THE GREAT GOSPEL OF JOHN
VOLUME 4

Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

Jesus near Caesarea Philippi (cont.)

- Chapter 9 -
The spies of Herod.


 
B
ut the old Markus came out of the house, where he was busy with preparations for a midday meal, to Me and said very softly: "Lord, - forgive me if I disturb You with my concern for a few moments!"
 
2
I say to him: "Friend, go and tell the lurking spies of Herodes behind your house: 'The Son of Man acts and speaks openly before the eyes and ears of all the world and does not want to make any secret deals with anybody; who thus wants to talk to Me and wants to discuss something with Me, must come to Me and must also speak and act completely openly! With Me nothing is quietly and secretly whispered into one's ear and no negotiations and meetings take place in secrecy; this is a damned custom of the worldly children, if they have evil in mind and therefore do not dare to come openly and fast enough to daylight with it, because they fear the people for the sake of their evil intentions. But I act openly and say everything loudly and are not afraid of the people, because My intentions with the people are good!'
 
3
Markus bowed most deeply to Me and went, to fulfill My instructions with the biggest punctuality. When he whispered this with all seriousness into the false faces of the lurkers which were sent out by Herodes into all directions, one of the crowd said: "Friend, it seems you do not know that we have received every authority, even over life and death, from Herodes and have the right to immediately destroy every cheeky opponent!"
 
4
Said Markus: "Also over a citizen of Rome, as I am?"
 
5
Said the cheeky spokesman: "If we destroy him, we will not held responsible by Herodes!"
 
6
Said Markus: "But in stead even more certain by God and the Roman upper governor Cyrenius, who fortunately is staying here with me for quite a few days already, with many high ranking individuals from Rome! Beware, if you dare to touch my house with only one hostile finger!"
 
7
Said the cheeky: "Are you saying that the upper governor of Rome is here - just a few days ago he assigned the open sword right through the governor of Jerusalem to Herodes?"
 
8
Said Markus: "Pretty good, pretty good! Soon it should be obvious who has granted Herod such a right!"
 
9
At this point Markus send one of his sons to Cyrenius with the instructions, to inform the upper governor immediately about it. When Cyrenius heard this with a deep wrath, he immediately ordered Julius with one-hundred soldiers to arrest the thirty spies straight away and to kill without mercy everyone who does not immediately surrenders and handover his weapons.
 
10
Said I: "Not to kill, only arrest!" - And this was followed straight away.
 
11
When the spies saw that the Romans furiously stormed them, they wanted to flee; but they did not succeeded. The Roman soldiers warned them very loudly, that they would kill everyone mercilessly, who dared to fight back. This very furious and serious sounding promise was effective; the cheeky spies surrendered and were immediately tied up with cords and chains, and, with terrified faces, were brought under the precedence of Markus and Julius to the upper governor.
 
12
When standing in front of Cyrenius and Kornelius and Faustus, Cyrenius asked them with the usual roman dictatorial seriousness: "Where is your written authority and the order instructing you to pursue the Prophet of Galilee wherever He goes?"
 
13
Said the leader whose name was Zinka: "My Lord! Gagged at hands and feet, I cannot take them out of my concealed bag! Allow your soldiers to undo me and you should have the documents, so that you can see, that also we have a lord in the background, who rules above us and we have to obey him, because he expensively bought the right from you Romans, to be in your place lord over our lives and can - irresponsibly towards you - kill at will whenever he wants!
 
14
We do not mind if ten-thousand prophets swarm all over Galilee; if they leave us alone, we certainly cause them also no harm. But if a mighty ruler calls us and pays us handsomely and in case of service refusal he can also kill us by his many executioner, it becomes a completely different matter! We then must pursue everyone on life and death, irrespective of the pursued being a most honest person! Or are your soldiers and mercenaries transgressing by carrying out your orders on life and death? If somebody is responsible before God, provided there is one, then it can be only a lord, but never his faithful servant! Let your soldiers undo me, and I immediately will show you our authorization written by Herodes' own hand in three languages; only then you can make a full-valid judgement about us!"
 
15
Cyrenius allows Zinka to be untied, who immediately reaches into his concealed pocket, takes out a parchment role, hands it to Cyrenius and says: "There, read it, and then judge rightly before all the world, whether our pursuit with regard to the Galilean prophet, a certain Jesus from Nazareth, is lawful or unlawful!"
 
16
Cyrenius reads the authorization, which is under singed by the name of Herodes. In short it reads word for word like this: 'Based on the rule over the entire Jewish country, which I, the subruler Herodes, have obtained from Rome for 1,000 pound silver and 100 pound gold, I order, relying on the support by Rome which I have paid for dearly, to arrest the prophet from Galilee, who appears to be a threat to me and my institutions, and hand him over to me dead or alive, - in the former case I myself will examine him and see of which nature he is. My henchmen, however, have, with this document written by myself, the fullest right to search, pursue and arrest the accused on all roads and paths, on all lanes and streets, and if he opposes his arrest, he must be killed with all his followers, after which he must be brought to me, and everyone who was part of his arrest will receive a reward of 300 silver groschen. - Written in Jerusalem at my own palace.'
 
17
Said Zinka: "Now, what do you say to this? Are we thirty within the law or not?"
 
18
Cyrenius thinks a little and then says: "According to my knowledge and will, Herodes was never given such authority in this way by Rome. According to my loyal knowledge he was only given the authority, to exercise the sword right himself in his own house in an emergency, - but outside his house only then, if any conspiracy against us Romans would exist and a roman occupation unit and also a proper court for the place where the riot takes places, would be too far off and Herodes and his guard of honour would be present; these are the only circumstances under which he is allowed to exercise the sharp sword right!
 
19
This is how the written authority from Rome to Herodes reads, which I have seen and whereby I myself was involved to set it up; since every order from Rome to Asia must go through my hands or through the hands of one of my representatives, who always have to report back to me within the shortest possible time, about everything that has happened. Therefore, this authority is thereby declared by me as nill and void, and this until such time when I have been instructed by Rome to the contrary regarding how, when and why such a comprehensive authority was given to Herodes, which must fill us faithful romans with just fear and concern.
 
20
This authority will not be given back to you, until it has returned from Rome; in the mean time you will be my prisoners! Although you are by yourselves legally no criminals, you are nevertheless tools, with whom the one criminal can commit one atrocity after the other, - and for horror deeds Rome has never given an authority to anyone and surely would not have given it to Herodes either!
 
21
But I am aware how the Herodesses are misusing their concessions under one or the other patriotic false pretext! The murders of the most innocent children committed by the old Herodes, still serves me as clear proof, how these clever Greek foxes know how to abuse their rights admitted to them by Rome, for their own advantage, to turn the Jewish people in masses away from the romans.
 
22
O, I know how to put Herodes back between those barriers; this will be a very serious matter for me! The old Herodes has tasted my old-roman sense for justice, although at that stage I was not much older than thirty years of age; know I'm nearly an old man, have more experience and have become more serious, - and regard a strict law as even more important! Now I fully keep to it: Pereat mundus, fiat jus! (Even if the world perishes, the law will be upheld!)
 
23
Straight away I will send two messengers, the one to Rome and the other to Jerusalem to Herodes, asking him for all authorizations of Rome which are kept in his hands. He and his servants, workers and servant's servants will be sorry if his authorizations does not correspond with the content of this authorization given to you!"