John 17
Homilies of Chrysostom
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
"These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and saith, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee."

[1.] "He that hath done and taught," [2296] it saith, "the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of heaven." And with much reason; for to show true wisdom in words, is easy, but the proof which is by works is the part of some noble and great one. Wherefore also Christ, speaking of the endurance of evil, putteth Himself forth, bidding us take example from Him. On this account too, after this admonition, He betaketh Himself to prayer, teaching us in our temptations to leave all things, and flee to God. For because He had said, "In the world ye shall have tribulation," and had shaken their souls, by the prayer He raiseth them again. As yet they gave heed unto Him as to a man; and for their sake He acteth thus, just as He did in the case of Lazarus, and there telleth the reason; "Because of the people that stand by I said it, that they might believe that Thou hast sent Me." (c. xi. 42.) "Yea," saith some one, "this took place with good cause in the case of the Jews; but wherefore in that of the disciples?" With good cause in the case of the disciples also. For they who, after all that had been said and done, said, "Now we know that Thou knowest" (c. xvi. 30), most of all needed to be established. Besides, the Evangelist doth not even call the action prayer; but what saith he? "He lifted up His eyes to heaven," and saith rather that it was a discoursing with the Father. And if elsewhere he speaks of prayer, and at one time shows Him kneeling on His knees, at another lifting His eyes to heaven, be not thou troubled; for by these means we are taught the earnestness which should be in our petitions, that standing we should look up, not with the eyes of the flesh only, but of the mind, and that we should bend our knees, bruising our own hearts. For Christ came not merely to manifest Himself, but also about to teach virtue ineffable. But it behooveth the teacher to teach, not by words only, but also by actions. Let us hear then what He saith in this place.

"Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee."

Again He showeth us, that not unwilling He cometh to the Cross. For how could He be unwilling, who prayed that this might come to pass, and called the action "glory," not only for Himself the Crucified, but also for the Father? since this was the case, for not the Son only, but the Father also was glorified. For before the Crucifixion, not even the Jews knew Him; [2297] "Israel," it saith, "hath not known Me" (Isaiah 1:3); but after the Crucifixion, all the world ran to Him. Then He speaketh also of the manner of the glory, and how He will glorify Him.

As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
Ver. 2. "As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh," "that nothing which Thou hast given Him should perish." [2298]

For to be always doing good, is glory to God. But what is, "As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh"? He now showeth, that what belongs to the preaching is not confined to the Jews alone, but is extended to all the world, and layeth down beforehand the first invitations to the Gentiles. And since He had said, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles" (Matthew 10:5), and after this time is about to say, "Go ye, and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19), He showeth that the Father also willeth this. For this greatly offended the Jews, and the disciples too; nor indeed after this did they easily endure to lay hold on the Gentiles, until they received the teaching of the Spirit; because hence arose no small stumblingblock for the Jews. Therefore, when Peter after such a manifestation of the Spirit came to Jerusalem, he could scarcely, by relating the vision of the sheet, escape the charges brought against him. But what is, "Thou hast given Him power over all flesh"? I will ask the heretics, "When did He receive this power? was it before He formed them, or after?" He himself saith, that it was after that He had been crucified, [2299] and had risen again; at least then He said, "All power is given unto Me" (Matthew 28:18), and, "Go ye and make disciples of all nations." What then, had He not authority over His own works? Did He make them, and had He not authority over them after having made them? Yet He is seen doing all in times of old, punishing some as sinners, [2300] (for, "Surely I will not hide," it saith, "from My servant Abraham, that which I am about to do"-- Genesis 18:17 , LXX. ,) and honoring others as righteous. Had He then the power at that time, and now had He lost it, and did He again receive it? What devil could assert this? But if His power was the same both then and now, (for, saith He, "as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will"-- c. v. 21 ,) what is the meaning of the words? He was about to send them to the Gentiles; in order therefore that they might not think that this was an innovation, because He had said, "I am not sent, save unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 15:24), He showeth that this seemeth good to the Father also. And if He saith this with great meanness of circumstance, it is not wonderful. For so He edified both those at that time, and those who came afterwards; and as I have before said, He always by the excess of meanness firmly persuaded them that the words were those of condescension.

[2.] But what is, "Of all flesh"? For certainly not all believed. Yet, for His part, all believed; and if men gave no heed to His words, the fault was not in the teacher, but in those who received them not.

"That He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him."

If here also He speaketh in a more human manner, wonder not. For He doth so both on account of the reasons I have given, and to avoid the saying anything great concerning Himself; since this was a stumblingblock to the hearers because as yet they imagined nothing great concerning Him. John, for example, when He speaks in his own person, doth not so, but leadeth up his language to greater sublimity, saying, "All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made" (c. i. 3, 4, 9, 11); and that He was "Life"; and that He was "Light"; and that "He came to His own": he saith not, that He would not have had power, had He not received it, but that He gave to others also "power to become sons of God." And Paul in like manner calleth Him equal with God. But He Himself asketh in a more human way, saying thus, "That He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him." (Philip. ii. 6 .)

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Ver. 3. "And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent."

"The only true God," He saith, by way of distinction from those which are not gods; for He was about to send them to the Gentiles. But if they [2301] will not allow this, but on account of this word "only" reject the Son from being true God, in this way as they proceed they reject Him from being God at all. [2302] For He also saith, "Ye seek not the glory which is from the only God." (c. v. 44.) Well then; shall not the Son be God? But if the Son be God, and the Son of the Father who is called the Only God, it is clear that He also is true, and the Son of Him who is called the Only true God. Why, when Paul saith, "Or I only and Barnabas" (1 Corinthians 9:6), doth he exclude Barnabas? Not at all; for the "only" is put by way of distinction from others. And, if He be not true God, how is He "Truth"? for truth far surpasses what is true. What shall we call the not being a "true" man, tell me? shall we not call it the not being a man at all? so if the Son is not true God, how is He God? And how maketh He us gods and sons, if He is not true? But on these matters we have spoken more particularly in another place; wherefore let us apply ourselves to what follows.

Ver. 4. "I have glorified Thee on the earth." Well said He, "on the earth"; for in heaven He had been already glorified, having His own natural glory, and being worshiped by the Angels. Christ then speaketh not of that glory which is bound up with His [2303] Essence, (for that glory, though none glorify Him, He ever possesseth in its fullness,) but of that which cometh from the service of men. And so the, "Glorify Me," is of this kind; and that thou mayest understand that He speaketh of this manner of glory, hear what follows.

"I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me that I should do it."

And yet the action was still but beginning, or rather was not yet beginning. How then said He, "I have finished"? Either He meaneth, that "I have done all My part"; or He speaketh of the future, as having already come to pass; or, which one may say most of all, that all was already effected, because the root of blessings had been laid, which fruits would certainly and necessarily follow, and from His being [2304] present at and assisting in those things which should take place after these. On this account He saith again in a condescending way, "Which Thou gavest Me." For had He indeed waited to hear and learn, this would have fallen far short of His glory. For that He came to this [2305] of His own will, is clear from many passages. As when Paul saith, that "He so loved us, as to give Himself for us" (Ephesians 5:2); and, "He emptied Himself, and took upon Him the form of a servant" (Philip. ii. 7); and, "As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you." (c. xv. 9.)

Ver. 5. "And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine Own Self, [2306] with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was."

Where is that glory? For allowing that He was [2307] with reason unhonored among men, because of the covering [2308] which was put around Him; how seeketh He [2309] to be glorified with the Father? What then saith He here? The saying refers to the Dispensation; since His fleshly nature had not yet been glorified, not having as yet enjoyed incorruption, nor shared the kingly throne. Therefore He said not "on earth," but "with Thee."

[3.] This glory we also shall enjoy according to our measure, if we be sober. Wherefore Paul saith, "If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together." (Romans 8:17.) Ten thousand tears then do they merit, who through sluggishness and sleep plot against themselves when such glory is set before them; and, were there no hell, they would be more wretched than any, who, when it is in their power to reign and to be glorified with the Son of God, deprive themselves of so great blessings. Since if it were necessary to be cut in pieces, if to die ten thousand deaths, if to give up every day ten thousand lives and as many bodies, ought we not to submit to such things [2310] for such glory? But now we do not even despise money, which hereafter, though unwilling, we shall leave: we do not despise money, which brings about us ten thousand mischiefs, which remains here, which is not our own. For we are but stewards of that which is not our own, although we receive it from our fathers. But when there is hell besides, and the worm that dieth not, and the fire that is not quenched, and the gnashing of teeth, how, tell me, shall we bear these things? How long will we refuse to see clearly, and spend our all on daily fightings, and contentions, and unprofitable talk, feeding, cultivating earth, fattening the body and neglecting the soul, making no account of necessary things, but much care about things superfluous and unprofitable? And we build splendid tombs, and buy costly houses, and draw about with us herds of all kinds of servants, and devise different stewards, appointing managers of lands, of houses, of money, and managers of those managers; but as to our desolate soul, we care nothing for that. And what will be the limit to this? Is it not one belly that we fill, is it not one body that we clothe? What is this great bustle of business? Why and wherefore do we cut up and tear to pieces the one [2311] soul, which we have had assigned to us, [2312] in attending to the service of such things, contriving for ourselves a grievous slavery? For he who needs many things is the slave of many things, although he seem to be their master. Since the lord is the slave even of his domestics, and brings in another and a heavier mode of service; and in another way also he is their slave, not daring without them to enter the agora, nor the bath, nor the field, but they frequently go about in all directions without him. He who seems to be master, dares not, if his slaves be not present, to go forth from home, and if whilst unattended he do but put his head out of his house, he thinks that he is laughed at. Perhaps some laugh at us when we say this, yet on this very account they would be deserving of ten thousand tears. For to show that this is slavery, I would gladly ask you, wouldest thou wish to need some one to put the morsel to thy mouth, and to apply the cup to thy lips? Wouldest thou not deem such a service worthy of tears? What if thou didst require continually supporters to enable thee to walk, wouldest thou not think thyself pitiable, and in this respect more wretched than any? So then thou oughtest to be disposed now. For it matters nothing whether one is so treated by irrational things, [2313] or by men.

Why, tell me, do not the Angels differ from us in this respect, that they do not want so many things as we do? Therefore the less we need, the more we are on our way to them; the more we need, the more we sink down to this perishable life. And that thou mayest learn that these things are so, ask those who have grown old which life they deem happiest, that when they were helplessly [2314] mastered, or now when they are masters of these things? We have mentioned these persons, because those who are intoxicated with youth, do not even know the excess of their slavery. For what of those in fever, do they call themselves happy when, thirsting much, they drink much and need more, or when, having recovered their health, they are free from the desire? Seest thou that in every instance the needing much is pitiable, and far apart from true wisdom, and an aggravation of slavery and desire? Why then do we voluntarily increase to ourselves wretchedness? For, tell me, if it were possible to live uninjured without roof or walls, wouldest thou not prefer this; wherefore then dost thou increase the signs of thy weakness? Do we not for this call Adam happy, that he needed nothing, no house, no clothes? "Yes," saith some one, "but now we are in need of them." Why then do we make our need greater? If many persons curtail many of the things actually needed, (servants, I mean, and houses, and money,) what excuse can we have if we overstep the need? The more thou puttest about thee, the more slavish dost thou become; for by whatever proportion thou requirest more, in that proportion thou hast trenched upon thy freedom. For absolute [2315] freedom is, to want nothing at all; the next is, to want little; and this the Angels and their imitators especially possess. But for men to succeed in this while tarrying in a mortal body, think how great praise this hath. This also Paul said, when writing to the Corinthians, "But I spare you," and, "lest such should have trouble in the flesh." [2316] (1 Corinthians 7:28.) Riches are called "usables," [2317] that we may "use" them rightly, and not keep and bury them; for this is not to possess them, but to be possessed by them. Since if we are going to make this our aim how to multiply them, not that we may employ them rightly, the order is reversed, and they possess us, not we them. Let us then free ourselves from this grievous bondage, and at last become free. Why do we devise ten thousand different chains for ourselves? Is not the bond of nature enough for thee, and the necessity of life, and the crowd of ten thousand affairs, but dost thou twine also other nets for thyself, and put them about thy feet? And when wilt thou lay hold on heaven, and be able to stand on [2318] that height? For a great thing, a great thing is it, that even having cut asunder all these cords, thou shouldest be able to lay hold on the city which is above. So many other hindrances are there; all which that we may conquer, let us keep to the mean estate [2319] [and having put away superfluities, let us keep to what is necessary.] Thus shall we lay hold on eternal life, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


[2296] "Whosoever shall do," &c., N.T.

[2297] i. e. the Father.

[2298] N.T. "That He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him."

[2299] Morel. "had been made flesh."

[2300] Some mss. add, "and setting right some who turn."

[2301] i. e. the heretics: some mss. to monon

[2302] al. "even reject God."

[2303] i. e. the Father's.

[2304] Ben. "and His being."

[2305] i. e. to His death.

[2306] para seauto

[2307] al. "Thou wast."

[2308] i. e. the flesh.

[2309] al. "seekest Thou."

[2310] al. "all."

[2311] one ms. "the precious."

[2312] al. "have received."

[2313] i. e. receives so much help from them.

[2314] ton hote ekratounto maten, e ton hote auton kratousi nun. There may be some words omitted.

[2315] a krires

[2316] "such shall have," &c., N.T.

[2317] chremata

[2318] al. "rise up to."

[2319] euteleias

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
"I have manifested Thy Name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me, and they have kept Thy word."

[1.] " Messenger' of great counsel" (Isaiah 9:6 , LXX.), the Son of God is called, because of the other things which He taught, and principally because He announced the Father to men, as also now He saith, "I have manifested Thy Name unto the men." For after having said, "I have finished Thy work," He next explaineth it in detail, telling what sort of work. Now the Name indeed was well known. For Esaias said, "Ye shall swear [2320] by the true God." (Isaiah 65:16.) But what I have often told you I tell you now, that though it was known, yet it was so only to Jews, and not to all of these: but now He speaketh concerning the Gentiles. Nor doth He declare this merely, but also that they knew Him as the Father. For it is not the same thing to learn that He is Creator, and that He hath a Son. But He "manifested His [2321] Name" both by words and actions.

"Whom Thou gavest Me out of the world." As He saith above, "No man cometh unto Me except it be given him" (c. vi. 65); and, "Except My Father [2322] draw him" (c. vi. 64); so here too, "Whom thou gavest Me." (c. xiv. 6.) Now He calleth Himself "the Way"; whence it is clear that He establisheth two things by what is said here, that He is not opposed to the Father, and that it is the Father's will to entrust them to the Son.

"Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me." Here He desireth to teach [2323] that He is greatly loved by the Father. For that He needed not to receive them, is clear from this, He made them, He careth for them continually. How then did He receive them? This, as I said before, showeth His unanimity with the Father. Now if a man choose to enquire into the matter in a human manner, and as the words are spoken, they [2324] will no longer belong to the Father. For if when the Father had them, the Son had them not, it is evident that when He gave them to the Son, He withdrew from His dominion over them. And again, there is a yet more unseemly conclusion; for they will be found to have been imperfect while they yet were with the Father, but to have become perfect when they came to the Son. But it is mockery even to speak thus. What then doth He declare by this? [2325] "That it hath seemed good to the Father also that they should believe on the Son."

"And they have kept Thy word."

Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
Ver. 7. "Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee."

How did they "keep Thy word"? "By believing in Me, and giving no heed to the Jews. For he that believeth in Him, it saith, hath set to his seal that God is true.'" (c. iii. 33.) Some read, "Now I know that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee." But this would have no reason; for how would the Son be ignorant of the things of the Father? No the words are spoken of the disciples. "From the time," He saith, "that I told them these things, they have learnt that all that Thou hast given Me is from Thee; nothing is alien, nothing peculiar to Me, with Thee." [2326] (For whatever is peculiar, puts most things in the condition of being alien. [2327] "They therefore have known that all things, whatsoever I teach, are Thy doctrines and teachings." "And whence have they learnt it?" From My words; [2328] for so have I taught them. And not only this have I taught them, but also that "I came out from Thee." For this He was anxious to prove through all the Gospel.

For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
Ver. 9. "I pray for them." [2329]

"What sayest Thou?" "Dost Thou teach the Father, as though He were ignorant? Dost Thou speak to Him as to a man who knoweth not?" "What then meaneth this distinction?" Seest thou that the prayer is for nothing else than that they may understand the love which He hath towards them? For He who not only giveth what He hath of His own, but also calleth on Another to do the same, showeth greater love. What then is, "I pray for them"? "Not for all the world," He saith, but "for them whom Thou hast given Me." He continually putteth the "hast given," that they might learn that this seemeth good to the Father. Then, because He had said continually, "they are Thine," and, "Thou gavest them unto Me," to remove any evil suspicion, and lest any one should think that His authority was recent, and that He had but now received them, what saith He?

[2.] Ver. 10. "All Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them."

Seest thou the equality of honor? For lest on hearing, "Thou hast given them Me," thou shouldest deem that they were alienated from the authority of the Father, or before this from that of the Son, He removed both difficulties by speaking as He did. It was as though He said, "Do not when thou hearest that Thou hast given them to Me,' deem that they are alienated from the Father, for what is Mine is His; nor when thou hearest, Thine they were,' think that they were aliens from Me, for what is His is Mine." So that the, "Thou hast given," is said only for condescension; for what the Father hath is the Son's, and what the Son hath is the Father's. But this cannot even be said of a son after the manner of man, but because They [2330] are upon a greater Equality of honor. [2331] For that what belongs to the less, belongs to the greater also, is clear to every one, but the reverse not so; but here He converteth [2332] these terms, and the conversion declares [2333] Equality. And in another place, declaring this, He said, "All things that the Father hath are Mine," speaking of knowledge. And the "hast given Me," and the like expressions, are to show that He did not come as an alien and draw them to Him, but received them as His own. Then He putteth the cause and the proof, saying, "And I am glorified in them," that is, either that "I have power over them," or, that "they shall glorify Me, believing in Thee and Me, and shall glorify Us alike." But if He is not glorified equally in them, what is the Father's is no longer His. For no one is glorified in those over whom he hath no authority. Yet how is He glorified equally? All die for Him equally as for the Father; they preach Him as they do the Father; and as they say that all things are done in His Name, so also in the Name of the Son.

Ver. 11. "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world." [2334]

That is, "Although I appear no longer in the flesh, yet by these am I glorified." But why doth He say continuously, that, "I am not in the world"; and that, "because I leave them I commit them to Thee"; and that, "when I was in the world I kept them"? for if one should take these words in their simple sense, many absurdities will follow. For how could it be reasonable to say, that He is no longer in the world, and that when He departeth He committeth them to another? since these are the words of a mere man parting from them forever. Seest thou how He speaketh for the most part like a man, and in a way adapted to their state of mind, because they thought that they had a greater degree of safety from His presence? Wherefore He saith, "While I was with them, I kept them." (c. xiv. 28.) Yet He telleth them, "I come to you"; and, "I am with you till the end." (Matthew 28:20.) How then [2335] saith He these words, as if about to be parted from them? He addresseth Himself, as I said before, to their thoughts, [2336] that they may take breath a little when they hear Him speaking thus, and delivering them over to the care of the Father. For since, after hearing many exhortations from Him, they were not persuaded, He then holdeth converse with the Father, manifesting His affection for them. As though He had said, "Since Thou callest Me to Thyself, place these in safety; for I come to Thee." "What sayest Thou? Art Thou not able to keep them?" "Yea, I am able." "Wherefore then speakest Thou thus?" "That they may have My joy fulfilled" [2337] (ver. 13); that is, "may not be confounded, as being imperfect." And by these words He showed that He had spoken all these things so, to give them rest and joy. For the saying appears to be contradictory. "Now I am no longer in the world, and these are in the world." This was what they were suspecting. For a while therefore He condescendeth to them, because had He said, "I keep them," they would not have so well believed; wherefore He saith, "Holy Father, keep them through Thine own Name"; that is, "by thy help."

Ver. 12. "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy Name."

Again He speaketh as a man and as a Prophet, since nowhere doth He appear to have done anything by the Name of God.

"Those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled."

And in another place He saith, "Of all that Thou gavest Me, I will surely lose nothing." [2338] (c. vi. 39.) Yet not only was he [2339] lost, but also many afterwards; how then saith He, "I will in nowise lose"? [2340] "For My part, I will not lose." So in another place, declaring the matter was more clearly, He said, "I will in nowise cast out." (c. vi. 37.) "Not through fault of Mine, not because I either instigate or abandon them; but if they start away of themselves, I draw them not by necessity."

Ver. 13. "But now I come to thee."

Seest thou that the discourse is composed rather in a human manner? So that should any wish from these words to lower the Son, he will lower the Father also. Observe, in proof of this, how from the beginning He speaketh [2341] partly as though informing and explaining to Him, partly as enjoining. Informing, as when He saith, "I pray not for the world"; enjoining, as, "I have kept them until now," "and none of them is lost"; and, "do Thou therefore now keep them," He saith. And again, "Thine they were, and Thou hast given them unto Me" and "While I was in the world I kept them." But the solution of all is, that the words were addressed to their infirmity.

But after having said that "none of them was lost but the son of perdition," He added, "that the Scripture might be fulfilled." Of what Scripture doth He speak? That which foretelleth many things concerning Him. Not that He perished on that account, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But we have before spoken at length on this point, that this is the peculiar manner of Scripture, which puts things which fall out in accordance with it, as though they were caused by it. [2342] And it is needful to enquire exactly into all, both the manner of the speaker, his argument, and the laws of Scripture, if at least we are minded not to draw wrong conclusions. For, "Brethren, be not children in your minds." (1 Corinthians 14:20.)

[3.] This it is necessary to consider well, [2343] not only for the understanding the Scriptures, but also for earnestness in one's way of life. For so little children do not desire great things, but are wont to admire those which are worth nothing; they are pleased at seeing chariots, and horses, and the muleteer, and wheels, all made out of earthenware; but if they see a king sitting upon a chariot, and a pair of white mules, and great magnificence, they do not even [2344] turn their heads. And they deck out as brides dolls made of the same material, but the actual brides, real and beautiful, they do not even notice; and this is their case in many other matters. Now this many men also undergo at this time; for when they hear of heavenly things, they do not even give heed to them, but toward all the things of clay they are as eager as children, and stupidly admire the wealth which is of earth, and honor the glory and luxury of the present life. Yet these are just as much toys as those; but the other are the causes of life, and glory, and repose. But as children deprived of their playthings cry, and do not know how even to desire the realities, so also are many of those who seem to be men. Wherefore it saith, "Be not children in your minds." (1 Corinthians 14:20.) Desirest thou riches, tell me, and desirest thou not the wealth that lasteth, but childish toys? If thou shouldest see a man admiring a leaden coin, and stooping to pick it up, thou wouldest pronounce his penury to be extreme; and dost thou, who collectest more worthless things than this, number thyself among the rich? How can this consist with reason? We will call him rich who despises all present things. For no one, no one will choose to laugh at these little things, silver and gold, and other things of show, unless he have the desire of greater things; just as the man would not despise the leaden coin, [2345] unless he possessed coins of gold. Do thou, therefore, when thou seest a man running by all worldly things, deem that he doth so from no other motive than because he looks to a greater world. So the husbandman despises a few grains of wheat, when he expects a larger harvest. But if, when the hope is uncertain, we despise things which are, much more ought we to do so in a case where the expectation is sure. Wherefore I pray and beseech you not to bring loss on yourselves, nor, keeping hold of mire, rob yourselves of the treasures which are above, bringing your vessel to port laden with straw and chaff. Let each say what he will concerning us, let him be angry at our continual admonitions, let him call us silly, tedious, tiresome, still we will not desist from exhorting you on these matters continually, and from continually repeating to you that of the Prophet, "Break off thy sins by almsgiving, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor' (Daniel 4:27), and bind them upon thy neck." [2346] Do not act in this way to-day, and desist to-morrow. For even this body has need of daily food; and so too hath the soul, or rather that much more; and if it give not, [2347] it becomes weaker and more vile. Let us then not neglect it when it is perishing, choking. Many wounds it receives each day, by being lustful, angry, slothful, reviling, revengeful, envious. It is therefore necessary to prepare also remedies for it, and no small remedy is that of almsgiving, which can be placed on every wound. For, "Give alms," it saith, "of such things as ye have, and behold all things are clean unto you." (Luke 11:41 .) "Alms," not covetousness, for that which proceeds from covetousness endures not, though thou give to those who need. For almsgiving is that which is free from all injustice, "this" makes all things clean. This is a thing better even than fasting, or lying on the ground; they may be more painful and laborious, but this more profitable. It enlightens the soul, makes it sleek, [2348] beautiful, and vigorous. Not so doth the fruit of the olive hold up the athletes, as this oil recovers the combatants of piety. Let us then anoint our hands, that we may lift them up well against our adversary. He that practiceth showing mercy to him that needeth, will soon cease from covetousness, he who continues in giving to the poor, will soon cease from anger, and will never even be high-minded. For as the physician continually tending wounded persons is easily sobered, beholding human nature in the calamities of others; so we, if we enter upon the work of aiding the poor, shall easily become truly wise, and shall not admire riches, nor deem present things any great matter, but despise them all, and soaring aloft to heaven, shall easily obtain the eternal blessings, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ; to whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


[2320] [ho mountai] LXX.

[2321] i. e. the Father's.

[2322] "The Father which hath sent Me," &c., N.T.

[2323] bouletai didaxai, Ben. and mss. Savile omits bouletai

[2324] i. e. those given.

[2325] al. "by these words then He declareth."

[2326] para soi, i. e. in the Godhead, or with God. However, one Vatican ms. and Catena favor Savile's conjecture, para se, "beside Thee," since the Father is in a peculiar manner His own.

[2327] to gar idion hos ep allotrio ta polla tithesi, i. e. when one thing is specified as peculiar to a person, it is implied that other things not specified do not belong to him.

[2328] Ver. 8. "For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me."

[2329] Ver. 9. "I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine."

[2330] i. e. the Father and the Son.

[2331] meizonos eisin isotimias. If this be the right reading, the sense is, that the Father and the Son are more Equal in honor than human father and son. Sav. reads meizon. Ben. meizonos estin, omitting i[s

[2332] a ntistrephei

[2333] al. "shows."

[2334] "in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own Name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one as we are." N.T.

[2335] al. "how now."

[2336] Ben. "suspicion."

[2337] "to Thee, and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves." N.T.

[2338] "which He hath given," N.T.

[2339] i. e. the traitor.

[2340] ou me ap

[2341] Ben. "is."

[2342] ho s aitiologian tithemenes ta ek tes ekbaseos sumbainonta

[2343] or, "to read (and understand)," a naginoskein

[2344] Ben. "not at all."

[2345] al. "the lead."

[2346] not found in the Chald. or LXX.

[2347] kan mhe katabale. One ms. katalabe, "if it get it not."

[2348] lipainei

And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
"I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."

[1.] When having become virtuous we are persecuted by the wicked, or when being desirous of virtue we are mocked at by them, let us not be distracted or angry. For this is the natural course of things, and everywhere virtue is wont to engender hatred from wicked men. For envying those who desire to live properly, and thinking to prepare an excuse for themselves if they can overthrow the credit of others, they hate them as having pursuits opposite to their own, and use every means to shame their way of life. But let not us grieve, for this is a mark of virtue. Wherefore Christ also saith, "If ye were of the world, the world would love its own." (c. xv. 19.) And in another place again, "Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you." (Luke 6:26.) Wherefore also He saith here, "I have given them Thy word, and the world hath hated them." Again He telleth the reason for which they were worthy to obtain much care from the Father; "For Thy sake," He saith, "they have been hated, and for Thy word's sake"; so that they would be entitled to all providential care.

I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
Ver. 15. "I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil."

Again He simplifieth [2349] His language; again He rendereth it more clear; which is the act of one showing, by making entreaty for them with exactness, nothing else but this, that He hath a very tender care for them. Yet He Himself had told them, that the Father would do all things whatsoever they should ask. How then doth He here pray for them? As I said, for no other purpose than to show His love.

They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Ver. 16. "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."

How then saith He in another place, "Which Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were"? (Ver. 6.) There He speaketh of their nature; here of wicked actions. And He putteth together a long encomium of them; first, that "they were not of the world"; then, that "the Father Himself had given them"; and that "they had kept His word;" and that on this account "they were hated." And if He saith, "As I am not of the world," be not troubled; for the "as" is not here expressive of unvarying exactness. For as, when in the case of Him and the Father the "as" is used, a great Equality is signified, because of the Relationship in Nature; so when it is used of us and Him, the interval is great, because of the great and infinite interval between the respective natures. For if He "did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth" (1 Pet. ii. 22), how could the Apostles be reckoned equal to Him? What is it then that He saith, "They are not of the world"? "They look to another world, they have nothing common with earth, but are become citizens of heaven." And by these words He showeth His love, when He commendeth them to the Father, and committeth them to Him who begat Him. When He saith, "Keep them," He doth not speak merely of delivering them from dangers, but also with regard to their continuance in the faith. Wherefore He addeth,

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Ver. 17. "Sanctify them through Thy truth." "Make them holy by the gift of the Spirit, and of right doctrines." As when He saith, "Ye are clean through the word which I spake unto you" (c. xv. 3), so now He saith the same thing, "Instruct them, teach them the truth." "And yet He saith that the Spirit doth this. How then doth He now ask it from the Father?" That thou mayest again learn their equality of Honor. For right doctrines asserted concerning God sanctify the soul. And if He saith that they are sanctified by the word, marvel not. And to show that He speaketh of doctrines, He addeth,

"Thy word is truth."

That is, "there is no falsehood in it, and all that is said in it must needs come to pass"; and again, it signifieth nothing typical or bodily. As also Paul saith concerning the Church, that He hath sanctified it by the Word. For the Word of God is wont also to cleanse. (Ephesians 5:26.) Moreover, the, "sanctify them," seems to me to signify something else, such as this, "Set them apart for the Word and for preaching." And this is made plain from what follows. For, He saith,

Ver. 17. "As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world."

As Paul also saith, "Having put in us the word of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:19.) For the same end for which Christ came, for the same did these take possession of the world. In this place again the "as" is not put to signify resemblance in the case of Himself and the Apostles; for how was it possible for men to be sent otherwise? But it was His custom to speak of the future as having come to pass. [2350]

Ver. 19. "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified in the truth."

What is, "I sanctify Myself"? "I offer to Thee a sacrifice." Now all sacrifices are called "holy," and those are specially called "holy things," which are laid up for God. For whereas of old in type the sanctification was by the sheep, but now it is not [2351] in type, but by the truth itself, He therefore saith, "That they may be sanctified in Thy truth." "For I both dedicate them to Thee, and make them an offering"; this He saith, either because their Head was being made so, [2352] or because they also were sacrificed; for, "Present," it saith, "your bodies a living sacrifice, holy" (Romans 12:1); and, "We were counted as sheep for the slaughter." (Psalm 44:22.) And He maketh them; without death, a sacrifice and offering; for that He alluded to His own sacrifice, when He said, "I sanctify," is clear from what follows.

Ver. 20. "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also who shall believe." [2353]

[2.] For since He was dying for them, and said, that "For their sakes I sanctify Myself," lest any one should think that He did this for the Apostles only, He added, "Neither pray I for these only, but for them also who believe on Me through their word." By this again He revived their souls, showing that the disciples should be many. For because He made common what they possessed peculiarly, He comforteth them by showing that they were being made the cause of the salvation of others.

After having thus spoken concerning their salvation, and their being sanctified by faith and the Sacrifice, He afterwards speaketh of concord, and finally closeth his discourse with this, having begun with it and ended [2354] in it. For at the beginning He saith, "A new commandment I give unto you" (c. xiii. 34); and here,

Ver. 21. "That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in Me and I in Thee."

Here again the "as" doth not denote exact similarity in their case, (for it was not possible for them in so great a degree,) but only as far as was possible for men. Just as when He saith "Be ye merciful, as your Father." (Luke 6:36.)

But what is, "In Us"? [2355] In the faith which is on Us. Because nothing so offends all men as divisions, He provideth that they should be one. "What then," saith some one, "did He effect this?" Certainly He effected it. For all who believe through the Apostles are one, though some from among them were torn away. Nor did this escape His knowledge, He even foretold it, and showed that it proceeded from men's slack-mindedness.

"That the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me."

As He said in the beginning, "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye love one another." And how should they hence believe? "Because," He saith, "Thou art a God of peace." If therefore they observe the same as those of whom they have learnt, their hearers shall know the teacher by the disciples, but if they quarrel, men shall deny that they are the disciples of a God of peace, and will not allow that I, not being peaceable, have been sent from Thee. Seest thou how, unto the end, He proveth His unanimity with the Father?

Ver. 22. "And the glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given them." [2356]

That by miracles, that by doctrines, [2357] and, that they should be of one soul; for this is glory, that they should be one, and greater even than miracles. As men [2358] admire God because there is no strife or discord in That Nature, and this is His greatest glory, "so too let these," He saith, "from this cause become glorious." "And how," saith some one, "doth He ask the Father to give this to them, when He saith that He Himself giveth it?" Whether His discourse be concerning miracles, or unanimity, or peace, He is seen Himself to have given these things to them; whence it is clear that the petition is made for the sake of their comfort.

Ver. 23. "I in them, and Thou in Me."

"How gave He the glory?" By being in them, and having the Father with Him, so as to weld them [2359] together. But in another place He speaketh not so; He saith not that the Father cometh by Him, but, "that He and the Father come, and take up their abode with him," [2360] "there" removing the suspicion of Sabellius, "here" that of Arius. [2361]

"That they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me." (c. xiv. 23.)

He saith these latter words immediately after the other, to show that peace hath more power to attract men than a miracle; for as it is the nature of strife [2362] to separate, so it is that of agreement to weld together.

"And I have [2363] loved them as Thou hast loved Me."

Here again the "as" means, as far as it is possible for a man to be loved; and the sure proof of His love is His giving Himself for them. After having told them that they shall be in safety, that they shall not be overturned, that they shall be holy, that many shall believe through them, that they shall enjoy great glory, that not He alone loved them, but the Father also; He next telleth them of what shall be after their sojourning here, [2364] concerning the prizes and crowns laid up for them.

Ver. 24. "Father," He saith, "I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am."

"Then dost Thou gain by prayer, and dost Thou not yet possess that concerning which they enquired continually, saying, Whither goest Thou?' What sayest Thou? How then didst Thou say to them, Ye shall sit upon twelve thrones'? (Matthew 19:28.) How didst Thou promise other things more and greater?" Seest thou that He saith all [2365] in the way of condescension? since how would He have said, "Thou shalt follow afterwards"? (c. xiii. 36.) But He speaketh thus with a view to a fuller conviction and demonstration of His love.

"That they may behold My glory which Thou hast given Me."

This again is a sign of His being of one mind with the Father, of a higher character than those former, for He saith, "Before [2366] the foundation of the world," yet hath it also a certain condescension; for, "Thou hast given Me," He saith. Now if this be not the case, I would gladly ask the gainsayers a question. He that giveth, giveth to one subsisting; [2367] did the Father then, having first begotten the Son, afterwards give Him glory, having before allowed Him to be without glory? And how could this be reasonable? Seest that the "He gave," is, "He begot"?

[3.] But why said He not, "That they may share My glory," instead of, "That they may be hold My glory"? Here He implieth, that all that rest is, the looking on the Son of God. This certainly it is which causes them to be glorified; as Paul saith, "With open face mirroring the glory of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3:18.) For as they who look on the sunbeams, and enjoy a very clear atmosphere, draw their enjoyment from their sight, so then also, and in much greater degree, this will cause us pleasure. [2368] At the same time also He showeth, that what they should behold was not the body then seen, but some awful Substance.

Ver. 25. "O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee." [2369]

What meaneth this? What connection hath it? He here showeth that no man knoweth God, save those only who have come to know the Son. And what He saith is of this kind: "I wished all to be so, [2370] yet they have not known Thee, although they had no complaint against Thee." For this is the meaning of, "O righteous Father." And here He seemeth to me to speak these words, as vexed that they would not know One so just and good. For since the Jews had said that they knew God, but that He knew Him not, at this He aimeth, saying, "For Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world"; thus putting together a defense against the accusations of the Jews. For how could He who had received glory, who was loved before the foundation of the world, who desired to have them as witnesses of that glory, how could He be opposed to the Father? "This then is not true which the Jews say, that they know Thee, and that I know Thee not; on the contrary, I know Thee, and they have not known Thee."

"And these have known that Thou hast sent Me."

Seest thou that He alludeth to those, who said that He was not from God, and all is finally summed up to meet this argument?

Ver. 26. "And I have declared unto them Thy Name, and will declare it."

"Yet thou sayest that perfect knowledge is from the Spirit." "But the things of the Spirit are Mine."

"That the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may remain [2371] in them, and I in them."

"For if they learn who Thou art, then they shall know that I am not separated from Thee, but one of the greatly beloved, and a true Son, and closely knit to Thee. And those who are rightly persuaded of this, will keep both the faith which is on Me and perfect love; and while they love as they ought, I remain in them." Seest thou how He hath arrived [2372] at a good end, finishing off the discourse with love, the mother of all blessings?

[4.] Let us then believe and love God, that it may not be said of us, "They profess that they know God, but in their works they deny Him." (Titus 1:16.) And again, "He hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." (1 Timothy 5:8.) For when he [2373] helps his domestics and kinsmen and strangers, while thou dost not even succor those who are related to thee by family, what will henceforth be thy excuse, when God is blasphemed and insulted by reason of thee? Consider what opportunities of doing good God hath given to us. "Have mercy on one," He saith, "as a kinsman, on another as a friend, on another as a neighbor, on another as a citizen, on another as a man." And if none of these things hold thee, but thou breakest through all bonds, hear from Paul, that thou art "worse than an infidel"; for he having heard nothing of almsgiving, or of heavenly things, hath overshot thee in love for man; but thou who art bidden to love thy very enemies, lookest upon thy friends as enemies, and art more careful of thy money than of their bodies. Yet the money by being spent will sustain no injury, but thy brother if neglected will perish. What madness then to be careful of money, and careless about one's kindred? Whence hath this craving for riches burst in upon us? [2374] Whence this inhumanity and cruelty? For if any one could, as though seated on the highest bench of a theater, look down upon all the world,--or rather, if you will, let us for the present take in hand a single city,--if then a man seated on an elevated spot could take in at a glance all the doings of the men there, consider what folly he would condemn, what tears he would weep, what laughter he would laugh, with what hatred he would hate; for we commit such actions as deserve both laughter, and the charge of folly, and tears, and hatred. One man keeps dogs to catch [2375] brute animals, himself sinking into brutality; another keeps oxen and asses to transport stones, but neglects men wasting with hunger; and spends gold without limit to make men of stone, but neglects real men, who are becoming like stones through their evil state. Another, collecting with great pains golden quarries, [2376] puts them about his walls, but when he beholds the naked bellies of the poor, is not moved. [2377] Some again contrive garments over their very garments, while their brother hath not even wherewithal to cover his naked body. Again, one hath swallowed up another in the law-courts; another hath spent his money on women and parasites, another on stage-players and theatrical bands, [2378] another on splendid edifices, on purchases of fields and houses. Again, one man is counting interest, another interest of interest; another is putting together [2379] bands full of many deaths, and doth not enjoy rest even at night, lying awake for others' harm. Then, when it is day, they run, one to his unjust gain, another to his wanton expense, others to public robbery. [2380] And great is the earnestness about things superfluous and forbidden, but of things necessary no account is taken; and they who decide questions of law have indeed the name of jurymen, but are really [2381] thieves and murderers. And if one should enquire into law suits and wills, he would find there again ten thousand mischiefs, frauds, robberies, plots, and about these things is all time spent; but for spiritual things there is no care, and they all inconvenience the Church, for the sake of seeing only. But this is not what is required; we need works, and a pure mind. [2382] But if thou spendest all the day in grasping after riches, and then coming in sayest a few words, thou hast not only not propitiated God, but hast even angered Him more. Wouldest thou conciliate thy Lord, exhibit works, make thyself acquainted with the mass of woes, look upon the naked, the hungry, the wronged; He hath cut out for thee ten thousand ways of showing love for men. Let us not then deceive ourselves by living aimlessly and to no purpose, nor presume, because we now are in health; but bearing in mind, that often when we have fallen into sickness, and have reached the extreme of debility, we have been dead with fear and the looking for things to come, let us expect to fall again into the same state, let us get again the same fear, and let us become better men; since what is done now deserves infinite condemnation. For those in the courts of justice are like lions and dogs; those in the public places like foxes; and those who lead a life of leisure, even they do not use their leisure as they ought, spending all their time on theaters and the mischiefs arising from them. And there is no one to reprove what is being done; but there are many who envy, and are vexed that they are not in the like condition, [2383] so that these in their turn are punished, though not actually doing wicked things. For they "not only do these things, but also have pleasure in them that do them." Because what belongs to their will is alike [2384] corrupt; whence it is plain, that the intention also will be punished. These things I say each day, and I will not cease to say them. For if any listen, it is gain; but if none give heed, ye shall then hear these things, when it will avail you nothing, and ye shall blame yourselves, and we shall be flee from fault. But may it never come to pass that we should only have this excuse, but that you may be our boast before the judgment-seat of Christ, that together we may enjoy the blessings, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost be glory, for ever and ever. Amen.


[2349] saphenizei

[2350] i. e. the words refer to the mission of the Ap. on the day of Pentecost.

[2351] al. "is no longer."

[2352] dia to ten kephalen touto ginesthai, al. ginetai

[2353] "believe on Me through their word," N.T.

[2354] katalusas, al. teleutesas

[2355] "that they also may be one in Us," N.T.

[2356] "given them, that they may be one, even as We are One," N.T.

[2357] al. "teaching."

[2358] al. "we."

[2359] al. "hold them."

[2360] i. e. with him who keeps the commandments.

[2361] al. "there stopping the mouths of the Sabellians, here removing the folly of Arius." The earlier passage, c. xiv. 23 , proves the distinct Personality, the latter, c. xvii. 23 , the Consubstantiality of the Son.

[2362] al. "division."

[2363] "and hast loved," N.T.

[2364] Sav. conject. "departure hence."

[2365] al. "all is said."

[2366] "For Thou lovedst Me before," &c., N.T.

[2367] hu phestoti

[2368] al. "will cause us greater pleasure."

[2369] "known Thee; but I know Thee," N.T.

[2370] i. e. knowing the Father.

[2371] "may be," N.T.

[2372] a pentesen, according to Sav. conject. and some mss. for a pertesen

[2373] i. e. the infidel.

[2374] eisekomase

[2375] sageneuse, "sweep as with a seine net."

[2376] for mosaic work, psephidas

[2377] lit. "bent."

[2378] o rchestras, al. o rchestas, "dancers."

[2379] al. "putting."

[2380] or, "robbing the State," klopen dedemosieumenen

[2381] lit. "have the reality of."

[2382] or, "intention."

[2383] or, "do not things like them."

[2384] i. e. "no less than the actions."

As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And 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; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom
Text Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.

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John 16
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