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Saturday, 3 November 2012

The Miserable Ones



(Jesus on idolaters, hypocrites & corrupt priests)

Addressing the selfish priests and scribes – the hypocrites and the corrupt preachers – Jesus, the son of Mary, said: “Hypocrites! You do this to fill your purse, and therefore you tithe rue and mint.” Talking about idolatry, Jesus said:
“O miserable ones! For to others you show the most clear way, by which you will not go. You scribes and doctors lay upon the shoulders of others weights of unbearable weight, but you yourselves the while are not willing to move them with one of your fingers. Truly I say to you, that every evil has entered into the world under the pretext of the elders. Tell me, who made idolatry to enter into the world, if not the usage of the elders? For there was a king who exceedingly loved his father, whose name was Baal.”
“Whereupon, when the father was dead, his son for his own consolation, caused to be made an image like to his father, and set it up in the market-place of the city. And he made a decree that every one who approached that statue within a space of fifteen cubits should be safe, and no one any account should do him hurt. Hence the malefactors, by reason of the benefit they received therefrom, began to offer to the statue roses and flowers, and in a short time the offerings were changed into money and food, insomuch that they called it god, to honour it. Which thing from custom was transformed into a law, insomuch that the idol of Baal spread through all the world:
‘And how much does God lament this by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “Truly this people worships me in vain, for they have annulled my Law given to them by my servant Moses, and follow the traditions of their elders.”
‘Moreover I say to you, that one syllable of the Law of God cannot be broken without the gravest sin. But I do you to wit that it is necessary to observe that which God says by Isaiah the prophet, with these words: “Wash you and be clean, take away your thoughts from my eyes”. ‘Truly I say to you, that all the water of the sea will not wash him who with his heart loves iniquities.’
‘And furthermore I say to you, that no one will make prayer pleasing to God if he be not washed, but will burden his soul with sin like to idolatry. Believe me, in sooth, that if man should make prayer to God as is fitting, he would obtain all that he should ask. Remember Moses the servant of God, who with his prayer scourged Egypt, opened the Red Sea, and there drowned Pharaoh and his host. Remember Joshua, who made the sun stand still; Samuel, who smote with fear the innumerable host of the Philistines; Elijah, who made the fire to rain from heaven; Elisha raised a dead man, and so many other holy prophets, who by prayer obtained all that they asked. But those men truly did not seek their own in their matters, but sought only God and his honour.’

(From the Gospel of Barnabas, Chapters 32 & 38)


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