THE CHILDHOOD OF JESUS
THE GOSPEL OF JAMES

Biographical Gospel of the Lord

- Chapter 26 -
Nicodemus Beholds The Glory Of God


 
T
HE FOLLOWING MORNING when Joseph was ready to depart for Bethlehem, there came the young Israelite intending to request the piece of silver.
 
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But as he came into the room, such a great fear suddenly came upon him that he was unable to utter a sound.
 
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Joseph then went over to him and said, 'Friend, see, whatever I have that you feel is worth a piece of silver, that take, for I have no money in my possession!'
 
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The Israelite now recovered somewhat and said in a quaking voice, 'Man of Nazareth, now I know who you are! You are Joseph the carpenter, and are the same to whom Mary, the maiden of the Lord, was allotted from the temple nine months ago.
 
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Here is the same maiden! How did you watch over her, since she is now a mother in her fifteenth year? How did that happen?
 
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Truly, you are not the father! For men of your age and of your fear of God, which is acknowledged in all Israel, never do such a thing.
 
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But you have grown-up sons - can you vouch for their innocence? Did you keep an eye on them constantly and did you watch over all their thoughts, actions, comings and goings?'
 
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At this Joseph countered the young man and said, 'Now I recognize you too. You are Nicodemus, a son of Benjamin from the tribe of Levi! How is it that you undertake to examine me, when it is not your place to do so? Now the Lord has examined me therein in the sanctuary and on the accursed mountain and has justified me before the high council. What guilt would you then find on me and my sons?
 
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Go into the temple and examine the high council, and a proper witness concerning my whole house will be given you!'
 
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These words went deep into the heart of the wealthy young man, and he declared, 'But in heaven's name, if that is the way it is, then tell me how it happened that this maiden gave birth in this manner! Was it a miracle, or did it happen naturally?'
 
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Here the also present midwife went over to Nicodemus and asserted, 'Man! Here is the piece of silver for the very meager lodging! Now do not detain us any longer in vain, for we must arrive in Bethlehem still today!
 
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But consider what That is, which today was meagerly lodged in your house for one piece of silver! Truly, truly, your most splendid rooms which are decorated with gold and precious stones would be too mean for such glory of God lodged here in this room, which at best is suitable for convicts!
 
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Now go over and touch the Baby, so the coarse mantle may fall from your eyes and you may see who visited you! As the midwife I have the ancient right to give you permission to touch the Baby.'
 
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Nicodemus now went over and touched the Baby - and when he touched Him, his inner vision was opened for a short time and he beheld the glory of God.
 
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He thereupon fell down before the Child and worshiped Him and said: 'What grace and what compassion must be in You, o Lord, that You visit Your people like this!
 
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And what shall I now have done with my house, and what with me, since I have thus failed to recognize the glory of God?'
 
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Here the midwife said, 'Remain in everything as you are, but be altogether silent about what you have seen, or you will come under the judgment of God!'- Thereupon Nicodemus returned the piece of silver, then went outside weeping and afterward had this side room decorated with gold and precious stones. And Joseph promptly began his journey.