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Chapter 146 - Conversion of Kisjonah, the tax-collector
146,1. When I had finished talking, a tax-collector stepped over to Me from the crowd whose heart had already been for a long time aglow for Me, although conscious of many a sin. This one fell on his face before Me, saying:
146,2. ‘O, Lord, here lies before You in the dust one who is indeed a great sinner, yet daring to love You beyond all measure. See, Lord, it is already high noon. My desire to invite You and all Your disciples to lunch is great, if only I was worthy of Your coming under my roof! I and my house are too unclean and sinful for You, but there are clean foods and drinks in my larder. O, show me sinful one the grace of letting me bring You the foods through clean hands.’
146,3. I said: ‘Kisjonah, arise and I shall go with you into your house to partake of lunch there. May a great blessing come upon your house, not on account of your sins but your true love and humility. This is also why your sins are forgiven as if you had never sinned.’
146,4. After that, Kisjonah the tax-collector got up and I together with a large number of disciples went into the house with him. Over a hundred were served and there was no lack of the best wine as well.
146,5. But besides My disciples, a great crowd of people had come together from all the Galilean localities, as well as from Judea, who escorted Me to Kisjonah’s house. And as there was no room in the house, Kisjonah had bread and wine handed out to them in the open, on account of their being with Me.
146,6. On such occasions, Pharisees were of course not lacking, who followed Me everywhere from Capernaum. Since they once again saw Me eating and drinking with much cheer and gladness and how at the table I was friendly shaking the repentant tax-collectors’ hands, calling them My dear friends even while they were regarded as arch-sinners by the Jews, this again was the last straw for the Pharisees and other ultra orthodox Jews.
146,7. But what angered them more than anything else was that after the meal, I went arm in arm with the tax-collectors for a stroll in a lovely big garden upon the Sea and also paid Kisjonah’s5 well-behaved daughters much heartfelt attention, because they really were filled with innermost love for Me. I lovingly called them ‘My brides’, which seemed tremendously sinful to the Pharisees.
146,8. When on top of that towards evening I accepted an invitation to stay overnight and I volunteered to stay three days or even longer with Kisjonah, this was the ultimate affront for the Pharisees and arch-orthodox Jews. ‘So’, they said, ‘with such rabble, with such arch-sinners and tax-collectors he is associating, eating and drinking in friendship with them, getting all but drunk and playing gentleman with the sinning daughters of arch-sinners, flattering them and in the end preaching God’s Gospel to the arch-whores, instead of calling upon us to seize and burn these monsters. This would be a nice Messiah. And now, with the opulent five whores having seduced him, he even wants to stay God knows how long.
146,9. Let’s go. Why hang around him longer? Now we know exactly what he is on about. We have been around him for quite some time. Has anyone seen him pray? Who has ever seen him fast? The Sabbath he does not keep, his friend and joy are the greatest arch-heretics and heathens. Greeks and Romans, tax-collectors and arch-sinners and sumptuous and sleek whores, followed by a good meal and many a goblet of the best wine!
146,10. In other words, he is firstly nothing but a smart magician from Pythagoras’ school and knows how to deal it out. Added to that he is a smooth talker, something all magicians have to be in order to sell their wares. He accepts no money for sure, but is this so praiseworthy? O, all magicians do it in their first year, to get their renown the sooner. Once they have that, then often kings do not have the treasure to satisfy such artists.
146,11. But why should this one need money at all? His eating and drinking he gets for nothing – as much of it as he likes and otherwise he needs nothing. To that, he is a glutton and wine-bibber and sinner’s associate, enjoying a life of ease. And thirdly he has no need of a God and His commandments, because he deems himself a god or at least his son, whom our God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is supposed to have begotten through the notorious Mary of Nazareth. Which one of us is stupid enough to not call the bluff of such newly-baked, typically heathen magic farce instantly?
146,12. In short, we are wake-ups and it is high time to let go of him, or he may still get at us and we are of the devil. There! Watch how he flatters the hated tax-man’s 5 daughters and how these properly worship him. I would bet a thousand pound to a stater that this prophet and savior, if he were to get to Jerusalem today, would start it up most intimately and sweetly with the queen of all whores – the world-renown Mary of Magdalon and perhaps even with Mary and Martha of Bethany, who are supposed to have the second most frequent visits from the Greeks of Jerusalem after Mary of Magdalon.’
146,13. Says another with somewhat sharper eyes, to the first – a Pharisee: ‘You are not altogether wrong, but if you think back to a similar occasion at the house of Matthew, the tax-collector, then there too we were judging that way, yet were then so licked by his wisdom that we could not find an answer in a thousand. What if he took it up with us again? Will you take up our defense?’
146,14. Says the first: ‘I know that as well as you do, for I went through it too. He is going to find dodges aplenty and is besides a smooth talker and magician’s chief. But our intellect has to show us the way and here it says: “Leave before you are of the devil.” And we are surely going to follow such advice? Do we really want to become of the devil? By god no. This be eternally far from us all, for we have Abraham as father, whose father is God and therefore we do not want the wool pulled over our eyes by this magician the way he does it with the heathens.’
146,15. Says the second one again: ‘But his teaching is pure and fully corresponds with man’s nature and nothing devilish comes to the fore. Here I do not altogether agree with you, as Moses basically taught us the same thing as this Nazarene.
146,16. To love God above all and one’s brother neighbor as oneself, to not return evil for evil, to do good even to the enemy and to bless those who curse us and to at the same time be humble and full of gentleness. Here truly nothing devilish will peer through.’
146,17. Says the first: ‘Not for you, because you already are of the devil. Don’t you know that the devil is most dangerous precisely when dressed up as an angel of light?’
146,18. Says the second: ‘If old wives tales like that are your yardstick, then one cannot talk to you. Where stands the ox or donkey who has either seen a Satan dressed up as an angel of God, or spoken to one? Truly, here you and all your depressed chaps are not fair to this man.
146,19. We know nothing bad about him, but only much good and even unheard-of miracles. Why should we judge him just for seeing him deal as much with sinners as with righteous men, showing them much patience and much loving forbearance?
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