Friday, November 02, 2007

New Gospel Of Melvin Fragment Translated

Jesus was in Jericho one Thursday, teaching in their market places, healing the afflicted, and haranguing the melon merchants about what he called unfair price gouging.

As Jesus was leaving town, attracting a crowd of onlookers that weren't buying any melons either, he stopped by a sycamore tree and looked up to find that no-good tax-collector, Zacchaeus, sitting up in its branches.

And Jesus said to him, "Hey Zacch, how does it feel to have someone looking up to you for a change? (for he was a very short man) Now, hurry up and come down out of that tree! I'm coming to stay at your place for awhile."

Zacchaeus climbed down, saying, "Well, the guest room really isn't ready, and my cook is on vacation--"

But Jesus said unto him, "How'd you like to be another cubit shorter?"

And Zacchaeus replied, "I would be delighted to have you stay at my house! But why me?"

Jesus bent down and whispered in his ear, "Do you see those two Pharisees over there? They're always accusing me of having dinner with tax-collectors, prostitutes, and other undesirable folks. I'd hate to disappoint them by breaking tradition!"

Zacchaeus smiled. "I know just the prostitutes and outcasts to invite!"

"That's not quite what I meant," said Jesus, "but okay."

Later that evening, at dinner, Zacchaeus stood up and called, "I have an announcement to make!"

"So stand up! Oh wait, you are standing!" laughed his friends.

"I just wanted to say how happy I am about salvation finally coming to my house!"

"Whoa there, Buddy!" Jesus interrupted. "Who said anything about salvation?"

Zacchaeus was distraught, saying to him, "But isn't that why you're here?"

Jesus replied, "Truly I say to you, I don't mind having dinner with people like you, but when it comes to salvation, even I have standards!"

But Zacchaeus defended himself, sputtering, "I already give half my possessions to the poor! I pay back anyone I've cheated four times the amount!"

And Jesus said, "I don't care if you can trace your family line back to Abraham! You're a tax-collector!"

And Zacchaeus said, "Isn't it true that you have among your disciples a certain Levi, also called Matthew, who is a tax-collector?"

"No,” said Jesus. “But I do have one named Matthew, also called Levi, who is a tax-collector. That's a special case, though. He doesn't take taxes anymore."

And Zacchaeus' face was downcast, and he said, "When was the last time you were audited?"

And cutting open a cantaloupe on the table, Jesus withdrew the exact amount he owed in taxes. And all who saw it were amazed, except for Eliphaz, the chief melon merchant of Jericho, who simply wished he'd charged Jesus more for the cantaloupe.

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