Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Another shall come in his own name, him will ye receive


John 5:

Ver. 43. "I am come in My Father's name, and ye receive Me not; if another shall come in his own name, him will ye receive."

Seest thou that He everywhere declareth that He hath been "sent," that judgment hath been committed to Him by the Father, that He can do nothing of Himself, in order that He may cut off all excuse for their unfairness? But who is it that He here saith shall come "in his own name"? He alludeth here to Antichrist, and putteth an incontrovertible proof of their unfairness. "For if as loving God ye persecute Me, much more ought this to have taken place in the case of Antichrist. For he will neither say that he is sent by the Father, nor that he cometh according to his will, but in everything contrariwise, seizing like a tyrant what belongeth not to him, and asserting that he is the very God over all, as Paul saith, 'Exalting himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, showing himself that he is God.' (2 Thess. ii. 14.) This is to 'come in his own name.' I do not so, but am come in the Name of My Father." That they received not One who said that He was sent of God, was a sufficient proof that they loved not God; but now from the contrary of this fact, from their being about to receive Antichrist, He showeth their shamelessness. For when they received not One who asserteth that He was sent by God, and are about to worship one who knoweth Him not, and who saith that he is God over all, it is clear that their persecution proceeded from malice and from hating God. On this account He putteth two reasons for His words; and first the kinder one, "That ye may be saved"; and, "That ye may have life": and when they would have mocked at Him, He putteth the other which was more striking, showing that even although His hearers should not believe, yet that God was wont always to do His own works. Now Paul speaking concerning Antichrist said prophetically, that "God shall send them strong delusion,--that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."(2 Thess. ii. 11, 12.) Christ said not, "He shall come"; but, "if He come," from tenderness for His hearers; and because all their obstinacy was not yet complete. He was silent as to the reason of His coming; but Paul, for those who can understand, has particularly alluded to it. For it is he who taketh away all excuse from them.
Christ then putteth also the cause of their unbelief, saying,

Ver. 44. "How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?"

Hence again He showeth that they looked not to the things of God, but that under this pretense they desired to gratify private feeling, and were so far from doing this on account of His glory, that they preferred honor from men to that which cometh from Him. How then were they likely to entertain such hostility towards Him for a kind of honor which they so despised, as to prefer to it the honor which cometh from men?

Having told them that they had not the love of God, and having proved it by what was doing in His case, and by what should be in the case of Antichrist, and having demonstrated that they were deprived of all excuse, He next bringeth Moses to be their accuser, going on to say,

Ver. 45-47. "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me; for he wrote of Me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?"


HOMILIES OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM ON THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. JOHN, EXCERPT FROM HOMILY XLI. (JOHN 5)






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