July 27, 2011 + From Homily XXXII: The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom on the Gospel According to St. Matthew
From Homily XXXII: The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom on the Gospel According to St. Matthew
"And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed Him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when He was come into the house, the blind men came to Him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They say unto Him, Yea, Lord. Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened." (Matthew 9:27-30)
WHEREFORE can it be that He puts them off, and they crying out? Here again teaching us utterly to repel the glory that cometh from the multitude. For because the house was near, He leads them thither to heal them in private. And this is evident from the fact, that He charged them moreover to tell no man.
But this is no light charge against the Jews; when these men, though their eyes were struck out, receive the faith by hearing alone, but they beholding the miracles, and having their sight to witness what was happening, do all just contrary. And see their earnestness also, both by their cry, and by their prayer itself. For they did not merely approach Him, but with loud cries, and alleging naught else but "mercy."
And they called Him "Son of David," because the name was thought to be honorable. In many passages, for instance, did the prophets likewise so call the kings, whom they wished to honor, and to declare great.
And having brought them into the house, He puts to them a further question. For in many cases He made a point of healing on entreaty, lest any should suppose Him to be rushing upon these miracles through vainglory: and not on this account alone, but to indicate also that they deserve healing, and that no one should say, "If it was of mere mercy that He saved, all men ought to be saved." For even His love to man hath a kind of proportion; depending on the faith of them that are healed. But not for these causes only doth He require faith of them, but forasmuch as they called Him "Son of David," He to lead them up to what is higher, and to teach them to entertain the imaginations they ought of Himself, saith, "Believe ye that I am able to do this?" He did not say, "Believe ye that I am able to entreat my Father, that I am able to pray" but, "that I am able to do this?"
What then is their word? "Yea, Lord." They call Him no more Son of David, but soar higher, and acknowledge His dominion.
And then at last He for His part lays His hand upon them, saying, "According to your faith be it unto you." And this He doth to confirm their faith, and to show that they are participators in the good work, and to witness that their words were not words of flattery. For neither did He say, "Let your eyes be opened," but, "According to your faith be it unto you;" which He saith to many of them that came unto Him; before the healing of their bodies, hastening to proclaim the faith in their soul; so as both to make them more approved, and to render others more serious.
Thus with respect to the sick of the palsy also; for there too before giving nerve to the body, He raises up the fallen soul, saying, "Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee." And the young damsel too, when He had raised her up, He detained, and by the food taught her her Benefactor; and in the case of the centurion also He did in like manner, leaving the whole to his faith; and as to His disciples again, when delivering them from the storm on the sea. He delivered them first from their want of faith. Just so likewise in this case: He knew indeed, even before their cry, the secrets of their mind; but that He might lead on others also to the same earnestness, He makes them known to the rest as well, by the result of their cure proclaiming their hidden faith.
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Troparion Tone 3
O holy prize-winner and healer Panteleimon, intercede with our merciful God that He may grant to our souls the forgiveness of our sins.
Kontakion Tone 5
Thou didst faithfully follow the Merciful One and wast granted the grace of healing. O prize-winner and Martyr of Christ our God by thine intercessions heal the diseases of our souls and banish the snares of the enemy from those who cry with faith: Save us, O Lord.