Biographical Gospel of the Lord

- Chapter 41 -
The Voyage To Egypt

HEREUPON JOSEPH said to Cyrenius: 'Noble friend, your intention is worthy and good, but you will hardly be able to carry it out.
See, this very night letters will arrive for you from Herod in which you will be requested to seize all male children along the sea coast in their first and second years and to send them to Bethlehem so Herod may kill them there!
Now you are of course able to oppose Herod, but your poor brother will unfortunately have to go along with this evil business so he will not expose himself to the bite of this most venomous of all serpents.
Believe me, while I am now with you, murder stalks in Bethlehem and a hundred mothers are rending their garments in despair because of the cruel loss of their children.
'And all that is taking place because of one Child, of which the three wise men from Persia declared in the spiritual sense that He would be a king of the Jews.
But Herod understood a worldly king thereby, and that is why he wants to kill Him, since he wants to bring the scepter of Judea on his posterity and fears that this One might wrest it from him - when actually this Child only came into the world to redeem mankind from eternal death!'
When Cyrenius heard this, he sprang up in fury against Herod and announced to Joseph,
'Listen to me, oh man of God! This monster shall not make use of me as his tool! This day I shall depart with you, and you will find a good night's lodging in my own thirty-oared ship!
In the meantime I shall instruct my most trusted and by all the gods sworn officials what they are to do with all messengers who arrive here with dispatches for me.
See, according to our secret laws they must be detained until I return.
The letters will be taken from them and must be sent after me unbeknownst to the messengers of Herod, so I may know what is in them.
Now I already know what the contents of these letters are certain to be, and I also know for how long I shall be gone. Should other messengers follow, the detention tower will hold them also until I return.
So then have your family get ready for the journey, and we will promptly board my seaworthy ship!'
Joseph was satisfied therewith, and in one hour all were comfortably lodged on board ship, wherein Joseph's pack animals were also well accommodated. A northwind blew, and the voyage progressed smoothly.
The voyage lasted seven days, and all of the ship's company made assurances that never before had they rowed through these waters without the least hindrance -
which they felt was all the more remarkable this time since - as they said according to their belief - Neptune was dealing with his element in a remarkable way, for he was putting his creations in the depths of the sea in order and was holding a council with his attendants.
Here Cyrenius said to the wondering ship's crew, 'Listen, there are two kinds of ignorance - one is of one's own free will, the other is imposed.
If yours were freely held, then it would be possible to help you; but you are held in the one that is imposed and sanctioned by law, and there one cannot help you;
so you may as well hold to the idea that Neptune has lost his triad and does not trust himself to chastise us now with his scaly hand for the sacrilege of sailing across his domain.'
Hereupon Joseph asked Cyrenius, is it not customary to reward the ship's company? Tell me, and I will do what is fitting so they shall not speak ill of us.'
At this Cyrenius said, 'do not worry about that. See, they are under my command and have their pay for their service - so you need not be concerned there.'
Joseph answered, 'That is of course true - but they are also human beings like we are, so we should deal with them as such.
Insofar as their ignorance is sanctioned by law, let them dedicate their outer self to it, but my gift shall make their spirit free!
So let them come over here that I may bless them and they may begin to realize in their hearts that the sun of grace and salvation has risen for them also!'
Here Cyrenius called the ship's company together and Joseph spoke the following words over them:
'Hear me, oh faithful servants of Rome and this your master! You have guided the ship faithfully and diligently, and you shall have a good reward from me, who benefited from this voyage.
Now I am poor and have neither gold nor silver - but I have the grace of God in rich measure, which is the grace of that God whom you call: the Unknown!
May the great God pour this grace into your breast, so your spirit may be awakened!'
At these words all of them experienced a feeling of infinite joy and began to honor and praise the unknown God.
And Cyrenius marveled at this effect of Joseph's blessing and then had himself blessed by him also.