And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the guards did strike him with the palms of their hands.
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Augustine of Hippo
De Con., iii, 6: Matthew, however, does not say that Jesus answered, “I am,” but, “Thou has said.” But Mark shewsthat the words “I am” were equivalent to “Thou hast said. "There follows: “And ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”.
We must understand by this, that the Lord suffered these things till morning, in the house of the High Priest, whither He had first been brought.
The more Jesus remained silent before the false witnesses who were unworthy of His answer, and the impious priests, the more the High Priest, overcome with anger, endeavoured to provoke Him to answer, that he might find room for accusing Him, from any thing whatever which He might say. Wherefore it is said, “And the High Priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what isit which these witness against thee?”The High Priest, angry and impatient at finding no room for accusation against Him, rises from his seat, thus shewing by the motion of his body the madness of his mind. Wherefore it goes on, “But He held His peace, and answered nothing. "The silence of Christ is the pardon for the defence or excuse of Adam.
If therefore to thee, O Jew, OPagan, and heretic, the contempt, weakness, and cross in Christ are a subject of scorn, see how by this the Son of Man is to sit at the right hand of the Father, and to come in His majesty on the clouds of heaven. A...
Who is this strange one who says that he had been silent before, but would not always be silent? Who is he who was led as a sheep to the slaughter and who, like a lamb without making a sound before its shearer, did not open his mouth? Who is he who did not cry out and whose voice was not heard in the streets? Surely it was he who was not stubborn and who did not murmur when he offered his back to the scourges and his cheeks to blows. He did not turn his face away from their filthy spittle. When accused by the priests and elders, he answered nothing and, to the amazement of Pilate, kept a most patient silence.
But they looked from afar off for Him, whom though near they cannot see, as Isaac from the blindness of his eyes does not know Jacob who was under his hands, but prophecies long before things which were to come to him. It goes on: “Jesus said, I am;” namely, that they might be inexcusable.
They condemned Him to be guilty of death, that by His guiltiness He might absolve our guilt.
But He remained silent because He knew that they would not attend to His words, wherefore He answered according to Luke, “If I tell you, ye will not believe.” Wherefore there follows: “Again the High Priest asked Him, and said unto Him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”The High Priest indeed puts this question, not that he might learn of Him and believe, but in order to seek occasion against Him. But he asks, “Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed,” because there were many Christs, that is, anointed persons, as Kings and High Priests, but none of these was called the Son of the Blessed God, that is, the Ever-praised.
For He knew that they would not believe, nevertheless He answered them, lest they should afterwards say, If we had heard any thing from Him, we would have believed on Him; but this is their condemnation, that they heard and did not believe.
As if He had said, Ye shall see Me as the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the Father, for He he recalls the ...