For a while He was silent and we surrounded Him, silent. But after He had served the food He began to speak. He told us of the play The Terrible Meek which he had seen that afternoon. It is based on the Crucifixion.
“But such a representation should be complete,” He said, and taken from its inception to its consummation. It should be an impersonation of the life of Jesus from the beginning to the end. “For example: His baptism. The disciples of John the Baptist turning to Him, Jesus. The dawn of Christianity. Then the Christ in the Temple, well portrayed. The meeting of Jesus and Peter on the shore of Tiberias, where Jesus called Peter to follow Him that he might become a fisher of men. The gathering together of the Jews. Their accusations against Jesus. For they said: ‘We are expecting certain conditions at the time of the appearance of the Messiah and unless these conditions are fulfilled it is impossible to believe. It is written that He will come from an unknown place. Thou are from Nazareth. We know Thee and Thy people. According to the explicit text of the Scriptures, the Messiah is to wield a sceptre, a sword. Thou hast not even a staff. The Messiah is to be established on the throne of David. But Thoua throne! Thou hast not so much as a mat. The Messiah is to fulfil the Law of Moses, which will be spread throughout the world. Thou hast broken the Mosaic Law. The Jews, in the time of the Messiah, are to be the conquerors of the world and all men will become their subjects. In the Cycle of the Messiah justice is to reign. It will be exercised even in the animal kingdom, so that wolf and lamb will quaff water at the same fountain, eagle and quail will dwell in the same nest, lion and deer pasture in the same meadow. But see the oppression and wrong rampant in Thy time! The Jews are the captives of the Romans. Rome has uprooted our foundations, pillaging and killing us. What manner of justice is this?’
“But His Holiness Jesus answered: ‘These texts are symbolic. They have an inner meaning. I possess sovereignty, but it is of the eternal type. It is not an earthy empire. Mine is divine, heavenly, everlasting. And I conquer not by the sword. My conquests are by Love. I have a sword, but it is not of iron. My sword is My tongue, which divides Truth from falsehood.’
“Yet they persisted in rejecting Him. ‘These are mere interpretations,’ they said. ‘We will not give up the letter for these.’
“Then they rose against Him, accusing and persecuting Him, inventing libels according to their superstitions.
“‘He is a liar. He is the false Christ. Believe Him not. Beware lest ye listen. He will mislead you, will lure you from the religion of your fathers, and will create a turmoil amongst you.’
“Then the scribes and Pharisees consult together: ‘Let us hold a conclave and conceive a plan. This man is a deceiver. We must do something. What?’” (The Master gaily mimicked their confusion.) “‘Let us expel Him from the country. Let us imprison Him. Ah! Let us refer the matter to the government. Thus the religion of Moses shall be free of Him.’
“After this, the betrayal of Jesus, not by an enemy, not by an outsider, but by one of His own disciples. Dr Faríd! (I was startled by the sudden, peremptory call of that name.) “By one of His own disciples. Had you been there, Dr Faríd. Had you been there, you would have seen that Mary of Magdala even looked like Juliet.”
“Then,” continued the Master, “the government will summon Jesus, will bring Him before Pontius Pilate, and these scenes should be fully portrayed ”
Here I ceased to take notes. I was stabbed to the heart. As He flashed each scene to us with His vivid words and gestures I felt that He was reliving it. When He came to that walk to Golgotha: Jesus, the Saviour, stumbling beneath the weight of His Cross while the mob capered about, bowing backward, mocking “the King of the Jews,” I knew He was telling us of remembered anguish.
“And when all this is finished,” He said, “then the Terrible Meek will be expressed.”
The last scene centred around the disciples, united now and ablaze with the Pentecostal fire. The Master described them surrounded by multitudes, teaching with those “tongues of fire” that His Holiness Jesus had verily been a Kingthe King of spirits, His sword the Word of God and His reign in the hearts of men.
When the Master had ended we sat so silent that the falling of a rose leaf might have been heard. He broke the silence.
“The voice of Mary lamenting at the Cross today made me think of your voice, Julietand Lua’s.” And then He smiled at me. “Eat, Juliet,” He said. For the food on my plate was untouched.