But, lo, he speaks boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?
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Cyril of Alexandria
They multiply expressions of assurance among themselves, and advance as it were to more manifest proof, beholding the unperilled boldness of Christ. For they are astonished and that with the greatest reason at finding those that were of old ungodly brought to an unpractised and unwonted patience and, beholding those who had been violent practising a gentleness that was new to them, they thence go forth into reasonable surmises: and in that they wonder at their forbearance in those matters in which they |515 ought never to have been angry, in these very things they are found to be blaming them, as though it were their habit without discrimination to press hard upon the teachers of the most excellent doctrines, and to proceed hotly against any one whatever, if he did but say things dissentient from them, though he should agree with the Divine Law. For dreadful was the conceit of the Pharisees, and the daring of their senselessness knew not bounds. Who then (say they) is He who tames them for the present, and Who is it who puts on sober reasoning as a bridle of their of old intolerable wrath? who He that has so charmed them and like serpents ever rearing themselves lulls them to gentle sleep? Lo, He speaketh boldly and they say nothing unto Him. Not merely does He speak, they say, but He speaketh boldly. And I do not suppose that any one would justly accuse the wrath of those men of being still, if He that was sought for had spoken against them in secret. For if it chanced not to have been known, neither would their wrath have been excited, but though He spake boldly and advanced through the keen reproof of them (for this the word boldly proves), they not only refuse to be angry, though very prone to this disease, but even shrink from words. For they say nothing to Him.
Do the rulers know indeed that He is the Christ? Seest thou how by reasonable inductions and probable arguments they collecting the duty of believing, are well nigh ashamed because their rulers do indeed now know Him, but while they shrink from openly fighting against God, and endure not to shamelessly entreat Him that came from above, they do yet bury in envious silence the open acknowledgement of Him? For if they knew not (say they) of a truth that He is the Christ, what induces them to tolerate His boldly reproving them and innovating even the things of old ordained, in that He was found healing even on the sabbath day, and distressing them in no slight degree by saying outright, Hath not Moses given you the Law, and none of you keepeth the Law? All this they bear, although affected beyond endurance thereby, and accustomed hotly to attack even those who do them no wrong. Going therefore through every argument they collect by degrees faith in Christ, but attribute knowledge of a truth to their rulers, inasmuch as they were brought up even before themselves in the holy writings, and are better able than themselves to understand the mysteries of the Divine Scriptures. Observe throughout that the people of the Jews are prepared unhesitatingly to follow their rulers, and they would have been surely preserved if led aright by those over them. Wherefore these shall undergo bitter punishment, since the Saviour Himself also accuses them saying, Woe unto you, lawyers, for ye took away the hey of knowledge, ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye forbad. For a door as it were and gate to the knowledge of God, and a way that easily leadeth to all virtue is the word of them that teach aright, and the skill of the shepherd knoweth how to save the flock of sheep: even as the contrary destroyeth them easily, and will bear away the flock down precipices even against their will.