Explanation of Scripture read by Orthodox Christians on the 12th Tuesday after Pentecost 2 Corinthians 5:15-21 Mark 1:16-22

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ANSWER 1

Simon and Andrew were disciples of St John the Forerunner. Their first meeting with Jesus is described in the St John's gospel. This was when St John was still alive and ministering:

"Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! 37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? 39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother." (John 1:35-40)

ANSWER 2

Holy Tradition places Salome, a daughter of St Joseph the betrothed from a previous marriage, and the mother of St James and John. she also followed Jesus, and was part of the group of "women that accompanied him". She was also a holy myrhhbearer.

"Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him." (Matthew 20:20)

"And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him." (Mark 16:1)

ANSWER 3

We must live as we teach. Moral authority can only come from living morally. The Pharisees lacked authority in the eyes of the people because they did not live righteously.

ANSWER 4

St Athanasius the Great answers this question in an inspired way:

"He means that the rescue of mankind from corruption was the proper part only of Him Who made them in the beginning. He points out also that the Word assumed a human body, expressly in order that He might offer it in sacrifice for other like bodies:

"Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, He also Himself assumed the same, in order that through death He might bring to nought Him that hath the power of death, that is to say, the Devil, and might rescue those who all their lives were enslaved by the fear of death."[3]

For by the sacrifice of His own body He did two things: He put an end to the law of death which barred our way; and He made a new beginning of life for us, by giving us the hope of resurrection. By man death has gained its power over men; by the Word made Man death has been destroyed and life raised up anew. That is what Paul says, that true servant of Christ:

"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. Just as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive,"[4] and so forth. Now, therefore, when we die we no longer o so as men condemned to death, but as those who are even now in process of rising we await the general resurrection of all, "which in its own times He shall show,"[5] even God Who wrought it and bestowed it on us. "

ANSWER 5

St. Paul is speaking of the way we should live. We are new creatures and must live, act and think differently than we lived when we were "in the flesh" only, that is, unbaptized.

"For if all died and all rose again; and in such sort died as the tyranny of sin condemned them; but rose again "through the laver of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost;" (Titus chapter 3, verse 5) he saith with reason, "we know none" of the faithful "after the flesh." For what if even they be in the flesh? Yet is that fleshly life destroyed, and we are born again by the Spirit, and have learnt another deportment and rule and life and condition, that, namely, in the heavens. And again of this itself he shows Christ to be the Author." (St John Chrysostom)

ANSWER 6

"What then? tell me. Did He put away the flesh, and is He now not with that body? Away with the thought, for He is even now clothed in flesh; for "this Jesus Who is taken up from you into Heaven shall so come. So? How? In flesh, with His body. How then doth he say, "Even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth no more?" (Acts chapter 1, verse 11) For in us indeed "after the flesh" is being in sins, and "not after the flesh" not being in sins; but in Christ, "after the flesh" is His being subject to the affections of nature, such as to thirst, to hunger, to weariness, to sleep. For "He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth." (1 Peter chapter 2, verse 22) Wherefore He also said, "Which of you convicteth Me of sin?" (John chapter 8, verse 46) and again, "The prince of this world cometh, and he hath nothing in Me." (ib. xiv. 30.) And "not after the flesh" is being thenceforward freed even from these things, not the being without flesh. For with this also He cometh to judge the world, His being impassible and pure. Whereunto we also shall advance when "our body" hath been "fashioned like unto His glorious body." (Philippians chapter 3, verse 21)" (St John Chrysostom)





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