Biographical Gospel of the Lord

- Chapter 287 -
A Schoolteacher Learns The Alphabet

FTER A TIME of about three months, when Joseph had completed the work in the village, a certain Piras Zachaeus came from Nazareth on a visit to Joseph and for the first time made personal acquaintance with the Boy, about whom he had already heard a number of things.
Therefore he came only because of the little Jesus.
For Piras Zachaeus was a substitute teacher in the town who had little to do but still had a very high opinion of his wisdom.
Now why did he secretly visit Joseph in regard to the little Jesus?
Because he thought, 'That must be a very talented Boy
whom I shall bring into my class, so that by His quick progress my class will get a better reputation than that of my rival!'
He therefore concerned himself mainly with the Boy Jesus, questioned Him about various things and always received the most conclusive answers at which he was greatly surprised.
When he had thus investigated the Boy, he turned to Joseph and said to him,
'Brother, the little One truly has an extraordinary understanding for His age. It is really true that you have a very intelligent little Boy here -
only it is too bad that He still cannot read nor write the letters!
Would you send Him into my school, so He could learn to read and write the letters with me?
I will then also teach Him all the other arts and sciences, so He may learn to greet the elders and honor them like grandfathers and fathers;
and you know, so He may also learn to love His playmates, towards whom on a number of occasions He is supposed to have acted very unmercifully;
and so He finally may also learn the Law of Moses, know the history of God's people and the wisdom of God in the prophets.'
And Joseph answered the teacher, 'Good, my friend and brother! But before you take this Boy into your school, make a little test here before several witnesses who are with me today.
Recite all the letters to Him and explain them to Him clearly; then examine Him,
and from what the Boy will have remembered of the explanation, you will then be able to form the best judgment as to how His talent is constituted.'
This the teacher promptly did. He distinctly recited the letters from Alpha to Omega to the Boy and also explained the symbols to the best of his ability.
But Jesus looked at the teacher in surprise, and as he thereupon examined Him, asked the teacher,
'Oh you hypocrite of a teacher: How will you teach the Beta to the students, when you have never understood the meaning of the Alpha?
Explain the Alpha to Me according to true wisdom, and I will then believe what you have to say about the Beta!
And so you may now find out that I have no need to learn the letters and their origin and meaning from you, I will explain them and show you the true meaning of the letters!'
Here the little Jesus began to expound the whole alphabet to the altogether befuddled teacher and, as He went along, also inquired diligently of him whether he had comprehended it.
But each answer of the teacher was so foolish and incomplete that all those present broke out in ringing laughter thereat.
And since the teacher discovered such amazing wisdom in the Boy, and saw that he had brought disgrace upon himself, he stood up and confessed to those present,
'Oh woe is me, a poor wretch! I am now completely confused. I have brought disgrace, ridicule and harm to myself, because I wanted to bring this little Boy into my school.
Oh brother Joseph, take the Boy away from me; for I can never bear the sternness of His countenance nor the incisiveness of His speech.
Truly, this little Boy is not born of the earth. He must surely be able to tame fire and water in His wisdom.
I will be a fool always if He was not born long before the creation of the world! Jehovah will know in which mother's body He was carried, and which bosom has nourished Him.
Woe is me! I am already a fool - I came to enroll a student, and behold, I have found a Teacher whose Spirit I shall never be able to aspire to. Oh feel the disgrace with me, friends! An old man was made a fool of by a little Boy - that is certainly my death.
Therefore, oh Joseph, take the Boy away from me; for He must be something tremendous, either a God or an angel!'
Here all those present now began to console the teacher, for they felt sorry for him because of his great distress.