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From whence hath this man these things?


Tuesday. [Gal. 2:21-3:7; Mark 6:1-7] From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him? Thus spoke the people of Nazareth about the Lord, having known His former life of low estate. The same happens with everyone who truly follows the Lord. He who strictly holds to the path of the Lord changes completely once he has labored to overcome all that is not right within himself. His whole constitution — his gaze, walk, speech, and behaviour all bear the mark of particular harmony and dignity, though he may have come from a lowly background, and has no education. It is then heard, “From whence hath this man these things?” If things that are bodily and visible are so transformed, what can be said of the inner things, of the soul, which are more directly and closely subject to the action of transforming grace, and to which the externals serve only as an ex?pression and consequence? How bright, exact and determined are his thoughts about everything! How true is his judgment about what ex?ists and occurs! His viewpoint on everything is higher than that of philosophers! And his intentions, actions and undertakings? All is pure, holy, reflecting heavenly brightness. In truth, this is a new person! He has not received an edu?cation, has not heard lectures in universities, and has no [illustrious] upbringing at all, and yet he is most well-mannered and wise. Attentive?ness toward oneself, labour over oneself, prayer and drawing near to God refashioned everything through God’s grace; and nobody saw how it happened. That is why the question arises, “From whence hath this man these things?”

Saint Theophan the Recluse