Origen In Matt., 10.14

10.14

Have ye understood all these things? They say, Yea. Matthew 13:51 Christ Jesus, who knows the things in the hearts of men, John 2:25 as John also taught concerning Him in the Gospel, puts the question not as one ignorant, but having once for all taken upon Him the nature of man, He uses also all the characteristics of a man of which asking is one. And there is nothing to be wondered at in the Saviour doing this, since indeed the God of the universe, bearing with the manners of men as a man bears with the manners of his son, makes inquiry, as— Adam, where are you? Genesis 3:9 and, Where is Abel your brother? Genesis 4:9 But someone with a forced interpretation will say here that the words have understood are not to be taken interrogatively but affirmatively; and he will say that the disciples bearing testimony to His affirmation, say, Yea. Only, whether he is putting a question or making an affirmation, it is necessarily said not these things only—which is demonstrative—not all things only, but all these things. And here He seems to represent the disciples as having been scribes before the kingdom of heaven; Matthew 13:52 but to this is opposed what is said in the Acts of the Apostles thus, Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled, and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13 Some one may inquire in regard to these things— if they were scribes, how are they spoken of in the Acts as unlearned and ignorant men? Or if they were unlearned and ignorant men, how are they very plainly called scribes by the Saviour? And it might be answered to these inquiries that, as a matter of fact, not all the disciples but only Peter and John are described in the Acts as unlearned and ignorant, but that there were more disciples in regard to whom, because they understood all things, it is said, Every scribe, etc. Or it might be said that everyone who has been instructed in the teaching according to the letter of the law is called a scribe, so that those who were unlearned and ignorant and led captive by the letter of the law are spoken of as scribes in a particular sense. And it is very specially the characteristic of ignorant men, who are unskilled in figurative interpretation and do not understand what is concerned with the mystical exposition of the Scriptures, but believe the bare letter, and, vindicate it, that they call themselves scribes. And so one will interpret the words, Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, Matthew 23:13 as having been said to everyone that knows nothing but the letter. Here you will inquire if the scribe of the Gospel be as the scribe of the law, and if the former deals with the Gospel, as the latter with the law, reading and hearing and telling those things which contain an allegory,Galatians 4:24 so as, while preserving the historic truth of the events, to understand the unerring principle of mystic interpretation applied to things spiritual, so that the things learned may not be spiritual things whose characteristic is wickedness, Ephesians 6:12 but may be entirely opposite to such, namely, spiritual things whose characteristic is goodness. And one is a scribe made a disciple to the kingdom of heaven in the simpler sense, when he comes from Judaism and receives the teaching of Jesus Christ as defined by the Church; but he is a scribe in a deeper sense, when having received elementary knowledge through the letter of the Scriptures he ascends to things spiritual, which are called the kingdom of the heavens. And according as each thought is attained, and grasped abstractly and proved by example and absolute demonstration, can one understand the kingdom of heaven, so that he who abounds in knowledge free from error is in the kingdom of the multitude of what are here represented as heavens. So, too, you will allegorise the word, Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand, Matthew 3:2 as meaning that the scribes— that is, those who rest satisfied in the bare letter— may repent of this method of interpretation and be instructed in the spiritual teaching which is called the kingdom of the heavens through Jesus Christ the living Word. Wherefore, also, so far as Jesus Christ, who was in the beginning with God, God the word, John 1:1-2 has not His home in a soul, the kingdom of heaven is not in it, but when any one becomes near to admission of the Word, to him the kingdom of heaven is near. But if the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are the same thing in reality, if not in idea, manifestly to those to whom it is said, The kingdom of God is within you, Luke 17:21 to them also it might be said, The kingdom of heaven is within you; and most of all because of the repentance from the letter unto the spirit; since When one turn to the Lord, the veil over the letter is taken away. But the Lord is the Spirit.2 Corinthians 3:16-17 And he who is truly a householder is both free and rich; rich because from the office of the scribe he has been made a disciple to the kingdom of heaven, in every word of the Old Testament, and in all knowledge concerning the new teaching of Christ Jesus, and has this riches laid up in his own treasure-house— in heaven, in which he stores his treasure as one who has been made a disciple to the kingdom of heaven—where neither moth does consume, nor thieves break through. Matthew 6:20 And in regard to him, who, as we have said, lays up treasure in heaven, we may truly lay down that not one moth of the passions can touch his spiritual and heavenly possessions. A moth of the passions, I said, taking the suggestion from the Proverbs in which it is written, a worm in wood, so pain wounds the heart of man. Proverbs 25:20 For pain is a worm and a moth, which wounds the heart which has not its treasures in heaven and spiritual things, for if a man has his treasure in these— for where the treasure is, there will the heart be also, Matthew 6:21 — he has his heart in heaven, and on account of it he says, Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. And so neither can thieves in regard to whom the Saviour said, All that came before Me are thieves and robbers, John 10:8 break through those things which are treasured up in heaven, and through the heart which is in heaven and therefore says, He raised us up with Him, and made us to sit with Him in the heavenly places in Christ,Ephesians 2:6 and, Our citizenship is in heaven. Philippians 3:20


11.14

After this, it is worth while to look at the phrase which has been assailed in a sophistical way by those who say that the God of the law and the God of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not the same; for they say that the heavenly Father of Jesus Christ is not the husbandman of those who think that they worship God according to the law of Moses. Jesus Himself said that the Pharisees, who were worshipping the God who created the world and the law, were not a plant which His heavenly Father had planted, and that for this reason it was being rooted up. Matthew 15:13 But you might also say this, that even if it were the Father of Jesus who brought in and planted the people, when it came out of Egypt, to the mountain of His own inheritance, to the place which He had prepared for Himself to dwell in, Exodus 15:17 yet Jesus would have said, in regard to the Pharisees, Every plant which My heavenly Father planted not, shall be rooted up. Now, to this we will say, that as many as on account of their perverse interpretation of the things in the law were not a plant of His Father in heaven, were blinded in their minds, as not believing the truth, but taking pleasure in unrighteousness, 2 Thessalonians 2:12 by him who is deified by the sons of this world, and on this account is called by Paul the god of this world. 2 Corinthians 4:4 And do not suppose that Paul said that he was truly God; for just as the belly, though it is not the god of those who prize pleasure too highly, being lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, is said by Paul to be their god, Philippians 3:19 so the prince of this world, in regard to whom the Saviour says, Now has the prince of this world been judged, John 16:11 though he is not God, is said to be the god of those who do not wish to receive the spirit of adoption, in order that they may become sons of that world, and sons of the resurrection from the dead, and who, on this account, abide in the sonship of this world. I have deemed it necessary to introduce these matters, even though they may have been spoken by way of digression, because of the saying, They are blind guides of the blind. Matthew 15:14 Who are such? The Pharisees, whose minds the god of this world has blinded as they are unbelieving, because they have not believed in Jesus Christ; and he has blinded them so that the light of the Gospel of the glory of God in the face of Christ should not dawn upon them. 2 Corinthians 4:4 But not only must we avoid being guided by those blind ones who are conscious that they are in need of guides, because they have not yet received the power of vision of themselves; but even in the case of all who profess to guide us in sound doctrine, we must hear with care, and apply a sound judgment to what is said, lest being guided according to the ignorance of those who are blind, and do not see the things that concern sound doctrine, we ourselves may appear to be blind because we do not see the sense of the Scriptures, so that both he who guides and he who is guided will fall into the ditch of which we have spoken before. Next to this, it is written in what way Peter answered and said to the Saviour, as if he had not understood the saying, Not that which comes into the mouth defiles the man, but that which goes out of the mouth, Declare unto us the parable.Matthew 15:11 To which the Saviour says, Are ye also, even yet, without understanding? Matthew 15:16 As if He had said, Having been so long time with Me, do ye not yet understand the meaning of what is said, and do ye not perceive that for this reason that which goes into his mouth does not defile the man, because it passes into the belly, and going out from it is cast into the draught? Matthew 15:17 It was not in respect of the law in which they appeared to believe, that the Pharisees were not a plant of the Father of Jesus, but in respect of their perverse interpretation of the law and the things written in it. For since there are two things to be understood in regard to the law, the ministration of death which was engraven in letters and which had no kinship with the spirit, and the ministration of life which is understood in the spiritual law, those who were able with a sincere heart to say, We know that the law is spiritual,Romans 7:14 and therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and righteous and good,Romans 7:12 were the plant which the heavenly Father planted; but those who were not such, but guarded with care the letter which kills only, were not a plant of God but of him who hardened their heart, and put a veil over it, which veil had power over them so long as they did not turn to the Lord; for if any one should turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away, and the Lord is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:16-17 Now some one when dealing with the passage might say, that just as not that which enters into the mouth defiles the man, Matthew 15:11 of even though it may be thought by the Jews to be defiled, so not that which enters into the mouth sanctifies the man, even though what is called the bread of the Lord may be thought by the simpler disciples to sanctify. And the saying is I think, not to be despised, and on this account, demands clear exposition, which seems to me to be thus; as it is not the meat but the conscience of him who eats with doubt which defiles him that eats, for he that doubts is condemned if he eat, because he eats not of faith, Romans 14:23 and as nothing is pure to him who is defiled and unbelieving, not in itself, but because of his defilement and unbelief, so that which is sanctified through the word of God and prayer does not, in its own nature, sanctify him who uses it, for, if this were so, it would sanctify even him who eats unworthily of the bread of the Lord, and no one on account of this food would become weak or sickly or asleep for something of this kind Paul represented in saying, For this cause many among you are weak and sickly and not a few sleep. 1 Corinthians 11:30 And in the case of the bread of the Lord, accordingly, there is advantage to him who uses it, when with undefiled mind and pure conscience he partakes of the bread. And so neither by not eating, I mean by the very fact that we do not eat of the bread which has been sanctified by the word of God and prayer, are we deprived of any good thing, nor by eating are we the better by any good thing; for the cause of our lacking is wickedness and sins, and the cause of our abounding is righteousness and right actions; so that such is the meaning of what is said by Paul, For neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we eat not are we the worse.1 Corinthians 8:8 Now, if everything that enters into the mouth goes into the belly and is cast out into the drought, Matthew 15:17 even the meat which has been sanctified through the word of God and prayer, in accordance with the fact that it is material, goes into the belly and is cast out into the draught, but in respect of the prayer which comes upon it, according to the proportion of the faith, becomes a benefit and is a means of clear vision to the mind which looks to that which is beneficial, and it is not the material of the bread but the word which is said over it which is of advantage to him who eats it not unworthily of the Lord. And these things indeed are said of the typical and symbolic body. But many things might be said about the Word Himself who became flesh, John 1:14 and true meat of which he that eats shall assuredly live for ever, no worthless person being able to eat it; for if it were possible for one who continues worthless to eat of Him who became flesh, who was the Word and the living bread, it would not have been written, that every one who eats of this bread shall live for ever. John 6:51