The Rauschmonstrum Watches Jesus Disrupt The Marketplace at the Temple

This post originally appears as a chapter within my book The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum

Jesus entered the city’s temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money lenders and the seats of those who sold doves “My temple will be a house of prayer, but you merchants have made it a den for thieves”

The blind and the lame came to the temple to see him, and through the power of the Rauschmonstrum, Jesus healed them.  But when the Pharisees, and chief priests, and the teachers of the law saw the glorious things Jesus was able to do through the Rauschmonstrum, and saw the children shouting in the temple courts, “Bless the Son of God,” they were indignant.

Jesus begun teaching in the temple daily, and  the Pharisees, and chief priests and scribes were seeking to destroy him, but they were not able to find anything they could do, for all of the common people were hanging on his words.

“Surely it will not be long now” thought the Rauschmonstrum. “These Pharisees and scribes may be terribly incompetent, and preach nonsense, but they will find a way to destroy the Nazarene eventually.”

But once again, they were afraid of the multitude of followers; so they left him and went away.

“These people are useless, for if they truly want to kill the Nazarene, they must not have this fear of the crowds.” The Rauschmonstrum began thinking of a way to bring about Jesus’ destruction himself.

Jesus Predicts His Own Death

This post originally appears as a chapter in my book The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum

 

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the Pharisees, the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be resurrected.

Peter took him aside and began to chastise him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

 Jesus responded by turning to Peter and saying, “Get behind me, Satan! You are just a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

“Better to have human concerns than the ones you have in mind, Nazarene” thought the Rauschmonstrum.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.  For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his life?

Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?  For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will judge to everyone according to their deeds. Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”

The Rauschmonstrum watched this with great interest, for he had gotten weary of the possibility of the death of the Nazarene. A part of him hoped their game could go on forever and ever. However Jesus seemed eager for his death to take place.

The Rauschmonstrum, Jesus, and the Raising of Lazarus

This post is originally a chapter in my book The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum

 

Now a man from Bethany named Lazarus was sick. His sisters, Mary and Martha, sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” Now, it had been known for some time that Lazarus had been ill, so for Mary and Martha to send word to Jesus on Lazarus’ condition, it was a sign Lazarus was close to death.

When Jesus received this message from Mary and Martha, he said “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Jesus he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago some people who lived there tried to stone you, and yet you want to go back?” (This situation had happened, though Jesus was never in any serious harm.)

 Jesus answered them, “Aren’t there twelve hours of daylight? If a man walks in the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if a man walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light isn’t in him.”  

 After that, he said to them, “Our friend, Lazarus, has fallen asleep, but I am going so that I may awake him out of sleep.”

 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, surely he will wake up.”  The disciples thought Jesus spoke of Lazarus’ natural sleep.

 So then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

Now, the Rauschmonstrum knew that Lazarus was already dead, because of his omnipresent talents, but he was surprised Jesus spoke in such a way, since the Nazarene could only guess of this. “Sure he knows Lazarus is near death, but there is no need for the Nazarene to ordain his demise before he knows for sure”

Jesus left for Judea. Then the disciple Thomas, who thought it was certain that Jesus would be killed upon arriving in Judea, said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, so that we may die with him.”

“They are going to force me to raise this Lazarus fellow from the dead, aren’t they?” sighed the Rauschmonstrum.

When Jesus arrived in Bethany, he found that Lazarus had been in the tomb four days already.   Many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. 

 Then when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary stayed in the house. Therefore Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.  Even now I know that, whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”  Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies.  Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, God’s Son, he who comes into the world.”

 When she had said this, she went away, and called Mary, her sister, secretly, saying, “The Teacher is here, and is calling you.”

When she heard this, she arose quickly, and went to him.  Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met him. Then the crowd that was with her in the house, and were consoling her, upon seeing her rise up quickly, went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.”

Therefore when Mary came to where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you would have been here days ago, my brother would not have died.”

 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the crowd that had come with her weeping as well, he groaned in distress, and was troubled.  He said, “Where have you laid him?”

They told him, “Lord, come and see.”

 Jesus wept.

 The gathered crowd then said, “See how much affection he had for him!” Some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have also kept this man from dying?”

The Rauschmonstrum was annoyed by the behavior of Lazarus’ sisters, feeling as though they were manipulating Jesus into raising their brother from their dead, through making him feel guilty. It was not as though Jesus had any obligation to raise Lazarus up. Death was as natural a thing as there ever was, and even if Lazarus were to be raised, the time would come when he would die again.

 However, the Rauschmonstrum knew that regardless, Lazarus would now need to be raised from the dead, or else Jesus’ credibility would be damaged.

“At least,” thought the Rauschmonstrum “this will be a miracle to be rooted in gravitas, unlike that water into wine trick I let the Nazarene perform toward the beginning.” 

Jesus therefore, again groaning in himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.  Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha said to him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see God’s glory?”

 So they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, “Father, I know that you always listen to me, but because of the multitude that stands around me, I asked that you do this, that they may believe that you sent me.”  After he had said this, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

And so, through the power of the Rauschmonstrum, Lazarus came out, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face wrapped with a cloth.

Jesus said to the crowd, “Free him, and let him go.”

The people around did as Jesus asked, and Lazarus walked away with his sisters.

“If this does not give the Nazarene a large following, nothing will” thought the Rauschmonstrum.

The Rauschmonstrum Watches Jesus Bless the Little Children

This post originally appears as a chapter in my book The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum

The people around were bringing little children to Jesus, that he should touch them and put his blessings on them, but the disciples rebuked those who were bringing them to him.  

But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said to them, “Allow the little children to come to me! Don’t forbid them, for God’s Kingdom belongs to such as these. Most certainly I tell you, whoever will not receive God’s Kingdom like a little child, he will in no way enter into it.” He took them in his arms, and blessed them.

“Smart move by the Nazarene,” thought the Rauschmonstrum. “For what can be better for a religion than to claim gullibility to be a virtue?”

 

Jesus and the Woman Caught in Adultery

This post originally appears as a chapter in my book The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum.

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Now very early in the morning, he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him. He sat down, and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman taken in adultery. Having set her in the middle, they told him, “Teacher, we found this woman in adultery, in the very act. Now in our law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. What then do you say about her?”  They said this testing him, that they might have something to accuse him of.

Jesus stooped down, and wrote on the ground with his finger.  When they continued asking him, he looked up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her.”Again he stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground.

The Pharisees, thinking about what he said, became convicted by their conscience, and went out from the temple one by one.

Jesus was left alone with the woman where she was, in the middle. Jesus, standing up, saw her and said, “Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?”

She said, “No one, Lord.”

Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more.”

The woman left. The Rauschmonstrum was very pleased with how Jesus had handled the situation, knowing that the Pharisees had been trying to bait the Nazarene into saying something they’d be able to charge him with blasphemy over.

The Rauschmonstrum was also pleased because he thought it astoundingly cruel for adultery to be punishable by death, and he was dumbfounded over how most of the world put such rigid restrictions on sexual behavior. “If this Nazarene’s teachings really do last for millennia,” he thought, “I hope permissive sexuality is a central tenant.”

Jesus Heals A Blind Man

This post originally appears as a chapter in my book The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus answered, “Neither did this man sin, nor his parents; but, that the works of God might be revealed in him.  I must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day. The night is coming, when no one can work.  While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 

 When he had said this, he spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, touched the blind man’s eyes with the mud, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” 

So the man went away, washed, and as a result of the Rauschmonstrum’s power, he came back seeing. The neighbors therefore, and those who saw that he was blind before, said, “Is this not he who sat and begged?”  Others were saying, “It is he.” Still others were saying, “He looks like him, yet this man can see, so it cannot be him.”

The man replied again and again to their questions, “I am he.”  They therefore were asking him, “How were your eyes opened?”

 He answered, “A man called Jesus made mud, anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash.’ So I went away and washed, and I received sight.”

Then they asked him, “Where is he?”

He said, “I don’t know.”

They brought him who had been blind to the Pharisees.  It was a Sabbath when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.  Again therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and I see.”

 The Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he doesn’t keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” There was division among them.  Therefore they asked the blind man again, “What do you say about him, because he opened your eyes?”

He said, “He is a prophet.”

The Jews therefore did not believe that he had been blind, and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight,  and asked them, “Is this your son, whom you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”

 His parents answered them, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind;  but how he now sees, we don’t know; or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. He is of age. Ask him. He will speak for himself.”  His parents said these things because they feared the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if any man would confess him as Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.  Therefore his parents said, “He is of age. Ask him.”

 So they called the man who was blind a second time, and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.”

 He therefore answered, “I don’t know if he is a sinner. One thing I do know: that though I was blind, now I see.”

They said to him again, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”

 He answered them, “I told you already, and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don’t also want to become his disciples, do you?”

 They insulted him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.  We know that God has spoken to Moses. But as for this man, we don’t know where he comes from.”

 The man answered them, “How amazing! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God, and does his will, he listens to him. Since the world began it has never been heard of that anyone opened the eyes of someone born blind.  If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

They answered him, “You were altogether born in sins, and do you teach us?” They threw him out.

The Rauschmonstrum was an onlooker for these proceedings, and was disgusted by what he saw.  “These Pharisees care more that this man does not follow their rigid rules, than they do that he is able to see after a life of blindness. How can the masses accomplish anything in this world, when such crippling regulations are laid upon them?”

 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and finding him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”

He answered, “Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him?”

 Jesus said to him, “You have both seen him, and it is he who speaks with you.”

 He said, “Lord, I believe!” and he worshiped him.

 Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, that those who don’t see may see; and that those who see may become blind.”

 Those of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?”

 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.”

The Rauschmonstrum was proud of how Jesus had stood up to the Pharisees. “I may have much disagreement with my Nazarene, however he does not lack in chutzpah.”

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man

This post originally appeared as a chapter in my book The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum

When he entered again into Capernaum after some days, it was heard that he was in a house there.  Immediately many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even around the door; and he spoke the word to them.  Four people came, carrying a paralytic to him. When the crowd prevented them from getting near to him, they removed the roof where Jesus was.

When they had broken it up, they let down the mat that the paralytic was lying on.  Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

 But there were some of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak blasphemies like that? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

The Rauschmonstrum was confused for completely different reasons. He knew that physical maladies were not caused by sins, and found it absurd that humans could think that they were.

The realization came to him that whatever flaws the Nazarene had in his thinking would be thought of as facts for generations if the Rauschmonstrum succeeded in his mission. However, he did not have the desire or inclination to alter how the Nazarene went about his business.

Jesus Turns Water to Wine

This post originally appears as a chapter in my book The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum.

There was a wedding in Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was in attendance, and Jesus had also been invited to the wedding along with his disciples.  When the wine had all been finished, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come.”

The Rauschmonstrum, watching on, thought this was a terrible way for Jesus to talk to his mother, and did not understand what he meant when he said “My hour has not yet come” since Jesus had already begun preaching and purporting to have performed miracles.

Jesus’ mother turned to the servants and said, “Whatever he says to you, do it.”

 Nearby there were six water jars made of stone, the kind of jars used by the Jews for the purposes of ceremonial washing. Each jar held from twenty to thirty gallons.

 Jesus said to the servants “Fill the jars with water”; so the servants filled them to the brim. When this was done, the Rauschmonstrum transfigured the water into wine.

 Then Jesus told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the one who is in charge of the banquet.”

So they took it.  When the ruler of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and didn’t know where it came from, the ruler of the feast called the bridegroom,  and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when the guests have drunk freely, then that which is worse. You have kept the good wine until now!” 

What the Rauschmonstrum made it look as though Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

 While the Rauschmonstrum liked that this miracle inspired belief in Jesus’ disciples, and others around, he was not pleased that it had come in this manner. “Turning water into wine is the stuff of parlor tricks, not for something to be looked upon from the son of God,” thought the Rauschmonstrum.

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

This post was originally a chapter in my book The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum

One day Jesus went off to the Lake of Gennesaret. As he stood by the lake, people began crowding around him and listening to him as he spoke.  

He saw that at the edge of the water there were two boats, left there by fishermen, washing their nets.  Jesus got into one of the boats, the one which belonged to Simon, also known as Peter, and asked him to go a little farther from shore. Then Jesus sat down and began teaching people from the boat.

 When Jesus finished speaking, he said to Simon Peter, “Pull out into the deep water, and let the nets down so that you may catch.”

Peter responded, “Teacher, we have worked hard all night and have not caught anything. However, because you ask me so, I will let down the nets.”

 When the fishermen had done this, the Rauschmonstrum worked his abilities so that they caught such a large number of fish that their nets were unable to take the strain, and began to break. They beckoned to their partners in the other boat, that they should come and help them. They came, and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 

Simon Peter, believing that Jesus was responsible for this, fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord.” For he was amazed, and all who were with him, at the catch of fish which they had caught;  and so also were James and John, who were friends with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”  So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

The Rauschmonstrum was pleased, for he felt these men had the qualities to be good disciples for the Nazarene, most importantly an unquestioning nature.

The Baptism of Jesus

This post originated as a chapter in my book The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum

 It happened that soon after the Rauschmonstrum first encountered Jesus, Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River. This pleased the Rauschmonstrum greatly, for it was the perfect opportunity to cement Jesus’ belief that he was the son of God.

 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, the Rauschmonstrum created the vision of heaven being torn open and of a dove descending on Jesus, which the Rauschmonstrum knew would be believed to be a representation of the Holy Spirit. (Whatever it was the Holy Spirit was supposed to be. The Rauschmonstrum still was not sure.)

The Rauschmonstrum made it seem as though a voice came from heaven, and it said: “You are my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.”

The Rauschmonstrum noticed that neither Jesus nor John was surprised by what had just occurred, they took it in stride.

 “It has begun” the Rauschmonstrum thought.