Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

Jesus in the Vicinity of Caesara Philippi (Matthew 16)

- Chapter 180 -
The blessed catch. About the Temple manure.

esponding to these words, all the disciples rushed over and helped Mark and his children; notwithstanding the two sons being strong people, the four elder daughters together could not match any of the two sons.
After all the fish were stored, with the disciples' powerful assistance Mark, wet with perspiration, came to Me on My quite decorative lawn bench, saying: "Lord and Master, You could say what You want, but since You are bound to be the cause of my unprecedented glorious and abundant catch to-day, much in the way You filled the fifty wine-skins yesterday, I rushed over to give You my innermost thanks. And thus I thank You, Lord, with a most fervent heart, for all the outsize and miraculous favours which You have be-stowed upon me and mine on such en overabundant scale!
Today I had cast the big net, with a length of one hundred and fifty cubits and depths of seven cubits, and behold, it was filled to capacity with the most glorious and select fish! And now, my ten fairly large tanks are bristling with the fish we hauled in with the first and only big draft of the day. If it please You, then I shall have a few pieces prepared for breakfast; my wife has it down to a fine art!"
Say I: "Do so, for I have a craving for it! Afterwards you can get your children to carry a few vat full to Caesarea Philippi city, and they shall fetch a good price!"
Mark bowed down low, rushing into the kitchen to his wife, ordering the morning meal, and she and her daughters immediately got it under way. The two sons however filled two large bats full of the choicest fish and, having already consumed their morning snack with some wine, drove them to the city, which was a little under one hour distance away.
When they had set up their cart, yoked to two donkeys, at the market place, a large number of buyers straight away appeared, buying up all their fish for a good price in moments. Because such prime fish went for a good silver piece, even in those days. Having taken two hundred pieces with them, they took close on two hundred silver pieces which in those days amounted to more than two hundred thaler. Two hours later the two returned with the cart, laden with money and the empty vets, handing their father Mark the money, who was overjoyed and praised his two sons.
The sons however asked the father whether to drive back to the city, since many who had wanted to buy got nothing. The father allowed them, and they re-filled the vets and headed off for the city, making an even better and faster deal with the second load.
Mark couldn't help himself for thanking, being suddenly helped out of his many years of suffering.
Whilst the two sons were taking the first load into the city, we had consumed nearly twenty well-prepared fish for breakfast, and bread and wine had not been lacing either. We had also the while discussed a few things, the main subject being the Temple servants, and Marcus' eldest daughter, a maiden of nineteen, showed us an old pot which was half-filled with the Temple manure, asking whether this manure had, as promoted by the pushy sellers that unheard-of fructifying effect upon the fields and gardens.
This called forth derision on the part of the disciples, to whom the false Temple pretences were not unknown, and Thomas said: "Oh for the shamelessness! This the servants fo God have been carrying on for fifty years. Some worthy High Priests have already strongly objected to it but achieved little, because this manure now earns the Temple two thousand good silver pieces annually. But the people are blind enough to believe that their field grounds and gardens shall be blessed through such filth!"
Said the eldest daughter to that: "Oh, dear friend, this is not so! Most people believe this fraud no more than I do; but what can one do? If one does not buy this dung off the sellers then one soon has to deal with hell broken loose. The sellers of this filth besides are so pushy, rough and crude that one gladly buys some of the filth just to get rid of them. If one then pours the filth into the water right in front of their eyes then it doesn't bother them in the least, and they go their way; for they know that in a year's time one will be forced once again to buy the Temple dung off them."
Says Peter: "Indeed, deception and lies of every kind are the virtues of the Temple servants, who call themselves servants fo God! They put on human faces for sure, but their inwards are infernal! Why, oh Lord You allow and tolerate such, You alone and none besides in the world will know!"
But I say to them all: "Let's leave that, for it is nearly mid-day! The day is fine and not too hot, and we shall look around whether there isn't a place from where we gain a good view of the distance. Such place we shall then prepare for ourselves so we can have all sorts of discussions there during our stay here."
Says Marcus: "Just tow hundred paces beyond my hut and actually the grotto (rock-pool) against which my hut rest, there attaches to my meagre property such a place as You are looking for; the crest of the hill is graced with a shady old chestnut tree, around which I have built a roomy bench, from which one enjoys prime views over this extensive area. One can see all of Caesarea Philippi across the Sea as far as the eye can see. On clear days one can easily see as far as Genezareth and beyond to Kis, and some claim to have seen Sibarah, although my eyes are too weak to make out that place, but I can quite easily see as far as Gadarena and plenty of other places.
Say I: "Very well, let us choose that spot and spend our time there advisedly. Take us up!"
Marcus the hut dweller guided us up by a narrow but not too cumbersome path and unto the spot which earnestly left little to be desired; one could see Caesarea Philippi as well as overlook the entire Sea of Galilee and a great number of places.