Origens Commentary On The Gospel Of Matthew by Origen
41. Figurative Interpretation of the Same.
But since we have not yet spent our energy in interpreting the things in the place figuratively, but have said these things by way of searching into the mere letter, let us in conformity with these things, consider whether the aforesaid Peter and the sons of thunder who were taken up into the mountain of the dogmas of the truth, and who saw the transfiguration of Jesus and of Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory with Him, might wish to make tabernacles in themselves for the Word of God who was going to dwell in them, and for His law which had been beholden in glory, and for the prophecy which spake of the decease of Jesus, which He was about to accomplish; and Peter, as one loving the contemplative life, and having preferred that which was delightsome in it to the life among the crowd with its turmoil, said, with the design of benefiting those who desired it, |It is good for us to be here.| But since |love seeketh not its own,| Jesus did not do that which Peter thought good; wherefore He descended from the mountain to those who were not able to ascend to it and behold His transfiguration, that they might behold Him in such form as they were able to see Him. It is, therefore, the part of a righteous man who possesses |the love which seeketh not its own| to be free from all, but to bring himself under bondage to all those below that He might gain the more of them. But some one, with reference to what we have alleged about the trance and the working of an evil spirit in Peter, concerning the words, |not knowing what he said,| not accepting that interpretation of ours, may say that there were certain mentioned by Paul |desiring to be teachers of the law,| who do not know about what they speak, but who, though they do not clearly expound the nature of what is said, nor understand their meaning, make confident affirmations of things which they do not know. Of such a nature was the affection of Peter also, for not apprehending what was good with reference to the dispensation of Jesus and of those who appeared in the mountain, -- Moses and Elijah, -- he says, |It is good for us to be here,| etc., |not knowing what he said,| |for he wist not what to say,| for if |a wise man will understand the things from his own mouth, and carries prudence in his lips,| he who is not so does not understand the things from his own mouth, nor comprehend the nature of the things spoken by him.