The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ, by Levi H. Dowling, , at sacred-texts.com
Jesus and Peter pay the half-shekel tax. The disciples contend for the supremacy. Jesus rebukes them. Teaches them many practical lessons. The parable of the good shepherd.
1. As Jesus and the twelve were resting in the house, the tax collector came to Peter saying, Man, do Jesus and yourself pay this half-shekel tax?
2. And Peter said, We pay whatever is assessed.
3. And Jesus said, From whom do publicans collect this special tax? from strangers or from native sons?
4. And Peter said, The strangers only are supposed to pay this tax.
5. Then Jesus said, We all are native sons and we are free; but lest we cause contention we will pay the tax; but neither had the shekel wherewithal to pay.
6. And Jesus said, Go to the sea; cast in a hook and catch a fish and you will find within its inner parts a shekel, which take up and pay the tax for you and me.
7. And Peter did as Jesus said; he found the shekel and he paid the tax.
8. Now Jesus heard the twelve dispute among themselves. The spirit of the carnal self was moving in their hearts, and they were questioning among themselves who was the greatest in the sight of God and man.
9. And Jesus said, You men, for shame! The greatest is the servant of the rest. And then he called to him a little child; he took it in his arms and said.
10. The greatest is the little child, and if you would be great at all you must become as is this child in innocence, in truth, in purity in life.
11. Great men scorn not the little things of earth; he who regards and honours such a child, regards and honours me, and he who scorns a child, scorns me.
12. If you would enter through the kingdom gate you must be humble as this little child.
13. Hear me, you men, This child, as every other child, has one to plead its cause before the throne of God.
14. You scorn it at your peril, men, for lo, I say, its counterpart beholds the face of God at every moment, every day.
15. And hear me once again, He who shall cause a little one to stumble and to fall is marked, accursed; and it were better far if he had drowned himself.
16. Behold, offences everywhere! Men find occasions for to sin and fall, and they grow strong by rising when they fall;
17. But woe to him who causes other men to stumble and to fall.
18. Be on your guard, you men of God, lest you constrain another man to fall; beware lest you fall into sinful ways yourselves.
19. Now, if your hands cause you to sin, you better cut them off; for it is better far to have no hands and not be guilty in the sight of God and men, than to be perfect in your form and lose your soul.
20. And if your feet should cause offence, you better cut them off; for it is better far to enter into life without your feet than fall beneath the curse.
21. And if your eyes, or ears, cause you to sin, you better lose them all than lose your soul.
22. Your thoughts and words and deeds will all be tried by fire.
23. Remember that you are the salt of earth; but if you lose the virtues of the salt, you are but refuse in the sight of God.
24. Retain the virtues of the salt of life and be at peace among yourselves.
25. The world is full of men who have not in themselves the salt of life, and they are lost. I come to seek and save the lost.
26. How think you? if a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, will he not leave the ninety and the nine,
27. And go out in the desert ways and mountain tops to seek the one that went astray?
28. Yes, this you know; and if he finds the one that went astray, lo, he is glad, and he rejoices over it far more than over all the ninety and the nine that did not go astray.
29. And so there is rejoicing in the human courts of heaven when one human birth who has gone forth into the ways of sin is found and brought back to the fold;
30. Yea, there is joy, more joy than over all the righteous men who never went astray.
31. And John said, Master, who may seek and save the lost? and who may heal the sick, and cast the demons out of those obsessed?
32. When we were on the way we saw a man who was not one of us cast demons out and heal the sick.
33. He did it by the sacred Word and in the name of Christ? but we forbade him, for he did not walk with us.
34. And Jesus said, You sons of men, do you imagine that you own the powers of God?
35. And do you think that all the world must wait for you to do the works of God?
36. God is not man that he should have a special care for any man, and give him special gifts.
37. Forbid not any man to do the works of God.
38. There is no man who can pronounce the sacred Word, and in the name of Christ restore the sick, and cast the unclean spirits out, who is not child of God.
39. The man of whom you speak is one with us. Whoever gathers in the grain of heaven is one with us.
40. Whoever gives a cup of water in the name of Christ is one with us; so God shall judge.