- But against the Romans he says not a word. Haven’t you heard how the scribes
asked him about paying taxes to the Romans? Give to Caesar what you must
You’re telling only the half of it: and give to the All High what he is due.
What’s that supposed to mean?
It’s supposed to mean that we shouldn’t occupy ourselves with worldly
questions. The Essenes also say that. It doesn’t matter if we have an
emperor or not, if we have property or not, for soon there will be no
emperor or property, the end of time is near and sweeps everything away,
kings and emperors and Romans.
And Jews also?
The question remained open, it was too difficult. All the questions about
the rabbi remained open.
There were always new ones. For example the thing with the adulteress. What
did she have to do with Yeshua? It was supposed to be a test. The scribes
wanted to know how this rabbi kept to the law. He spoke of love and
tolerance. Fine. He also said he didn’t want to change the law. Let’s lay a
trap for him.
They brought a woman before him who had been caught in bed with her lover.
According to Jewish law she must be stoned to death. If Yeshua was against
the stoning, he was against the law. But if he was for the law, he would be
contradicting himself: hadn’t he said that one should not judge others, for
that is against the law of love and one is then judging one’s self?
The woman wasn’t stoned to death and Yeshua wasn’t accused of being a
lawbreaker. His cleverness was greater than that of those who had laid the
I wasn’t a witness to the scene, I shuddered at the stoning, but when I
heard that the woman was alive, I ran to her. She was still trembling all
over. How did it happen? Why wasn’t the punishment carried out?
She told me: Those who brought me before the rabbi stood in a half-circle
around me and him, and each one had his stone in hand and a pile of stones
alongside him. Why didn’t they throw them? They were waiting for the rabbi’s
word. But he sat there and drew with his finger in the sand. Complete
silence. It wouldn’t have taken much longer and I would have died of fright
without being stoned. The waiting was terrible. And then the rabbi’s voice:
He among you, you men, who is without guilt, throw the first stone. Now. I
crouched down. It wouldn’t have helped, but I crouched anyway and closed my
eyes. But no stone came. Imagine: one after the other dropped his stone and
left. It was wonderful how the rabbi brought them to it. They could have
considered themselves righteous, compared to me. But to be sure, Miryam: one
of them had already lain in my arms, he couldn’t very well have thrown at
me. And the others: nothing but sinners. They are also adulterers, or
cheaters, whatever. And then I was alone with the rabbi. Now he would say
hard things and despise me. What do you think he said, and very mildly he
said it: No one threw a stone at you, although are also not without guilt.
Go home now and change your life. That was all. Then I wept, and how I wept!
How good he was to me, your rabbi!
And now, what will you do?
Never again, Miryam, never again forbidden love.
And he who slept with you? Why didn’t they bring him also to be stoned? The
law says that the man must also be punished with death.
Oh, you know, men amongst themselves. They let him go. He was one of them,
you understand. The worst of it is: we are in love. I have a hard husband
who beats me, and he has a viper for a wife. He and I, we were comfort and
support for each other. But now? It is no longer possible. We don’t want to
separate because of the punishment, not because of that. It’s your rabbi’s
word: Change you life! How he looked at me! It went through my whole body.
It hit its mark. He is one who has power. Perhaps a prophet. Surely a saint.
Frank Thomas Smith