Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

At the house of Matthew, the tax collector

- Chapter 125 -
The Lord's further talk with John's disciples about the Essenes. About the worldly wisdom of the bourgeoisie. The tax-collector's house as an example of altruism. About God's blessing and trust in God. The Lord's testimony to John the Baptist. An exhortation towards mildness and mercy towards the poor. Enemies of God.

ay John's disciples, 'Are we then doing wrong by living in accordance with John's teaching? John surely was a severe preacher, yet he never gave us such teaching!
Behold, the Essene Order, with which we are familiar, also is strict and the first law among them is truthfulness; but of what use to them their truthfulness and their other strict rules? Who takes any notice of them? They are regarded by neither the Greeks nor us Jews and are supposed to have just a few adherents among the Romans. May the teaching by which they live be ever so good and pure, being excellent for those few who have separated themselves from the world, yet it is totally unfit for mankind at large.
Of what benefit to us ever so many nice and forceful words about the brotherhood of man?
Behold, this house is a big house, a hospitable house and second to none in the brotherhood spirit; but can you seriously expect of same to be at all times ready to receive and care for all men, who surely are our brethren as well? Even with the best of spirit and will, it surely lacks the necessary means, such as space, food and the like.
Furthermore, suppose some poor people struggled to build themselves a hut and gather a most meagre provision for winter, barely sufficient for their own needs and then people suddenly come to this couple, who hardly have enough room to themselves, asking for admission, lodging and provision; say: can any teaching demand of these two, or even advise them that it is good and a blessedness to meet the demands of the ten newcomers, therewith to be ruined good and proper?'
Say I, 'Every bird sings and chirps in accordance with its beak and you talk in accordance with your worldly sense and cannot do otherwise, as you don't know how to. Because even if I were to tell you something higher and fully true from the heavens, you would still not understand Me; because your hard heart lacks the intellect.
Fools! Who is it that let's the fruit grow and ripen upon the earth? Who maintains them constantly and gives them their consistency. Do you think that God cannot or will not reward him who sacrifices unselfishly for his brethren's sake? Or do you think that God is unjust, demanding of man the impossible?!
Yet I say that a truly honest goodwill and a keen desire to do a poor brother some good is easily possible for all.
If everyone were thus imbued through and through, then there also would be no more such meagre huts upon earth, inhabitable by just two people.
Behold, this My friend Matthew's house has fed many people today and gave away its entire store from true goodness of heart, and if you don't believe it, then go and see the larder and the granary and you shall find no provisions. Here however stands the landlord; ask him whether I speak untruthfully.'
Matthew fully supports My statement, saying, 'Lord, it unfortunately is so today and I don't know how I shall sustain the guests tomorrow. But I have often fared that way and I trusted in God, - and behold, it was fully replenished, so that I could quite well provide the guests.'
'Behold,' say I thereto, 'thus acts a righteous person in this world and does not complain that God abandoned him. And so it has always been and eternally shall be!
If a person trusts in God, he is trusted also by God who does not forsake him and does not let him be confounded. But those who like you do believe in God's existence, but do not fully trust Him because their own heart tells them that they are unworthy of His help, are not helped by God either, for they have no trust in God. They trust only their own powers and means, which they regard as holy and inviolable as it were, and say: 'Man, if you wish to be helped, help yourself, for charity begins at home and thus you have to look after yourself first.' And by the time he has provided for himself, the one who needs help has perished.
But I say: If you provide for yourselves first, you are abandoned by God and are without His blessing and His otherwise so certain help. For God did not create men for selfish reasons, but out of pure love and, therefore, men must in everything fully correspond to the love that gave them their existence.
If, however, you live and act without love and trust in God, you voluntarily reverse the heavenly element within you into a hellish one, turn away from God and become servants of hell, which in the end will not fail to give you the reward you have deserved, which is death in the wrath of God.
You also state that the Essenes, who live in accordance with Pythagoras' school, are not with all their philanthropy, given any regard, other than by a few Romans.
I don't have any regard for them either, because they don't acknowledge the immortality of the soul; yet the meanest among them is better than the best among you!
I now say unto you openly: among all who were born of woman since the beginning of the world, no greater emerged than John; but from now on, the least of My disciples in the true kingdom of God shall be greater by far than John, whom you call your master, yet whom you have never understood. Because he showed you the way to Me and made straight the way before and to Me, but the world in you has blinded your heart, wherefore you are not capable of recognising Me when you already find yourselves with Me.
Hence go and care for your world, for your women and children, so that they would not go naked and not ever be plagued by hunger or thirst! But it shall soon emerge how well you provided them therewith. - This I can tell you, by fullest right and deepest truth:
Whoever possesses property and has a trade which can give him a good profit, but saves the profit for himself and his children and looks with unkind eyes and heart down at the poor brothers and avoids the poor children who, because they lack all earthly goods, suffer hunger, thirst and cold and sends them away if they come to him asking for alms; and who says to a brother: 'Come to me in a few days or weeks and then I will do this or that for you' and when the hopeful, on help relying brother comes and reminds the promiser of his promise, the latter excuses himself that also now he could not possibly help, while actually having the means to do it, - in truth, I tell you: That one is an enemy of God, for how will he love God whom he does not see if he does not love his brother whom he sees before him and is aware of his misery?
In truth, in very truth I tell you: Whoever forsakes his brother in need, simultaneously forsakes God and heaven also. And God will forsake him in the twinkling of an eye.
However, who does not forsake his poor brothers, not even if God sent him trials, shall be unexpectedly blessed temporally and eternally more richly than here our host's larder and granary have been blessed.'
Say John's disciples, 'This we should believe for sure! They are totally empty!'