Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

The Lord and his adversary. Gospel of John, Chapter 9

- Chapter 205 -
Joseph refuses to help a Greek.

fter about 1 hour the tongues were coming loose and soon it became very lively in the hall.
I related to the guests a few events that took place during My youth, which was greatly enjoyed by all those who were present. The converted Pharisees and scribes who were present, confirmed everything. One of them even related briefly the event when I as a twelve-year-old greatly amazed all the high priests, elders, scribes and Pharisees in the temple with My wisdom. And he added the remark that at that time for a few years already they certainly were of the opinion in the temple that I might be the promised Messiah. But after that, they did not hear anything from Me and they thought that I might have died as a too early awakened boy, or that the Essenes had come to know Me and had taken Me up into their schools, of course with the permission of My earthly parents. And so this matter was slowly slumbering, and only now during the last time has woken up again.
When the Pharisees had finished this story, also John, James and also the other disciples related a few things from My youth. James told the story about the wonderful manner in which Mary became pregnant, about My birth and escape to Egypt, when I stayed there for 3 years, and also many things that happened there, of which all were greatly amazed. Many were envying James of being so fortunate to be with Me all the time.
Then Lazarus said: "Lord and Master, although it rejoices me now indescribably that I, with all my heart I may call myself a friend of Yours, but I still would be more happy if I would have been like James, who simply saw You coming from the opened Heavens to this Earth and who was at Your side all the time. If only I had been James."
I said: "Indeed, James is entirely a happy man, and is also often envied by the angels of Heaven, but only in the most noble sense. But for that, he has no advantage over another person. His worth lies merely in the fact that he hears My word, believes it, and out of love for Me, he is acting accordingly. And whoever is doing that, has completely the same privilege as My dear brother James.
But listen now to a rare event from the time after My 12th year, when they had heard nothing exceptional of Me.
As a carpenter I always have helped My foster-father Joseph very zealously in his work, and wherever I co-operated, the work was always very good and even excellent.
However, at one time, a Greek, who was a gentile came to Joseph in order to have a good deal with him concerning the construction of a totally new house and a big pig stall.
But Joseph was a pure and strict Jew and said to the rich Greek: 'Look, we have a law which forbids us to have relations with gentiles and to do them favors whatsoever. If you would be a Jew I easily could do business with you, but because you are a dark gentile, I cannot grant your request. And a pig stall I certainly cannot accept at any time, even if you were a Jew.'
Then, being very excited the gentile said to Joseph: 'Well, you certainly are a strange man. Indeed, I am a Greek, but I myself and my whole family have already for a long time thrown our many gods overboard into the lake, and we do believe now, just like you, in the same God, and have already received many undeniable favors from Him. But the fact that we do not want to accept the circumcision is because we do not want to submit to your insatiable temple, but only to God the Lord, who is now nowhere else being more profaned and dishonored except in your temple, of which we gentiles know the wicked institution better than you Jews who are becoming completely dull by your temple. And if your only true God lets His sun also shine over us gentiles, then why do you despise us?'
Then Joseph said: 'You are mistaken if you think that we Jews are despising you, however we have a commandment of Moses which forbids us to have relations with gentiles, and also forbids us to do business with them. If a pure Jew would do that, he will lose his purity for a long time. And look, I am still a Jew who, since childhood strictly has kept this whole law and who will now in his old days not start to sin against it.'
The Greek said: 'Good my friend. I also will not tempt you in it, because me too I am as old as you are and I know you already longer than you can imagine. But if you observe this law concerning us so strictly nowadays, then how come that you were not so particular when you, because of the persecution of your co-religionists were escaping to us gentiles in Egypt with your young wife and your children?
Look friend, your laws are all good and true, but they also have to be understood in the spirit of the inner truth, and only then they have to be applied in life. The one who only binds himself to the letter of the law is still far away from the way of truth. When you were in Egypt you were working for us gentiles, and despite that, you remained a very pure Jew. Then why would you now become impure?
During that time you had a most wonderful little son who we as gentiles, because of His wonderful qualities, have honored Him almost like a God. What has become of that child? If He has not died in the mean time He must now be a grown up young Man.'
As Joseph recognized the Greek now, he said somewhat embarrassed: 'Yes, listen my friend. Indeed, you have proven a great friendship to me in Ostracine, and it would now be unreasonable for me not to give in to your desire. But because I am a strict Jew I still will talk first to the elder of this town and then act according to his advice.'
Then the Greek said: 'But as far as I know, in Ostracine you always deliberated with your little son when you planned to undertake something. If that son still lives, He surely will be wiser than He was at that time. Do you now no more ask His advice, if ever - as said - He is still living?'