THE GREAT GOSPEL OF JOHN
VOLUME 4

Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

Jesus near Caesarea Philippi (cont.)

- Chapter 148 -
The deadly fall of the curious boy.


 
S
ays I: "If so, then you still have to tell us about the death case of a young boy who fell from a tree and shortly afterwards departed, and at the same also about the person who threw himself into the lake and drowned, thereby committing suicide. However, be short and only tell us the main points!"
 
2
Mathael immediately started to talk and said: "I only beg you for a little patience; since I want to tell both cases at once and therefore I have to collect myself a little!"
 
3
Says I: "Do this; but I will put the right manner in your mouth, and it will just fine without collecting yourself!"
 
4
Said Mathael: "Yes, if so, then of course I do not need long to collect myself and will immediately begin to tell both occurrences as faithfully and true as possible since they still stuck quite well in my memory!
 
5
Say all loudly: "Now then, high viceroy of the nations around the Pontus up to the Caspian Sea, we are all especially glad to hear your story; since in telling stories you are an unsurpassed master!"
 
6
Says Mathael: "For telling stories one need above all a few language skills and a great love for the truth. Who tells the truth always has an advantage above writers of fables! Nevertheless, what I have to tell you according to the wish of the Lord, is one of the stories which I have experienced many of them from the cradle until my twentieth year. I will give it to you with the tongue as I have experienced it during my seventeenth year alongside my father, who was always at my side and became very wise because of my visions. Both stories are as follows:
 
7
It was the time of the general cleansing of the Jews, where - as it is known - at the Jordan river a scape goat is slaughtered and sacrificed for all the sins of the Jews and is finally thrown into the lovely Jordan river under all kinds of noise and prayer formulas and curses. Now, to say only one word more about it, would be a futile and worthless chatting, since these ceremonies are all too familiar to even the most simple Jew.
 
8
What might be less known to you is the fact that during that particular scapegoat sacrifice ceremony an exceedingly huge crowd was present. Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Persians were plentiful present. In short, there was no lack of inquisitive people!
 
9
That the boys also wanted to see something of this spectacle is understandable to you, and equally understandable that the curiosity drove the non-seeing boys into the trees. It did not take long that finally the inviting trees were filled and the boys on the branches started to quarrel. Quite often they were ask to keep quiet, but these well-intentioned reprehensions were to little or no avail.
 
10
I and my father were sitting on our camels, which my father received as a present from a Persian whom he cured from a bad illness; both had double humps and were for riding much more comfortable than the single humps. We therefore had a good view over all the proceedings. Not far from our point of view stood a rather nice and high cypress, and on its already by nature weak branches were sitting three boys quarrelling. Each one tried to entrust his weight to the strongest branches.
 
11
But since this quite old tree actually had only two branches of such solid strength that one could entrust ones life to it, the three boys quarrelled about the possession of the two strongest branches, while the third was forced to be satisfied with one of the twigs rather than a branch. Thus, on a height of five man-length the third boy sat on his branch, which was more a twig than a branch.
 
12
The case went on for about an hour when towards midday a quite strong wind came up, which caused the top of the cypress to sway quite dangerously and the smoke from the severely steaming sacrificial altar blew straight into the faces of the three boys, to such an extend that they had to cover their eyes to prevent shedding a stream of tears in vain.
 
13
In this extremely doubtful position I observed the boy sitting on the weak branch. When the smoke was, as one could say, blown really pound heavy into his face, I suddenly saw two quite large bats flying around his head. They had the size of two fully grown doves and drove the poor boy even more smoke into his face.
 
14
I drew the attention of my father to the scene and told him that something bad was about to happen. I also told him what I saw and that the two bats did not appear naturally to me, especially for the reason that they sometimes got bigger and than smaller again.
 
15
The father steered his camel towards the tree and called to the boy on the tree, that he should quickly climb from the tree, otherwise he would have an accident. Whether the boy had heard my fathers quite loudly spoken words or not, I cannot really tell; since I only observed the earlier scene and how the boy sitting on the very questionable branch was increasingly rubbing his eyes, offended by the thick smoke, with both hands and must have been almost blind by now.
 
16
Since my father saw that his warning call to the boy was fruitless, he distant himself from the questionable tree, came back to me and ask me if I still had the same vision. I affirmed the question according to the truth and emphasized that the boy, if not removed from the tree immediately, would surly suffer an inevitable accident. Said the father: 'Yes, my son, what can one do?! We do not have a ladder, and the boy will not leave the tree by calling him; one is therefore forced to wait, what God the Lord will let happen to this disobedient boy.'
 
17
My father had just spoken the last word, when the weak branch, bended too many times to and fro and up and down by the continuous movement of the boy, broke, and the boy of course without support fell from the height of five man-length with full force headfirst on a rock lying underneath the tree, smashing his skull and braking his neck, and thus died instantly.
 
18
About that a spectacle originated among the people; all crowded around the fatally injured boy. But to what use, since the boy was already dead?! The Roman guards finally drove the people away and my well-known father was called to examine the boy, whether he was really dead or whether one could apply resuscitation attempts to bring him back to life. My father examined the shattered skull and the neck and said: 'No herb and no ointment will be of any use anymore! Since he died not only once but twice and will not live again in this world!'"