Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

Jesus near Caesarea Philippi

- Chapter 55 -
On the difference between Raphael's miracles and those of the magicians.

uetal says, "Amen! That is also my word! For no mortal eye has ever before seen such a thing! The magicians in the days of Pharaoh threw sticks which became snakes; but we were not around then! And if we had been there, we would probably have seen quite the same artificial trick that we once saw in Damascus, where a Persian conjuror threw bread crumbs onto an area of drifting sand spread out wide before him, and when the crumbs, once they had been well thrown, buried themselves in the sand so that one could not see it any more - which naturally happened in just a moment - a rat or a mouse soon rose out of the sand and ran away! This conjuror pretended that he would change the bread crumbs thrown on the sand in to rats and mice but I inspected the sand afterwards and found the bread crumbs quite untouched; but I also found only too visible traces of how the conjuror, without any witnesses, had held a certain quantity of rats and mice in the sand by laying certain favorite nibbles in little holes made by him in several places, with which the rats and mice placed there remained quite quiet and comfortable until the cleverly thrown bread crumbs caused them to spring out of the holes and run away.
The foolish people showed the Persian magician an almost godly honor and filled sacks full of all sorts of valuable things; and when I wanted to convince some of the somewhat wiser ones of it, they called me a sinner and I had a very limited time to get away from them. I became convinced thereby that firstly magicians are quite fine old fellows, who through their knowledge and experience in the wide field of nature know how to make use of the foolishness of the many other people who live like cattle, and secondly that correctly indoctrinated foolish people can never be fully corrected even with the best will of a wise friend of humanity.
And in this way probably all the celebrated miracles of the priests and magicians in all Egypt and Persia will look the same, and the miraculous deeds of the Essene will have no other appearance.
But these two miracles which the disciple of the great Master performed, and the wonderful healings that we have heard about which were performed by the great Savior are so purely superior to all the magical deceptions, like a sun with its bright and purest light is superior to every low and deceptive swamp light. With these two miracles, as I said, every human wisdom finds its decisive end; no thinking or testing is of any further use, the omnipotence of God is working there, for whom, of course, nothing can be impossible.
But for us the teaching remains that we should follow all the more actively what the great Savior teaches because through him, as it now begins to seem to me, an old prophecy of Jehovah will come into fulfillment perhaps even in this day of ours."
I say, still not personally recognized by the twelve, to Suetal, "Are you of the same opinion with some conviction?"
Suetal says, "Friend, my opinion is now becoming surety, at least in me! For look, I have a quite simple but sure reason to accept it! God is too endlessly good and wise to awake a man so powerfully and fill him with all His all-powerful spirit simply so that he can then heal several sick people in the flesh and make bread and fish out of stones. God certainly has another higher purpose unknown to us as yet for such a person who stands far above Moses and all the other prophets like a sun entirely alone! Because for the very inferior purposes, to work all sorts of miracles before the eyes of curious and miracle-seeking, blind people, God, as I said, did not put such a man of God on this Earth! I would like to discover in him the great Messiah of the Jews as announced by almost all the patriarchs and prophets and I am, dear friend, almost fully convinced of this!
However if it is not him, then I really wouldn't know for whom we should still wait, who could do even greater things and things more worthy of God! What opinion do you have, dear friend, assuming that you as a Greek are familiar with the Scriptures of the Jews?!"
I say, "Yes, I have exactly the same opinion as you; for I am very familiar with the Scriptures of the Jews. But now I would like to learn from your companions what they say to our quite well-founded opinion! Ribar is more or less a speaker for the other ten companions. We will ask him about it and see what sort of an opinion he will give. You ask him!"
Suetal says, "He should begin right away; for now he will hopefully have seen enough of his fish!"