His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

Setting the Stage for Good Friday

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What was it like during that final week leading to the first Good Friday, the first Easter? What follows is an excerpt from the novel, We Called Him Yeshua. Though they called him Yeshua, most of us call him Jesus. Go back and see how Jesus stirred the pot that led to Good Friday.


Yeshua had been healing people in the Temple courts most of the afternoon, but as the sun slid closer to the horizon, he climbed the steps of Solomon’s Porch, quieted us all down, and began speaking.

A gang of Pharisees suddenly plowed their way through the crowd. Draped in their colorful robes, they looked more like a flock of angry peacocks. They stopped and stood at the base of the steps, glaring up at Yeshua as he continued speaking.

“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and who—“

“Teacher,” a peacock squawked, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are.” Ouch, spiky sarcasm. “Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” Without thinking, my hand slipped into my tool bag and gripped my hammer.

Yeshua frowned. “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.”

The peacock strutted up the steps and held out a coin. I wanted to grab that coin and shove it—

“Whose image is this?” Yeshua asked. “And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” the Pharisee replied.

“Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Yeshua kept his gaze on the Pharisee, who sheepishly slinked back down to the base of the steps.

Yeshua then scrutinized the hypocrites as they grumbled amongst themselves. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!” he called out. “You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”

A murmur spread through the crowd. Anna reached over and grabbed my arm. The Pharisees stood rigid, faces turning red, hate burning in their eyes.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!” Yeshua’s stare never wavered. “You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill, and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”

The Temple guards looked nervous. Who should they believe? Their Pharisee masters, or Yeshua?

Yeshua then looked out over the whole crowd. “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”

Anna dug her fingers into my arm. Yeshua wasn’t being careless with his words—he knew what he was doing, and so did Anna.


Would you like to read more? Click on the image below to go to the Amazon book page.

Author: CJ Penn

First, my writing isn't about me. Don’t want the attention, don’t want to feed my ravenous ego (yep, I’m just a typical pride-plagued human). But I love writing - it gets me out of bed when it's way too dark, just so I can do some writing before heading off to work. I write because I’m passionate about God, Jesus, His Spirit, and His truth. And, I feel the Holy Spirit gets shortchanged in the world we call Christianity. The truth is sometimes lacking too.

2 thoughts on “Setting the Stage for Good Friday

  1. I love this and will definitely read the book.😍

    Liked by 1 person

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