Part Four--Upper Galilee
(Thursday even, the twenty-third day of March)
ND foregoing any attempt to testify inside the other synagogues of central Galilee, seeking a mat on which to rest my weary head, I entered into Genez`areth after four sun-lite days. For this is the land of treasure, and my mother's home is a treasured house indeed.
02 And on Thursday even, the twenty-third day of March, it was spread throughout my village that I was in my mother's house, and many having heard the false rumor that I baptized like John came together, so that there was no room; no, not even at the door.
03 And knowing why they so thought wrongly of me, straightaway I spoke to them the gentle words of comfort in an attempt to reveal to them the glory of John, and the differences between his baptismal rite; a physical cleansing; and the true meaning of forgiveness unto repentance of sin.
04 And renewing the words of Isaias, least they think that I had received a double share of spirit, I saith unto them: 'Be comforted, be comforted my people, saith your God. Speak ye to the heart of thy people, and cry to her: for her evil has come to an end, her iniquity is forgiven: And because John has been resurrected up, she hath received of the hand of the Lord double for her sins'.* And correcting my wrathful testimonial, I proclaimed this to be 'an acceptable year of our Lord'.*
05 And never having heard these words of Isaias before, they were so lifted up and thirsty for spiritual salvation* that they came to me, bringing Leban, a faint-hearted young man, who was carried by four of my brethren, and fellow tribesmen, Jacob, and Yesaf' and Judah, and Simeon.
06 And when the four could not offer him unto me for a baptism, the sons of Israel uncovered the roof of my mother's humble house; and opening it, they let down the mat wherein lay the faint-hearted young man.
07 And having accepted the false news that I was 'he who is to come', coming down from Jerusalem, there were some devouring priests sitting there, in the first place which should have been my mother's, who were responsible for spreading the false rumor that I performed the Levitical ritual of the rite of the leper* while impersonating the high priesthood of John.
08 And seizing this opportunity to demonstrate to them the redeeming power of the word, when I had seen the people's determination and good will toward their fellow man, I would not forsake them. And with renewed strength and zeal, I saith unto the faint-hearted young man: 'Son of Jacob, thy infirmities are taken away, for the Lord has already redeemed you:* For even grown men faint but the Lord does not'.* Arise, take up your mat, and walk.*
09 And believing that John had been resurrected from the dead, and that a double share of his spirit had migrated into me, they accused me of making atonement for sin, saying in the Hebrew negative: Why doth this Galilean teacher speak thus? He profanes the high priesthood and the authority of the Lamb of God who did take away the sins of the world. For who is authorized to atone for sin but the Lord's Anointed only.*
10 And with a broken and contrite spirit, I presently knew in my heart, that they so thought evil against me because I had shown compassion toward the good Samaritan in the days past, and I saith unto them: Why think you these blasphemous things? For who is like John the Rock that you should compare me to him. For I know not any one as holy as my lord. But that the scripture might be fulfilled which said: 'He shall be called the Priest of the Lord: and the Holy One of our God'.*
11 And no longer intimidated by their long black robes, I saith unto them with renewed strength: Which words of comfort are harder for you to accept? to say to the faint-hearted: Thy infirmities are taken away? or to say: Arise, take up thy mat, and walk?
12 But that you all may know that I have not received a double share of Elias' spirit. And that I am neither John nor Jesus, and that the sons of Israel hath power on earth to redeem his neighbour,* without ritual of any kind, again turning to the faint-hearted young man, I saith unto him: Son of Israel, I say to thee: Be of good courage,* arise, take up thy mat, and go home!
13 'For he that is near you shall not, say: You are sick. And the people that dwell herein, have all had their sins taken away,* through the death and resurrection of John'.*
14 And these words I spoke for I had not yet received a double share of the Holy Spirit, for it was not yet the time for my second visitation. That is to say, my second baptism had not yet occurred.
15 And following my example of courage, overcoming his own fears, immediately upon hearing me a second time, Leban the Courageous arose; and with the renewed strength of a lion, taking up his mat, went his way in the sight of all; so that all wondered how it were possible for me to baptize without using one solitary drop of water; and except for the devouring priests, all glorified me, saying: We never heard the like, not even from the Pharisees who are teachers and doctors of the law.
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