Biographical Gospel of the Lord

- Chapter 37 -
A Golden Goblet Is Sublimed

FTER DETERMINING on this, Cyrenius again turned to Joseph and said, 'Good man, you should not hold that against me, for you will surely concede that I as governor do after all have the right to cross-examine someone to find out if he is a friend or enemy of the state!
And that I could not exempt you therefrom - as gladly as I would otherwise have done - for that you need only look at yonder disastrous table which has been freed from its decorations, and it must surely be evident to you that one must look upon people of your kind a bit more sharply than upon those who only drift about as insignificantly as daily flies.
Now I do not feel that I insulted you thereby, but on the contrary only gave you a distinction in that I adjudged you to be that important and spoke to you as becomes me as governor.
You see, I am interested in nothing else than the truth about your background because I judge you to be a truly noteworthy man.
Therefore I purposely raised doubts about you so you should fully assert yourself before me.
Now your manner of speech has shown me that you are a man in whom there is no deceit. I therefore need neither a second message from my brother nor any binding documentary proof from some other source, for I am now convinced that you are a completely honest Jew! - Tell me, is there any need for more than that?'
And Joseph answered, 'Friend, see, I am poor, but you are a mighty ruler! My riches are my loyalty and faith to my God and my complete honesty toward everyone!
But you in addition to representing the emperor are also extremely wealthy in the riches of the world, which I do without. When someone slights your honor you still have the riches of the world to fall back on.
But what is left for me if my honor is taken from me? You can buy honor for yourself with the treasures of the world, but with what shall I buy it?
For that reason the poor man, once he has lost his honor and freedom to a rich man, becomes a slave; but if besides that he has secret riches somewhere, he can again buy honor and freedom.
Now you threatened to make me your prisoner - say, would I then not have lost all my honor and freedom?
And was I then not right in defending myself, since I was after all called to account by you, the governor of Syria and the co-governor of the coast of Tyre and Sidon?'
Here Cyrenius said, 'Good man, I now beg you - let us wholly forget what is past.
See, the sun now stands close to the horizon. My servants have prepared the evening meal in the dining hall, so come with me and refresh yourselves. For I have not had Roman foods, but those of your people prepared, which you are permitted to eat. So follow me without any ill feelings against me, now your friend.'
Hereupon Joseph followed Cyrenius into the dining hall with Mary and the five sons and was greatly amazed at the indescribably rich splendor of the tableware which was mostly wrought of gold, silver and precious stones.
And since the ornate vessels were decorated with all manner of images of pagan gods, Joseph said to Cyrenius,
'Friend, I see that all these vessels for your table are decorated with your gods - and you already know the power that emanates from my Child.
See, if I sit at your table with my wife, and my wife with her Child, you will instantly lose all your rich tableware and vessels!
Hence I would advise you to either have vessels set up that are quite plain or common earthenware, or I will not guarantee you your gold and silver.'
When Cyrenius heard this from Joseph, he was startled and at once followed Joseph's advice. The servants promptly brought the foods in dishes of earthenware which were quite smooth and quickly set the gold and silver dishes aside.
But his curiosity nevertheless enticed Cyrenius to bring a magnificent gold goblet near the Child, to ascertain for himself whether the nearness of the Child would really have such a destructive effect on gold as formerly on the bronze images.
And Cyrenius had in fact to pay for his curiosity with the sudden loss of the precious goblet for a time.
When he had thus suffered the loss of the goblet, he took fright and stood there as if he had received an electric shock.
Only after a while did he say, 'Joseph, you great man, you advised me well, and I thank you for it!
But I myself will be accursed if I leave this spot before I find out from you just who this Child is, since He has such power at His disposal!'
Here Joseph turned to Cyrenius and briefly told him the story of the Child's conception and birth.
And Cyrenius, upon hearing Joseph tell this in a firm tone of voice, fell down before the Child and worshiped Him.
And Behold, at that instant the destroyed goblet stood on the floor in front of Cyrenius, but quite smooth and of the same weight. - Hereupon Cyrenius arose and just could not help himself for joy and happiness.