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A Commentary Upon The Gospel According To Saint Luke -St. Cyril

He that heareth you, heareth Me: and he that rejecteth you, rejecteth Me: and whosoever rejecteth Me; rejecteth Him That sent Me.

THOSE who adorn thrones of earthly royalty, and possess supreme authority, when they wish to render fitting men illustrious with this world’s dignities, send them in the missives on which the decree commanding their appointment is inscribed, a declaration of their praiseworthiness. And this we find that Christ did. For consider how great was the authority He gave the holy apostles, and in what manner He declared them to be praiseworthy, and adorned with the highest honours. For let us search the sacred Scripture, even the treasure of the written words of the Gospel: let us there see the greatness of the authority given unto them. “He that heareth you,” He says, “heareth Me: and he that rejecteth you, rejecteth Me: and he that rejecteth Me, rejecteth Him That sent Me.” O what great honour! What incomparable dignities! O what a gift worthy of God! Though but men, the children of earth, He clothes them with a godlike glory; He entrusts to them His words, that they may be condemned who in ought resist, or venture to reject them: for when they are rejected He assures them that He it is Who suffers this; and then again He shews that the guilt of this wickedness, as being committed against Him, mounts up to God the Father. See, therefore, see with the eyes of the mind, to how vast a height He raises the sin committed by men in rejecting the saints! What a wall He builds around them! How great security He contrives for them! He makes them such as must be feared, and in every way plainly provides for their being uninjured.

And there is yet another way in which thou mayest attain to the meaning of what is said by Christ. “For he,” He says, “who heareth you, heareth Me.” He gives those who love instruction the assurance, that whatsoever is said respecting Him by the holy apostles or evangelists, is to be received necessarily without any doubt, and to be crowned with the words of truth. For he who heareth them, heareth Christ. For the blessed Paul also said; “Or seek ye proof of Christ That speaketh in Me!” And moreover Christ Himself somewhere said to the holy disciples; “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.” For Christ speaketh in them by the consubstantial Spirit. And if it be true, and plainly it is true, that they speak by Christ, how can that man err from what is fitting who affirms, that he who doth not hear them, doth not hear Christ, and that he who rejecteth them rejecteth Christ, and with Him the Father.

Inevitable therefore is the guilt decreed against the wicked heretics, who reject the words of the holy apostles and evangelists, and pervert them to that meaning only which without due examination seems to them to be right. These fall from the straight way, and wander from the doctrines of piety, “deceiving, and being deceived.” For while, so to speak, they have bidden farewell to the sacred Scriptures, “they speak of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord,” as Scripture saith. For though the blessed evangelist John wrote to us, that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;” they drag to the exact opposite both the tenet concerning Him, and the quotation which proves it: saying that the only begotten Word of God was not in the beginning, nor very God, and that He was not even with God; that is, in union with Him by nature, inasmuch as He Who is incorporeal cannot be imagined to be in any place. These most audacious men even say that He was made, and measure out for Him such glory as they for-sooth please: for they elevate Him above created things, as far as the language goes of praise. And in inventing for Him this mere and naked majesty, they imagine that they are doing something wise, or even pious: not understanding that if in any respect He be regarded as a created being, it avails Him nothing for the proof of His being really God: and that if in any respect He be made, and His nature similar to that (of things which are made), that then it follows, as they (virtually) affirm, that He was not in the beginning. For one who is made is not without beginning. How therefore does the wise Paul say, “By Him the Father made the worlds?” For if He were created, He had, as I said, a beginning of existence, and there must have been a time previous to His existence: and there must have been a time also, in which even the Father apparently was not that which the name signifies, but on the contrary, not a Father at all by nature. The word therefore that has come to us concerning Him is untrue, as also is that respecting the Son; and both forsooth are falsely so called.

And how then, I pray, can we believe the Son in saying, “I am the Truth;” for how is He the truth, Who is not what His name implies? Or how must not Paul be false in his words, when he thus writes, “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Who was preached unto you by me, and Sylvanus, and Timotheus, was not yea and nay?” For how was He not yea and nay, if He is said to be God, and is not God by nature? if He is called a Son, and was not begotten of the Father? if the divinely inspired Scripture saith, that the worlds were made by Him, and there was a time before He existed? if all things were brought into being by His means, and He is Himself one of them, in that He is regarded as a thing made? if He is called the only begotten, and is not so in truth? For the things that have been made, those, I mean, which have been brought into existence from non-existence by having been created, are, so to speak, akin to one another.

But we follow not the vain words of these men, in disregard of the declarations of the holy apostles and evangelists. We reject not them, that we may not reject Christ, and with Him and by Him the Father. We believe that the Only-begotten Word of God is God, and was begotten of God by nature: that He is not created; not made; but the Creator of all: and not so much in all things, as rather supreme above all substantially with the Father. And when again we hear John saying, “And the Word became flesh,” we do not falsify the expression: we do not use violence to the freeness of the declarations: we do not pervert the mystery of Christ to that which is not right. We believe that the Word, though He was God, became flesh, that is, man; and not that He joined some man unto Him in equal honour: for this some venture to say and think, so that the Word from God the Father is to be regarded by us as one Son by Himself; and He Who sprang from the holy virgin as another beside Him, separately and by Himself: for such are the impure inventions of these men. We however agree with the divine Paul, who says: “There is one Lord; one faith; one baptism:” for we divide not Him Who is indivisible, but confess one Christ, the Word, Who is from God the Father, Who was made man, and incarnate, Whom the heavens worship, and the angels honour: and we too with them praise Him, crowning Him with divine honour, not so much as a man Who was made God, but as God Who became man. And holding this opinion respecting Him, we shall also by His means enter the kingdom of heaven: by Whom, and with Whom, to God the Father be praise and dominion, with the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever, Amen.








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