- Sermon 16 -
Fourth Sunday in Lent. The Feeding of the Five Thousand
St. John VI, 1-15: "After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred penny-worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone." (February 17, 1872)
Here you have one of those deeds which created a great sensation among the Jews, even to such an extent that those who witnessed it wanted to proclaim Me king, thus forcing Me to evade their intentions by withdrawing alone to the solitude of a mountain.
For Me, the Lord and Creator, the act as such was not so great and important, when I caused the five barley loaves and two fishes to continuously be replaced or complemented out of the substances of the air in such a way that they easily sufficed for five thousand people and of the bread there still remained twelve baskets full of leftovers. For the people encamped around Me it certainly was a miracle that strikingly proved My divine descent and might. However, by the Jews it was not regarded spiritually but according to their material interests, since following this act they wanted to proclaim Me king. I had to withdraw from them, for first of all, that was not the purpose of My life on earth and besides, My time for "being lifted up" had not yet come. That expression, whenever I used it, was likewise never understood until the crucifixion explained it and My ascension fulfilled the "being lifted up" also spiritually.
Meaning of the healing of the centurion's servant versus that of the son of the royal officer at Cana
 Says John: ‘But the sign You worked at Cana on the son of the royal officer does not seem to be greater and more important than what You did for the centurion outside Capernaum?’
 I said: ‘If you think this, you are quite wrong, for the son of the royal officer represents the entire, extremely depraved world and how it is now given help from a distance through My teaching and My spiritual influence. The servant of the centurion, however, represents for the present just the palsied servant whom I healed and only then also some community or society in My name which because of all kinds of political considerations completely lacks activity according to My teaching in one or the other point and thereby gradually becomes inactive also in the other points. That is then also a palsy of the souls which can be helped only by a firm belief in My word.
 See, My dear brother John, this constitutes a considerable difference between the two signs. The first one represents the entire world’s condition of spiritual sickness, and I tell you, in an even more profound sense also of all infinity. The second sign, however, represents only that which I have just explained to you. Thus you now know what you have to describe and what Matthew.’ (GGJ Book 1, chp.100)
“1. When all who were with Me had finished supper, whilst Judas slept on a straw mattress in the outhouse, those same Jews who the previous day had put the priest, scribes and Pharisees to the test, brought a great many possessed and a great many others suffering all kinds of ills, imploring Me to heal them all.
2. And I asked them in a lovingly earnest manner whether they believed that the Nazarene carpenter's son was able to do so. Because these people knew Me so to speak from birth.
3. But they answered and said, 'What have we to do with the carpenter's son?! If the carpenter's son was chosen of God to become a prophet to the people of Israel, then he is a prophet even if a thousandfold carpenter's son; because each man is what he is out of God and never what his parents were! And so we believe without doubt that you are firstly a God-tutored prophet and that you hence secondly can help everyone, as you helped the son of the city councilor and the centurion's servant!'
4. And I answered them, 'Now then, since your faith in Me and your assessment of Me are such, be it done to you according to your faith!'
5. Upon this word, all the spirits left the possessed and those suffering all kinds of sickness and plagues became well instantly. [Mt. 8:16].” (GGJ I, chap. 102)
"1. We nevertheless press on eastwards and soon reach a tiny village, some twenty furlong distance from the castle. The entire community joyfully rushes out to meet us, asking softly what they can do for us. But I say: ‘Do you not have sick among you? They affirm it, saying, ‘Yes, we have one fully suffering the gout!’
2. Say I: ‘Bring him here then, so he may be made whole! Says one of them: ‘Lord, this will be hard! This sufferer is so paralytic that he has not been able to leave his bed for nearly three years, and his bed is hard to move, being fastened to the ground. Would you be prepared to go and see him? Say I: ‘Since the bed is hard to move, why don't you wrap the sick in a mat and bring him over here!’ In response several of them hasten to the house where the gout-stricken is lying, wrapping him in a mat and bringing him to Me in the street and saying: ‘Lord, here is the poor sufferer.’
3. But I ask the sick one whether he believes that I can heal him. The sick looks Me over and says, ‘Dear friend, you look indeed like you could; you sure seem to be a proper healer! Yes, yes, I believe it!’
4. Say I thereto: ‘Now then, get up and walk! Your faith helped you; but beware of a certain sin henceforth, so as not to relapse into gout, which would be more acute the second time than now!’
5. And the sick gets up forthwith, taking up the mat and walking. Noticing only then that he is completely healed, he falls on his knees before Me, thanking and finally saying; ‘Lord, in you there is more than human power; praised be God's power in You! Oh, blessed the body that bore You, and over-blessed the breast that fed You!’
6. But I say unto him; ‘And blessed they who hear My Words, keeping them in their hearts and living accordingly! (GGJ I, chp. 66)
“ MARIA was still crying, lying in My arm. And to test the Jews I now asked them: “Where did you lay him down? For they had to know that this place was very well known to Me.
 But they said (the Jews): “Lord, come and see”, and they turned around to show Me the way.
 Also Maria dried her tears, released My arm and walked in front to show Me the way.
 Did the One who knows all ways need a guide? And My eyes were full of tears.
 Then the Jews said among each other: “See how He loved Him”.
 Nota bene: If people would know about all the things that are contained in this event and what it means in the spiritual world they would never doubt anymore that God is entirely love.
 It has to be preserved for future writers when the hearts will have become more receptive and purer to make those deepest secrets of heart of the eternal Spirit of God more clear and to describe them with understandable words for the believing, childlike mind so that they will realize how infinitely great and inexhaustible the source of My love is. Amen.
“ THEN I had said that aloud to the scribe, the one sister of Lazarus, namely Martha, came almost out of breath to us on the hill and brought us the message that a helper had fallen of a high scaffolding on which he had to do something, and that now he gave no more sign of life. She asked Me to help him.
 And I said: “Well now, let him be brought here by the other helpers, then I will see what I will do.”
 After these words, Martha hurried back down again, and the helper who fell down dead was carried on a stretcher and within a few moments he was lying before Me.
 And I said: “Did I not tell you beforehand that soon we would have something else to do?”
 Then I said to the scribe who fixed his eyes on the dead man: “Examine him, because you also are an expert in this field, and see if this helper is indeed entirely dead.”
 Then he looked and felt the dead man from head to toe and diagnosed that he was completely dead, because he fell from the scaffolding on his head. His scull was pushed in and his neck completely broken.
 When the scribe saw such certain deadly injuries with the dead man, he said: “Lord and Master, only God can make him alive again. With human help he cannot be brought to life again.”
“ When we arrived at the inn by sundown, the innkeeper noticed that the sea was in a state of strongest excitement and that he in a distance of about 100 field lanes could see a ship, which at this terrible high swell would certainly sink. Should one try to assist such a ship in distress?
 I said: “Another yes, but not this one! The pre-midday wind has pushed it forward to where it is now; but another will drive it back again. This is the ship with those evils ones from Jerusalem, who are supposed to catch and kill Me. But now they are My prisoners and will remain so for another few days and nights, after which a wind will drive them to the coast behind Tiberias and release them from their torture. Thereupon they will leave for home quite sober and will not pursue Me any longer and try to take My life. See, the wind has already reached them and drives the ship away from these waters! But leave it at that; something completely different awaits us in the house! Let us thus go into our inn!”
 The innkeeper and all the others were full of curiosity about the new event awaiting us, and therefore we quickly entered the house. And see, the oldest daughter of the innkeeper was lying as good as dead on a bed and was wet allover. She had been going alone to the large fish container to collect some of the large noble fish for dinner; but she could not master the large and strong animals and was thrown into the deep water by one of the twitching fish. Upon her screams many rescuers immediately came to help her; but with all the best efforts possible they were not able to get her quickly enough out of the water and the result was that she was lifted out of the water without any signs of life. That this caused a great dismay in the whole house and that immediately a doctor from the city was called who also came immediately and did everything to call the drowned back to life, does hardly requires to be mentioned. But despite all the crying of the mother and the other siblings and despite all the endeavors of the doctor, the drowned nevertheless did not showed any sign of life.
“ I say: “Go, and lead both of them to Me!” Shabbi goes and brings both of them to Me.
 But I ask them whether they would wish to become fully healthy and strong again.
 Both say, “Yes, Lord, if this is possible! But the strange poison has made me quite paralyzed in all my limbs, and I can only move myself forwards with great effort; and look at this poor, withered flower of a wife – she is ruined in her body for all her life! Oh, Jehovah, why did such a terrible thing have to happen to us?!”
 I say: “But I want you to be as healthy and cheerful and look as you did when you got married!”
 When I had said this, something like a flame rushed through both of them, and they were immediately as healthy and strong as if nothing had ever been wrong with them, and their bodies looked the same and even more so than on their wedding day. They were extremely amazed, for such a thing had never been experienced before in Persia.
 Shabbi also begins to raise his eyebrows more and more, and almost cannot believe his senses; but Jurah nudges him and says to him somewhat secretly, “Hey, I think that we are in exactly the right place, and we cannot be too far from the person that you are trying so carefully to deny! I tell you, it is He – or in all eternity no-one else! Now judge according to your senses!”
“ FOLLOWING these words Borus and Kisjonah immediately climbed into the tomb and tried to lift the coffin but they were unable to move it, for it was extremely heavy having been made from solid cedar-wood with, in addition, a lot of heavy ornaments of iron, gold and silver. After repeated efforts Borus said: “Lord, the coffin is too heavy, we cannot master it at all. As far as I know this coffin was lowered with the help of machines and by natural means it will only be possible to lift it out again with machines.”
 Say I: “Then come out of the tomb. The two youths who are here shall lift it out!” – Borus and Kisjonah now quickly climb from the tomb and the two youths lift the coffin promptly and with such ease as if they were handling down feather.
 Bab, his wife and children open their eyes in surprise and he says, amazed at the strength of the two youths: “But what unbelievable power and strength they possess. These two tender boys, none of whom can be more than fifteen years old, played – like a big wind with a down feather – with this weight which had resisted the strength of two strong men. Ah, such a thing has never been heard of.”
 Say I: “Never mind, for you will now witness much greater things. But all of you remember this: You must not tell anyone of this, not even My disciples. For their time has not come for a long time yet, but once the time has come, they will get to know everything anyway. But now open the coffin so that we may see how far the boy is already decomposed.”
 The coffin was immediately opened and the boy who was completely decomposed except for the bigger bones was by the skilled hands of Borus freed from all the shrouds and swathes for all to inspect. The miserable looking skeleton was viewed by all with visible shuddering.
 And Faustus said: “Ecce homo! Look, that is a man, too. What fine lot for the voluptuous flesh of mankind. A horrible looking skull still covered with some stuck together hairs; a shrunk greenish-brown breast-skin, here and there broken by some half-decayed ribs, the black spine over which there are still hanging some traces of decayed intestine covered with mildew. Finally the feet – how horrible they look, full of decay and mildew. And our noses also feel that we are not in the shop of a balsam merchant, for the stench is worse than I would have expected. No, this is a form well suited to make a man’s existence as contemptible as possible, for in the end everyone of us has to expect this lot. This is the reason why I by far prefer cremation of the bodies to burial.”
Mark 5:21–43, Matthew 9:18–26, Luke 8:40–56
“BUT while I was yet telling the disciples about this woman, the principal’s domestics came running almost breathless, to bring him the sad news of his daughter’s death.
 The principal became grief stricken, saying to Me: ‘Dear Master, since it is grievously too late for me now for helping my daughter, who was my everything, do not further trouble yourself.’
 After these words he started sobbing loudly. He had much loved his daughter, who was very shapely and well-bred, with the build of a 20 year old and was also this principal’s only child.
 After hearing his domestics and then the exceedingly grieving principal himself, with whom My heart commiserated, I said to him: ‘Fear not, friend, but believe. Your daughter has not died but only fallen asleep and I shall awaken her.’
 On hearing Me thus, the principal began to breathe more easily.
 When we were still some thousand paces from the principal’s house, I said to the crowd, as well as to those disciples still of a more feeble faith, to all wait here. And only Peter, Jacob and his brother and John were allowed to come, for on their faith one could already build houses.
 Arriving at the house with the school-principal, there was a great turmoil there and much weeping and wailing in accordance with Jewish tradition, with mourning hymns sung.
 Entering the room where the deceased lay on an adorned bed, I said to the many commotionists: ‘What are you carrying on and wailing for? The little daughter has not died but only sleeps.’
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