THE GREAT GOSPEL OF JOHN
VOLUME 4

Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

Jesus near Caesarea Philippi (cont.)

- Chapter 167 -
On fasting and joy.


 
U
pon these My quite natural words, one of the thirty young pharisees remarks: "Now, for a change also a natural word out of the mouth of Him, in whom resides the very highest spirit of Jehovah in all its fullness of His divine wisdom, love, strength and power. Nevertheless, one still cannot trust it, whether behind it does not lies a deeper, spiritual meaning. Who can find it, except Himself, should be rewarded with a kingdom! I will not become a king."
 
2
Says a colleague to him: "This remark was already too stupid to think it very quietly, not mentioning handing it over to the air loudly! How can He say something without an inner, deeper spiritual meaning?! Even if it appears to us still so normal, it still remains a remark by the very highest spirit and therefore cannot be otherwise than full of the most deepest spiritual meaning! Both of us will most likely in all eternity not fathom the depth of this so lightly breathed sentence; but I feel it clearly that something infinite is hidden in it. Therefore refrain from such exceedingly silly remarks in future!"
 
3
Says the first one: "Now, now, certainly this was silly of me, I admit this quite willingly; nevertheless, nothing evil was meant by it!"
 
4
Says the second: "Now then, do you feel sorry that you did not meant to make a joke about it?! During this night together with me you have heard, seen and felt so much of the highest wisdom, - and now suddenly it occurs to you to permit yourself to make some lukewarm jokes?! See, because we are so stupid and closed up and pitch black like darkest autumn night, the Lord did not call on us to tell a miraculous event like the exalted Mathael! Quite a nice difference between us and Mathael! I already feel like nothing; and you still want to joke - in this infinite exalted society!"
 
5
Says the first: "You are quite right, brother, just wash me rather crudely! I do not deserve any better! But now I'm going to punish myself for that! You know, I would enjoy the morning meal a great deal; but no, certainly not! Until this evening not a single piece of food will go over my lips! O, I will understand to punish my lazy jokes!" - With that the young pharisees goes back up the mountain and does not come to the morning meal.
 
6
But also his colleague says: "Yes, if you are fasting, I'm guilty of that by my rebuke directed towards you, and therefore I will help you to fast, so that you endure it more easily! Indeed, you have transgressed, but you immediately recognized your mistake and deserves forgiveness and proper support for your self corrective actions. Hence, I fast with you!"
 
7
Says again the first: "You shouldn't do that; since it is not right if the innocent suffers together with the guilty, as it is unfortunately very often the really most saddest case in this world!"
 
8
Says the second: "As if I didn't know that! But tell me, where these cases occur so quite often, that the innocent of my kind suffer with the guilty voluntary!"
 
9
Says the first: "Now, such cases are not really occurring that often, - but the more so those where the innocent involuntary have to suffer with the guilty, for example: An emperor who has an exceedingly large empire and is powerful by his large army, is offended by a smaller and less powerful king. The emperor could take revenge for the offence only at the king; but no, he floods the land of the king with his armies and horribly destroys it! He does not spare animals nor people; everything must die by the sword, and villages, markets and cities are destroyed by fire. How many innocent must suffer here with one guilty! I think this example will be sufficient and you will recognize that so now and then I also can be right!"
 
10
While those two staying behind exchanged their words with each other, we reached the tables and sat down to a very abundant and best prepared morning meal. Except for Myself, nobody missed the two young pharisees, who were of cause no pharisees anymore. Therefore I immediately said to Marcus that he should go to the mountain and in the name of the Lord call them to the morning meal.
 
11
Marcus quickly went to the mountain and conveyed to both My will. Thereupon both got up and followed Marcus on the foot.
 
12
When they arrived below, I said to both of them: "Simon and Gaby! Come here and sit at this table; since after the consumed meal we will see, if in this My natural instructions on the mountain regarding the going below to the morning meal, in all seriousness no spiritual, inner meaning can be found! But first let us eat and drink; since the body needs for its temporary existence its food and strength just as the soul, if it should grow in recognition and in strength of the will.
 
13
Therefore eat and drink and leave the fasting for another time! As long I'm with you as a true Father of your spirit and bridegroom for you souls, you should not fast neither bodily nor in your soul; however, if in time I will not be among you personally like now, then you will have to fast in all kind of matters!
 
14
An exaggerated and reasonless fasting is just as foolish and even can become a sin, like excessive indulgence. Who wants to live in a true order, should be moderate in everything. Since every excessiveness must lead to unfavourable consequences for body, soul and spirit! Eat and drink without scruples and be joyous and cheerful in your heart!
 
15
A joyous and cheerful heart is much more pleasing to me than a sad, plaintive, grumbling heart which is discontent with everything, thereby ungrateful and surely contains little love; since in a joyous heart resides love, good hope and undoubted confidence. If someone who is saddened by some weighty reason comes to a joyous and cheerful person, he soon also becomes joyous, his soul starts to move more freely, and the light of the spirit can illuminate the rested soul more easily, - while a sad soul shrivels substantially and finally becomes dark and sullen.
 
16
I mean, under joyousness and cheerfulness of the heart you surly will not understand a playful, impure and indecent jocularity - since such should remain far from you! -, however, such joyousness and cheerfulness, which fills the hearts of a respectable and totally healthy couple, or such felt by God -devoted people after committing good and God-pleasing actions. - Have you understood this well?"
 
17
All confirmed this and were cheerful in My joy. Thereupon from all sides the bowls were seized properly, and the large, good fishes left nothing to desire! Also the wine was consumed in good measure.