Leo Tolstoy Archive

The Teaching of Christ Narrated for Children
Chapter 41

Written: 1908
Source: From RevoltLib.com
Transcription/Markup: Andy Carloff
Online Source: RevoltLib.com; 2021

Leo Tolstoy

When in Jerusalem people discovered that Jesus was coming, they came out to meet him, surrounded him, put him on the donkey, and people ran before him, ripped branches off the trees, threw them on the road, and screamed: “Here he is, our true King! He taught us the true God.” And that way Jesus entered Jerusalem. And people asked: “Who is this?” And those who knew him, answered: “This is Jesus, the Prophet form Nazareth of Galilee.” When Jesus approached the temple, he came down from the donkey, entered the temple and began to teach the people. And the Pharisees and the bishops saw all that, and told each other: “See, what this man does. The whole nation goes after him.” They wished to take him right then, but did not dare to do so, fearing people, and they still wondered how to do this and not to agitate people. And Jesus, without interference, taught people in the temple.

Among people, beside Jews, there were pagans , Greeks. Greeks heard about the teachings of Jesus, that it was not only for Jews but for all people, and wanted to hear it. They told Philip about that. And Philip told Andrew.

The disciples were afraid to get Jesus with the Greeks. They were afraid that Jews might get angry at Jesus for not recognizing the differences between Jews and other people, and at first were hesitant to tell Jesus about what Greeks asked for, but then told him. Having heard that Greeks wanted to become his disciples, Jesus got confused at first. He knew that if he won’t make difference between Jews and Gentiles, then Jews will get angry at him. But he immediately came to his senses and said: “There is no difference between Jews and Gentiles; one and the same son of man is in all people. Even if I die because of this, but it's time to recognize the human son as common spirit of God in all people. Wheat grain only brings fruit when it dies itself. The same is with human, he brings fruit only when he gives his life for the fulfillment of the will of God. He who loves his bodily life, diminishes his spiritual life; but he who is willing to give his bodily life, receives the spiritual one. My soul is struggling now, whether I will give in to the considerations of temporal life, or will fulfill the will of the Father. And so, now, when the time came when I have to do that for what I was sent into the world, can I really say: ‘Father, rescue me from what must I do?’ I can't say that, and I say: “Father, manifest yourself in me so that I may glorify the human son and unite all people together.”

And to these words Jews said to him: “We know that Christ should come, but we don't understand what does it mean to glorify the human son?” And Jesus said: “To glorify the human son means to live by the spiritual light. And the spiritual light is in all of you. To raise the human son above the earthly one is to believe that the spirit of God dwells in every person. Who believes in my teaching, he believes not me, but he believes the spirit of God; and the spirit of God gives life to the world and lives within each of you. And he who understands my teaching, knows this spirit, because that spirit lives in him and gives life to the world. If anyone hears my words and does not understand them, I don't blame him, because I came not to accuse, but to save. He who does not understand my words, he does not believe in the spirit of God, because what I say, I'm not saying from myself, but from the spirit of the Father. And the spirit of the Father lives in me. Everything I say is what this spirit told me.” And, having said this, Jesus went away and disappeared again from the Chief priests. (Matthew 21, 7-12, John 12, 19-36, 44-50)

1) What did Jesus tell in the temple about what is going to happen to him?
2) What did he said about his teaching?