Friday, November 26, 2021

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the First Sunday of Advent

“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:25–36)

“Watch” over your life. Do not let “your lamps” go out, and do not keep “your loins ungirded,” but “be ready,” for “you do not know the hour when our Lord is coming.” Meet together frequently in your search for what is good for your souls, since “a lifetime of faith will be of no advantage” to you unless you prove perfect at the very end. In the final days, multitudes of false prophets and seducers will appear. Sheep will turn into wolves, and love into hatred. With the increase of iniquity, people will hate, persecute and betray each other. Then the world deceiver will appear in the disguise of God's Son. He will work “signs and wonders,” and the earth will fall into his hands. He will commit outrages such as have never occurred before. Then humankind will come to the fiery trial, “and many will fall away” and perish. “Those who persevere in their faith will be saved” by the Curse himself. Then “there will appear the signs” of the Truth: first the sign of stretched-out hands in heaven, then the sign of “a trumpet's blast,” and third, the resurrection of the dead, but not all the dead. As it has been said, “The Lord will come and all his saints with him. Then the world will see the Lord coming on the clouds of the sky.”

Didache 16.1–7

“Then, He says, they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” Christ therefore will come not secretly nor obscurely, but as God and Lord, in glory such as becomes Deity; and will transform all things for the better. For He will renew creation, and refashion the nature of man to that which it was at the beginning. “For when these things, He says, come to pass, lift up your heads, and look upwards: for your redemption is near.” For the dead shall rise, and this earthly and infirm body shall put off corruption, and shall clothe itself with incorruption by Christ’s gift, Who grants unto those that believe in Him to be conformed unto the likeness of His glorious body. As therefore His disciple says, “The day of the Lord will come as a thief; in which the heavens indeed shall suddenly pass away, and the elements being on fire shall be dissolved, and the earth and all the works that are therein shall be burnt up.” And further, he adds thereunto, “Since therefore all these things are being dissolved, what sort of persons ought we to be, that we may be found holy, and without blame, and unreproved before Him?” And Christ also Himself says, “Be therefore always watching, praying that you may be able to escape from all those things that are about to happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.” “For we shall all stand before His judgment seat,” to give an account of those things that we have done. But in that He is good and loving to mankind, Christ will show mercy on those that love Him; by Whom and with Whom to God the Father be praise and dominion, with the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever, Amen.

Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Luke, Homily 139

Friday, November 19, 2021

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Last Sunday of the Year

The Lord reigns; He clothed Himself with majesty;
The Lord clothed and girded Himself with power;
And He established the world, which shall not be moved.
Your throne is prepared from of old;
You are from everlasting.
The rivers, O Lord, lift up;
The rivers lift up their voices;
Because of the voices of their many waters,
Marvelous are the billows of the sea;
Wondrous is the Lord on high.
Your testimonies are very much believed;
Holiness is proper to Your house, O Lord,
Unto length of days. (Ps 93:1–5)

It was not just now, he is saying, that You received election as king: You possess eternal sway and everlasting kingship. About His kingship he says also in the forty-fourth psalm, “Your throne, O God, is for ages of ages.” And His unchangeableness and immutability he likewise taught us in the hundred and first psalm, “You are the same,” he says, “and Your years will not come to an end”: even though You became man, You did not lack divinity, nor were You separated from the Father or the all-holy Spirit, there being one substance of the undefiled Trinity, one kingship, one lordship.

You prophesied all this from of old, and announced it in advance through Your holy prophets, and it has been shown to be true by the testimony of the events. The addition of exceedingly was also good, meaning, a chance falsehood cannot be discerned in the prophecies, whereas everything now seen was prophesied precisely. Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, for length of days: the greatest and finest of all the good things is the fact that the enjoyment of the gifts is not transitory or limited to certain times in the style of the worship of Jews; rather, it is permanent, stable, and everlasting, this being suited and appropriate to Your new house. The divinely inspired Paul gave the name “house of God” to the assembly of the believers, to whom the inspired author said holiness is fitting. Accordingly, it behooves us, in keeping with the apostolic exhortation, to “purify ourselves of every defilement of body and spirit, and bring sanctification to completion in fear of God,” so that by preparing the house of God we may welcome the eternal guest.

Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on the Psalms 93.3, 6

The prophet spoke of the Lord’s coming, an event which he most truly foresaw. Now he expounds the nature of the praise, for the testimonies of the prophet were become exceedingly credible, when the saving incarnation of the Word which had been foretold to the world made its appearance. At His glorious coming was revealed all that was kept hidden in the sacred books. Which of the wise could have doubts about the promise of the gifts when the very Fullness which was promised arrived?…

The house of the Lord, then, is the universal Church, which we know is established round the circumference of the world. Holiness, in other words “the abundant blessing of Your coming,” becomes it. This is the beauty which can transcend all adornments, for it beautifies without ever forsaking it, and unifies so that it is wholly unfragmented. But this holiness, a beauty most outstanding, is not imparted for a moment, but is granted eternally; for length of days denotes an eternity which cannot be ended.

Cassiodorus, Explanation of the Psalms 92.5–6

Friday, November 12, 2021

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb 10:11–25)

If any of our own people inquire, not from love of debate but from love of learning, why He suffered death in no other way save on the cross, let them also be told that no other way than this was good for us, and that it was well that the Lord suffered this for our sakes. For if He came Himself to bear the curse laid upon us, how else could he have “become a curse” unless He received the death set for a curse? And that is the cross. For this is exactly what is written: “Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree.” Again, if the Lord's death is the ransom of all, and by His death “the dividing wall of hostility” is broken down, and the calling of the nations is brought about, how would He have called us to Him had He not been crucified? For it is only on the cross that a man dies with his hands spread out. Thus it was fitting for the Lord to bear this also and to spread out His hands, that with the one He might draw the ancient people and with the other those from the Gentiles and unite both in Himself. For this is what He Himself has said, signifying by what manner of death He was ransom to all: “I, when I am lifted up,” He says, “will draw all men to myself.” For the devil, the enemy of our race, having fallen from heaven, wanders about our lower atmosphere and there, bearing rule over his fellow spirits, as the devil's peers in disobedience, not only works illusions by their means in them that are deceived but tries to hinder them that are going up. About this the apostle says, “Following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience,” while the Lord came to cast down the devil and clear the air and prepare the way for us up into heaven, as said the apostle, “Through the curtain, that is to say, His flesh”—and this must be by death. Well, by what other kind of death could this have come to pass than by one which took place in the air, I mean, the cross? For only He that is perfected on the cross dies in the air. Therefore, it was quite fitting that the Lord suffered this death. For thus being lifted up, He cleared the air of the malignity both of the devil and of demons of all kinds, as He says, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven,” and made a new opening of the way up into heaven, as He says once more, “Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors!” For it was not the Word Himself that needed an opening of the gates, being Lord of all; nor were any of His works closed to their maker; but it was we who needed it, whom He carried up by His own body. For as He offered it to death on behalf of all, so by it He once more made ready the way up into the heavens.

Athanasius, On the Incarnation 25

Friday, November 5, 2021

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to All Saints' Sunday

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”

So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Rev 7:9–17)

Those who are shepherded by Christ then, it says, will not be afraid of attacks by wolves, inasmuch as they [the wolves] will be sent to the “unquenched fire,” but instead they [who have washed their robes] will be spiritually shepherded towards the clean and clear fountains of the divine thoughts, being meant by the waters, characterizing the already abundant flow of the Spirit, as the Lord has said about “him who sincerely believes” in Him that “out of his belly will flow rivers of living water.” The saints, those watered by it abundantly, will live endlessly in great joy and gladness, the “partial knowledge” being abolished, and they will possess perfect and escape the change of corruption.

Andrew of Caesarea, Commentary on the Apocalypse 7.20

He says, And they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Yet it should follow that robes dipped in blood would turn out to be scarlet rather than white. So how did they become white? Because baptism enacted into the death of the Lord, as Paul in his great wisdom said, purges all filth resulting from sin and renders those who are baptized in it white and pure. But participation in the life-giving blood of Christ also bestows this favor. For the Lord says concerning His own blood that it is being poured out “for many” and “on behalf of many, for the forgiveness of sins.” Thus these serve God forever, and God dwells among them. Indeed, the dwelling-place of God, said one of God’s saints, is where the souls of His saints continually remember Him; therefore God naturally dwells with those who serve him day and night.

Oecumenius, Commentary on the Apocalypse 5.7–8

Friday, October 29, 2021

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to Reformation Sunday

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Rom 3:21–26)

He says there is no distinction between Jews and Greeks since it is certain that all equally have come under sin, as became clear above. And he says that now the righteousness of God, which is supported by testimonies in the law and the prophets, has also been given equally to all through faith in Jesus Christ. But because all had come under sin, doubtless they were likewise estranged from the glory of God because they were able neither to receive it in any respect whatsoever nor to merit it. For how would a sinner dare to give glory to God, to whom the prophet says, “But God has said to the sinner: Why do you recite My righteous requirements?” And again another Scripture says, “Praise is unseemly in the mouth of a sinner.” Therefore the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ reaches to all who believe, whether they are Jews or Greeks. It justifies those who have been cleansed from their past crimes and makes them capable of receiving the glory of God; and it supplies this glory not for the sake of their merits nor for the sake of works, but freely to those who believe.

Although the holy Apostle has taught us many things about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ which are to be marveled at, things which are spoken about Him through a mystery, in this passage he has brought forth something even more admirable which I do not think is easy to find in other passages of Scripture. For above he had said that Christ had given His very self as the redemption price for the entire human race so that He might redeem those who were being held in the captivity of their sins, when “apart from God He tastes death for everyone.” Now he has added something even more profound and says, “God predetermined Him as a propitiation through faith in his blood.” This means of course that through the sacrifice of Himself He would make God propitious to men and through this He would manifest His own righteousness as He forgives them their past sins, which they had contracted by serving the worst tyrants at the time when God was tolerating and allowing this to be done. God allowed this so that afterwards, i.e., at this time, He would manifest His own righteousness. For at the consummation of the age, at the end of time, God disclosed His own righteousness and, for the redemption price, gave Him whom He made a propitiator.

Origen, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans 3.7.18; 3.8.1

Monday, October 25, 2021

Wokism Is Not Christian

In the current issue of Christian Culture, Rolf Preus has written an excellent article entitled “Wokism.” Below is a sample section.

It is among us Christians that human life has been valued. It is among us Christians that marriage and the family have been honored. Wokism takes our teaching about the value of the human being and refashions it in two critical ways. First, it replaces personal sin and guilt with corporate and systemic sin and guilt. Second, it forbids God to enter into the conversation and tell us what is right and wrong in regard to the domestic estate.

Sin is always personal and individual. There is such a thing as corporate sin (“I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips,” Isaiah 6:5), but accountability is always an individual matter. God visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children of those who hate him, but it is only if they hate him. He does not punish the children for the sins of their fathers. Sin is personal. While the gospel is proclaimed to all, it is received individually. The just shall live by his faith, not by another’s faith. To speak of sin and guilt as systemic ignores individual responsibility. And if one is deemed to be of the oppressor class, how is he to find redemption? Can a white man choose to become black? In fact, there is no redemption in the woke culture. There is only judgment.

The full article can be found here.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost

Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever. (Heb 7:23–28)

But these things were spoken of generally; but now they are separated by their particular kinds. It says, “If the high priest who was anointed sins, so that he makes the people sin, he will himself offer to the Lord for his sin a calf without blemish from the herd.” Terror and mercy are shown at the same time in the divine law. So finally, is no one safe, not even the high priest? And who is this high priest? He who was anointed; he who kindles holy fires on the divine altars, who sacrifices to God gifts and salutary offerings; he who intervenes between God and men as a propitiator. Not even he, I say, remains free from the contamination of sin. But see the mercy of God and understand it more fully as Paul teaches. For writing to the Hebrews, he says, “For every priest who is taken from men is appointed by men to offer sacrifices to God.” A little farther it says, “The Law appoints human priests who have weaknesses,” in order that just as they can offer for their own weakness, so also they can offer for that of the people. You see, therefore, the dispensation of divine wisdom. It sets up as priests, not those who could not sin in any way—otherwise, they would not be human—but those who ought indeed to imitate that One “who did not sin,” to offer sacrifices first for their own faults and then for the transgressions of the people.” But what is most to be admired in this kind of priest? Not that he may not sin—because that is impossible—but that he knows and understands his own sin. For he who thinks he has not sinned never corrects himself. In like manner, he is more easily able to pardon those who sin, whose conscience is disturbed by his own weakness.

For all these reasons, therefore, “He now stands before the face of God interceding for us.” He stands before the altar to offer a propitiation to God for us. As He was about to approach that altar, moreover, He was saying, “I will not drink again from the fruit of this vine until I drink it anew with you.” Therefore, He expects us to be converted, to imitate his example, to follow His footsteps, that He may rejoice with us and “drink wine with us in His Father’s kingdom.” For now because “the Lord is one who pities and is merciful,” He “weeps with those who weep and desires to rejoice with those who rejoice” with greater feeling than this Apostle. And how much more “this One mourns for those who have previously sinned and did not repent.” For we must not think that Paul is mourning for sinners and weeping for those who transgress, but Jesus my Lord abstains from weeping when He approaches the Father, when He stands at the altar and offers a propitiatory sacrifice for us. This is not to drink the wine of joy “when He ascends to the altar” because He is still bearing the bitterness of our sins. He, therefore, does not want to be the only one to drink wine “in the kingdom” of God. He waits for us, just as He said, “Until I shall drink it with you.” Thus we are those who, neglecting our life, delay His joy.

Origen, Homilies on Leviticus 2.3.1; 7.2.3

Friday, October 15, 2021

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost

Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.… There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Heb 4:1–2, 9–13)

David promised us, he is saying, that there is a different rest; so let us be keen to attain to it so as not to suffer a fate similar to theirs. Hearing the words does not suffice for salvation; accepting it in faith is necessary, and holding it firm. After all, what benefit was God’s promise to those who received it, but did not receive it faithfully, trust in the power of God or, as it were, associate closely with God’s words?

He called the rest sabbath rest since on the seventh day God rested from all the works He had performed, whereas in the next world life will be free of grief, proof against labor, and rid of cares. So he called the freedom from bodily works sabbath rest, as the sequel indicates. As the God of all on the sixth day completed the whole of creation, and on the seventh He rested from creating, so those departing this life and moving to that one will be rid of the present labors. The Law required Jews to refrain from bodily works on the sabbath, and to devote attention to souls alone.… The person in the grip of sloth and not desirous of enjoying the promised goods will be liable to the accusations of those who were disobedient.

Then he shows the fearful judgement: nothing can escape that incorruptible Judge; He knows everything precisely, even the movements of our very thoughts. He knows what is done under cover of darkness, He knows what is committed in secret, the wicked counsels of the soul did not elude Him, what is hidden is laid bare to Him.… Now, if it was not just to them but also to everyone of us that the divine apostle wrote this. So it behooves us to consider that divine judgement constantly, be afraid and tremble, keep the divine commandments assiduously, and look forward to the promised rest. May we attain it in Christ, to whom with the Father and the all-holy Spirit be glory and magnificence, now and forever, for ages of ages. Amen.

Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on Hebrews 4

Friday, October 8, 2021

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

Seek the Lord and live, lest He break out like fire in the house of Joseph and devour it, with no one to extinguish the fire for the house of Israel. The Lord is He who brings about justice on high and righteousness on the earth!… They hated him who reproved in the gates and abhorred the upright word. They tread upon the poor and take bribes from him. They built houses of hewn stone, yet they shall not dwell in them. They planted pleasant vineyards, but they shall not drink wine from them. For I know your many transgressions and the enormity of your sins, devouring the righteous and taking bribes, turning away the poor at the gate. Because of this, the prudent keep silent in this time, for it is an evil time. Seek good and not evil so that you may live, so that the Lord God Almighty will be with you. As you have said, “We hated evil and loved good.” And restore justice in the gate that the Lord God Almighty may have mercy on the remnant of Joseph. (Amos 5:6–7, 10–15)

Once again he does not allow the sinners to get caught up in despair, despite being involved in dire and intolerable sins. He also conveys God’s promises so as to land them as a catch for repentance. He also presented him here as necessarily promising to forgive their sins and free them from both the penalty and the terrors associated with it. The Creator, after all, is kind, “long-suffering and rich in mercy, and repenting of the troubles,” as it is written, and as he himself says in Ezekiel, “He does not wish the death of the dying so much as to convert him from his wicked path and have him live.” If, therefore, you set great store by being alive, which seems desirable for you to be, desist from deception, abandon such longstanding ignorance, and seek Me out, he is saying—that is, serve Me, the one who is by nature God, the Life-giver, the one able to save, rescuing from every trouble those who reverence Me.

Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Amos 5

Friday, October 1, 2021

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? (Heb 2:1–4)

Paul showed that there is a very great difference between the old covenant and the new covenant since he speaks about the “word” in the first covenant, but in this covenant, he speaks of “salvation.” For the first covenant was only a giving of customs and observances, whereas in this covenant there is also the grace of the Spirit and release from sins and the promise of the kingdom of heaven and the promise of immortality. Therefore, he also rightly says, “such a great salvation,” showing by the epithet its greatness. In the first covenant it was given “through the angels,” but now “through the Lord.” And since there were marvels with the former covenant, so that the new covenant might not seem inferior to the old in this respect, he well appended the statement, “while God further testified with signs and wonders and various powers,” saying this so that by its increase the fullness of grace might appear beyond that of the law also in this matter. For there the wonders took place only according to the need, but here also many of those outside the faith were healed through us, from even whatsoever diseases happened to afflict them. For such was the abundance of healings among us. Also the dead were raised.… After comparing and contrasting the difference and showing the superiority in a various and manifold manner, he added a greater thing that did not happen to those in the Law: “and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed.” For that each of the believers should have their own share in the Spirit was a characteristic of those in grace. And well he adds in addition to all these things “according to his own will,” that is, the will of God who fully wished once and for all to lavish us greatly so that his grace for us might not be repented of, and that the gifts of grace once given to us might not be changed along with the things of the previous covenant, as some might suspect.

Theodore of Mopsuestia, Fragments on Hebrews 2

He then shifts his attention to exhortation, saying, Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard: understanding this difference, therefore, we must attend more zealously to the teaching in case we are guilty of backsliding. Again he associated a comparison with the exhortation, showing the extent to which the Gospel teaching surpasses the provisions of the Law. The ministry of angels was involved in the giving of the Law, whereas in this case the Lord in person was the first to propose the saving teaching, and those who were in receipt of the apostolic grace welcomed it. While the Law gives us a glimpse of what has to be done, the Lord’s teaching is the source of eternal salvation. Now, since Moses also employed wonderworking, it was necessary for Him to show the superiority of grace in this respect, too: in this case, it was not only the Lord who worked wonders but also His divine disciples and their successors. He also showed the New Covenant to be resplendent with spiritual gifts: of old the inspired authors alone shared in the spiritual bounty, whereas now all the believers enjoy this grace.

Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on Hebrews 2