Jesus The Son Of Man by Kahlil Gibran.
Matthew: The Sermon On The Mount
One harvest day Jesus called us and His other friends to the hills. The earth was fragrant, and like the daughter of a king at her wedding-feast, she wore a ll her jewels. And the sky was her bridegroom.
When we reached the heights Jesus stood still in the grove of the laurels, and He said, "Rest here, quiet your mind and tune your heart, for I have much to tell you."
Then we reclined on the grass, and the summer flowers were all about us, and Jesus sat in our midst.
And Jesus said:
"Blessed are the serene in spirit.
"Blessed are they who are not held by possessions, for they shall be free.
"Blessed are they who remember their pain, and in their pain await their joy.
"Blessed are they who hunger after truth and beauty, for their hunger shall bring bread, and their thirst cool water.
"Blessed are the kindly, for they shall be consoled by their own kindliness.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall be one with God.
"Blessed are the merciful, for mercy shall be in their portion.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for their spirit shall dwell above the battle, and they shall turn the potter's field
into a garden.
"Blessed are they who are hunted, for they shall be swift of foot and they shall be winged.
"Rejoice and be joyful, for you have found the kingdom of heaven within you. The singers of old were persecuted when they sang of that kingdom. You too shall be persecuted, and therein lies your honour, therein your reward.
"You are the salt of the earth; should the salt lose its savour wherewith shall the food of man's heart be salted?
"You are the light of the world. Put not that light under a bushel. Let it shine rather from the summit, to those who seek the City of God.
"Think not I came to destroy the laws of the scribes and the Pharisees; for my days among you are numbered and my words are counted, and I have but hours in which to fulfill another law and reveal a new covenant.
"You have been told that you shall not kill, but I say unto you, you shall not be angry without a cause.
"You have been charged by the ancients to bring your calf and your lamb and your dove to the temple, and to slay them upon the altar, that the nostrils of God may feed upon the odour of their fat, and that you may be forgiven your failings.
"But I say unto you, would you give God that which was His own from the beginning; and would you appease Him whose throne is above the silent deep a nd whose arms encircle space?
"Rather, seek out your brother and be reconciled unto him ere you seek the temple; and be a loving giver unto your neighbour. For in the soul of these God has builded a temple that shall not be destroyed, and in their heart He has raised an altar that shall never perish.
"You have been told, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you: Resist not evil, for resistance is food unto evil and makes it strong. And only the weak would revenge themselves. The strong of soul forgive, and it is honour in the injured to forgive.
"Only the fruitful tree is shaken or stoned for food.
"Be not heedful of the morrow, but rather gaze upon today, for sufficient for today is the miracle thereof.
"Be not over-mindful of yourself when you give but be mindful of the necessity. For every giver himself receives from the Father, and that much more abundantly.
"And give to each according to his need; for the Father gives not salt to the thirsty, nor a stone to the hungry, nor milk to the weaned.
"And give not that which is holy to dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine. For with such gifts you mock them; and they also shall mock your gift, and in their hate would fain destroy you.
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures that corrupt or that thieves may steal away. Lay up rather treasure which shall not corrupt or be stolen, and whose loveliness increases when many eyes behold it. For where your treasure is, your heart is also.
"You have been told that the murderer shall be put to the sword, that the thief shall be crucified, and the harlot stoned. But I say unto you that you are not free from wrongdoing of the murderer and the thief and the harlot, and when they are punished in the body your own spirit is darkened.
"Verily no crime is committed by one man or one woman. All crimes are committed by all. And he who pays the penalty may be breaking a link in the chain that hangs upon your own ankles. Perhaps he is paying with his sorrow the price for your passing joy."
Thus spake Jesus, and it was in my desire to kneel down and worship Him, yet in my shyness I could not move nor speak a word.
But at last I spoke; and I said, "I would pray this moment, yet my tongue is heavy. Teach me to pray."
And Jesus said, "When you would pray, let your longing pronounce the words. It is in my longing now to pray thus:
"Our Father in earth and heaven, sacred is Thy name
Thy will be done with us, even as in space.
Give us of Thy bread sufficient for the day.
In Thy compassion forgive us and enlarge us to forgive one another.
Guide us towards Thee and stretch down Thy hand to us in darkness.
For Thine is the kingdom, and in Thee is our power and our fulfillment."
And it was now evening, and Jesus walked down from the hills, and all of us followed Him. And as I followed I was repeating His prayer, and rememberin g all that He had said;
for I knew that the words that had fallen like flakes that day must set and grow firm like crystals, and that wings that had fluttered above our heads were to beat the earth like iron hoofs.
I guess the following is where the Truth of Jesus began to become the beginning of our current chapter of worldly experience.
Saba Of Antioch: On Saul Of Tarsus
This day I heard Saul of Tarsus preaching the Christ unto the Jews of this city.
He calls himself Paul now, the apostle to the Gentiles.
I knew him in my youth, and in those days he persecuted the friends of the Nazarene. Well do I remember his satisfaction when his fellows stoned the radiant youth called Stephen.
This Paul is indeed a strange man. His souls is not the soul of a free man.
At times he seems like an animal in the forest, hunted and wounded, seeking a cave wherein he would hide his pain from the world.
He speaks not of Jesus, nor does he repeat His words. He preaches the Messiah whom the prophets of old had foretold.
And though he himself is a learned Jew he addresses his fellow Jews in Greek; and his Greek is halting, and he ill chooses his words.
But he is a man of hidden powers and his presence is affirmed by those who gather around him. And at times he assures them of what he himself is not assured.
We who knew Jesus and heard his discourses say that He taught man how to break the chains of his bondage that he might be free from his yesterdays.
But Paul is forging chains for the man of tomorrow. He would strike with his own hammer upon the anvil in the name of one whom he does not know.
The Nazarene would have us live the hour in passion and ecstasy.
The man of Tarsus would have us be mindful of laws recorded in the ancient books.
Jesus gave His breath to the breathless dead. And in my lone nights I believe and I understand.
When He sat at the board, He told stories that gave happiness to the feasters, and spiced with His joy the
meat and the wine.
But Paul would prescribe our loaf and our cup.
Suffer me not to turn my eyes the other way.
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