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Main Page The great Gospel of John Volume 4 GGJ04-167 Chapter

Chapter 167 - On fasting and joy.

167,1. After I have spoken these words quite unthinkingly, one of the thirty young Pharisees observes: “Now, for a change we have heard a natural word from the mouth of the One, in whom the supreme spirit of Jehovah dwells in the fullness of His divine wisdom, love, power and might. Nevertheless, we can not be certain that there is no deeper, hidden, spiritual meaning behind it. Anyone who can find that meaning, apart from the One Himself, should be rewarded with a kingdom! I shall not however become a king.”

167,2. A colleague says to him: “This remark was already too stupid for you to think it very quietly, far less for you to give vent to it openly and loudly! How can He say anything without it having a hidden, deeper spiritual meaning?! Even if it appears to us to be so straightforward, His remark still comes from the supreme spirit and can therefore only be construed as being full of the deepest spiritual meaning! It is probable that neither of us will in all eternity fathom the depths of this sentence which he uttered so airily but I have a distinct feeling that something infinitely important is masked in it. Please therefore refrain from these exceedingly stupid comments in future!”

167,3. The first one says: “That was certainly was silly of me, I freely admit; nevertheless, nothing bad was intended!”

167,4. The second one says: “Now then, do you feel sorry that you did not mean to make mischief?! During this night you have heard, seen, felt and experienced, just as I have, so much profound wisdom, - and now it suddenly occurs to you to permit yourself to make some lukewarm jokes?! Just remember that because we are as stupid, disoriented and shrouded in pitch blackness as the darkest autumn night, the Lord did not call upon us to relate a miraculous event as he did the noble Mathael! There is quite a difference between us and Mathael! I already feel I am as nothing while you still want to joke - in this infinitely exalted company!”

167,5. The first one replies: “You are quite right, brother, just treat me roughly! I do not deserve better! But now I am about to punish myself! You know how I would enjoy the breakfast very much - but no, I certainly will not do so! Not a single morsel of food shall pass my lips until this evening! I will learn to punish myself for my slow-witted jokes!” - With that, the young Pharisee went back up the mountain and did not come to the breakfast table.

167,6. His colleague then says: “Yes, if you are fasting, I am also guilty of having rebuked you, and I will therefore help you to fast, so that you endure the deprivation more easily! You have indeed transgressed, but you have recognized your mistake at once and deserve forgiveness as well as proper support as you make amends. I will fast with you!”

167,7. The first one replies: “You should not do that as it is not justified that the innocent should suffer with the guilty. That is unfortunately and very tragically often the case in this world!”

167,8. His companion says:: “As if I did not know that! But tell me, if this happens so often, if innocent people like me usually volunteer to suffer with the guilty!”

167,9. The first one says: “These cases do not really occur so frequently – it is more usual that the innocent unwillingly have to suffer with the guilty. One example comes to mind of an emperor ruling an exceedingly large empire and powerfully backed by a large army, who is insulted by the less powerful king of a smaller kingdom. The emperor could exact his vengeance on the king alone, but no, his armies swarm all over the kingdom and destroy it horribly! He does not spare the animals or the people – every living thing must die by the sword, and villages, markets and towns are gutted by fire. How many innocent victims have to suffer here because one man is guilty! I think that one example will suffice and that you will concede that now and then I can also be right!”

167,10. While those two stayed behind and exchanged their opinions, the rest of us reached the tables and sat down to a very generous and well prepared breakfast. Myself apart, nobody missed the two young Pharisees, who were of course no longer members of that sect. I therefore immediately asked Marcus to go to the mountain and summon them to join the breakfast table in the name of the Lord.

167,11. Marcus quickly went to the mountain and conveyed My wishes to them, whereupon they both got up and followed Marcus down on foot.

167,12. When they arrived, I said to both of them: “Simon and Gabi! Come here and sit at this table as after the meal we shall see, if My innocently phrased invitation on the mountain, suggesting that we should go down to breakfast, could in all seriousness contain some spiritual, inner meaning! First let us eat and drink; since the body needs to be nourished and reinforced periodically as does the soul, if it is to grow in cognition and in will-power.

167,13. Therefore eat and drink and leave the fasting for another time! As long I am with you as a true Father to your spirit and a bridegroom for your souls, you should not fast in body or in soul. However, if as time passes, I am no longer with you in the flesh as I am now, then you will be obliged to practice abstinence in all kinds of ways!

167,14. Exaggerated or groundless fasting is just as foolish as excessive indulgence and can even become a sin. If you wish to live life in a proper way, be moderate in all things as every excess must result in unfavourable consequences for body, soul and spirit! Eat, drink and relax and may your minds be happy and cheerful!

167,15. A joyful and cheerful heart is much more pleasing to me than a sad, plaintive, grumbling heart which is never content with anything, consequently ungrateful and certainly unable to show even a little love> In a happy heart there is room for love, good hope and unswerving confidence. If someone who is saddened for some valid and important reason meets with a joyful and cheerful person, he will also soon become infected by his happy mood, his soul will begin to move more freely, and the light from his spirit can more easily reach his soul when it is at rest – on the other hand a sad soul will shrivel substantially and finally become sombre and sullen.

167,16. I am of the opinion that the words joyful and cheerful when applied to the heart will surely not be taken by you to mean uninhibited, shady or immorally frivolous – you must avoid these! The words, joyful and cheerful, should be understood to describe the emotions which fill the hearts of respectable, healthy married couples or those mature people devoted to God after they have done good deeds to give Him pleasure. - Have you understood this well?”

167,17. Everyone confirmed their agreement and they were all happy to see my pleasure. The task of emptying the bowls of food was then addressed on all sides and the high quality of the large fish left nothing to be desired! The wine too was consumed in good measure.

Main Page The great Gospel of John Volume 4 GGJ04-167 Chapter