Jesus once ran to a mountain
As if a lion was after his blood.
Someone followed him, saying, “It’s okay!
There’s no one chasing! Why flee like a bird?”
Jesus kept running away, and,
Due to his haste, gave no reply.
The man pursued Jesus a while longer,
Then earnestly called out to him:
“For God’s sake, stop for a moment,
As I am finding it difficult to cope with your flight!
O Generous one! From whom are you running in
There’s no lion in pursuit, no cause of fear or adversity.”
Jesus answered, “I’m fleeing a fool – begone!
I’m saving myself, so don’t attempt to stop me!”
The man said, “Are you not the Messiah
By whom the deaf and blind are healed?”
“Jesus said, “Yes.” The man said. “Are you not that king
Who possesses the spells of the Unseen,
Which, when you chant them over a dead man
He jumps up alive like a lion on top of prey?”
Jesus said, “Yes, that’s me.” He said, “Don’t you create
Birds from clay too, O handsome one,
Such that with your breath they acquire spirit
And begin to fly in the air?”
Jesus said, “Yes.” The man said, “In that case,
You can do whatever you want, so whom do you fear?
With the evidence of sanctity that you have,
Who would not want to be your slave?”
Jesus explained, “By God’s Holy Essence,
The Maker of the body, the Creator of the soul
By the sanctity of His Holy Essence and Attributes,
The One whom the heavens are madly in love with,
I chanted that spell and His Greatest Name
Over the deaf and blind effectively,
And over the mountain, making it split apart
And tear its cloak down to its navel;
“Then, I chanted it over a corpse and it became alive,
And over a non-existent, making it become existent.
Then, I chanted it lovingly over the heart of a fool
A hundred thousand times, but it would not help him;
He turned to stone and would not change back –
He became ground from which nothing can grow.”
The man asked, “What can possibly explain
Why God’s name had no effect on him?
This was an ailment like all the others,
So why could it cure those but not this one?”
Jesus answered, “The ailment of stupidity is
Blindness and such are not wrath, but afflictions
And afflictions are sufferings that draw mercy.
Stupidity is a suffering that draws only blows.
God has sealed what has been branded on the fool
So no one can cure him at all.”
Run away from fools as Jesus did;
The company of fools has caused much bloodshed.
(Rumi, Mathnawi, Book 3, vv. 2570-99)
Excerpt From: Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh. “Jesus in the Eyes of the Sufis.”