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Chapter 215 - How to apply the commandment of neighborly love.
215,1. Then Simon Judah said: “Yes, Lord and Master, there are still a few things which are not completely straight in my mind. But I think by myself: since that which seemed most uneven to me became straight very easily, in time the less uneven lines of my mind will become completely straight by itself.”
215,2. I said: “Then bring forward what still seems somewhat uneven to you.”
215,3. Simon Judah said: “Lord, this I want to do, but not so gladly, because with that I will show the other disciples that I am maybe in every respect dumber than they are. But since You wish it, I also will speak and humble myself before all my companions.
215,4. Look, on the occasion that You taught us and the people about the love for God and the neighbor, You also indicated that we even should love our arch enemies and bless those who curse us, do good to those who treat us badly, and to the one who slaps us we should turn our other cheek instead of slapping him in return.
215,5. I perceive that by this way of acting, the neighborly love that is taught by You, and Your advice to put it into practice, will assume its true heavenly form. For if we human beings have to do all that – namely to wish and will for others which under the same circumstances they also will do for us – then it is of course also completely justified to even love our enemies, pray for those who curse us and do good to those who treat us badly. But there are still a few things that are uneven to me. And this because in these cases self defense is completely set aside. We can apply this to people who are not going too far in their evilness against other people, but regarding people who stubbornly became true arch devils to their fellowmen, there should be a little exception in Your divine teaching.
215,6. I am not talking about the slap, and I really would not mind if on some occasion someone would slap me not too hard, and if in the end he would like to give me another one, to turn also my other cheek to him, so that there can be peace and unity between us. But what if my adversary almost beat me half to death with his first slap? Should I then not rather defend myself if this would be possible to me in one way or another, instead of letting this angry giant of a Samson beat me completely to death?
215,7. I think, o Lord and Master, that in the teaching that You established about neighborly love – of course only according to the opinion of my worldly reason – there are still a lot of things that are uneven which are not so easily to digest by the straight stomach of our mind. I do not know if I spoke wisely or unwisely, but since I still believe that my worldly reason is of a better nature, because otherwise I hardly would have recognized You as the Lord and Master, I also am of the opinion that exactly this better nature of my reason can also recognize such uneven things.”
215,8. I said: “You have asked a very good and right question, but I must nevertheless always make the remark to you that although you have a very sharp reason, you also have on the other hand a weak memory because of your advanced age. Therefore, you do not remember many things anymore of the explanations that I gave to the people on different occasions about the true neighborly love.
215,9. It is in itself very clear that one should not behave too friendly in front of an arch evil person in order not to give him more opportunity to let his evilness grow and become always more evil than he was before.
215,10. In this case, a continuous indulgence would mean nothing else than a true support for the too strongly growing evilness of the enemy. But for this reason I appointed at all times severe judges and gave them the right to chastise and to punish the people who became too bad and evil, this according to what they deserve. And that is why I also gave you the commandment that you should be submitted to the worldly authority, whether it is mild or severe.
215,11. So if someone has such terrible enemy, he should go to a worldly judge and report it to him. Then that one will drive out the evilness of the person who became arch evil.
215,12. If only physical chastisement will not help, it will finally help with the sword. And so it is the same with the slap. If you receive it from a less evil person who was tempted to it by a sudden impulse of his temper, do not resist, so that he will become milder by the fact that you did not slap him in return and you will then again easily become good friends again without worldly judge.
215,13. If someone comes to you in full anger with a murderous slap, then you also have the fullest right to resist. Look, if it were not so, I would not have told you to also shake off the dust from your feet in a place over those people who not only do not want to accept you, but moreover mock you and threaten you with all kinds of persecution.
215,14. O, be sure that with My preaching about neighborly love I did not abolish the might and the authority of the sword in the least, but I made it milder as long as the enmity among the people does not reach the degree which one could very rightfully call ‘hellish’.
215,15. With the elders who lived according to the law of Moses and with most of the judges it was said: ‘A life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’. But as for you, you should not take such laws too literally. And it was said that you should not forgive your enemies more than 7 times, about which I gave you already several times an explanation, which you also understood well.
215,16. But as said, with that I did not abolish the law of Moses, the judges or the prophets, but I only made it milder, because they took those laws too literally and punished with the same severity also the one who caused some harm to his fellowman but which in many cases happened more accidentally than of as a result of his evil will.
215,17. Since the judges adhered too strictly to the law, it also happened that the people in the time of Samuel, the last judge of Israel, wanted a king from Me because they were hoping that the laws would be milder compared to those among the judges. The people were greatly mistaken in this, especially with king Saul who chastised them even more severely than the former judges. But under David and also under Salomon things happened more humane than among the judges.
215,18. But under the later kings, especially when the kingdom was divided among several kings, it became worse than under the judges. And when it finally became too much, there was no other possibility than to submit all the Jews and also many of their neighboring tribes, with whom the Jews were in continuous conflict, to the united power of Rome, because in worldly respect Rome had the best, wisest and most efficient laws. And look, then at once there was complete rest and order among the Jews as well as among their neighboring nations.
215,19. But when the Jews will gradually become more rebellious and the priests of the Jews will more and more indicate that the laws of Rome are blasphemous and will curse the better Jews because they are friends of the Romans, then the Romans will rise again and enter this kingdom with great power and destroy it in such a way that no stone will stand unbroken upon another. After that, the Jews themselves will be scattered over the whole world, and then it will also happen what I told you beforehand, namely that the Jews should pray that the time of their flight will not take place in the winter and also not on a Sabbath, because then it will be worse for them than in another season or on a working day. That flight will be especially difficult for the pregnant women.
215,20. In that time, two Jews will also sleep in one bed, the one, who is a known friend of the Romans, will be spared and the stubborn Jew will be rejected. So there will also be two others grinding in one mill. Also there, for the same reason, the one will be spared, the other rejected. The one who works in the field, let him not return to his house to take his coat, and the one who repairs the roof of his house, let him not come down from the roof into his house to take something. It will be better for him to jump from the roof to the ground and try to safe his life by escaping, for if he will come down into his house, he will certainly lose his life. But if he will jump from the roof he can at best still keep his life and safe himself by escaping.
215,21. Look, My dear Simon Judah, I predicted already many times all these things to you and to many other Jews and Pharisees, and I am sure that in all these things you will not discover any uneven lines.”
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