Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Paragraph 21

Afterwards, the companions and disciples of Jesus asked Him concerning those signs that must needs signalize the return of His manifestation. When, they asked, shall these things be? Several times they questioned that peerless Beauty, and, every time He made reply, He set forth a special sign that should herald the advent of the promised Dispensation. To this testify the records of the four Gospels.

Just in case we thought that the only things Jesus said about His return were those two comments in the last paragraph, Baha'u'llah reminds us that every time He was asked about it, "He set forth a special sign".

Oh, and here we are wondering something. In the Gospels Jesus is asked about His return a few times. How often must He have been asked about it in His life? Can't you just imagine the Disciples all running around Him, "When are You coming back? When are You returning?" It would be like little kids going, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" But that's probably just us and our twisted imagination.

Getting back to Jesus and His "special signs", this always seems to be true of the Messengers of God: whenever They are asked a sincere question, They always give an answer. But this is not the same as answering every question. There were a number of times that Baha'u'llah was asked questions, but it was obvious to Him that the questioner was not sincere. Who can forget those memorable lines, "If thine aim be to cherish thy life, approach not our court; but if sacrifice be thy heart's desire, come and let others come with thee. For such is the way of Faith, if in thy heart thou seekest reunion with Baha; shouldst thou refuse to tread this path, why trouble us? Begone!"

It always seems to come back to the sincerity of the individual, doesn't it?

This may be another sign for us, if we are to see this as a model for teaching the Faith: always try to help the sincere seeker. When someone comes to us with a deep and burning question, we should try and help them uncover the answer to it. We may not always have the answer ourselves, but we can at least help them look.

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