cyril_alexandriaAnd when He had called the twelve Apostles, He gave them power and authority over all the devils, and to heal sicknesses (Luke 9:1).

Behold the Apostles, highly distinguished, and crowned with more than human glory, by this fresh gift bestowed by Christ.

“For He gave them,” it says, “power and authority over all the devils, and to heal sicknesses.”

Observe again, I pray, that the Incarnate Word of God exceeds the measure of humanity, and is radiant with the dignities of the Godhead.

For it transcends the limits of human nature, to give authority over unclean spirits to whomsoever He will: as does also the enabling them to deliver from sicknesses such as were afflicted with them.

For God, indeed, bestows on whom He will powers of this kind; and on His decree alone it depends that any are able, according to His good pleasure, to work divine miracles, and act as ministers of the grace that is from above: but to impart to others the gift bestowed on them, is altogether an impossibility.

For the majesty and glory of the supreme nature is found existing essentially in nothing that has being, except in Itself, and It only.

Be it, therefore, angel or archangel, that any one mentions, or thrones and dominions, or the seraphim, which again are higher in dignity, let him wisely understand this: that they indeed possess pre-eminent authority by the powers given them from above, such as language cannot describe, nor nature bestow; but reason altogether forbids the supposition of their imparting these powers to others.

But Christ bestows them, as being God therefore, and as out of His own fulness: for He is Himself the Lord of glory and of powers.

The grace then bestowed upon the holy Apostles is worthy of all admiration; but the bountifulness of the Giver surpasses all praise and admiration: for He gives them, as I said, His own glory.

Man receives authority over the evil spirits, and reduces unto nothingness the pride that was so high exalted, and arrogant, even that of the devil: his wickedness he renders ineffectual, and, by the might and efficacy of the Holy Ghost, burning him as with fire, he makes him come forth with groans and weeping from those whom he had possessed.

And yet in old time he [the devil] had said: “I will hold the whole world in my hand as a nest, and will take it as eggs that are left: and there is no one that shall escape from me, or speak against me.”

He missed, then, the truth, and fell from his hope, proud and audacious though he was, and vaunting himself over the infirmity of mankind. For the Lord of powers marshalled against him the ministers of the sacred proclamations.

Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376-444): Commentary on Luke, Sermon 47 (on Luke9:1ff).

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