Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

Der Herr in der Stadt am Nebo

- Chapter 164 -
The wine miracle in the Roman inn.

hen we entered, at once the owner of the inn, a Roman in heart and soul, came very politely to us, invited us to take a seat and asked us what we wanted.
I said to him: "Although the day is already quite advanced and the sun is almost setting, and apart from some bread we did not take anything since this morning. Nevertheless, it is a little too early for an evening meal. Therefore, for the time being you can put some bread and wine for us on the table."
The innkeeper said: "My dear friends, bread I have, as well as smoked meat of pork and sheep, and I still have milk in store, but poultry, fish and wine can only seldom be obtained in this city and are very expensive things on the table of travelers because from here to the deep Jordan valley it is firstly very far, and the few footpaths from here to that place are very difficult to access, and so we cannot bring anything cheap and eatable from the blessed western regions. Our soil is, as you noticed along the way, not very fertile because of lack of soil and also lack of water. Our city wells, which still contain water, are cisterns, and springs are far away from here. Before coming to the springs of the Arnon, one will not easily find another spring, and they are still far away from here. Therefore, I will give you bread and milk."
I said to the innkeeper: "Give us rather water from your cistern instead of milk."
The innkeeper did according to My wish, brought a big stone jar full of fresh water from the cistern and put a couple of barley breads for us on the table while he said: "This is the only kind of grain which can still abundantly grow here, but for wheat it is very difficult, for no matter how soon you sow it in the winter, the next spring it withers before it becomes ripe. That is why we have to obtain the wheat for our own use from Damascus, which city is far away from here, or we have to obtain the wheat completely from Babylon which is still further away from here than Damascus. But we have enough barley for ourselves, and besides milk and meat, it is the most important ingredient of our food. Therefore, you only can be satisfied with what I can offer you."
I said: "Everything that is blessed by God is good."
The innkeeper said: "I immediately noticed that you are Jews because you did not wish the good pork meat that we have, but I think, if there is a real God, that He also blessed the pork meat and not only the meat of chickens, sheep, goats and beef. I am an honest Roman and keep the laws of Rome which I think are very good, although they were only made by men and not by gods.
To what benefit is it for men to have certain divine laws which are always written in dark and incomprehensible words and are interpreted by the priests according to their own will and interest? So let the gods give laws for themselves as much as they like, we men who became wise through experience will give laws for ourselves which we can understand and keep, and we also have done that. Our most important gods are good, fertile years and the powers of the elements which have achieved such years. And now I wish that our bread and water will be tasteful to you and that you will like it."
I said: "Dear innkeeper, put down a cup for each one of us, of which you surely will have enough.
Then the innkeeper put earthen cups on the table, as many as we were sitting at the table.
I also said to the innkeeper: "Take also a cup for yourself and drink with us."
The innkeeper did so, supposing that he first had to drink his water to encourage us to drink it also. So he firstly filled his own cup and drank, but after his first sip he was surprised and he happily put it down at once and said fully amazed: "But what is this, my dear gentlemen guests? I only brought you water, and now that I tasted it, it is undoubtedly the best wine which I only drank once on the island of Cyprus."
I said to the innkeeper, after that I also had filled My cup: "Now drink, just like we all, for from where you took that wine you surely must have more in store."
The innkeeper said: "O yes, my dear gentlemen guests, my cistern is still more than half full, and if that will contain such wine instead of water, we will have enough wine for more than a year. But a miracle has happened here, and now I believe for the first time in miracles, although since My youth I never believed in it, even when in my young years I often enough have seen all kinds of miracles being performed by certain priests and magicians. Actually, my father was very familiar with such things, and for everything he gave me a good explanation, and so I, as an honest, well educated Roman, acquired a just disbelief in and disgust against all performances of wonders and magic. But a miracle has been performed with the water of my cistern. But how and by whom, that does not matter to me now. In time it will become clear because it is a good and not an evil miracle."