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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol IX:
Epistle to Gregory and Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of John.: Chapter XXVIII

Early Church Fathers  Index     

28.  The Difference Between Believing in the Name of Jesus and Believing in Jesus Himself.

“Now, when He was in Jerusalem at the passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He did.  But He, Jesus, did not trust Himself to them, because He knew all (men) and because He needed not that any should testify of man, for he Himself knew what was in man.” 5142   One might ask how Jesus did not Himself believe in those of whom we are told that they believed.  To this we must say it was not those who believed in Him that Jesus did not trust, but those who believed in His name; for believing in His name is a different thing from believing in Him.  He who will not be judged because of his faith is exempted from the judgment, not for believing in His name, but for believing in Him; for the Lord says, 5143 “He that believeth in Me is not judged,” not, “He who believes in My name is not judged;” the latter believes, and hence he is not worthy to be condemned already, but he is inferior to the other who believes in Him.  Hence it is that Jesus does not trust Himself to him who believes in His name.  We must, therefore, cleave to Him rather than to His name, lest after we have done wonders in His name, we should hear these words addressed to us which He will speak to those who boast of His name alone. 5144   With the Apostle Paul 5145 let us seek p. 408 joyfully to say, “I can do all things in Christ Jesus strengthening me.”  We have also to notice that in a former passage 5146 the Evangelist calls the passover that of the Jews, while here he does not say that Jesus was at the passover of the Jews, but at the passover at Jerusalem; and in the former case when the passover is called that of the Jews, it is not said to be a feast; but here Jesus is recorded to have been at the feast; when at Jerusalem He was at the passover during the feast, and many believed, even though only in His name.  We ought to notice certainly that “many” are said to believe, not in Him, but in His name.  Now, those who believe in Him are those who walk in the straight and narrow way, 5147 which leads to life, and which is found by few.  It may well be, however, that many of those who believe in His name will sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, the Father’s house, in which are many mansions.  And it is to be noted that the many who believe in His name do not believe in the same way as Andrew does, and Peter, and Nathanael, and Philip.  These believe the testimony of John when he says, “Behold the Lamb of God,” or they believe in Christ as found by Andrew, or Jesus saying to Philip, “Follow Me,” or Philip saying, “We have found Him of whom Moses and the prophets did write, Jesus the Son of Joseph from Nazareth.”  Those, on the other hand, of whom we now speak, “believed in His name, beholding His signs which He did.”  And as they believe the signs and not in Him but in His name, Jesus “did not trust Himself to them, because He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man, because He knew what is in every man.”



John 2.23-25.


John iii. 18.


Matt. vii. 21-23.


Philipp. iv. 13.


John ii. 13.


Matt. vii. 14.

Next: Chapter XXIX

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