Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

theophany

7 Entries

... His baptism ... partook of the old, and it partook also of the new. To be baptized by the prophet marked the old, but the coming down of the Spirit shadowed out the new. St John Chrysostom, Gospel According To St. Matthew, Homily 2



11. Jesus sanctified Baptism by being Himself baptized. If the Son of God was baptized, what godly man is he that despiseth Baptism? But He was baptized not that He might receive remission of sins, for He was sinless; but being sinless, He was baptized, that He might give to them that are baptized a divine and excellent grace. For since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise partook of the same[3], that having been made partakers of His presence in the flesh we might be made partakers also of His Divine grace: thus Jesus was baptized, that thereby we again by our participation might receive both salvation and honor. Catechetical Lectures Of Our Holy Father, Cyril, Archbishop Of Jerusalem - Lecture 3. On Baptism

According to Job, there was in the waters the dragon that 'draws up Jordan into his mouth' (Job 40:23). Since, therefore, it was necessary to 'break the heads of the dragon in pieces, (Ps. 74:14), He [Christ] went down and bound the strong one in the waters [of His baptism], that we might receive power to 'tread upon serpents and scorpions (Luke 10:19). The beast was great and terrible. 'No fishing-vessel was able to carry one scale of his tail (Job 40:26 LXX) destruction ran before him' (Job 41:13 LXX), ravaging all that met him. The Life encountered him, that the mouth of Death might henceforth be stopped, and all we that are saved might say, 'O death, where is your sting? O grave where is your victory?' (I Cor 15:55). The sting of death is drawn by Baptism. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 3 no. 11)

Christ is illumined, let us shine forth with Him. Christ is baptized, let us descend with Him that we may also ascend with Him. Jesus is baptized; but we must attentively consider not only this but also some other points. Who is He, and by whom is He baptized, and at what time? He the All-pure; and He is baptized by John; and the time is the beginning of His miracles. What are we to learn and to be taught by this? To purify ourselves first; to be lowly minded; and to preach only in maturity both of spiritual and bodily stature. St. Gregory Nazianzen, Oration on the Holy Lights.

He as God of all gave strength to me, weak as a mortal, as He said: 'Hold out your hand and I shall give you strength.' For how would I have had the power unless the very thing happened which He said would take place? How would I have had the ability to baptize the abyss, Since I am mortal, Had I not first received and claimed power from on high? For I realize now that He is standing by me That I am greater than I was formerly. I am something different, I am changed, glorified, As I behold and baptize The unapproachable Light. St Romanos the Melodist - On the Baptism of Christ

Jesus sanctified Baptism by being Himself baptized. If the Son of God was baptized, what godly man is he that despises Baptism? But He was baptized not that He might receive remission of sins, for He was sinless; but being sinless, He was baptized that He might give to them that are baptized a divine and excellent grace. For 'since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise partook of the same' (Heb. 2:14), that having been made partakers of His presence in the flesh, we might be made partakers also of His Divine grace: thus Jesus was baptized, that thereby we again by our participation might receive both salvation and honor. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 3 no. 11)

The Holy Spirit came down when the Lord was baptized, that the dignity of Him who was baptized might not be hidden;...'the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and lighting upon Him' (Matt. 3:16)...Of this dove, the dove of Noah, according to some, was in part a figure. For as in his time by means of wood and of water there came salvation to themselves, and the beginning of a new generation, and the dove returned to him towards evening with an olive branch; thus, they say, the Holy Spirit also descended upon the true Noah, the Author of the second birth...The spiritual dove, therefore, as some interpret, came down at the season of His baptism, that He might show that it is He who by the wood of the Cross saves them who believe, He who at eventide should grant salvation through His death. St Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 17 no. 9-10)





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