John the Golden-Mouthed On John 3:16

John the Golden-mouthed of Antioch, John Chrysostom(ca. 347-407), is arguably the greatest preacher of the patristic era. He was tutored the art of rhetoric by the finest pagan orator Libanius and studied theology under Diodore of Tarsus in a monastery near Antioch that emphasized on a historical and grammatical exegesis of the Scripture.

Michael Duduit elucidated that “John was nurtured to the faith by his pious mother, Anthusa. His early religious education was shaped by Meletius, the bishop of Antioch, and Diodorus, the leader of a catechetical school in the city”(Duduit 1992: 24)

Reading Chrysostom’s homilies on the Gospel of John, I unquestionably concur with Duiduit, that the Golden-mouthed’s exposition and application of Scripture  “are a treasure of spiritual insight.” Here is a petite teaser of John 3:16:

For by the expression, “so loved,” and that other, “God the world,” He shows the great strength of His love. Large and infinite was the interval between the two. He, the immortal, who is without beginning, the Infinite Majesty, they but dust and ashes, full of ten thousand sins, who, ungrateful, have at all times offended Him; and these He “loved.” Again, the words which He added after these are alike significant, when He saith, that “He gave His Only-begotten Son,” not a servant, not an Angel, not an Archangel. And yet no one would show such anxiety for his own child, as God did for His ungrateful servants.[…]

Let us now be abashed at His love, let us be ashamed at the excess of His lovingkindness, since He for our sakes spared not His Only-begotten Son, yet we spare our wealth to our own injury; He for us gave His Own Son, but we for Him do not so much as despise money, nor even for ourselves. And how can these things deserve pardon? If we see a man submitting to sufferings and death for us, we set him before all others, count him among our chief friends, place in his hands all that is ours, and deem it rather his than ours, and even so do not think that we give him the return that he deserves. But towards Christ we do not preserve even this degree of right feeling. He laid down His life for us, and poured forth His precious Blood for our sakes, who were neither well-disposed nor good, while we do not pour out even our money for our own sakes, and neglect Him who died for us, when He is naked and a stranger; and who shall deliver us from the punishment that is to come?

I highly recommend his 88 homilies on the Gospel of John to those who are doing expository preaching through God-treasuring Gospel according to John.

Bibliography:

Duduit, M. (1992). Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (24). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.

John Chrysostom. (1889). Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, on the Gospel of St. John G. T. Stupart, Trans.). In P. Schaff (Ed.), A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series, Volume XIV: Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Gospel of St. John and Epistle to the Hebrews (P. Schaff, Ed.) (95). New York: Christian Literature Company.

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4 thoughts on “John the Golden-Mouthed On John 3:16

  1. John Chrysostom (349– ca. 407, Greek : Ιωάννης ο Χρυσόστομος, Ioannes Chrysostomos) was the archbishop of Constantinople . He is known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking , his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. After his death he was given the Greek surname chrysostomos, “golden mouthed”, rendered in English as Chrysostom.

  2. Prayson, thank you for bringing this to my attention! In my former seminary I read some of his work but I have been so busy that it is hard to get in any extra reading. The statement, “Let us now be abashed at His love, let us be ashamed at the excess of His lovingkindness, since He for our sakes spared not His Only-begotten Son, yet we spare our wealth to our own injury; He for us gave His Own Son, but we for Him do not so much as despise money, nor even for ourselves. And how can these things deserve pardon?” speaks volumes.

    We do not, nor can we as humans, understand the love that God has for us, His children. We are indeed children of the King and heirs in the eternal kingdom in heaven. It was such a joy to read this. I appreciated you posting this!

    God bless.

  3. Prayson,

    I agree John Chrysostom is a great preacher and had deep insight into Gods Word. This one line in your post sums it up,

    “If we see a man submitting to sufferings and death for us, we set him before all others, count him among our chief friends, place in his hands all that is ours, and deem it rather his than ours, and even so do not think that we give him the return that he deserves.”

    and he understood and taught the tri-unity of God…

    “O Master, who lovest mankind, make the pure light of Thy divine knowledge shine in our hearts, and open the eyes of our mind to perceive the message of Thy Gospel. Implant in us, also, the fear of Thy blessed commandments, that, trampling down all desires of the flesh, we may follow a way of life that is spiritual, both thinking and doing all those things that are well-pleasing to Thee. For Thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and to Thee we give glory, together with Thy Father who is without beginning, and Thine all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.” Amen

    I found a good article, “The Last Words of St. John Chrysostom” It brought a tear to my eyes…

    http://www.acrod.org/metropolitan/own-words/homilies/stjohnchrysostom

    I also have a link at archive.org to a book of St Johns homilies. On the left are links to read online, view/DL PDF, etc..

    http://archive.org/details/homiliesofsjohnc09john

    Peace

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