Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 2

By John W. Rettig; Saint Augustine Bishop of Hippo | Go to book overview

TRACTATE 14

On John 3.29-36

THIS READING from the holy gospel teaches us the preeminence of the divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the humility of the man who deserved to be called the friend of the bridegroom, that we may distinguish what difference there is between the man who is man, and the man who is God. For the man who is God is our Lord, Jesus Christ, God before all ages and man in our age, God from the Father, man from the virgin, yet one and the same Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Son of God, God and man. But John, a man of eminent grace, was sent before him, enlightened by him who is the light. For about John it was said, "He was not the light, but was to give witness concerning the light."1

(2) He can indeed be called a light and he himself is accurately called a light, but one that was enlightened, not enlightening. For a light which enlightens is one thing, and a light which is enlightened is another; for our eyes, too, are called lights2 and yet they are open in darkness and do not see. But the enlightening light is a light in itself and a light for itself; and it does not need another light to be able to give light, but the others need it that they may give light.

2. Therefore John confessed, as you have heard, that, when Jesus was making many disciples it was reported to him as if to provoke him, for they related it to him, as to an envious man: "Look, he is making more disciples than you" -- he confessed what he was, and thereby he deserved to belong

____________________
1
Jn 1.8.
2
In Latin lumina denotes "lights" and connotes "eyes."

-63-

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Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Abbreviations vii
  • Bibliography ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Tractate 11 9
  • Tractate 12 28
  • Tractate 13 44
  • Tractate 14 63
  • Tractate 15 78
  • Tractate 16 100
  • Tractate 17 108
  • Tractate 18 124
  • Tractate 19 139
  • Tractate 20 163
  • Tractate 21 178
  • Tractate 22 197
  • Tractate 23 212
  • Tractate 24 231
  • Tractate 25 239
  • Tractate 26 259
  • Tractate 27 277
  • Indices 289
  • Index of Holy Scripture 301
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