St Cyril of Jerusalem: Are You Well Pleased in the Only-Begotten Son of God?

Feast of St Theodore the Tyro, Great Martyr

Cyril_of_Jerusalem_Square_2.jpgTHOSE WHO have been taught to believe in One God Father Almighty ought to believe also in His Only-begotten Son. For he that denies the Son has not the Father (cf. 1 Jn. 2.23). “I am the door” (Jn 10.9), Jesus says; “no one comes to the Father, but through me” (Jn. 14.6). If you deny the Door, the knowledge of the Father is closed to you. “No one knows the Father, except the Son, and him to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (cf. Mt. 11.27). If you deny Him who reveals, you remain in ignorance. Then there is the Gospel text: “He who is unbelieving towards the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him” (Jn. 3.36). For the Father is wrathful when His Only-begotten Son is disregarded. The dishonorable treatment of a mere soldier is a grievous matter for his king; when a nobler attendant or friend is treated dishonorably, then his anger becomes still greater; but if anyone should treat with contumely the king’s only-begotten son, who will appease the father’s ensuing indignation?

If anyone likewise wishes to serve God piously, let him worship the Son; otherwise, the Father will not accept his service. The Father spoke aloud from heaven, saying: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mt. 3.17). The Father was well pleased in His Son; unless you also are well pleased, you will not have life. Do not be led astray by the Jews who say guilefully: “There is one God alone.” But with the knowledge that God is One, know that there is also an Only-begotten Son of God. I am not the first to say this, but the Psalmist in the person of the Son says: “The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son’” (Ps. 2.7). Therefore attend not to what the Jews say, but to what the Prophets say. Are you surprised if they who stoned and killed the Prophets disregard the words of the Prophets?

Believe in One Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God.

—St Cyril of Jerusalem, Lenten Lectures

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