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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol IX:
Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew.: Chapter IX

Early Church Fathers  Index     

9.  Christ the Pearl of Great Price.

Now you will connect with the man seeking goodly pearls the saying, “Seek and ye shall find,” 5194 and this—“Every one that seeketh findeth.” 5195   For what seek ye?  Or what does every one that seeketh find?  I venture to answer, pearls and the pearl which he possesses, who has given up all things, and counted them as loss; “for which,” says Paul, “I have counted all things but loss that I may win Christ;” 5196 by “all things” meaning the goodly pearls, “that I may win Christ,” the one very precious pearl.  Precious, then, is a lamp to men in darkness, and there is need of a lamp until the sun rise; and precious also is the glory in the face of Moses, and of the prophets also, I think, and a beautiful sight, by which we are introduced so as to be able to see the glory of Christ, to which the Father bears witness, saying, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased.” 5197   But “that which hath been made glorious hath not been made glorious in this respect by reason of the glory that surpasseth;” 5198 and there is need to us first of the glory which admits of being done away, for the sake of the glory which surpasseth; as there is need of the knowledge which is in part, which will be done away when that which is perfect comes. 5199   Every soul, therefore, which comes to childhood, and is on the way to full growth, until the fulness of time is at hand, needs a tutor and stewards and guardians, in order that, after all these things, he who formerly differed nothing from a bond-servant, though he is lord of all, 5200 may receive, when freed from a tutor and stewards and guardians, the patrimony corresponding to the very costly pearl, and to that which is perfect, which on its coming does away with that which is in part, when one is able to receive “the excellency of the knowledge of Christ,” 5201 having been previously exercised, so to speak, in those forms of knowledge which are surpassed by the knowledge of Christ.  But the multitude, not perceiving the beauty of the many pearls of the law, and all the knowledge, “in part,” though it be, of the prophets, suppose that they can, without a clear exposition and apprehension of these, find in whole 5202 the one precious pearl, and behold “the excellency of the knowledge of Christ,” in comparison with which all things that came before such and so great knowledge, although they were not refuse in their own nature, appear to be refuse.  This refuse is perhaps the “dung” thrown down beside the fig tree by the keeper of the vineyard, which is the cause of its bearing fruit. 5203



Matt. vii. 7.


Matt. vii. 8.


Phil. iii. 8.


Matt. iii. 17.


2 Cor. iii. 10.


1 Cor. 13:9, 10.


Cf. Gal. 4:1, 2.


Phil. iii. 8.


Or, absolutely.


Luke xiii. 8.

Next: Chapter X