THE GREAT GOSPEL OF JOHN
VOLUME 4

Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

Jesus near Caesarea Philippi (cont.)

- Chapter 62 -
On the justified protection of property.


1
(The Lord:) "You are using of course here your poverty and the poverty of many other people as protection, and want to use the required portion of right from the divine property protection law for you, so that you as a hungry and thirsty person can take in an urgent emergency without sinning against the said law, to feed yourself. I can tell you from a most reliable source, that Jehovah, when giving laws to the Israelites through Moses, thoroughly thought about this need and impressed it on the people to also regard this as a bylaw, by saying: 'You should not prevent the donkey, working on your field, to take his food from there, and the mouth of the ox pulling the plough, should not be laced up! However, when carrying the bound sheaves into your shed, do not collect the ears which were left behind, so that the poor can collect them for their need!' Everyone should always be ready, to help the poor, and who says: 'I'm hungry!', do not let him move on, until he is fed!' Behold, this is also a law of Jehovah, and I think by that, also to poverty sufficient thought was given.
 
2
But that not every person born on this earth can become a property owner, is obvious from the things of nature. The first few people could of course easily divide the ownership of land among themselves, since at that stage the whole earth was ownerless; but now the earth, especially the fertile land, is inhabited by countless many people, and among these are those families who have worked the land in the sweat of their faces for a long time and have purified and fertilized it under many life threatening dangers, and one cannot just dispute their assigned land ownership, but one must strongly protect it for the sake of the general welfare, so that the share of the land is not taken away from those who have blessed it by their diligence, because they own it not only for themselves, but for hundred other people who have to work the land on an annual basis and who cannot own any land.
 
3
Who owns a lot of land, must have many servants, who, like the owner himself, live from the same land. Would it be good for the servants, if each of them would be given an equal large piece of land? Could one man work it properly?! And if he could do it for some time, - but what happens if he would become ill and weak? Isn't it then by far not better and wiser, if only a few own something unmoveable and have store rooms and stock, rather than all people, yes even the newborn children, would be nothing else than individual land owners, by which institution in the end, and this most certainly, nobody would have any supplies in time of need?!
 
4
Further I asked your mathematical mind: If there would be no property protection laws in societies of people, I would like to see your face, if others came along who were never keen to work, and took away your little supplies to feed themselves?! Would you not shout at them and say: 'Why haven't you worked and collected?!' And if they have answered you: 'Because we did not feel like it and we knew for certain that our neighbours are working!', would you not regard a protection law as highly effective and wish that such loose criminals would be punished by some sort of court and finally be forced to serve and to work, and would you not wish that the supplies taken away from you to be returned? See, all this is also demanded by the pure reason of man!
 
5
If you then really regard your mathematical principles as the best in the world, walk from here a thousand field-paths to the east; there you will still find a lot of entirely ownerless land in high and wide stretching mountains! There you can immediately and unhindered take possession of many hours long and wide land, and no person will dispute your ownership. You are even allowed to take a few women and some servants with you, to establish in this somewhat distant mountainous region a real state, and in thousand years no person will disturb you in your property; you will only have to get rid of a few bears, wolves and hyenas, otherwise they could disturb you somewhat at nighttime. Along this way you would at least experience first hand the considerable difficulties with what the owners of these lands had to cope, until the land was finally brought to the current level of culture! If you would have tried everything yourself, you also would have recognized, how unfair it would be, to take away the ownership from the primordial land owners and hand it over to some sluggish and work-shy crooks.
 
6
See, because you are not a particular friend of work and even less of asking, the old property protection law was always an embarrassment for you, and hence you took the law into your own hands, where you could take something without being seen and without being punished! Only the two morgen big field including the hut you have bought, but also with money which you have not earned by working, but which you have taken from a rich merchant in Sparta in a very clever manner! Now, there was a time in Sparta when stealing was allowed, if it was carried out in a very smart way; but nowadays also in Sparta does exists since many years the same property protection laws like here, and thus you have completely unlawfully stolen from this merchant and made him a few pounds of gold lighter. And with that you have as a fugitive bought yourself the said piece of land including the hut; but everything else what you have owned, you stole in Caesarea Philippi and the adjacent neighbourhood!
 
7
But woe him who dared to take something from you; you would have preached him the to you so sickening property protection law in a manner, which would surely not been a disgrace to a Roman bailiff! Or would it pleases you, if someone would harvest the ripe fruit of your land, just because he is completely poor?! See, what is not alright to you, will also not be alright to someone else, if you with your mathematical true and correct life- and upbringing principles would stole his harvest! However, if the matter can practically only be like I have described it to you just now, do you still regard your life principles as the only true and undisputable correct ones?"
 
8
Here Zorel is completely puzzled, since he sees himself entirely overmastered and defeated.