First Gospel of Joseph About The Infancy of Jesus
Chapter 20 Verses 1-7
1 THERE was also at Jerusalem one named Zaccheus, who was a schoolmaster.
2 And he said to Joseph, Joseph, why dost thou not send Jesus to me, that he may learn his letters?
3 Joseph agreed, and told St. Mary;
4 So they brought him to that master; who, as soon as he saw him, wrote out an alphabet for him.
5 And he bade him say Aleph; and when he had said Aleph, the master bade him pronounce Beth.
6 Then the Lord Jesus said to him, Tell me first the meaning of the letter Aleph, and then I will pronounce Beth.
7 And when the master threatened to whip him, the Lord Jesus explained to him the meaning of the letters Aleph and Beth;
MORAL OF THE STORY
It is indeed unfortunate for the Bible scholars to not having made known, either purposely or unintentionally, this gospel of the infancy of Jesus. And even more sad on my part for not having read this story since childhood, and for the learned for not having understood the very simple moral of this story, especially having taken place at a very young age of our Lord Jesus.
Even when Jesus was still in the cradle, he already spoke to His mother about His future and the salvation of man, having said:
“Mary, I am Jesus the Son of God, that word which thou didst bring forth according to the declaration of the angel Gabriel to thee, and my father hath sent me for the salvation of the world.” -1:3
In the story Jesus clearly proclaimed already the “second” life, or the gift of eternal life. When he said to the teacher “Tell me first the meaning of Aleph and I will pronounce Beth”, He basically was teasing the teacher whether he really understood what he was teaching Him.
On the other hand, philosophically, what Jesus could have meant for us in general was that whether we already understood clearly this earth life (first life) before He will “make an effort” to explain to us the meaning of the second life, which is the Kingdom of God. For how could anyone grasp the whole meaning of the second life, if none could understand the purpose of the first? How can anyone boast about heaven if he himself could not understand his purpose on this earth, and could not assure himself whether he will have the graciousness of God to possess the blessing of seeing and treading the “new earth”?
It is quite discomforting, when asking someone whether he will be saved, if he knows his purpose in life, and if he is walking the path of righteousness on this earth; in that immediately he feels insulted, like the manner of the master who threatened to whip Jesus when asked to explain the first letter Aleph.
How can the master teach the alphabets if he could not even understand its meaning? Similarly, how can we know whether we are righteous in the face of God and we are blessed to receive the second eternal life if we could not even comprehend the meaning of our first life and our individual purpose through our ways, thoughts, beliefs and actions while living this present life?
How can you judge others, or teach and argue about heaven or hell, God, godliness, religion or spirituality, when you could not even care enough to understand, better and improve – in full honesty, righteousness and meekness – yourself in this life?
You may be able to disclose your righteousness and hide your faults to others, yet none can be hidden in the eyes of God. So better unpack your bags, take off your gears, for you ain’t going nowhere. Yes, my brethren, all seats taken on your scheduled flight to heaven. Unless…
“If I have told you eartly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” -John 3:12