Gregory of Nazianzus on Christ's Divinity and Humanity
In our officer training classes, we've been talking about the doctrine of Christ — that he is one person with two natures (divine + human). I recently read this passage from the fourth-century theologian Gregory of Nazianzus, who lived in the central region of modern Turkey, and was a very important figure in early church's debates about the divinity and humanity of Christ, as well as debates about the Trinity.
Some of these sentences are just breathtaking:
“He was hungry but he fed thousands; not only this but he is indeed life-giving and heavenly bread. He was thirsty, but he shouted, “If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink”; not only this but he also promised that those who believe would gush forth with water. He was tired, but for those who are tired and heavy-laden he is rest. He was heavy with sleep but he is light upon the sea; not only this but he even rebukes winds; not only this but he even makes Peter light when he is sinking.
…He prays, but he hears prayers. He weeps, but he causes tears to cease…He is sold, and very cheaply, for it was for thirty silver coins, but he buys back the world, and it was for a great price, for it was for his own blood.
He was led as sheep to slaughter, but he shepherds Israel, and now, indeed the whole inhabited world.
…He is lifted up upon the tree, he is fixed to it, but he restores by the tree of life…He is given cheap wine to drink, he is fed bile. Who? The one who turned water into wine, the destroyer of the bitter taste, the one who is sweetness and all desire.
He hands over his life, but he has authority to take it again; not only this but the curtain is torn apart; for the things above are exhibited…He dies, but he makes alive, and by death he destroys death. He is buried, but he rises.”
-Gregory of Nazianzus (fourth-century theologian), Oration 29.20
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