No One Ever Spoke Like This Man!
Gregory of Nazianzus, the fourth-century Archbishop of Constantinople, on the “admirable conjunction of excellencies” (to use Edwards’s language) of the way Jesus interacted with people:
Both these extremes he avoided;
he was sublime in action, lowly in mind;
inaccessible in virtue, most accessible in intercourse;
gentle, free from anger, sympathetic, sweet in words, sweeter in disposition;
angelic in appearance, more angelic in mind;
calm in rebuke, persuasive in praise, without spoiling the good effect of either by excess, but rebuking with the tenderness of a father, praising with the dignity of a ruler, his tenderness was not dissipated, nor his severity sour;
for the one was reasonable, the other prudent, and both truly wise;
his disposition sufficed for the training of his spiritual children, with very little need of words;
his words with very little need of the rod, and his moderate use of the rod with still less for the knife.
—Gregory of Nazianzus, “Oration 21,” NPNF 2nd series, 8:271-72 (par. 9).