Iohn the Baptist in prison also doing his diligence, sendeth some of his Disciples to Christ
that as they heard, so they might also see his miracles with their eyes. 7. Afterward Christ
declareth how worthy of credit Iohns testimonie was: 16. & inueigheth against the Iewes, who with
neither of their manners of life could be wonne: 20. no nor with Christes infinite miracles: 25.
praying Gods wisedom in this behalfe, 27. and calling to himself al such as feele their owne burdens.
1. AND it came to passe: when Iesvs had done commanding his twelue Disciples, he passed from thence, to teach & preach in their cities.
2. The Ghospel the 2 Sunday in Aduent. Luke 7,18. And when Iohn had heard in prison the workes of Christ; sending two of his Disciples, he said to him:
3. Art thou he.
Iohn himself doubted not, for he baptized him and gave great testimonie of him before: Io. 1. But because his Disciples knew him not, nor esteemed of him so much as of Iohn their owne Maister, therfore did he send them unto Christ, that by occasion of Christs answer he might the better instruct them what he was, & so make them Christs Disciples, preferring them to a better Maister. Art thou he that art to come, or looke we for an other?
4. And Iesvs making answer said to them: Goe and report to Iohn what you haue heard and seen.
5. Isai. 35,5. 61,1. The blind see, the lame walke, the lepers are made cleane, the deafe heare, the dead rise againe, to the poore the Ghospel is preached.
6. and blessed is he that shal not be scandalized in me.
7. And when they went their way, Iesvs began to say to the multitudes of Iohn: What went you out.
High commendation of Iohns holines, as wel for his fasting, rough attire, solitary life, and constancie, as for the dignitie of his function. What went you out Into the desert.
The faithful people in al ages resorted of deuotion into wildernes, to see men of special and rare holines, Prophets, Eremites, Anchorites &c. to have their prayers or ghostly counsel. See S. Hierom de vita Hilarionis. into the desert to see? a reed shaken with the wind?
8. But what went you out to see? a man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are clothed in soft garments, are in Kinges houses.
9. But what went you out to see? a Prophet? yea I tel you and more then a Prophet.
10. For this is he of whom it is writte: Mal. 3,1. Behold I send myne Angel before thy face, which shal prepare thy way before thee.
11. Amen I say to you, there hath not risen among the borne of women a greater then Iohn the Baptist: yet he that is the lesser in the Kingdom of Heauen, is greater then he.
12. And Luke 16,16. from the dayes of Iohn the Baptist vntil now, the Kingdom of Heauen suffereth violence, and the violent beare it away.
13. For al the Prophets and the Law prophecied vnto Iohn:
14. and if you wil receaue it, he is Mal. 4,5. Elias Elias.
As Elias shal be the messenger of Christs latter comming, so was Iohn his messenger and Precursour at his former comming: & therfore is he called Elias; because of his like office and like spirit. Luc. 1 Grego. ho. 7 in Euang. that is for to come.
15. He that hath eares to heare, let him heare.
16. And Luke 7,31. wherevnto shal I esteeme this Generation to be like? It is like to children sitting in the market place,
17. which crying to their companions, say: we haue piped to you, and you haue not danced: we haue lamented, and you haue not mourned.
18. For Mat. 3,4. Iohn came neither Eating nor drinking.
The wicked quarrelers of the world misconstre easely al the actes and life of good men. If they be great fasters and austere liuers, they are blasphemed & counted hypocrites: if they conuerse with other men in ordinary manner, then they be counted dissolute. eating nor drinking; and they say: He hath a Diuel.
19. The Sonne of man came eating and drinking, and they say: Behold a man that is a glutton and a winedrinker, a frend of Puplicans and sinners. And wisedom is iustifed of her children.
20. Then Luke 10,13. began he to vpbraid the cities, wherin were done the most of his miracles, for that they had not done pennance.
21. Woe be to thee Corozain, woe be to thee Beth-saida: for if in Tyre & Sidon had been wrought the miracles that haue been wrought in you, they had done Pennance in heairecloth.
By this sackcloth and ashes added here, & in other places, wee see euidently that Penance is not only leauing of former sinnes, and change or amendment of life past, no nor bare sorowfulnes or recounting of our offenses already committed, but requireth punishment and chastisement of our Persons by these and such other meanes, as the Scriptures do els where set forth, and therfore concerning the word also, it is rather to be called Pennance, as in our translation; then (as the Aduersaries, of purpose auoyding the word) Repentance or Amendment of life: & that according to the very vsual signification of the *Greeke word in the most ancient Ecclesiastical Greeke writers: who for Penitents (which in the primitive Church did publike Pennance) say **οι εν μετανοια οντες that is, Men that are doing Pennance. And concerning that part of Pennance which is Confession, the Ecclesiastical historie calleth it by the same Greeke word, and the Penitents comming to confession, τοὐς μετανοοῦντας. Sozam. li. 76 16 Socrat. li. 5 c. 19.
**Dionys. Eccl. hier. c. 3 in initio. pennance in heairecloth & ashes long agoe.
22. But neuerthelesse, I say to you, it shal be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of iudgement, then for you.
23. And thou Capharnaum, shalt thou be exalted vp to Heauen? thou shalt come downe euen vnto Hel. For if in Sodom had been wrought the miracles that haue been wrought in thee, perhaps it had remained vnto this day.
24. But notwithstanding I say to you, that it shal be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of iudgement, then for thee.
25. The Ghospel vpon S. Matthias day Feb. 14 & vpon S. Francis day Octob. 4 and for many Martyrs, and vpon S. Paules day the first Eremit Ian. 25. At that time Iesvs answered and said: Luke 10,25. I confesse to thee O Father Lord of Heauen and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast reuealed them to Litle ones.
These litle ones do not signifie here only the vnlearned, as though Coblers and weauers and women, & girles had this reuelation, & therfore do vnderstand al Scriptures and are able to expound them: but here are signified the humble, whether they be learned or vnlearned: as when he sayth: *vnles you become as litle ones, you shal not enter into the Kingdom of Heauen. And so also the greatest Doctours (who as they were most learned, so most humbled themselues to the iudgement of the Catholike Church) are these litle ones: and Heretikes, who although vnlearned, yet vant their knowledge & their spirit of vnderstanding aboue al ancient Fathers and the whole Church, can not be of these litle and humble ones.
Mat. 18,3. litle ones.
26. Yea Father; for so hath it wel pleased thee.
27. Al things are deliuered me of my Father. And no man knoweth the Sonne but the Father: neither doth any know the Father, but the Sonne, and to whom it shal please the Sonne to reueale.
28. Come ye to meal that labour, and are burdened, and I wil refresh you.
29. Take vp my yoke vpon you, and learne of me, beacuse I am meeke, and humble of hart: and you shal find rest to your soules.
30. For my Yoke sweet.
The commandements possible.
What is this light burden and sweet Yoke, but his commandements, of which S. John saith 1 Ep. 5 His commandements are not heavy? cleane contrary to the Aduersaries that say, they are vnpossible to be kept. yoke is sweet, and my burden light.