Over the next year, Y'shua's followers became known as the Evyonim ....... the poor ones. There were, of course, some wealthy believers. Yosef ha-Ramathaim, Niqodemon and Alazar were far from poor. Susanna and Joanna were well-to-do widows and Y'shua's aunt Miriam and her husband, Simon the water-dealer were not poor. They all gave from their store to the assembly. The assembly was so involved in doing good works for the poor and most of the believers were from the ranks of the poor that the name evyonim seemed suitable.
Caiaphas, as high priest, belonged to the Tseddikim which was the minority sect. The Tseddikim controlled the wealth of the temple. They did not believe in heaven or the continuation of the soul. There was no need for a Meshiach to the Tseddikim. It was these differences, rich against poor, the non-belief in a Meshiach, and the non-existence of heaven or the existence of souls, that drove Caiaphas. There was only the law. The P'rushim, on the other hand, not only tolerated the evyonim but often supported and defended the believers. They believed in the survival of the soul, heaven and the coming of a Meshiach. The only real difference between the followers of Y'shua and the P'rushim was that the believers claimed that the Meshiach had come while some of the P'rushim thought that the Meshiach was yet to come. Yosef ha-Ramathaim and Niqodemon were P'rushim. During this year, the followers grew in numbers. Pilatus had been instructed to keep order and unless the Nazarenes, as they were often called, caused trouble they were to be left alone. This message was passed to Caiaphas. If he was going to act against the leaders of the Nazarenes, he was going to have to do it before the full Sanhedrin and on religious grounds. One afternoon, about the ninth hour, Kaifa and Yohanon went to the temple for the prayer hour. Yohanon, still embittered by what he considered Kaifas betrayal of Yshua, maintained an uneasy silence for the sake of his aunt Miriam. There were times when he hated Kaifa for what he had done. Kaifa knew something was bothering the young disciple but did not ask. They walked to the Temple in silencee. There was a man who was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of his birth, a traumatic breach birth. He had never walked. The only way he could make a living was to beg at the foot of the stairs that led to the beautiful gate of the Temple. It was here that he hoped to catch worshippers in a charitable mood. Friends would bring him to the gate for prayer times and set him down where the foot traffic was greatest. On this day he happened to call out to Kaifa and Yohanon as they were going into the temple, "Please! A gerah or a bekah to feed my family." Kaifa stopped and walked back to the man whose legs were curled under him, limp and useless. "Look at us, my good man." The beggar was hoping Kaifa or Yohanon were going to drop some money in his wooden beggar's bowl. "Neither my friend nor I have any money," said Kaifa. The beggar started to look disappointed. "But I will give you what I have." The muscular fisherman looked down on the face of the beggar, studying his atrophied limbs. "In the name of Y'shua, the Meshiach of Nazareth, I order you to walk!" The beggar looked up incredulous. He was about to scoff at Kaifa for ridiculing him when he started to feel something in his legs. He had never felt anything in his legs. They began, slowly at first, to uncurl and gain strength right before the eyes of onlookers. What felt like hundreds of sharp pins were sticking him all about his legs and his feet. Kaifa reached down and took the man's hand. "Rise!" He said as he helped the man to stand up on untried legs. The man started to hobble back and forth like a toddler taking his first steps. In just a few minutes his balance improved and he walked as if he had been walking all his life. He strutted around Solomon's porch calling out, "I can walk!"
Everyone at the temple was familiar with this man. They all had seen him begging at the gate for the last year. There was no doubt in their minds that this man had been cured. Where there were once shriveled, twisted appendages that could hardly pass for legs, there were now two strong limbs. Kaifa looked around, "Men of Israel, why are you so surprised? What are you staring at?" He went on to tell them all about Y'shua and how these things were possible in his name. Yohanon felt resentment that the man, once his friend, who had betrayed Yshua, could call on his name to do such wonders. He knew this feeling was not right but could not help himself. Kaifa continued to speak to the crowd, "God raised him from the dead and we are witnesses to this," he told them. While Kaifa and Yohanon preached to the astonished group of people on Solomon's porch, the captain of the temple guards sent for several of the senior tseddikim. They sent a number of junior offering priests to mingle among the crowd and find out what was being preached. When they reported that they were talking about Y'shua's resurrection, the tseddikim had them arrested. Kaifa and Yohanon were put into the keep at the Council House across from the market. Dug under the foundation of the Council, the keep was damp from water run-off from the temple mount. The echoes of the water dripping off the slippery, algae covered walls competed with the skurrying squeals of rats. Young Yohanon was wide-eyed with anxiety. Still a youth, he had never been in a jail before. Kaifa, at twenty five, had seen a few in his brawling days. In the fading light, Kaifa found a stone bench which was the only dry spot that offered respite from the cold and dirty floor. He knew that it would be morning before they went before the Sanhedrin so he sat at one end of the bench and let Yohanon lay down on the remainder with his head propped on his leg. The night passed slowly and uncomfortably. It was only just before the first hour when they were taken out to go before the council. When they were led into the council room, it was apparent to Kaifa that Caiaphas meant to make a show out of this. He and his father-in-law sat at the main bench with other members of his family that were well placed in the temple priesthood. All of the tseddikim were in there places but Kaifa took heart to see that Gamaliel and his p'rushim were also present. Already standing in the witness box was the once lame man for whose plight they had called the power of God. Every member of the Sanhedrin, every elder in Jerusalem, and worse, everyone in Jerusalem knew that this man had totally useless legs until yesterday. Caiaphas was livid. He couldn't claim that this was some kind of trick. He glared at the two apostles as they were placed before him. Caiaphas was the most zealous of the tseddikim, a man raised in the rigidness and intransigence of Sadducean doctrine. It was this type of pious zealotry that Y'shua spoke so harshly about. Fanaticism and zealotry blinds the eyes and hardens the heart, crippling the mind as well as the soul. Caiaphas had heard Y'shua speak of love and peace yet was unmoved. He had been a witness to sight being restored to the blind, hearing to the deaf, health to the leper and yes, even life to the dead was still unmoved. He had been a witness to that terrible day of the crucifixion, an act which he himself orchestrated through his Roman masters. He himself saw the light of day disappear, heard the terrifying thunder like a mournful cry from Heaven. He witnessed the sudden tearing asunder of the great veil of the Holy of Holies and questioned dozens of witnesses who saw and spoke to Y'shua after the crucifixion. Still he had been unmoved. Did Caiaphas ever question within himself that he was wrong? Did he ever wonder, after witnessing these thinngs, that perhaps the Galilean was indeed the Anointed One? To do so would be to reject all that he was and all that he believed and, worse, to realize that he was instrumental in the persecution and murder of the Son of God. Caiaphas, like all ultraconservatives, religious or political, and he was both, would never be moved by logic or even the evidence of his own eyes. Here he was, cloaked in the robes of piety and fettered by the shackles of self-serving and stubborn zeal, pointing acussingly at the cured man, "How did you do this? By what power or with whose name did you do this?"
Kaifa spoke without any sign of intimidation. "Elders, you need to know...and the people need to know... that this man stands on two legs through the power of the name of Y'shua ha-Nozri who was crucified and who was raised from the dead."
Caiaphas' face turned red with anger. As high priest and leader of the tseddikim, or sadducees, he would continue to believe that everything Y'shua stood for and taught was in direct opposition to the central beliefs of the sadducee party. There could be no meshiach for Caiaphas because the priestly and temple party did not believe in a meshiach. As a result of his beliefs, or non-beliefs, a resurrection was out of the picture. There was more at stake here than a religious belief system. The tseddikim administered the temple and the treasury. Although they were in the minority, they were the bureaucracy. All trade and commerce associated with the temple went through their hands. They were the collaborators of the Roman government. The office of high priest was no longer held by true and sincere tseddikim, in fact the last true tseddikite to hold the office perished under Antiochus Epiphanes two hundred years earlier. The last Maccabean high priest, Aristobulus III, was executed by Herod the great 65 years earlier. Since that time, all of the high priests were appointed by Herod only with the permission of the Romans, always from one or two aristocratic families. Traditionally a position held for life, the appointment was now subject to the vicissitudes of cronyism and bribery. Annas, for example, was appointed by Coponius and was able to hold the position for only nine years. When Valerius Gratus became prefect, he deposed Annas in favor of Annas' son, Simon. Three years later, Annas was able to maneuver an appointment for his son-in-law, Caiaphas. If this Nazorean movement was successful in convincing a majority of the people that the Sadducee ethic was in error, it could seriously effect the flow of tribute and bribes. In the end, it could eventually stimulate Rome to take more drastic measures. What better way to thoroughly convince the general population of the wrongness of Sadducean authority than openly curing the incurable. Kaifa continued to speak boldly to the council, "Salvation is to be found in him alone."
The council found itself in a rather difficult position. The embarrassing evidence of the cured lame man stood before them looking confused. After discussing it among themselves, the elders concluded to instruct the apostles to stop using Y'shua's name to teach and do works. When so instructed, Kaifa told them that he would obey God. Caiaphas had to let them go or risk ridicule and rebellion. The apostles continued to assemble on Solomon's porch with the other believers and preach about Y'shua. Not only Kaifa, but the other apostles were responsible for many cures and works. The number of believers was growing daily from those who witnesses the unexplainable. Caiaphas had to do something. He arrested all twelve apostles and put them in the council keep where Kaifa and Yohanon had been days earlier. The keep had been bad enough when it was only he and Yohanon but all twelve packed in that dreary dungeon made things unbearable. Kaifa was not looking forward to another long sleepless night in this damp and cold confine. The apostles were still whispering nervously around midnight when the dark cell became illuminated. The presence from which the light came had no definite form or shape. The voice that each apostle heard did not come from any definite direction but they all heard the same thing. "Go back to the temple and tell the people." The iron grate opened and the apostles filed out on the street of the western wall of the temple. They were back on Solomon's porch at dawn just about the time the prison guards found the still locked dungeon empty of its human contents. The council had been reconvened at Caiaphas' request for another attempt to stop the apostles from teaching. When the guards of the keep reported the apostles missing, Caiaphas was enraged, "How can twelve men disappear from a locked jail guarded all round by sentries?"
While the seething high priest railed at the captain of the keep, one of the temple guards came in to report the apostles back in the temple. Caiaphas had them picked up again and brought before the impatient council. "We gave you clear orders not to teach in the name of Y'shua ha-Nozri. Instead you have taught all over Jerusalem and the people are making us responsible for his death." Kaifa stepped forward and fixed his sea weathered gaze on Caiaphas face. No one would have thought that this was the same Kaifa who had once, in terror, denied that he even knew Y'shua. "We have to obey God, not men," he told the high priest. "God raised Y'shua from the dead after you conspired to have him crucified. He is now on the right side of God as savior of us all. He is giving the people of Israel a chance to repent and have their sins forgiven. We are all witnesses."
Caiaphas face was almost purple as he fumed over Kaifa's response. He looked over to the other tseddikim and made a gesture which indicated he wanted the apostles condemned. "Just a minute!" The deep voice from the other side of the room interrupted the proceedings. Gamaliel was the most respected member of the Sanhedrin. As the grandson of the great Hillel and leader of the P'rushim, or Pharisees, he was the Nasi of the council. At this time, the tseddikim were in the majority leaving Gamaliel in the unusual position of being the leader of the Sanhedrin but without sufficient voting power. He had been forced to sit back and observe the proceedings against Y'shua and had planned on stepping in when the situation was handed over to the Romans. This action against the apostles, however, was a Sanhedrin matter. "Take these men out while I address the council." As soon as the apostles were led from the room, Gamaliel stood and turned to the council, "Men of Israel, I suggest you be careful about what you do to these men. As you know, over the past 30 years there have been a number of Meshiachs. In each case, the man claiming to be the Meshiach was killed and his followers were scattered. All those movements died out after the leader was gone. I tell you, in this case take no action against these followers. The leader is gone. If these teachings and works of theirs is the same as the others and from men, it will die out too. If what they do is from God, you won't be able to defeat them. You may actually find yourself fighting God."
Many in the council were having troubling second thoughts about Y'shua. Some were losing sleep with the nagging suspicion that perhaps they were fighting God himself. The council had no choice but to take the Nasi's advice. They sent Kaifa and the rest over to be whipped and had them released. The next morning, the apostles and many of the seventy were at the temple and the temple regions teaching about Y'shua. In the evening, they met at Simon and Miriam's house. The upper room had become something of a shrine to followers who had never know Y'shua. Somehow, being in the very room where Y'shua had been, both before and after the crucifixion, gave them a sense of connection. Some of the twelve, most of the seventy, and even the Grecians went on missionary journeys while Kaifa found himself more and more involved with administrative concerns. He had never prepared himself to have to deal with finances and the distribution of funds to the widows and families of martyred followers. The more followers that came into the movement the more cumbersome it became. Many Greek speaking Jews and gentiles who had turned to God and the Torah were being baptized. Disputes were breaking out between the gentile and Greek-speaking brothers and the Judean brothers. The Greek speakers thought that they were not being considered by the Judean brothers and that some of the charity work needed by them was being ignored. Kaifa decided that he needed to start traveling and reaching the people in the cities. He felt that these administrative duties were keeping him from doing what Y'shua wanted him to do, preaching the Evaggelion, the good news of Y'shua. He proposed that the Jerusalem fellowship appoint seven of the Greek-speakers to administer that faction. Y'shua's brother, Yaqub, had appointed Judeans to administer the Judean faction. The Grecians had their own meeting place, outside of the temple, where they were comfortable with the common language. Seven young men had been chosen to administer the group. They were led by a passionate young red-head by the name of Stephen. Kaifa was confident that there was nothing more that he could do in Jerusalem. Philip, the Grecian was in Samaria and had sent word that he had brought many of the Samaritans into the fellowship. He and Yohanon went to meet Philip and help with bringing the Samaritans into the movement. The work with Samaritans was important to Kaifa because it was important to Y'shua. The issue of conflict between the Jews and Samaritans was an example of which Y'shua spoke, an example of the divisions between brothers. Samaria was once the northern part of Israel and its inhabitants were Israelites. The area was overrun by Sargon II during the time of King Ahaz and many thousands of its men were deported. Sargon replaced those deported Jews with men from Assyria and Medea. The Jews of the south considered the Samaritans to be a defiled race because of the forced mixture with Assyrians even though they themselves were deported to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar less than a hundred years later. When King Cyrus released the Jews and sent them home to rebuild the temple, the Samaritans offered to help with the work since they were also worshippers of Yahweh. They were rejected and rebuffed by the Jews of Jerusalem. The wounds from that insult never healed. The Samaritans broke away and built their own temple on Mt. Gerizim over the site where Abraham built the first sanctuary. Since that time, enmity continued to grow. Samaritans were snubbed and hated by the Jews of Judea and the resentment was returned. Kaifa knew that Y'shua had this very situation in mind when he spoke the parable of the charitable Samaritan and also when he took time to teach a Samaritan woman at the well. The brotherhood of followers of Y'shua was being called "the way" by it's followers who saw it as the way to salvation through the establishment of peace and love. If indeed it was the way that such a long bitter separation could be bridged, anything could be possible. Kaifa worked hard and long in Samaria because he knew it's importance to Y'shua. In the weeks before Kaifa and Yohanon arrived in Sebaste, Philip had baptized a man named Simon. Simon had displayed what appeared to be genuine desire to join the "way" and Philip had no reason to doubt him. In fact, Simon was a notorious trickster and charlatan who, through the use of illusions and legerdemain, had convinced numerous people that he was a "messiah." He enjoyed the attention given him by the naive and unsuspecting public. He had been hearing some of the stories of Y'shua for three years and used many of those stories to fake a similar act. When Simon heard about Y'shua giving sight to the blind, he hired a man from another city to act as if he was blind and be "cured" by Simon in front of a large crowd in the market place. He built quite a following in Samaria, a following that were all too willing to part with money and goods. He was getting wealthy pretending to do the things the Galilean did but he wasn't satisfied. The people did not think of him as a "son of God" but as a sorcerer. Simon was obsessed with Y'shua, awed by him, jealous of him. Jealous because he had to pretend to do those things that Y'shua actually did do. When he received the adulation from the unsuspecting populace for those pretences, he thought only of how much more public adoration he would get if he could only do the things that Y'shua did without having to pretend. He heard that Y'shua passed his powers to his disciples and that the disciples could pass the power of the "Ruah Kodesha" to others through the laying on of hands. When Simon heard that Simon bar Yonah, known as Kaifa, and Yohanon bar Zebedee, the cousin of Y'shua, were going to lay hands on the Samaritan converts, he was overjoyed. Simon's vanity demanded that he have equal powers and privileges as the apostles themselves and he was determined to have Kaifa pass the power on to him, even if he had to pay for it. Simon went to the meeting house where Kaifa and Yohanon were receiving the Samaritan followers. As he walked in, he saw Kaifa and Yohanon both lay their hands on two of the people who had been baptized on the same night as he. When the others saw Simon, they stepped back. Neither Kaifa or Yohanon knew who Simon was and were not intimidated. The sorcerer drew a large purse from his cloak and approached Kaifa, "I have here 100 minas of gold. Give me the power so anyone I lay hands on will receive the Holy Spirit!"
Kaifa had come a long way since his fighting days and impulsive bouts of temper but one look at this posturing phoney and his face turned as red as his hair. "You and your money can go to hell! Do you think you can buy God's gift with money? You have no place in our brotherhood because your heart is not right with God. You had best repent, my phoney friend, forget this sleazy plan of yours and pray that the Lord forgives you. I can see that you are full of jealousy and avarice. Men like you have always come forward to distort and twist the teachings of the prophets for your own glory and gain. Men like you will always be with us, even to the last days and all of you will answer to God and his Son." Simon Magus turned pale with humiliation. Kaifa resumed laying of hands on the other congregants while Simon quietly withdrew. After evening prayers, word came from Jerusalem that Stephen, the fiery young Grecian, had been stoned by a Sadducee lynch mob for passionately railing against the council. He particularly angered them by claiming that God does not live in the temple but in the hearts of men. He reminded them that Y'shua was the Meshiach and that he was standing at the right hand of God. He was also told about Saul of Tarsus, a zealot who called himself a Pharisee but. oddly enough, was in the employ of the Sadducee high priest. It was this Saul that led the mob against Stephen. Kaifa sent Yohanon back to Jerusalem after a few more days in the villages of Samaria. He took the Shechem road to Lydda where he prepared to spend the night before visiting the brotherhood in Yaffa, a few miles away. He stopped at the house of a believer near the Jerusalem road to spend the night. Believers rarely had to rely on public inns, a dangerous practice. Followers of the Way had several symbols that they carved on their doors and lintels which was recognized by other followers, an anchor, a fish, or a cluster of grapes. Everywhere a follower saw one of those symbols, hospitality was assured. Kaifa knocked gently on the door of the potter's house. The woman that opened the door was stunned to see the man she recognized as the friend of the Lord and the fisher of men. Leah had been one of the followers who had received the Holy Spirit at that memorable Festival of Weeks but ten days after the Lord ascended. "Peace be to you, Kaifa. Our house is yours. There are brothers and sisters here who require your laying of hands."
Leah fixed Kaifa food and drink and told him of the troubles being brought on many of the followers by Saul. This was not slowing the number of people seeking the teachings of the way. "My husband, Aeneas, is in his bed. He has been paralyzed from a fall eight years ago. He has only recently been baptized. Please lay your hands on him to give him the Holy Spirit."
"Show me to him," replied Kaifa. Leah led him into a small room where Aeneas was lying helpless in bed. Although he was a man of about forty, he looked much older. He had the pallor of someone who has been confined to bed. His legs and arms had withered from lack of use. He had been kept alive by Leah who spoon fed him. His eyes turned to Kaifa as Leah announced their visitor. Kaifa knelt down by the bed and took Aeneas flaccid hand, "Aeneas, Y'shua ha'Meshiach makes you well. Get up and make your bed." Leah's eyes widened, her mouth opened. She was only expecting the laying on of hands. Kaifa could feel life returning to the hand he held. Aeneas' whole body seemed to shudder as life returned to his limbs. Grasping Kaifa's hand with muscles he had not used in years, he pulled himself up. Standing, quivery at first, he composed himself and with tears streaming, made his bed. Aeneas walked outside to feel the sun om his face and to proclaim the power of Y'shua to his neighbors. The little town bustled with excitement as friends and neighbors approached Aeneas to feel his arms and legs. Soon word got to the nearby towns of Sharon and Yaffa that Kaifa was here and had worked a miracle with Aeneas.
Later that evening, two brothers of the Way arrived from Yaffa and asked to see Kaifa. "The brothers and sisters of Yaffa would like you to hurry there. The deaconess Tabitha is very ill." Kaifa got his gear together and left straightaway. He remembered Tabitha from a previous meeting. She was a very talented weaver and seamstress and was known for her charitable acts to the poor. The two men covered the distance from Lydda to Yaffa, about fifteen Sabbath day walks, on a cart drawn by an ass. He was grateful for the transportation. The meeting place for the believers in Yaffa was the house of Simon, the leatherworker. Yaffa was a seaport town on a promontory overlooking the great sea. There was an avenue along the docks where there were shops and markets. The chalky white houses were built like steps leading up to the top of the hill. Kaifa and his two companions were walking along the sea walk toward the leatherworker's shop when they came by some of the women and widows, crying and mourning. "Tabitha has died," they called out. They crowded around Kaifa, showing him some of the multicolored shirts and tunics for which she was famous. "Take me to her," he asked the women. They climbed to a house about halfway up the hill and up a steep stairway to the upper room where her body had been washed and prepared. "Leave us!" He called to the women who left reluctantly. Kaifa knelt down by the window overlooking the Mediterranean and looked out at the azure sky and large expanse of white capped sea. He never was one to pray in formal recitations and eloquent verses. He talked to his teacher and friend, Y'shua, as if he was still there beside him. "I think I know what you want to do but sometimes wonder why you want to do it through me. I fear for making mistakes. I've made so many in my life." He looked over at the pale, still form of Tabitha lying in the bed and then out over the sea. A large gull drifted by, its wings outstretched. Its pivoting black head seemed to peer into the room. He always had that feeling in the pit of his stomach when he was called upon to do a miraculous work. It was like that feeling that one gets when you look over a great height. He really knew that he wasn't the one doing the work, that it was Y'shua and Y'shua was always there with him, just as he promised. He turned around and called out, "Tabitha, get up!"
She opened her eyes as if she had been startled from a nap, looked up and saw Kaifa who was offering her his hand. Simon made his way through the increasing crowd of astonished and awe-struck people to the house of Simon. He would have to stay on for quite a while considering the number of people that this would bring to Y'shua, he liked being by the sea again. After a few weeks, he got news from the brothers in Jerusalem that seemed unbelievable. Saul, the agent of the high priest who had imprisoned and persecuted so many brothers and sisters, is now preaching about Y'shua to the Grecians. According to the report, Yaqub and the others thought it was just a trick and refused to see him but Yosef bar Naba, the brother of Simon the water carrier and one of the seventy, convinced them that his coming to the Way was genuine. They said Saul went about the city proclaiming Y'shua as the way to salvation. They had to sneak him out of town before the high priests agents could kill him. Kaifa went out on the roof of Simon's house to sit down and think about these things. The rooftops of houses were often used as an extra room in the summer and meals were frequently taken there. He saw the followers being drawn in two directions. There were more and more Grecians coming to the Way. It was necessary that they vow to observe the laws of Moses before they could be baptized into the Way. Many of the Grecians did not want to observe the laws regarding food and many of the men did not want to undergo circumcision. It was true that the procedure was more dangerous and painful for an adult but it did represent a covenant between God and Abraham. Didn't Y'shua say that he did not come to destroy the law? He rested his head on his arms to pray for direction on this issue. What was he to tell the Grecians? He looked up to the sky...Funny how everyone looks up to the sky when thinking of God...it was midday and the sun was high. Suddenly, the thick clouds seemed to part and through them something was dropping to earth. In a short time, the object hovered over the roof. It looked like a large sheet of cloth held together at its four corners. It lowered itself to the roof and he was amazed to see that it contained animals and birds, even snakes and lizards. A voice rang in his ears, "Get up! Kill and eat!" He was astonished and terrified at the same time. The animals in the sheet were not fit to eat according to the law. "I cannot, Lord. I have never eaten anything considered common or unclean"
The voice returned in reply, not from any particular direction but echoing in his ears, "What God has cleansed do not call common or unclean!" This vision repeated itself two more times before the sheet disappeared. His contemplation was interrupted by Simon's wife who brought him lunch and announced three visitors from Caesarea; Florentius, a Roman decurion, and two house servants. The Roman soldier remained outside while the Jewish servants explained the reason for their visit. It was to invite Kaifa to Caesarea to the home of Cornelius. Cornelius was the centurion in command of the Cohors II Italica civium Romanorum, the Second Italian Cohort of Roman Citizens known as the "Italian Band." The centurion was a "God-fearer," a gentile who worships Yahweh and keeps the sabbath but did not allow himself to be circumcised. He manifest his devotion to the One God by regular prayers and extensive acts and donations to the Jewish poor. The servants assured Kaifa and the rest of the good intentions of the Roman soldier so Kaifa went out to talk to him. Florentius greeted Kaifa, "The centurion Cornelius had a vision of a messenger from God who told him to send for you so he could hear what you had to say." Kaifa realized that the vision he had on the roof must have been a preparation for what he must do. He decided to go to Caesarea, about half a day's journey by boat, to see for himself.