Jesus stood. “You have all heard of Rabbi Hillel, who used to teach at the synagogue in Jerusalem?”
The disciples nodded. Rabbi Hillel was a well know scholar who died while the disciples were children.
“Rabbi Hillel was once challenged by a young sceptic,” Jesus said. “The young man said, ‘You want me to believe in your God? Fine. I will believe, if you can recite the entire Torah while standing on one foot!”
A few of the disciples snickered.
“The entire Torah?” Bart questioned. “That’s: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy — five books!”
John said, “There’s no way anyone could stand on one foot that long, even if he did have the entire Torah memorized.”
“Well, Rabbi Hillel wasn’t just anyone!” Jesus said as he lifted one foot in the air and rested it on his knee. Balancing on one foot, Jesus said, “Rabbi Hillel lifted his foot off the ground and said, ‘Whatever is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah. The rest is just details. Go and study it for yourself!” Jesus stomped his foot, as if crushing a bug.
The disciples broke into rowdy applause.
“That was an awesome answer,” Paul said during the cheering.
James nodded, “It sure was!”
Hannah took the hands of both of her brothers. “This is so much fun!” she whispered as the cheering died down.
Sitting again on his pillow, Jesus said, “I hope each of you always remembers the value God places on each and every person. Rabbi Hillel may have said not to do what is hateful, but people who seek the Kingdom of God will go even further.”
“What more is there?” John asked.
“Do,” Jesus said. “Don’t just ‘not do’ things that hurt others. DO! Imagine the best thing that could ever happen to you, then go do that thing for your neighbor! Do to others what you wish they would do to you.”
The disciples nodded. “That makes a lot of sense, Jesus,” Bart said. “To live in the Kingdom of God we must treat people the way God would treat them.”
“Yes,” Jesus said, clapping his hands together. “Yes! Be the hands and feet of God. Be God’s mouthpiece. Live with God’s heart inside of you. Take God’s Kingdom to the world!”
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