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Main Page The Childhood of Jesus CYOU-290 Chapter

Chapter 290. – Joseph's neighbours and their children enjoy the cosy atmosphere in Joseph's house. The children on the terrace. Zeno breaks his neck in his dare-devil act. His parents' anger. The revival of the dead boy. Zeno's testimonial of Jesus. Jesus cautions Zeno: "Refrain from such games that can lead to death!" A prophetic reference to the later Judas Iscariot.

290,1. After some time, the love of the neighbours' children, as well as that of their parents, drew them to Joseph again, –

290,2. particularly so on the pre-Sabbath days (Fridays), especially during the afternoons, when little or no work was done.

290,3. On such pre-Sabbath day, several neighbours came to Joseph's house along with their children.

290,4. The girls found the company of Cyrenius' five daughters to be most delightful, as they were friendly and beautiful and industrious and had extensive knowledge of all things.

290,5. But the boys considered the charming and cheerful Boy Jesus above everyone else;

290,6. for firstly, He showed them many meaningful games, which greatly entertained the boys;

290,7. and secondly, he often narrated such moving stories in the form of parables to them that the young children were all eyes and ears.

290,8. And this time, as the ground was a little damp due to a preceding thunderstorm, the roof terrace (the flat and roofless upper surface of the house, enclosed with a parapet) was chosen as the playground.

290,9. For a while, all was calm; for Jesus was narrating several most fascinating little stories.

290,10. But towards evening, it was more lively on the terrace; for Jesus had arranged for a little game of dice, which frequently led to some jumping around.

290,11. A certain Zeno was among the twelve boys present; he was a real leader in placing bets and, with his dare-devil acts, always tried to win all the savings his playmates had brought along.

290,12. He also tried as such on this occasion, and placed a bet of eleven pennies, and this against the will of the Lord Jesus,

290,13. that he could walk around the parapet three times without losing his balance.

290,14. Should he manage to round it successfully three times, the other children around would have to give him eleven pennies each;

290,15. but if he lost his balance and fell, he would lose his eleven pennies.

290,16. The other children agreed to this, and Zeno promptly sprang onto the parapet, but instantly become a bit dizzy, lost his balance, fell down to the ground, broke his neck and was dead on the spot.

290,17. At this the parents of the dead boy, filled with sorrow and anger, went up to the terrace, took hold of Jesus and wanted to ill-treat Him.

290,18. But Jesus tore Himself away from them, ran down to the dead boy and called out loudly:

290,19. "Zeno! Stand up and testify on My behalf to your blind parents whether I threw you down and killed you?!"

290,20. At this the dead boy instantly got up and said:

290,21. "O Lord! You have not thrown me down and killed me,

290,22. only my greediness and shameful haste is to blame!

290,23. But as my sin killed me, You, o Lord, came to me and revived me!"

290,24. When Zeno's parents heard this testimonial, they promptly fell down before Jesus and prayed to the power of God in the Child Jesus.

290,25. And Jesus said to Zeno: "Let this be a lesson to you and henceforth refrain from such playacting that can lead to death, and bear in mind that I had dissuaded you from it!"

290,26. The parents and Zeno wept from sheer gratitude and then went home.

290,27. (Incidentally, this was a prophetic intimation of Judas Iscariot, as can be recognized easily.) – –

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