Lectio notes: John 10: 19-42

Today's section of Chapter 10 of St John's Gospel concludes the good shepherd narrative, with the declaration by Jesus that those rejecting his message are not his sheep - and their murderous response.

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The New Advent page for John 10 can be found here; the Douay-Rheims translation here. You can hear the Latin read aloud here (from 2.15) and the Greek here.

The Latin:

19 Dissensio iterum facta est inter Judæos propter sermones hos. 20 Dicebant autem multi ex ipsis: Dæmonium habet, et insanit: quid eum auditis? 21 Alii dicebant: Hæc verba non sunt dæmonium habentis: numquid dæmonium potest cæcorum oculos aperire? 22 Facta sunt autem Encænia in Jerosolymis, et hiems erat. 23 Et ambulabat Jesus in templo, in porticu Salomonis. 24 Circumdederunt ergo eum Judæi, et dicebant ei: Quousque animam nostram tollis? si tu es Christus, dic nobis palam. 25 Respondit eis Jesus: Loquor vobis, et non creditis: opera quæ ego facio in nomine Patris mei, hæc testimonium perhibent de me: 26 sed vos non creditis, quia non estis ex ovibus meis. 27 Oves meæ vocem meam audiunt, et ego cognosco eas, et sequuntur me: 28 et ego vitam æternam do eis, et non peribunt in æternum, et non rapiet eas quisquam de manu mea. 29 Pater meus quod dedit mihi, majus omnibus est: et nemo potest rapere de manu Patris mei. 30 Ego et Pater unum sumus.31 Sustulerunt ergo lapides Judæi, ut lapidarent eum. 32 Respondit eis Jesus: Multa bona opera ostendi vobis ex Patre meo: propter quod eorum opus me lapidatis? 33 Responderunt ei Judæi: De bono opere non lapidamus te, sed de blasphemia; et quia tu homo cum sis, facis teipsum Deum. 34 Respondit eis Jesus: Nonne scriptum est in lege vestra, Quia ego dixi: Dii estis? 35 Si illos dixit deos, ad quos sermo Dei factus est, et non potest solvi Scriptura: 36 quem Pater sanctificavit, et misit in mundum vos dicitis: Quia blasphemas, quia dixi: Filius Dei sum? 37 Si non facio opera Patris mei, nolite credere mihi. 38 Si autem facio: etsi mihi non vultis credere, operibus credite, ut cognoscatis, et credatis quia Pater in me est, et ego in Patre. 39 Quærebant ergo eum apprehendere: et exivit de manibus eorum. 40 Et abiit iterum trans Jordanem, in eum locum ubi erat Joannes baptizans primum, et mansit illic; 41 et multi venerunt ad eum, et dicebant: Quia Joannes quidem signum fecit nullum. 42 Omnia autem quæcumque dixit Joannes de hoc, vera erant. Et multi crediderunt in eum.

The English:

[19] A dissension rose again among the Jews for these words. [20] And many of them said: He hath a devil, and is mad: why hear you him?[21] Others said: These are not the words of one that hath a devil: Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? [22] And it was the feast of the dedication at Jerusalem: and it was winter. [23] And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon' s porch. [24] The Jews therefore came round about him, and said to him: How long dost thou hold our souls in suspense? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. [25] Jesus answered them: I speak to you, and you believe not: the works that I do in the name of my Father, they give testimony of me.[26] But you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep. [27] My sheep hear my voice: and I know them, and they follow me. [28] And I give them life everlasting; and they shall not perish for ever, and no man shall pluck them out of my hand. [29] That which my Father hath given me, is greater than all: and no one can snatch them out of the hand of my Father. [30] I and the Father are one. [31] The Jews then took up stones to stone him. [32] Jesus answered them: Many good works I have shewed you from my Father; for which of these works do you stone me? [33] The Jews answered him: For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, maketh thyself God. [34] Jesus answered them: Is it not written in your law: I said you are gods? [35] If he called them gods, to whom the word of God was spoken, and the scripture cannot be broken; [36] Do you say of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world: Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God? [37] If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. [38] But if I do, though you will not believe me, believe the works: that you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. [39] They sought therefore to take him; and he escaped out of their hands. [40] And he went again beyond the Jordan, into that place where John was baptizing first; and there he abode. [41] And many resorted to him, and they said: John indeed did no sign. [42] But all things whatsoever John said of this man, were true. And many believed in him.

Study

The setting:

AUG. And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication. Encænia is the feast of the dedication of the temple; from the Greek word signifying new. The dedication of any thing new was called encænia.

CHRYS. It was the feast of the dedication of the temple, after the return from the Babylonish captivity.

ALCUIN. Or, it was in memory of the dedication under Judas Maccabeus. The first dedication was that of Solomon in the autumn; the second that of Zorobabel, and the priest Jesus in the spring. This was in winter time.

BEDE. Judas Maccabeus instituted an annual commemoration of this dedication.

THEOPHYL. The Evangelist mentions the time of winter, to show that it was near His passion. He suffered in the following spring; for which reason He took up His abode at Jerusalem.

GREG. Or because the season of cold was in keeping with the cold malicious hearts of the Jews.

CHRYS. Christ was present with much zeal at this feast, and thenceforth stayed in Judea; His passion being now at hand. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.

ALCUIN. It is called Solomon's porch, because Solomon went to pray there. The porches of a temple are usually named after the temple. If the Son of God walked in a temple where the flesh of brute animals was offered up, how much more will He delight to visit our house of prayer, in which His own flesh and blood are consecrated;

His listeners, with malicious intent,  demand that he declare himself:

AUG. They wanted our Lord to say, I am the Christ. Perhaps, as they had human notions of the Messiah, having failed to discern His divinity in the Prophets they wanted Christ to confess Himself the Messiah, of the seed of David; that they might accuse Him of aspiring to the regal power.

ALCUIN. And thus they intended to give Him into the hands of the Proconsul for punishment, as an usurper against the emperor. Our Lord so managed His reply as to stop the mouths of His calumniators, open those of the believers; and to those who inquired of Him as a man, reveal the mysteries of His divinity: Jesus answered them, I told you, and you believed not: the works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me.

CHRYS. He reproves their malice, for pretending that a single word would convince them, whom so many words had not. If you do not believe My works, He says, how will you believe My words? And He adds why they do not believe: But you believe not, because you are not of My sheep.

Yet still Christ urges conversion:

THEOPHYL. After He had said, You are not of My sheep, He exhorts them to become such: My sheep hear My voice.

ALCUIN. i.e. Obey My precepts from the heart. And I know them, and they follow Me, here by walking in gentleness and innocence, hereafter by entering the joys of eternal life.

And I give to them eternal life.

AUG. This is the pasture of which He spoke before And shall find pasture. Eternal life is called a goodly pasture: the grass thereof wither not, all is spread with verdure. But these cavilers thought only of this present life. And they shall not perish eternally; as if to say, you shall perish eternally, because you are not of My sheep.

The response to truth is often rage:

AUG. At this speech, I and My Father are one, the Jews could not restrain their rage, but ran to take up stones, after their hardhearted way: Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.

HILARY. The heretics now, as unbelieving and rebellious against our Lord in heaven, show their impious hatred by the stones, i.e. the words they cast at Him; as if they would drag Him down again from His throne to the cross.

THEOPHYL. Our Lord remonstrates with them; Many good works have I showed you from My Father, strewing that they had no just reason for their anger.

ALCUIN. Healing of the sick, teaching, miracles. He showed them of the Father, because He sought His Father's glory in all of them. For which of these works do you stone Me? They confess, though reluctantly, the benefit they have received from Him, but charge Him at the same time with blasphemy, for asserting His equality with the Father;

For a good work we stone you not, but for blasphemy; and because that You, being a man, make Yourself God.

Still, some see the light:

Mystically, Christ departs from Jerusalem, i.e. from the Jewish people; and goes to a place where are springs of water, i.e. to the Gentile Church, that has the waters of baptism. And many resort to Him, passing over the Jordan, i.e. through baptism.

The next set of lectio notes can be found here.

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