March 11th, 2002
Received by H.
My dear brother,
I think you are aware that our story has already reached the year
26. A few years earlier Herod Antipas had ordered the building of
a new capital city for his tetrarchy, calling it Tiberias, in honor
of the Roman emperor Tiberius. This city was and still is
located on the western shore of Lake Genesaret.
You will certainly remember that when the workers dug the foundations
for the buildings of the new city, they had found the remains of
an old Hebrew cemetery. And reactions burst out immediately. The
orthodox Jews refused to live in this city, and Antipas found himself
forced to turn to the heathens, so that they would settle in his
Eventually his new city had the character of the Greek towns, with
pagan temples, and even the palace of Antipas himself showed ornaments
and decorations, which caused the orthodox Jews rejection.
A few more miles to the north there was a village of Magdala. In
earlier times it was a village of fishermen, very similar to Kpar
Nahum, only smaller. But the proximity of the new capital caused
rapid growth. Many of the Jewish artisans preferred to live and
toil in Magdala, thus avoiding incurring the sin of profaning an
old burial ground, and so trade flourished at that location. However,
as you know, trade and money also attract another kind of service:
in Magdala, brothels abounded. We could say that it was a village
of doubtful reputation.
When we returned to Kpar Nahum, we could verify very soon that
the Master's fame had spread at lightning speed all over the country.
People we met along our way recognized him immediately and very
respectfully gave us precedence. We had to pass by Tiberias but
Jesus preferred not to enter, and so we walked around the city in
order to continue to the north. It would be obvious in the future
that Jesus avoided the Greek style cities. Anyway, he would not
have found many people there interested in his teachings and the
few people who really wanted to listen to what the Master had to
tell them always found the opportunity of meeting him in the country.
But, in order to continue with our story, how great was our surprise
when we came to Magdala and a "women's delegation" awaited
us! They had found out that we were approaching and intercepted
us at the entrance to the village. It was a not very homogeneous
group, consisting of the wives of workers and artisans, of prostitutes
and ladies of the society.
Do you find this strange? Well, the leader, Mariam, was a prostitute,
who lived in Magdala, and she knew everybody in the town. She was
not a cheap prostitute, but a woman of extraordinary beauty who
sold her body very expensively. Mariam of Magdala, or Mary Magdalene,
as you know her had a select clientele among Tiberias society,
and she also had friendships among the women of this society, amongst
others, Yokhan, one of the wives of Kuzan, Herod's administrator.
Many of the women were sick, and they hoped that the Master would
H.R.: And Jesus healed them?
Yes, he healed them. That was another great achievement in those
first moments of Jesus' public ministry. The heart of people of
influence had been won. And to win a heart means to open a heart.
All these women would accept the Master's teachings, and with them,
many of their husbands and, of course, their children.
H.R.: So the myth is true that Mary Magdalene
was the sinner.
If you refer to the adulterous woman whom Jesus saved from being
stoned, you are wrong. If you refer to the woman who anointed the
Master's head and dried his feet with her hair, you are wrong again.
However, that she was a sinful woman, yes, she was. Who is not?
The prostitute sells her body for money. This demonstrates her
low self-esteem. Others sell their conscience for political gains,
for power, for whatever it may be. Others sacrifice their families
for their professional career. In short, the entire world prostitutes
itself. When you see the TV news, it seems a great parade of prostitution.
Everything is done for money, against ones own conscience.
Mr. Money reigns the world, and is worth more than ones own
body or ones own conscience, on any level, in the personal
environment as well as in international politics.
But I will not expand on this topic now. I only want to add that
some of the women present, such as Mary Magdalene and Shusha, would
accompany the Master on his future teaching journeys. It was male
chauvinism of that time which erased the great role of women from
the Scriptures. When you read the Gospel of Thomas you will find
that Mary Magdalene is the intelligent one that quickly grasps what
the Master wants to express, while the male disciples are slow and
dull-witted. Well, that is another extreme, but it is not very far
from the truth (Judas laughs).
Today I had to struggle to deliver my message. Your receptivity
was not very good. Therefore, I think that it is the best to finish
now. You are tense. Remember how beautiful it was when you were
a boy, when you could simply lie down in the grass and enjoy the
sun, watching how the bees flew from flower to flower, and seeing
in the clouds the most fantastic animals. You can still do it. You
may still dream. Dreams are the things which forge reality.
God bless you,