A great storm on the sea destroys many lives. Jesus makes an appeal for aid, and the people give with a generous hand. In answer to a lawyer's question, Jesus gives the philosophy of disasters. [ *Reincarnation ]
2 And Jesus said, Say on. And then the man spoke out and said,
3 A storm upon the sea last night wrecked many fishing boats, and scores of men went down to death, and lo, their wives and children are in need;
4 What can be done to help them in their sore distress?
5 And Jesus said, A worthy plea. You men of Galilee, take heed. We may not bring again to life these men, but we can succour those who looked to them for daily bread.
6 You stewards of the wealth of God, an opportunity has come; unlock your vaults; bring forth your hoarded gold; bestow it with a lavish hand.
7 This wealth was laid aside for just times as these; when it was needed not, lo, it was yours to guard;
8 But now it is not yours, for it belongs to those who are in want, and if you give it not you simply bring upon your heads the wrath of God.
9 * It is not charity to give to those who need; it is but honesty; it is but giving men their own.
10 Then Jesus turned to Judas, one of the twelve, who was the treasurer of the band, and said,
11 Bring forth our treasure box; the money is not ours now; turn every farthing to the help of those in such distress.
12 Now, Judas did not wish to give the money all to those in want, and so he talked with Peter, James and John.
13 He said, Lo, I will save a certain part and give the rest; that surely is enough for us, for we are strangers to the ones in want; we do not even know their names.
14 But Peter said, Why, Judas, man, how do you dare to think to trifle with the strength of right?
15 * The Lord has spoken true; this wealth does not belong to us in face of this distress, and to refuse to give it is to steal.
16 * You need not fear; we will not come to want.
17 Then Judas opened up the treasure box and gave the money all.
18 And there was gold and silver, food, and raiment in abundance for the needs of the bereaved.
19 * A lawyer said, Rabboni, if God rules the worlds and all that in them is, did he not bring about this storm? did he not slay these men?
20 * Has he not brought this sore distress upon these people here? and was it done to punish them for crimes?
21 And we remember well when once a band of earnest Jews from Galilee were in Jerusalem, and ata feast and were, for fancied crimes against the Roman law,
22 Cut down within the very temple court by Pontius Pilate; and their blood became their sacrifice.
23 Did God bring on this slaughter all because these men were doubly vile?
24 And then we bring to mind that once a tower called Siloam, graced the defences of Jerusalem, and, seemingly, without a cause it tottered and it fell to earth and eighteen men were killed.
25 Were these men vile? and were they slain as punishment for some great crime?
26 * And Jesus said, We cannot look upon a single span of life and judge of anything.
27 * There is a law that men must recognise: Result depends on cause.
28 * Men are not motes to float about within the air of one short life, and then be lost in nothingness.
29 * They are undying parts of the eternal whole that come and go, lo, many times into the air of earth and of the great beyond, just to unfold the God-like self.
30 * A cause may be a part of one brief life; results may not be noted till another life.
31 * The cause of your results cannot be found within my life, nor can the cause of my results be found in yours.
32 * I cannot reap except I sow and I must reap whate'er I sow,
33 * The law of all eternities is known to master minds:
34 * Whatever men do unto other men the judge and executioner will do to them.
35 We do not note the execution of this law among the sons of men.
36 We note the weak dishonoured, trampled on and slain by those men call the strong.
37 We note that men with woodlike heads are seated in the chairs of state;
38 Are kings and judges, senators and priests, while men with giant intellects are scavengers about the streets.
39 We note that women with a moiety of common sense, and not a whit of any other kind, are painted up and dressed as queens,
40 Becoming ladies of the courts of puppet kings, because they have the form of something beautiful; while God's own daughters are their slaves, or serve as common labourers in the field.
41 The sense of justice cries aloud: This is a travesty on right.
42 * So when men see no further than one little span of life it is no wonder that they say, There is no God, or if there is a God he is a tyrant and should die.
43 * If you would judge aright of human life, you must arise and stand upon the crest of time and note the thoughts and deeds of men as they have come up through the ages past;
44 * For we must know that man is not a creature made of clay to turn again to clay and disappear.
45 * He is a part of the eternal whole. There never was a time when he was not; a time will never come when he will not exist.
46 And now we look; the men who now are slaves were tyrants once; the men who now are tyrants have been slaves.
47 The men who suffer now once stood aloft and shouted with a fiend's delight while others suffered at their hands.
48 And men are sick, and halt, and lame, and blind because they once transgressed the laws of perfect life, and every law of God must be fulfilled.
49 * Man may escape the punishment that seems but due for his mis - doings in this life; but every deed and word and thought has its own metes and bounds,
50 * Is cause, and has its own results, and if a wrong be done, the doer of the wrong must make it right.
51 * And when the wrongs have all been righted then will man arise and be at one with God.