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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Chapter 31 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

where Jesus is Chapter 31

Ch 31. PR

The politician took Jesus Josephovich, Volodomir and Leosha across the city to their apartment. They exchanged information and the politician left with a promise that he would contact Jesus Josephovich again to thank him for what he had done for him and his son. Jesus assumed that this would also include another conversation about miracles. Everybody loved miracles, but almost no one understood them.

Volodomir’s wife, Elena, and daughter, Katya, arrived home later, and they were quite confused about why they had been left alone in the center of the city. Katya, as usual, blamed Jesus Josephovich. She didn’t know why, but she felt like he was here just to make her life more difficult.

Soon, however, all explanations were unnecessary because there on the television, on practically every channel, was footage of Jesus Josephovich poking the politician in the eyes.

Leosha laughed hysterically as he watched the humorous healing. “Why did you poke him so hard?” he asked, laughing.

“To get his attention,” Jesus Josephovich answered.

In the next segment of the news story, the politician was bringing his son on stage and showing the crowd that he was able to walk. Everyone was shocked.

“Did you really heal that boy?” Lena asked, staring at the foreigner in disbelief.

“His faith healed him,” Jesus Josephovich answered. “I just helped him find it.”

The family began discussing the amazing incident when the doorbell rang, interrupting their conversation.

“Are you expecting anyone?” Lena asked.

“No,” Volodomir said. “Are you?”

His wife Lena shook her head and opened the door. Standing at the door was a tall, attractive, professional-looking woman in a pantsuit. Her hair was cut short and modern and everything about her was stylish and calculated. She walked inside and began shaking hands with everyone in the apartment. She stopped when she got to the foreigner.

“Jesus Josephovich,” she said smoothly. “I hope you’re ready for a new life, my friend, because we have a lot to talk about.”

Jesus Josephovich scrunched his nose in confusion. “A new life?”

“You are about to be famous,” she said, as if she were the one responsible for his recent notoriety. “And I’m going to make sure you do it right. Stick with me and you’re going to be a rich man, Mr. Josephovich, a rich and powerful man. The sky’s the limit!”

“Thank you for your concern,” Jesus Josephovich replied as the woman walked around him examining his clothes and hair. “But I’m here to help other people, not help myself.”

“Oh that’s a great phrase,” she said. “Let’s write that one down,” she said as she typed it into her iPhone. “And a few more for the t-shirts and coffee mugs. But your hair… we’ve got to do something about your hair. It’s just so… 60’s. Hippie is out. It’s all about short and confident these days. Maybe a close shave like Justin Timberlake, or a bit of a forward spike like Brad Pitt.”

“Who are you and what are you talking about?” Volodomir asked.

The woman quickly handed them each a sleek black business card as if she were doing them a great favor.

“I’m Talia,” she said, hoping that someone would recognize the obviously invented name. “The best PR agent in Kiev. I only represent the hottest stars and celebrities, but you, my friend, are going to be bigger than them all. You, my friend, have international appeal.”

“International appeal?” Jesus Josephovich replied.

“Singers: they’re great in their own language, but it’s tough to promote them overseas. Models: they’re great as long as they don’t speak, but there’s just too much competition from Brazil these days. Athletes are always good for a commercial or two, but most of them are too dumb to really exploit their careers. And then there are politicians: great for a laugh and the occasional charity photo-op, but usually not worth the trouble unless they’re in cahoots with big money. But you,” she said, pausing dramatically. “You are the real deal. A healer. A holy man. A helper of the people. You are going to go far. What can I say, everybody loves a miracle.”

Jesus Josephovich looked questioningly at Volodomir, who folded his arms defensively. He seemed as unimpressed by this woman’s speech as Jesus Josephovich was.

“What do you want from me?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“It’s not what I want from you,” Talia declared, “it’s what I can do for you.”

“And that is?”

“Photo shoots, magazine interviews, news reports, public appearances. I want your face to be everywhere in this city and around the world. We have a short window of opportunity here, but if we do it right, you’ll be world famous in a few weeks.”

“And why would I want to be world famous?” Jesus Josephovich wondered.

“Why?” she said incredulously. “Because fame is power. Once you’re famous there are going to be books, movies, hats, bumper stickers, toys. Everything with your name on it. We could even make a series of “Get Well Soon” greeting cards from the world’s greatest healer.”

“Greeting cards?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“Once you’re famous, you can do anything you want. You could come out with a Christmas music album or anything else that you can think of and I can get people to buy it. There’s no limit to how much we can exploit your name.”

Jesus Josephovich frowned at the idea. He wasn’t a very good singer, and judging from the music he had heard since he had been in Kiev, his musical tastes probably wouldn’t fit in with modern pop music.

“But we’ve got to give you a more modern, mysterious image,” the public relations woman continued. “That beard is just scary, and your clothes need a major overhaul. I’m thinking some loose Indian style robes or a Japanese kimono. Definitely something Eastern. It will make you seem more mystical.”

“I don’t care about my appearance,” Jesus Josephovich said.

“I know you don’t, darling,” Talia replied, looking distastefully at his shoes.

“I’m just interested in helping people, talking to people,” he continued. “I don’t want to sell them anything.”

“About that,” Talia said disagreeably. “A lot of your speeches are too long and a little boring. We need to cut them down a bit, make them more digestible for the masses. We need a catch phrase, three or four words at most. Something everyone will remember. Something impossible to forget.”

“You know, in the beginning -”

“I don’t care about ancient history,” Talia interrupted. “You’re with me now, and we only think about the future. Okay? Your future with me.”

“And what about your future?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“My future?” Talia replied, unsure of herself. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, where are you headed?”

Talia paused for a moment to consider the question. “Well, as soon as I have enough money, I’m going to start my own PR company and I’m going to make it the biggest and best public relations group in the Ukraine and Russia.”

“That’s ambitious,” Jesus Josephovich admitted. “And how do you want your children and grandchildren to remember you?” he asked.

“Grandchildren?” she said in surprise. “I don’t know. I don’t have any children or grandchildren.”

“They are the future,” Jesus Josephovich continued. “What would you like them to say about you when you are gone?”

Talia was befuddled and she smiled at everyone in the room as she tried to think up an answer that would please everyone. “I would like them to say that I worked hard and was successful, and that I helped a lot of other people become successful too.” She grinned proudly at her answer.

“Was your mother successful?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“Not really,” she admitted. “But she worked hard and she was very smart.”

“That’s good,” Jesus Josephovich replied. “But is that why you love her?”

Talia froze as if she had done something wrong and noticed all the eyes in the room staring at her. She felt like she had missed something, like she and Jesus were having two completely different conversations.

She cleared her throat as she tried to talk. “It’s difficult for me to say that I love my mother,” she confessed. “We are very different, and we disagree on a lot of things. We don’t talk very much. But even if I can’t say that I really love her, I can say that I appreciate her.”

Jesus Josephovich walked over to Talia and touched her hand. She looked up into his peaceful eyes as he spoke. “And is that what you want your children and grandchildren to say about you?”

A tear formed at the edge of the PR woman’s eye and she cleared her throat loudly, trying to keep her composure. “Probably not,” she admitted.

“Okay then,” Jesus Josephovich said, letting go of her hand. “It’s looks like we both need to think about our futures.”

Suddenly, as Jesus Josephovich touched her hand, she witnessed two parallel futures. In one she was a successful PR agent, world famous, but utterly alone. In the second, she was married with a family, and though life was more difficult, the relationships made it even more worthwhile.

She watched herself and her family grow and age in both lives, until she arrived at her deathbed. In one life she was surrounded by her husband, her children, her grandchildren, and in her arms was placed her first great-grandchild. In the other life she was alone in the hospital and not even the nurse wanted to speak to her. Like a flash of bright light, it became clear in her mind that all the personal success in the world couldn’t earn her anything that she could take with her in the end. Yet in the life with her family, she experienced this inescapable feeling that she would see them again some day, that their relationships would never be lost.

Talia awoke from the vision and was startled to see that only a few seconds had passed in the real world even though she had experienced two lifetimes in her mind. She nodded humbly to the foreigner as she wiped the sweat off her brow. “You’re right, of course,” she said. “I do need to give my future a bit more consideration.”

Jesus Josephovich took her hands in his and smiled at her knowingly, as if he had also witnessed her two possible paths.

Talia quickly recovered and the confident PR woman began making plans once again. “Let’s talk more about this later. Give me your cell phone number. My number is on my business card.”

Jesus Josephovich grinned guiltily and looked at Katya. “I don’t have a cell phone,” he admitted.

Talia almost fainted. “Forget about the future. You’re not even in the present!”

Also available in the Parables section.  Click here to READ MORE…

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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in E-Book, Parables, Where Jesus is

 

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Chapter 30 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

where jesus is chapter 30

Ch 30. Compromise

Jesus Josephovich had just simultaneously healed a politician’s nearsightedness and his son’s paralyzed legs. Normally he would feel good about this sort of incident. Unfortunately, it had happened in front of a large crowd, and even worse, in front of the television cameras and news photographers. This was going to be bad. People never took miracles the right way.

The crowds rushed forward to get a glimpse of the politician’s son. The boy was still being held in his father’s arms and within moments of the healing, a thousand digital cameras and cell phones were raised above their heads in order to get a shot of the miracle.

The politician saw what was happening and called his security in to help him and his son escape from the unruly crowd. Jesus Josephovich, Volodomir, Leosha, and the campaign manager all followed him through the crowd and into a large black sedan.

Bulbs flashed and video cameras rolled as they drove away in the darkly tinted car. Volodomir and Leosha were shaking with excitement. Jesus Josephovich looked at them and smiled.

“Oops,” he said. “Remind me not to help people be healed in public places. It attracts too much attention.”

“What do you mean?” Leosha said. “That was awesome!”

“But look at what happened,” Jesus Josephovich said, pointing out the window at the crowd that still pursued them with their cameras. “Those people didn’t gain a desire to love one another more. They gained a desire for miracles, for power. That’s not going to help them.”

“I disagree,” said the politician. “Those people are inspired. They have seen a miracle!”

“It wasn’t a miracle,” Jesus Josephovich claimed. “Your faith healed you. Not me.”

The politician waved his hand in the air dismissively. “To them, and to me, it was a miracle.” The politician’s son, Sasha, stared wide-eyed at Jesus Josephovich as if he were looking at a superhero in real life. It was clear that he believed the foreigner had performed a miraculous healing.

Jesus Josephovich looked at the boy and his father. “Everything that I have done, other men can do as well,” he asserted.

The politician shook his head in amazement. “Teach me how to heal people, so that I can help the people of this city,” he said greedily.

“Trust me,” Jesus Josephovich said, “the ability to heal people is not something that you want. The ability to help people heal themselves is much more useful.”

The politician leaned closer to Jesus Josephovich. His voice was an excited whisper. “That crowd would do whatever you asked them,” the politician stated, his eyes growing wider each moment as he considered the possibilities of such power.

“Maybe,” Jesus Josephovich said. “But is that what you really want? Blind obedience?”

“Politics is an impossible profession,” the politician said. “You can’t help the people in the ways they need to be helped, because the people don’t understand what they need. They don’t know what’s best for them.”

“Are you sure they don’t know?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“The people believe all the lies that the other political parties tell them. They want gimmicks and catch phrases – not real change. They’re afraid of real change,” the politician explained. “So, in order to compete, we have to give them lies and gimmicks and compromise.” The politician shook his head frustratingly. Then he stared at Jesus Josephovich. “But you could help change all of that. With your help we could give them something real.”

“Miracles?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“Hope,” the politician said. “Think about it. If the people believe that God is with them, that God is with our party, then there is nothing that we can’t do. The people will do whatever we say and we’ll be able to organize society the way it needs to be, the way that will be best for our people.”

Jesus Josephovich scratched his chin and considered the politician’s words. “And how do you know that your government will always do what is best for the people?”

“Do you know what the problem is with politics these days?” the politician asked. “There are too many players, too many groups fighting for power, too many ideologies trying to shape the country at the same time. No one can put their ideas into practice because everyone has to compromise. What we’re left with after all the compromises is a bunch of inadequate laws and institutions that aren’t strong enough to get the job done.”

“Some people would say that compromise is a good thing,” Volodomir interrupted. “It ensures that no one gets too powerful. Remember Stalin?”

“Stalin did some terrible things,” the politician admitted, “but look at what he was able to accomplish when he had the entire country working towards one purpose. He made the Soviet Union a world power because he never had to compromise.”

“He also never had to compete,” Volodomir added. “Competition can slow things down, but it also ensures that things are as good as they can possibly be. Competition is as essential in politics as it is in economics. Maybe if Stalin had had some competition to keep him honest, he wouldn’t have killed millions of people.”

“What do you think, Jesus Josephovich?” the politician asked. “Is it better to have a government that can do anything it needs to do in order to get the job done, or do you think it is better to make constant compromises?”

Jesus Josephovich leaned forward and touched Sasha’s hair. Sasha was kicking his legs back and forth, testing his muscles, recalling how to use his legs again.

“Do you love your mother?” Jesus Josephovich asked Sasha.

Sasha nodded his head vigorously and smiled at his father. “Yes.”

“Is she mean sometimes?” Jesus Josephovich asked. “Does she yell at you sometimes?”

Sasha nodded his head. “Sometimes,” he said. “When she’s tired.”

“Do you always obey her, or does she make compromises with you?”

Sasha kicked his legs even harder as he thought about the question. “Sometimes I have to do what she says, but sometimes she let’s me do things if I ask her nicely.”

Jesus Josephovich smiled. “Do you like it when your mother tells you what to do?”

Sasha shook his head. “No.”

“Why do you obey her?” Jesus Josephovich continued.

Sasha grinned and glanced at his father again. “Because I know she loves me.”

Jesus Josephovich looked at the politician and motioned towards his son. “He obeys his mother because he loves her, and sometimes she makes compromises with him because she loves him. But can you ever expect the same relationship to exist between a government and a man?”

The politician shrugged his shoulders. “Perhaps if a leader truly loved the people.”

“A government cannot love,” Jesus Josephovich said. “Only people can love. If you truly want to help your people, then do not look to any government for the answers. Look inside your own heart and discover what stops you from loving others. Then love. Help others do the same. This will change your people.”

The politician nodded in agreement. “I think you are right. I want to love people. If you give me this power to heal them, then I will be able to help them.”

Jesus Josephovich shook his head. “Being healed physically is not important. It is merely an illustration that change is possible. Any change is possible with the right faith, physical or spiritual. If a paralyzed boy can walk, then a paralyzed heart can love.”

The politician rubbed his hands together nervously. “But if I were able to heal someone, it would be much more powerful than anything I could do on my own. If I just love them, then maybe they will be happier, but if I can heal them, it would change them forever.”

Jesus Josephovich sighed. “When people see a miracle, they want to see more miracles. They don’t want to see God. Not the real God. They’re not interested in the real God. Once they see a miracle, they want to see God as they envision him: magical and supernatural, but not as he really is.”

“What is the real God?” the politician asked.

“You know what he is,” Jesus Josephovich said. “God is love.”

Also available in the Parables section.  Click here to READ MORE…

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2013 in E-Book, Parables, Where Jesus is

 

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Chapter 29 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

where jesus is chapter 29

Ch 29. The Healing

After the small celebration with the group of homeless men and the young runaway girl, Volodomir took Jesus Josephovich back to the center of the city to meet up with his wife and daughter again.

When they reached the city center, the political rally had reached its peak. A man was speaking on a stage that looked like it had been built to host a rock concert, and a large crowd had gathered to hear him speak.

The speaker was a stocky man in an expensive suit. He was older, in his mid- fifties, and he had a round tuft of hair on the top of his head, like an island surrounded by a moat of freckled skin. He constantly adjusted a pair of thin-rimmed glasses on his broad face.

The old politician was not very charismatic, but he was angry enough to get the crowd stirred up. It was clear that he was on the losing side of whatever argument or campaign he was running, and the bitterness of his words made the crowd increasingly hostile.

“Who is that?” Jesus Josephovich wondered.

“Just another politician,” Volodomir said. “He wants to be mayor, along with about 80 other politicians.”

“Why does he want to be mayor?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“The same reason everyone wants to be mayor. Money.”

“The mayor has a high salary?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

Volodomir laughed. “No, no. No one who works for the government makes a good salary. It’s the bribes and the illegal deals that make all the politicians rich.”

“If they do illegal things, then why do people vote for them?”

Volodomir shrugged his shoulders. “We don’t have a choice. Good people don’t usually become politicians, and if they do, they don’t get very far. Not in this system.”

Jesus Josephovich frowned and listened to the speaker shout at the crowd about all of the problems with their country. Jesus Josephovich was surprised that after all the talk about problems, the politician didn’t seem to offer many solutions. It seemed much easier to complain about the way things were than to offer any real answers to the problems.

As the rally finished, the fat campaign manager, who had offered Jesus Josephovich a job earlier, ran up to them and grabbed Jesus Josephovich’s arm.

“You came back!” he said excitedly. “Come with me, please. There’s someone I want you to meet.”

Volodomir wanted to say no, but Jesus Josephovich was already being dragged through the crowd by the campaign manager. He took the foreigner all the way around the crowd to the back of the stage. They passed through a line of heavy-set security guards all dressed in black and found themselves backstage.

“Who do you want me to meet?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

The campaign manager motioned towards the politician on stage. “He heard about how many people you attracted to the rally this afternoon and he wants to talk to you.”

Jesus Josephovich grinned. People always thought the things he did were linked to some magical power, but all they really had to do was learn how to love other people like you loved yourself. The problem was that no one ever thought it was that easy to make an impact. They always looked for more complicated solutions – or less effective ones, like yelling.

As he was looking around at the group of political supporters and business people, waiting for the politician to finish his speech, he noticed a young boy sitting in a wheelchair next to the stage. He walked over to the boy and knelt down to talk to him.

“Hello,” Jesus Josephovich said. “What’s your name?”

The boy was taken aback, but after a quick look at his face he realized that the strange man was just a friendly foreigner.

“My name’s Sasha,” the boy said.

Jesus Josephovich smiled. “What happened?” he asked concernedly, looking at the wheelchair.

The boy put his hands on the armrests and grunted uncomfortably. “It was a car accident,” he said. “A truck ran into us when we were driving at night. It crushed the back of the car. I hurt my back and I haven’t been able to walk since.”

Jesus looked at the boy’s legs. They were whole and didn’t appear to be badly damaged. “Who told you that you couldn’t walk?” Jesus wondered.

The boy stared strangely at the foreigner. “The doctors,” he answered.

“And do you believe them?” Jesus Josephovich questioned.

Sasha wasn’t sure how to answer. “Yes, of course. Why shouldn’t I? They’re doctors.”

Jesus Josephovich examined Sasha’s legs further. “Do you want to walk again?” he asked.

The boy frowned. “Of course! If I could.”

“Do you believe that it’s possible? If the doctors had never told you that you couldn’t walk, would you think it’s possible that you could? Do you believe that you could walk if God wanted you to?”

The boy considered this. “I think it’s possible, but I don’t think it will happen.”

Suddenly the crowd clapped loudly and there was a bustle of movement around the stage. The politician had finished his speech. He walked through a group of supporters who patted him on the back and shook his hand vigorously. Eventually the politician walked over to where Jesus Josephovich was talking to the boy.

“Hello Dad,” Sasha said to the politician.

“Who is this?” the stern politician said distrustfully.

The chubby campaign manager quickly cut in between the politician and the foreigner. “This is the man we told you about. This is Jesus Josephovich.”

Suddenly the politician’s demeanor completely changed. He gave the foreigner a hearty handshake and his best fake smile. “I’ve heard a lot about you,” he said enthusiastically. “I think we have a lot to talk about.”

“I’m sure we do,” Jesus Josephovich answered, though he was thinking of a very different topic of conversation than that which the politician was imagining.

“I see you’ve already met my son,” he said.

Sasha smiled. “He told me that I could walk if I wanted to,” the boy stated. “Can I really walk if I want to?” he asked his father hopefully.

The politician frowned angrily. “Why would you say that to a child like this?” he shouted at the foreigner. “It’s not right to get his hopes up like that.”

Jesus Josephovich stared at the politician’s angry face. “You don’t believe that your son can walk?”

The politician was too angry to speak and looked to the campaign manager for help. The campaign manager took a step back and hid himself behind Jesus Josephovich.

“May I see your glasses?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

The politician was confused, not understanding the relevance of the question, and he handed the foreigner his glasses without thinking.

“Do you believe that you can see clearly without these?” Jesus Josephovich asked as he examined the Italian-made glasses.

“What are you talking about?” the politician shouted.

“Who told you that you couldn’t see?” Jesus Josephovich questioned.

“I’ve always had trouble seeing since I was a child,” the man admitted.

“Was it your mother, or your father, a relative, or another doctor?” Jesus asked. “When did you stop believing that you could see clearly?”

The politician was completely confused now and the crowd was beginning to watch his interaction with the odd-looking foreigner so he tried to grab his glasses back, but Jesus Josephovich quickly pulled them away.

Jesus Josephovich held up his hand in front of his face. “Can you see my fingers clearly?” he asked.

“Yes,” the politician said, embarrassed that the crowd was now watching them with interest.

Jesus Josephovich moved his fingers closer and closer to the man’s eyes. “Can you still see them clearly?”

“Yes of course,” the politician said, now getting frustrated.

“If you can see them clearly, then what is keeping you from seeing everything clearly?” Jesus Josephovich moved his fingers even closer and then, to everyone’s surprise, he poked the politician in the eyes. The crowd gasped and the politician reeled backwards and put his hands to his eyes in shock.

“What are you doing?” he screamed. He rubbed his eyelids and was about to yell at his security guards to grab his attacker when he opened his eyes. The politician looked around and realized that he could see perfectly. He was amazed. “What did you do to me?” he asked. “I can see everything without my glasses!”

The politician’s young son jumped out of the chair and ran to his father. “Did he really heal your eyes?” the boy asked.

The politician froze, along with everyone around them in the crowd, and stared at his son standing on his own two legs. He grabbed his son in his arms and hugged him passionately. “My son!” he shouted and gaped at the foreigner. “You healed my son!”

Jesus Josephovich held his hands up in the air innocently. “I didn’t heal anybody. You healed yourselves. Your faith healed you,” he claimed. “I just helped you find it.”

The politician ignored his words, knelt on the ground and grabbed Jesus Josephovich’s hands. “Thank you,” he said. “Thank you!”

Jesus Josephovich smiled cautiously. “You’re welcome. But this doesn’t mean that I’m voting for you.”

Also available in the Parables section.  Click here to READ MORE…

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2013 in E-Book, Parables, Where Jesus is

 

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Chapter 28 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

where jesus is chapter 28

Ch 28. The Farmer’s Tale

Jesus Josephovich and the group of homeless drunks were causing quite a scene in the passageway beneath the street which led to the Kontraktova Metro station. The strange looking men were talking lively, embracing, and slapping each other on the back like old friends.

They were congratulating Jesus Josephovich and one another on his encounter with the runaway orphan, Natalya. He had convinced her to get help in order to get off the streets and out of prostitution and she had already made a phone call to an organization which had agreed to help her. Now they were eating snacks they had purchased to celebrate her first step in her new life.

The bums had gathered their money together and purchased a small cake and several non-alcoholic beers. One of them had also purchased several odd-shaped rolls of thin bread stuffed with vegetables, meat, and sauce. He handed one to Jesus Josephovich with a smile.

“What’s this?” Jesus Josephovich asked, staring at the unique food.

“It’s called a shawarma,” the man explained. “Try it. I think you’ll like it.”

Jesus Josephovich took a bite and some of the sauce spilled all over the ground. He dodged the spilling sauce and nodded his head pleasantly. “It’s not bad. What kind of meat is it?”

The homeless man shrugged his shoulders. “Don’t ask. It’s better not to know.”

Jesus Josephovich’s eyes widened as he stared into the mysterious tortilla.

As the group continued to celebrate, Jesus Josephovich noticed that one of the homeless men was standing alone in a corner away from the rest of the group. The man had a thin, nervous face and anxious eyes. It was clear that he was very uncomfortable.

Jesus Josephovich walked over to the man and offered him his shawarma. The man shook his head.

“Those aren’t healthy,” he said. “I’d rather not eat anything.”

“A man who eats bad food will be unhealthy, but a man who eats nothing will be dead,” Jesus Josephovich said with a grin.

He held out the shawarma once again. The man smiled and took a bite.

“Are you okay?” Jesus Josephovich asked. “You look upset.”

The man’s thin face froze and his breathing stopped for an instant. He nervously pulled Jesus Josephovich closer to him. He tried to say something several times, but he couldn’t get it out. Finally the words came.

“I – I’ve done bad things,” he said. “Like her.” He nodded his head towards the young prostitute. “I’ve paid young women like her to do things.”

The homeless man was terribly embarrassed and his voice cracked as he tried to speak the truth. He stopped talking and cleared his throat nervously.

Jesus Josephovich put his hand gently on the man’s shoulder and felt the depth of the man’s pain. He understood what he feared and he nodded for him to continue.

“I want to be good, I really do; but I do bad things,” the bum said. “I can’t be good. I’ve sinned too much. It’s too late for me, I think.” He looked around with a defeated expression sunken into his face.

“What’s your name?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“Jenya,” the man said.

“Jenya, if the purpose of life was not to sin, then God could simply create nothing, and then there would be no sin,” Jesus Josephovich stated. “Or he could take away our free will, make us his slaves, like robots, and again there would be no sin. But do you think that is what the Creator wants?”

The homeless man shook his head. “No. But I’m afraid,” he confessed. “I’m afraid that if I try to be good, I will do bad things again. I’ve tried to stop drinking many times, and I’ve always gone back to the bottle again in the end. It’s like that with many things for me – drugs, stealing…sex. It would be better to die than to keep failing, wouldn’t it?”

“Have you ever had a farm or a garden?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

The homeless man nodded. “My father was a farmer.”

Jesus Josephovich smiled and began his story. “A farmer raised his son and taught him all the rules of farming. He taught him how to till the earth, how to plant the seeds, how to feed them, how to get rid of pests, and when to harvest the crops. He also told him all the big mistakes he should avoid. If he followed all these rules, the son would be likely to have a good harvest.

“When the boy had his own farm, however, he became so afraid of making mistakes, that he didn’t do anything at all. He didn’t want any failure of the crops to be his fault, so he simply threw the seeds on the ground and let them grow however fate allowed.

“After a few years, even though he had avoided all the mistakes that his father had warned him about, his farm was ruined. Not only was the boy’s farm as bad as it would have been if he had made all the mistakes that his father had warned him about in the first place, but his situation was even worse because he had become complacent.

“If he had been working hard according to his father’s instructions, he could have fixed any problems that had arisen, and any mistakes that he might have made could have been corrected. But because he had done nothing, he had forgotten how to work properly, he had no motivation, he had become lazy. Now, even if he wanted to fix his farm, he was incapable of doing it.

Jenya nodded his head, understanding.

“So you see,” Jesus Josephovich finished, “the man failed because he only thought about the negative things his father had taught him. In reality, it was the positive things his father had taught him that were the most important, and if he had done those things then he could have been successful even if he had made many mistakes.”

Jenya seemed to relax a little and sighed deeply. “I understand,” he said pensively. “But I’m still afraid. I’m afraid that if I make a mistake, if I’m not perfect, then I’ll give up again.”

“Perfect?” Jesus Josephovich said shaking his head. “Perfection is not the absence of sin, but the presence of complete goodness. One cannot reach perfection simply by avoiding sin. You must strive to find opportunities to create goodness in your life and in the lives of others. A perfect person is not incapable of sinning. A perfect person simply has so much goodness inside of them that there is no room left for bad things.”

“But can a bad person do good things?” the man wondered, glancing at the young girl out of the corner of his eye. The homeless man felt as if in some way his desires had caused part of her suffering. The girl’s presence would not let him stop feeling the guilt of his past immoral acts.

“You’re still too focused on your mistakes,” Jesus Josephovich said, seeing Jenya’s guilty expression. “Don’t focus on the things you shouldn’t do, focus on the things you should do. People think that God doesn’t want them to have sex, but that isn’t it at all. God just wants us to have the best marriages possible, and for that we must be faithful to our spouses.

“Do not think that God doesn’t want you to lie – think that God wants you to live every moment with a clear and happy conscience. Do not think that God doesn’t want you to steal – think that God wants you to have the satisfaction of working hard and building something of value for yourself and your family and your community. It’s not that he doesn’t want you to ever hurt another person – it’s that he wants you to help people whenever you can. God wants you to have the best life possible.”

The shy homeless man scratched his head, trying to understand this new perspective. Jenya had always felt guilty about his life for some reason, so he had always simply tried to minimize his negative impact on the world around him. He never considered that he might be able to have a positive effect on the world.

“What can I do?” Jenya asked.

“Love,” Jesus Josephovich answered simply. “If you are loving someone, then you can’t sin. Sin and love are opposites. If you are afraid to sin, then you must simply love someone at every moment. Then you will never sin.”

“And if I do sin?” Jenya asked timidly.

“Sin is nothing but a barrier between us and the best possible life. Sin gets in the way of love. You must remember that the purpose of life is not to not sin, but to produce love. Therefore, if you sin, stop, and then love.”

“You know I used to pray every day that God would kill me,” Jenya admitted, his eyes watering. “That way I wouldn’t sin any more.”

Jesus looked at him sympathetically and touched his hand. “Part of you does need to die,” Jesus agreed. “Your guilt.” He softly placed his hand on Jenya’s heart and stared into his eyes as if looking right into his soul. “God forgives you,” he whispered.

Jenya gasped as something like a fog lifted off his heart and mind. For a brief moment he saw himself as God saw him: as a soul. As a perfect, blameless being. It was his body that had sinned, not his soul. His soul was as clean as the day he was born. It had always been that way, but now he could feel it. It felt like being born again.

Jenya’s past failings and problems seemed to disappear, melting into a distant place in the back of his mind. He didn’t know why, but he felt free. His nervous twitches stopped and his entire demeanor became peaceful and calm.

Jesus Josephovich turned his head and looked at the poor runaway orphan who was talking and laughing with the other homeless men. He looked back at Jenya and winked. Jenya understood. He nodded, took a deep breath, and walked over to the orphan. From that moment on, Jenya thought, he would have a new purpose in life: to help that young girl.

As that thought crossed his mind, a strange feeling wormed its way up through his abdomen and into his chest flowing through his heart as naturally as his lifeblood, and he realized what was happening to him: it was love.

Also available in the Parables section.  Click here to READ MORE…

 
Comments Off on Chapter 28 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Posted by on August 1, 2013 in E-Book, Parables, Where Jesus is

 

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