Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

Jesus in the Vicinity of Caesara Philippi (Matthew 16)

- Chapter 175 -
The Lord in a poor man's hut at Caesarea Philippi

hile the despatched disciples busied themselves with reconnoitring the district and people of Caesarea Philippi, I remained upon the bay mountain till evening, but then, about two hours before sunset left the bay with the remaining disciples, also arriving in the Caesarea Philippi area towards evening (Matt. 16:13), finding the advance disciples' party in a poor man's hut, whose simple occupants were busy preparing supper for the tired and starving disciples.
The domestics immediately asked the advance party about who we were, and these did not mind telling them that I was the very Jesus about Whom they had previously been speaking quite a lot.
On hearing this, the host all but dropped everything, falling on his knees before Me and saying: "What good have I poor sinning human ever done, that You should show me such inestimable grace? Oh You holy great man from the heavens, sent to us poor sinners on Earth! How should I, a poor and most simple man be able to worthily honour and praise You? What could I do to please You!"
Said I: "Dear friend, arise and see to it that we too receive a supper, consisting of bread, fish and wine; then provide resting place for limb, and you shall have done all I am asking!"
The host rises, saying with a sad voice: "Good Master, whatever I have I shall provide, since such immense honour and grace has overtaken my hut; for I know that You are a son of David and a great prophet besides, - I still have stores of bread and fish for to-day and tomorrow. But it is a different story with wine, not only with myself but the entire district, and a similar position in the not too distant city of Caesarea Philippi. I indeed posses some raspberry and blackberry juice, but it is a trifle old and hence sour. We drink it only with water and some honey for thirst.
But I have vessels of curdled goats' milk; if some of that would be agree able to You then I shall have some brought in; together with bread it is really good food!"
Say I: "Very well then, bring us what you have! But I notice that you keep several wine-skins in your house; if you never harvest wine, what for the skins?"
Says the poor hut owner: "Yes, indeed do I have skins, because I am a maker of wine skins; but there has not been a drop of wine in any of them.
Say I: "Go then and fill them all with water!"
Ask the poor host: "Good Master, what good could that do?"
Say I: "Friend, ask no questions and just do as I say unto you, hereupon you shall be blessed temporally and eternally!"
Thereupon the poor hut owner at once summoned his wife and his grown up eight children, - six daughters and two sons, and went to fill the fifty skins at the well. When the skins were filled, he asked Me what to do with them.
And I said to him: "Take them all to the rock-pool whose entrance is adjacent to the rear of your hut!"
The poor host, who kept his straw in the grotto, spread same out on the bottom, then placing the filled skins upon it neatly in a row; and when finished, came back and said: "Lord and Master, it is done as You commanded. Is there anything else to be done with it?"
Say I: "It now is in the best of order. But take some of your better stone jars and fill them from whichever of the fifty skins, also tasting of the filled jars to see how you like it; then bring them here and tell us how the water thus treated, tastes!"
The poor one goes at once, taking twelve jars, and lets them run full. A superb wine aroma hits his nostrils, and when he goes on to taste the contents, he is struck with amazement, saying to his children helpers: Hearken, this no human intellect can grasp! The water with which we filled the skins and which I let into the jars has turned into most exquisite wine! Taste it and be convinced!"
The children tasted and could not be more astonished over such miracle, and the oldest son said: "Father, you know that I am well versed in Scripture! I know all the prophets and their works; but none of them effected one like this! This peculiar person obviously must be more than a prophet!"
Say the daughters as well: "Yes father, it seems so to us too! In the end this could be Elijah, who is to return to Earth, to prepare mankind for the coming of the mighty Messiah! Or this could in the end be the Messiah Himself?"
Says the father: "It could be the one as well as the other! Hm, how suddenly and unexceptedly this has come!"
Whilst the poor hut proprietor is still ruminating thus, his wife comes rushing up almost breathless for wonder, saying: "Come, come and see what has happened in our hut! Our larder has completely filled up with all kinds of foods and the best of bread! This none but the same Master could have done who came to our hut an hour ago asking for accommodation and supper!"
Says the man: "That certainly is beyond all doubt! But how? Who is going to clear it up for us? What is He? Who is He? If we say He is a prophet we obviously understate it. If we say He is an angel then we haven't said much more. If however we say He is a god, then we could overstate it, for a god is spirit; but this one is flesh, blood and bones, and one could in the end ask whether He is not some Greek Zeus or Apollo. But now it is necessary to, in all meekness, love and gratitude carry up the wine, bread and fish, and whatever other edibles there are, for this favour is priceless!
Where after the man came with the filled jars and his wife and children with bread, fish and other edibles. And the man, bowing down low before Me, said with a most timorous voice: "Oh Lord and Master! Who would you be, that You are able to do such merely through Your will? I tremble in all reverence before You! You cannot be a man akin to the likes of us; but who and What therefore are You, that we may honour you fittingly?"
Say I: "Behold, My friend, I want to tell you a thing, by which you will be abl to judge for yourself! When early in the morning you notice that it is getting brighter in the East, with the sky gradually reddening, you say: 'The sun shall rise soon!' But it gets brighter in the East also when the moon is approaching; but no morning red follows the feeble light; and when the full moon finally comes up, weakly illuminating the Earth with its half-light, no flower opens its tender chalice to such in the cold, feeble and unenlivening beam!
The strongly lit-up messengers, lucent cloudlets heralding the sun's imminent rise already are much brighter than the moon in its fullness; but if no sun were to follow these messengers then things on the entire Earth would be as in the frigid midnight (polar) region, where no sunbeam penetrates for nine months (full moons). And so correspondingly it is in the eternal world of the spirit, through which alone this material one arose and is now sustained.
All kinds of teachers and prophets arise, teaching mankind this and that; now and then there is some truth to it, but next to a spark of truth there always amble along thousands of lies, making out to be truth themselves, next to the one spark of truth. And behold, all such teachers, prophets and doctrines resembles the shine of the moon, which constantly changes its light, and quite often does not shine at all when needed most.
Alongside the false teachers and prophets however there are also genuine and true ones, from whose eyes heart and mouth God's light shines. These resemble the lucent cloudlets heralding the sun's imminent rise; if nonetheless things were left at that, even with ever-so shining cloudlets - namely the genuine and true prophets, then with the hearts of men it would be in the end as at the actual midnight region of the Earth, namely frigid, cold and dead. But following the real, lucent cloudlets preceding the sun is the sun itself, and with the first beams that it casts over the still grey mountains into the Earth's valleys, everything turns wakeful, joyful and full of life: the little birds sing psalms to the rising mother of light and warmth, the insects, flies bugs lift off into the lucent air, humming enthusiastically to the mother of day, and the flowers of the fields lift their royally adorned heads, opening their richly blamed mouths to breathe their lovely fragrance towards the warmer of the world.
From this true representation however, you can gather enough for your edification to allocate Me a position in your heart that I merit! Neither starlight nor moonshine, nor the golden glimmer of the morning clouds is enough to loosen the fetters of the Earth's captive life and entice it to independently active freedom, this only the light of the sun is capable of doing.
Who among mankind therefore can be that One Whose voice and will all the captive spirits within matter obey, conforming to everything He wills, - and who can be He of Whose coming all true prophets prophesied?"
Here the poor man pauses for a moment, then goes pensively into the hut with his family, in order not to disturb us at supper.