Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Paragraph 62

And now, take heed, O brother! If such things be revealed in this Dispensation, and such incidents come to pass, at the present time, what would the people do? I swear by Him Who is the true Educator of mankind and the Revealer of the Word of God that the people would instantly and unquestionably pronounce Him an infidel and would sentence Him to death. How far are they from hearkening unto the voice that declareth: Lo! a Jesus hath appeared out of the breath of the Holy Ghost, and a Moses summoned to a divinely-appointed task! Were a myriad voices to be raised, no ear would listen if We said that upon a fatherless Child hath been conferred the mission of Prophethood, or that a murderer hath brought from the flame of the burning Bush the message of "Verily, verily, I am God!"

"...(O)f those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the earth shall be shaken..." Remember that? Way back in paragraph 24? Matthew 24? Baha'u'llah is still commenting on this passage.

This is all about how we are shaken, and how much things change. In the past few paragraphs He has given us a lot to think about, particularly in relation to what we commonly believe. He has been straightforward in telling us how we would have reacted if we were alive when Moses or Jesus were alive. And you know what? He's right.

What makes us think that we would recognize a Messenger of God today? Do we really believe that we have that high a spiritual capacity? After all, in the time of Jesus there were only a few dozen who recognized Him on the day of His crucifixion, and even then one of the greatest of those Apostles denied Him.

Baha'u'llah begins this paragraph by addressing the Uncle of the Bab as "Brother". He seems to be doing all He can to help lower those very natural barriers which would have us deny this Message. He is saying that this man is someone who is very dear, very close. He is saying that we are all in this together. He is reminding us that He doesn't mean us harm, and truly loves us.

And He is also reminding us that now, looking back in history, we recognize all the signs that heralded these great Teachers. Do we not see the same signs today? This is a very real question that He is getting us to ask.

When we read this, we were reminded of that famous scene from Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov", in which Jesus returns and is immediately thrown in prison. And isn't that just what happened?

If Baha'u'llah, or the Bab, or any Messenger were to come today, can you imagine the news media taking Him seriously? Can't you just picture Him either locked up in prison as a menace, or being institutionalized as insane? How many people would really take the time to investigate His claims?

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