In this blog post, I continue my commentary on Baha’u’llah’s Tablet of the Son. The previous blog post in this commentary can be found here: Tablet of the Son: paragraphs 15-17. The entire commentary so far can be found here.
In this post, which focuses on paragraphs 18-20, Baha’u’llah is quoting from a letter he wrote to a Christian priest. His purpose is to explain that his own coming, and influence on the world, is the same as that of Jesus, and that this influence is not just about changing the laws and social principles of humanity, but to totally transform humanity so it becomes unrecognisable compared to how it appears today.
In paragraph 18, Baha’u’llah continues quoting his letter to a Christian priest. He explains that when Jesus came to earth, he spread a radiance over the world, which cleansed the people of spiritual illnesses. Baha’u’llah’s general point here is to demonstrate the parallels between the fact that Jesus healed the world and the fact that he, Baha’u’llah, has similarly healed the world. In doing this, Baha’u’llah subtly interprets the biblical verses about Jesus healing lepers and the blind in a spiritual way. He characterises leprosy and blindness as veils that come between a person and their recognition of the Manifestation.
 “We bear witness that when he came into the world he bestowed his radiance on contingent beings. By him the leper was cleansed from the diseases of ignorance and blindness and the afflicted was cured of the maladies of negligence and passion. The eyes of the blind were opened, and all souls were purified by the Almighty, the All-Powerful. In one station, leprosy refers to whatever causes a servant to be veiled from mystical insight into his Lord, such that whoever is thus veiled is termed a leper, nor is he worthy of mention in the kingdom of God, the Glorious, the All-Praised. We testify that by the word of God lepers were cleansed, the infirm were cured, and the sick were healed. In truth, it is the purifier of the world. Blessed are those who advance toward it with illumined faces.”Tablet of the Son, paragraph 18
Now Baha’u’llah proclaims that the one who ascended into heaven – that is, Jesus – has descended again as Baha’u’llah, and that Baha’u’llah brings with him the cleansing radiance that Jesus brought with him 2000 years ago. The world has been filled with the breezes of grace, and is perfumed by Baha’u’llah’s glorious presence. Despite this, the people are in the grip of a delusion and have not witnessed this astonishing event take place. This is tragic because, in this new day, not only has Baha’u’llah washed the world clean, but the cleansing process occurred even before Baha’u’llah asked for the people to be healed! Solely by virtue of Baha’u’llah’s appearance on earth, the earth and its inhabitants have been cured of all illnesses. Such a grace has never been seen before.
 “Then know that the one who ascended into heaven has now descended in truth. By him, the breezes of grace have wafted over the world, and your Lord is a witness to what I say. The world has been perfumed by his return and manifestation. Those who busy themselves with this world and its vanities cannot perceive the fragrance of (Joseph’s) coat. We have found them in the grip of a mighty delusion. Say: The bell rings out his name, the trump declares his mention, and his soul bears witness to his soul. Blessed are they who know. But today, the leper has been cleansed even before the words, “Be cleansed!” are pronounced. For by virtue of his appearance the world and its people have been cured of every malady and illness. Exalted be this grace, which no other grace has surpassed, and this mercy, which has encompassed the world.”Tablet of the Son, paragraph 19
Baha’u’llah challenges his readers to arise and proclaim the appearance of the great reviver of the world, who has lit a fire in the heart of the world. The Bab prophesied that the people would meet God in a glorious garden, and he opened its gates for them to enter. This prophecy has now come to fruition! To all those with a hearing ear, take up this invitation and eat the fruits found in this garden, for they are most nutritious.
 “You, who are mentioned in the kingdom of God, seek empowerment from your Lord. Arise, and say: People of the earth, the reviver of the world has come and has ignited a fire in the heart of the world. The caller has cried out in the sacred creation with the name of `Ali Muhammad. He prophesied to the people that they would meet God in the most glorious garden, and opened its gate to them by virtue of his grace upon the faces of those who have come forward. What the Most High Pen wrote in the kingdom of God, the Lord of this world and the next, has been completed. Whoever desires may eat of its fruits, for it is wondrous nutrition.”Tablet of the Son, paragraph 20
As you see, Baha’u’llah is laying out before his correspondent the all-pervasive nature of Baha’u’llah’s cleansing and healing effect on the world. He is trying to show that his purpose on earth is not just to tinker with the knowledge and laws of the people; but, rather, to totally transform human affairs so that they are unrecognisable compared to how they appear today. All existing things have been transformed into new beings by the celestial light that Baha’u’llah has instilled into their essences.
This is why he says in paragraph 13: “do not think that the manifestation of the Eternal Truth is limited to causing outward knowledge to appear or altering some well-established laws among the people. Rather, at the time of revelation all things become bearers of divine emanations and infinite capabilities, and in accordance with the exigencies of the time and earthly circumstances, these become manifest.”