Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 2

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

TRACTATE 25

On John 6.15-40

HIS IS TODAY'S [reading] which follows yesterdays's reading from the gospel [and] from which today's homily is due. After that miracle was performed, where Jesus fed five thousand men from five loaves, when the crowd had been astonished and said that he was a great prophet who came into the world, this follows: "Jesus therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force and make him king, fled again into the mountain, himself alone."

(2) Therefore, it is given to be understood that when the Lord was sitting on the mountain with his disciples and saw the crowds coming to him, he had descended from the mountain and fed the masses near to its lower areas. For, how could he possibly flee there again if he had not descended from the mountain before? Therefore, that the Lord descended from the mountain to feed the crowds signifies nothing. He fed them and ascended.

2. But why did he ascend when he knew that they wanted to take hold of him by force and make him king? Why indeed? Was he not the king, who feared to be made a king? He was in every respect; but he was not such a king as one who would be made by men but as one who would give a kingdom to men. Can it perhaps be that Jesus, whose deeds are words,1 here too, signifies something to us?

(2) Therefore, in the fact that they wanted to take hold of him by force and make him king and for this reason he fled

____________________
1
Words are signs which communicate meaning. Deeds can be signs which communicate meaning; such deeds are, then, words. Augustine sees Jesus's deeds as words in this sense. See DDC 2.3.

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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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