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“Misunderstandings occur frequently in John's Gospel (see 2:19–21; 4:10–14, 30–34; 6:27; 7:37–39; 11:11–15). Christ uses these opportunities to elevate an idea from a superficial or earthly meaning to a heavenly and eternal meaning.” (Orthodox Study Bible, John 3:4) 

“As is typical in these dialogues recorded in Saint John’s Gospel, a particular word or phrase will carry a double meaning—earthly and spiritual, we could say.  Jesus informs the [Samaritan women at the well in John 4] woman that if she had asked for a gift from God, she would have received “living water.”  The woman, thinking in earthly or natural terms, would like to receive living water, for that would mean it would be fresh and flowing, coming from a fountain or stream and not from a well or cistern.  But Jesus, who has come to reveal heavenly things, will “elevate” the dialogue to the spiritual level.” (Father Stephen Kostoff)

“The heavenly Father sent His Son and the Holy Spirit to enter time and space in order to elevate the consciences of all human beings, raising them to the mystical mountaintop within their souls, so that they can experience God’s presence…” (Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky)

“Throughout the Gospels Christ was always trying to elevate His Disciple’s (and other people’s) understanding and perception. He didn’t do it so they could have enlightened minds as an end in and of itself; but rather through this complete enlightenment of body, mind, and soul, that is the complete person, have union with Him. Our well-being and salvation are through understanding that leads to union, not just understanding.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“Divine love does not tolerate this elevated status of self, for the ego is the enemy of our communion with God...worship of self dooms us to a life of total loss. We were created for communion with God, and the worship of the ego has led us into a state of spiritual bankruptcy....We need to return to the worship of God and reject the worship of self...The destruction of the ego begins with repentance and the acquisition of a humble and contrite heart, that we might have this communion.” (Abbot Tryphon)


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