Sermon on the Fifth Sunday in Lent
Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan and thou hast the Devil. (John 8:48)
Thus the Jews said to the Savior, when he began to rebuke and reproach them more severely for their unrighteousness and hypocrisy. Such people cannot tolerate that he calls them hypocrites and a generation of vipers. They had become angry because the Savior reproached them so hard and condemned them.
The Jews became first angry with John who reproached them and said to the best men in the congregation: “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matthew 3:7). The Jews became still angrier with the Savior when he reproached them hypocrites and a generation of fornicators. When would a whore not become angry with him who calls her a whore?
No one else becomes so angry if he is reproached for theft, as the thief. Some become so angry if they are called whores and thieves. They become so angry that the gall will burst, and they become as black in their face as gypsies. Jews became so angry with a Christian, Stephen, that they gnashed their teeth and stopped their ears. In the same way even the present Jews and baptized heathens become angry when they are called whores and thieves.
When the Savior said to the Jews: “Ye are of the father, Devil”, then the gall burst up. The black blood of self-righteousness rose in the head. The old leaven began to ferment, and the heart began to swell. The nails began to itch, and they began to pick up stones which they aimed to throw on him. However, the present Jews say: “If Jesus was walking amidst us, we could by no means become angry, we could nothing but weep and pray him. We would have thanked with tears him who has done so much good to us.”
But how would you thank him if he began to call you whores and drunkards and a generation of vipers. Therefore certainly some Jews may thank the Savior that they may commit adultery and steal. There are some who thank him for the reason that they may drink and fight, some again therefore that their liquor merchandise has success.
Everybody is probably ready to thank Jesus because his unrighteousness has had success. A thief thanks also God that his theft has been successful, and that he has not been caught stealing. He believes namely, that God has helped him to steal, to hide stolen things, and to avoid punishment. In the same way, when a whore has fulfilled her secret deeds, she will thank God that nobody has seen her indecency. Both drunkards and liquor merchants thank God that they have avoided liquor fine through false oath. Even though they are reconciled here, they will supposedly begin to rebuke each other in Hell.
All ungodly people thank indeed God that He has allowed their unrighteousness be successful. However, they would thank less if God himself would come to reproach them for unrighteousness and ungodly life. Then they would begin to say to God: “Well, you are no God because you rebuke honorable men. You are a Samaritan, and you have the Devil, as you do not give peace of conscience to men. You are the Devil himself, as you do nothing but condemn virtuous men to Hell.”
If again the prince of the world would come and say to his servants: “You are children of God, you have always been good and honest. There has never been any unrighteousness in you, and you have committed plenty of good in the world, you have never done anything wrong”. Everybody would be fond of this, and all would thank and praise such a lord. But a vagabond who goes around in the province and reproaches honorable men, is no real person. He is a Samaritan, and he has the Devil. He thinks he is the Son of God, but a Son of God can indeed not reproach people for iniquity. The Son of God will no doubt give honorable men peace of conscience. The Son of God would not condemn lords of the world. He would address virtuous men by prayers and sweet words. He will never make people angry with hard law.
What do then the words of the old Simeon mean, when he said: “This child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel” (Luke 2:34)? The natural intellect thinks like this: “By no means do people fall into Hell through the Savior”. Many a person in the world says even now: “It is no Christianity by which people become angry”.
Namely, when Christians hurt the sore nature of Old Adam, and the children of the world begin to threaten and curse Christians, then they feel that they fall through Christianity into the deepest Hell. Then they say to Christians: “It is because of you that we have become angry, have cursed and threatened you, and you should answer for our souls if we fall into Hell”.
This is perchance what the Jews say to the Savior: “You have made us angry by rebuking, you have made us furious by reproaches, and because of your teaching and your rebuking we have become worse and angry. You have made our minds bitter. You have taken the peace of conscience from us, and because of you we have fallen into a yet deeper Hell. Therefore, you have to answer for our souls.”
However, Simeon has said that this Son of Mary is set for the fall of many. This means: Many will fall because of Christianity into yet deeper Hell, because Christianity is such a thing that he who will not become uplifted by it from Hell, he will fall through Christianity. That means: he has to become angry, he has to become furious, he has to gnash his teeth of hatred, he has to curse and threaten Christians, he has to suck his stomach full with the blood of Christians. In this manner the souls of bloodsuckers will ripe, until the Devil begins to pick them as poisonous berries into a milk pail.
But the confessors of dead faith do not dare to make anybody angry for the sake of Jesus, or Christianity. They milk the breasts of natural inclinations so skillfully that the slime of dead faith and the milk of natural love begin to flow by itself. They press tear glands so skillfully that the tears of serpent begin to flow by itself.
These tears begin to fall now and then like hails upon frozen ground. However, these hails stay where they fall. Nobody becomes angry through them, neither does any heart become softer or harder through them. All remain as they have been since they came from mother´s womb. Nobody will become uplifted from Hell by dead faith, nor thrown down into a deeper place.
This is what the sorrowless people of the world want that everybody would fall into a similar Hell. If only a single one began to climb up from Hell, the children of the world get immediately burnt both in liver and spleen. They begin to grimace and look askew at those who stretch their arms to the Savior and cry: “Have mercy upon me, a sinner!”
The seed of serpent begin to squirm at the root of the heart, when the Christians sting into the heart vein of the Old Adam. The Devil gets a big wound in the heart when a soul becomes free from his clutches. Some spirits of darkness say indeed: “Let us go in peace into Hell”. But the Christians do not give peace to the children of the world, lest the children of the world would get great power to rebuke later the Christians that they have allowed them to sleep in sorrowlessness.
If a drunken man slept in a boat at the head of the rapids, and others laughed on the shore to the man who is about to drown, what would people say to such persons? They would say: “You have allowed that man drown. You have laughed when you saw that man be in danger of life, and you have not shouted: ‘Rise up, you drunken man’!” A drunken man is sleeping and snoring, although the house is burning. He who has the heart of a wolf says: “Let him sleep and burn, he is not worth of anything better”.
But if a friend of human beings went there and began to shout: “Stand up for Lord´s sake, the house is burning”, then the Old Adam would begin to tear from hair and hit with his fists the person who tries to awaken him, and he says: “Do you not give a man peace to sleep?” Even the spiritually dead people say so when a Christian wants to wake up them: “Would you not go away and give me peace of conscience. Let me go in peace into perdition.”
The same drunken man would anyway begin to reproach Christians when his skin becomes hot: “You saw my poor soul fall into Hell but you were mute dogs then. Answer now for my soul!” Thoughts will change in this way when the eyes become opened. It is too late to shout when all become deaf. It is too late to speak when all become mute.
We have to speak today about the hatred of Jews against Jesus, if it were possible that some Jews would pay heed to this warning how bitter hatred there is in the heart of a natural man towards the Savior. May all children of God pray for those hardened souls who in their anger hate Jesus and his disciples. May they pray as the Lord Jesus Himself has taught us: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
Gospel: John 8:46
We heard in the gospel how angry Jews were with the Savior when He wanted to admonish them to repentance. This hatred of the Jews is yet so bitter to them who say to the slaves of the world: your father is the Devil. Therefore, our purpose is to consider at this moment from where this hatred comes which the children of the world vomit upon Jesus. The first consideration: Does the hatred of the Jews come from the heart, or does it come from the gall. The second consideration: If the hatred comes from the heart, then it can turn through reconciliation into love. If it again comes from the gall, it will stay eternally.
However, it is not our fault, if during this consideration some fall deeper, and some will become uplifted. I suppose that those whose hatred comes from the heart, should notice their mistake and begin hereafter to seek after Jesus. Nevertheless, the good Father who gave His only Son for us when we were yet His enemies, only He can turn the hatred of Esau into love. When Jacob wrestled the whole night with the Unknown one, he said at last at the breaking of the day: “I will not let thee go, expect thou bless me”. (Gen 32:26)
The first consideration: Does the hatred of the Jews towards Jesus come from the heart, or does this hatred come from the gall? I suppose this hatred comes from the gall. Why is it so bitter? And why does this hatred never come to an end? The Jews were very angry with Jesus especially because of the word that He was more than Abraham. This means that Jesus was the Son of God. However, this hatred of the Jews lasted even after the death of Jesus.
Other type of hatred becomes settled after death when the adversary is gone, but the hatred of the Jews was so bitter that it stayed even after the death of Jesus. The Jews did not suffer to hear that name. The name of Jesus was worse to them than the name of an enemy. They even gnashed their teeth when Stephen said: “Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost” (Acts 7:51). The Jews wanted to tear Paul in pieces when he had turned to Christianity.
Did this spiritual hatred come perchance from the heart or from the gall? Apparently from the gall. Namely, the hatred which comes from the heart, will become settled because it can be reconciled. Gall can, however, never become better. Gall is a vessel where the upper part comes from the liver, and it is composed of black blood. All spiritual hatred and envy, or all the poison which the serpent spit into a man, will gather there. The spiritual hatred is so bitter that they begin like wolves suck human blood. The hatred of such people who spit their poison upon Christians, will never come to an end.
The hatred of the Jews towards Jesus was so great that they considered him as the worst evil-doer and enemy of men. The conjurer has tuned their eyes inside out. They consider righteousness as unrighteousness and unrighteousness as righteousness. What the Savior did with the power of God, that Jews said had taken place with the power of Devil. The effects of the Holy Spirit were considered as the effects of the Devil. Christianity was according to the heathens a strange superstition.
This hatred of the Devil is neither now far away. Even now the hatred of some blind wretches becomes kindled towards the Christians who do not give any peace of conscience to men. Does this hatred come perchance from the heart, or does it come from the gall? Certainly from the gall. Namely, there is so much gall and bitterness that some become quite black in their countenance. The heart becomes so swollen that they begin to curse when the Old Adam may not sleep in peace.
They begin to curse the Christians and show them their teeth. If these whelps of the wolf had the power, they would have long ago licked the blood of the Christians. However, they show black and bitter their gall is when they begin to threaten and look askew upon the Christians. The old leaven of the Pharisees begins to ferment of one word that hurts the Old Adam.
The seed of serpent begin to squirm at the root of the heart when a Christian tries the heart veins of the Old Adam. The black blood of self-righteousness rises in the head when their virtue is reproached. The poison of the serpent mixed with gall begins to flow out from nose and mouth when a Christian touches liver or gall. The place of honor shrinks up and begins to feel bitter when salt of the truth will be put on the spleen.
There liver becomes black and swells up when a Christian wants to press out the blood of self-righteousness. Such is now the hatred and bitterness of the enemies of Jesus cross against the Christians. They want to crucify and burn alive the witnesses of the truth. Their gall is bigger than their heart, and therefore is even their hatred bitter and harsh.
The bitter hatred of the Jews stayed even after his death. There were even worse than hungry wolves. The more the sucked the blood of the Christians, the more intense became their thirst. Even the heathens did this. They hated and persecuted Christians with fire and sword, and yet their hatred did not come to an end. As the Jews and the heathens had the faith that Christians were blasphemers of God and possessed by evil spirits, therefore they had to exterminate Christians as enemies of men.
Because the Jews and heathens considered Christianity as superstition and effect of an evil spirit, therefore this persecution of the Christians became a holy duty. It came from the demand of the conscience. Thus, the latter persecutions and the hatred of the Pope have anyway become a matter o of conscience. Conscience has demanded them to exterminate the cursed flock which does not give men peace of conscience.
The conjurer has turned their eyes inside out, when the confessors of the dead faith suppose that they have the true faith, then the faith of the Christians becomes false. As the naturally virtuous people are children of God, then the Christians are children of the Devil. As dead faith is Christianity, then living faith is a strange superstition. As the spirit of liquor is an effect of the Holy Spirit, then true Christianity becomes an effect of the Devil.
However, Jews had the faith that the Savior was a witch, and he had the Devil, and it was with the aid of the Devil that he made those wonders. There are many people even now who have the faith that Christians are helpers of the Devil. In this way the conjurer turns the eyes of men inside out, that hatred and bitter gall come from the demand of the conscience. Thus, everybody who hates the disciples of Jesus believes he will commit service to God. Such hatred and persecution of the Christians will never come to an end, as long as the world will stand.
Second consideration: If the hatred of the Jews towards Jesus comes from the heart, it is possible that it will at last turn into love. We have mentioned before that if men have bigger gall than heart, then the enemies of Jesus cross will become eternal enemies, like the Jews who are even now enemies of Jesus cross. However, if the hatred comes from the heart and not from the gall, it is possible that hatred turns into love, like the hatred of Esau was one day turned into love. Even Saul, who was first an enemy of Jesus cross, became at last himself a cross-bearer.
Such enemies of Jesus cross who first become angry with the Christians but later regret, they have not become angry without reason, and they have not regretted without reason, because every man is by nature an enemy of Jesus cross. Every man fights first against. Nobody is inclined before the natural pride is humiliated. There are indeed many who make themselves humble that he could with lying buy himself peace of conscience.
However, hornless goats are not much better than the horned ones because the hornless ones want to force themselves into the sheepfold through the window. As they cannot get in through the window, they try to get in another way. Everybody who does not come in through the door into the sheepfold, he is a thief and a robber. However, such enemies of the cross of Christ who shout on Good Friday “crucify”, may become pricked in their heart from the sermon of Peter.
All have first been enemies of the cross of Christ, before Old Adam has become skinned. This hatred towards Christians comes from the very heart. Those people whose heart is bigger than their gall, may at last become converted, because heart is the main organ which can receive reconciliation. The heart can also, no matter how hard and swollen it is first, become tinder through heavy hitting. On the contrary, when the gall bursts out, begins to nauseate, and man begins to vomit pure green gall. This vomiting is bitter as poison in the mouth of a man.
Take water of meekness and gurgle your throat, all of you who have spit bitter gall on Christians! Jesus did not want to drink vinegar mixed up with gall. The Christians cannot either drink vinegar of hatred and bitterness mixed up with gall.
The dogs of death which have vomited gall of bitterness upon Christianity, may at last lick their casting when they do not have anything else to eat. The Devil will boil them sauce on meat when they begin to eat the flesh of the Christians. When they begin to drink blood of the Christians, the wicked one will add there flowing Devilʼs shit that this mixture would taste sweet.
The dogs of death are not picky with taste. They eat indeed the excrement of Old Adam when they are hungry. For those whose heart is bigger than their gall, although they first hate Christians, there will anyway become a change. When the heart is severely whipped, they may by Godʼs grace become cross-bearers.
Even though the heart would sometimes feel cold, sometimes hot, sometimes swollen, sometimes dead, nevertheless it will at last become tinder, when it is kindled by one sparkle which Jesus hits when He says: “I am come to send fire on the earth, and what will I, if it be already kindled?” (Luke 12:49)
This holy fire will soon be kindled when the heart of a man has become tinder, even though it will demand a hard work before it becomes soft.
Therefore, those people whose heart is hard, are on the right road. On the other hand, those people whose heart does not feel almost anything, are yet Jews and enemies of Jesusʼ cross. The hatred of Jews towards Jesus is sour vinegar mixed up with gall of bitterness. The vinegar which is mixed up with gall is not only sour but it is also bitter and harsh like poison.
The enemies of Jesus cross offer such a beverage to the Christians when they come and ask something from them. The most bitter enemies of Jesus cross offer their hatred to Christians mixed up with gall of the wicked one. However, such a drink is so sour and bitter that the Christians are not able to drink it. On the other hand, the angels of the Devil drink this sour and bitter beverage mixed up with gall of the Devil. They lick yet their lips and say: the drink of the old man is indeed sweet. There is a danger that it will at last taste bitter in the stomach when it begins to gnaw in their conscience how they have lived. The poison of the serpent is sweet here, but it may become bitter when it begins to gnaw in their conscience how they have lived.
Eat, eat, ye whelps of wolf, the flesh of the Christians! Tomorrow you will not have as fat soup in front of you! Lap warm blood, ye whelps of wolf, tomorrow there will not be such soup in the kettle. Tear well the body of Christians, the Devil will indeed cook sauce on meat for you. Drink yet flowing Devilʼs shit after that. The Devil will appease your conscience in Hell. Vomit out the vinegar of wickedness mixed up with gall of hatred and bitterness, and offer this mixture of the Devil to the Savior and his disciples.
As you have done before, do so even hereafter! Drink, curse and fight, so you will become saved. Suck the blood of Christians, the Devil will suck your breasts in Hell. Bite your teeth when the Christians admonish you to penitence and repentance. The Devil will indeed give you sugar and syrup in Hell. Drink Devilʼs shit, the Wicked one will repay you in Hell. Commit adultery, then you may dig in the ass of a whore in Hell. There will indeed be some female devil who will piss in your mouth when a blue flame will come out from the mouth and nose. Steal well grace here, the dogs of Hell will indeed be mute in Hell. Keep liquor merchandise, the Devil will repay you in Hell.
The spiritual hatred is the dragonʼs poison which falls from the teeth of the dragon when he bruises the heel of the seed of the woman. The offspring of the dragon are doubtlessly glad when they begin to make sausage of the blood of the Christians. Seek light from Hell, so you could better see make sausage. Remember only that the blood of Abel cries for vengeance! Amen.