Thursday, April 09, 2009

Jesus Before His Accusers

"When false witnesses testified against our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, He remained silent; and when unfounded charges were brought against Him, He returned no answer, believing that His whole life and conduct among the Jews were a better refutation than any answer to the false testimony, or than any formal defence against the accusations....Jesus, however, is at all times assailed by false witnesses, and, while wickedness remains in the world, is ever exposed to accusation. And yet even now He continues silent before these things, and makes no audible answer, but places His defence in the lives of His genuine disciples, which are a pre-eminent testimony, and one that rises superior to all false witness, and refutes and overthrows all unfounded accusations and charges." (Origen, Against Celsus, Preface, 1-2)

"Others gain victory through making defenses, but our Lord gained victory through his silence, because the recompense of his death through divine silence was the victory of true teaching....The words of his calumniators, like a crown on his head, were a source of redemption. He kept silent so that his silence would make them shout even louder, and so that his crown would be made more beautiful through all this clamor." (Ephrem the Syrian, in Thomas Oden and Christopher Hall, edd., Ancient Christian Commentary On Scripture: New Testament II: Mark [Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1998], p. 223)

"When, therefore, He was passing through the process of judgment, wherever He opened not His mouth it was in the character of a lamb that He did so; that is, not as one with an evil conscience who was convicted of his sins, but as one who in His meekness was sacrificed for the sins of others." (Augustine, Tractates On John, 116:4)

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