also promise to send to us the Paraclete from heaven? For where or whence is That Which filleth all things sent? For the Spirit of the Lord filleth the world, as it is written.

Therefore the expressions ordinarily used of ourselves signify things above us, if they are spoken concerning God. Dost thou wish to understand any of those things so difficult of comprehension? Then thy mind proves too weak to grasp them, and dost thou perceive that it is so? Be not provoked to anger, O man, but confess the weakness of thy nature, and remember him that said: Seek not out the things that are above thy strength. When thou di-rectest thy bodily eye to the orb of the sun, immediately thou turnest it away again, overcome by the sudden influx of the light. Know therefore that the Divine Nature also dwells in unapproachable light; unapproachable, that is, by the understandings of those who over-busily look into it. Therefore also when things concerning God are expressed in language ordinarily used of men, we ought not to think of anything base, but to remember that the wealth of the Divine Glory is being mirrored in the poverty of human expression. For what if the Son is sent from the Father? Shall He then on this account be inferior? But when from the solar body its light is sent forth, is that of a different nature from it and inferior to it? Is it not foolish merely to suppose such a thing for |107 a moment? Therefore the Son, being the Light of the Father, is sent to us, as we may say, from a Sun that darteth forth Its Beam; which indeed David also entreats may take place, saying: O send out Thy Light and Thy Truth. And if it is a glory to the Father to have the Light, how dost thou call that in which He is glorified inferior to Him? And the Son Himself also says concerning Himself: Whom the Father sanctified and sent. Now the word sanctified” is used in the Scripture in many senses. For it is said that anything dedicated to God is sanctified. For instance He said unto Moses: Sanctify unto Me all the firstborn. And again, that is sanctified which is prepared by God for the execution of any of His designs, for He speaks thus concerning Cyrus and the Medes, when He determined that they should make war against the city of the Babylonians; The mighty ones are come to fulfil Mine anger, being both joyous and proud; they have been sanctified, and I lead them. And again, that is sanctified which is made to participate of the Holy Spirit. Therefore the Son saith that Himself is sanctified by the Father, as having been prepared by Him for the restitution of the life of the world, and for the destruction of those who oppose Him; or still further, in so far as He was sent to be slain for the salvation of the world; for indeed those things are called holy which are set apart as an offering to God. And we say that He was sanctified, even as men like ourselves are, when He became flesh: for His Flesh was sanctified, although it was not in its nature holy, by being received into union with the Word; and because this is come to pass, He is sanctified by the Father; for the Godhead of Father and Son and Holy Spirit is One.

37, 38 If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not. But if I do, though ye believe not Me, believe My works: that ye may know and believe that the Father is in Me and I in Him.

What He says is this. Though it is easy for any one to call God Father, yet to demonstrate the fact by works |108 is hard and impossible to a creature. By works however of a God-befitting character, He says, I am seen to be equal to God the Father: and there is no defence for your unbelief since you have learnt that I am equal to the Father by the evidence of the God-befitting works which I do, although as regards the flesh I seemed to be one among you like an ordinary man. Hence it is possible to perceive that I am in the Father and the Father in Me. For the sameness of their Essence makes the Father to be and to be seen in the Son, and the Son in the Father. For truly even among ourselves the essence of our father is recognised in him that is begotten of him, and in the parent again that of the child. For the delineation of their nature is one in them all, and they all are by nature one. But when we distinguish ourselves by our bodies, the many are no longer one; a distinction which cannot be mentioned concerning One Who is God by Nature, for whatever is Divine is incorporeal, although we conceive of the Holy Trinity as in distinct Subsistences. For the Father is the Father and not the Son; the Son again is the Son and not the Father; and the Holy Spirit is peculiarly the Spirit: although They are not at variance, through Their fellowship and unity One with Another.

The Holy Trinity is known in the Father and in the Son and in the Holy Spirit. But the designation of each one of These Who have been enumerated denotes not a part of the Trinity, but the Whole of It; since in truth God is undivided and simple, although distributed in These Subsistences.

Therefore, as there is but One Godhead in Father and Son and Holy Spirit, we say that the Father is seen in the Son, and the Son in the Father. And it is necessary to know this other point also, that it is not the wishing the same things as the Father, nor the possessing one will with Him, that makes the Son say: I am in the Father, and the Father in Me, and: I and the Father are One; but because, being the genuine Offspring of the Essence of the Father, He shews forth the Father in Himself, and |109 Himself also is shewn forth in the Father. For He says that He wills and speaks and effects the same things as the Father, and easily performs what He wishes, even as the Father doth, in order that He may be acknowledged in all respects Consubstantial with Him, and a true Fruit of His Essence; and not merely as having a relative unity with Him, only in similarity of will and the laws of love; which unity we say belongs also to His creatures. (source)

5 Responses to “St Cyril Of Alexandria’s Commentary On John 10:18-39”

  1. […] St Cyril Of Alexandria On John 10:18-39.  The link below has a much shorter excerpt. […]

  2. […] St Cyril of Alexandria on Today’s Gospel. Previously posted. This post is on John 10:18-39 but the commentary on today’s passage, verses 22-20, can be easily found. […]

  3. […] St Cyril of Alexandria on Today’s Gospel. Previously posted. This post is on John 10:18-39 but the commentary on today’s passage, verses 22-20, can be easily found. […]

  4. […] St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (John 10:22-30). Post is actually on verses 18-39. […]

  5. […] St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (John 10:22-30). Post is actually on verses 18-39. […]

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