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Gregory of Nazianzus, the fourth-century Archbishop of Constantinople, on the “admirable conjunction of excellencies” (to use Edwards’s language) of the way Jesus interacted with people:

Both these extremes he avoided;

he was sublime in action, lowly in mind;

inaccessible in virtue, most accessible in intercourse;

gentle, free from anger, sympathetic, sweet in words, sweeter in disposition;
angelic in appearance, more angelic in mind;

calm in rebuke, persuasive in praise, without spoiling the good effect of either by excess, but rebuking with the tenderness of a father, praising with the dignity of a ruler, his tenderness was not dissipated, nor his severity sour;

for the one was reasonable, the other prudent, and both truly wise;

his disposition sufficed for the training of his spiritual children, with very little need of words;

his words with very little need of the rod, and his moderate use of the rod with still less for the knife.

—Gregory of Nazianzus, “Oration 21,” NPNF 2nd series, 8:271-72 (par. 9).

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2 thoughts on “No One Ever Spoke Like This Man!”

  1. Shane says:

    Great quote. Only problem is, Gregory was not speaking about Jesus here. He was instead praising st. Athanasius of Alexandria.

  2. David McKay says:

    You can’t get away with much on the internet, Justin!

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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