Monthly Archives: September 2013

Chapter 52 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Ch52 Giving

Ch 52. Giving

When the Oligarch returned to the guest room where Jesus Josephovich was staying, he was disappointed to find that the model he had sent to entertain the foreigner was crying on the foreigner’s shoulder. It was not what he had hoped for.

The cameras that were set up in the room would have nothing incriminating to blackmail the foreigner with. Now he had to try negotiating once more, but he already knew Jesus Josephovich was a tough negotiator. If money and prostitutes wouldn’t work, then there was only one thing left to try. Family.

The next day the Oligarch took Jesus Josephovich to his dacha outside of the city where his wife and children lived. It was a huge house that looked more like an English manor than a Ukrainian country house. A high gate surrounded the house and the main gate was guarded by a team of security officers. Jesus Josephovich wondered why a man with so much to share would hide it so fervently from others.

Inside the gate several beautiful purebred dogs chased their black Bentley as they pulled the car into a massive garage. They entered the house and Jesus Josephovich was taken aback by the contemporary architecture and modern appliances. He felt like he had entered a space ship or walked into the future. Everything was shiny and the walls glowed with blue and red LED lights from various technological innovations. It didn’t look anything like the traditional Ukrainian dacha that he had visited with Volodomir in the Carpathian mountains.

The Oligarch introduced Jesus Josephovich to his attractive wife and his teenage daughter. His wife tried to appear excited to see the foreigner, but his daughter left the room as quickly as she could while texting on her cell phone. His wife tried to talk about what a wonderful man her husband was, and how much he loved to help people in Ukraine, but it was obvious that she had rehearsed this speech several times before.

They sat down to dinner and had a gourmet four-course meal, with soup, salads, a special lobster dish, and desert. Each course was served with a different wine and aperitifs. It was an exquisite dinner, but strangely enough, none of the food was Ukrainian.

After the dinner, the Oligarch took Jesus Josephovich into his office and sat down. “After a meal like that,” he said, “We must drink.” He held up a bottle of vodka with gold flakes floating inside of it and grinned mischievously at Jesus.

They drank a few toasts of vodka and relaxed in the Oligarch’s over-sized leather chairs. After the dinner and the vodka, the Oligarch was feeling very relaxed. He reclined in his chair and began singing an old Soviet song.

Jesus Josephovich listened to the tune and attempted whistling to it. The Oligarch sat up straight and stared at the foreigner.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

Jesus Josephovich shrugged his shoulders innocently. “Nothing.”

“You’re whistling,” the Oligarch said. “You can’t whistle indoors.”

“Why not?” the foreigner wondered.

“Because it’s bad luck. It means that you will lose your money.”

Jesus Josephovich laughed. “A billionaire is afraid of losing money? I thought you said that you wanted to give all your money away when you die.”

“Maybe I will. But I’m not going to give it away now,” he said with a chuckle.

“Why not?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“It’s useful. I can do important things with it,” he justified. “I can help more people with it if I control it. If I just give it away, who knows what will happen to it?”

“But it will not be to your credit to give away your money when you no longer need it. It is not a sacrifice,” Jesus Josephovich said.

“People always judge the rich harsher than everyone else,” the Oligarch said.

“I’m not trying to judge you,” Jesus Josephovich claimed. “I would tell the same to any man. Giving is not a punishment, it is a blessing.”

The Oligarch nodded in agreement and took another sip of vodka. He leaned back in his chair and took a deep breath. “You know, being rich isn’t easy. People hate you when you’re rich.”

“People hate for many reasons,” Jesus Josephovich stated. “None of them are right.”

“I don’t understand why everyone hates me,” he continued. “I am a businessman, and my business is successful. A successful business makes money, that’s the point. People are simply jealous. They want what I have and they hate me because they don’t have it. I run my business well, but no one gives me any credit for that. They would rather call me a criminal than a successful entrepreneur. It’s easier for them to understand it that way.”

The Oligarch poured them another round of drinks, but he was approaching his limit. His eyes were getting lazy and his speech was beginning to slur, but it was clearly not unusual for him. The foreigner politely refused the additional vodka.

“I think you are correct in one sense,” Jesus Josephovich agreed. “But at the same time, I think it is natural for people to have an aversion to extreme wealth. They instinctively know that something is wrong with having too much money and too much power. Limitations can be a good thing.”

“They’re jealous, and nothing more,” the Oligarch retorted. “They say it’s wrong to be so rich, but if you offered them what I have, they would take it in an instant.”

“Some people might, but some certainly would not,” Jesus Josephovich challenged. “There are people who believe in a greater power than money.”

“Like what?” the Oligarch spat with skepticism.

“Like love, charity, giving. There is a principle of the universe involved in giving and receiving. It is this: You cannot receive if your hands are full.”

The Oligarch thought about this idea and giggled to himself. “How full are my hands?” he wondered. “I’m still getting richer, so they can’t be too full yet.”

“If you truly want to be rich, then you must empty your hands,” Jesus Josephovich said. “There could exist no richer man than the man who gave away everything he ever received. Such a man would never cease to receive an endless number of blessings from all around him, for all the people around him would be rich from his gifts.”

“That’s crazy,” the Oligarch replied. “I’m rich because I have lots of money. Not because I give all my money away,” he argued.

“Imagine this. There was a farmer with a special crop,” Jesus Josephovich began. “Over the years he had developed a type of fruit that grew larger than all of his neighbors’ fruits. Everyone was jealous of him, because his fruit grew larger and healthier than theirs. But the farmer surprised his neighbors and gave them all some of his seeds. Soon everyone in the region was growing his special variety of fruit and the entire region became prosperous. Some people said he was a fool for sharing his secret, but the farmer never complained. He was happy to share his success with his friends and neighbors.

“One day his fields were invaded by a terrible infestation and his crops were ruined. Everything was destroyed, even his seeds. Fortunately, when his neighbors saw what had happened to him, they gathered around him and helped him replant his farm with the seeds from their crops.

“Because he had shared his special seeds with the other farmers, he was able to rebuild his farm even better than before. But if he had kept it for himself, it would have disappeared forever. Because he shared his wealth with his neighbors, it will benefit him and his descendants forever.”

“Interesting story,” the Oligarch conceded. “But what does it have to do with me?”

“Make yourself rich, and you will never be able to stop protecting your money from others,” Jesus Josephovich explained. “Make others rich, and you will never be able stop the flow of gifts and blessings that you will constantly receive.”

“I’ll think about it,” the Oligarch said, sobering up slightly. “But now you need to think about something. I’ve shown you my apartment, my sauna, my girls, which you didn’t seem too interested in, and now I’ve shown you my family and my dacha. You want to talk about giving, then let’s talk about giving. I can give you all of this and more, if you will help me. So what do you think? Have I convinced you yet?” the Oligarch asked, one final time.

“Convinced me of what exactly?” Jesus Josephovich asked innocently.

“To work with me. To be my public and political face,” he said. “You will be the public hero, and I will be the director backstage directing the players. Together, we can rule this city and this country.”

Jesus Josephovich scrunched his eyebrows. “I’m not interested in politics. I’m only here to help people. Everything else is unnecessary.”

“Tell me what you want,” the Oligarch pleaded. “You’re the toughest negotiator I’ve ever met. Just name it and it’s yours. Anything. I’ll do anything.”

Jesus Josephovich calmly folded his hands in his lap and looked at the Oligarch the way a father looks at a troublesome young son. “Give all your money away, and I will help you.”

The Oligarch grimaced. “You know I can’t do that.”

“Of course you can. You can do whatever you want to do,” Jesus Josephovich argued. “You weren’t born a billionaire. Your hard work and success helped make you one. You will be successful in whatever you do, but your money is blinding you to true freedom and true happiness.”

The Oligarch stared at Jesus Josephovich, as if he was looking into a mirror. He wanted to look away, but his concentration couldn’t be shattered.

“This money does not make you successful. You made yourself successful. But there is another kind of success. Your success has given you money. The kind of success that I am offering you will give you peace and happiness – so much happiness that you could give happiness to others forever and your own happiness would never run out.”

The Oligarch swallowed nervously. “You know you’re crazy?”

Jesus Josephovich nodded his head. “The truth always appears foolish to those who don’t have it.”

“You think I don’t have the truth?” the Oligarch questioned.

Jesus smiled. “It’s the only thing you can’t buy.”

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

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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in E-Book, Parables, Where Jesus is


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Chapter 51 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Ch51 Dancer

Ch 51. The Dancer

Jesus Josephovich and the Oligarch came out of the Russian banya feeling like new men. The Oligarch was refreshed and rejuvenated. Jesus Josephovich was exhausted. He felt like he had just been dry-cleaned or cooked like steamed vegetables. The only thing he wanted was to lay down for a few minutes to regain his strength.

Even in his weakened state, however, the Oligarch couldn’t make Jesus Josephovich agree to work with him and be his political puppet. The foreigner seemed oblivious to all material desires. Money and fame didn’t tempt him. It was as if his mind was in a different place than his body.

The Oligarch led Jesus Josephovich into a lavishly decorated guest room. It had large ornate wooden dressers and beautiful imported chairs with tacky animal fur designs. In the center of the room was a large bed with tiger-striped blankets. Jesus Josephovich looked up and noticed a large mirror on the ceiling. The room dripped with the feeling of excess.

“Your clothes are in there,” the Oligarch said pointing to a large standing closet. “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

Jesus Josephovich looked around the room and finally found his clothes. They were neatly folded and hung up in one of the wardrobes. As he got dressed, he had a strange feeling that he was being watched.

The door opened and Jesus Josephovich turned around to greet the Oligarch, but instead of the proud businessman there was a beautiful young woman standing in the doorway. She looked at the foreigner with dull eyes and closed the door behind her as if it was her job to be there.

“Hello, I’m Jesus Josephovich,” the foreigner said pleasantly. “Am I in the wrong room?”

“No,” the young woman said. She walked over to the foreigner and sat down on the bed.

Jesus Josephovich was surprised that such a forward person would come into the room without a warm greeting. Perhaps she was also a guest here. Her face held an untouchable arrogance. It was as if she was afraid to smile, because a smile would crack the cosmetic armor hiding her real personality from the outside world.

“Who are you?” he asked.

“My name is Pamela,” she said, which was clearly not her real name.

“What are you doing here?” he asked.

“I’m a model,” she said simply, but meaning much more.

“What’s a model?” the foreigner wondered.

The woman stared at him as if he was telling a bad joke, but she soon realized that he was serious. “You know. A model. I pose for pictures and videos. Men pay money to look at me,” she teased.

“We don’t have that kind of job where I’m from,” Jesus Josephovich explained. “If a man pays to look at a woman, we have a different name for it.”

The model laughed. “Don’t worry,” she said. “You can look at me for free.”

Jesus Josephovich frowned in confusion.

“I’m also a dancer,” she said.

“That’s nice,” Jesus Josephovich said. “What style is your specialty? Ballet? National Ukrainian dances?”

She laughed out loud and shook her head. “Pole dancing,” she said mischievously.

She stood up on the bed and began stroking the long wooden columns that ran up almost all the way to the ceiling from the four corners of the bed. She spun around on the wooden posts and slid seductively onto the bed.

Jesus Josephovich was shocked by her talent. “That looks very dangerous,” he said.

The model spread herself out on the bed and looked the foreigner in the eyes temptingly, yet coldly.

“Can I help you with something?” he asked.

She nodded and motioned with her finger for him to come closer to her.

“You can help me dance,” she said as she stood up next to the column and began undulated her body against it.

“Can you do a different dance?” Jesus Josephovich asked politely.

“I can do anything you want,” she said seductively.

“Maybe something a little more traditional,” he said.

“A tango?” she teased. “It takes two of us for that.”

“I’m not a professional dancer like you,” the foreigner admitted.

The model smiled and slowly rolled around the bed. Then she began slowly taking off her clothes. Jesus Josephovich quickly put his hands up for her to stop when he recognized what she was doing.

“If you need to change clothes I will leave,” he said immediately.

“I’m here for you,” she explained as she grabbed his arm and pulled him towards the bed. “I can do anything you want me to do.”

Jesus paused and sighed as he understood why the girl has been sent. “Can you talk?” he asked.

The dancer frowned and sat down heavily on the bed.

Jesus Josephovich sat down next to her. “Tell me about yourself,” he asked. “What’s your real name?”

She sighed sorely as she realized that the foreigner was not going to sleep with her. It meant she wasn’t going to make much money today. “My name is Dasha,” she answered hastily, like an angry child denied a treat.

“Where are you from?” he asked.

“From a small town outside of Kiev,” she said.

“Why did you become a…model,” he asked.

The girl frowned. “What should I do? Work in a restaurant? Be a secretary?”

“Do you want to be a secretary or work in a restaurant?”Jesus Josephovich asked.

“No,” she replied.

“Then don’t.” Jesus Josephovich said simply.

“I can make much more money modeling and dancing,” she said.

“Money is important to you?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“It is necessary,” she said. “It lets me do what I want to do.”

“And is this what you want to do?” he asked, looking at the bed.

The girl sulked. “Not always.”

“I think you should do what you really want to do,” Jesus Josephovich said. “What did you want to be when you were young?”

Dasha sat and thought for a moment and then smiled. “I wanted to be a princess. And a ballerina.”

“Why didn’t you become a ballerina?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” she admitted. “I didn’t really try. Life just sort of happened.”

“Are you proud of your beauty?” he asked.

She stared at him, unsure of what he meant. “Yes,” she said weakly.

“You are very beautiful, but physical beauty doesn’t last very long.” He looked into her eyes and stared at her for several seconds. “You have about 15 years left.”

“15 years for what?” she asked frightfully.

“15 years until your physical beauty is gone.”

The girl froze. She wanted to be angry, but she couldn’t be. She knew that the foreigner was not trying to insult her. He was telling her the truth, and the truth terrified her.

“You have 15 years to use your beauty to your advantage, but after that you will only have what you have built for yourself.”

“What do you mean?” she asked nervously.

“When your beauty is gone, people will treat you differently. Whatever is built upon your beauty will disappear with your beauty. Life will not be as simple and easy. You will have to rely on other talents to live a successful life, but you must build those talents now.”

She swallowed anxiously. “What can I build?” she wondered.

“Many things,” Jesus Josephovich said enthusiastically. “You should build your character, you should make yourself strong emotionally, physically, and mentally. You should be able to work hard at any task and to be happy and content in any situation. But the most important thing will be your relationships. You must build strong friendships with people that you trust, with people who will give you good advice and help you through difficult times, and you must do the same for them. You need to build a strong, loving family. For that you must find a man of good character with whom you can build the greatest of all treasures: true love.”

The girl hardly breathed as she listened to the strange foreigner. She was completely overwhelmed by all of the work she needed to do in her life. It seemed impossible. She had spent her entire life thinking only about her beauty and what it could get her here and now. She’d never realized that it would disappear so quickly and she would be left with nothing.

She put her head in her hands and started to cry. She wanted to change her life, but she didn’t know where to begin. She felt ugly, as if her beauty had already left her.

Jesus Josephovich put a gentle hand on her shoulder. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Physical beauty is nothing compared to what is inside of you. If you build these good things in your life, you will be more beautiful in 50 years from now than you are today.”

“How is that possible?” she asked. “You said I’ll be ugly in 15 years.”

“No,” Jesus Josephovich comforted her. “I said your physical beauty will disappear. But something better than that can replace it. A beauty that radiates from the goodness within you. Believe me, the goodness inside of you is far more beautiful than your skin. I can see it.”

The girl stared into the foreigner’s eyes and believed him. She smiled and hugged the strange man, feeling an inner strength inside of her that she hadn’t felt since she was young.

“Do you still want me to dance for you?” she asked.

“Only if it’s ballet,” Jesus Josephovich answered.

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

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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in E-Book, Parables, Where Jesus is


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Chapter 50 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Ch50 Russian Sauna 2

Ch 50. The Russian Sauna

After the tour of the Oligarch’s apartment, the politician left them alone so Jesus Josephovich and the Oligarch could negotiate in private. The foreigner was not as easy to convert as they thought he would be. They needed to do something more radical.

“Follow me,” the Oligarch said with a youthful gleam in his eye. “I want to show you how real Ukrainians negotiate.”

They took the elevator down to the next floor, which apparently was still a part of the Oligarch’s apartment. They walked through a hallway and then entered a very strange looking room which resembled a kind of health center.

“Where are we going?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

The Oligarch smiled brightly. “To the banya,” he said mysteriously.

“What’s a banya?” Jesus Josephovich asked. “It is like a bath?”

“It is a bath for the soul,” the Oligarch said.

The Oligarch took a deep breath as if he were in the woods smelling the pine trees and fresh flowers. He opened a large wooden door and led the foreigner into a room filled with comfortable lounge chairs and pegs to hang clothes on. The room smelled like chlorine and fresh cut wood.

“The Russian Sauna,” the Oligarch said passionately. “There are few things that we love more than the banya. Maybe vodka, and maybe salo, but for me the banya is the greatest of all.”

“What do you do here?” Jesus Josephovich wondered.

“We become real men,” the Oligarch said as he began to remove his clothing.

Jesus Josephovich watched in surprise as the billionaire took all his clothes off without any shame and wrapped a small white towel around his waist. He handed a towel to his guest.

“Get undressed,” he said. “Don’t worry, you’ll like it. I come here whenever I feel sick or stressed. It rejuvenates me like nothing else. It is my second mother.”

Jesus Josephovich casually took off his clothes and wrapped the towel around his waist. They walked into a small wooden room with large wooden benches lining the walls like a miniature stadium. As the door opened Jesus Josephovich was hit by a wave of intense heat. A strange metal box filled with stones was heating the room to a nearly unbearable temperature, and a small bucket filled with water lay next to it.

Jesus Josephovich looked at the bucket and water and asked, “Are we going to wash our feet?”

The Oligarch laughed. “This is better than a bath. Sit on the bench and relax.”

They removed their towels and reclined on the searing wooden bench. Jesus Josephovich relaxed and let the heat seep into his skin. It was like sitting naked in the sun on the hottest day of the year on the hills of Galilee. They were like two Adams in Hades roasting in an invisible fire.

They sat in silence until the sweat was dripping down their backs and pooling at their feet, their skin crying from the heat. Then the Oligarch stood up, picked up the ladle out of the bucket of water and began pouring water over the hot stones.

Steam poured off the stones and flowed through the small sauna like an invisible cloud of pain. Each time the Ukrainian poured more water on the stones it became hotter and harder to breath. It was like self-afflicted torture, but the hotter it became, the more the Ukrainian seemed to enjoy it.

“Is it supposed to be this hot?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“Of course. The hotter, the better. Haven’t you ever been in a sauna before?”

“We had ritual baths in Israel, but they were nothing like this.”

They sat and sweat until Jesus Josephovich felt like he couldn’t take it any more. His skin was burning and it felt like it was going to peel off at any moment. He was going to ask if they could take a break, when the door suddenly opened and a wave of cool air rushed into the room.

He lifted his head and saw two beautiful young women walk into the sauna carrying buckets of water and strange round tree branches that looked like cheerleader’s pompoms.

“This is my favorite part,” the Oligarch said.

“What are they going to do with those branches?” Jesus Josephovich wondered.

“They’re going to hit us with them,” the Oligarch said.

“Hit us?” he said, not thinking the experience could have gotten any more painful.

“It opens your pores,” the Oligarch explained. “It helps your skin breath and get rid of all the toxins.”

Jesus Josephovich looked at the birch branches that the women were holding over them and wasn’t sure if he believed this new medical insight.

The women began waving the branches softly over their skin causing hot air to flow over them even more intensely. The dry leaves were stroked over his back and legs causing his skin to soak up even more heat. After a few minutes it felt like his skin was glowing. The smell of the birch trees seemed as if it was soaking into his brain.

After a few minutes he got used to the intense heat and his body began to completely relax. He felt almost too relaxed. His head was a little dizzy and he could barely move his arms and legs.

Eventually they stopped beating him with the birch sticks and the Oligarch stood up with a smile on his face.

“Wonderful, isn’t it?” the host said.

Jesus Josephovich slowly nodded his tired head.

“Now comes the fun part. Follow me.”

Jesus Josephovich nodded his head gratefully and they exited the sauna. He was tired and wanted to sit down, but the Oligarch didn’t stop in the changing room. He continued out the door and led Jesus Josephovich to a large balcony that was covered in snow.

“Most people jump into a pool of cold water after a sauna, but I like to do it the extreme way.”

The Oligarch opened the balcony door and a blast of freezing cold winter air shocked their skin and took their breath away. The Oligarch gleefully jumped into the snow and began rubbing it on his body like a child at the ocean. He stood proudly as he tossed the snow against his chest and back, as if it were a test of manhood.

Jesus Josephovich walked onto the balcony and picked up some snow. He let out a small yell as the icy flakes touched his steaming hot skin. His body woke up suddenly and he had much more energy. It was a mixture of pain and pleasure that produced the sensation of being fully alive.

After a minute of snow-bathing, they walked back inside into the changing room where glasses of tea and a bottle of vodka were waiting for them. The Oligarch immediately opened the bottle of vodka and poured two glasses.

“To your health,” he said, and poured the vodka down his throat.

Jesus took a small sip of the vodka.

The Oligarch was very relaxed now, smiling and leaning back in his chair as if he was on vacation. “So what do you think about our tradition? The extreme temperature change is supposed to be invigorating for your body,” the Oligarch said. “It makes you stronger and some people say it cleanses your spirit.”

“Yes, the changes from one extreme to another can be good for you,” Jesus Josephovich agreed. “But if you stay in such an extreme environment for too long without changing, there will be many negative consequences.”

“What are you saying?” his host inquired.

“Imagine if you lived in here, in this sauna, all day long,” Jesus Josephovich said. “It is pleasurable for a short time, but in the long run it would eventually kill you.”

The Oligarch looked the foreigner in the eyes. “You’re talking about my money, aren’t you?”

Jesus Josephovich smiled, but said nothing.

“You know I believe that. I believe that it’s not good to have all this money,” the Oligarch admitted. “It is too extreme. I see what it does to people, and to their children. I’ve often thought about giving all my money away when I die – like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Maybe I’ll just give it all to charity.”

“If you’re going to give it away, why do you need it now?” Jesus Josephovich reasoned. “What is the purpose of your life?”

The Oligarch was surprised by the question. “I don’t know. To live a good life.”

“What is the purpose of a business?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

The Oligarch smiled. “To make money,” he answered confidently.

“If the purpose of a business is only to make money, then the business will fail,” the foreigner said. “Money is not real. People give money value. Therefore, a healthy business must help people, including those who work in it. The value of all things is created by people. Everything should be about other people. If your purpose is not about other people, then your purpose is an illusion.”

“Why is it an illusion?” the Oligarch asked confusedly. “Money can do many things for people.”

“Other people are the only things that matter. They are the only things in our lives that are real,” Jesus Josephovich explained. “Imagine a young boy who gets a little dog as a pet. He gives the dog everything it wants, he loves the dog, he treats the dog better than himself, but he doesn’t feed the dog. Soon the dog becomes hungry, and as it gets hungrier and hungrier, it becomes angry and violent. It begins to act like a wild animal, it doesn’t listen to its owner, it eats things that are unhealthy and unnatural, and it destroys its home trying to find food. Why does this happen?” he asked the successful businessman.

The Oligarch squinted his eyes. “The boy didn’t give the dog its most basic necessity. It can’t live without food.”

“You are a wise man,” Jesus Josephovich said. “And you are very close to understanding the secret of a truly successful life. You can give someone every material possession in the world, but if you don’t give a man his most basic necessity, if you don’t give him nourishment for his body, mind and soul, then he will degenerate like a wild beast. This is the fate of a man who tries to live on money alone. His soul and his character are never fed.”

“What nourishes a man’s soul?” the Oligarch wondered.

“You know the answer,” Jesus Josephovich replied. “Helping other people. Love. Love for all mankind.”

“So I need to love my employees?” the Oligarch said with a chuckle.

“Yes. And treat them as you would want to be treated if you were in their position,” Jesus Josephovich explained.” “Of course there is much more. Love is only the beginning.”

The Oligarch nodded his head and rubbed his chin as the considered the foreigner’s words. Then he suddenly stood up and removed his towel. “Ready to go back?” the Oligarch said enthusiastically.

“Back? Into the sauna?”

Jesus Josephovich’s skin was still glowing from their short time in the burning air. He couldn’t imagine going back so soon.

“Of course,” the Oligarch said with a smile. “That was only the beginning.”

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

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Posted by on September 29, 2013 in E-Book, Parables, Where Jesus is


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Chapter 49 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Ch49 Oligarch

Ch 49. The Oligarch

Eventually Jesus Josephovich found his way back to Volodomir’s apartment after his memorable marshrutka ride. He was hoping for some peace and quiet when he got home, but the moment he stepped inside everyone had a different message for him.

“Talia wanted you to call her as soon as you got back,” Elena said.

“I bought you a new cell phone,” Katya said as she handed him a sleek black device. “Don’t lose it this time,” she ordered with a playful wink.

“My teacher at school wants to know if you can heal her mother’s liver problem,” Leosha relayed.

Finally Volodomir walked into the room and put his hand on Jesus Josephovich’s shoulder. “All of that is going to have to wait. Someone important is on the phone.”

Volodomir brought Jesus Josephovich over to his desk and handed him the phone. Jesus Josephovich instantly recognized the voice. It was the politician whose son he had healed.

“I see you’re back in town,” the politician said. “We missed you. My son, especially. A lot has happened since you left. There’s someone important who wants to meet you. Someone who wants to change Ukraine for the better.”

“Who?” Jesus asked.

The politician paused. “He has many titles,” he said. “He is a very important man, and very wealthy. He is so wealthy in fact that some people call him an Oligarch.”

“When does he want to meet?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“Tomorrow. I’ll pick you up.”

Jesus Josephovich agreed to the meeting and hung up the phone. The family gathered around him.

“Who was it?” Volodmir inquired.

“It was that politician. He wants me to meet with someone called the Oligarch.” Jesus Josephovich said.

The family froze and stared at Jesus Josephovich as if he had spoken the name of the boogeyman.

“Is that bad?” he wondered.

The family tried to explain what an Oligarch was to the foreigner. Apparently, it was a man with too much money, a man without limitations, a man who could do whatever he pleased whenever he pleased. It was one of the real rulers of the country, the man pulling the strings behind the scenes. A businessman who had become a king by virtue of his money alone.

Jesus Josephovich wasn’t impressed. In his opinion it all sounded similar to a Roman Governor. He had seen plenty of those come and go.

The next day the politician picked up Jesus Josephovich in a new black Bentley. They drove across the city to one of the most expensive areas, where apartments cost a minimum of a million dollars, if you couldn’t afford anything nicer. The car stopped in front of an old European style building. It was surrounded by black cars with heavily tinted windows and thick bodyguards and security professionals all dressed in black who passed the time staring at passersby and text messaging on their cell phones.

The doors opened for the foreigner and they were escorted into the building by a very large man in a new black suit wearing black sunglasses and short black hair. Jesus Josephovich looked around him at the comically colorless clothes and thought that perhaps black was the Oligarch’s favorite color.

Inside the building were even more security professionals, who were, if it was possible to be, even more grave and imposing than the bodyguards outside. They were taken to a large silver elevator, and unlike most elevators the foreigner had seen, this one didn’t shake or sputter and it didn’t smell like urine. This was state of the art.

The security guard inserted a special key into the elevator and the top button lit up. He pressed it and the elevator gently lifted them to the top floor.

“Why does he need a key to access that floor?” Jesus Josephovich asked. “Because his apartment is on that floor?”

The politician laughed. “His apartment isn’t just on the top floor. He owns the whole top floor of the building.”

The elevator doors opened into a massive open space. The floors were made of glossy wood, the walls were colorfully designed and decorated with elegant paintings and statues, and big bright windows covered the ceilings and walls.

“This is one apartment?” Jesus Josephovich asked. “Why does he need so much space?”

The politician laughed again. “You don’t like it?”

Jesus Josephovich shrugged his shoulders. “It’s beautiful, but I couldn’t live in a place like this by myself. I would have to share it with fifty other people.”

The Oligarch walked into the room and politely greeted them. He was an average man wearing a comfortable-looking Italian suit and leather shoes. He was not a handsome man, but he was confident and his presence demanded respect.

He shook their hands assertively, but Jesus Josephovich noticed a bit of fear in the Oligarch’s eyes. He seemed cautious and distrustful of others, perhaps even slightly paranoid, like a cat with a new toy that was afraid someone else might try to steal it from him.

“Jesus Josephovich,” the Oligarch exclaimed. “I have heard so much about you. You’re the most popular man in Kiev.”

“I wasn’t trying to be. I probably shouldn’t have healed his son in public,” Jesus Josephovich admitted. “Now it’s more difficult to do what I came here to do.”

“And what are you trying to do?” the Oligarch asked seriously.

“I came to Ukraine to help people be more like God.”

“You’re not from Ukraine?” the Oligarch asked with surprise.

“No. I’m originally from the Middle East.”

“Then why do they call you Jesus Josephovich?”

“I try to live like the people here live and practice their traditions so I can understand them as much as possible. So I can help them better,” Jesus stated.

The Oligarch scratched his chin thoughtfully. “Okay. But don’t tell anyone that you are a foreigner. If necessary, my people can make you some documents that will say that you were born in Ukraine.”

“Just look at me,” Jesus Josephovich said. “Everyone knows I’m a foreigner. I don’t look Ukrainian at all.”

“That doesn’t matter,” the Oligarch said casually. “We’ll say your parents are Crimean Tatars. Or maybe your mother is Ukrainian and your father is Turkish.”

“I won’t lie,” Jesus Josephovich said.

The Oligarch winked. “You won’t have to. My people can take care of everything. Nothing can prevent you from becoming Mayor if I’m on your side. Don’t worry about those little political parties or their rules. I run this country. What I want to happen, happens.”

“I know that a lot of people want me to be Mayor, but that’s not why I am here,” Jesus said.

“Of course not,” the Oligarch replied. “You have bigger plans. So do I.”

He put his arm around Jesus Josephovich and walked with him through the apartment showing him his most beautiful possessions. He pointed to a small table made of ivory.

“That table is handmade from elephant tusks,” he said. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”

Jesus Josephovich nodded his head unenthusiastically. “It’s very nice,” he said politely.

“Are you not impressed?” the Oligarch asked.

“Did you build this table?” Jesus Josephovich questioned.

“No,” the Oligarch said, half-laughing. “I bought it in India.”

“Why would I be impressed that you bought a table?” Jesus wondered. “If you had made it, certainly, I would be impressed by your skill. But I still don’t understand what it is that you actually do.”

The politician froze at the challenge, but the Oligarch laughed loudly. “I like the way you think. You are a serous man with a practical mind. That’s good. I see why the people like you. You are a good man. An honest man. That is exactly what I need.”

“You have all of this and you are still in need of something?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

The Oligarch walked with him to a large window that overlooked the city. It was a perfect view that presented the entire city under his feet. From this perspective the cars looked like toys, and the people looked like dolls or puppets.

“I’m powerful, but I’m not popular,” the Oligarch admitted. “When people hear my name, they think of terrible things like corruption and decadence. I’m not a bad guy, but the people don’t trust me. People never trust the rich.”

“Maybe they understand that wealth does not equal goodness or happiness,” Jesus Josephovich suggested.

“Maybe, but that doesn’t matter,” the Oligarch continued. “I need someone like you, someone the people trust, who can help me change Ukraine for the better. You will be my face to the public. My voice, my image.”

He stretched out his arm over the city below them. “All this can be yours if you help me,” the Oligarch offered. “You can rule this whole city. You can start all the social programs and religious programs that you want to. You will have unlimited funding and unlimited power.”

“But that is not how you change people,” Jesus Josephovich replied. “Not if you want to change them forever. You have to change them from the inside-out.”

“Do you understand who I am?” the Oligarch said impatiently. “I can give you everything you want.”

“I already have everything that I need,” Jesus Josephovich said. “It is you who needs something.”

The Oligarch stared at the fearless foreigner. His eyes were peaceful and calm, like lakes of glassy water. The Oligarch laughed boisterously.

“He’s a man of the people and a tough negotiator!” He put his arm around Jesus Josephovich again with even greater affection. “You’re going to go far, Jesus Josephovich. All the way to the top!”

Jesus Josephovich looked out of the window at the city below. Then he glanced up into the sky beyond the clouds. “Already been there,” he said.

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

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Posted by on September 29, 2013 in E-Book, Parables, Where Jesus is


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Chapter 48 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Ch48 On the Marshrutka

Ch 48. On the Marshrutka

Jesus Josephovich left his new acquaintance, Alex, alone to celebrate his birthday. It was getting late and he needed to get home. Jesus Josephovich walked out of the park and along the road towards the city center.

When he got to the center he asked a young woman how to get back to Volodomir’s apartment. Fortunately Volodomir had written his address on a piece of paper, in case the foreigner ever got lost.

When he showed the piece of paper to the woman she thought about it for a moment. “You should take a marshrutka to get there,” she said. “It’s the fastest way.”

“What’s a marshrutka?” Jesus Josephovich wondered.

The woman looked at him with bright eyes. “You’ve never been on a marshrutka?”

Jesus Josephovich shook his head naively.

“It’s a bus that drives like a taxi,” the woman said.

Jesus Josephovich remembered his time in the taxi and became a bit concerned. He hoped that the marshruktas didn’t drive as wildly as the taxi drivers.

“Where can I find a marshrutka?” he asked.

The woman pointed to the end of the street where a long line of people were standing. Near the line were several large vehicles which looked like miniature buses. They had numbers written on pieces of paper in the windows and a sign on the side listing the major stops.

“That’s the one you need,” she said, pointing to the small bus with the longest line.

“Thank you,” Jesus Josephovich replied.

He walked over to the edge of the street and stood in the line for the marshrutka. After a few moments one of the marshruktas pulled up and people started loading on. They pushed and shoved their way onto the tiny bus as quickly as they could, cutting in front of each other without any consideration for the other people waiting in line.

After the initial group jumped onto the marshrutka and all the seats were taken, a second line of people who didn’t mind standing instead of sitting began to board. Jesus Josephovich realized that he could get on the marshrutka much faster if he didn’t wait for a seat, so he moved over to the smaller line on the side and boarded the small bus.

The marshrutka had about twenty seats inside, but about fifty people got on. The unfortunate passengers without seats had to crush themselves into the small aisle between the seats, which was just wide enough for two people to stand in back to back if they faced the windows on the opposite sides of the bus.

Jesus Josephovich stepped up onto the marshrutka, but the people in front of him stopped moving. Apparently the marshrutka was full and they couldn’t squeeze inside any tighter. Nonetheless, several people pushed onto the steps behind him, pushing him further into the people in front of him. The doors screeched closed and the marshrutka started on its journey with Jesus Josephovich crushed between the people on the steps and the closed door.

He quickly realized why the woman had said that the marshrutkas were like taxis. They drove just as fast and recklessly as a regular taxi, but you had to try to stay standing in them as they wove their way through the endless traffic. This particular driver seemed to think that he was driving a sports car, because he kept swerving in and out of traffic, cutting off other cars and speeding through intersections at full speed. It took constant focus for Jesus Josephovich to keep himself from falling over.

Jesus was tossed forwards and backwards and from side to side as the marshrutka drove up the hill. Eventually he found a small metal bar to hold onto as the overcrowded transport rocked from side to side, shuddering beneath the weight of its passengers. Unfortunately, when the door opened at the next stop, it slammed against the metal bar that Jesus Josephovich was holding onto and he had to deftly pull his arm away so it wouldn’t be crushed between the door and the metal bar.

At the stop a few people got off the marshrutka and even more people got on. Jesus Josephovich was pushed further into the interior of the bus. He could barely move, people were pressing against him from all sides, and he couldn’t see where he was. The winter air had frosted all the windows over with a thin layer of ice, and the only thing that he could see outside were small traces of light as they drove by busy intersections. He didn’t know where he was, where he was going, or how he was gong to find Volodomir’s apartment if he couldn’t see out of the window.

Suddenly someone tapped Jesus Josephovich on the shoulder. He turned around and smiled at the young man behind him. The young man stared at him and held up some money in front of his face.

“Thank you,” Jesus Josephovich said, slightly confused that someone would simply give him money for no reason.

“Pass it forward,” the young man said as he handed him the money.

Jesus Josephovich suddenly understood that it was to pay for the marshrutka. He was amazed by the trust that the young man exhibited by handing the money to a stranger.

“Thank you for trusting me with your money,” he said to the annoyed young man.

“It’s not my money,” the young man said. “It’s from back there.” He pointed to the back of the marshrutka.

Jesus Josephovich was even more impressed.

“What should I do with this?” he asked.

They young man sighed heavily. “Give it to the driver.”

Jesus Josephovich passed the money on to the driver, and a few moments later, the change was passed back. The smiling foreigner happily transferred the change to the young man and watched as each person passed it further back.

“It’s really wonderful how everyone helps each other,” Jesus Josephovich said enthusiastically.

The young man gloomily stared at him. “We have to. How else can we get the money to the driver? If we don’t give the driver his money, he’ll yell at everyone and stop driving.”

The foreigner smiled. “Well, it’s still wonderful that people can trust each other. It’s like everyone is a part of one big family.”

Someone behind Jesus Josephovich passed some more money by him and the foreigner suddenly realized that he needed to pay for himself. He looked up at the front of the marshrutka and saw a sign that said “1.50 grevens”.

He tried to reach into his coat pocket, but he could barely move his arms. The marshrutka was shaking from side to side so quickly that when he let go of the handrail above his head, he fell onto the person beside him. He quickly apologized and everyone around him stared at him like he was crazy. Eventually he got the money out of his pocket and handed it to the person in front of him.

“Would you please give this to the driver?” he asked.

A woman in front of him grabbed the money without looking at him and passed it forward. A minute later she handed him his change. He was delighted to see that it worked even for foreigners.

Jesus Josephovich turned back to the young man behind him. “You must feel very happy to live in a place where you can trust your neighbor with your money.”

The young man laughed. “It’s not always safe to pass your money down,” he said. “I once saw a man pass a 50 down and when it reached the front of the marshrutka, a man near the front told the driver to stop, opened the door, and ran away with the money.”

Jesus Josephovich looked around and saw that most people were sitting or standing still looking around at nothing in particular. They were not talking to each other. In fact, everyone tried as hard as possible not to notice or be noticed by the people around them.

“Why don’t people talk to each other when they are so close to one another?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

The young man looked at the foreigner with a slightly perturbed look. “I don’t know,” he said. “People don’t like to talk to strangers.”

“It’s very strange,” Jesus Josephovich said, “that people trust each other enough to hand their money to strangers, but they don’t feel comfortable enough to talk to each other. These buses would be much more pleasant if people made new friends while they were traveling.”

“People don’t have time to make new friends,” the young man said cynically.

“Ahh, yes,” Jesus Josephovich said sarcastically. “They need time for the important things, like work and money.” He shook his head sadly. “All they have to do is open their mouths and they can connect with other people anywhere at any time. You live inches from one another, but you are miles apart. If you only knew that sitting next to you was a treasure worth more than all the money you will make in your entire lifetime.”

The young man stared at Jesus Josephovich fixedly. “What treasure?” he asked.

“There are fifty different people in this bus, and there are fifty different treasures,” he answered, looking at the people around him. “One is a brilliant artist, another is a born leader, another a true friend, another a clever businessman, another a relentlessly hard worker. One is wonderful with children, another cooks as well as a French chef, another tells the best stories you’ve ever heard, another the funniest jokes, and another is so kind and wise and loving that she is considered a mother to all her know her.”

The young man glanced around at the blank faces of the passengers who were riding in unnatural silence all around him.

“There are so many jewels all around us it doesn’t matter which you pick. Each and every one will make your life richer,” Jesus Josephovich said.

Then he looked in the young man’s eyes.

“And there is a young man here who is so smart, so clever and wise, who has read so much psychology and philosophy that he can help anyone with any problem,” Jesus Josephovich said, holding his glance. “In any situation he can help people understand the most logical and practical answer, without worrying about distracting, irrational emotions.”

The young man swallowed nervously as he heard his personality described in detail by the strange foreigner.

“Hopefully that young man will learn to initiate relationships with new people, to talk to people and meet people wherever he goes,” Jesus stated. “Only then will he be able to truly use the gift that God has given him.”

The young man was frozen with fear and doubt, but he couldn’t take his eyes off of Jesus Josephovich. Suddenly the marshrutka stopped hard and the young man fell onto the person next to him. It was a young woman with a sad face and something deep inside told him that he should talk to her.

People moved on and off the marshrutka, pushing and shoving as usual, and when the young man looked back to talk to the foreigner, Jesus Josephovich was gone.

Out on the street, Jesus Josephovich smiled as he watched the young man and woman talking to each other on the marshrutka. As the oversized taxi drove away he felt a feeling of true peace and joy flow over his soul. Then he felt another interesting feeling in his chest as he looked around the street where he had exited. He had no idea where he was.

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

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Posted by on September 29, 2013 in E-Book, Parables, Where Jesus is


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Chapter 47 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Ch47 Suicide

Ch 47. Suicidal

After his engaging lunch, Jesus Josephovich escaped from the crowds in the center of the city and took a walk through Mariinski Park. The park was full of young people meandering around in groups and love-struck couples walking hand in hand oblivious to the world around them.

The trees were covered in white streaks of snow and the frozen river far below looked like peaceful plain, only disturbed by the occasional fisherman dotting its icy facade. Jesus Josephovich walked past the presidential palace and the old fountains, which weren’t working because it was winter, and cleared his mind of the distractions of the day.

Eventually he came to the Lover’s Bridge, a small, rickety old wooden bridge that hangs precariously over a small road passing through the central hub of the city. The bridge was covered in ribbons, padlocks, and poetic graffiti, all expressing the timeless energy of youthful love.

He stopped in the middle of the bridge to admire the view. He noticed a young man standing alone in the middle of the bridge with a beer in his hand. The young man’s head was in his hands and he looked like he had been crying.

Jesus Josephovich walked over to him and breathed in the winter air. “Is this bridge safe?” he joked, looking down through the holes in the wooden planks that composed the platform.

The young man slowly lifted his head and looked at Jesus Josephovich. He was irritated that someone had interrupted him, but when he saw the foreigner’s innocent, peaceful face, he felt suddenly calm.

“Not if you’re in love. Do you know why they call this Lover’s Bridge?” the young man asked. “They say that a man proposed to his wife here, and he told her that if she didn’t say yes, he would jump.”

Jesus Josephovich looked down at the dark road twenty meters below them and he hoped that the man’s girlfriend has said yes. “Interesting strategy. Did it work?”

The man shrugged his shoulders and glanced at the street below.

“Why are you here?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“Do you see that?” the young man said, pointing to the words “Alex loves Sveta” written in large white letters on the metal support beneath the bridge. “I wrote that for the woman I love.”

“You climbed down there?” Jesus Josephovich asked in shock.

“People do crazy things for love.”

“Love is the great motivator.”

Alex laughed morbidly. “And the great destroyer of lives.”

Jesus Josephovich looked at him concernedly, and the young man turned his head away and stared down at the road below.

“A few months ago I told God that if he doesn’t give me a purpose for my life, I’m going to kill myself on my next birthday. I think this will be a good place to do it. What do you think?”

Jesus stared at the young man and tried to read in his face what was wrong. Alex’s face was hard as steel railing. “Why do you want to kill yourself?”

“I don’t see a point in living any more,” Alex replied nonchalantly.

“What happened?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“I was in love,” he began. “I didn’t expect it to happen so fast, but we became great friends and then one day I realized that I couldn’t live without her. I loved her more than anything else in the world and all I wanted in life was to be with her, to take care of her, to love her forever.”

“That’s wonderful,” Jesus Josephovich commented.

“I used to do a lot of bad things, but the day I met her, I stopped doing drugs and I stopped drinking and smoking. I don’t know why. I just didn’t need those things any more. I didn’t even realize that she was the reason I had stopped until I knew that I loved her.

“I had always known that I wouldn’t do drugs forever,” Alex continued. “I did them because I didn’t have anything better to do. I drank and smoked for the same reasons. They were just habits that I did because I could. They made me feel happy for a short time. That was all.

“But when I met her, my desire for those things disappeared. It was like I had found what I was looking for and it filled me. I found what I truly needed to be happy, and everything else was unnecessary. I was ready to change my whole life for her. I had already changed my life for her, but she didn’t know it. She had no idea that she had freed me from those things.

“I had so many dreams for us,” Alex confessed. “I wanted to rescue her, like she had rescued me. I wanted to take her away from her boring job and her angry parents and her daily problems, and I wanted to build a paradise just for the two of us.

“I wanted to make her my new life. I felt like I finally knew what my life was all about, what the point of my life was and why things had happened the way they did. She was my purpose, and I was happier than I had ever been in my entire life.

“Then she disappeared. She stopped calling me. I tried to talk to her, but when she talked to me, it was like talking to a different person. The girl I knew, the girl who loved me, was gone.

“I don’t know how it happened, but her whole attitude just changed. I could see that she didn’t want to be with me. She didn’t want to talk to me any more, and I could even see anger in her face and in her actions. It was as if she hated me for loving her, like my love for her was causing her pain. To me, my love for her was my whole joy and my freedom. But to her, my love was an annoyance.

“I was crushed. My heart wasn’t just broken – it was pierced. It felt like a knife was slowly twisting and turning inside my chest all the time, and all of my happiness, my hopes and dreams, all of my energy simply bled out.

“Of course I started using drugs again, and drinking and smoking. This time I went even deeper though. I was hoping it would kill me, but it didn’t.

“I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t work. I lost my job, I got kicked out of my apartment. I tried to kill the pain with drugs, but the drugs only made the pain worse.

Every time I got high I remembered she was the reason. It was all because of her. If she had just loved me, none of this would have happened. Why didn’t she love me? I don’t understand why this happened to me. You can’t imagine what it felt like to lose her. It was like dying.”

Jesus Josephovich stood still for a moment listening to the wind and watching the cars drive by under the bridge. He put his hand on the Alex’s shoulder and looked into his tear-stained eyes.

“I know exactly what it feels like to love someone, to be willing to die for someone, and to have them turn their back on you. I have felt it many times.”

Alex stared into Jesus Josephovich’s eyes and he knew that he was telling the truth. There was something strange about this foreigner, as if they had known each other for a long time. Somehow he felt that the foreigner’s words were referring to him.

“I understand why you want to die,” Jesus Josephovich continued. “Losing someone that you love is a kind of death. But there is something about death that you do not understand. You think that death will take away your pain, because you think that death is permanent.”

“It’s not?”

Jesus Josephovich shook his head and smiled. “Death is no more permanent than life. Both are merely changes in the state of things. They are doorways to new beginnings.”

“I don’t believe in life after death,” the young man said, looking back at the road that disappeared around a corner into the darkness. “I think that after we die, there is simply nothing. I would rather be nothing than live in this pain.”

“Many people believe that,” Jesus Josephovich admitted, “because they do not believe that life has a fundamental purpose. But look around you. Look at the world you live in, the universe you occupy.

“Life and death are endless cycles, ever present, ever changing,” Jesus continued. “A tree drinks from the soil, it take those nutrients and bears fruit. The fruit falls to the ground and dies or gets eaten by an animal, and the seeds in the fruit fall into the soil. The seeds become a tree, the tree grows and bears fruit, and the cycle begins again. When the tree dies, the nutrients return to the soil and become a part of a new tree.

“Entire planets and stars form and die and then reform into new stars and new planets. Every death is the beginning of a new life. Nothing dies forever,” Jesus said. “It is the nature of our universe.”

“So what will happen if I die?” Alex asked.

“Do you think men are different from all other things on earth, from all other things in the universe?”


“Then after you die, your life will become a part of something else,” Jesus Josephovich stated. “Your problems will not disappear. A sick creature pollutes all of those around it and even the stream from which it drinks. You do not want your soul to be like that. Solve your problems now, or you will carry them with you forever. Death will not solve them for you.”

Alex swallowed guiltily, feeling the weight of the foreigner’s words. Indeed, his pain felt so heavy, so deep, that he could not imagine it lightening even with death.

“So what can I do?” Alex asked.

“You have already found the solution,” Jesus Josephovich said. “Love. Don’t stop loving. Your love for her is only the beginning. Even if she doesn’t love you, you must continue to love her. Let your love grow until you can love everyone around you. Then you must learn to love the people in your city, and then your countrymen, and then the whole world. Then you will find your true purpose. Then you will be able to love yourself.”

“I believe you,” Alex admitted. “But our love was a special love. I don’t think I can find that kind of love again.”

“Of course it was special. It was your first love,” Jesus said. “But don’t let it be your last.”

The young man paused and stared at his bottle. He walked to the end of the bridge and threw the beer bottle against the wall. It smashed into a hundred pieces and splashed beer across the ground in a wide circle.

“What was that for?” Jesus Josephovich asked him.

“For freedom, he said. “Thank you. This is the best birthday present I have ever received.”

“What do you mean?” Jesus Josephovich wondered.

“Oh, I didn’t tell you,” Alex said. “Today is my birthday.”

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Posted by on September 27, 2013 in E-Book, Parables, Where Jesus is


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Chapter 46 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Ch46 Ukrainian Restaurant

Ch 46. The Ukrainian Restaurant

The crowds at the political rally were getting larger and larger around Jesus Josephovich, and he was getting very hungry, so he decided to escape for a while to get something to eat. While Talia handled more questions about Jesus’ candidacy, his friend Andrey Bogdanovich helped him get away from the crowd through a side street that led them down the hill towards the central square.

Down the side street they found a traditional Ukrainian style restaurant which looked promising. They slipped inside before the crowds could see where they went. Jesus Josephovich took a deep breath and relaxed.

“Thanks for the help once again,” he said to his friend.

Andrey laughed. “No problem. It looks like you’re a celebrity now.”

Jesus Josephovich shook his head wearily. “It’s a terrible thing to be a celebrity. It’s easier to help people when they have no idea who you are.”

“Don’t worry,” Andrey said looking around the small restaurant. “I don’t think the waitresses in this place know their current events very well. I doubt they’ll recognize you.”

Jesus Josephovich glanced at the waitress standing at the counter. She was dressed in a old-fashioned white and red outfit, which she clearly didn’t feel comfortable in, and she was chatting to another waitress who was standing on the other side of the counter as if she had nothing to do. They hadn’t even noticed that Andrey and the foreigner had entered the restaurant.

The restaurant was small, just a single square room with a few long tables surrounded by too many chairs for their size and a few stools rested against a thin table along the side wall. A few people were inside, a couple of locals drinking beer and a couple of tourists eating enough food for twenty people and talking inappropriately loud.

They walked to the front of the restaurant, turning sideways to avoid the tightly packed chairs and the legs of the other guests, who didn’t seem to care that they had blocked the small path from the door to the cashier.

They stopped at the counter to order some food, and waited while the two waitresses finished their conversation about a guy that one of them had met the night before. The waitresses gave them an annoyed glance, as if they had interrupted something important. When the conversation finished she turned around without looking at the new customers and walked out of the room through a small door that led to the kitchen. The other waitress lethargically followed her.

Jesus Josephovich looked at Andrey. “Did we do something wrong?” he wondered.

Andrey laughed. “No. It’s just typical Soviet style service. Most restaurants have improved in recent years, but there are still a lot of places where they treat you like they did in Soviet times – like they don’t care.”

“If the service is so bad, why do people eat here?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“I don’t know,” Andrey said. “I guess we don’t really notice it any more.”

Finally the cashier came back into the room casually as if she didn’t know that anyone was waiting for her. She reorganized a few things behind the counter and then made eye contact with Andrey.

“I’m listening,” she said apathetically, as if she were doing him a favour.

Andrey ordered some soup, salad, and a bowl of Ukrainian vereniki, a special kind of stuffed noodles like ravioli filled with potatoes. Then he handed the menu to his foreign friend.

“What do you want?” Andrey asked.

“It doesn’t matter to me,” Jesus Josephovich said. “Order me something that I can only get in Ukraine.”

Andrey smiled and ordered Jesus Josephovich the same thing: borsch, salad, and vereniki.

“And give me vereniki with cherries for dessert,” Andrey said to the cashier.

“We’re out of cherries,” she said.

“What do you have?” he asked, looking back at the menu.

There were about ten different kinds of vereniki and she pointed to two of them. “We have potatoes and vegetables.”

“And everything else on the menu?” Jesus Josephovich asked.

“We’re out,” she repeated irritably, as if it were his fault.

“Don’t worry,” Andrey said. “This will be good.” He turned back to the waitress. “And two black teas, please.”

They paid for their order and sat down at an empty table. The waitress disappeared into the door that led to the mysterious kitchen and storage room. Perhaps she was not only the cashier and waitress, but also the cook. Jesus Josephovich noticed that they simply left the restaurant without supervision.

“Isn’t it dangerous to leave the restaurant unattended?” Jesus Josephovich wondered. “Someone could come in and steal the money or food.”

Andrey shrugged his shoulders as he sipped his tea. “Ukrainians like privacy,” he said. “They’re not worried about criminals. Ukrainians don’t usually steal little things. We wait and steal something big.”

“Like what?” Jesus Josephovich asked, intrigued.

“Like a business or millions of dollars from investors. A lot of companies have been doing those kinds of things,” Andrey explained. “Corruption is a plague here. I think that’s why people want you to be mayor. They believe that you might fix the corruption. So do I.”

Jesus Josephovich scratched his curly beard. “I hope that the people will realize that no man can change things for them. They have to make the changes themselves. They have to get rid of the corruption in their hearts and fill their hearts with brotherly love before anything else will change. The only thing I can do is motivate them to believe. To show them that it is possible.”

“Well, if anyone can do it, you can,” Andrey said.

“You can do it too,” Jesus Josephovich replied.

Andrey was surprised. “Me? Really?”

“Of course. All you need is faith. When you have faith, all the doors of possibility are open to you. Even a little faith can make miracles happen.”

“Maybe I need more faith that they will bring our food soon,” Andrey joked, looking at the kitchen door. They had been waiting more than ten minutes, but there was still no sign of their food.

Finally the other waitress came out of the back and handed someone at the table of loud tourists a bowl of ravioli. As she walked by, Andrey asked her to bring their food. She shouted something in reply and walked back into the kitchen.

A few minutes later she brought their soups and salads. She laid them on the table in front of them quickly and tried to walk away before they could ask her any more questions. Andrey stopped her, however, and asked for some sour cream, which she brought out reluctantly.

Twenty minutes later they found themselves still waiting for the main course. They had finished their soups and salads long ago, but they had not seen a waitress in all that time.

Eventually the two women returned to the main room of the restaurant. As they entered they flicked cigarettes into a trash can.

“They were smoking out back,” Andrey said in disbelief. He yelled at the waitress. “Where have you been?”

The waitress scowled at the obnoxious customer. “It’s our lunch break,” she claimed.

“We haven’t gotten our orders yet,” Andrey said.

The waitress came over and looked at their receipt. She sighed and walked to the kitchen. A minute later she returned.

“She forgot to tell the cook about your order,” she said, blaming the other waitress. “It will be ready in twenty minutes.”

Andrey and Jesus Josephovich were shocked. Andrey was about to yell something insulting at the waitress when Jesus Josephovich interrupted.

“What is your name?” Jesus asked kindly.

“Marina,” she said, slightly embarrassed.

“Are you upset, Marina? You haven’t smiled all day.”

Marina blushed and looked around the restaurant nervously. “I’m not upset. I’m just tired today. It’s been a long day.”

“I understand. It’s been a long day for me too.” He smiled at her and she grinned back. “How can I make you happy?” he asked.

She smiled shyly. “You can’t,” she said.

“But I already did. You just smiled.”

She smiled again. She realized that she did feel slightly happier. “Okay, so what’s your point?” she asked.

“My point is that sometimes it’s enough simply to let people know that you want to make them happy, and that thought alone makes them happier. You don’t even have to do anything. Your desire is enough.”

The waitress nodded as she considered this idea.

“As much as I can, I try to imagine that other people have similar thoughts and desires to me, and I act accordingly,” Jesus Josephovich explained. “It makes people quite happy, and I find when I do nice things for other people, they begin doing nice things for me.”

“That sounds like a lot of work,” the waitress noted.

“Oh it is, at first,” Jesus Josephovich admitted. But once you get the hang of it, it actually makes life much simpler. Even when things aren’t perfect, people will still be happy because they know that you are doing your best. Things just go smoother and easier. And when you make other people happy, it makes you happier too.”

The waitress walked off thinking about what he had said. She returned with their food and served them with a polite, happy expression on her face.

“Enjoy your meal,” she said with a smile.

“We will,” Jesus Josephovich said. “Oh, and I would like to order this cake for desert,” he said pointing to the menu.

“We’re out,” she embarrassedly.

Andrey laughed. He was amazed that the restaurant was out of so many things, but this time, because of the waitress’ bright smile and friendly attitude, he realized that it didn’t matter. They could enjoy it either way.

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

Comments Off on Chapter 46 of Jesus Josephovich: The Revolution

Posted by on September 27, 2013 in E-Book, Parables, Where Jesus is


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