Saturday, 17 March 2018

John Chrysostom on Evangelsim

“Nothing is more frigid than a Christian who cares nothing for the salvation of others.  You cannot plead your poverty here, for she who gave two copper coins shall be your accuser [Luke 21:1].  And Peter said, ‘I have no silver or gold’ [Acts 3:6].  And Paul was so poor that he was often hungry, and lacked necessary food [2 Cor 11:27; Phil 4:12]….
     “Do you not see the trees that bear no fruit, how strong they are, how beautiful, how large and smooth, how tall?  But if we had a garden, we would much rather have pomegranates or fruitful olive trees.  The others are for delighting the eyes, not for profit, which is small in them.  Such are those who consider only their own interest.  No, not even that much since these people are fit only for burning, whereas those trees are good for both building and the safety of those within.  And such were those bridesmaids, chaste and decent and modest, but profitable to none [Matt 25:1-13]….Such are those who have not nourished Christ.  Notice that none of these are charged with particular sins of their own, with fornication, for instance, or with perjury, in short, with no sin except being of no use to another.  Such was the one who buried the talent, showing indeed a blameless life but not being useful to another [Matt 25:25].  How can such a one be a Christian?  Tell me, if the leaven, once it is mixed with the flout, does not change the whole into its own nature, would such a thing be leaven?  And if a perfume emitted no sweet odor for those near it, could we call it a perfume?  Do not say, ‘It is impossible for me to persuade others [to become Christians]’—because if you are a Christian, it is impossible for it not to be so.  Just as the natural properties of things cannot be denied, so is it here:  It is part of the very nature of a Christian.”
                 - John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles 20.4, in Schaff, 11:133-34.


  1. This is good...I haven't thought of the scriptures of the fruit or the bridesmaids in the context of "others" or impacting others..which maybe is odd, but is non the less true.

  2. And you don't have to follow Chrysostom's exact interpretation of those particular verses to appreciate his overall point: Christians are those who witness to others about Christ.