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Chapter 8 - The hesitations of the Pharisees concerning the Lord.
8,1. Now the first speaker spoke again: “Dear friend Lazarus, you have evaluated it very well if in full earnest this is how things are with the wonderful Galilean as you said and have faithfully described to us out of your well founded conviction. We also are mostly of the opinion that this matter is really so. However, for such an infinitely important matter it is from our side as Jews – the people of God – very necessary to set up an accurate investigation and first think very well about many things and to consider if secretly in the background this is still not a case where we finally have to look upon it in a different way instead of someone who is so totally under the impression of those wonders that his mind and senses are no more sober for it.
8,2. Look, already outside it stroke me, as well as all of us, how first that well-spoken young man took as fast as lightning away our coats by his word and will, in such a way that it happened before we knew it, and we also did not know where our coats were. Then these 7 men came – according to their outer appearance they were Egyptians or Arabs – and they only had to make a sign, and to our amazement the 3 furious lions stood there. Look, these are wonders that were performed by men. Now, if that young man who also does not lack any wisdom would say about himself: ‘I am the Christ, my deed of wonder proves it to you’, would you then immediately accept him as the one he claims to be? Or if one of those 7 men would claim this about himself would you believe him? Did Moses and the further prophets – as we can read in the Scripture – not also perform great wonders, although they were not Christ?
8,3. Now the wonderful Galilean is also performing great and very remarkable wonders for everyone. Moreover, He also speaks really very wise words and says that He is Christ. Now then, the fact that He claims to be what no other performer of wonders has claimed to be, still does not prove enough that He is also really the One for who He gives Himself out before the people. On grounds of your testimony we accept and believe that this is indeed the case, but this does not take away the fact that we still have to investigate in every respect. If however we can find nowhere any apparent contradiction, then at once we will do what you have advised to us in a truly very wise and friendly way.
8,4. Look, you still can have much different and exceptional proof, which we do not know yet and which have taken you to a deeper inner conviction. Now then, we are still lacking this for understandable reasons, because we ourselves have seen and heard Him – the famous Galilean – only a few times personally in the temple, and about His wonderful deeds we only have heard a lot from the mouth of other people. We personally have only witnessed very little, only of the healing of a paralytic and recently of a born-blind person. And that, friend, is now really not enough anymore. The more so because we also have seen that young man who also seems to be a Galilean and the 7 other men performing wonders by which it was made clear to us that other men are also capable to perform wonders.
8,5. Concerning His wise words, also that young man spoke very wisely, as a real prophet, and our coats could not protect us against his sharp look, and so until now we still can say: deeds of wonders nor wise words and teachings are for us conclusive proofs that the Galilean is in full earnest and truth the promised Messiah of who it is written that He is Jehovah, the Lord Himself.
8,6. Also you yourself gave us just now the remarkable proof that someone by means of strongly awakened discernment can know word for word and maybe still a lot more, someone’s most inner thoughts and secret speeches that he only would say to a friend in private in order not to give offense to someone else. Since already you yourself, while you are a human being like we are, possess such wonderful ability, then why could the Galilean not possess such special abilities, which every other man must consider as a wonder because the ways to acquire such an ability are totally unknown to him, and people who have such abilities do not want to teach others in this at all.
8,7. In former times there were prophetic schools where only men were accepted – more precisely young men – who already since their birth were noticeable by certain special qualities. Especially an extreme good morality and, concerning the fleshly nature of man also an extreme chaste character was needed.
8,8. Now then, we can see that in a morally completely unspoiled person total different qualities can be developed compared to the sick nature of a very common sensual immoral person. But for this reason, such a person who is gifted with extraordinary qualities can, compared to other people who are weak by nature, by far still not and actually never say that he is a God.
8,9. I myself during my youth have seen a very simple shepherd who by his companions was called their king. This man was very moral and pious. He did not have a shepherd’s staff and he only had to will and then the flock obeyed his gestures, his words and his will. I do not know if he also was capable to do other things, but why could he not give this special quality to other shepherds as common property?
8,10. Therefore, for the moment my idea remains as it is, namely that in the world always a few special gifted people can exist. But that is why one should be very careful to acknowledge that person as being a God who came down from Heaven.
8,11. Among the old prophets there were also great and small ones, but neither Moses nor Elijah was God. I have now told you very clearly my opinion and you can evaluate according to your own liking, as you want and as you can.”
8,12. Now Lazarus said in a very friendly tone: “According to earthly-human intellect you have spoken very truly and rightly, and with good reason you also could not evaluate and speak in a different way because you and your colleagues are still lacking a lot in order to fully recognize the very exalted Galilean as what He nevertheless is, despite your doubts and your ideas and objections that appear to be very intelligent.
8,13. You can believe me that I also did not allow myself to be carried away by a certain enthusiasm for the wonders to acknowledge the exalted Galilean as the Messiah. Oh, very different things have brought me to this.
8,14. Indeed, now you are admiring the young man, the 7 Egyptians and now also me, but I say to you that you do not know neither the young man nor the 7 Egyptians who are still very simple and unspoiled men like once the patriarchs were on the Earth, and therefore you also do not know how it was possible for me to know exactly what you have discussed behind closed doors.”
8,15. The first speaker said: “Now then, explain this to us more clearly, then we will see if we can follow you completely in your belief.”
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