GGJ04-10

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Chapter 10 - Zinka's apologia and his report on the death of John the Baptist.

10,1. Says Zinka: “Lord! You surely do not mean to say that this bodes ill for us as well? Until now our lord and master was Herod. Yes, he did in fact commit many a terrible injustice against his poor fellow men - I recognized this quite clearly - but what else could one do, but to obey his orders and bring them to an unhappy conclusion? What can one of your executioners do, if you command him to sever the head from the body of an actual criminal or even only of a suspected one? He may have one hundred good reasons in his mind which convince him fully that the condemned man is undoubtedly innocent, yet he must still bring down the sharp axe blade onto his neck!

10,2. Did we not realise the total innocence of John who was beheaded a short while ago? Oh, we certainly knew it and we loved the wise eccentric in his devotion to God. Even in the dungeon he gave us profound knowledge, counselled patience and perseverance in all things and cautioned us to avoid sinful acts against God and against our neighbour. He also indicated to us that a prophet above all other prophets and a true priest above all other priests had now appeared in Galilee and that he himself was not worthy to undo the fastenings on his shoes! He announced to us, that this is the prophet who will release us from evil and who will lead us in the path of light, of truth and of the everlasting life. In short, he gave his teaching to us his guards as if we were his disciples and his best friends.

10,3. When asked by Herod what the prisoner was doing, and how he was behaving, all of us could only speak highly of him. This pleased Herod so much, that he himself visited John to be taught by him. It surely would not have required a major step for Herod to give him his full freedom, if John, who was otherwise an extremely wise man, had not committed a very foolish error by telling the enamoured ruler too quickly that his relationship with the beautiful Herodias was extremely sinful. Yes, John nearly convinced Herod to turn away from Herodias!

10,4. At that time, unfortunately, Herod celebrated the evening with a large reception and Herodias who was quite familiar with Herod’s weaknesses, took particular care with her appearance on that occasion and unbelievably increased her attractiveness. Dressed like this, she came with her shrew of a mother to celebrate with him, and as the company included harpists, pipers and violinists, Herodias performed a dance in front of a very aroused Herod. This pleased the libidinous Herod so much, that the fool committed himself to a solemn oath to grant her every wish which she might ask of him! From then on, our John was as good as dead, since he was stood directly in the way of the accursed greed of the old crone who gave the daughter a sign that she should asked for the head of John on a silver platter. Although secretly horrified – this the young girl did.

10,5. In these circumstances, what use is our love for John, what value has our conviction regarding his complete innocence, or even our regret? What purpose was served when we loudly cursed both the old crone and the young Herodias? I myself and a henchman had to go to the prison, to inform the good John about the decision by the mighty ruler. We were forced to bind him and allow his venerable head to be separated from his torso on the damned block with a sharp axe blade. At the execution I cried like a child over the excessive malice of the two women and over the very unhappy fate of someone who had became a dear friend of mine! But to what use is all this in the face of the dark, unseeing and inflexible will of one powerful tyrant?!

10,6. Likewise we have been sent out to capture the prophet who is active in Galilee, and who is probably the same one about whom John told us great things, and deliver him to Herod. What can we do if we are the sworn servants and menial attendants recruited under oath by this tyrant? Or can we leave his service if we wish to? Has he not specified prison and death as the price of disloyal desertion from his service? If we are in this position and behave as we are forced to, then, lord, point out to me the impartial judge who will condemn us for that!

10,7. If you were to bring down all angels and even God Himself from heaven to earth to pass a guilty verdict on us, that would be precisely as just as the decapitation of John. If there is a just God, He must openly demonstrate greater wisdom than all mankind! However if He is the wise, almighty One, then I truly do not understand on what grounds He allows such monstrous people to rise up and even become powerful.

10,8. This is also the only reason why I and my twenty-nine accomplices no longer believe in any God. The last spark of belief was snuffed out from us when John was disgracefully decapitated; because if I were God I would have preferred to have shattered a thousand Herods with a hundred thousand lightening strikes, rather than permit only one John to be beheaded! It may well be true that God is able to repay John a thousand fold in the next world, if he endured the cruelty committed here patiently and submissively. However, based on my judgement I would not give the dear God half a life, of which I was currently sure, in exchange for a thousand supremely happy lives, which no human has ever been completely convinced about!

10,9. Whoever has the power can dictate and act as he wishes; but we who are weak and powerless people, must serve a tyrant as pack-animals on pain of life and death. If he commits murder, it means nothing, since his power gives him the right; but if we commit murder, we are criminals and are in turn put to death. But I ask you and all the lords and wise men of your counsel, what God can allow this as a right! - I beg you, lord, to give me a clear answer on this point!”

Main Page The great Gospel of John Volume 4 GGJ04-10 Chapter