JERUSALEM, 90 A.D. – Phineas of Nazareth celebrated his 85th birthday yesterday surrounded by many of his Christian friends, and recounted the early days when Pontius Pilate first took over as governor of the southern province that included Jerusalem.
Phineas noted how Pilate had introduced a cruel time in our history. Spies were everywhere and no one dared challenge his rule. He was well-connected by marrying the granddaughter of Augustus Caesar, himself. It has been recorded that at one point Pilate became suspicious that a prophet named Jesus was aspiring to be King. Pilate was the one that ordered Jesus to be put to death, assuming this execution would end any threat of a possible overthrow.
Phineas was 23 when he first encountered Jesus, and his life was never the same thereafter. Jesus had made his mission clear. He wanted his followers to go into the world and preach the good news. Phineas and thousands of others had done just that, carefully memorizing the teachings so he could tell them faithfully to all he met.
It occurred to no one when Jesus was crucified that his band of followers just might outlast the Roman Empire