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| Philanthropy, Charity & God’s blessing
THE GREAT GOSPEL OF JOHN Volume 1 Chapters 120 – 126
Philanthropy, Charity & God’s blessing
The Lord discusses the Essenes with the disciples of John. The house of the tax collector Matthew as an example of philanthropy.
1. John’s disciples say: “Are we doing wrong by living in accordance with John’s teaching? Sure, John was a strict preacher, but he never gave us such a teaching!
2. See, the Essenese Order, with which we are familiar, is strict as well, and the first law among them is truthfulness, but of what use is their truthfulness and their other strict rules to them? Who takes any notice of them?! They are regarded by neither the Greeks nor us Jews, they are only supposed to have a few adherents among the Romans. May the teaching by which they live be ever so good and pure, being excellent for those few who have separated themselves from the world, yet it is totally unfit for mankind at large.
3. Of what benefit are the many nice and forceful words about the brotherhood of man to us?
4. See, this house is a big house, a hospitable house, and second to none in terms of brotherhood, but can you seriously expect of it to, at all times, be ready to receive and care for all men, who surely are our brethren as well? Even with the best spirit and will, it surely lacks the necessary means, such as space, food and the like.
5. Furthermore, let’s suppose a couple of poor people struggled to build themselves a hut and gather a most meager provision for winter, barely sufficient for their own needs, and then suddenly 10 people come to this couple, who hardly have enough room for themselves, asking for admission, lodging and provision. Say, can any teaching demand of these two, or even advise them, that it is good and beneficient to meet the demands of the 10 newcomers, and to thereby ruin themselves for good?”
6. Say I: “Every bird sings and chirps in accordance with its beak, and you talk in accordance with your worldly sense, and cannot do otherwise, as you don’t know how to. And that is pretty much all I can tell you at this point. Because even if I were to tell you something higher and completely true, from the Heavens themselves, you would still not understand Me, because your hard heart lacks the necessary intellect.
7. Fools! Who is it that lets the fruit grow and ripen upon the Earth? Who maintains them and consistently gives them the power to do so?! Do you think that God cannot, or will not, reward him who sacrifices himself unselfishly for his brethren’s sake? Or do you think that God is unjust, demanding of man the impossible?!
8. Yet I say that a truly honest goodwill, and a keen desire to do a poor brother some good, is easily possible for all!
9. If everyone were imbued as such, through and through, then there would be no more of such meager huts upon the Earth, only inhabitable by two people.
10. See, this house of My friend Matthew has fed many people today, and gave away its entire stock out of true goodness of the heart, and if you don’t believe it, go and see the larder, as well as the granary, and you shall find no provisions. Here, however, stands the landlord; Ask him whether I speak untruthfully!”
11. Matthew fully supports My statement, saying: “Lord, unfortunately, today it is as you say it is, and I don’t know how I am supposed to provide for the guests of tomorrow. But I have fared this way often enough already, and I trusted in God, and see, everything was fully replenished, so that I could provide for the guests quite well!”
12. “See”, I say thereto, “a righteous person thinks and acts this way in this world, and does not complain that God abandoned him! And so it has always been, and will be eternally!
13. If a person trusts in God, he is trusted by God as well, who does not forsake him and does not let him be confounded. But those who, like you, do believe in God’s existence, but do not fully trust Him, because their own heart tells them that they are unworthy of His help, are not helped by God either, for they have no trust in God. They trust only their own powers and means, which they regard as holy and inviolable, as it were, and say: ‘Man, if you wish to be helped, help yourself, for charity begins at home, and thus you have to look after yourself first.’ And by the time he has provided for himself, the one in need has perished.
14. But I say: If you provide for yourselves first, you are abandoned by God and are without His blessing and His otherwise certain help. For God did not create men for selfish reasons, but out of pure love, and, therefore, men must, in everything, fully correspond to the love that gave them their existence.
15. If, however, you live and act without love and trust in God, you voluntarily reverse the heavenly element within you into a hellish one, turn away from God and become servants of Hell, which, in the end, will not fail to give you the reward you deserve, which is death by the wrath of God.
16. You also state that the Essenes, who live in accordance with Pythagoras’ school, are not given any regard, other than by a few Romans, despite all their philanthropy.
17. I don’t have any regard for them either, because they don’t acknowledge the immortality of the soul, and yet the worst among them is better than the best among you!
18. I tell you now openly: Among all who were born of a woman, since the beginning of the world, no greater one has emerged than John, but from now on, the least of My disciples in the true Kingdom of God shall be far greater than John, whom you call your master, yet whom you have never understood! Because he showed you and prepared the way to Me, but the world in you has blinded your heart, wherefore you are not capable of recognizing Me, even though you already find yourselves in My presence.
19. Therefore, go and care for your world, for your women and children, so that they may not be stripped naked and ever be plagued by hunger or thirst. But by doing so, it shall soon become clear what good you have done for them! This I can tell you, in the fullest right and deepest truth:
20. Whoever possesses wealth, property and a trade with which he makes good profit, but saves the profit for himself and his children only, and looks down at his poor brothers with unkind eyes and heart, avoids the poor children, who, because of their lack of all earthly goods, suffer hunger, thirst and cold, and then sends them away if they come to him asking for alms, and says to a brother: ‘Come to me in a few days or weeks, then I will do this or that for you!’ and when the hopeful brother in need comes and reminds him of his promise, the latter excuses himself, that he could not possibly help now either, while actually being in possession of the necessary means; Truthfully, I say to you: He is an enemy of God, for how does he intend to love God, whom he cannot see, if he does not love his brother, whom he actually can see right before him, while also being aware of his misery!?
21. Truly, truly, I say to you: Whoever forsakes his brother in need simultaneously forsakes God and Heaven as well. And God will forsake him in the blink of an eye!
22. However, he who does not forsake his poor brothers, not even in the face of trials sent upon him by God, shall be unexpectedly blessed, temporally and eternally, more abundantly than our host’s larder and granary.”
23. John’s disciples say: “This we believe for sure, for they are completely empty.”
Another Wine and Food Miracle. Of the faithfulness and immutability of God and His blessings.
1. Here the kitchen-maid comes, completely out of breath, saying to Matthew: “Lord, lord, come and see! A lot of young men just came and brought all kinds of foodstuffs, in amounts that we would hardly be able to consume in an entire year! And everything appears so fresh and good! The granaries are also filled from top to bottom, and the skins in the cellars filled with the best wine. Lord, lord, where did all this come from, and today on a Sabbath of the Jews no less?”
2. Matthew and everyone in the room are quite beside themselves, and John’s disciples, of whom two had previously convinced themselves that the larders were empty, at once asked Matthew if he was the one who had ordered these foodstuffs.
3. Matthew says: “Not me, since I would have to be the first to know about it. And it was not my wife either, because she was the one who notified me through this maid that our small stock had been completely consumed. Because apart from a garden and a few rented fields, I have no ground for the planting of much fruit, and would also have very little time for it, because for one, I am busy with the toll, and secondly, I am hosting my guests in this guest-house. Because of that I stock my guest-house with rations from week to week, usually purchasing them with my own money and having them delivered from Capernaum, while having the fish supplied by you. The wine and grain, however, I usually buy off my co-religionists, the Greeks. This, in short, is the way I usually keep my house stocked with necessities, but I and my house know not a single thing about this order!
4. As such, some great friend, one unbeknownst to me, would have to have done this for me, otherwise it remains an obvious and great miracle. Where and who this great friend should be, however, I know no more than yourselves do. But I shall summon all my people in here and question them in your presence as to whether they recognized any of the delivery men or not.”
5. His wife and all the maids and servants are called in and asked, but they all deny unanimously ever having even remotely recognized anyone: “The men looked like delicate youths, as none of them were bearded, but all had long and beautifully curled hair, and their garb was more in line with what the Romans wear than what the Jews clothe themselves with. There were many of them, in the larder as well as in the loft and cellar. They put down the deliveries quickly and said: ‘This is a gift for the tax-collector Matthew, who was called by the great Master today.’ They then departed in haste, and we did not see which way they went.”
6. A Pharisee says: “This sounds exceptionally unusual, and yet it is true! In that case we should be most inclined to get to the bottom of it.”
7. Turning to Matthew, the same Pharisee says: “Host, let them bring us some samples of the wines, and we shall tell you where they come from, for by the flavor and color we can tell you where it was grown.”
8. A trip to the cellars and all the drinking vessels are brought in, filled to the brim. And as the Pharisees and scribes sample the wines, they all say, full of astonishment: “No! A wine such as this we have never tasted before. It is indescribably good and delightful. Have we not drunk of all the wines grown upon the known Earth, and while among those were some very good and flavorsome ones indeed, in comparison to this one they are hardly even lukewarm water. So, this case remains a mystery.
9. But since you are now in possession of a great supply of these unsurpassably superb wines, would you like to let us have a few skins of it, for some money and a bit of persuading? It would be well worth sending a consignment to the High Priest in Jerusalem.”
10. Matthew says: “I have received all this for free, and for free shall I give it away as well, but not a single drop to the High Priest in Jerusalem. Unless he were to come here himself, as a guest, then he shall be served like everyone else, but mind you, only as a regular man, equal to all others, never as a Jewish High Priest, who, to me, is an abomination of utter desolation, and a murderer of the spirits of those men who share his beliefs!”
11. One of the scribes says: “Friend, you seem to be quite mistaken about the High Priest of Jerusalem, having no knowledge of his nature and office.”
12. Matthew says: “Let’s leave this subject be, for it would drive me into a just fury! You are his eyes, and therefore see what is closest to you least of all, namely, your own nose, brow and your face. We who are situated opposite of you see it only too well. But no more about it, for I would get quite upset, and I would not want to offend you, my respected guests!”
13. A more jovial Pharisee says: “Now, let us indeed put this matter to rest and instead consult with Master Jesus. He shall be the one most likely to clear this matter up for us, for he exceeds us all by far, in both knowledge and wisdom.” He turns to Me: “What do you have to say about this story? Because you seem to have a hunch about it, as your previous conversation with John’s disciples seems to suggest. Because this occured at almost the same moment as you were telling John’s disciples about how God provides for those who truly love Him and animatedly trust Him, and you properly flogged the ugliness and repulsiveness of selfishness. And so, it seems to me that you received knowledge about it from somewhere, or maybe you might even be the initiator.”
14. Say I: “Good! If you suppose that about Me, then apply it to what I said to John’s disciples as well, and admit it in your hearts that I spoke the fullest truth.
15. Whoever among you will act accordingly, from the bottom of his heart, shall experience with God what our friend and brother Matthew has just experienced!
16. For believe Me: God always stays the same in His heart. As He was when no sun, moon or stars were shining upon the firmament, so He still is at this very moment, and shall be forevermore.
17. He who seeks Him along the right path shall surely find Him and be blessed into all eternity of eternities.”
18. These words stir their hearts deeply, and John’s disciples began to ponder, saying: “He must be a far greater prophet than even our John was. For we were around him for a full 10 years, yet we never felt like this. The Pharisee is right in saying that this Nazarene knows about it! I would even argue that all this originates from Him, along paths unknown to us, and this whole thing is blatant proof of our blindness, including our great master John!”