Chapter 21 Three Days in the Temple

The beginning of the discussion on the third day.

Joram’s’ unsuccessful attempt to break off the theme begun. The chief-priest’s objection becoming apparent; he is refuted by the Boy-Jesus.

1. When both of them had also taken their places, then the discussion of the third day began.

2. At the sign from the Roman who had become very well disposed towards me, I came forward as the first, and turning to Joram, I said: “We are now assembled in this conference hall for the third day! The first business that you should show me, as already proposed yesterday, which passages out of the prophet Isaiah would, in your opinion, not fit Me as well as any other which you think might be the Coming Messiah!”

3. Said Joram: “Yes, my loveliest Boy, that would be all right, but the wording of the passages have long slipped my mind, and it would truly embarrass me now to look up the exact text, especially with you who with your gigantic memory, seem to have imprinted in your head, the whole Scripture word for word! Therefore let us drop the matter, and I say: ‘In consequence of all we have seen and heard from you, we will let you pass as the promised Messiah Who has already come! But to look up all the numerous passages in the Scriptures would take up too much time and trouble!”

4. I said: “No, My friend, that will not do: you would like to find a good way of getting rid of Me: for if there be a Messiah or not, is indifferent to you, if only you can live well and collect heaps of gold, silver and all kinds of delightful precious stones for yourselves. But the question now is of the very greatest seriousness: Am I He, or must you still wait for Another?

5. If I am He, the Kingdom of GOD is already come unto you, and you will know from the Scriptures what you have to do, if you are of good will, If however I am not He, according to your opinion and proved so by the prophet - well, then you may persist in your old sins, until death becomes your final fate! But as the looking-up of suitable passages takes you so long, and gives you such trouble, give Me the books and I will save you both time and trouble.”

6. Thereupon the chief-priest said: “Of course you are going to look up all those which fit you best!”

7. I said: “Very well, then you look up for Me those that perhaps fit Me the least!”

8. The chief-priest: “Well! We will oblige you at once - give me the book!”

9. The book was given into the hand of the chief-priest and he began to look about in it with an air of importance, but he could not find anything appropriate, for some time. At last he thought he had found something, for in his face a certain kind of satisfaction was to be seen; but behind it, the chief-priestly haughtiness also began soon to mount higher than the crest of an angry turkey-cock. With a certain kingly expression he put the open book before himself upon the table, and triumphantly he literally bored into the test with his forefinger and spoke:

10. (The chief-priest): “There! Now come along, you young Messiah of Galilee, read that passage, and tell me if that also fits your person!”

11. I said: “How is it that you call upon Me to read the text out of your book? The Spirit that lives in Me knew of it long before it was written down by Isaiah. And you have just opened the very one for My victory over you, where verily I should not have been able to find a better one.”

12. Hereat the chief-priest arose quite angrily and said burning with rage: “What do you say? That you knew about this text even before the prophet wrote it down? I warn you, you Galilean Boy, of too great a Spirit of mischief! You are only twelve years old, and yet you pretend to have known this text before the prophet? Are you mad?

13. If you speak of your soul or your spirit - which is always one and the same - it is surely not possible for it to be older than its body, which, according to the testimony of Moses, had already to be there before the soul could enter into it.

14. Does not Moses say: ‘God formed the first man out of clay, and breathed into him through his nostrils?’ Does it not clearly follow from that, that everyone’s body, being the completed habitation of the soul, must be there prior to the soul itself? For what and where would the soul be without the body? Therefore consider well, you young Galilean, where you are standing, and before whom!”

15. I said: “Apart from the fact that you are a chief-priest here through worldly protection, and not through a higher spiritual vocation, and apart from the fact that we are assembled here, in the old conference-hall of the Temple, I yet tell you quite openly to your face, that you judge about spiritual matters much worse than a blind man does about colours!

16. If GOD breathed a living soul into the completed body of Adam through his nostrils, the soul evidently was in GOD before, and could not have been elsewhere, because GOD is infinite in His Being, and nothing can, strictly speaking, be outside Him.

17. However God Himself being eternal, cannot contain in Himself anything temporal and passing, or just coming into being, but what is within HIM is eternal, like unto Himself, He can only place outside of Himself, so that they can be seen, in order that they may obtain a natural independence; and when He does that, then is this issue from Him an act of creation and for that being who is a thought of GOD, placed as it were in freedom external to HIM, through His Power and Wisdom - there first begins the period (or rather state) of permitted self-activity, for the acquiring of a permanent, independent existence, as it were outside GOD, even although actually within Him.

18. But if that is the case, how should I in My spirit and in God not have been here before the prophet wrote his texts?!

19. Besides that, you are still greatly mistaken if you think that spirit and soul are one and the same thing. Man’s soul is a spiritual product out of matter, because in matter there is only a spirituality under judgment, waiting for its deliverance the pure spirit has however never been under judgment, and every man has his spirit given to him by GOD, which carries out, does, guides all in the man-to-be, but unites itself into a unity only when the soul, from out its own will, has completely passed over into the recognised order of God, and has thus become an entirely pure spirit.

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