Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

Second Journey of the Lord: Nazareth - Cave at Bethabara (First Feeding of the People) - Mountain of Prayer - Walking on the Sea of Galilee (Peter's test of faith) - By ship to Genneseret in the bay with the same name

- Chapter 163 -
Julius the Centurion tells a few Templers' episodes.

(The Captain): "I say unto you, with these people one has to proceed ruthlessly, or one gets nowhere. I certainly never was the type to hatch a desire, when forced by circumstances, to punish some malicious tough sinner, and always weighted all the circumstances that may have led a man to commit a crime. But with these Jewish Temple servants I could actually quite gladly, personally, strike the heads off their trunks, and that because they are in all earnest the greatest and most stubborn tormentors of poor mankind. Verily, their actual and most miserable hue of religious morality, considered closely, reaches into the devilishly abominable!
I witnessed with my own eyes and ears, when still stationed at Jerusalem, how for life and death they coerced a person who had been left with only a couple pennies, to place these in the offertory. The good but of course timid person actually placed the one penny into the box, excusing himself for retaining the other, as his was a long way home, and he would have to perish along the road! But this did not help at all. The Pharisees made it clear to him that it would be most beneficial for his soul, out of love for God and his Temple and for honour's sake, to die of hunger on the way home! If however he kept the penny which God demanded of him through their mouth, then his soul would never come to see God, as promise as longs since, and its fate would be to burn everlastingly in the flames of God's wrath!- The man turned pale, starting to tremble, then reached for this last penny with shaking hand, to place it in the offertory. After which the fellows mumbled something like a prayer over the poor devil, before telling him to leave.
I followed the poor person out, and when we were clear of the Temple I said to him in an amicable but earnest fashion: "Good friend, how can you be so feeble as to be talked out of your last substance by these robbers!? What those in the Temple said to you they have never yet believed themselves; but they know that in their blindness, feeble mankind takes them for all-knowing half-gods, scaring all their substance out of them on that account, to then squander it on a life of luxury, whilst the poor dies along the road. - Here are another two pennies, - make your way home! But beware of coming back here; for this would-be house of God is a den of thieves and murders, with which no true God would be pleased!"
The man gave me a puzzled look for a while, taking the money out of my hand and finally saying: "Exalted lord! You are bound to know more than I; you would have to be right, actually!" -Whereupon he left me for his native country.
And a thousand times have I watched and heard things like that in the Temple; I was present when such cleric worked a woman whose mother was rich, but as a more sensible and enlightened woman never had laid a penny into the Temple's offertory yet. The cleric made it crystal clear to her that she would be lost forever if she did not make every effort to rob her mother of everything and place the money in the offertory. Fortunately the daughter, like her mother was of Samaritan character, and the hypocrite and deceiver did not succeed in leading the daughter astray, causing me to rejoice.
At such opportunities I more than once thought by myself: If I had been governor in Jerusalem, the temple would have been cleansed of all vermin long ago! However, as a obedient subordinate of a Roman governor, I can't do anything but to execute his orders.
However, with Pontius Pilatus unfortunately nothing can be done; he is a scientist, a bosom friend of the learned of Pompeji and Herculanum, and gives little attention to government business, leaves Herodes and the clerics prevail as they like, as long as they pay their taxes to Rome correctly and on time. Fortunately I do not stand here under the sceptre of Pontius Pilatus, but under Cornelius and he under the wise and extreme just old father Cyrenius, who, like me, is a sworn enemy of Jerusalem, and in such my completely independent position from Jerusalem, I can properly serve the pharisees and God-denier scribes when falling in my hands; and You now, my true God and Master, will certainly not accuse me with a sin about this!?"