Thursday, October 6, 2011

Historical Church Writings #10: John Chrysostom on the Centurion

Today is Historical Church Writing Thursday. Each Thursday will feature the writings of the church fathers, reformation fathers or other church writings. Today's Historical Church Writing is from John Chrysostom:

     I ask you to note how the centurion signified that Christ is able not only to overcome death as if it were a slave but is also able to command it as its master. For in saying, " 'Come,' and he comes," and " 'Go,' and he goes," the centurion expressed this: "If You should command my servant's end not to come upon him, it will not come."
     Do you see how the centurion believed? For what was later to be made known to all -- that Christ has power over both death and life, and that He leads down to the gates of hell and bring us up again -- is already made clear here by the centurion.... But nevertheless, though he has such great faith, he still accounted himself to be unworthy. Christ, however, signifying that the centurion was worthy to have Him enter into his house, did much greater things, marveling at him and acclaiming him and giving him more than he had asked. For he came indeed seeking for his servant bodily healing, but he went away, having received a kingdom. See how the saying had already been fulfilled, "Seek first the kingdom of heaven, and all these things shall be added to you." For because the centurion showed great faith and lowliness of mind, Christ both gave him heaven, and added to him the health of his servant.
     And not by this alone did He honor him, but also by indicating upon whose casting out he is brought in. For now from this time forth, Christ proceeds to make known that salvation is by faith, not by works of the Law. And this is why not to Jews only but to Gentiles also the gift so given shall be proffered, and to the [faithful of the] later, rather than to the [unbelieving of the] former.
     -- John Chrysostom
Jesu Juva,
Soli Deo Gloria

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