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

Early Church Fathers  Index     

23.  Peter as a Stumbling-Block to Jesus.

Next we must inquire how He said to Peter, “Thou art a stumbling-block unto Me,” 5709 especially when David says, “Great peace have they that love Thy law, and there is no stumbling-block to them.” 5710   For some one will say, if this is said in the prophet, because of the steadfastness of those who have love, and are incapable of being offended, for “love beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things, love never faileth,” 5711 how did the Lord Himself, “who upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all that be bowed down,” 5712 say to Peter, “Thou art a stumbling-block unto Me”?  But it must be said that not only the Saviour, but also he who is perfected in love, cannot be offended.  But, so far as it depends on himself, he who says or does such things is a stumbling-block even to him who will not be offended; unless perhaps Jesus calls the disciple who sinned a stumbling-block even to Himself, as much more than Paul He would have said from love, “Who is weak, and I am not weak?  Who is made to stumble, and I burn not?” 5713   In harmony with which we may put, “Who is made to stumble, and I am not made to stumble?”  But if Peter, at that time because of the saying, “God be propitious to Thee, Lord, this shall not be unto Thee,” 5714 was called a stumbling-block by Jesus, as not minding the things of God in what he said but the things of men, what is to be said about all those who profess to be made disciples of Jesus, but do not mind the things of God, and do not look to things unseen and eternal, but mind the things of man, and look to things seen and temporal, 5715 but that such still more would be stigmatized by Jesus as a stumbling-block to Him, and because stumbling-blocks to Him, as stumbling-blocks to His brethren also?  As in regard to them He says, “I was thirsty and ye gave Me no drink,” 5716 etc., so also He might say, “When I was running ye caused Me to stumble.”  Let us not therefore suppose that it is a trivial sin to mind the things of men, since we ought in everything to mind the things of God.  And it will be appropriate also to say this to every one that has fallen away from the doctrines of God and the words of the church and a true mind; as, for example, to him who minds as true the teaching of Basilides, or Valentinus, or Marcion, or any one of those who teach the things of men as the things of God.



Matt. xvi. 23.


Ps. cxix. 165.


1 Cor. 13:7, 8.


Ps. cxlv. 14.


2 Cor. xi. 29.


Matt. xvi. 22.


2 Cor. iv. 18.


Matt. xxv. 42.

Next: Chapter XXIV

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