Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

Second day in Sychar

- Chapter 87 -
The true homeland is with the Lord. The Jewish sceptics. Their departure and arrest by Roman soldiers. Cornelius with the Lord.

fter all the others had left, the young host, at whose wedding I had converted the water into wine, came to Me saying, 'Lord! Those who had followed us from Judea and Jerusalem and fortified themselves with food and drink in the larger guest-room, would like a word with You. Because from what I can make out, several are ready to depart to their homeland and look after their businesses. If you will allow me I shall go and tell them.'
Say I, 'I do not think that is necessary! Whoever is and remains with Me is in his true homeland, and whoever does not earn himself this one and only true and lasting homeland shall wander about like a fugitive beast searching the desert for fare and shelter, finding neither, finally to languish from hunger, thirst and cold, becoming a prey to predators from such barren desert.
Has anyone around Me gone without? Were not all sated daily from the heavens physically and spiritually? Did anyone suffer hunger or thirst travelling with Me? - I say unto you: He who wants to leave, let him leave, but whoever wants to remain, let him! He who leaves Me shall also be left by Me, and whoever does not seek Me, him I shall in no way seek over zealously! - Go and tell them this!'
Says the host, 'Lord, I am troubled; You shall no doubt also be displeased with these citizens of Cana who have gone home to rest?'
Say I, 'You did not understand Me! Behold, these folk have already fully received Me into their hearts, and My teaching has become sacred to them; but to those Jews the teaching that I gave at Sychar is not fully agreeable, and they yearn even more for their leaven than their households, and hence to leave for home! But they want to give Me the honour, so as not to be regarded as churls here. Hence go out and openly tell them everything I said to you!'
Directed thus, the host goes and acquaints them verbatim with what I said to him. All are startled and feel personally pilloried by turns. Some are offended, but others take it to heart, turning it over in their minds and saying, 'He has got us; and it unfortunately is so; hopefully He will forgive us, let us stay!'
But the offended ones say, 'Yet we are going! Although we lacked nothing with Him we are fed up with this Scythian indigence, and besides one has to always watch one's words very carefully, for the verdict is not long a-coming, and then one can see how to get back into favour; for leniency there is none with him! Whatever He has pronounced accommodates no compromise! Hence we shall tarry with Him no more.'
But the contrite ones say, 'This might be true, and the priests are certainly accommodating in Jerusalem, particularly where the offerings are liberal. But He will not compromise by a hair's breadth even if offered the entire earth! Hence it is somewhat hard to get on with Him; yet He is bound to be one of the greatest prophets at the very least, full of power and life, and even mute nature responds to His nod. What is left us other than to remain for as long as he Himself does not remove us?! Because the signs He worked before our eyes no man has done before him, and we therefore are staying with Him, come what may!'
The offended ones however say, 'Do what you will, but we go. If we owe the host anything, let him give us the bill!'
But the host says, 'I keep no accommodation for strangers, but only for native children of Jacob, and these are free just as elsewhere in Canaan, where the brooks are flowing with milk and honey.'
Hearing this they arise, take to the road and are gone. But after several hours journey from Cana, they are too exhausted to lift their feet, sinking down on the road, some hundred in number, to take their night's rest.
But a strong detachment of Roman mercenaries coming the other way from Jerusalem bumps into this caravan. Not being capable of being shaken awake however, the exhausted are guarded till morning. Awakening in the morning however they find themselves bound by the hands, and being without travel passes they are arrested one and all and brought before the court at Jerusalem, being examined there for seven days and then released, after paying the necessary fines, having been identified as Jews.
A segment of these soldiers also arrives at Cana the same morning. After searching our house, and after our clearing ourselves with our travel passes from Jerusalem, they raise no further obstacles and depart for Capernaum, their chief commander having recognised Me and discussed several matters with Me and acquainting Me of his projected extended stay at Capernaum, his family already having moved there two days earlier, where he is meeting them. Therewith he invites Me to drop in on him at Capernaum, which I agree to in a few days time.
He also asks Me about the large caravan he came across sleeping on the road.
I tell him, and he replies with a smile, 'Did I not guess that I bumped into such breed, who basically are pharisaical spies, and it would greatly surprise me if You did not identify them so at first glance!'
Whereto I replied, 'You are not altogether wrong in suspecting them to be so. But they were not yet so when following Me from Jerusalem and Judea; but now some of them shall be so, to their own great detriment. Because the Temple-breed covets betrayal indeed, but actually fears the informer more than the betrayed enemy, and hence does not let informers go. Nearly all get to drink of the accursed water and hardly one in ten survives this; but the burst ones then are usually branded false accusers and buried at Jehoshapat in the accursed soil. And this shall also be the fate of some of those turning informers on Me! Because My time is not yet come.'