As Iron Sharpens Iron

An ongoing and online discussion between: an Orthodox informed Ecumaniac without a denominational home, an ordained Baptist youth pastor with an open mind, a Calvinist worship leader/seminarian with a staggering vocabulary and ability to make a point, and a cradle Catholic with a love/hate relationship to Rome.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Judas and I

Gregory of Nyssa on Judas :

Why, indeed, should I speak at all
of that affectionate disposition of our fathers towards each other?
No wonder that, being all naturally equal,
they wished for no advantage over one another,
but thought to exceed each other only in humility.
But my mind was penetrated most of all with this thought;
that the Lord of all creation, the Only-begotten Son,
Who was in the bosom of the Father,
Who was in the beginning,
Who was in the form of God,
Who upholds all things by the word of His power,
humbled Himself not only in this respect,
that in the flesh He sojourned amongst men,
but also that He welcomed even Judas His own betrayer,
when he drew near to kiss Him, on His blessed lips;
and that when He had entered into the house of Simon the leper He, as loving all men,
upbraided his host, that He had not been kissed by him:
whereas I was not reckoned by him as equal even to that leper;
and yet what was I, and what was he?
I cannot discover any difference between us.
If one looks at it from the mundane point of view,
where was the height from which he had descended,
where was the dust in which I lay?
If, indeed, one must regard things of this fleshly life,
thus much perhaps it will hurt no one's feelings to assert that,
looking at our lineage, whether as noble or as free,
our position was about on a par;
though, if one looked in either for the true freedom and nobility, i.e. that of the soul,
each of us will be found equally a bondsman of Sin;
each equally needs One Who will take away his sins;
it was Another Who ransomed us both from Death and Sin with His own blood,
Who redeemed us, and yet showed no contempt of those whom He has redeemed,
calling them though He does from deadness to life,
and healing every infirmity of their souls and bodies.

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