For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
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Augustine of Hippo
Serm. in Mont. in fin.: Otherwise; Rain, when it is put to denote any evil, isunderstood as the darkness of superstition; rumours of men are compared to winds; the flood signifies the lust of the flesh, as it were flowing over the land, and because what is brought on by prosperity is broken off by adversity. None of these things does he fear who has his house founded upon a rock, that is, who not only hears the command of the Lord, but who also does it. And in all these he submits himself to danger, who hears and does not. For no man confirms in himself what the Lord commands, or himself hears, but by doing it.But it should be noted, that when he said, "He that heareth these words of mine,” He shows plainly enough that this sermonis made complete by all those precepts by which the Christian life is formed, so that with good reason they that desire to live according to them, may be compared to one that builds on a rock.
de Cons. Evan., ii, 19: From that which is here said, He seems to h...
He taught as one having power, exousian, to found a law of his own. Hence he said: Ego autem dico vobis; "But I say to you "viz. as a legislator, announcing to you not the law of Moses, or of any other, but my own law. (Estius, in different location)
All agree that St. Matthew anticipates the sermon on the mount, in order thus to prefix the doctrines of Christ to the account of his miracles; for we cannot doubt that the discourse on the mount, which is mentioned by St. Matthew, is the same as that recorded by St. Luke. The beginning, the middle, and the conclusion correspond with each other. If St. Matthew mentions some particulars omitted by St. Luke, it is because his design was to collect together several instructions, which Jesus delivered on different occasions; and these, for the most part, are to be found in other parts of St. Luke.
This admirable sermon may be divided into three parts, viz. the exordium, the body of the discourse, and the conclusion. The exordium comprises th...
Mor., xxiii, 13: Or, Christ spoke with especial power, because He did no evil from weakness, but we who are weak, in our weakness consider by what method in teaching we may best consult for our weak brethren.
And yet it was likely that this too would disturb them. For if, when they saw Him by His works showing forth His authority, the scribes were for stoning and persecuting Him; while there were words only to prove this, how was it other than likely for them to be offended? And especially when at first setting out these things were said, and before He had given proof of His own power? But however, they felt nothing of this; for when the heart and mind is candid, it is easily persuaded by the words of the truth. And this is just why one sort, even when the miracles were proclaiming His power, were offended; while the other on hearing mere words were persuaded and followed Him. This, I would add, the evangelist too is intimating, when he says, great multitudes followed Him, Matthew 8:1 not any of the rulers, nor of the scribes, but as many as were free from vice, and had their judgment uncorrupted. And throughout the whole gospel you see that such clave unto Him. For both while He spoke, the...
Hom. xxv: He adds the cause of their wonderment, saying, “He taught them as one having authority, and not as the Scribes and Pharisees.” But if the Scribes drove Him from them, seeing His power shown in works, how would they not have been offended when words only manifested His power? But this was not so with the multitude; for being of benevolent temper, it is easily persuaded by the word of truth. Such however was the power wherewith He taught them, that it drew many of them to Him, and caused them to wonder; and for their delight in those things which were spoken they did not leave Him even when He had done speaking; but followed Him as He came down from the mount. They were mostly astonished at His power, in that He spoke not referring to any other as the Prophets and Moses had spoken, but every where shewing that He Himself had authority; for in delivering each law, He prefaced it with, “But I say unto you.”
This ending pertains both to the finishing the words, and the completeness of the doctrines. That it is said that “the multitude wondered,” either signifies the unbelieving in the crowd, who were astonished because they did not believe the Saviour’s words; or is said of them all, in that they reverenced in Him the excellence of so great wisdom.
It was not the rulers who were astonished: how could that be when they viewed Him with spite? Rather it was the guileless multitude that was astonished. They did not marvel at His turns of phrase, but at His straightforward speech, and that He showed authority beyond that of the prophets. The prophets said, "Thus saith the Lord," but Christ spoke as God, "I say to you."