Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keeps the law? Why go you about to kill me?
Read Chapter 7
Alcuin of York
Circumcision was given for three reasons; first, as a sign of Abraham’s great faith; secondly, to distinguish the Jews from other nations; thirdly, that the receiving of it on the organ of virility, might admonish us to observe chastity both of body and mind. And circumcision then possessed the same virtue that baptism does now; only that the gate was not yet open. Our Lord concludes: If a man. on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are you angry at Me because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?
1. The passage of the holy Gospel of which we have before discoursed to you, beloved, is followed by that of today, which has just now been read. Both the disciples and the Jews heard the Lord speaking; both men of truth and liars heard the Truth speaking; both friends and enemies heard Charity speaking; both good men and bad men heard the Good speaking. They heard, but He discerned; He saw and foresaw whom His discourse profited and would profit. Among those who were then, He saw; among us who were to be, He foresaw. Let us therefore hear the Gospel, just as if we were listening to the Lord Himself present: nor let us say, O happy they who were able to see Him! Because there were many of them who saw, and also killed Him; and there are many among us who have not seen Him, and yet have believed. For the precious truth that sounded forth from the mouth of the Lord was both written for our sakes, and preserved for our sakes, and recited for our sakes, and will be recited also for the sak...
Or He means to say, that if they kept the law, they would see Him pointed to in every part of it, and would not seek to kill Him, when He came. The people return an answer quite away from the subject, and only showing their angry feelings: The people answered and said, You have a devil: who goes about to kill You? He who cast out devils, was told that He had a devil. Our Lord however, inno way disturbed, but retaining all the serenity of truth, returned not evil for evil, or railing for railing.
As if He said, What if you saw allMy works? For all that they saw going on in the world was of His working, but they saw not Him Who made all things. But He did one thing, made a man whole on the sabbath day, and they were in commotion: as if, when any one of them recovered from a disease on the Sabbath, he who made him whole were any other than He, who had offended them by making one man whole on the sabbath.
As if He said, you have done well to receive circumcision from Moses, not because it ...
Wherein He left us an example to take it patiently, whenever wrong censures are passed upon us, and not answer them by asserting the truth, though able to do so, but rather by some wholesome advice to the persons; as does our Lord: Jesus answered and said to them, I have done one work, and you all marvel.
Did not Moses give you the law? And yet, &c. The primary sense Isaiah , no wonder ye do not accept Mine and My Father"s law, since ye keep not the law of Moses, which ye value so much and urge against Me. For it strictly forbids murder ( Exodus 23:7). So S. Augustine and others. But secondly, F. Lucas thus explains it more profoundly and more closely to the context. "Ye accuse Me of disregarding the law, and breaking the Sabbath by healing the paralytic. But ye equally break it by circumcising a Prayer of Manasseh , which is a longer and more cruel act than healing with a word. Ye are therefore more deserving of death than I am."
By many devices cometh about the discourse of the Saviour to one aim. For having in the preceding, indirectly blamed (as was meet) the Pharisees who supposed that they ought not to obey the commands from above, but to introduce their own opinions, and were zealous rather to gain honour from those under them, and did not offer it to the Lord of all, but diverted it to their own persons, that thence they were daring to transgress more freely:----He again, in other and severest wise, prepares for them open at length and unveiled reproof. For He being condemned for breach of the sabbath, and enduring the most unjust accusation of lawlessness for this, convicted them not of individually transgressing the law, but that the whole nation of the Jews had made the law of Moses of no account. For tell Me (He saith) ye who condemn the man who is zealous to shew mercy on the sabbath day, who have passed foullest censure upon those who do well, and freely condemn the compassionate, hath not the comm...
The law of Moses prescribes that you shall not kill, but this law you transgress; for, why do you seek to kill me? You do not observe the law; otherwise you would learn from that law, that I am the Christ, and not seek to put me to death, when I appear amongst you. (St. Augustine, tract. 30, in Joan.)
If I cure on the sabbath-day, do not you also give circumcision, and also cure the wound on the sabbath? (Bible de Vence)
See ver. 23, of this chapter.
And what connection, says some one, has this, or what has this to do with what was said before? The Jews brought against Him two accusations; one, that He broke the Sabbath; the other, that He called God His Father, making Himself equal with God. And that this was no imagination of theirs, but His own declared judgment, and that He spoke not as do the many, but in a special and peculiar sense, is clear from this circumstance. Many often called God their Father; as Have we not all one Father, has not one God created us? Malachi 2:10, but not for that was the people equal to God, on which account the hearers were not offended. As then when the Jews said, This man is not from God, He often healed them, and made defense for the violation of the Sabbath; so now had the sense they assigned to His words been according to their imagination, not according to His intention, He would have corrected them, and said, Why suppose ye Me equal to God? I am not equal; yet He said nothing of the kind, ...
The Jews brought two charges against Christ; one, that He broke the sabbath; the other, that He said God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. The latter He confirmed first by showing, that He did nothing in opposition to God, but that both taught the same. Then turning to the charge of breaking the sabbath, He says, Did not Moses give you alaw, and none of you keep the law? as much as to say, The law says, You shall not kill, whereas you kill. And then, Why go you about to kill Me? As if to say, If I broke a law to heal a man, it was a transgression, but a beneficial one; whereas you transgress for an evil end; so you have no right to judge Me for breaking the law. He rebukes them then for two things; first, because they went about to kill Him; secondly, because they were going about to kill another, when they had not even any right to judge Him.
You marvel, i.e. are disturbed, are in commotion. Observe how well He argues with them from the law. He wishes to prove that this w...