as if they had been accomplices in his having been cast into prison by Herod and slain by him; then He says that according as they had done towards Elijah so would He suffer at their hands.
were called wise by the Lord; and, in like manner, five were styled foolish. Again, five men are said to have been with the Lord when He obtained testimony
Of what could He have meant those to be ignorant, to whom He even exhibited His own glory with Moses and Elias, and the Father's voice moreover, from heaven?
while, in the revelation of His own glory, He prefers, from among so many saints and prophets, to have with him Moses and Elias
Deservedly, therefore, even while in the flesh, did the Lord show Himself to him, the colleague of His own fasts, no less than to Elijah.
that in the similitude of an image He appeared who after the six days Himself ascended the mountain a fourth person, and became the sixth.
" according to Matthew and Mark,
The Lord, again, in the retirement of the mount, had changed His raiment for a robe of light; but He still retained features which Peter could recognise.
Matt. 17:2 - NIV, NAB - in Archelaus Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes
and here, the Lord Jesus Christ shone like the sun,
But hear these things, if you can, at the same time giving heed spiritually, that it is not said simply, "He was trans-figured," but with a certain necessary addition, which Matthew and Mark have recorded; for, according to both, "He was transfigured before them."
And not only is He transfigured before such disciples, nor does He only add to the transfiguration the shining of His face as the sun; but further also to those who were led up by Him into the high mountain apart, His garments appear white as the light.
And for this reason did He [the Lord] confer with him face to face on the top of a mountain, Elias being also present, as the Gospel relates,
Now, not even to His apostles was His nature ever a matter of deception. He was truly both seen and heard upon the mount;
Since, therefore, He reserves to some future time His presence and speech face to face with Moses-a promise which was afterwards fulfilled in the retirement of the mount (of transfiguration), when as we read in the Gospel," Moses appeared talking with Jesus"
But when the Son of God in His transfiguration is so understood and beheld, that His face is a sun, and His garments white as the light, straightway there will appear to him who beholds Jesus in such form Moses,-the law-and Elijah,-in the way of synecdoche, not one prophet only, but all the prophets-holding converse with Jesus; for such is the force of the words "talking with Him; "
but, according to Luke, "Moses and Elijah appeared in glory," down to the words, "in Jerusalem."
For the latter voice was uttering a threat to a fed man, the former soothing a fasting one. Such is the prerogative of circumscribed food, that it makes God tent-fellow
And perhaps also in this he acted with evil intent, when he incited him "who did not know what he said," not desiring that Jesus and Moses and Elijah should be together, but desiring to separate them from one another, under pretext of the three tabernacles." And likewise it was a lie, "It is good for us to be here; "
and also, "It is good for us to be here."
and Peter, as one loving the contemplative life, and having preferred that which was delightsome in it to the life among the crowd with its turmoil, said, with the design of benefiting those who desired it, "It is good for us to be here."
So that from this it is clear, that one alone, true, good, just, in the image and likeness of the Father, His Son Jesus, the Word of God, is our Instructor; to whom God hath entrusted us, as an affectionate father commits his children to a worthy tutor, expressly charging us, "This is my beloved Son: hear Him."
the Father from heaven replies, for the purpose of testifying to the Son: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him."
He has Himself made this clear, when He spake to His Father concerning the disciples, "The glory which Thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; that the world may know that Thou hast sent me."
This is He who was inquired after by the wise men, and indicated by the star; He who was engaged in His Father's house, and pointed to by John, and witnessed to by the Father from above in the voice, "This is my beloved Son; hear ye Him."
And that Christ alone ought to be heard, the Father also testifies from heaven, saying, "This is my well-beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him."
Matt. 17:5 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Likewise in the Gospel according to Matthew: "And behold a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him."
ture the Father of the Only-begotten, He who alone knoweth perfectly Him whom He alone in passionless fashion begat, to correct the erroneous imaginations of the Jews, opened the gates of the heavens, and sent down the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, lighting upon the head of Jesus, pointing out thereby the new Noah, yea the maker of Noah, and the good pilot of the nature which is in shipwreck. And He Himself calls with clear voice out of heaven, and says: "This is my beloved Son,"
"But also a witnessing voice was heard from heaven, saying, `This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear Him.'
Peter, and John, and James, (who confronted not the same light) without risking the loss of their reason and mind; and if they, who were unable to endure the glory of the Son,
But after these things it is written that, when they heard the voice from the cloud bearing testimony to the Son, the three Apostles, not being able to bear the glory of the voice and power resting upon it, "fell on their face,"
He asserts that the fruit of this arrangement and analogy has been manifested in the likeness of an image, namely, Him who, after six days, ascended
Also, in another place, "The king sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burnt up their city."
For this great man did not perceive that it was not in keeping with Him who commanded His disciples on the occasion of the vision on the mount, "Tell what ye have seen to no man, until the Son of man he risen from the dead,"
Was it to the scribes in regard to whom the disciples inquired and said, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must first come? "
And likewise, by Elijah, in this place, I do not understand the soul of that prophet but his spirit and his power; for these it is by which all things shall be restored,
Wherefore also our Christ said, [when He was] on earth, to those who were affirming that Elijah must come before Christ: `Elijah shall come, and restore all things; but I say unto you, that Elijah has already come, and they knew him not, but have done to him whatsoever they chose.'
that heretics of this school seize with especial avidity the example of Elias, whom they assume to have been so reproduced in John (the Baptist) as to make our Lord's statement sponsor for their theory of transmigration, when He said, "Elias is come already, and they knew him not; "
But to this the Saviour answers, not setting aside the traditions concerning Elijah, but saying that there was another advent of Elijah before that of Christ of which the scribes were ignorant; and, in regard to this, being ignorant of him, they "had done unto him whatsoever they listed,"
in order that the saying. "Elijah has already come,"
But some one may raise the question whether the spirit and power of Elijah, suffered what was suffered in John, according to the words, "They did in him whatsoever they listed."
And likewise, further, this might be inquired into, to whom refer the words, "But they did in him whatsoever they listed."
But another might say that the words, "But they did in him whatsoever they listed," refer not to the scribes but to Herodias and her daughter, and Herod, who did in him whatsoever they listed. And that which follows, "So shall the Son of man suffer from them,"
might be referred to the scribes, if the former were referred to them; but, if the former refers to Herod and Herodias and her daughter, the second passage will also refer to them;
And these things indeed as about Elijah the disciples asked and the Saviour answered, but when they heard they understood that the words, "Elijah has already come," and that following which was spoken by the Saviour, had reference to John the Baptist.
may be referred to the spirit of Elijah that was in John; as also the three disciples who had gone up with Him understood that He spake to them about John the Baptist.
revelations than those which you have seen? "I answered and said to him, "Sir, one thing only I ask, that in regard to these three forms the revelation may be rendered complete." He answered me, "How long are ye senseless?
but among unbelievers not only did the powers not work, but as Mark wrote, "They could not work."
And faith is a power of God, being the strength of the truth. For example, it is said, "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard, ye shall remove the mountain."
Such were the apostles, in whose case it is said that "faith removed mountains and transplanted trees."
Matt. 17:20 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Also in the same place: "If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say to this mountain, Pass over from here to that place, and it shall pass over; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."
For thus the true Prophet promised us, saying, `Verily I say to you, that if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say to this mountain, Remove hence, and it shall remove.'
He is the true worshipper of God, who not only is himself free from passions, but also sets others free from them; though they be so heavy that they are like mountains, he removes them by means of the faith with which he believes in God. Yea, by faith be truly removes mountains with their trees, if it be necessary.
For the Jew believes God and keeps the law, by which faith he removes also other sufferings, though like mountains and heavy.
And the Saviour, acknowledging the method of healing, says, "Who touched Me? For I perceived that power went forth from Me."
for he, who has all faith, which is as a grain of mustard seed,
But of the whole race of men on earth, I think, being oppressed by reason of their wickedness and His tarrying with them, the Saviour said, "How long shall I be with you? "We have already, then, spoken in part of the words, "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain,"
for not one mountain merely, but also several analogous to it, he removes who has all faith which is as a grain of mustard-seed; and nothing shall be impossible to him who has so great faith.
for why should what is salutary be sad? He taught likewise that fasts are to be the weapons for battling with the more direful demons:
But let us also attend to this, "This kind goeth not out save by prayer and fasting,"
"to show unto the disciples that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes," and, after suffering, "be killed," and, after being killed, "be raised up on the third day," as that which was said to them, when they were in Galilee,-which we did not learn before, -that the Son of man "would be delivered up; "for the being delivered up was not mentioned above, but now also it is said that "He is to be delivered up into the hands of men."
But when the Saviour said, "The Son of man shall be delivered up into the hands of men, and they shall kill Him, and the third day He shall rise again," they were "exceeding sorry,"
as tribute, taxes, or poll-money, as our Lord by giving a piece of money was freed from disturbance.
and sent a piece of money out of a fish's mouth
Moreover to the saying, "They that received the half-shekel came to Peter,"
If, then, the Saviour inquires of Peter, saying, "The kings of the earth from whom do they receive toll or tribute-from their own sons or from strangers? "
and Peter replies not from their own sons, but "from strangers," then Jesus says about such as are strangers to the kings of the earth, and on account of being free are sons, "Therefore the sons are free; "
Then observe the accuracy of the Scripture, how that the one fell down and "worshipped," but the other fell down and did not worship but "besought; "
This also the Lord confirmed, when He did not do what He was tempted to by the devil; but He gave directions that tribute should be paid to the tax-gatherers for Himself and Peter;
Matt. 17:27 - NIV, NAB - in Clement of Alexandria Who is the Rich Man that Shall Be Saved?
Therefore on hearing those words, the blessed Peter, the chosen, the pre-eminent, the first of the disciples, for whom alone and Himself the Saviour paid tribute,
Matt. 17:27 - NIV, NAB - in Victorinus Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John
), and thou shalt give it for me and for thee."
And nevertheless, though he is free, he takes care not to offend even the kings of the earth, and their sons, and those who receive the half-shekel; wherefore He says, "Let us not cause them to stumble, but go thou and cast thy net, and take up the fish that first cometh up,"
Matthew then, I think, wishing to make this plain, has subjoined to the words "that take"-the stater, to-wit-"and give auto them for thee and me," the words, "In that day came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? "
Go to the Chronological List of all Early Christian Writings
Please buy the CD to support the site, view it without ads, and get bonus stuff!