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Luke 18:18-27


Now he, who is here called a Ruler, and who fancied himself to be learned in the law, and supposed that he had been accurately taught there­in, imagined that he could convict Christ of dishonoring the commandment spoken by the most wise Moses, and of introducing laws of His own. For it was the object of the Jews to prove that Christ opposed and resisted the former commandments, to establish, as I said, new laws, of His own authority, in opposition to those previously existing, so that their wicked conduct towards Him might have a specious pretext. He draws near, there­fore, and makes pretense of speaking kindly; for he calls Him Teacher, and styles Him Good, and professes himself desirous of being a disciple ...

And what does the Omniscient reply, 'Who, as it is written, takes the wise in their craftiness?' (Job 5:13) Why do you call Me good? None is good but one, God. You see how He proved at once that he was neither wise nor learned, though the ruler of a synagogue of the Jews. For if, He says, you did not believe that I am God, and the clothing of the flesh has led you astray, why did you apply to Me epithets suitable to the supreme nature alone, while still you suppose Me to be a mere man like yourself, and not superior to the limits of human nature? In the nature that transcends all, only in God, is found the attribute of being by nature, and un­changeable good; but the angels, and we on earth, are good by resembling Him, or rather by par­ticipation in Him.

But those whose minds are perverted by shar­ing in the wickedness of Arius will probably not assent to the correctness of this explanation. For they make the Son inferior to the supremacy and glory of God the Father ...For they assert, as though they had obtained a reason for their blasphemy from the passage now before us, 'Behold, He has clearly and expressly denied that He is good, and set it apart as something appropriate only to God the Father; but verily, had He been equal to Him in substance, and sprung from Him by na­ture, how would He not also be good, being God?' Let this, then, be our reply to our opponents. Since all correct and exact reasoning acknowledges a son to be consubstantial with the father, how is He not good, as being God? For He cannot but be God, if He is consubstantial with Him Who is by nature God ...We have the Savior's own testimony, Who says this: 'A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruits' (Matt. 7:18). How from a good root has there shot forth an evil sprout? Or how from a sweet fountain can there flow a bitter river? Was there ever a time when there was no Father, seeing that He is the Father eternally? ...We conclude, therefore, that the fruit of the good God is the good Son.

St. Cyril of Alexandria. Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke, Homily 122. B#42, pp. 486-488.



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