It ought not to be forgotten that in such a p. 304 Gospel as this there is embraced every good deed which was done to Jesus; as, for example, the story of the woman 4513 who had been a sinner and had repented, and who, having experienced a genuine recovery from her evil state, had grace to pour her ointment over Jesus so that every one in the house smelt the sweet savour. Hence, too, the words, “Wherever this Gospel shall be preached among all the nations, there also this that she has done shall be spoken of, for a memorial of her.” And it is clear that whatever is done to the disciples of Jesus is done to Him. Pointing to those of them who met with kind treatment, He says to those who were kind to them, 4514 “What ye did to these, ye did to Me.” So that every good deed we do to our neighbours is entered in the Gospel, that Gospel which is written on the heavenly tablets and read by all who are worthy of the knowledge of the whole of things. But on the other side, too, there is a part of the Gospel which is for the condemnation of the doers of the ill deeds which have been done to Jesus. The treachery of Judas and the shouts of the wicked crowd when it said, 4515 “Away with such a one from the earth,” and “Crucify Him, crucify Him,” the mockings of those who crowned Him with thorns, and everything of that kind, is included in the Gospels. And as a consequence of this we see that every one who betrays the disciples of Jesus is reckoned as betraying Jesus Himself. To Saul, 4516 when still a persecutor it is said, “Saul Saul, why persecutest thou Me?” and, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.” There are those who still have thorns with which they crown and dishonour Jesus, those, namely, who are choked by the cares, and riches, and pleasures of life, and though they have received the word of God, do not bring it to perfection. 4517 We must beware, therefore, lest we also, as crowning Jesus with thorns of our own, should be entered in the Gospel and read of in this character by those who learn the Jesus, who is in all and is present in all rational and holy lives, learn how He is anointed with ointment, is entertained, is glorified, or how, on the other side, He is dishonoured, and mocked, and beaten. All this had to be said; it is part of our demonstration that our good actions, and also the sins of those who stumble, are embodied in the Gospel, either to everlasting life or to reproach and everlasting shame.
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