Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

The Lord at the Sea of Galilee. John the Baptist's imprisonment and inquiry

- Chapter 144 -
The Lord's hints about John's works and plight. Jesus and John - sun and moon. 'He must wax and I wane!' The Lord's testimony of John: 'He is more than a prophet, he is Elijah'.

fter some time, the older of the two asked Me why it was that John had to languish in prison, since he had never sinned before God or man.
Said I, 'He too could be free if he wanted to! The moon indeed does good service at night, but if it wants to compete with the sun for prominence, as if it's light even by day, next to the sun was as important as the sun itself, then the moon is greatly mistaken; for once the sun is up, the moon's sheen is quite dispensable. Do you understand that?
Who prevented John from following Me when I came to him at the Jordan and he recognised Me more distinctly? He remained in his desert and constantly did rigid penance, - yet had never sinned. Why did he do this? - He himself delivered himself up to Herod; now he can see how he gets on with the fox!
Say to him however that I did not come to take away the power from the worldly great, but to confirm them upon their seats of power. But he who seeks disputation with Me shall have a tough battle on his hands.'
Hearing these My words, they said nothing further, but took their leave, setting out upon their road back to John in Jerusalem at once, notifying him immediately.
John however beat his breast, saying, 'Yes, it is He; He is right, He must wax and I wane and die off this world.'
Yet, at the place of Seba, a fishing village situated at the Galilean Sea, the many people there, as well as those who had followed Me there, were wide-eyed about John the Baptist and said, 'How could he have committed a sin? Was the fact of not following You a major sin of his, which he is now atoning?! Lord, are we wrong in judging thus?'
But I retorted, saying, 'When the full moon shines at night, all go out to admire its light and are happy; but when the sun appears, while the moon still shows its weak sheen in the sky, then all turn away from the moon, grazing their eyes upon the mighty sunlight, praising same in every beaming dew-drop; because one drop of water under the sun shines more brilliantly than ten moons in the night.
But does the moon commit a sin if it is darkened by the sun during the day and because even a dew-drop affords the beholder more light than the entire moon?
I say unto you all let him who has ears hear! The Son of Man also is a sun and John is His moon. The moon verily shines in the night of your spirit and witnessed of the Light, which has now come unto you, which in your darkness you still have not recognised; if however the moon's sheen turns faint when the sun of day shines among you, how can you think of him as with sin?'
Verily I say unto you, there has not since Adam, been a soul among men more pure, indwelling and animating a body!
But I ask everyone of you, as there is not one among you who did not go to the desert where John preached and baptised, - you all heard his sermon and most of you also let yourselves be baptised: What went ye out to see in the desert?
Did ye perhaps go and see a reed blown about by the wind? (Matt. 11:7). Or did ye go out to see a man with soft raiments. Behold, they who wear soft raiments dwell in the houses of kings and not in the harsh desert of Bethabara! (Matt. 11:8). Or did you go out to see a prophet?
Verily I tell you: John is more than a prophet (Matt. 11:9). Because it is he of whom it is written: 'I send My angel before you, who shall prepare your way!' (Matt. 11:10). Do you comprehend now who he is?
Verily, I say it yet more plainly than I already said; of all those born of woman from the beginning, not one emerged greater than this John the Baptist; nevertheless, I also tell you that from now on, the least in the kingdom of God shall be greater than he. (Matt. 11:11)
But this too let you keep well in mind; from the days of John even till now the kingdom of God suffers violence and they that do it violence shall gain it. (Matt. 11:12)
Up until John, all the prophets as well as Moses' law have prophesied. (Matt. 11:13) He was the last prophet before Me.
If you will receive it, this very John is Elijah who is to come again before the Messiah! (Matt. 11:14) He also has come and prophesied before Me and has prepared My ways, as you have found out yourselves. Say it now whether you know who John is!'