Origens Commentary On The Gospel Of John by Origen
14. In the First Three Gospels the Passover is Spoken of Only at the Close of the Ministry; In John at the Beginning. Remarks on This. Heracleon on the Passover.
We must not, however, fail to enquire into the statement that the passover of the Jews was at hand, when the Lord was at Capernaum with His mother and His brothers and His disciples. In the Gospel according to Matthew, after being left by the devil, and after the angels came and ministered to Him, when He heard that John was delivered up He withdrew into Galilee, and leaving Nazara He came and dwelt in Capernaum. Then He began to preach, and chose the four fishermen for His Apostles, and taught in the synagogues of the whole of Galilee and healed those who were brought to Him. Then He goes up into the mountain and speaks the beatitudes and what follows them; and after finishing that instruction He comes down from the mountain and enters Capernaum a second time. Then He embarked in a ship and crossed over to the other side to the country of the Gergesenes. On their beseeching Him to depart out of their coasts He embarked in a ship and crossed over and came to His own city. Then He wrought certain cures and went about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues; after this most of the events of the Gospels take place, before Matthew indicates the approach of the time of passover. With the other Evangelists also, after the stay at Capernaum it is long till we come to any mention of the passover; which may confirm in their opinion those who take the view about Capernaum which was set forth above. That stay, in the neighbourhood of the passover of the Jews, is set in a brighter light by that nearness, both because it was better in itself, and still more because at the passover of the Jews there are found in the temple those who sell oxen and sheep and doves. This adds emphasis to the statement that the passover was not that of the Lord but that of the Jews; the Father's house was made, in the eyes of those who did not hallow it, a house of merchandise, and the passover of the Lord became for those who took a low and material view of it a Jewish passover. A fitter occasion than the present will occur for enquiring as to the time of the passover, which took place about the spring equinox, and for any other enquiry which may arise in connection with it. As for Heracleon, he says, |This is the great festival; for it was a type of the passion of the Saviour; not only was the lamb put to death, the eating of it afforded relaxation, the killing it pointed to what of the passion of the Saviour was in this world, and the eating it to the rest at the marriage.| We have given his words, that it may be seen with what a want of caution and how loosely he proceeds, and with what an absence of constructive skill even on such a theme as this; and how little regard in consequence is to be paid to him.