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Priesthood, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

96- The Lord exalts his creation


[31] The Lord Jesus Christ Testified To The Greatness Of John The Baptist.

(Mat 11:11) "Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Also it is amazing the John the Baptist is described before his birth:

(Luke 1:15) "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.

be great in the sight of the Lord, is an amazing statement showing Gods modesty and love in exalting His sons, who are in essence dust and ashes.

[32] Abraham The Patriarch Exalted By God

(Gen 12:2) I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.

The Scriptures, in various places, describe in detail the greatness of Abraham. For example as an intercessor for Sodom (Genesis 18).

Also the families of the earth are blessed in Abraham.

(Gen 12:3) I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

Also the angels conveyed the poor man to Abrahams bosom:

(Luke 16:22) "So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.

[33] We Should Never Forget The Exaltation Granted By God To Our Lady Virgin Mary

The Lord singled her out saying:

(Luke 1:35) And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

(Luke 1:48-49) For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. {49} For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name.

It is amazing to see that Virgin Marys simple greeting resulted in Elizabeth and her unborn child receiving the Holy Spirit in a joyful way:

(Luke 1:41-44) And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. {42} Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! {43} "But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

{44} "For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

[34] The Lord Exalted Moses The Prophet In A Remarkable Way         Image: Saint John the Baptist icon صورة: أيقونة حديثة تصور الشهيد يوحنا المعمدان Image: Saint John the Baptist icon.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أيقونة حديثة تصور الشهيد يوحنا المعمدان.

Moses miracles and wonders were many and was exalted by God above Pharaoh.

(Exo 7:1) So the LORD said to Moses: "See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet.

Also The LORD defended the greatness of Moses before Aaron and Miriam. He also struck Miriam with leprosy because she slandered Moses.

(Num 12:6-8) Then He said, "Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. {7} Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. {8} I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant Moses?"

[35] The Lord Exalted The Commons

(Mat 5:19) "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

He also praised the humble:

(Mat 18:1, 4) At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" "Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

The Cannanite woman was exalted by Christ, in spite of Noahs curse to her ancestors:

(Mat 15:28) Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

[36] The Lord Even Exalted Cities And Nature

(Gen 1:16) Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.

(Jonah 4:11) "And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left; and much livestock?"

[37] Here We can Speak About The Exaltation Granted By God To The Priesthood

We spoke previously about the authority granted to the clergy, we illustrated their power to forgive, and to grant the Holy Spirit, as we have discussed this issue before here on in other sections. We also spoke about their designations and rank, and how He assigned them with the calling, the selection, the

 mission, the anointing etc. Here we quote examples to their exaltation by God:

(Rev 4:4) Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.

Here He allows these priests to sit before Him, while the Seraphim and the Cherubim, are standing in awe:

(Isa 6:2) Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

We could follow Johns description of them raising to God the prayers of the saints.

(Rev 5:8) Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

God also describe some of His priests with greatness.

(Lev 21:10) 'He who is the high priest among his brethren, on whose head the anointing oil was poured and who is consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head nor tear his clothes;

Then let us not be jealous for God. It is His decision to exalt His sons, without compromising nor affecting His own Greatness and Majesty.

[38] In Essence, Greatness Is The Lords And Only His. But Out Of Modesty, Confers It On Others

Gods greatness is infinite, while human greatness is finite. Our greatness pales into insignificance compared to His own.

Gods own Greatness emanates from His divine essence. Our human greatness is acquired or conferred, but in all cases it is not our own because we are dust and ashes.

The greatness of God is perfect, holy and unlimited. While mans greatness is imperfect, tarnished and temporary.

[39] So It Is Not Warranted For Some One To Be Jealous For God Because He Confers Greatness On His Slaves

We are all slaves, and will remain as such, regardless of how much and how great any of us is endowed with exaltation and greatness. Our greatness is only a relative thing in comparison with our compatriots. But before God we are all His servants. The more he grants us, the more humble should we become.

[40] In Conclusion We Say To The Ones Who Feel Jealous For God Because Of The Priesthood.

God gave others, why complain against His gifts?

God exalts His children, So why are some annoyed of this? God does not take this as compromising His own Glory, so why the jealousy?

Are you more royal than the King Himself?

Do you wish to consider Gods gifts a contradiction to His Glory?

Are you jealous because of Gods utterance in Isaiah?

(Isa 42:8) I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images.