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Then the high-priest called two old priests secretly and sent them to Jesus, who was gone out of the temple, and was sitting in Solomon's porch, waiting to pray the midday prayer. And near him he had his disciples with great multitude of people.
The priests drew near to Jesus and said: 'Master, wherefore did man eat corn and fruit? Did God will that he should eat it, or no?' And this they said tempting him; for if he said: 'God willed it,' they would answer: 'Why did he forbid it?' and if he said: 'God willed it not,' they would say: 'Then man hath more power than God, since he worketh contrary to the will of God.'
Jesus answered: 'Your question is like a road over a mountain, which hath a precipice on the right hand and on the left: but I will walk in the middle.'
When they heard this the priests were confounded, perceiving that he knew their heart.
Then said Jesus: 'Every man, for that he hath need, worketh everything for his own use. But God, who hath no need of anything, wrought according to his good pleasure. Wherefore in creating man he created him free in order that he might know that God had no need of him; Verbi gratia, as doth a King, who to display his riches, and in order that his slaves may love him more, giveth freedom to his slaves.
God, then, created man free in order that he might love his Creator much the more and might know his bounty. For although God is omnipotent, not having need of man, having created him by his omnipotence, he left him free by his bounty, in such wise that he could resist evil and do good. For although God had power to hinder sin, he would not contradict his own bounty (for God hath no contradiction) in order that, his omnipotence and bounty having wrought in man, he should not contradict sin in man, I say, in order that in man might work the mercy of God and his righteousness. And in token that I speak the truth, I tell you that the high-priest hath sent you to tempt me, and this is the fruit of his priesthood.'
The old men departed and recounted all to the high-priest, who said: 'This fellow hath the devil at his back, who recounteth everything to him; for he aspireth to the kingship over Israel; but God will see to that.'