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Chapter 87 - The lords of the temple visit Nicodemus.
87,1. When I had said that, all those who were present, stood up again and went with Me to the higher part of the hill. Also the group of young slaves went with us. Their companions however, preferred to stay together and were enjoying themselves with the sheep, of which the origin is already known. However, when we were encamping in good order at the nice-smelling height, we saw on the way to Emmaus the representatives of the high counsel walking, and they were stopping at the wonder pillar of the angel. And with amazement they were looking at it from all angles, for they could not imagine how such a beautiful pillar could have come there. It certainly took several months to bring a pillar to that place and to install it, and a couple of days before that, they went along this way and then there was still no sign at all of this pillar. However, Nicodemus was the best man to explain this to them, because the pillar was standing completely on his ground.
87,2. I was telling this to those who were present, and everybody found this very amusing. They were all looking very attentively at the Pharisees and the other arch-Jews who were standing there as nailed to the ground.
87,3. Then Agricola said to Me: “Lord and Master, it would be great to hear what kind of foolish and certainly also bad ideas these black, ungodly representatives are uttering about the origin and the purpose of that pillar.”
87,4. I said: “Dear friend, the fact that their ideas are extremely foolish, you also can imagine without hearing them, for how could they come to a wise opinion about something extraordinary?
87,5. He who wants to form a good and true opinion about something must be good and true himself. But over there, they are full of all kinds of bad and wrong things. Then how could there ever come a good opinion out of their mouth? But to show you how terribly blind and foolish the opinions of those hypocritical zealots about that pillar are, I will let you hear some of those opinions spoken out by them. So listen.
87,6. One says: ‘The devil has pulled this pillar up from Hell’. Because when he was feeling at it, it was still quite hot. The pillar has become now really quite warm because the sun is shining upon it. That was supposed to have happened because Nicodemus did not agree with everything from the high counsel. Look, this is now such a praiseworthy opinion of one of those temple scientists. Some of them, who are still adding a few foolish things to it, are completely in agreement with it.
87,7. But there is one, who is protecting Nicodemus a little, who says: ‘I do not immediately exclude that this pillar came into existence in this manner, but I also do not simply want to accept this opinion, for if the devil would pull up a pillar based on the fact that every elder who does not completely agree with us, like for instance Lazarus from Bethany, then there would be a great number of those pillars in the whole Jewish country.
87,8. But I am of another opinion. Nicodemus was and still is a friend of everything that he finds extraordinary. All magicians are then also welcome to his place, no matter from where they may come. I think that a few real Indian or Persian sorcerers out of thankfulness have put this monument there for him by means of their secret art and science, and being helped by the powers of the elements like for instance the air, water, earth and fire spirits. And with this, they will have given him a great pleasure. Because for such arch-sorcerers those things must really not be impossible.’
87,9. Also this opinion is supported by some. Only, the first one who made his opinion, is adding: ‘Then this is almost the same, for we know indeed that such sorcerers certainly have a pact with Hell and they are performing their arts with the help of the devil.’
87,10. The second one who made his opinion says: ‘Well, well, we also do not know all the things of which the spirits of the elements are capable off. There also must be many powers which are hidden in certain herbs.’
87,11. Also on this, a few of them are agreeing.
87,12. But now a third one comes and says: ‘Also I partly agree with your opinions under certain conditions, but for myself, I still have another opinion and idea. That pillar can also come from the Romans that they have probably put down here during the night as a distinction for Nicodemus, for he secretly must be a very special friend of them. This should really not be impossible for the Romans. They have chariots and other means in great number, and also very strong men. When everything is prepared, such a pillar can also be put here in one night. The fact that this pillar does not mean anything good for the temple – in accordance with all our different ideas – is quite clear. But let us stop it and go to Emmaus. There we surely will know something more about the origin and the purpose of this pillar.’
87,13. Now look how the black company is leaving the pillar, looking back many times, they continue to walk to Emmaus, what everybody with good eyes can certainly still see very well.
87,14. There were still a few very foolish and malicious statements made about the origin and the purpose of that pillar, but to relate this would be a pity because of the time, because nobody’s soul would gain anything with it. I prefer to tell you something about the reception of the high counsel by Nicodemus and what the representatives will accomplish there. For a better understanding I will tell you very shortly, in such a way as if it already took place. So listen.
87,15. Nicodemus sees them already from a far distance coming to his house. And to him, as well as to a few friends – among them also two Romans – they are certainly not welcome. But in this case, the saying is: Be clever as serpents and gentle as doves.
87,16. The old rabbi gives his opinion: ‘Something special must have happened in the temple, that made these arch-Jews and Pharisees to travel for free so far outside of the city, while they, at other times, are not moving one step without asking money for it.’
87,17. On this, Nicodemus says: ‘You perceive it well. But in this case we must be very careful, for they are the most cunning foxes of the temple. You stay here, then I as the lord of the house will meet them with the most friendly face in the world. Because if I will not do that, they will consider it as a big offence against the respect of the temple.’
87,18. Now Nicodemus goes quickly to the closer coming men to meet them friendlily and greets them according to the custom of the temple, which greeting is also immediately answered by them. When all are together now, our Nicodemus asks them at once why such an honor has come to him.
87,19. One of them says immediately: ‘Friend, we surely can talk more easily about this in your beautiful house then here, because the long walk had really tired us. But first of all we want to know what kind of guests you have.’
87,20. Nicodemus says: ‘Only the old rabbi, Joseph of Arimathea and two Romans, who are – as you know – my neighbors and who by this occasion must not be left out. Furthermore, also my family is here to recover from the fear of the preceding night. Thus, all people that you know.’
87,21. One Pharisee says: ‘Well, if there is nobody else with you, then it does not matter, because when those are present we surely can talk, and in a way, the two Romans are suiting us very well. The rest we will discuss in your house.’
87,22. Now they go into the house, and with the usual respects, Nicodemus brings them to the company that is present, who are also greeting and welcoming them very friendlily and respectfully, and they also give them immediately the best places at the table, something which is very important to the Pharisees, as you also know. Now at once, the best wine is offered to them in silver cups with bread and eggs and salt. They eat and drink considerably, which is also a well-known virtue of the Pharisees, because the temple servants like the good eating and drinking revelries very much.
87,23. But since they have now taken a considerable quantity of wine, their tongues are becoming loose, and one of the Pharisees says: ‘Now that we are completely strengthened, we will tell you frankly and without any reserve, the different reasons for our personal coming to this place. And then you can give your opinion about it according to your best knowledge, readiness and conscience.
87,24. When you left the high counsel before midday because of a few differences of opinion – of which you also, as elders, had the fullest right – they still deliberated about a few things, and of course, most of all about the peace disturber from Nazareth.
87,25. The fact that this Man is performing great things, nobody of us is really denying. Also, what He is saying is wise and concise. But still, these things, under certain circumstances, can be learned by every talented man. We ourselves, quite frequently have seen magicians from the morning land who could perform the most incredible wonders, who oftentimes were even considered to be gods by the gentiles for they did not know that these gods of flesh and blood were performing their magic art by means of their secret methods. But the magicians did not show these methods to anyone and did not allow anyone to examine it carefully. And as it was and still is with all such-like magicians, so it certainly will also be with the Nazarene. What is so extremely dangerous for us Jews, is that He, without reluctance declares to all men that He is the promised Messiah of the Jews and that only they who believe in Him will have eternal life.
87,26. We however, saw through His plan and know very well that He, in due time, wants to make Himself king of the Jews, that will bring our country into a state of war, because then the mighty Romans will certainly not be merciful to us. In order to prevent that, we have therefore taken the resolution to track this Man by all means and then to hand Him over to the severe Roman court. If ever He truly should be the Messiah, then certainly He could not be killed and then we can and will also believe in Him. However, if He will be killed, then it is very clear that He is only a sorcerer, who by means of His sorcery art wants to obtain Himself a throne in the Jewish land.
87,27. But in order to catch this dangerous Man, one must know where He is staying. For this purpose we sent, after our counsel meeting, immediately 20 of our strongest and most cunning servants of the law to Lazarus, who – as far as we know – is always staying on his Mount of Olives during the week of the feast. And we sent the servants of the law to Lazarus because we came to know that he certainly knew where the sorcerer from Nazareth is staying. The servants of the law had to send us information at once of what, by their cunning, they had come to know from Lazarus, and this they could have done within an hour. But none of the servants of the law came back until now, and therefore we have come to you for we thought that Lazarus might have sent the servants of the law to you, thinking that you as head of the citizens of Jerusalem would be the first to know through your many inspectors. However, we can see that this is not so.
87,28. But now that we are here, we ourselves are asking you if ever you know where the Nazarene could be staying now. For, when we know that, then we already know what we have to do. He very easily could have accomplished the signs of last night with the help of those tricky Essenes, for with the help of certain Arcadian mirrors they must be capable of making these things. We suspect that He went to the Essenes. If ever this is the case, then naturally our plan is not worth much. Friend Nicodemus, what can you tell and advice us about this?’
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