1 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 then went by boat, and where He landed there was a man who lived in a deserted tomb, because he was tormented by an intrusion from the reign of dark ruaḥoth. Attempts had been made to confine him in fetters, but because of the strength unnaturally given, he easily escaped. Day and night he would shriek among the tombs and upon the hillside, terrifying people and often injuring himself by falling.
2 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 knew the nature of the tormenting thing and called upon the power within Him, so it entered the body of the possessed man, wrestling with the evil thing inside him. Then the man ran screaming among a herd of swine, and two fell into a ravine, but shortly the man became calm, for the evil intruder had departed from him.
3 The swineherds ran away to carry the tale of these events to people round about who came to see for themselves what had happened. When they saw the mad man was rational, they became afraid and asked 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 to go away.
4 When 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 was preparing to depart, the man who had been cured begged to go along with Him. But 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “No, you remain here and bear witness for Me.” The man spread the tale of what had been done for him through all the free cities, for he received much silver in the marketplaces.
5 Coming close to another town on the seashore where a crowd was gathered to hear Him, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 saw Mattihyahu seated where dues were collected, and He said unto him, “Are you ready to follow Me?” For He had spoken with Mattihyahu before. Mattihyahu replied, “I am ready, but first come and eat with me.”
6 When 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 arrived at Mattihyahu’s house, He found other tax gatherers had assembled there, with many others who did not observe the Torah of Mosheh which are in the Qodesh Books of the Yahuḏim.
7 While eating, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “No man of himself can know right from wrong. For what is right in one man’s eyes may be wrong in another’s, therefore strife arises among them. Only when men accept a single standard of judgment and abide by it can there be shalom. When men live together without the Light of the Torah, they are like a house built with unmortared bricks, or like men trying to tow a boat but all pulling in different directions.”
8 “There are two laws – the law of men and the Torah of the Father who is in the shamayim. When I speak of the Torah, I do not mean the law of men. I am the Light illuminating 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄’s Torah so men see it more clearly, and though I fulfill the Torah, I do not change it. Never say ‘this is right’ or ‘that is wrong,’ but only ‘this is right or wrong according to the Torah, and in the Light of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏.’ ”
9 “I bring new oil for the lamp of the Torah, for that within it is now impure, and the light produces too much obscuring smoke. For I am the Bĕn of Aḏam and bear the sufferings of men, coming to fulfill their hopes even as it has been foretold. Is it not said among the Yesseneth that the Bĕn of Aḏam is the perfected man who will set the standard for those who wish to be true sons of Elohim?”
10 Later, when 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 went outside, He found some Parashyim standing apart, as was their custom, and one put the question to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏, “How can You claim to be a teacher, interpreting the Torah of Elohim, when You associate with tax gatherers and lawbreakers?”
11 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 replied, “It is not the healthy who need the attentions of a physician, but those who are ill. It is the tree growing out of the sand which requires watering, not the one growing by the river. I come to minister to the spiritually sick, not to the righteous who have their consolation.”
12 A man in the crowd said, “This is a day of fasting, kept by all who are truly religious. Yet here are You and Your talmidim eating and drinking.”
13 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Is it usual for attendants at the bridal shower to deprive themselves of pleasure while the bridegroom is with them? Soon He will depart, and that is the time for hearts to be heavy. A heart weighed down without cause is an unnecessary burden, adding neither joy nor benefit to the lives of men. Fasting is good, but when it becomes a routine religious rite, it is no more than a purposeless vexation.”
14 A soldier in the crowd asked 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏, “Do You uphold the teachings of Yoḥanan of the Wilderness? For there was a man I can understand.”
15 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 replied, “Yoḥanan sent men to Me enquiring whether I was the Promised One or should they look for another. I said, ‘Go back and inform Yoḥanan of all the things you have heard and seen here, and how the poor are learning about the coming of the Rule of Elohim and the disinherited told when justice will reign.’
16 “People went out into the wilderness, expecting to find a great man, but what had they in mind? A man speaking like the neḇi’im of old or a nobleman clad in garments of fine linen? Yoḥanan dressed in a manner fit for the place and purpose, and he spoke in accordance with the message he had to convey. He was the man of whom the Qodesh Books speak – a voice of one crying in the wilderness, preparing the path for one who follows.”
17 “I tell you with all sincerity, no mother ever gave birth to a better man than Yoḥanan, yet when the Rule of Elohim comes, everyone living will have to exceed him. Ever since Yoḥanan declared these things he was harried with violence, even though all the neḇi’im before him foretold present events. He spoke with the voice of Ĕliyahu, and if any of you have the understanding, you will know what I mean.”
18 “Concerning this generation, which is wrapped up within itself and blind to all going on about it, there is little to say. It is like children at play calling out to one another, ‘We play the pipes, but you refuse to dance; we raise a lament, but you will not mourn.’ Like all good men, Yoḥanan was misunderstood; for few knew the measure of greatness. He lived simply, neither eating nor drinking to excess. And because of his way of life, men called him ‘crazy.’ ”
19 “The Servant of Man comes along and goes among the people, eating and drinking with them, and He is accused of gluttony, loose living and drunkenness. What must a man do to prove himself in the eyes of the people? Whatever he does is wrong.”
20 One of the Parashyim who was nearby said to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏, “We understand Your meaning, but where do You stand in relation to the Torah? Have You come to take it away or declare it obsolete?”
21 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 replied, “No one patches an old cloak with new fabric, for this shows up its age without strengthening it. Likewise, no sensible person puts new wine into old wineskins, for this causes them to split, the wine pouring out so neither the wine nor the wineskins have any value. Is it not much wiser to put new wine into new wineskins? I have come to place something beside that which is already there, to hold a mirror to the Torah and to man, so both may be seen with greater clarity.”
22 A poor man standing nearby said, “What use is the wisdom of the Qodesh Books? Will it provide our bread?”
23 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 replied, “What use is a lamp at night? Will its light appease hunger? Is it worthless because it cannot do so? Each thing has its appointed use. The foot should not be called upon to do the work of the arm, nor the ear the work of the eyes.”
24 “A carpenter does not do the work of a potter, nor does a weaver make plows. A pupil may not be a good teacher, nor a servant a good master. Each must seek only to excel in the position he has, and not to be better than others at their own task. Whoever supports Me, that person will I support; and I will strive with those who are against Me.”
25 “I have not come to bring shalom but to put a sword into the hands of men, setting sons against their fathers and daughters against their mothers. For nothing is worthy if a man will not fight for it. Anyone following Me will find enemies among his own kindred, and though he love his parents above all else, I will give him a cause which is greater. My burden is not light and must be shouldered with fortitude and courage. Those finding it too heavy must go elsewhere.”
26 “The man who seeks to preserve his life through cowardice will be deprived of its benefits, and he who is prepared to make sacrifices for the cause of man will surely gain the crown of life. Whoever receives a good and just man openly, giving him his due, shall in turn be given the reward of his merit. But those who expect to receive rewards bestowable only by One greater than a naḇi will be disappointed.”
27 It was after this that 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said to His talmidim, “When the task is difficult, a man seeks consolation from his father. A man may be lonely among many, but no one need be lonely in the ruaḥ, for this is never shut off from communication with a source of comfort.”
28 Then 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 prayed, “Oh Father above the shamayim and Earth, Your Bĕn submits to Your Will. And if things declared in Your Name remain mysteries to the learned but are revelations to the simple-hearted, You know best, My Father. You have placed a great responsibility on Your Bĕn, but few heed Him. The Father’s words, spoken through the mouth of His Bĕn, are not highly regarded.”
29 Later, at another place, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said to the people gathered there, “Follow Me, all those who are overburdened and weary, and I will help you. Take the yoke of My cause upon you, and learn from Me, for this will ease and not add to your load. I am understanding and compassionate, not expecting anyone to bear a load too heavy for them. The heavy-laden shall know the Light and be moved from the darkness, but they who cast aside their burden and go astray are lost forever in darkness. Life loads each according to his capacity, and no two bear a similar burden.”
30 At this time, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 always kept some talmidim with Him when He walked about, and one Shabbat He and two of them were following a small pathway leading past uncut corn ripening in the husk. The disciples plucked a handful – for the Torah permitted them to do this, providing they did not enter the field or take any away – and, rubbing the ears between their fingers, ate the grains. Three Parashyim were passing by, and they rebuked the disciples and said to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏, “Why do You allow Your followers to do things not permitted on the Shabbat?”
31 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 answered, “Does the deed affect the day? Have you not read that, when driven by hunger, Dawiḏ went into the House of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 and took the sanctified loaves to eat, sharing them with his men? Though these loaves were reserved for fare of the kohĕn, did he not justify himself by saying all produced by the Earth were for the use of men? Surely the Shabbat was made for the sake of man, and not man for the sake of the Shabbat! As man bows to the needs of life, so the Shabbat must bow to the needs of men.”
32 Towards evening, as they returned, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 saw a man working in the fields and said to him, “If your labors are dedicated to the service of Elohim, you are baruḵ; but if it is otherwise, you are a lawbreaker.”
33 The talmidim, hearing this, said, “Aḏonai, is there so much difference between the things of the morning and the things of the evening?” 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “The same difference as between an empty stomach and a full one; the same thing may be forgiven one man but not another.”
34 On another Shabbat, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 came out of the Hĕyḵal to be accosted by a man with a paralyzed arm who said, “Aḏonai, I am a mason who can no longer be useful and must humiliate myself by begging for food to feed my family. Let me become a whole man again, not for my sake but for the sake of those depending upon me.”
35 Nearby stood some self-righteous members of the congregation who watched closely to see what 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 would do. But He, knowing their thoughts, called them over and said, “Let me know your views concerning the keeping of the Shabbat. Should good be done when it would be uncharitable to leave it undone?” They said, “We abide by the Torah as it is interpreted for us by those knowing better than we.”
36 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 became angry and was hurt in His heart, for their hard-heartedness and wrongful interpretation of the Torah were indications of their spiritual apathy. So, He healed the man’s arm. The self-righteous see no wrong in themselves, only in others. And they interpret all things to accord with their own convenience.
37 Then the self-righteous ones left, plotting among themselves, and they decided to become supporters of Hĕrodĕs, who was against 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏. They said, “Let us set a trap for this troublemaker who condemns our ways. He reproaches us for wrongdoing when we simply obey the Torah, and accuses us of things which He declares to be sinful, but which are not more than natural weaknesses of men.
38 “He proclaims Himself to be the mouthpiece of Elohim, so let us test Him and see. Let us find out whether He speaks true or false. We will send men to beat Him up, and see then whether Elohim comes to His aid. Let other men abuse Him and hurl insults at Him, heaping every kind of indignity upon Him, treating Him roughly to test His gentleness. We will heckle Him and cause commotion whenever He speaks, and see whether he abides by His own teachings under provocation.”
39 They laid their plans. However, there were others who came to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 and asked Him how they would recognize the Deliverer when He appeared among them.
40 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Is it not written, ‘He will judge the disinherited and lowly who trust in Him. He will smite the Earth with the rod of His tongue and destroy wickedness. He will be girdled with integrity and belted with trustworthiness’?”
41 Then some said, “Surely this Man is 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄’s Anointed.”
42 Someone said, “Aḏonai, how do we know the Deliverer will come to us?”
43 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Is it not written, ‘He will come to the worthy and just, but to the people He will be like a winnowing fan, ensuring only the best are gathered in’? It is also said, ‘He will baraḵ those who follow Him with wisdom and gladness. He will be sinless, gathering together a dedicated people whom He will lead in righteousness as an example to all nations. They will cast out the Beliya’al from their midst. Those born in the days of the Deliverer will witness the things he will do for the generations which follow.’ ”
44 “Is it not also written, ‘The words of His mouth will smite the Earth forever, and, for the chosen among men, there will be a guiding Light for the rest of their days’?