January 27th 2003
Received by H.
Once upon a time there was a man, the owner of a precious
orchard. Right in the middle of his garden there was a tall
almond. Every year in spring, the tree was bedecked with an
ocean of wonderful white blossoms, and the owner delighted
in looking at its beautiful crown and expecting a rich harvest.
However, as it happens in life, the sun does not shine every
day, and the wind is not always like a gentle breeze caressing
the cheeks. Every year, the winter clings to its domain; it
does not want to give way to the spring, and suddenly returns
with icy storms and torrential rains.
While the other plants in the orchard endured the lashes
of the winters agonizing fury, of its last intent to
prolong its stay, the almond tree suffered too much. It did
not have enough strength to resist the blows of the elements,
and its beautiful petals dropped dead onto the ground. It
seemed as if a thick layer of snow covered the roots of the
almond tree, but it was only the sad remnants of the trees
With the blossoms, their owner's spirit fell. He had shown
great patience with his dear tree, but when he observed year
after year how the sad scenario repeated, he finally ordered
his farmhands to cut the almond tree down and plant another
little shoot, so that it would occupy the place of the almond
tree and fulfill its purpose of existence."
You see, my dear brother: I promised you that I would tell you
of Jesus' parables that are not found in the Bible. Here you have
I mentioned to you previously that Jesus found open ears amongst
many Pharisees, but that some opposed and even challenged him. They
had very little success, by the way, and this was the reason why
they would later on take recourse to less attractive methods than
the verbal attacks, that is to say, they exhausted every means to defame
and to revile the Master, inventing lies and propagating supposed
"shameful secrets" of Jesus' life, such as, for example,
the slander that he was a bastard, born of an illegitimate union.
You understand that the Pharisees I am referring to the
core of this movement boasted of their virtues and, filled
with pride, they displayed publicly their obedience to the letter
of the law. However, when they were confronted with situations they
could not handle, situations which caused them a headache or something
worse, and when they had exhausted all their resources in vain,
they did not hesitate to toss all their principles overboard and
use methods which they presumably rejected as sin from slander
Of course, what I have just said is an unjustified generalization.
Many Pharisees, the great majority of them, were good men. But I
believe that you understand what I mean. You may read a quite inoffensive
example in one of my last messages, where
I described a discussion between Jesus and a group of Pharisees
over the meaning of Psalm 110. The Pharisees had insisted that
this Psalm was the work of King David. Then, when they were unable
to sustain their argument and what was worse, when they could
no longer play down Jesus' superiority in scriptural knowledge
they changed tack and they suggested that this Psalm did not originate
from Davids pen. Jesus, of course, immediately brought their
maneuvers to light in front of a multitude of listeners, and the
Pharisees preferred to abandon the dispute and the place, crestfallen
and embarrassed, thinking of the means by which they could retaliate
against such a shameful defeat. Then, any means seemed appropriate
to them, be it legal or illegal, they no longer cared.
It will not be difficult for you to imagine that situations like
this one took place with some frequency. When they happened, Jesus
used to conclude his speech with the parable of the almond tree.
It compared the Pharisees to the sick tree that showed a great wealth
of blossoms (principles or apparent virtues) that promised an abundant
harvest of fruit (sanctity), but that with the change of the weather
fell to the ground, the same way that the Pharisees dropped their
moral and ethical principles whenever they considered it advisable.
At that time everybody understood that the tree was sick. You have
observed a very similar case: Your magnificent avocado tree that
one year dropped all its blossoms. It recovered later on through
a treatment with phosphorus and phyto-hormones. But the ancient
Jews understood nothing of this. To them, there was only one thing
to do: To cut down the tree, to tear its roots from the earth, and
to replace it with another plant, exactly as the wise owner of the
orchard did in the parable.
The allegory of the sick almond tree also implied another teaching:
The owner of the orchard, God, would demonstrate much patience,
but His great forbearance would become exhausted at some given moment.
He would pull out the tree and plant another one and here
he was, Jesus, the healthy tree whose fruit would feed the people
and please God.
If you now ask me why this parable does not figure in the New Testament,
I can only answer with a conjecture: I suppose that many of the
later church leaders felt uncomfortably alluded to by it. Therefore,
they opted to erase this passage from the manuscripts... just in
Very well, my dear brother: With this I conclude my message. Have
a day full of blessings. See you soon!
Judas of Kerioth