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Main Page Three days in the Temple of Jerusalem 3DAYS-16 Chapter

Chapter 16 - The question of the mocking Barnabas. The censure of the Lord and the counter question. The embarrassment of Barnabas and his apology. The miracle of the ass’s ears, and the living ass.

1. Barnabas asked leave of the Pharisees to speak with Me as he had got a good idea against Me. He was granted it, and then began to speak to Me thus:

2. “Listen, my dear little godly Messiah from Nazareth in Galilee which however does not imply much! You have now given us a few proofs, owing to which even we, with our stuffed-up ears and our blindfolded eyes, are beginning to see that you are nevertheless the Promised Messiah: but with only this insight, we are standing just like oxen yoked with the cart in front of us! What are we going to do now? Or what ought we to do now?

3. This day is already declining, and in spite of being the Messiah, only tomorrow remains in which you have acquired the right to speak! Therefore I think it might be time for you to make your arrangements as tow hat, from now onwards, seeing that we have recognized you, has to be done with us and with the temple. Will everything remain as it is, or will it all be newly arranged? You are now the promised Messiah, borne to us on the wind: unfortunately we can no longer dispute that: but what now? Speak and act now, you young divinely human Messiah – but of course from above!”

4. I said: “It was really not necessary for you to open your mouth so wide about this bad joke of yours, and make it evident that you want something more: but you lack the material and spiritual means thereto; you who resemble Balaam’s ass! But as you have now put the question as to what, from now onwards, shall happen to you and then to the temple, I really must give you a correct answer.

5. See, thus it is written: ‘But when the Messiah shall come, He shall not do away with the Law, not with an iota of it, but will fulfill it Himself to the uttermost!’ He will not abolish the temple and its servants, but will surely chastise its unlawful perversity, and upon such swelled-headed Levites (like you), who think themselves so wise, He will set a mark as a grateful acknowledgment of their bad and unseasonable witticisms!

6. Do you call My personally directed discussion of the Bible texts folly, even thought hey irrefutably concern Me? Or else, will you prove to Me that I am not, to a hair’s breadth, the Same of whom all the prophets did prophesy? If however you are seriously unable to do this, how then is it that you attempt to mock Me? Well, just wait, I too will put a question now, to which you will have to give me an answer. If you do not answer the question to my satisfaction, then you will become for Me a veritable heathen Midas. (Midas was a Phrygian king. Whatever he touched he turned into gold: ass’s ears were bestowed upon him because he preferred Marsayas to Apollo.)

7. Tell Me, you fellow of shallow wit, what does the name ‘Jerusalem’ mean? What is hidden in it? Being a Levite and a Pharisee to be, you must know that from the Books of Moses, and also from the Book of Enoch which Noah saved from the Flood under the title of ‘The Wars of Jehovah’, and I have now the full right to ask the explanation from you: for the correct understanding of this name matters much! Now, you speak!”

8. Here the young Levite began to rub his ears hard, for he had not the faintest notion of the original Hebrew tongue! He therefore asked me for time and patience, and these I granted him. He now slipped away to an old scribe to see if he would be able to tell him. But he did not know it, and sent him to the Cabalist Joram. This one shrugged his shoulders doubtfully, and after a while said quietly to him:

9. (Joram said): “Yes, there surely is in the very old books a kind of etymological explanation of it, and the Kabbala also gives a kind of explanatory reference, but in such mystical theses, that the Song of Solomon is real child’s play in comparison with it! I myself have understood neither the one nor the other, and cannot therefore possibly help you now out of your embarrassment.

10. Besides I must remark to you, that you ought to have spoken to the boy with much more forbearance, because of His most eminent sharpness of intelligence on the one hand, and on the other because of the authority of His high Roman protector; the more so as you are the one who gave us more reliable information about His marvelous nature!

11. Did you then not notice that He knew, word for word, everything we had discussed about Him in all secrecy during the night? I did not say anything about it at the time, but for myself I found therein a formidable sign of the presence of a spirit in this Boy, for whom there evidently exists no difficulty bin testing the hearts and kidneys of men.

12. I therefore advise you to ask pardon of this extraordinary Boy, because of the evident offence given to Him; otherwise I will not be answerable for His not playing you a downright mischievous trick! Go, and follow my advice!”

13. Said Barnabas: “Well, He has of course the right to talk, and He can also stand no joke, therefore one must evidently ask His pardon! But that no one can analyze the name of the city is truly something strange for us officers of the temple!”

14. Thereupon Barnabas came up to Me, and said with a quite friendly face: “Dearest, most lovely Boy! I have perceived my gross fault committed against you by my truly bad and very untimely joke, and I sincerely ask your pardon with my whole heart: at the same time I would add to it the fervent request that you would explain to us the name ‘Jerusalem’ for not one of us knows how to make anything of it. It certainly is translated by the expression ‘Sacred City’ or ‘City of God’, but how this should be contained in the word ‘Jerusalem’ scarcely one of us knows!

15. Of course it is related that a place existed here under the name of ‘Salem’ where the great and powerful King lived to whom all the princes of the earth then living, had to give the tithes, for King Melchisedech was at that time for all men upon earth at the same time the one and true High priest, of His teachings and deeds, as well as of His personality. If you know more of this matter than all of us, and doubtless you do, please kindly tell us about it.”

16. I said: “It is lucky for you that you have acted thus towards Me, or else you would have been marked in a way that you would not have liked! The marks however with which your head would have been adorned now lie at your feet: pick them up and learn buy them that, firstly, I chastise everyone’s wanton mockery, and that, secondly, at the place where there arises a question of the greatest seriousness of life, for all men and for all eternity, one should not use an empty and miserable joke! First, look at the joke which I should have played on you for your bad witticism, only then will I grant you your second request!”

17. Hereupon Barnabas bent down and raised from before his feet two quite natural and perfectly formed donkey’s ears, and was all the more horrified, as there was no trace whatever that they had been cut, for the purpose, from any real donkey.

18. At this, some of the people present, especially our Simon and the Roman judge, burst into loud laughter, and all the temple officials felt quite strange, and began to ask one another how this was possible by natural means. And they guessed this and that, but could come to no result however remote.

19. Then Barnabas said: “What is the good of all our guessing, the matter is a pure miracle, and nothing else! For if the Boy had provided Himself with them beforehand, He also would have known, in advance that I was going to make a bad joke with Him! And this would evidently be an even greater miracle!

20. The Boy however already gave us a very remarkable proof of this quality of His, when He told me, word for word, our secret discussion in the night and wanted to tell the chief priest openly, and quite aloud, all his secret thoughts. To him who is able to do one thing, something else should be also possible in the same way, however inconceivable it may seem to us.

21. Behind this Boy there is hidden infallibly something extraordinary! For myself I should be of opinion that, in time, He would make a quite perfect Messiah.”

22. Said the chief priest: “There you just talk like a blind man about the splendor of colors! How often have Persian magicians surprised with their magic deeds: and thought-reading is nothing new with us! Who does not know the Greek oracles! They were able to guess thoughts so quickly that, in the end, hardly anyone dared to come near them any more.

23. Yes, my dear fellow, on so important a matter, one must look with quite different eyes, and apply tot he phenomena a much deeper test. Only when one has examined everything with the greatest exactitude, can one begin to form a somewhat better opinion, and even then one must be very cautious. However, there can be no question about a complete faith, until all the circumstances and signs have been confirmed in such a way that there is nothing left to be desired.

24. This, my dear Barnabas, for your instruction: fir it is still an old fault of yours that, in spite of all your otherwise very estimable knowledge, you are so very credulous.”

25. Barnabas said: “No! That I never was! For, had I been credulous, I should never have attained to all the various profound knowledge, which can never be attained by credulity. I know how to test a thing and a phenomenon, and can distinguish quite correctly an ‘a’ from an ‘o’; but here all my intelligence comes short, and all my many and various experiences have gone overboard.

26. I know the magical powers of the Persians and of a number of others also: but there is not one of them who could call into existence, out of the pure ether, a pair of perfectly made donkey’s ears; the well made thought-out oracle-sayings of Dodona as well as those of Delphi, are only too well known to me. But among them I never found anything like what this Boy did to me, as well as to Joram, be repeating, word for word, what we had quite secretly discussed among ourselves.

27. I therefore abide by my opinion, already expressed, and say once more quite frankly: There is more hidden behind this Boy than all of us well ever be able to comprehend! I do not want to exactly declare He is infallibly the hoped-for Messiah, because of His extraordinary qualities, but evidently He has more claim to it than any one of us gathered here.

28. But now my dear, lovely, young fellow countryman, I should still like to hear you explain as you promised, the ‘Jerusalem’ and the ‘Melchisedech’ before it is quite dark.”

29. I said: “ That shall be as you have spoken so well on My behalf: but first of all take the two donkey’s ears at the tips, into your hands, lift them up a little between your fingers, and we shall see if the Persian magicians could do what will follow.”

30. Barnabas did this, and I spoke: “To these ears, let there be also added a living and completely healthy donkey’s body!”

31. Instantaneously there stood among the gathering, a quite perfect and wellformed donkey, with skin and hair!

32. Then all were terrified of My miraculous power, and looked as though they would flee.

33. But the Roman judge and Simon did not allow that, and said: “We must keep to the time, and the Boy prodigy will still explain the two words.”

34. The temple officials sat down again, then looked quite dumbfounded at the newly created donkey, and none could utter a syllable or express an opinion as to how this could possibly have been done.

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