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eBook formatKindle Edition, (torrent)En
PublisherMount Thabor Publishing
File size7 Mb
Release date 02.08.2013
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Pages count14
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"He Who was before anything existed, and of His goodness made everything out of nothing, is in all things, even though He is above all. He was in the world before He came in the flesh, but the world did not recognize Him, as they did not want to (cf. John 1:10). But those who were willing did know Him. All who acknowledged Him were accepted, and those who did not were left, as Paul, who not only wanted to know God, but was wanted by Him, and strove to apprehend that for which also he was apprehended (Phil. 3:12), says, writing of the pagan Greeks: “Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind” (Rom. 1:28). Those who neither knew God nor wanted to are just like those Greeks. But who are the people who acknowledged God before His incarnation? They were many, but perhaps the most notable and best among them were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who were rightly accepted by God.
"Not just these men, but all their descendants, were, and were duly called, God’s people, and later – what an extraordinarily great gift! – became God’s race. For when it was necessary for Him to be manifested to the world in the flesh, He not only took His flesh from them, but came to them first of all. As the Lord Himself says in the Gospels, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 15:24). He saw that they had fallen away from their forebears’ piety and virtue, and rejected the knowledge of Him, but on account of the godly lives of their fathers He could not bear to disregard them. So He bowed the heavens and came down (Ps. 18:9), was made in the likeness of men (cf. Phil. 2:7), and lived among them, speaking and doing the things of God. Nor did He simply speak and act in this way, He also lavished divine benefits upon them, cleansing their lepers, restoring sight to those of them who were blind, strengthening the paralysed, making straight those who were bowed down, driving demons out of the possessed, healing absolutely every disease, infirmity and madness, and bringing the dead back to life by His command alone.
"He came as a benefactor to His own place, and His own people not only rejected Him, but, to state the final outcome, they delivered Him up to death, even death on the Cross, as though – what madness! – God who had appeared to them in the flesh for their sake were an enemy of God. They themselves were justly abandoned and cast away by Him who told them, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Matt. 23:38). And this rejection became the world’s reconciliation (cf. Rom. 11:15), and through their disobedience we found mercy (cf. Rom. 11:30), or rather – “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Rom. 11:33) – to quote the apostle again: “God hath consigned them all unto disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all” (Rom. 11:32).
"We have just heard from the evangelist Matthew’s Gospel that “The eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted” (Matt. 28:16–17). When Jesus approached them and spoke to them, however, they too became certain. “And Jesus”, it says, “came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:18–19). That is why I just quoted that epistle, that the rejection of the Jews became the world’s reconciliation, and that we found mercy through their disobedience. For the Lord who earlier said to His disciples, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt.

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