After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
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Alcuin of York
By Judea are meant those who confess, whom Christ visits; for wherever there is confession of sins, or the praise of God, thither comes Christ and His disciples, i. e. His doctrine and enlightenment; and there He is known by His cleansing men from sin: And there He tarried with them, and baptized.
Meaning, Passing by you, all men run to the baptism of Him Whom you baptized.
1. The course of reading from the Gospel of John, as those of you who are concerned for your own progress may remember, so proceeds in regular order, that the passage which has now been read comes before us for exposition today. You remember that we have expounded it, in the preceding discourses, from the very beginning of the Gospel, as far as the lesson of today. And though perhaps you have forgotten much of it, at least it remains in your memory that we have done our part in it. What you have heard from it about the baptism of John, even though you retain not all, yet I believe you have heard that which you may retain. Also, what was said as to why the Holy Spirit appeared in the shape of a dove; and how that most knotty question was solved, namely, what was that something in the Lord which John did not know, and which he learned by means of the dove, while already John knew Him, since, as Jesus came to be baptized, he said to Him, I ought to be baptized by You, and You come to me? ...
Our Lord did not baptize with the baptism wherewith He had been baptized; for He was baptized by aservant, as a lesson of humility to us, and in order to bring us to the Lord’s baptism, i.e. His own; for Jesus baptized, as the Lord, the Son of God.
But why did John baptize? .
Because it was necessary that our Lord should be baptized.
The Jews then asserted Christ to be the greater person, and His baptism necessary to be received. But John's disciples did not understand so much, and defended John’s baptism. At last they cometo John, to solve the question: And they came unto John, and said to him, Rabbi, He that was with you beyond Jordan, behold, the Same baptizes.
After these things, isnot immediately after His dispute with Nicodemus, which took place at Jerusalem; but on His return to Jerusalem after some. time spent in Galilee.
John still continues baptizing, though Christ has begun; for the shadow remains still, nor must the forerunner cease, till the truth is manifested. And John also was baptizing in Ænon, near to Salim. Ænon is Hebrew for water; so that the Evangelist gives, as it were, the derivation of the name, when he adds, For there was much water there. Salim is a town on the Jordan, where Melchisedec once reigned.
The same kind of benefit which catechumens receive from instruction before they are baptized, the same did John’s baptism convey before Christ's. As John preached repentance, announced Christ’s baptism, and drew all men to the knowledge of the truth now made manifest to the world: so the ministers of the Church first instruct those who come to the faith, then reprove their sins; and lastly, drawing them to the knowledge an...
After this, &c. This means that Jesus went from Jerusalem, a citizen of which Nicodemus appears to have been, to some other part of the land of Judea, because He would avoid the sects and enmities of the chief men of Jerusalem. So S. Chrysostom and others. As the former saith, "He was accustomed to come into the city at the solemn feasts, that He might publicly make known the doctrine of God: from thence He often retired to the river Jordan."
Baptized, not so much by Himself as by His disciples, as is said in iv2. Yet He first Himself baptized there. He baptized by others for several reasons—1. To show that His baptism was different from that of John. For the latter was conferred by John alone; but Christ"s baptism was conferred by others also, His disciples, Christ in them and by them working Mightily2. To show that the authority, power, and continuance of His baptism were to extend through all succeeding ages. So SS. Augustine and Cyril3. Because He Himself was occupied in the great...
After the conversation with Nicodemus had now reached its conclusion, the Divine Evangelist again prepares something else most profitable. For enlightened by the Divine Spirit to the exposition of things most needful, he knew that it would exceedingly profit his readers to know clearly, how great the excellence, and by how great measures, the baptism of Christ surpasses that of John. For it was indeed not far from his expectation, that certain would arise who of their folly should dare to say, either that there was no difference whatever between them, but that they ought to be crowned with equal honours; or, having stumbled into folly even wilder than this, say, that the vote of superiority ought to be taken away from Christ's baptism, and the superiority shamelessly lavished on the baptism by water. For what daring is not attainable by the ill-instructed, or through what blasphemy do they not rush, who rising up against the holy doctrines of the Church, pervert all equity, as it is wr...
It matters not whether it is called Salem, or Salim; since the Jews very rarely use vowels in the middle of words; and the same words are pronounced with different vowels and accents, by different readers, and in different places.
1. Nothing can be clearer or mightier than the truth, just as nothing is weaker than falsehood, though it be shaded by ten thousand veils. For even so it is easily detected, it easily melts away. But truth stands forth unveiled for all that will behold her beauty; she seeks no concealment, dreads no danger, trembles at no plots, desires not glory from the many, is accountable to no mortal thing, but stands above them all, is the object of ten thousand secret plots, yet remains unconquerable, and guards as in a sure fortress these who fly to her by her own exceeding might, who avoids secret lurking places, and sets what is hers before all men. And this Christ conversing with Pilate declared, when He said, I ever taught openly, and in secret have I said nothing. John 18:20 As He spoke then, so He acted now, for, After this, says the Evangelist, He went forth and His disciples into the land of Judæa, and there He tarried with them and baptized. At the feasts He went up to the City ...
Nothing is more open than truth, nothing bolder; it neither seeks concealment, or avoids danger, or fears the snare, or cares for popularity. It is subject to no human weakness. Our Lord went up to Jerusalem at the feasts, not from ostentation or love of honor, but to teach the people His doctrines, and show miracles of mercy. After the festival He visited the crowds who were collected at the Jordan. After these things came Jesus and His disciples into the land of Judea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
As the Evangelist says afterwards, that Jesus baptized not but His disciples, it is evident that he means the same here, i.e. that the disciples only baptized.
Notwithstanding the disciples of Jesus baptized, John did not leave off till his imprisonment; as the Evangelist’s language intimates, For John was not yet cast into prison.
But why did he go on baptizing now? Because, had he left off, it might have been attributed to envy or anger: whereas, continuing to baptize, he...