A NIGHT OF REGRETS – JerusalemCG-book-cover-w

“If Temple guards have Jesus, they’ll hold him in a cell at the other end of the Temple,” Cornelius said more to himself. He turned to Cestus and said, “Cestus, you get six of our men, full armor and weapons. Wait for me at the Temple portal gate, South tower.”

Cornelius brought Jacob and Trax to the Lady Pheobe’s quarters. He knocks at her door and did not have long to wait. It was the Lady Pheobe waiting for him expectantly.

“My Lady, thank you for your assistance. May Jacob and Trax stay with you?”

“Of course, Cornelius.”

“I must be off.”

“Be well.”

Cornelius rushed to the South-West tower of the fortress where Cestus waited with six of his men. Putting on his helmet, he and his men went through the portal gate that led to the North West corner of the Temple battlement walkway. They had to go to the other end of the Temple Mount. Cornelius figured it was about a third of a mile away which they can jog it in less than ten minutes. Along the way, Temple guards stood at their posts and dared not interfere with the Romans. When they reached the Southern buildings, they went down two flights of stairs and waylaid a patrolling squad of guards to demand where they held the Nazarene. The guards expressed no knowledge of this. Then Cornelius spotted a group of four men coming in through the gate. One of them had a big blood stain on his tunic but no visible wound. Cornelius angrily grabbed him and shoved him against the wall.

“Who’s blood is this?”

“It… it’s mine.”

“Tell me… Tell me what happened?”

“We went to the garden following the lead of one of the Nazarene’s closest disciple. We caught them unaware. They were sleeping except him. I and my companion were tasked by the High Priest to bind him but then I was attacked. My ear was cut off. There was so much blood and the pain… the pain was so unbearable until… until there was no more pain. I opened my eyes to find that the Nazarene’s hand was cupped over my ear which was whole again. He healed me even after all that.”

“Where is he?”

“I don’t know. After he healed me, I didn’t want to partake anymore.”

“What did the High Priest intend?”

“A trial tonight. He has reconvened those members who are loyal to him and find the Nazarene guilty. They intend to have him killed.”


“I don’t know.”

Cornelius figured that they’re probably holding the trial in one of the great halls in the ancient city of David where the Sanhedrin usually met. They quickly descended the Southern stairs that brought them to the base of the Temple Mount unto a grand plaza.

The story continues on in my next post.

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Johann Q


A NIGHT OF REGRETS – JerusalemCG-book-cover-w

It was late in the afternoon, Cornelius’ bottom was sore as he was driving the first wagon for hours on a bumpy road some twenty miles from the city. He was beginning to wonder if Barabbas was going to hit soon. Then Cornelius saw a signal on a ridge, a reflected light. That means Barabbas was spotted. He kicked the back of the bench.

“Get ready men.”

Groaning and metal scraping against metal was audible under the tarp. Cornelius signaled the other wagon which was driven by Lyca. They were coming around a bend and was rolling down a dip when about fifteen shouting men brandishing crude weapons jumped out from hiding. As soon as they appeared, he and the hidden soldiers went into action. Cornelius kicked a brigand in the face as he tried to climb on board. He then jumped on another one and quickly disarmed him. The skirmish was quickly over with a few who escaped but was later captured by a closing ring of soldiers. It was Flavius who brought a surprise prisoner all trussed up for Cornelius.

“We caught this one two miles out. He said he was a farmer on his way to his home. He had no weapon, so I almost let him go, when out came Nacob and said that we captured Barabbas. Nacob was trailing him from Ephraim. Well, Cornelius, here he is.”
It was late when they rolled into the Fortress Antonias with the prisoners. He was about to ride back to Emmaus when he heard his name called. It was Jacob and Trax.

“Jacob, what are you doing here?”

“We came looking for you. The guards would not let us in, but the Lady Pheobe, who was returning with the Governor’s wife, recognized us. It was she that gave us leave to wait for you here.”

“But why did you come looking for me?”

“We were staying with the kin of Simon the Leper in the city of David for the night. We were about to retire when John Mark burst in with his clothes all torn. He said they have the Master!”

“Who got Jesus?”

“He was not very clear, but he thinks there were some Temple guards there. That was all we could get from him, I’m afraid.”


The story continues on in my next post.

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Johann Q

BIBLE Q & A with Johann – #11

How does one tempt the Lord your God?

In Matthew 4, Jesus Christ under went some very harsh temptations by the devil after he had spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness. In one of those temptations, Jesus was supernaturally transported to the very top of the Temple the height of which was about 4 stories high. The devil then enticed him…

“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” [Matt 4:5,6]

But then Jesus replied with this statement.

“It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ “ [Matt 4:7]

In an older translation, it reads, ‘Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’ [KJV]

So, if Jesus did step off the precipice as the devil encourage, how would he be tempting God?

The truth of the matter is that the devil was right in saying that God could easily command His angels in keeping Jesus safe.

We saw this when an angel protected him when he was just a fetus in Mary’s womb. Mary would have been stoned to death if it were not for an angel revealing the truth to Joseph who claimed her as his legitimate wife. We also saw this when Jesus was a new born baby and it was an angel that protected him from being killed by Herod. There were probably many more untold instances of angels protecting Jesus as he grew up.

But I dare say that that protection was specifically there because Jesus had one goal in his earthly life and that is to die on the cross as a man with no sin at all.

What would have happened if Jesus decided to throw himself off that high ledge for whatever reason? He would have SINNED and be exactly as flawed as you and I! Would God still have angels protecting him? We (including the hypothetical Jesus that sinned) would never know! And this is the whole point of tempting God.

When a rock climber precariously clings on a cliff wall by just his finger tips or anyone else partaking in any extreme sport, do they not tempt fate/providence? Of course, they do. They knowingly know this. In fact, this is the reason why they do it. They willfully do it for the thrill.

When is this sin, however? When they presume that God will protect them even when there is no proof of divine promises.

By the way, Jesus never gave in to any of the devil’s temptations which you can read more about in Matthew 4.


STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL’S BACK – Temple Mount, Mount of Olives, JerusalemCG-book-cover-w

Everyone was up and shoving each other. Some of the angry priest were calling out for the guards. People were saying he is the Messiah. Others were calling to have him stoned for blasphemy. It was this time of the chaos that Jesus was whisked away by his disciples. They went down the Eastern stairs to the winding ramps. then crossed the Kidron bridge. When they were climbing a trail to the top of the Mount of Olives, Cestus came up to Cornelius from the rear.

“Sir, no one is following us,” Cestus reported. “Sir? What happened back there? If I didn’t know any better, I think he purposely goaded those people back there.”

“Yes, he did.”

“Sir, that is a little odd. You would think if he is to become a leader of these people, he would not alienate the ruling class. Did I get it right, sir?”

“If he was just any ordinary person.”

“Yes, sir. I see.”

When they reached the top of the Mount of Olives, one of the disciples gestured towards the city. From their vantage point, they can see above Eastern ramparts of the Temple Mount into the Court of Nations and the Temple Complex in the center. The Temple itself rose high up with its massive doors overlaid with gold flanked by two tall bronze pillars were very visible from where they stood. A thick column of smoke rose from within the Temple complex. That would be from the daily burnt offerings on the equally massive bronze altar in the Court of the Priests. On the opposite side of the court from the altar would be the giant metal basin sitting on twelve bronze bull statuettes called the Sea.

“Master, see how magnificent the Temple and the other buildings are.”

When they looked at Jesus to see his reaction, he was weeping.

He cried out, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’” [Matthew 23:37-39 NASB]

“If only you had known on this day what would bring you peace! But now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” [Luke 19:42-44 NASB]

As Cornelius listened to his last statement, he pictured three Roman Legions surrounding the entire city. High embarkments would be dug around the perimeter. Water and food resources would be cut off to cause starvation and thirst and bring the city into submission. He now knew that somewhere in the near future, the Jews and Rome will come to a head. And Rome will prevail. For Jesus said that ‘they will not leave in you one stone upon another’. Roman soldiers will tear down the Temple structure probably to get at all the gold used on the whole building.

Philipp asked, “Master, tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

“Come with me among the trees and we will talk.”

Cornelius would have joined them in the shade but a whistle from down the hill stopped him. It was a signal from Cestus who was watching if they were followed. Cornelius spotted Cestus about a hundred feet down the hill gesturing at a lone man jogging up the same winding trail they were on. Ten minutes had past, when Cestus was leading Lyca who was panting for breath.

“Lyca, how did you find us?” asked Cornelius.

“Sir, I knew you were going to be in the Temple. So, I entered through the Western gate and saw the Nazarene talking. I was working my way through the crowd when everybody erupted and started jostling me about. I caught sight of you going into the columns but then lost you in the chaos. It was by luck that I spotted your group crossing the bridge and going up here.

Sir, we got word from Nacob up in Ephraim. He found Barabbas in a tavern boasting about being soon to be very rich and being hailed as a patriot. He even went as far as to describe how he and his men will hit a Roman Revenue wagon disguised as a merchant wagon.”

“Sir, your lure worked!” Cestus said satisfactorally.

“Yes… very well. We left the horses at Bethany. We’ll go there first. Cestus, you ride to Flavius at the city’s West gate and get him and his men moving. He already knows the plan. Lyca, you stay with me. We’re riding to Emmaus and commandeer a wagon.”

Cornelius saw that Jesus had finished talking to the disciples. He asked if he could talk to him.

“Lord, I have to leave for awhile. I will try to catch up to you for the Passover meal.”

“Go, Cornelius. Do your duty. Whatever comes, always fall back on your faith.”

Cornelius told Jacob and Trax to go ahead and stay with the group. Then he said his farewells and together with Lyca and Cestus jogged back to Bethany. Half an hour later, Cestus was riding to the city while he and Lyca was riding hard to Emmaus. By the middle of the night, Cornelius and Lyca were on the road with two empty wagons.


The story continues on in my next post.

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Johann Q


STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL’S BACK – Temple Mount, Mount of Olives, JerusalemCG-book-cover-w

Angry murmurs were coming from the Pharisees and scribes, while confusion was coming from his own group. They were caught off guard. They didn’t expect and understand why he was attacking them. Jesus criticized them for taking the place of honor at banquets, for wearing such ostentatious clothing, for encouraging people to call them Rabbi. For this he reminded the people that it was not them who are their true leader but only Christ. He was telling people that the true servants of God are not them who exult themselves but those that humbles himself. Some of the Pharisees were loudly protesting, while some were trying to maintain decorum. His own followers were probably relieved that things were calming down. But apparently, he was not done yet. This time, he turned to Pharisees and scribes and delivered some very scathing rebukes each attacking their hypocrisies.

Every one of the rebukes started with “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites.” For every ‘woe’ shouted Cornelius cringed knowing what an explosive situation they’re in. He signaled Cestus to be at a ready. He checked on his dagger that was hidden under the sash of his back but decided not to pull it out. They positioned themselves on Jesus’ left flank two steps lower from him. The Twelve formed a protective circle while there were about twenty or more other disciples between them and the crowd. Cornelius also sent Jacob, Trax and some of the women to retreat far behind Jesus deeper among the colonades.

Like the pounding of a nail into wood, every rebuke touched a sensitive nerve most in their pride, but some in their conscience. When Jesus accused the Pharisees for being energetic to make proselytes of the Jewish religion and when they succeed, Jesus charged, “You make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” In other words, the Pharisees and their proselytes both would end up in eternal damnation. Most protested by jeering and calling Jesus a devil. But there a few who were notably disturbed.

On Jesus’ third woe, as he ridiculed the trickery of the Pharisees, who held that swearing by the gold of the temple bound the oath. Just as Jesus was denouncing them as both fools and blind, the increasing angry commotions attracted the attention of the High Priest. From the Temple, he strode through the crowd with his priests making way and joined the already seething members of the Sanhedrin. He had a satisfied smirk in his face.

Jesus continued on with four more rebukes from their hypocrisy in tithing to finally their hypocrisy to honor the prophets forgetting that their ancestors were the ones that killed them and that even now they are doing the same by plotting to kill him.

Then with dramatic flair, Jesus points ominously at the Pharisees, the scribes and the High Priest, and declared, “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” [Matthew 23:33-36]

Like the breaking of the damn, the court yard broke out with indignant voices.


The story continues on in my next post.

If you are interested in reading the entire ebook, you can find my ebook in for only $1.99. Just click the link below.

If you want to support my writing, you can donate by clicking below…


Thank you

Johann Q