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Chapter 86 - The disguised temple servants with Lazarus.
86,1. When all of them had eaten and drank enough, a servant of Lazarus came and said: “Lord of the house, outside there are a few people who want to talk to you. I think that they are from Bethlehem. However, they look very poor and pitiful. What do you want me to do?”
86,2. Lazarus asked Me: “Lord, what can they want from me? If You give me an indication first, it would be easier to talk to them.”
86,3. I said: “Don’t trust them. They are not from Bethlehem, but they are disguised temple servants who very nicely and politely want to know from you if ever you know where I am staying. They will give you the assurance that they want to become disciples of Me if they only knew where I am staying. Underneath their coats they have ropes and swords to catch and to bind Me, and then to drag Me before the high counsel of Caiphas. Now that most of the people are scattered, this evil adulterous kind down there has taken courage again to bring Me to ruin. But My time has not come yet. So go with Raphael outside, then it will be put into your mouth what you have to say. Then Raphael will do his work.”
86,4. Upon this, Lazarus went quickly with Raphael outside and saw in one of the first tents about 20 men who were waiting for them.
86,5. Coming to them, they arose from their seats and one of them as the spokesman said, after making a deep bow: “Dear, good friend. We all come from the vicinity of the old city of David and, because of the terrible signs that were seen last night, we left even before midnight and went quickly to this place to hear from a wise Man what we have to expect. For this purpose we went immediately to the temple, which was open, and there we heard some rumors that did not reassure us at all. But then came – when the people in the temple was already becoming very impatient – a very old rabbi who spoke to the people, and put the greatest guilt on the temple servants and their bad behavior in respect to the teaching of Moses, what according to us was all too clearly the full truth. Finally he spoke about a certain prophet Jesus from Galilee, of whom he somehow spoke straightforwardly saying that this Nazarene was the promised Messiah. And look, the whole people shouted for joy at him and simply agreed with him.
86,6. Then we thought by ourselves: ‘The old man has spoken the full truth’, and we took the firm resolution to go and search for Him, the Nazarene, and if possible to become His disciples. Already since this morning we took information concerning the place where He eventually could be staying, and heard from someone who we vaguely knew, that you could certainly inform us, because the prophet, as known, is a special friend of your house and so you, as already said, should be the first to know where the great Man of God is staying now. If, concerning this matter, you have some reliable information, please be so kind to tell us, so that we then can go there and become zealous disciples of Him.”
86,7. Lazarus said very seriously: “You know that I formerly was a loyal adherent and a pillar of the temple. But because of the greediness regarding me that was continuously growing, finally the temple wanted to take almost everything away from me and bring me completely to beggary. When all my counter-proposals, no matter how reasonable they were, had no result, there was no other solution for me then to accept entirely a Roman citizenship and to put me completely under the Roman protection in order to be safe of the continuously increasing persecution of the temple, so that now I can beat off every attack from the side of the temple with the sword of Rome. If ever you touch me with only one violent finger of the temple, then tomorrow you will find yourself before the relentlessly severe Roman judges and probably you would be punished by death. Think about this well, for this is how it is stated in my Roman protection letter. I only said this to you beforehand in order to talk to you more easily about the real matter.
86,8. Look, your complete, more than scandalous, untrue story, was brought forward very well and invented beforehand very neatly, but you have forgotten that Lazarus is capable to see in every man instantly what in fact is secretly in his mind. And so I have seen through you at once, and discovered all too clearly whose spiritual children you are.
86,9. You said that you came from the vicinity of the old city of David, but in fact you are from here, and everyone knows that you are the most corruptible servants of the imperious and greedy Pharisees. With what right and for what reason are you trying to deceive me? You are pretending that you are searching for a certain Jesus of Nazareth, and you have swords and ropes to possibly catch this prophet and to strangle Him at once or to drag Him before your high counsel. Is this a manner to come here to me, Lazarus? Just wait, this devilish audacity of yours will be an expensive lesson for you and for your high counsel. Together with the high counsel you are the most ungodly persecutors, and as Roman citizen this brutality is too serious to be left unpunished.
86,10. Tell me what kind of devil has given you instruction to make me, Lazarus from Bethany – who after all, is known and respected by every man – a traitor of a Man with divine gifts, the very best, most honest Man that I know. I have not done this to an enemy of my house. Then would I do this to the best and most innocent Man because He is too much opposed to your evil politics of lies and who is bringing the people back who because of you were straying from God, and is announcing the truth that was missing for so long? Speak, miserable people! Why did you do this to me!? Who told you that I should know best where the Savior from Galilee could be found?!”
86,11. The disguised temple servants were greatly frightened of this, and the earlier spokesman said: “How can you assert that, even before you have further heard us out?”
86,12. Lazarus said, loud and intense: “What, do you still want to contradict that you are godforsaken liars and servants of the law!? Just wait! You will pay dearly for this! I am someone who possesses inns everywhere and have never asked any money from a poor traveler! According to the Roman law I must give hospitality to every traveler, be he a Jew or some gentile! If I then have ever given accommodation to the prophet Jesus from Galilee, can you then call me to account for that!? I did as Jew – and now as Roman citizen – always my duty and I do not deserve it to be interrogated by such miserable creatures like you!
86,13. You certainly have seen the great signs during last night, which were of such a nature that they had to fill the heart of every man with great fear, but your animal hearts remained hard, and together with your high counsel you have the evil courage already today, on the first day after those terrible omens, to commit sin upon sin! But now I will convince you that I did not tell you in vain what I have said!”
86,14. Lazarus said to Raphael: “Unmask these blasphemers, then we can show them more clearly whose spiritual children they are.”
86,15. Upon this, Raphael went and stood before the 20 servants of the law and said to them: “Take off your coats, according to the wish and will of Lazarus, or else I will do it.”
86,16. The spokesman said: “In that case many slight young men like you must come, before they could force us to take off our coats. Understood, you greenhorn of a boy?”
86,17. Then Raphael said: “Very well then. Because you want to measure my power that seems to be very little to you, I will also use that power, and I say: Away with your coats that are hiding your swords and ropes!”
86,18. As soon as Raphael had said that, the coats were also completely destroyed, and the twenty were standing there so paralyzed as if they were struck by the lightning, because they never experienced such a manner of unmasking before.
86,19. After that, Lazarus said: “Do you still want to claim that you are from Bethlehem, and that you came here to know where the Savior from Nazareth is staying to follow Him and to become His disciples? You are nice disciples who are following with ropes and swords, and who are wearing on their clothing the sign of the helpers and servants of the law of the temple and the high counsel. Now what do you think to do? You are in my power and this young man is capable to destroy you all, just like he destroyed your miserable coats. Therefore, I am asking you once more: What will you do and what do you want to do now?”
86,20. Now the spokesman said in a trembling voice: “Listen to us, father Lazarus. We are laying down our weapons and ropes and surrender to your mercy and mercilessness. We are evil and miserable, but not so much by our own will, but rather by the high counsel which we had to serve against a meager little salary. Already since birth we are very poor and we have never had the opportunity to learn something better, but because we became strong and mighty, those from the temple soon made of us what we unfortunately are now. If ever we could separate ourselves from the temple and could receive another job somewhere else, we surely would be very happy. The fact that we have unfortunately behaved so devilish cunning against you, was instructed to us by the high counsel, but out of ourselves we never would do that. And now, short and good, we are your prisoners and you can do with us what you want. We have experienced the power of this young man, against which we can do nothing, and so we surrender completely to you. We will never again serve the temple and we shall never put the hand on the Savior from Nazareth.”
86,21. Lazarus said: “Then tear off those evil badges and go to the area of Bethlehem, where I also have a big property. Come into my service, then you will receive a better reward than in the temple. In order to be accepted by my manager you will receive a certificate of engagement from me that my young friend here will provide immediately.”
86,22. When Lazarus had finished speaking, Raphael had already the sign in his hand, and when the twenty had taken off the temple badges from their clothes, Lazarus gave them the certificate saying that they had been accepted into service. Moreover, he gave each of them 7 coins for their travel and accommodation money to their new place of destination and said: “If you work well for me and live according to the true commandments of Moses, you will receive each of you, yearly another 100 coins as salary, in addition to food and lodging. And now, go your way, so that you will not arrive too late at night. Soon, I myself will come there and see what you have done in my service.”
86,23. All of them thanked him, went quickly on their way and walked very cheerfully to Bethlehem. On their way they were of course racking their brains to know who that slim and still so wonderful mighty young man might be, and they were supposing everything.
86,24. But the spokesman said: “All these suppositions of ours are meaningless and are leading nowhere. When Lazarus will come to us he surely will tell us something about it.”
86,25. With this, their dispute came to an end and the twenty quietly continued their way.
86,26. Lazarus however, ordered his servants to take the swords and ropes into the house, and came afterwards together with Raphael again with us into the dining-hall.
86,27. When they were with us, I said to Lazarus: “You have carried out your assignment very well, by which 20 souls have been snatched away from Hell. But the high counsel will not be snatched away from Hell. The spokesman had to send information to the high counsel about everything that he was able to know about Me here. And only after that, he would have received further instructions for My capture. But because none of the cunning servants of the law – whose information is already eagerly expected by the high counsel – will ever show himself into the temple, the plan of the high counsel is provisionally defeated. And this had to be exactly accomplished, and everything was allowed in this way to achieve what has been achieved now.
86,28. But what will the high counsel do now? One part will go, after the midday meal to Nicodemus in Emmaus, in order to hear also something about the third sign. But Nicodemus, the old rabbi and a certain elder, Joseph of Arimathea, are very intelligent men, and the representatives of the high counsel will not easily hear something that will suit their wicked plan. That is how things are, and so it is good. We will now go outside again, to the place where we were this morning, so that we can spend the whole afternoon there until the evening.”
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