Later that night, after Jesus had left, Simon came into the guest room where Andrew was reclining, preparing to retire for the night. Simon sat down on one of the beds and began speaking excitedly with his brother about the SHABBAT experience and about Jesus' Sabbatical stay with them, and about the miraculous healing of Simon's mother-in-law. Each of them speculated regarding the role that Jesus would play in Israel's destiny, as well as the part that THEY would play in that destiny. Now they had committed their lives to him and they were filled with a magical excitement at the prospect of being the disciples of this great healer and prophet of G-d. They talked deep into the night until sleep gradually overtook them. Andrew stopped speaking first and soon the room was filled with his deep snoring breathing. Simon smiled at that and his eyes became heavy. He closed his eyes and he slept. And he dreamed.
Simon found himself looking up at a high limestone cliff over which water was oozing down. The water was reddened from the iron soil above. Carved into the cliff face was a grotto which he saw was dedicated to the god Pan. Simon knew immediately where he was. This was none other than the town of Caesarea Philippi. He had been here many times before. He looked around and saw before him a grassy knoll upon which were sitting a group of men. In their midst was Jesus who was sitting among them and speaking to them. As he looked, he was amazed that he knew the men gathered around Jesus although he had never met most of them personally; their names and identities seemed to jump out at him miraculously. They were Jesus' other disciples.
There was Andrew, his own brother; Yakov and Yochanan, the sons of Zevadiah the priest fisherman; Phillip, whom he knew to have been a disciple of the Immerser; Nathaniel bar-Talmai; a righteous Jew; Toma, called "the Twin"; the brothers, Yakov, Matityahu and Levvan; Shimon the Galilean Zealot; and Yehudah, called ISH-SICARIUS, "the dagger man".
Jesus was engaged in conversation with his disciples. Simon came and sat down, taking his place among them. Jesus was asking them, "Whom do people say that I am?
They said, Some say that you are Yochanan the Immerser: some, Eliyahu; and others, Yermiyahu, or some other prophet.
He said to them, But whom say YOU that I am? Simon immediately answered, "You are the MESHIACH".
And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon BARYON; for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but HASHEM in heaven. And I say to you that you are Kefa, and upon this rock I will build my church; and death itself shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatever you shall forbid on earth, heaven shall also consider it forbidden; and whatever you shall permit on earth, heaven shall also consider it permitted; for this shall be your SEMICHAH (rabbinic ordination) from me."
Then he charged his disciples that they should tell no one that he was the MESHIACH.
Then Simon asked him, "Rabbi, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"
And Jesus said to him, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father has chosen to show His power. But you will know after the SHECHINAH comes upon you: and you will be my witness in Jerusalem, and in Judaea, and in Galilee, and in all the far flung parts of the world."
Then Jesus said to Simon, "Kefa, come walk beside me for a while. There is something that I wish to show you."
So they walked a ways off from the other disciples. After a while, they came to a bend in the road that wound around a copse of trees. The sun had been shining quite brightly but when they made the turn, the sky suddenly turned black with storm clouds, and the wind picked up and a gust began to blow. Simon looked at Jesus just at the moment that Jesus pointed to the top of a nearby hill. "Look, Kefa", he said. Simon looked to where Jesus was pointing, and his face fell, and his heart sunk, and his mind continued, for a moment, to refuse to believe what his eyes were transmitting to it.
There at the top of the hill, he could make out the shape of three crosses, and upon each, a man crucified. Simon stopped and began to tremble. He looked at Jesus, his eyes asking, "What is this?" Jesus walked along side him, and took his arm, urging him forward. Simon turned his head and stared at the hill and the suffering men nailed to the crosses. He saw a huge crowd of on-lookers gathered around and near the crosses. People were weeping loudly and tearing their garments. There were also Roman soldiers at the foot of the crosses. A feeling of extreme hatred toward Rome overcame Simon as he looked upon the all too familiar scene of Jewish bodies on Roman crosses. At that moment, without even knowing who the crucified were, his heart went out in sympathy to his fellow Jews, suspended between heaven and earth in their death throes. He saw that the soldiers were mocking the crucified, offering them vinegar to drink, and saying to the figure hanging on the middle cross, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself." He also noted that there were words written over the man on the middle cross in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Some soldiers who were sitting around the middle cross appeared to be playing some sort of game, casting lots. As he drew nearer, he understood that they were gambling for the clothing of the man hanging on the cross above them.
Some other Romans were yelling up to the crucified man whose garments were being gamed for, "Hey you, Temple Destroyer, Save yourself. Come on down from the cross, dirty Jew bastard!", all the while elbowing each other in the ribs and laughing. They continued the taunts. "Hey! He trusted in his G-d; let Him deliver you now and we will believe you are the king of the Jews."
Suddenly, Simon realized with full horror that the man on the cross being mocked was Jesus, his master! He wished to cry out but the realization of what he was witnessing took emotional effect on him; he was struck silent. He looked from the Jesus on the cross over to the Jesus standing beside him, but that Jesus stood steadfastly looking upon the crucifixion scene on the hill before them. Suddenly the Jesus on the cross cried out with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" Some of the onlookers broke out in tears again at this cry.
Then the Jesus on the cross looked at Simon and said to him, "Verily, Kefa, you will walk this same path and be with me in paradise." He tried to scream but the scream was stiffled as the Jesus standing beside him layed a reassuring hand on his arm.
Then the Jesus on the cross cried with a loud voice, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. It is finished." He bowed his head and ceased moving.
The Jesus standing beside him said, "This cross, the crossbeams of which I myself fashioned in my carpenter's shop, is my throne, and this my coronation, and here I enter into my kingdom to take possession of it. But you, Kefa, shall go before me and begin to lead my subjects to me. Then you yourself shall join me in my kingdom."
Simon closed his eyes tightly and shook his head, and when he opened them, the storm clouds were gone, the sun was once again shining, and they were once again back in Caesarea Philippi.
Then Simon said, "CHAS VE'SHALOM, rabbi, that these things shall befall you. Save yourself, if you are the Son of Man, the chosen of HASHEM. If you truly are king of Israel, come down from the cross. If you are the MESHIACH, save yourself and us and all Israel."
Jesus turned and said to Simon, "Kefa, do you wish to offend me? For you do not speak things that are of Heaven, but those that are of men.
Do you not recall that I said to you that Satan himself tempted me in that very same way, saying, 'If you be the MESHIACH, command that these stones be made bread. If you be the MESHIACH, cast yourself down. See all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them? All these shall be yours, if you will take them for your divine right as MESHIACH of Israel'.
But I overcame his temptation, knowing that I need not prove myself by miracles. And I said to him, 'Get behind me, Satan; for it is written, you shall not tempt the L--d thy G-d.' Now if you, Kefa, who are the rock of my church, speak with Satan's words, then you must walk behind me, lest you prove to be a stumbling block to me; but if you speak with MY words, then you shall walk beside me always."
Then Jesus said to him, "Whoever will be my disciple must take up his cross, and follow me."
Simon awoke, the dream fresh in his memory. He was trembling and ihs body was bathed in sweat. He arose out of the bed he had been lying on and shook Andrew awake. Andrew opened his eyes and looked up at Simon. Neither man spoke - but it was obvious from their looks that each had had the identical dream. Neither man spoke at first. Simon patted his brother's shoulder, then he said, "Andrew, whatever happens, I know that we are now the master's disciples and we must follow where he leads." Andrew nodded. Simon left the room and returned to his own bedroom. His wife was sleeping but she stirred and awoke as he entered the room.
"It is late", she said, "Are you just now retiring, my husband?"
"No", he answered, "I fell asleep in the guest room while Andrew and I were speaking. I had a dream."
He slipped into bed beside her and she could tell that he was greatly agitated so she took him into her arms. "It is alright, Simon. I am here beside you now. Will you tell me of your dream?"
He buried his face in her breasts and held her tightly for a moment. Then he related the dream to her.
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