And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his teachings:
Read Chapter 7
Cornelius a Lapide
And it came to pass, &c. Here then is concluded Christ"s whole Sermon upon the Mount containing the whole law and perfection of the Gospel. And although the precepts given are dispersed, yet are they all connected. And if any one desires to learn the order and connection which exists amongst them let him read Bellarmine (lib4 , de Justific.)
For he taught them, &c. That Isaiah , He was accustomed to teach, &c1. Because Christ taught important matters with great authority, matters of the highest moment for salvation, and the Truth itself. But the Scribes taught with levity, trifling matters, such as rites and ceremonies, washings of the hands and of cups.
2. Because what Christ taught in word, that He fulfilled in deed. For great authority is added to the doctrine of the teacher when he performs the good which he enjoins. "Protracted," says Seneca, "is the road to virtue through precepts; short and effectual through example." Here S. Gregory (23Moral7): "That is indeed taught with aut...
With reason were the people enraptured with his doctrines; for he taught as having authority from himself, and not like their doctors, who only spoke in the name of Moses, and whose only ambition was to please, and not to correct. In the Greek text there is only mention of the Scribes or doctors, but not of the Pharisees.
Surely it was logical that they were in pain over the heavy weight of what he had said. They were stunned by the soaring level of the requirements that he had made. But now the strength of the one teaching was so great that he seized many of them and threw them into great amazement. Because of their pleasure in what he said, Jesus finally persuaded them not to leave as he finished speaking. For not even after he went down from the mountain did the hearers leave, but even then the whole audience followed him because of the great love that was shown in what he had said. But most of all they were astounded at his authority. For when he said these things, he did not refer to another, as even the prophet Moses did, but everywhere he showed that he himself was the One who had the authority to decide. For even when he was establishing laws Jesus continually added, “But I say to you.” And when he was reminding them of the final day of judgment, he showed that he himself is the One who will bri...
Yet was it rather natural for them to grieve at the unpleasantness of His sayings, and to shudder at the loftiness of His injunctions; but now so great was the power of the Teacher, that many of them were even caught thereby, and thrown into very great admiration, and persuaded by reason of the sweetness of His sayings, not even when He ceased to speak, to depart from Him at all afterwards. For neither did the hearers depart, He having come down from the mountain, but even then the whole auditory followed Him; so great a love for His sayings had He instilled into them.
But they were astonished most of all at His authority. For not with reference to another, like the prophet and Moses, did He say what He said; but everywhere indicating Himself to be the person that had the power of deciding. For so, when setting forth His laws, He still kept adding, But I say unto you. And in reminding them of that day, He declared Himself to be the judge, both by the punishments, and by the honors.