Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

The Lord on the Mount of Olives. (cont.) Gospel of John, Chapter 8

- Chapter 126 -
The right education of children according to their talents. The importance of the inner development for the awakening of the spirit.

said: "Nothing is easier than that: because - as I have shown you earlier - there must be all kinds of differences among men, so that one needs the other and one person can serve the other in various ways.
If all people were equally diligent and had the same talents, then very soon they would have no need at all of each other. Therefore, already children of the same parents have different talents and abilities. The educator should however be able to evaluate these correctly and then instruct the children in accordance with their talents and abilities. Then they will all be guided to the right goal.
But if, despite of the different talents and abilities of your children, you want all of them to become for example a tailor or a weaver, then of course you will find only true diligence and zeal with those who have a talent for that which they are learning. Later when they become independent people, such children will not be doing much for the benefit of their fellowmen since they, without the right talent, will never be able to be as efficient in what they have learnt with great difficulty as those who already from birth had the right talent for it.
Thus, it is understandable that the cause for the fact that one child is more zealous than the other lies mainly with the parents and other teachers of the young. The grapevine brings forth the grape and the fig tree the fig, and both fruits taste sweet, but if you treat the fig tree in the same manner as the grapevine, it will bring forth only few fruits, and if you let the grapevine grow like the fig tree without pruning it, then the grapevine will soon wither and produce only few grapes. Do you understand this well?"
Now the magician said: "O Lord, I thank You for this important and wonderful explanation. Yes, here man can realize how blind and ignorant he is with all his presumed wisdom. What are so many worldly wise men imagining? And at the end they do not see the forest anymore between the trees. If man would only be willing to open his eyes a little, it is so obvious. Every child has clearly a different stature. Often one is taller than the other, one is rougher, another very gentle and delicate, and so only outwardly there are already great differences between children of the same parents. Then how different will they be inwardly.
Should the external different characteristics not be sufficient for thinking man to conclude from this that there must be also differences in a person's talents and abilities, so that a wise teacher and master can point out to man his talents, helping him with advice and deed to develop the present talents in a noble and successful manner? Oh no, that is not sufficient at all to the blind wise man, such as I myself have been and still am. He wants all men to be the same. They all must think and act like him and be willing to carry loads for which they have no strength. And so, it is not seldom that people are made into fools instead of wise men, who are not useful to themselves nor to anybody else. I thank you again, o Lord, from the depth of my heart for this lesson, for these we will apply first to our own children in a fruitful manner."
Thereupon Agricola said: "Yes, this is indeed a golden lesson of which also we Romans will make use of, and I in particular, because first of all I have children myself and secondly the young people that I shall be taking from here to Rome will be educated as their talents will show me. Of course, a specific basic education will have to precede for all, like: reading of scriptures, writing and arithmetic, and also instruction in the languages which are spoken by people all over the Roman empire, for without this essential knowledge not much can be made of man. After that, every man must be educated according to his greatest talent. Lord, is this correct?"
I said: "Sure, for all men must first be able to walk, grip with their hands, see with their eyes and hear with their ears, before they are capable of performing any practical work. And so, men need the basic education that you mentioned, with the help of which it is easier to come to the true wisdom of life. But at the same time, one should pay attention that men should not make this basic education and the learning thereof as the main issue, and that they will not spend all their life studying scriptures and languages, forgetting in this way the inner development that awakens the spirit in man. Because finally, only in this lies the whole value of life. For, what would be the gain for man if he could write and understand all the scriptures in the world and could speak all languages of men, but would harm his soul?
Therefore, before everything, seek God's Kingdom on Earth, seek it within you, and having God's Kingdom within you, everything else will be given to you. But without God's Kingdom man would have as good as nothing, even if he possessed all the treasures of the Earth and the knowledge of all the worldly wise.
The one who possesses God's Kingdom in his heart has everything. He has the highest and deepest knowledge within him, and eternal life and the power and might thereof, and this is surely more than everything that men on this world have ever considered great and most valuable.
Tomorrow in Emmaus, you will all be witnessing what it means to be a perfect man. I tell you: a truly perfect man can do more than all the other imperfect men on the entire Earth.
Therefore, strive to become perfect men. If you become that, then you are everything and you have everything.
But I tell you also that attaining to the Kingdom of God needs violence. Those who want to possess it must literally pull it to themselves. Those who will not do that, will have it also difficult already here on Earth to fully make it as their living possession."