March 28th, 2002
Received by H.
My dear brother:
Today you wrote a letter on the healing at the pool of Bethesda
and the supposed blasphemy the Master committed when saying that
he forgave the sick mans sins, when only God can forgive sins.
You explained that the message received by Mr. Padgett confused
two events: The incident, which happened at that pool, that is to
say, in Jerusalem, as it is only contained in the Gospel according to
John, and the Bible story on Jesus' supposed blasphemy (contained
in the three synoptic gospels, but not in Johns), which happened
in Galilee, in Kpar Nahum.
Today's message, in fact, is about this very topic.
In my last communication, I told you how we escaped from the crowd
and barricaded ourselves in Peter's house. It was not because Jesus
did not want to heal people, or because he did not like people.
Imagine the following situation: The Master arrives after a long
walk, tired, covered with dust, hungry, and a crowd awaits him,
screaming, pushing, touching him to obtain a healing, a tumult of
the worst kind you can imagine. It is logical that he wanted to
enjoy a moment of tranquility, and for that reason our "strategy
Well, it happened that people besieged the house for some hours.
Meanwhile, we were full of curiosity and astonishment, and asked
the Master, how he had managed that marvel, and when Jesus opened
his mouth to answer our question, we heard a strange and troubling
noise up there, on the roof of the house.
The heart of the story can be reproduced this
way (according to Luke):
Soon some men arrived carrying a paralytic on a small bed
and they kept trying to carry him in to put him down in front
When they failed to find a way of getting him in because
of the dense crowd, they went up on to the top of the house
and let him down, bed and all, through the tiles, into the
middle of the crowd in front of Jesus.
Yes, because of the crowd, and because we had blocked the
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, "My
friend, your sins are forgiven."
The scribes and the Pharisees began to argue about this,
saying, "Who is this man who talks blasphemy? Who can
forgive sins? Only God can do that."
Jesus realized what was going on in their minds and spoke
straight to them. "Why must you argue like this in your
Which do you suppose is easier to say, Your
sins are forgiven or to say, Get up and walk?
But to make you realize that the Son of Man has full authority
on earth to forgive sins I tell you," he said
to the man who was paralyzed, "get up, pick up your bed
and go home!"
Instantly the man sprang to his feet before their eyes, picked
up the bedding on which he used to lie, and went off home,
Sheer amazement gripped every man present, and they praised
God and said in awed voices, "We have seen incredible
Now, Mr. Padgett received
the following explanation, mistakenly attributed to the scene
at the pool of Bethesda:
As for the healing act which I performed at the pool of Bethesda,
I am reported to have said, "Is it easier to say, `take
up thy bed and walk,' than for God to forgive your sin?"
Well, that is the way it is recorded, but that is not what
I said. Actually I said, "That thou may know that the
son of man through the power of God can forgive sin, I say
unto you, `take up thy bed and walk'." It was only as
God's instrument in showing man the way to His Divine Love,
that I could bring about forgiveness of sin, and not by any
power of my own. If God did not forgive, I could not and neither
can any man.
Well, my friend, since you know the background of the story, you
may understand that there were neither scribes nor "Pharisees"
present. Nobody accused Jesus of blasphemy on that occasion. On
the contrary, everybody was grateful, and some resentful, for not
having found the opportunity for their own healing. This resentment,
however, would also be healed on the following days, when Jesus
walked freely again through the streets of Kpar Nahum, healing and
In fact, Kpar Nahum would become "his town," absolutely
loyal to him. You will also remember the centurion's story, who
approached Jesus with so much faith, asking for his help. Yes, in
that town, trust in Jesus was absolute, not only amongst the Jewish
population, but also amongst the heathens, and many of them lived
Yes, of course, it was this episode, which I called yesterday the
"surprise we received from above."
I also wish to tell you that you were right when writing in your
letter that the scene at the pool of Bethesda brought problems to
Jesus, but not because of a supposed blasphemy through the forgiving
sins, but because he healed on the Sabbath day, which caused his
first confrontation with the Temple authorities. But of this, we
will speak on another occasion, very soon. This also happened in
the year 26.
Tomorrow, however, we will have some fun. Tomorrow
we will go fishing.
Until then, my dear brother, I wish you a good day. I am glad to
see that during this week you have thought of the last week of Jesus
earthly life, each day with its happenings:
- Monday, when Jesus walked from Bethany to Jerusalem,
with the episode of the fig tree.
- Tuesday, the episode of the woman with the alabaster
flask, anointing the Master in the house of Simon the leprous
- Wednesday, the Temple scene, when Jesus turned
the tables of the money changers upside down, accusing the Temple
administration of being hypocrites and materialists, whose only
interest was that of swallowing peoples money, of abusing
their power and hiding behind their façade of sanctity,
Jesus moved from Lazarus house to a camp in the garden of
Gethsemane, aware of the danger, and in order to protect his friend.
- Thursday, with the Last Supper, my treason, and
his arrest at night.
- Friday, with his trial and death, and
with my suicide.
- Saturday, with the disciples panic.
- Sunday, with his resurrection, the empty tomb,
his appearance to the disciples at Emmaus, etc.
Yes, my friend, these were the events. But there is still a long
way to go, until we come to that date in our account: Almost three
years in the Masters life.
I will say good-bye now. Have a nice day.
Your brother in Christ,