|Chapter 60||The Great Gospel of John|
At Sychar. One surprise after another, and wonders upon wonders. The Lord, as guest of the merchant, serves the latter at the old Esau castle, with celestial fare brought to the newly-created hall by celestial servants. ‘I am wealthier than you’.
1. After these My comments we have reached the courtyard of the castle with measured step, even as his entire domestic force come out to meet the merchant, absolutely astonished and lost for words, with their governor taking the word and saying: 'Lord, lord, this has been some state of affairs! None of our cooking staff can get any food ready: everything goes wrong! We wanted to at least set the tables with fruit, wine and a proper amount of bread; yet all the rooms are so thoroughly locked that we could not open a single door even with all force! What are we going to do?
2. The merchant, half surprised himself and half enraged, says, 'This is what it is like when I just set foot outside; nothing but tumult upon tumult! What are the cooks up to? Have I not often hosted ten thousand guests, yet all went well; now there are hardly a thousand of them and there is chaos everywhere! But, - what am I seeing?! Youths looking out from all the windows; my castle is crowded with people and you and your subordinates say that all the doors of my castle are locked?! How now? Are you lying or just beautifying your dawdling, or if the rooms are locked, who locked them?
3. The governor is stuck for a reply for his lord, and this castle-lord's entire large domestic team are suffering great embarrassment and consternation on account of his visible rage; but all are at wits end.
4. But I say to this merchant: 'Dear friend, suffer it to be so for now! Behold, when earlier on your servants and guards came to Me in the grove, sent by you to inquire about who I am and what I am on about with such big crowd, I as Lord desired of you to give us a good lunch. You were quick to comply, even though you didn't know who he was who took it upon himself to ask lunch for so many.
5. At first your servants and you took Me for a prince of Rome, and hence you were at even greater pains to accommodate My request; but when after much instruction on our part you were finally brought to recognise that I am the Messiah, you were happy in your heart and thought even more to host Me and the whole company to the best of your ability, so that I would be pleased to stay with you pending the gathering of your martial host from central and east Asia, against the Romans, so as to under My command drive from God's land all foes, who are all heathens and do not believe in the One true God!
6. After you had made up your mind about that, I too secretly decided on something, and that is that although in your own house, you shall be My guest and not I yours! I therefore commanded My splendid servants, and behold, everything is in prime readiness and you shall partake of the truest heavenly fare at My side!
7. The fruit of your gardens however and whatever your kitchen has produced serve to yonder abusers and big-mouths from Sychar who are still beating about in your grove with uncontrollable rage at not also being counted among the invited! - I mean, you should have no problem with that; because behold, when I am conscious of someone's right will, then I already accept same as the completed deed! With you I had discerned such will, and so I released you from the costly works, since I am wealthier than you and therefore do not want to be sated by you but want you to be sated by Me!'
8. At this the merchant became wide-eyed, saying after a while of deep thought: 'Lord, this for a sinner is too much all at once! I cannot grasp the miracle in its full extent and depth! If you were just a man like me this would be impossible to you, because I saw no carriers in your company. From where then in a natural way should you have obtained food, most miraculously?! I had earlier on indeed noted and still do, certain most beautiful male servants - with perhaps female servants among them - in your company; but whence then came these? The chambers of my castle are many, and these mostly exceedingly spacious, ten thousand people being capable of being accommodated therein with ease. But now I am seeing these most beautiful servants looking down from all the windows! Hence I ask: whence did they get there?'
9. Say I: 'Friend, when you are about to travel abroad to buy and sell, you too take servants with you according to need; and behold, so do I! I have exceedingly many of them - you could hardly ever contemplate their number. When therefore I take to the road, why should My servants and workers stay home on such occasion?!
10. Says the merchant: 'Lord, this is completely in order; but I would just like to know whence you and your glorious servants have come; this is what intrigues me'.
11. Say I: 'Let us first partake of lunch, and the time for your further instruction shall still present itself. But for now we have said enough, and it is time for rest and sustenance. Let us therefore proceed to the big hall which occupies an easterly position in this castle and is out of our view, because we are right now in the western end, from where the great wing of this castle cannot be seen!'
12. Here the merchant almost faints from admiration and after a while of exceeding astonishment says, 'Lord, now this thing is getting almost too marvellously thick for me! There had indeed once been an easterly wing to this Esau castle, yet at least two centuries would have lapsed into irrevocable history since the existence of such wing; but I and my predecessors hardly know a thing about it. How then can You speak of the great hall of this castle's easterly wing?'
13. Say I: 'Say this only if you cannot in fact find an easterly wing to your castle; but if you find one then remember that with God all things are possible! But be silent about it with My company, because for such acts My surroundings are not ready yet.'
14. Says the merchant: 'Truly, now I burn with the desire to see this easterly wing to my castle, of which my distant ancestors hardly heard a thing! Some of the foundations can indeed still be seen here and there, but that is about all I have inherited from this purportedly gloriously former castle-wing.' - Only now does the merchant hastily move forward, and we follow.
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