Yeshua raked his fingers through his hair in frustration. “Y’hudah, kingdoms don’t rise because of man’s desires, but by the will of G-d.”
“But if you reveal yourself, the people will follow!”
“Have you been with me for so long and still don’t understand? My kingdom is not of this world.”
“I understand, Master! No man can give you what is already yours.” Y’hudah paced, his hands reaching out in eagerness to the Teacher. “But Master, you have to take advantage of this opportunity - the people are ready to follow you now!”
Y’hudah withered slightly under the steady gaze of the Rabbi. “Are they Y’hudah? These friends of yours, are they so eager for death?”
“Death is preferable to Roman tyranny,” Y’hudah retorted, his eyes blazing.
“There are things that oppress my people more than the Romans,” Yeshua said, gazing at the city of Yerushalayim. He turned back to Y’hudah. “As a man thinks, so he is. You are so filled with hatred and bitterness. If G-d were to establish a thousand kingsdoms on earth, it would do nothing for the emptiness inside you.”
Y’hudah took in a deep breath and sighed. “Master, if the kingdom were established, then we could tend to the things of G-d. We would be able to walk in the ways of Adonai.”
Yeshua raised an eyebrow. “Does not Torah teach to seek G-d first, and then these things will be added to you?”
“My friends said you might be stubborn, that you wouldn’t listen to reason.”
“These friends of yours, Y’hudah, they are zealous for an earthly kingdom, but I don’t think they are as zealous for G-d. The eagerness they have is for power, for revenge.”
“All they want is to restore the honor and glory of the G-d of Yisrael.”
“Do you think that mere man can take anything away from the glory and honor of G-d? He does not need man to defend him.”
“I don’t understand!” Y’hudah cried. “If you are the Messiah, if you are G-d’s anointed, then what is the plan?”
Yeshua looked at him with sorrowful eyes. “You have ears, but don’t hear. Eyes, but don’t see. G-d uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. The kingdom is not in this physical realm, Y’hudah. The kingdom is in the hearts and minds of those who follow Adonai.”
Y’hudah felt his spirit sink. He and his friends had been looking for the Messiah for years, and thought that Yeshua was the one, the Anointed, the Chosen. Y’hudah still felt he was, but obviously he needed something – some provocation – to make him declare himself. He would discuss it with his friends tonight.
“What better time than Pesach?” Yitz’chak exclaimed. “Just as when G-d freed us from Pharoah, so he will free us from the Romans!”
Y’hudah looked troubled. “I don’t know. Turning him over to the cohen hagadol? What will that accomplish?”
“He won’t allow himself to be taken! He will have to declare his kingdom. Kayafa will have no choice but to anoint him as king over Yisrael.”
Y’hudah hesitated. “Kayafa wants him dead…”
“No, no! I mean yes, he does but once we have Yeshua where he has no choice, do you think Kayafa can withstand him? He’s the messiah!”
“You are sure?”
“Absolutely. Now go, and seek out an audience with the cohanim.” Yitz’chak slapped him on the back. “The world will not forget what we set in motion tonight.”
A chill wind blew, and Y’hudah shivered. As he pulled his cloak tightly around him, he thought for a moment of the words of the Master. Was this the right way?
He shook his doubts away. It didn’t matter. It was time to do something – anything. Yeshua would understand, he would see.
He heart was lighter as he mounted the Temple steps.
The Kingdom was at hand.
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