484. At the Temple: "The Kingdom of God Does Not Come with Pomp".
3rd September 1946.
Jesus goes into the Temple. He is with His apostles and with a very large number of disciples, whom I know at least by sight. And behind them all, but united to the group, as if they wanted to be considered as followers of the Master, there are new faces, all unknown to me, with the exception of the shrewd one of the Greek from Antioch. He is speaking to other people, perhaps Gentiles like himself, and while Jesus and His disciples go on and enter the Court of Israel, he stops in the Court of the Gentiles with those with whom he is conversing.
Of course, Jesus' entrance into the overcrowded Temple does not pass unnoticed. A fresh murmur rises, as if it were a disturbed beehive drowning the voices of the doctors teaching under the Porch of the Gentiles. The lessons are interrupted as though by magic, and the pupils of the scribes run in all directions with the news of Jesus' arrival, so that when He goes through the inner enclosure into the Court of Israel, several Pharisees, scribes and priests are scattered about watching Him. But they do not say anything to Him while He prays and they do not even go near Him. They watch Him only.
Jesus goes back to the Court of the Gentiles. They follow Him. And the train of the ill-intentioned people increases in number, like that of the curious and well meaning ones. And words uttered under one's breath spread among the crowds. Now and again a louder voice can be heard saying: "Are you convinced now that He would come? He is a just man. He could not fail to come to the feast."
Or: "Why has He come? To mislead the people further?" Or: "Are you happy now? Can you see where He is now? You have asked for Him so keenly!"
Isolated remarks at once choked in throats by the meaningful glances of the disciples and followers who threaten the rancorous enemies with their very love. Ironical poisonous voices of enemies who squirt poison and then quiet down because they are afraid of the crowd. And the crowds are silent after an impressive demonstration in favour of the Master, because they are afraid of the reprisals of the mighty ones. The realm of reciprocal fear...
The only one who is not afraid is Jesus. He walks slowly and with stateliness towards the place where He wants to go, somewhat absorbed but ready to come out of His absorption to caress a child offered to Him by a mother, or to smile at an old man who greets and blesses Him.
In the Porch of the Gentiles, standing in the middle of a group of disciples, there is Gamaliel. With his arms folded across his chest, in his magnificent snow-white very wide garment which looks even whiter against the thick deep red carpet laid under his feet, Gamaliel seems to be engrossed in thought, with bowed head, and not to be interested in what is happening. His disciples, on the contrary, are most excited with keen curiosity. One of them, who is very short, climbs on to a high stool, to have a better view.
But when Jesus is opposite Gamaliel, the rabbi looks up and his deep eyes under his forehead of a thinker stare for a moment at Jesus' peaceful face. An inquisitive, tormenting and tormented glance. Jesus perceives it and turns round. He looks at him. The two flashes: that of the very dark eyes and that of the sapphire ones, meet. Jesus' eyes are meek, open to being scrutinised; Gamaliel's are impenetrable, anxious to know and to get to the heart of the mystery of truth - the Galilean Rabbi is in fact a mystery to him - but he is pharisaically jealous of his thought, so that he is closed to every survey which does not concern God. They look at each other just for a moment. Then Jesus goes on and Gamaliel lowers his head again, without listening to the frank anxious questions of some of the people around him, or to the sly spiteful ones of others: "Is it Him, master? What do you think of Him?", "Well! What is your opinion? Who is He?"
Jesus goes to the spot which He has chosen. Oh! there are no carpets under His feet! He is not even under the porch. He is simply leaning against a column, standing on the top step, at the end of the porch. It is the lowest spot. Around Him there are the apostles, disciples, followers and curious people; farther back there are Pharisees, scribes, priests, rabbis. Gamaliel remains where he was.
Jesus begins to preach for the hundredth time the advent of the Kingdom of God and the preparation for it. And I could say that He repeats the same concepts, enhanced in power, which He expounded almost in the same place, twenty years previously. He speaks of Daniel's prophecy, of the Precursor foretold by the prophets, He recalls the star of the Wise Men, the slaughter of the Innocents. And after these preliminary recollections to demonstrate the signs of Christ's coming on to the Earth, in order to confirm His coming, He mentions the present signs which characterise Christ Teacher, as the others previously characterised the Advent of Christ Incarnate, that is, He recalls the contradiction which coexists with Him, the death of the Precursor, and the miracles which take place continuously, confirming that God is with His Christ. He never attacks His antagonists. He does not even seem to see them. He speaks to confirm His followers in their faith, to enlighten on the truth those who, through no fault of theirs, are still in complete ignorance of the truth...
A hoarse voice is heard from the far end of the crowd: "How can God be in Your miracles if You work them on forbidden days? Even yesterday You cured a leper on the Bethphage road."
Jesus looks at His interrupter but does not reply. He continues to speak of the liberation from the domination which oppresses men, and of the establishment of the eternal, invincible, glorious, perfect Kingdom of Christ.
"And when will that happen?" asks a scribe sneeringly. And he adds: "We know that You want to make Yourself king. But a king like You would be the ruin of Israel. Where is Your royal power? Where are Your troops, Your treasures, Your alliances? You are mad!" And many like him shake their heads laughing and mocking at Him.
A Pharisee says: "Don't behave like that. In that way we will never know what He means by kingdom, which laws it will have and how it will reveal itself. What? Was the ancient kingdom of Israel perfect at once as in the days of David and Solomon? Don't you remember the many uncertainties and hard times before the royal splendour of the perfect king? In order to have the first king it was necessary to form the man who would anoint him, and thus remove the barrenness of Anne of Elkanah and inspire her to offer the fruit of her womb. Meditate on Anne's song. It is a lesson to our hardness and blindness: “There is none as holy as the Lord... Do not speak and speak with haughty words, being proud of them... The Lord gives death and life... He raises the poor... He safeguards the steps of His faithful, but the wicked vanish in darkness, because it is not through his strength that man is strong, but through the strength which comes to him from God”. Oh! remember! “The Lord will judge the ends of the Earth, He will endow His king with power and will exalt the horn of His Christ”. Was the Christ of the prophecies not to be of the stock of David? So what was foretold from Samuel's birth onwards, is it not to be referred to the kingdom of the Christ? You, Master, are You not of David's issue, born in Bethlehem?" he finally asks Jesus directly.
"Yes, what you said is true" replies Jesus briefly.
"Oh! Gratify then our minds. You see that silence is not a good thing because it excites the clouds of doubt in hearts."
"Not the clouds of doubt, but of pride, which is even more grave."
"What? To be in doubt about You is not so grave as being proud?"
"Yes. Because pride is the lust of the mind. And it is a greater sin, because it is the same sin as Lucifer's. God forgives many things, and His Light shines lovingly to enlighten ignorance and dispel doubts. But He does not forgive pride which scoffs at Him pretending to be greater than He is."
"Which of us says that he is greater than God? We do not blaspheme..." several of them shout.
"You do not say so with your lips. But you confirm it with your deeds. You want to say to God: “It is not possible for the Christ to be a Galilean, a man of the people. It is not possible for this man to be Him”. What is impossible to God?"
Jesus' voice resounds like thunder. If previously He looked somewhat modest, leaning like a beggar against His column, now He has straightened Himself, He moves away from the pillar, He raises His head solemnly and crushes the crowd with the glare of His refulgent eyes. He is still standing on the step, but He looks as if He were on a high throne, so regal is His appearance. The people withdraw, they are almost frightened and no one replies to His last question.
Then a rabbi, a small wrinkled man, whose soul is certainly as ugly as his looks, preceding his question with a false clucking sly laugh, asks: "It takes two people to accomplish lust. With whom does the mind accomplish it? The mind is not corporeal. So, how can it commit a sin of lust? As it is incorporeal, with whom does it copulate to sin?" and he laughs drawling his words and sly laugh.
"With whom? With Satan. The mind of the proud man fornicates with Satan against God and against love."
"And with whom did Lucifer fornicate to becomes Satan, if Satan did not yet exist?"
"With himself. With his own intelligent and disordered thought. Scribe, what is lust?"
"But... I told You! Who does not know what is lust? We have all experienced it..."
"You are not a wise rabbi, because you do not know the true essence of this universal sin, the trine fruit of Evil. As the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are the Trine Form of Love. O scribe, lust is disorder. Disorder led by a free conscious intelligence, which is aware that its desire is evil, but wants to satisfy it just the same. Lust is disorder and violence against natural laws, against justice and love for God, for ourselves, for our brothers. All lust: the lust of the flesh as that aiming at the riches and power of the Earth, as well as that of those who would like to prevent Christ from accomplishing His mission, because they intrigue with immoderate ambition which is afraid of being struck by Me."
A great murmur runs through the crowd. Gamaliel, who is all alone on his carpet, raises his head again and casts a sharp glance at Jesus.
"So, when will the Kingdom of God come? You have not replied..." urges again the previous Pharisee.
"When the Christ will be on the throne which Israel is preparing for Him, higher than any other throne, higher than this Temple."
"But where is it being prepared, as no preparation is evident? Is it possible that Rome will allow Israel to rise again? Have the eagles become so blind that they cannot see what is being prepared?"
"The Kingdom of God does not come with pomp. Only the eye of God can see it being formed, because the eye of God reads inside men. So do not go looking for this Kingdom, where it is being prepared. And do not believe those who say: “They are plotting in Batanaea, they are conspiring in the caves in the desert of Engedi, and on the shores of the sea”. The Kingdom of God is in you, within you, in your spirits which receive the Law that came from Heaven, as the law of the true Fatherland, the law, which, when practised, makes one the citizen of the Kingdom. That is why John came before Me to prepare the ways to the hearts of men so that My Doctrine could enter them. The ways have been prepared through penance, through love the Kingdom will rise and the slavery of sin, which interdicts the Kingdom of Heaven to men, will fall."
"This man is really great! And you say that He is an artisan?" says in a loud voice a man who was listening attentively. And others, apparently Judaeans judging by their garments, probably instigated by Jesus' enemies, gaze at one another dumbfounded and then approach their instigators asking: "What have you insinuated to us? Who can say that this man is leading the people astray?" And others ask: "We are wondering and would like you to tell us this: if it is true that none of you has taught Him, how can He be so wise? Where did He learn so much wisdom if He never studied with a master?" And they address Jesus asking: "Tell us. Where did You find Your doctrine?"
Jesus looks up full of inspiration and says:
"I solemnly tell you that this doctrine is not mine, but it is of Him Who sent Me among you. I solemnly tell you that no teacher taught Me it, neither did I find it in any living book or parchment or stone monument. I solemnly tell you that I prepared for this hour listening to the Living Being speak to My spirit. The hour has now come for Me to give the people of God the Word which has come from Heaven. And I do so, and will do so to the last, and after I have breathed My last the stones, which heard Me and did not soften, will experience a fear of God greater than that which Moses felt on Sinai, and in such fear, with the voice of truth, blessing or cursing, the words of My rejected doctrine will be engraved on stones. And those words will never be deleted. The sign will remain: light for those who will receive it, at least then, with love; absolute darkness for those who not even then will understand that it is the Will of God that sent Me to establish His Kingdom. At the beginning of Creation it was said: “Let there be light”. And there was light in the chaos. At the beginning of My life it was said: “Peace to men of good will”. A good will is the one which does the will of God and does not oppose it. Now he who does the will of God and does not oppose it, feels that he cannot fight against Me because he feels that My doctrine comes from God and not from Myself. Do I perhaps seek My own glory? Do I perhaps say that I am the Author of the Law of grace and of the era of forgiveness? No. I do not take the glory which is not Mine, but I give glory to the Glory of God, the Maker of all good things. My glory is to do what the Father wants Me to do, because that gives glory to Him. He who speaks on His behalf in order to be praised, seeks his own glory. But He Who can receive glory from men, even without seeking it, for what He does or says, but rejects it saying: “It is not My glory, created by Me, but it proceeds from the glory of the Father as I proceed from Him”., is in the truth and there is no injustice in Him, as He gives each person what belongs to them without keeping for Himself what is not His own. I am, because He wanted Me."
Jesus stops for a moment. He scans the crowd prying into consciences. He reads in them and weighs them. He resumes speaking: "You are silent. Half of you admire Me, the other half are wondering how they can make Me be silent. Whose are the ten Commandments? Whence do they come? Who gave them to you?"
"Moses!" shouts the crowd.
"No. The most High. Moses, His servant, brought them to you. But they come from God. You have the formulae, but you do not have the faith, and you say in your hearts: “We did not see God. Neither we nor the Hebrews at the foot of Sinai”. Oh! not even the thunderbolts which set the mountain on fire while God shone thundering in the presence of Moses, are sufficient to make you believe that God was present. Not even thunderbolts and earthquakes serve to make you believe that God is among you to write the eternal Pact of salvation and of condemnation. You will see a fresh dreadful epiphany very soon within these walls. And the holy secret places will come out of darkness because the Kingdom of the Light begins and the Holy of Holies will be extolled in the presence of the world and will no longer be concealed under the triple veil. And you will not believe yet. What is therefore needed to make you believe? That the thunderbolts of Justice may strike your bodies? But Justice will be appeased then and flashes of love will descend. And yet, not even they will write the Truth in your hearts, in all your hearts, neither will they give rise to Repentance and then to Love..."
Gamaliel's strained eyes are now gazing at Jesus...
"But you know that Moses was a man among men and the chroniclers of his days left you a description of him. And yet, although you know who he was, from Whom and how he received the Law, do you comply with it? No, none of you observe it."
The crowds howl protesting.
Jesus imposes silence: "Are you saying that it is not true? That you observe it? Why then do you want to kill Me? Does the fifth commandment not forbid to kill a man? Do you not recognise Me as the Christ? But you cannot deny that I am a man. So why are you trying to kill Me?"
"You are mad! You are possessed! A demon is speaking in You and makes You rave and tell lies! None of us are thinking of killing You! Who wants to kill You?" shout those who actually want just that.
"Who? You. And you are trying to find excuses to do so. And you reproach Me for false faults. You blame Me, and it is not the first time, for curing a man on the Sabbath. Does Moses not say that we must be compassionate to a donkey or an ox which has fallen as it is of value to your brother? And should I not have mercy on the diseased body of a brother for whom his recovered health is material comfort and a spiritual means to bless the Lord and love Him because of His kindness? And do you not practise also on Sabbaths the circumcision which Moses gave you having received it from the patriarchs. If by circumcising a man on the Sabbath the Mosaic Law is not infringed because it makes a child a son of the Law, why do you remonstrate loudly with Me if on a Sabbath I cured a man completely, both his body and his soul, and I made him a son of God? Do not judge from appearances or to the letter. But judge with sound judgement and according to the spirit, because the letter, formulae and appearances are dead things, painted sceneries but not real life, whereas the spirit of words and of appearances is real life and source of eternity. But you do not understand these things because you do not want to understand them. Let us go." And He turns round and goes towards the exit, followed and surrounded by His apostles and disciples, who look at Him feeling pity for Him and indignation for His enemies.
Jesus is pale, but He smiles and says to them: "Do not be sad. You are My friends. And you are doing the right thing in being so, because My time is coming to its end. The time will soon come when you will be wishing to see one of these days of the Son of man. But you will no longer be able to see it. It will then be a consolation for you to say: “We loved Him and were faithful to Him while He was among us”. And to laugh at you and make you look like fools, they will say to you: “The Christ has come back. He is here! He is there!” Do not listen to those voices. Do not go and do not follow those lying scoffers. The Son of man, once He has gone away, will not come back again until His Day.
And His manifestation will be like lightning flashing across the sky, so fast that the eye can hardly follow it. You, and not only you, but no man could follow Me when I will finally appear to gather together all those who were, are or will be. But before that happens the Son of man must suffer much. He must suffer everything. All the grief of Mankind, and further, He is to be rejected by this generation."
"Then, my Lord, You will suffer all the evil with which this generation will be able to strike You" remarks Matthias, the shepherd.
"No. I said: “All the grief of Mankind”. It existed before this generation and will exist, through generations, after this one. And it will always sin. And the Son of man will relish all the bitterness of past, present and future sins, down to the last sin, in His spirit, before being the Redeemer. And after His glory He will still suffer in His spirit of Love seeing that Mankind tramples on His Love. You cannot understand now... Let us go into this house. It is a friendly one."
He knocks at a door which is opened letting Him go in, while the door-keeper does not seem to be seized with astonishment seeing the number of people going in after Jesus.