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Chapter 7 - Lazarus accuses the indifference of the Pharisees.
7,1. The second, good speaker said: “Yes, friend Lazarus, I surely cannot say that you are not right in this, because if I would be in your place I also would do what you are doing. But I better keep those things secret, as well as every other better conviction because in my position I cannot openly swim against the stream of the world. You however are a very rich and by your Roman citizenship a completely free man and you can do as much good as you want. Nobody can cross your plans. However, how things are with us as temple servants, this you know. For this reason we can only adhere to the truth in silence. But in public however we have to tell lies. The fact that in this lying world things are like that with us who are still from the older and better times and who can understand the truth for ourselves, you know as well as we do.
7,2. I believe now what you believe and this is the way it is and it will never be different since there are too strong and undeniable proofs of all kind which are speaking and witnessing all too clearly in favor of it. Yet, we can do something openly for this case: apart from the fact that we in the counsel are neither for nor against it, we can unconditionally abstain from every vote, and at a good opportunity we can make it clear that in this situation every attempt for persecution is completely useless. And I believe that in this way we – although not directly beneficial – still will not have an obstructing influence for the good cause and can finally not be considered as entirely bad. What is your opinion about this, friend Lazarus?”
7,3. Lazarus said: “Friend, to say it honestly: when one is completely convinced in himself of such a great truth, which is surpassing all the sunlight, but dares not to speak out openly before the eyes of the world in favor of this truth – no matter what kind of position one may have in this world – then he can be compared to a man who is neither cold or warm. If I think about it now and if I according to the strongest and most irrefutable proofs must acknowledge in faith: ‘that is the Lord Himself, by whose love, mercy and will I am living’ – as all the prophets have predicted about Him – then only He means everything to me and the whole world and the whole temple means nothing anymore. Now He has fulfilled what He has promised. He who has given the commandments on the Sinai to Moses and to our fathers, is now bodily among us and shows us through words and deeds that He is the One, the eternal faithful true Jehovah. How is it still possible for a man to behave in such a lukewarm manner at such an important matter of life?
7,4. If I were in your place I would – since you perceive that the temple as it is now will not hold out much longer – take my riches and try to become a real disciple of life of the Lord. From now on you cannot gain much in the temple for your earthly life, because the offerings are becoming smaller every year, for understandable reasons that are known to you. Besides, slowly you are coming at the end of your earthly years of life and you must say to yourselves: we probably will not stay much longer on this world. And then what?
7,5. About the life in the beyond you are, according to my best knowledge suspecting something, but by far you still have no certainty. The Lord, who is now incomprehensibly among us as a Man could show you the life in the beyond and assure you of the future life, and that would surely be for you the greatest gain of life. What do you think about it?”
7,6. The first speaker said: “Yes, yes, friend, you have spoken very well, and it probably will be the same for the Galilean, but one should also think about how he can in a good manner free himself from the temple without being noticed by the other colleagues. If we were not the most elderly of the temple we could leave the temple by some pretext, for example as Jewish apostles to convert gentiles to the Jewry, but we are already too old for that and are holding the most important positions in the temple, and therefore this is a difficult matter.
7,7. We could retire on payment of one tenth of our riches, but by that we would harm the good cause of the exalted Galilean more than it would do any good, because if we would leave our position in the temple, it soon will be taken by others who definitely are lying in wait for that. Those replacements, as new brooms would certainly resist the good cause of the Galilean more furiously than we who at least know now through you what we have to think about Him.
7,8. Now we can work in the high counsel in a moderate way for the Galilean, and so we can eliminate many obstructions for His exalted teaching, because we as elders of the temple have still a great influence on the high priest who is a true tyrant for those around him. At a good opportunity we can also tell many extraordinary things and show him who the Galilean is who is hated so much by him, and that it is madness to resist someone whose will is capable to destroy the whole world in one moment.
7,9. If we clearly impress this upon him, his fierce zeal will certainly cool of, and he will not often deliberate day and night how the Galilean with all His followers can be caught and be brought to ruin. Then one way or another we will find an opportunity for ourselves to personally come together with Him, from now on as true friends and followers of the Galilean and let ourselves be taught by Him. I think that this idea of mine is also worthwhile.”
7,10. Lazarus said: “Oh certainly, but honestly, for yourselves there is little benefit to be expected. What you want to do now in the temple in favor of His cause has a good human meaning, but if you think that He, who you still call the famous Galilean, is truly the Lord Himself to whom all power and wisdom are at His disposal, it must be clear to you how silly and senseless the thought is and how foolish the imagination of a man is to, in his mortal weakness and blindness help God by means of an advice or deed. He does not need our help in eternity, but we only need help from Him.
7,11. When He lets us human beings perform good things, then it only happens for our own salvation, because by that we are practicing the true and living love for God and from that to fellowman. However, the more someone has grown in his heart in the love for God and fellowman, the more ability he will receive from God to be able to love Him and fellowman more and more.
7,12. But God does not need our activity for that, as we human beings need for instance the activity of our helpers and maidservants. However if we are active according to His advice and according to His teaching, this is only for our own salvation, but never for the salvation of the Lord, for He Himself is the salvation of all created beings.
7,13. The fact that this matter is so and can never be otherwise, surely you yourselves are now realizing. That means if you can see and acknowledge that which I have seen and acknowledged already a long time ago, namely that He is the Lord Himself.
7,14. However, you only consider Him as an extraordinary Man who despite His wonderful power still needs now and then the help of human beings. Then that which you want to do for Him will certainly be praiseworthy, because neighborly love commands us that we human beings will help one another with word and deed.”
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