Section I -- The Returner
ND returning to the valley of Hula, and on Thursday even, the first day of April, and coming to my disciples again, I saw the pharisees disputing with them, and a multitude of Canaaneans about them. And I asked them, and saith unto them: What do you question about among you?
02 And a Sheik called Simon the merchant, answering me, said: Master John, I have come all the way from Damascus, and have brought my dear son Timothy, [who is Tholomew or Thomas in the Greek; but in the Hebrew, Talmay], to thee, having a troubling spirit. Who, wheresoever he taketh him, dasheth him, and he foameth, and gnasheth with the teeth, and pineth away, so that he goeth into a trance. And when I learnt that you were not here to help my innocent son, I spoke to thy disciples to cast him out in your name, but they could not.
03 And answering him, I saith unto my disciples: O unbelieving generation, how long shall I put up with your ignorance? Bring him to me.
04 And they brought the boy to me. And when I had seen him, immediately the spirit troubled him. And being thrown down upon the ground, he rolled about foaming at the mouth.
05 And I asked his father: How long a time is it since this hath happened unto him?
06 And Simon his father said: From his infancy, and oftentimes Lucifer hath cast him into the fire and into the water's of sheol to destroy him. But if thou canst do any thing? help us, by having compassion on my dear son.
07 And I saith unto the father of lament: If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
08 And immediately looking up toward heaven, the father of the boy crying out, with tears in his eyes said: I do believe: Dear God, help my unbelief.
09 And when I saw the mob running toward the epileptic boy with stones in hand, in order to cast him into the sea, taking some salt in my hands, and sprinkling him, I saith unto him in hast: Troubling spirit, I command thee: In the name of John! Go out of him; and enter not any more into him.
10 And crying out, and greatly tearing at him, the troubling spirit went out of him, and fainting from exhaustive fright, he became as dead, so that many believing in the power of John's name, said: He is dead.
11 And knowing the great emotional strain that the boy was subjected to, I lifted him up in order to carry him home; and he arose.
12 And presently all the people seeing what I had just done, were astonished and struck with fear; and running to me, they adored me as The Returner.
Section II--A Discourse On Innocence
13 And taking Timothy the innocent in my arms, I set him down in the midst of them, lest some worm cast the first stone. Whom when I had embraced, I saith unto them: Whosoever shall receive one such innocent child as this, in John's name, receiveth me. And whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but Him that sent me.
14 And remembering their fear of water and how they thought that I had miraculous power over life and death, threatening them, I saith unto them: Whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones who believes in John; it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his head, and he were cast into the sea of sheol where no man doth ascend.
15 And if thy hand scandalize thee, cut it off: It is better for thee to enter into life, maimed, than having two healthy hands then to go into the waters of sheol where the sea dragon dieth not, and my fire is not extinguished.
16 And if thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off. It is better for thee to enter into life lame, than having two healthy feet, only to be cast into the hell of unquenchable fire: Where my fire dieth not, and my anger is not extinguished.
17 And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out. It is better for thee to enter into life blind in one eye, than having two healthy eyes, only to be cast into the hell of fire, where worms dieth not, and my fire is not extinguished.
18 For every innocent child shall be sprinkled with salt: And every innocent victim shall be baptized with water, for salt is good. But if thy body become defiled; wherewith will you preserve your soul? Have salt in you, and have communion among you.
Section III--A Discourse on Service
19 And we came again to Thelia by the sea. And when we were nearing Simon's house, [not Simon the betrayer, but the house of Simon the believer, the Sheik of Damascus], I asked my disciples and saith unto them: What kinds of sicknesses did you treat of in your journey?
20 But they all held their peace, for along the way to Simon's house they had been disputing among themselves, which of them was the better healer.
21 And when I had come to Simon's house, my disciples secretly asked me, saying: Why could we not cast out the evil spirit that was in the boy?
22 And answering I saith unto them who did not use John's name: I know of no other way for that kind of emotional illness to go out, but by love and by prayer.
23 And after sitting down to eat supper with Simon and his son Timothy, I called the eleven, and in an attempt to explain the alpha and omega of Wisdom, I saith unto them: If any man desire to be first, he shall be the last of all, and the minister of all, for in my travels to Sidon, I learnt from a woman called Elisabeth that the first is last, and the last shall be first.
Section IV--The Road to Damascus
24 And rather innocently, Judas asked me, saying: Master, on the road to Damascus, we met a blind man who followeth not The Way; for the blind man is Saul the persecutor, and he was struck by lightning because he carryeth a staff. And when we came to Damascus, we also saw Ananias the miracle man, who is called by the Greeks, Andrew the Apostle ; and they bring to him the blind man, and they besought him that he would touch him in John's name. And we forbade him because he also followeth not us. But taking the blind man by the hand, he led him out of the town; and spitting upon his eyes, laying his hands on him, he asked him if he saw any thing. And looking up, he said: I see men as if they were trees, walking. After that again he laid his hands upon his eyes, and he began to see, and his sight was restored, so that he saw all things clearly. And he sent him out, baptizing him in John's name, saying: Paul of Tarsus: Go ye into all thy lands and if thou enter into a new town, tell everyone what the Baptista' (which is being interpreted in the Latin, the Messias), hath done for you through the life and resurrection of John.
25 But I saith unto Judas: Do not forbid him. For there is no man that doth a miracle in John's name, who can soon speak ill of me. For he that is not against John, is with me. For whosoever shall give you to drink a cup of water in John's name, because you belong to my ministry: Truly I say unto you, he shall not lose his heavenly reward. And neither shall the restrained man who was converted; for without his Gamalian staff, he is no longer a burden to the people.
Section V--Embracing Baptism
26 And embracing baptism, the Canaaneans brought to me other young children, that I might sprinkle them with salt and with water. But my disciples rebuked them that brought them to me to be baptized.
27 And when I saw that my own disciples did not understand my discourse on innocence, I was very much displeased with them; and commanding them, I saith unto them: Permit the little children to come unto me for a baptism with holy water, and forbid then not! for such is made the Kingdom of God.
28 Truly I say unto you as well, whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as an innocent child, shall not enter into it, for all children are born into this world without sin. And embracing the children, and laying my hands upon the innocent ones, I baptized them using the sacred name of John.
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