THE GREAT GOSPEL OF JOHN
VOLUME 4

Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

Jesus near Caesarea Philippi (cont.)

- Chapter 43 -
Citizen Zorel, whose property was burned, asks for compensation.


 
I
nearly haven't finished speaking, when our man, whose name was Zorel, arrived with a very groggy expression on his face, wrapped in half-burned rags and making a lot of noise.
 
2
I indicated to Julius to meet him and ask him what he wants and what he is looking for here in the afternoon. And Julius with a very serious face goes and does what I have advised him to do.
 
3
And Zorel positions himself and says with a firm voice: "I am a completely burnt down citizen from the town and only learned today, that the great Cyrenius is here, to support by rich means those who suffered from the fire. I also took the courage to come here, to firstly see for myself if Cyrenius is here, and if he really does something to support the victims. If he does something according to the honourable Roman custom, I surely will not have come here in vain; but if he, for whatever reason does nothing, he certainly will not make an exception with me! Therefore tell me, you honourable Roman, whether Cyrenius is here, and if he, as I have heard, exercises charity, so that I can go to him and beg for it!"
 
4
Says Julius: "Yes he is here and carries out significant reliefs, - but only to those who are known to him with a completely irreproachable reputation! If this is also the case with you, you will not return empty handed home! He is sitting there at the long table in the shade of the high cypresses and cedars and gives audiences in all directions. Go there and introduce yourself! But be thoroughly prepared; since he is sharp sighted as an eagle and often sums up the character of a person at first sight! He never is more critical than when distributing reliefs!"
 
5
Upon this preface Zorel starts to think deeply about what he should do under the given circumstances. After a short while he decides to limp to Cyrenius, which is in fact a silly false act by him. When arriving at Cyrenius, he bows three times touching the earth with his head. After completing the third bow he speaks with a shaking shrieking voice: "High lord and most strict ruler! I, Zorel, former petit bourgeois from the burnt down town Caesarea Philippi, begs your highest Roman strict rule, to help me an unfortunate poor victim with something small, even ordinary money and some clothes, since I do not own anything else, except these rags.
 
6
I was the fair owner of a small hut with an added share of two morgen meagre agriculture land. I had a wife, which the gods immediately took to the Elysium two years ago. I did not have any children, but I still have a maid, which is still living with me, but also without children. My moving property consisted of two sheep, one goat and one donkey, and a few bad agricultural tools and some clothing. Everything went up in smoke and flames, when I was busy extinguishing other houses.
 
7
I am now, like hundreds with me, a complete beggar; even my maid which was the only life support I had, left me, because I could not give her anything anymore, - which, however, shall be remembered! Since should I have the extraordinary luck to obtain a hut and some other property again and she wants to return, I will certainly know how to show to the loose the way away from the house!
 
8
Generally in the future of my life I will flee and despise everything what is called woman; since no woman is worth anything! They say, that I'm a stupid animal, and do not understand how to handle a woman, and that my wife has died because of grief! If this was the case, then I would not have mourned nearly for one year for her, and my maid would not have stayed out of her free will with me until the accident, despite not being able to give her a large wage.
 
9
It is in general quite a disgrace that a man is also born by woman; under the circumstances it would be nearly better if my body's mother would have been a female bear!
 
10
If the gods have arranged everything wisely, they, nevertheless, have shown a weakness with women, who does not befit them honourably! Therefore it is completely right, if Juno continuously causes Zeus a lot of trouble! It appears in general if all the godship is not yet fully baked; otherwise it would be impossible for them to make real silly, below human pranks!
 
11
I am a religious person and honour the gods because of some wise institutions in the world; but if they sometimes smell of stupidity, I'm not a friend of them anymore. Would our town have burnt down if Apollo would not have caused one or the other stupid prank?! He fell - just as our wise priests firmly state - for some unusual fine-fleshly earth nymph, perhaps even paying her a dirty visit, while in the meantime Juno or Diana played a practical joke on him, and we poor beggars must pay for this nice joke of the gods!
 
12
That a person gets weak from time to time, normally out of a shortage of sufficient experiences, is understandable. Can the weak halm help it, if blown by the wind back and forth?! But if the immense cedars, which are symbols of our dear gods, just like the halm are also bending and bowing in all directions according to the wretched earthly winds, sometimes even in a dirty direction, it is uncomprehensible, and an only a little soberly thinking person must view this as quite silly!
 
13
God to or God fro! If he acts wisely, as it is worthy for a God, he merits all admiration; but if he from time to time acts like a mortal weak person, and we poor people undeservedly coming to harm by a careless prank of the gods, then this is silly of a God, and therefore I cannot honour and praise him.
 
14
You, high ruler and actually self a little of a half-god, will surely recognize, that only the gods can be blamed for my misfortune - especially Apollo who fell in love!? I therefore beg you, to replace the damage!"