In the Sunday that follows this one, which is the Sunday of the fathers, we mention the Fathers starting from Abraham, the Fathers whom Jesus came from physically according the Matthew’s story. This is the list of the Hebrew Fathers although Abraham was not Hebrew. Matthew addressed in his Gospels Jews that were waiting Christ to come from them. However, the Lord also comes from those who lived before the Jews. This is what Luke will mention as he makes Lord Jesus not only from Abraham but also from Adam. Maybe Luke was from Gentile origins from Antioch or was an intruder on Judaism and wanted to give an overall human impression to the person of Christ.

The church embodied this overall view in this Sunday where we mention Forefathers to Christ which were Gentiles (from the Pagans). We chant in the vespers: “you saved through faith the old fathers, and through them you pre-talked with the people from the Gentiles”. We also chant saying that Christ the savior “Magnified the Forefathers in all nations”. Some of them were clearly Gentile, and some were Jewish. Melchizedek is mentioned; as he has been mentioned in the epistle to the Hebrews.

Melchizedek met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and Abraham gave him a tenth out of everything. “Having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God”. All of this and he is not Hebrew. We mention the Forefathers starting from Adam.

This is why Christ is greater than Israel and is the head of the Israel of God which is the church. So, Paul says in his epistle to the Galatians: “There is neither Jew nor Greek”. What is meant here is that those coming from the Greek culture have become one in the church with those coming from Israel, the same meaning is found in his saying “neither circumcision (i.e. Jews) nor uncircumcision” (and this is how he names Gentiles that are not circumcised). He also says “neither barbarian nor Scythian”. Barbarians according to Aristotle are people that are not Greek, and Scythians are from Iranian origins and used to live in the south of Russia.

All of these ethnic differences, that the ancient people used to be proud of, do not unite unless combined to Christ. From this angle you would have got rid of the enmity of races; and all that it carried in its paganism from good and knowledge would become ready for the Savior to come. Before Christ’s nativity from Mary, the ancient people have, in a way or another, talked about him and waited him with all the understanding and good that they had. Even if Christ came physically from the Jews, but he was from the moral side the heir of all cultures. He baptized these cultures through the Gospel; everything that was against the Gospel fell from their thought, and everything that was in the Gospel was stabilized.

Christ’s words before the writing of the Gospel were implanted in the cultures of the nations that preceded Jesus and espoused him. So, the Savior inherited what he did from these nations, and while coming to him they threw away everything that’s incompatible with his message, and he became everything for everyone.

When we come to Christ from any cultural heritage, he stays a master over everything we know and feel, and he stays the only pole of our personality and the ultimate way to the Father.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “أحد الأجداد” – 12.12.2010-Raiati no50