The statues of Theodosius in Antioch were thrown down in 387, not 397 (Theodosius died in 395). Also, according to Kelly, St. John was chosen for the der of Constantinople in late October 397 not 398 (Golden Mouth, 104).
[[Image:John Chrysostom.jpg|left|thumb|250px|Modern Greek icon]]
One incident that happened during his service in Antioch perhaps illustrates the influence of his [[sermon]]s best. Around the time he arrived in Antioch, the bishop had to intervene with the Emperor St. [[Theodosius I]] on behalf of citizens who had gone on a riotous rampage in which statues of the Emperor and his family were mutilated. During the weeks of [[Great Lent|Lent]] in
397, John preached 21 sermons in which he entreated the people to see the error of their ways. These apparently had a lasting impression on the people: many pagans reportedly converted to Christianity as a result of them. In the event, Theodosius' vengeance was not as severe as it might have been, merely changing the legal standing of the city.
398 he was called (somewhat against his will) to be the [[bishop]] of Constantinople. He deplored the fact that Imperial court protocol would now assign to him access to privileges greater than the highest state officials. During his time as bishop he adamantly refused to host lavish entertainments. This meant he was popular with the common people, but unpopular with the wealthy and the [[clergy]]. In a sermon soon after his arrival he said, "people praise the predecessor to disparage the successor." His reforms of the clergy were also unpopular with these groups. He told visiting regional preachers to return to the churches they were meant to be serving—without any pay out.
His time there was to be far less at ease than in Antioch. [[Theophilus of Alexandria|Theophilus]], the Pope of [[Church of Alexandria|Alexandria]], wanted to bring Constantinople under his sway and opposed John's appointment to Constantinople. Being an opponent of [[Origen]]'s teachings, he accused John of being too partial to the teachings of that master. Theophilus had disciplined four Egyptian [[monk]]s (known as "the Tall Brothers") over their support of Origen's teachings. They fled to and were welcomed by John. He made another enemy in Aelia Eudoxia, the wife of the eastern Emperor Arcadius, who assumed (perhaps with justification) that his denunciations of extravagance in feminine dress were aimed at herself.