Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

Jesus near Caesarea Philippi

- Chapter 7 -
The Pharisee's admission of the coercion of faith in the temple.

he Pharisee says, "Everything that you say, great master, is so clearly good and true that we can say nothing other than that every person of only a little spirit obviously gains more for his head and for his heart through spending an hour with you than if he listened for a hundred years to the stupidities of the temple, where nothing sinks in except an empty torrent of words.
Truly there is a lot spoken and even more is blared out; but that is all as if one says to someone, "Friend, wash my hands and feet, but be very sure that you don't make me wet in the slightest!" - And in our lessons which are held in the temple it is expressly demanded that one listens to them with all respect and does what is demanded. But why, and what understanding lies in the teaching, no-one is allowed to ask - for these are supposed to be the secrets of God, about which no-one but the high priests are allowed to know details and then only under the strictest pledge of secrecy.
What use to a person is such a teaching when he can probably hear, and must hear the words but he cannot understand even a single syllable?! It would clearly be just as good to never hear a word of it at all!
By God, if one looks at the matter of God"s teachings to man in the right light, then one comes across things which could make every stomach turn over! For even if people are often not as foolish and obscure in their other actions and decisions as a moonless, deeply cloudy autumn night, then they are certainly a hundred times more so in their teaching about God! Either they often believe enough to make a dog sick - not to mention an honest person - or they believe nothing at all.
O lord and master, you cannot believe how often I felt bad when I had to preach something to the people as good and true, when I was convinced beforehand that it was a total lie. I often could have strangled myself from sheer annoyance. But what good did it do? Once the ox is in the yoke, he has to pull - whether it"s easy or hard - otherwise there are blows to the extreme! I have often thought to myself in the middle of preaching and asked myself, "But who is the more pitiful ox, I, the preacher, or he to whom I am preaching?" And I could never fend off the thought that I myself was always the greater and in general the perforce foolish ox! For my listener, if he was an intelligent person could laugh himself silly at me afterwards and make fun of me to his friends; but I was not allowed to do that, at least in the temple, under pain of punishment by accursed water.
Therefore high master, I say: Hence from us all now everything that is purely the devil"s in all seriousness! From now on we will be very intelligent people and eternally no longer the slaves of human foolishness; for it is something terrible to be a servant to the foolishness of man! From now on weapons and true good sense! Everything else belongs between the horns of the old scapegoat which one must kill and burn with the fire of righteous anger. But now about something else!
Do you know, great master, what this good man of God would desire if he took us to be his disciples only for a short time of a number of days? For in even the shortest time there must be exceptionally much to learn from him! Do you think that we could ask him about it without fear?"
Julius says, "Certainly, but I know very well that He never accepts any sort of material payment, instead only the purely spiritual! Oh, He has never even a naulum [small amount of money, translator] on Him and nevertheless never owes anyone anything! Whoever does something for His sake, He repays him in another way a thousand times; for His word and His will are worth more than the whole world. You don't need to know any more than that and you can now do whatever you want!"
The young Pharisee says, "Quite good and right, and many thanks to you, great master, for this enlightenment of our mind; for now I know very well what we will all do and in a certain way what we must do! Only now will we turn seriously to him and whatever he says, that we will do!"