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 Homiletic Commentary on John 15:9-17

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 22, 2011

9, 10 Even as the Father hath loved Me, I also have loved you: abide ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father s commandments and abide in His love.

We must consider the mysteries set forth in the text with the clearer eye of the understanding; for the saying has a deep meaning, and puts before us in its completeness, so to speak, the significance of the Incarnation. For He assures us that He Himself was loved by God the Father, and that He so loved us in turn, after the same manner, that is, according to which He Himself considered that He was loved by His own Father. What charge then did He lay upon them? That it is our duty to abide in His love. But He gives, as it were, an explanation and most convincing reason of His being with justice loved by the Father, namely, the keeping of His commandments; and exhorts us, too, to hasten to fulfil this, and thus, He says, to remain in His love. We have clearly shown what His meaning is then, summing up and condensing into small compass the sense of the passage, so far as possible. But since I think it right to rob of its terrors that which is likely sometimes to disturb in no small degree the mind of the pure, come, let us say how and in what way we apprehend the meaning of the passage. Our Lord Jesus Christ then appears, setting Himself forth as a type and pattern of the holy state of life, and as being on this account under the Law, and not disdaining to take the measure of our poverty, in order that designedly moulding Himself, according to His plan, into conformity with our dispositions, He might be found as in figures to those that are His, a guide of the way to our recovery of a state and of a life strange to us and wholly untrodden. We must now inquire then what commandment of the Father He has kept, and in what way, or in what manner He is said to have been loved by Him. Let then the most wise Paul come to our aid, and initiate us into |395 the mystery by his words concerning Him; how being in the form of God, He emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, He hath humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death; yea, the death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted Him, and gave unto Him the Name which is above every name. You have heard how, though He was the true God, seeing that He was of the same fashion with His Father, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death. For when God determined to save the corrupted race upon the earth, and it did not satisfy justice that any created being should accomplish this, the Only-begotten God, Who knows the Will of God the Father, Himself undertook the task, as the enterprise exceeded all the power that there was in the world. And thus He came down to a voluntary subjection, so as even to descend to death, and that a most shameful one. For how could the being nailed to a cross be honourable, and how would it not rather pass every disgrace? Since therefore He endured these things, God hath highly exalted Him. You have therefore in His willing obedience the fulfilment of the purposes of the Father; which purposes, the Son says, were ranked by Him as commands. For understanding as Word the counsels in the Father, and searching out the secret thoughts of Him that begat Him, nay rather being Himself the Wisdom and the Power of the Father, He realises His plan, accounting it as a command, and thus naming it after a human analogy. And see herein the measure of His love. For God hath highly exalted Him, He says. He exalts and glorifies Him that was already exalted and glorified; although He is by nature very God; inasmuch as He does not exist as one of the creatures, according to the identity of His Substance, on this account being deemed, and being in reality, beyond all height that is conceived, and even the Lord of Glory,according to the holy writings. But of a truth, He says, |396 He is exalted and glorified; how, or when, and in what way? When of course, He was in the form of a servant and in the likeness of our humiliation; that is, man like ourselves. For He returns clothed with our flesh to be again highly exalted and glorified with the Father. And He was loved by Him, and not then for the first time, when He fulfilled His voluntary subjection; and you will better understand this by the following considerations. For according to the manner in which He was always exalted and glorified, with reference to His Own Nature, He that was bereft of the glory suited to God, so far as the definition of His Humanity was concerned, is said to have been glorified and exalted when He became Man. For being thus from the beginning loved always and through all time, He is said to have been loved even when clothed in flesh. For on this account He appeared amongst us; that is, He took our form upon Him and became Man, in order that He might make pleasing to God that which was hated on account of the transgression at the beginning, and the sin which had crept in in the interval. For, for this reason, Christ is said to have appeared as the Door, and the Beginning, and the Way of all things good to us. Does He then tell you that He has been loved without reproach, because His Father’s commands have been kept by Him? Did not the declaration of the mystery seem difficult to you, and was not the deep meaning of the Incarnation accomplished in our behalf hardly attainable by your reason? But they are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

Abide therefore, He says, in My love; that is, coming with all zeal and ardour, make it the object of your anxiety and concern to be worthy of such a love from Me as I have from God the Father. For I was an obedient worker of the wishes of the Father, and on this account I abide closely in His love. But when ye also yourselves become keepers of My commandments, ye in a like manner will wholly abide in My |397 love. You will have then, He says, no excuse for apathy in the work. For you will not bestow labour on these things without profit. For I shall manifestly give you as much love as I have from the Father; and crown the keeper of My words with honours almost equal. For the Father has highly exalted Me, and has given Me the Name which is above every name. For I have been declared God of the universe, yet I shall not be found envious or to grudge you such good things. For I have shown you, who are men, and who have for this reason received the nature of slaves, to be gods, and sons of God; making you illustrious through My grace with dignities surpassing your nature to receive; have admitted you into the fellowship of My kingdom; have shown you conformed to the Body of My glory; have honoured you with incorruption and life. But this standeth as yet but in hope, and is preserved for the age that is to come. And what have ye now for the time present? Have I not made you illustrious, and glorified you, and made you holy beyond the devotees of all nations? Nay, ye have rebuked the unclean spirits; I have given you power to heal all manner of disease, and all manner of sickness. I have given the promise unto you: Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do. If we allow our minds to be impressed with the sense of the passage before us, we shall think that this is what He says to His holy disciples. And if we at all times keep our mind yoked fast to the doctrines of the truth, and if we turn the investigation into which we enter so far as we can to the profit of our hearers and to foster the practice of a righteous life, we shall avoid foolishly falling over any stumblingblock in the way. For it is written in the Book of Psalms: Great is the peace that they have who love Thy law; and they have no stumblingblock in their path. |398

11 These things have I spoken unto you that My joy may abide in you, and that your joy may be fulfilled.

When, after introducing to us the parable of the vine, He went on to teach us that the branch which is separated and sundered, as it were, from the mother who nourishes it will be wholly useless, and doomed to be consumed by fire, He thereby terrified His disciples not a little. For awful tidings, even though they have no reference to the present, are likely to cause no little alarm to their hearers, especially when the obscurity of the future engenders the suspicion that what they hear may come to pass. Just as the voyager who is about to cross the sea before him, when it seems probable that a storm will actually arise, and the billows rage, and the wild waves lash themselves in fury, even though he do not see these things before his eyes, and they stand yet merely in expectation, and that perhaps baseless, fears them as though they were in his sight. He then fitly raises up anew His disciples, trembling and struck with terror at these dreadful tidings, and stupefied by the thought of future trials, to a sustained courage; and leaving His sad discourse, speaks to them of their joy of heart in God. For it is not, He says, O My disciples, for this cause that I have now spoken these words unto you, to rob your minds of courage, or to inspire in you a vague terror, nor that you should be found altogether broken down by the thought of evil to come, and unable to endure to secure your own blessedness, but that you might be quite otherwise affected, and have pleasure of heart in Me, and that My joy should abide in you.

And I think we ought to consider more attentively what the sense of this passage is, and what Christ wishes us to take as His meaning. We must take it then as having a twofold meaning: for either one may say the words that you may have joy concerning Me or in Me, as used in an argument which bears no |399 meaning but the obvious one: for so ye yourselves may make your own power complete, reflecting on the reward of blessings which exceed all things earthly, and the return that your exertions will win, and the greatness of your glory with God; or considering it in another sense, we will not shrink from entering upon a more profound inquiry. For we ought most eagerly and keenly to hunt in all reverence for the aim of all these investigations. What do then the words that My joy may be in you signify? Do they mean that the Only-begotten is as we are, that is, a Man, only without sin, resolved to undergo all the sufferings which the accursed madness of the Jews compelled Him to experience? For we shall find Him insulted and persecuted, and buffeted with bitter reproaches, and spat upon, and beaten with rods, and not exempt from the insult of the scourge, and, last of all, to crown all this, nailed to the cross through our means and for our sakes. And in the presence of all this awful suffering, He was not bowed down in agony, and did not even shrink from the ignominy of suffering as His plan required, but was full of the pleasure of heart and joy which became Him, since He saw the multitude of those who were saved, and the Will of God the Father fulfilled. For this cause He accounted dishonour joy, and thought suffering pleasure. For when they dared against Him many things repugnant to His nature, we shall find it written that Jesus then rejoiced in the Spirit, and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and understanding, and didst reveal them unto babes: yea, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in Thy sight. Note that when He saw wisdom given to babes and simple folk, He rejoiced and exulted by the Spirit, and offered up thanks, as in our behalf, to the Father Who saves us; but when He passed through the land of the Samaritans, and was wearied with His journey, as it is written, He sat by the well of Jacob. But when the |400 woman represented to Him the need of drawing water, He told her what was likely to come to pass; and foretold that a multitude of Samaritans would come, and seemed to make of small account the necessaries of life. For what did He say to His disciples, when they counselled Him to partake of what they had to eat? My meat is to do the will of My Father, and to accomplish His work. Is it not thereby clear that He accounted the fulfilling of His Father’s Will, that is, providing a refuge in salvation for the backsliders, as pleasure and joy? It is beyond doubt.

All this then, He says, I have spoken unto you, that My joy may be in you; that those things may give you encouragement that give encouragement to Me; that you may face perils bravely, girding yourselves with the hope of those who will be saved; and, if suffering come upon you in this work, that ye may not be brought low into the feebleness of apathy, but may joy more abundantly, when the pleasure of Him That willeth that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth is fulfilled by you. For I, too, rejoiced at this, and thought My sufferings very sweet. When then, He says, you elect to have this joy, which I thought became Myself, then you will have it perfect and complete.

For we think that joy most full and complete, which is in God, and through God, and results from good works, through the fixity and stability of the hope; and because it arose from a proper source, not only we, but also Jesus Himself took pleasure in it. And we say that the joy which is of the world is incomplete: because it is clearly transient and excited by unworthy causes; earthly things which flit away like phantoms and shadows. Just as we say that hatred is perfect which has a just and righteous origin amongst us; just as, of course, the blessed David says about the opponents of the glory of God, I hated them with a perfect hatred; and perfect love that which prepares those who have chosen it, in God and through God, to offer themselves wholly |401 unto God; not that which is fixed on any earthly objects, and things worthy of no account.

12, 13 This is My commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

He now makes clearer by the illustration here given the meaning of the preceding passage; that is, the necessity of His disciples having His joy in them; and clearly says, “I give you this injunction, and teach those who think they ought to follow Me to do this, and be thus minded to practise such manner of love towards one another as I have heretofore shown and fulfilled.” How great a measure can a man then find to the love of Christ, He Himself shows when He says that nothing can be greater than such love, which excites to forsake life itself for those one loves. And by all this He not only exhorts His own disciples that it becomes them so little to shrink from fearing to encounter dangers for those they love, but that also He Himself without shrinking held Himself in utmost readiness to undergo the death of the flesh. For the power of our Saviour’s love attained so great a measure. And these words were borne out by His action, and by His encouragement to His disciples to attain an exceeding great and extraordinary courage, and by His exhorting them to the perfection of brotherly love, and fencing their hearts with the armour of enthusiasm and love of God, and raising them up into a zeal invincible and undaunted, so as impetuously to hasten to establish everything according to His good pleasure. Such a man Paul showed himself to us, when he said, For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. And again: For the love of Christ constraineth us: because we thus judge that one died for all, therefore all died. And besides: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or anguish, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Note how he promises that nothing |402 shall be able to overcome it or prevail to cut us off from the love of Christ. But if tending the flocks and feeding the lambs of Christ be to love Him, is it not quite clear that he who preaches the word of salvation to those who know not God will prevail over death, persecution, and the sword, and will think distress of no account at all? And, if it be fitting to condense the meaning and to compress the words of our Saviour, and to express in a few words what He wishes His disciples to do, He bids them to keep their hearts undaunted and free from every fear, and minister the word of faith in Him, and to preach the Gospel to all who are in the world. And the selfsame command He gives by the word of the prophet Esaias: O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain. O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; be strong, fear not. And we shall find that the holy disciples themselves have power to do this aright, when they ask of God by earnest prayer: for on one occasion, accusing the madness of the Jews, they exclaimed: And now, Lord, look upon their threatenings: and grant unto Thy servants to speak Thy word with boldness.

For those who resist and impiously rail against such as openly minister the Gospel are very many. But even if the terror be keen and the waves of evil counsel rise up most dreadfully, there will be no mention of suffering among His true disciples until the righteous acts that proceed from love attain their end—-such love, I mean, as our Saviour set forth to us as a pattern, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, in order that He might accomplish salvation for those who have sinned. And if He had not been willing to suffer for us, we should be still dead, servants of the devil, fools and blind, and remaining in need of everything good, and slaves of pleasure and sin; having no hope, and without God in the world. But now the Saviour has even given His life for us from the love that He has unto us, and, exhibiting an incomparable love of |403 mankind, has made us enviable and thrice-blessed, in want of no manner of thing that is good.

The meaning then of the text as thus conceived will fit in with the inspired chapters of the disciples. And if the saying shall go forth to all the world, that is, This is My commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you, much profit will result to all from the investigation. For if love towards brethren keeps and works the fulfilment of the whole command of our Saviour, how will not he who tries as far as possible to accomplish this without laying himself open to censure and blame be very worthy of admiration, since the sum. of all the virtues, so to speak, is stored up in it? For love towards one another is next to love to God, and all the power of righteousness towards God is concluded as in this one word, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

14, 15 Ye are My friends, if ye do the things which I command you. No longer do I call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known unto you.

In contrast to the terrors which will sometimes assail those inclined towards obedience and love of virtue He has set the gain of their love towards Him, in order that by the consolations ensuing from this, and by their aiming at what is greater, that which is burdensome may disappear and that which sometimes seems to cause pain sink into insignificance. Sweet is their labour to those who love God, since indeed theirs is a near and rich reward. Who then could conceive any thing greater, and what will he say is more glorious, than to be and be called the friend of Christ? For see how the reward surpasses the very limits of the nature of man. For all things are subject unto Him that made them, according to the saying of the Psalmist; and there is, I suppose, nothing in Creation which has not been subjected to the yoke of slavery, in accordance with the |404 decree becoming the Creator and His work. For the work produced is not on an equality with its producer; and how could it be’? But God, Who is over all, will hold sway over and direct His own works. The universe then being under the yoke of subjection, and putting itself under servitude to God, the Lord leads up His holy ones to a supernatural glory, if they appear willing to work His Will and bring to Him, as an offering that is due, a blameless subjection. Their reward then is glorious and worthy of envy.

But we must consider this point especially at this juncture, for it will be of no small profit. For if friendship towards Christ will be sufficient in the case of any for the dignity of freedom and the being no longer called slaves, how could He be a slave except as made and created, according to the thoughtlessness of some? For He is not able to allot the honour of freedom to all others, while His own Nature is bereft of this attribute. For I suppose He must appear in possession of it more than all the rest, for then will He most suitably give to those who have it not the blessing that is His own. But the dignity must be conferred on and given to the holy Apostles, or perhaps also to all others who mount up through faith to the friendship that is towards our Lord Jesus Christ, as by way of honour, but not existing in like manner with that enjoyed by Him. For they, mounting up by their likeness to Him to the glory of liberty, would display by this that which naturally belongs to Him alone. For that which is by position is compared with that which is by nature.

This however we must demonstrate; for I think it is necessary to go through every inquiry which is useful and particularly necessitates explanation. For the justice which is derived from faith in Christ has a more ancient manifestation than that justice which is according to the law; and further, because the knowledge of the Divine mysteries is revealed to those that believe and obey Christ, and the counsel of God the Father is |405 interpreted by him who knows that of the Son, but to those who are disobedient, not at all.

Come then, let us again illustrate this by the inspired Scripture, dwelling somewhat at length upon it to advantage. It has then been written in a book of Moses that Abraham believed in God, but his faith was accounted unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God. And what was the manner of his faith, or how then was he called the friend of God? He heard the words, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, unto a land that I will show thee. Moreoyer, when he was enjoined to sacrifice his only son as a type of Christ he learnt the purpose hidden in God. And for this reason the Saviour spoke concerning him to the impious Jews, saying: Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it and was glad. Therefore the inspired Abraham, owing to obedience and sacrifice, was called the friend of God and put on himself the boast of righteousness.

And not only this, but he was deemed worthy of Divine converse, and knew the counsel of God, which came to pass in the last times. For in the fulness of time Christ died for us—-the true, sacred, and holy sacrifice which taketh away the sin of the world.

But see again a like fulfilment in the case of those who mount up by faith to the friendship of our Saviour Christ. They also heard the words Get thee out of thy country. And that they did it eagerly we may learn from what they say: For we have not here an abiding city, but we seek after the city which is to come, whose builder and maker is God. For they are strangers and sojourners upon earth, being citizens of heaven and leaving the land of their birth to speak allegorically of their heavenward aspirations, desiring eagerly the resting-place above. For this the Saviour set before them when He said, I go and will prepare a place for you; and when I come, I will receive you with Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. They were told |406 to go forth from their kindred; and how shall we show this? We will refer to Christ’s own words: He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And that the things of God were preferred to their earthly and fleshly relationship, and their love towards Christ set forth as far stronger, is certainly unquestioned among those who reverence Him. And the blessed Abraham was ordered to bring to God his own son for an odour of a sweet-smelling savour, while others, girding themselves with the righteousness that is by faith, were commanded to offer not others but themselves. For he says: Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Since it has been written concerning them: They that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof, they knew the mystery that is in Christ. For they know the powers of the age to come, and what will be in the last days; for they will receive the rewards of their labours, and take as requital the recompence of their piety towards Christ. Therefore we shall become just and the friends of God, as did Abraham. And the Gospel dispensation is far more ancient than that of the Law. I mean by the Gospel dispensation that which is by faith and friendship towards God, then moulded first in Abraham, as in the beginning of his race according to the flesh, that is of Israel, but now coming as from a type to truth, and being well fulfilled in the holy disciples themselves, as in the beginning of a spiritual race preserved as a people for God’s own possession, which also is called a holy nation and a royal priesthood. Therefore it has been said to the mother of the Jews, I mean the synagogue, by the voice of the Psalmist: Instead of fathers thy sons have been born.

For the inspired disciples are truly sons of the synagogue of the Jews, for they were nourished up in the Mosaic usages. They became fathers, holding the position of Abraham, and were the beginning of the spiritual |407 race, and for this reason were ordained as rulers, offering up as a sacrifice the Gospel of Christ in all the world, as did Abraham Isaac as a type of Christ. We thus speak, not depriving the blessed Abraham of the glory which is his due and befits him, but showing in him, as in a figure, what has been appointed in the last days by Christ. The reward of friendship with God which was then seen in Abraham first is intimately conjoined with the freedom which comes by faith, and now also it is seen in the holy disciples as the firstfruits of a new generation. Let then the inspired Paul point out to us the necessity of thus speaking, vehemently contending with the Jews, that the righteousness that is of faith is far older than that of the Law. For when he made mention of the circumcision according to the flesh, he affirmed that this was given to the firstfruits of the race, that is Abraham, for no other reason save his becoming the sign and seal of the faith which he had while he was in uncircumcision. But if uncircumcision with which also is faith was before the Law, but circumcision which has not the glory of faith after the Law, and Abraham believed in uncircumcision, how will not the justice through faith of those who are justified and freed through love towards God, as was Abraham, be more ancient than the dispensation by the Law? For thus also he will be father of many nations by promise, not according to the flesh. And these things have we now pertinently said on account of our Lord’s word: No longer do I call you servants: ye are My friends; for all things that I heard from My Father, I have made known unto you.

16 Ye did not choose Me, but I chose you, and have appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He shall give you.

His aim is neither to depress His holy disciples by words too grievous, being aware, as God, of the great |408 tendency of human reason to weakness, nor again does He permit them by immoderate assurances to fall into a state of backsliding, for this is indeed a disease and a serious one. But forming a mean between these two from a mixture of both, He fitly leads them into a safe path, and works in them a knowledge of the more stable state and of the complete uncertainty of that which is removed from it.

When therefore, then, he has abundantly comforted them with the words of consolation, and with respect to those things at which they would be likely to be cast down, persuading them in turn to rejoice, He again incites them by His injunctions to diligence to a confident courage; persuading them to change their minds and rather to rejoice at those things at which they had not without reason been dismayed, and charges them to display the utmost zeal, and put into practice an overflowing measure of brotherly love, and to benefit those as yet without faith, and to hasten by the words and deeds that make for righteousness to draw those who are astray to a willingness to be united to God by faith.

Offering Himself then as an Image and Pattern of that which must be done, and bringing before them that which has been already accomplished by Him in their behalf, He persuades them to imitate their Teacher and themselves to be conspicuous in like righteousness when He says: Ye did not choose Me, but I chose you, and what follows.

Conceive Him then as saying: “Gird yourselves with love towards one another, O My disciples; for ye ought indeed yourselves also to devise and do towards one another, and perform with an eager zeal, those things which I have first accomplished towards you. For I chose you, and it is not you that have chosen Me. I drew you to Myself and made Myself known to those who knew Me not through My exceeding kindness, and I brought you into a steadfast opinion so as to lead you up, that |409 is, to confer on you the ability to reach forward to what is greater, and to bear fruit unto God. Attain therefore to the complete confidence that whatsoever ye shall ask in My name ye shall receive. Since, therefore, ye follow in the track of My words and ministry, and have the mind which My true disciples ought to be endued with, it follows that ye ought not by your own tarrying to throw obstacles in the way of him who of his will seeks the faith and is self-called to a life of piety; but that you should rather attach yourselves as guides to those who are still ignorant and astray, and bring to those who do not yet prefer to learn it the Gospel of salvation, and eagerly exhort them to attain unto the true knowledge of God, even though the mind of your hearers be hardened into disobedience. For thus they would be in your condition, that is, they will advance and will return by gradual growth in what is better to fruit-bearing in God, so as to have the fruit that ever remains and is preserved and that most acceptable object of prayer, the bestowal of whatsoever they wish, if only they ask in My name.

So much then on this head: for it is necessary again, compressing in a few words the drift of the text, to make it clear to our hearers. He persuades His disciples to have so much love towards others, and wishes them to exhibit as much zeal in their persistent endeavour in all directions to pursue and bring to holiness the souls of those who have not yet believed, as He Himself first showed towards us and them. For that He Himself chose His disciples is unquestioned, and I think it unnecessary to state how and in what way the call of each was made. Still, that the discourse of the Saviour is pregnant with the meaning I have just given to it what follows will equally persuade us. For he says:

17 These things I have spoken unto you that ye may love one another.

For shall we not allow that the choosing out of those |410 still faithless and astray to obedience to God is the work of the highest love of all? But this is undeniable. And Paul hastened to do this when he said: We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God. So also does Peter, saying boldly to the Jews: And now, brethren, I wot that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. Repent ye therefore and be baptized every one of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. You see then how and with what zeal they meet those who have not believed, and bring to them the word which they have not sought, not making it necessary for these in their ignorance to choose themselves as their teachers, but anticipating in this even him who has as yet been unwilling to learn any elementary truth.

But since our Saviour’s words have this addition, that ye should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, it is our duty to inquire what this means. For what is the meaning of the expression that the fruit of His disciples remains? I think then that by fruit which remains our Saviour means that produced by the training of the Gospel and not by the righteousness of the Law. For the latter has become obsolete by reason of its inability to accomplish anything. For the Law accomplished nothing, as Paul says; but the new righteousness burst as it were into blossom in its stead and lifted up its head, making obsolete and putting away the former, and bringing in the fruit that truly remains and is preserved. Thus speaks the inspired Paul addressing us, and saying that the righteousness by the Law was gladly and readily accounted by him as loss in order that he might gain Christ, that is, the righteousness and fruit-bearing of the Gospel by the faith that is in Him. For such fruit as this will continue and be perennial, being capable of fulfilling the soul of man with righteousness. For no other new instruction will steal in beside the messages of the Gospel making |411 the former obsolete, as was undoubtedly the ease with the Mosaic command. But the Word of the Saviour will stand for ever, as indeed He Himself says: Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away.


4 Responses to “St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on John 15:9-17”

  1. […] St Cyril of Alexandria on Today’s gospel (John 15:9-11). […]

  2. […] St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (John 15:9-11). […]

  3. […] St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on John 15:9-17. […]

  4. […] St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (John 15:9-11). […]

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