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The Book of Jesus

Chapter Ten

The New Amsterdam Publishing Company
Copyright © 1997

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The Transfiguration

NARRATOR.
Now about a week after Jesus has said these things, he took Peter, James and his brother John apart by themselves and led them up into a high mountain to pray. As he prayed, he underwent a metamorphosis in their presence. The appearance of his face was changed and it shone like the sun. His clothing became as white as light, shining. An intense white as the snow, glistening, whiter than any bleach on earth could make them. Suddenly, there appeared to them two men, Moses and Elijah appearing in glory. They talked with Jesus and spoke of his death which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were heavy with sleep. When they woke up, they saw his glory and the two men that stood with him. And it occurred that as they were leaving him, Peter spoke to Jesus and said:
PETER.
Master, Lord, it's wonderful for us to be here. If you want, let us make tents here. One for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.
NARRATOR.
Peter said this, not knowing what he was saying. Jesus didn't know what to say, they were so frightened. While Peter was still speaking, a bright cloud came and enveloped them. As they entered the cloud, they were afraid. A voice came from out of the cloud and said:
"This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him."
When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, overcome with fear. After the voice had spoken, Jesus came up and touched them.
JESUS.
Stand up and don't be afraid.
NARRATOR.
Then suddenly, when they raised their eyes and looked around, they didn't see anyone with them except Jesus and he was alone. As they came down from the mountain, Jesus gave this order:
JESUS.
Do not tell anyone about the vision you have seen until after the Son of Man has risen from the dead.
NARRATOR.
The disciples kept what Jesus had said among themselves and did not tell anyone any of the things they had seen during those days, . However, among themselves they discussed what 'rising from the dead' could mean. They asked him:
DISCIPLES.
Why then do the Scribes say that Elijah has to come first?
JESUS.
It is true that Elijah comes first to see that everything is once more as it should be. Yet, how is it that the scriptures say that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be treated with contempt. I tell however, you that Elijah has already come and they didn't recognize him but did to him whatever they wanted to, just as it is written of him. The Son of Man will also suffer similarly at their hands. The disciples then understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.

Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36

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The Boy with Epilepsy

NARRATOR.
Now the next day, they came down from the mountain. Heading towards his disciples, he saw that a large crowd had gathered around them and that the Scribes were arguing with them. When the crowds saw Jesus, they were struck with amazement and ran up to greet him. When Jesus reached his disciples he asked the Scribes: JESUS. What are you arguing with them about?
NARRATOR.
Suddenly, a man in the crowd cried out:
MAN.
Master, I beg you, look at my son, he's my only child!
NARRATOR.
The man then came up to Jesus, went down on his knees before him and said:
MAN.
Lord, have mercy on my son! He's crazy and suffers greatly. Master, I brought my son to you, there is a spirit of dumbness in him. Whenever the spirit takes hold of him, he will suddenly cry out and be thrown to the ground into convulsions. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth and goes rigid. It takes a while for it to leave the boy and when it does, he's exhausted. I brought him to your disciples and begged them to cast it out, but they couldn't cure him.
JESUS.
You faithless and perverse generation. How long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring your son here to me.
NARRATOR.
They brought the boy to Jesus. As he was moving towards him, the spirit saw him and immediately threw the boy into convulsions. The demon threw him to the ground and he lay there twisting, [writhing] and foaming at the mouth.
JESUS.
How long has this been happening to him?
MAN.
Since he was a child. Many times it has thrown him into the fire and into the water in order to destroy him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.
JESUS.
If you have faith, all things are possible to the person who has faith.
NARRATOR.
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears:
MAN.
I have faith! Help me with the little faith I have.
NARRATOR.
When Jesus saw that the people were closing in around him, he rebuked the unclean spirit and said to him:
JESUS.
Dumb and deaf spirit, I order you , 'come out of him and never enter him again.
NARRATOR.
The spirit cried out, threw the boy into violent convulsions and came out of him. The boy lay there like a corpse and many of them said:
PEOPLE.
He's dead!
NARRATOR.
But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him up and he was able to stand. From that moment, the boy was cured. Jesus then gave him back to his father. The people were all amazed at the mighty power of God. Later, when he had gone into the house, his disciples came to Jesus privately and said:
DISCIPLE.
Why weren't we able to cast it out?
JESUS.
Because of your lack of faith. I tell you most sincerely, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'move from here to that place over there', and it would move. Nothing will be impossible for you. This kind can only be driven out by prayer and fasting.
NARRATOR.
While everyone was in wonderment at all the things Jesus had done, he said to his disciples:
JESUS.
Let these words sink down into your ears, the Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men.
NARRATOR.
They left that place and made their way through Galilee. Jesus, however did not want anyone to know because he was teaching his disciples. While they were in Galilee, he said to his them:
JESUS.
The Son of Man will be delivered and intrusted into the hands of men. They will kill him and after he has been killed, he will rise and be raised to life again.
NARRATOR.
However, they did not understand what he was saying and the meaning of what was said was hidden from them. They were afraid to ask him what he meant and a great sadness came over them.

Matthew 17:14-23; Mark 9:14-32; Luke 9:37-45

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The Temple Tax Paid by Jesus and Peter

NARRATOR.
When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the half-shekel temple tax came to Peter and said:
COLLECTOR.
Doesn't your master pay the half-shekel?
PETER.
Yes.
NARRATOR.
Peter went into the house, but before he could speak, Jesus said:
JESUS.
Simon, what do you think? From whom do the kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their own children or from foreigners?
PETER.
From foreigners.
JESUS.
If that's the case, then the children are exempt. Nevertheless, in order not to offend these people, go to the lake and cast a hook. Take the first fish you catch and when you have opened it's mouth you will find a shekel. Take it and give it to the collectors for me and you.

Matthew 17:24-27

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Who is the Greatest

NARRATOR.
During those days, a reasoning arouse among the disciples as to who was the greatest. While in the house at Capernaum, he asked them:
JESUS.
What were you arguing about on the road?
NARRATOR.
They didn't say a word, because they had been arguing about who was the greatest. The disciples said to Jesus:
DISCIPLES.
Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?
NARRATOR.
He sat down and called the Twelve to him and said:
JESUS.
If anyone want to be first, he must become last of all and servant to all.
NARRATOR.
Perceiving the thoughts of their heart, Jesus called a child to him and sat him by his side in front of them. Taking the child in his arms he said:
JESUS.
I tell you most sincerely, unless you turn around and become like little children, you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. And so, anyone who will humble himself like this little child, that one is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me. Anyone who welcomes me, welcomes the One who sent me, for the one who is the least among all of you, this one is the greatest.
NARRATOR.
John spoke up and said:
JOHN.
Master, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, but he wasn't one of us so we tried to stop him.
JESUS.
Don't stop him. No one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me. For anyone who is not against us, is for us and on our side.

Matthew 18:1-4; Mark 9:33-40; Luke 9:46-50

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Leading Others to Sin

JESUS.
Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you belong to Christ, I tell you most sincerely, he will not lose his reward. But anyone who would entice one of these little ones, who believe in me, to sin; that person would be better off if a millstone were hung around his neck and he was thrown into the depths of the sea and drowned. Alas for the world because of the snares that are set. Indeed, there must be snares, but woe to the man by whom the snare is set.
And if your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away from you! It's better for you to enter into life maimed, then to have two hands and go to Gehenna, into the fire that cannot be put out. Where their worm doesn't die and the fire never goes out.
And if your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away from you! It's better for you to enter into life lame, than to have two feet and be thrown into everlasting fire. Where their worm doesn't die and the fire never goes out. And if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out and throw it away from you. It is better to enter into life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of Gehenna. Where their worm doesn't die and the fire never goes out.
For every one will be salted with fire and every sacrifice will be salted with salt. Salt is good, but if the salt has become insipid, how can you season it again? Have salt in yourselves and have peace with one another.
See that you never despise one of these little ones, for I tell you, that in Heaven, their angels do always see the face of my Father, who is in Heaven.

Matthew 18:5-11; Mark 9:41-50

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Parable of the Lost Sheep

JESUS.
For the Son of Man has come to save those things which were lost. What do you think? If a man had a hundred sheep and one of them had gone astray, doesn't he leave the ninety-nine and go into the mountains and look for the one that had gone astray. I tell you most sincerely, if he should find it, he will rejoice more because of that sheep than for the ninety-nine that did not stray at all. Similarly, it is not the will of your Father who is in Heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

Matthew 18:12-14

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Correcting Your Brother

JESUS.
Going further, if your brother trespasses against you, go and tell him what he had done privately, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear you, then take one or two others with you in order that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. But if he doesn't listen to them, tell it to the community, If he refuses to listen to them, treat him like a pagan or a tax collector.
I tell you most sincerely, whatever you bind on earth will be considered bound in Heaven, whatever you loose on earth will be considered loosed in Heaven. Once again I tell you most sincerely, that if two of you on earth agree in asking anything at all, it will be done for them by my Father who is in Heaven. Because where two or three are gathered together in my name, I will be there in the midst of them. Peter then went up to him and said:
PETER.
Lord, How many times do I have to forgive my brother when he does something wrong against me? As many as seven times?
JESUS.
I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.!

Matthew 18:15-22

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Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor

JESUS.
Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven could be compared to a certain king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. When he had begun to tally the accounts of his servants, one of them was brought to him who owed him ten-thousand talents. But on account of the fact that he did not have the means to repay the debt, his master ordered that he was to be sold along with his wife, children and all his possessions.
At this, the servant threw himself down, prostrated himself before him and said; 'Master, have patience with me and I will pay you everything that I owe you.' The servant's master was moved with compassion, let him go and discharged his debt. However, this servant went out and came upon one of his fellow servants, one who owed him one-hundred denarii. He grabbed him, seized him by his throat and said; 'Pay me what you owe me!' His fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him; 'Have patience with me and I'll pay you back everything I owe you.' But the other man would not accept his plea and went and had him thrown into prison until he was able to pay back the debt.
When his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed. Going to their master, they told him everything that had transpired. The master then sent for the man and said to him; 'You wicked servant! I cancelled all of the debt of yours because you appealed to me. Shouldn't you also have had compassion on your fellow servant even as I had pity on you?' His master was furious and handed him over to the torturers until he was able to pay back everything that was owed him.
This is also how my Heavenly Father will deal with you if you do not forgive everyone of your brothers their trespasses from your heart. When He had finished speaking, he left for Galilee.

Matthew 18:23-35, 19:1...; Mark 10:1...

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