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Chapter 116 - Healing of the man with gout
116,1. While the Pharisees and scribes are trading all kinds of words with the disciples, a man with gout is brought upon a bed by some 8 persons, for the purpose of My helping him. But the house was so densely beleaguered that it was not possible for the 8 men to bring him into the house and over to Me. But they also feared that owing to the crush, I would shortly leave through the small door facing the sea and then make off over the sea. One of them therefore went to the owner, whom he knew, saying: ‘Friend see, we 8 brothers have just brought our mother’s brother together with his bed. He was not able to leave his bed for 8 years because he had gout after gout, and for probable healing by the famous Savior Jesus, who is in your house just now. Due to the immense crowd however it is impossible to bring him into the house and before Jesus. Give me a clue, friend, what I should do.’
116,2. Says the landlord: ‘This is of course a problem, because the room where Jesus finds Himself is thronged with people. Over one hundred of His disciples as well as a great many priests, Pharisees and scribes from all places and districts are in there having discussions. Yet I shall nevertheless on this extraordinary occasion, as between old friends try to do something for you.
116,3. Watch, my house, like most fisher-huts, is covered with thatches. Let’s put up a couple of ladders to the roof and uncover it sufficiently for you to get the sick through it. Once you have him in the attic, you can put four heavy ropes, of which I have plenty up there, around the bed legs, while I open the trap door situated in the middle and we shall let the sick down with the roped bed and he can then himself ask Jesus to make him whole. The ones right beneath the opening shall be making room, unless they want the bed to land on their heads.’
116,4. This impresses the one from the outset and to the derision of the big crowd, it is put into action and the whole thing goes off well, without disturbance. Only one person, a properly foolish ultra-orthodox temple servant, who measures the law with the precision of the compass, remarked to those who uncovered the roof conscientiously that they ought to be mindful of it being high Sabbath.
116,5. But the 8 said: ‘Ay, what should you old temple ox have to say here? Shut your toothless trap and go crawling up to Jerusalem to the Solomonian ox, donkey, calf and sheep barn and there bawl your Jeremiah lamentations to these customary occupants of the house of God. We have for a long time now been wide awake to your beastly divine service and know that God is pleased with good works rather than the braying of your oxen and donkeys.’
116,6. This sharp comment from one of the 8 silenced the temple servant quite expeditiously, with the echo of the whole crowd leading to great spontaneous cheering, since for a long time already to the Galileans, the temple machinations meant nothing.
116,7. The young man had in just a few words told the full truth in a rather funny way and more for this than anything else received the accolade. Because on great feasts, big hordes of cattle were herded into the temple, together with donkeys and sheep, for the very purpose of the loudest braying and bleating of these animals, usually also letting these animals starve for a couple of days, so as to have them make the peak noise during the offering, making the people shake and tremble.
116,8. Verily, the high Mass in the Temple, especially on the great feast days, was something so foolishly hideous and swinish, as is not to be met with on the entire Earth, not even among the fiercest peoples. And therefore the young man answered the strict temple servant quite correctly, with which even I was pleased, as I knew quite well within Me how it came about.
116,9. Soon thereafter, the trapdoor of the room, or rather the attic, was opened. A self-important Pharisee inquires loudly: ‘What’s going on up there, what’s happening?!’
116,10. Says the former clever speech-maker: ‘Have a little patience and you soon shall see. See, today is Sabbath. Upon this day, according to your customary teaching in the Synagogues and schools, grace comes from above. This time however, mankind’s grace is below and so, there being one who having not yet received grace, comes from above down to you to seek his grace down there. Therefore nothing contrary to the Sabbath is taking place here, for surely it shall not make any difference whether on a Sabbath grace comes from above, or whether someone seeks grace down below, if it has already come down to blind men who are not capable of seeing it, although already bumping into it with their noses.’
116,11. This address once again draws great cheers from among the disciples, but anger from the Pharisees, priests and scribes. The disciples nevertheless call out loudly: ‘Then down with the graceless one from above, who seeks grace only down here.’ And the sick is lowered down at once.
116,12. As he now lay on the bed in front of Me, he begged Me to help him, sobbing. I however, seeing that he and those who brought him had the right and true faith, said to the sick, 'Fear not, My son, your sins are forgiven you.’ But this I said initially only for the scribes’ self-examination, who had become favorably disposed towards Me, because the resurrection of the daughter of Jairus, who was their superior, had made this sort into My friends.
116,13. When however I had said to the sick: ‘Your sins are forgiven’ [Mt.9,3], anger was immediately kindled with some strict scribes and they said to themselves in their hearts: ‘what’s this, what do we hear? How can he be a proper Savior (doctor)? He blasphemes.’ [Mt.9,3] Because they regarded Me merely as an exceptional doctor, but that divine power could indwell Me was to them crimen sacri leasi (blasphemy), since God’s power resided only in the priests, Levites, Pharisees and scribes and furthermore only in the Temple at Jerusalem.
116,14. Having of course discerned their innermost thoughts only too quickly, I spoke to them at once, saying: ‘Why think ye so evil in your hearts? For, which is easier, to say “your sins are forgiven you”, (which of a truth you yourselves always say, especially to those who come to you with rich offerings, yet none being actually helped), or to say with effect: “arise and walk”.
116,15. Says one scribe: ‘With this one you won’t be getting beyond the forgiving of sins, surely, because whoever has been ravaged by gout like him, only death can help.’
116,16. I said: ‘Is this your opinion? Yet I say unto you, so that you may see and know that the Son of Man also has power on Earth to forgive sins, I now say, full of effect, to this sick one, who is to you who arrogate to yourselves the exclusive power from God to forgive sins, yet saying he can be healed only through death: Arise, take up your bed and go home without fear, completely sound.’
116,17. With these words, the sick stretched out his fully sound limbs, which had previously been most miserably contorted and partly withered away. And instantly also he gained all flesh, thanking Me while sobbing with over great joy, standing up sufficiently firm and powerful to loosen the ropes from the bed at once, then carrying the bed under his left arm, making his way through the immense throng with the fairly heavy and large bed with great ease, carrying it home all the way to Capernaum.
116,18. The multitude however who were present and saw this deed, began to praise God loudly for giving a man such power, as was only within God Himself and with which all things were possible to him.
116,19. This deed again fortified the Pharisees and scribes in attendance, to the extent of dropping their evil thoughts and saying: ‘This truly is unprecedented. How this is possible for you, verily only God can know and otherwise no man upon Earth.’
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