Air Date 04/19/15
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Peter miraculously heals a beggar – and act for which he is beaten and arrested; Pilate narrowly escapes assassination.
Gentle sea breezes blow throughout the Galilee countryside as the open horizon stretches on for miles. The true opportunity, however, waits in Jerusalem.
Sitting alongside the Sea of Galilee, Peter’s young daughter, Maya, tends to a herd of goats as her father and John watch from a distance. “How do I tell my daughter I can’t stay?” Peter questions, his words heavy with emotion. John assures Peter his daughter is safer with her grandmother here, rather than by his side. Just as the two men leave on their trek to Jerusalem to fulfill Jesus’ prophecy, Maya notices them.
As night falls in Jerusalem, Caiaphas comforts a mourning widow of one of the murdered Temple guards, ensuring her there will be “no stone unturned in pursuit of their murderers.” He dismisses her, with promises of charitable food and gifts, fearing she may ask more questions and realize the Romans were behind the murders. Leah comforts her distressed husband, reminding him Pilate ordered the executions to quash any rumor of resurrection. “It dies with the soldiers and the Temple guards,” she says with confidence.
The city streets are bustling with life – dining, talking, fighting – while Drusus and his fellow off-duty Roman soldiers drink heavily in a dimly lit tavern, where Boaz works. “Drink up, we must close now,” Arik, the landlord, calls out to the drunken soldiers. As Drusus stumbles away from the table, he accidently backs into Boaz, who falls to the ground and drops his tray. Drusus offers a friendly hand to help Boaz to his feet, but Boaz stands up on his own and gives Drusus a death stare. Feeling the hostility, Drusus reaches for his sword, but Arik quickly steps in to diffuse the situation, and the Roman soldiers reluctantly leave. Still ready to fight, Boaz pulls out his knife, but Arik relaxes the antagonistic waiter. “Calm, Boaz,” Arik whispers. “Not yet.”
In the morning, palace attendants scurry about, preparing for King Herod Antipas’ visit, as Claudia makes her way to Pilate’s quarters. Just as her husband approaches her, Claudia notices a servant wiping up blood from the tile floor, but Pilate brushes it off as simple politics. “We shouldn’t have secrets from each other,” Claudia tells her husband, who confesses to killing the soldiers in the palace. Eager to leave all issues regarding the Nazarene in the past, Pilate takes his wife’s hand and offers to welcome the new day together, but Claudia pulls away, not so easily appeased. Meanwhile, guards try to combat commotion in the streets to make way for King Antipas and his wife, Herodias. The procession comes to a sudden halt when a line of Roman soldiers forms to block off the road ahead, causing the King to take a detour to the Temple. “Why does the city feel like it’s about to erupt?” Antipas asks Caiaphas when he finally arrives. Trying to placate his superior, Caiaphas assures the king it has nothing to do with the Nazarene’s crucifixion, but Antipas is not convinced. “You mishandled this whole thing,” he shames Caiaphas. “Our continued use of the Romans could be seen as collaboration by the average man in the street.” With thousands of people flooding the city for the upcoming Festival of Pentecost, Antipas warns it’s important that the Jewish leaders are not to be seen as too closely allied with Rome. “Any more mishandling and we may have to seriously reconsider your role,” he tells Caiaphas.
At the safe house, the disciples begin to feel less safe, doubting Jesus’ plan for their return to Jerusalem. “He said he’d build his church. How? With what?” Simon questions. Peter admits he doesn’t know. “He’ll build it with two things that are lacking in this room,” the ever-faithful Mother Mary fires back, “belief and patience.” A knock on the door breaks the silence. “Look what I found,” Mary Magdalene says as she enters with Maya right behind her, looking disheveled and ashamed. Peter, however, looks quite pleased to see his daughter. Later in the night, Maya eats hungrily after her long, solo journey. Peter warns it could be dangerous for her in Jerusalem, but Maya insists on staying until Peter’s work is done. “What’s so dangerous about following a rabbi?” Maya asks. Charmed by her innocence, Peter kisses his daughter’s hand, noticing that Maya wears her late mother’s bracelet. “Tell me a story from home,” he says, smiling at his little girl.
Leah walks through the city full of commoners to the mourning widow’s home. “My husband’s hands are tied as far as the Temple’s concerned,” Leah tells the widow with sympathy, “but contrary to what they suggested, we want to come to a private arrangement and give you a yearly sum.” Confused as to why the Temple will not endorse support for her family, the widow pressures Leah for answers, but Leah maintains her disposition. “You must leave Jerusalem immediately, and can never return,” she instructs the widow, who sobs in utter disbelief.
Belly dancers fill the palace courtyard, as Pilate and Claudia greet Antipas and Herodias. The tension is thick between the couples; after making small talk, Antipas requests Pilate withdraw his soldiers from the Temple during the Festival of Pentecost. Not only does Pilate deny Antipas’ demands, but decides he will double his patrols around the Temple – and attend the festival himself out of spite. Hours later, Cornelius presents a security plan to the Governor: “We’ll have 300 men on the Temple Mount, and you’ll be accompanied by 500 body guards.” Pilate, however, wants to be seen at the festival, so he insists on no more than 50 men. “I hope this is more than a case of look at me,” Claudia says to Pilate disapprovingly. He tries kissing her, wanting to take her to bed, but she pushes him away. “You need rest before tomorrow,” she says as she walks away. After Pilate goes to bed, Claudia remains awake, roaming through the dark corridors of the palace. In the hallway she meets Cornelius, who also cannot fall asleep due to worries about Pilate’s safety. “Promise me you’ll take care of him,” she says with dread in her eyes. “It’s my job,” Cornelius answers back before the two part ways.
Hot and restless, the disciples pace around the safe house, waiting for the right moment to make their appearance. “You really think we scare the authorities?” Simon asks the rest of the group. “We’d scare them even more if they knew,” Thomas answers back. Curious, Maya’s ears perk up. “Knew what?” she questions. Reluctant at first, Peter and the others explain Jesus came back and spoke to them. Maya does not initially believe it, but once the no-nonsense Mary Magdalene confirms it, Maya is convinced. She has abundant questions, but most importantly – “If they find you, will they kill you?” She looks at her father, who answers with absolute assurance: “No.” “They killed him,” Maya points out, her eyes stinging with oncoming tears. Peter looks at his daughter, then more honestly answers, “I don’t know.” She nods, taking in the reality along with the rest of the group.
Hiding in his secret room, Boaz is sharpening one of his many knives when Arik arrives with information. “Pilate will visit the Temple on Pentecost. This desecration of our sacred place is the abomination the prophets talked about.” Boaz looks at his pointed blade, knowing his time to kill has come.
In the dead of night, Antipas goes to the Temple to inform Caiaphas of Pilate’s intentions to attend the festival. Thinking quickly, Caiaphas suggests receiving Pilate as an honored guest to prevent him from turning the celebrations into a blood bath.
Peter stands on the roof of the safe house, looking up at the night sky when Maya joins him. “Are you afraid?” she asks her father. “I am,” he responds truthfully, “but none of the Romans or the priests know what may lie ahead. I’m afraid I may not be the person Jesus thought I was.” Wise beyond her years, Maya looks up at her father and asks, “What would he do if he were here?” “He would pray,” Peter answers, and then looks at his daughter, astonished, as if she just solved all of the world’s problems. He races downstairs urgently. It’s time to pray. The disciples form a tight circle, shut their eyes and chant prayers, with Peter’s voice rising above the rest. Their prayers become louder and faster as bolts of lightening shoot down from the sky and clouds gather over their house. Wind gusts blow as people in the street crowd around the safe house, feeling the energy of the Holy Spirit. Fireballs burst in through the windows and rush around the disciples as they continue praying in many different languages. Suddenly, there’s silence. The disciples open their eyes and, upon Peter’s orders, prepare to depart. “Now, spread his word,” Peter instructs them with confidence, glowing with inspiration.
The Jewish pilgrims flood into the city gates, preparing for Pentecost, followed by masses of Roman soldiers shoving them aside. Pilate and his men make a grand entrance, riding high above everyone else on their horses. Reuben greets the Governor, with Caiaphas’ request that Pilate leave his weapons outside and enter from the South Gate. Pilate, however, denies both requests and enters the Temple as he wishes, disregarding any Jewish laws or tradition. The pilgrims chant anti-Roman slurs as Boaz snakes through the crowd, trying to find his way to Pilate. Speaking to his people in Hebrew, Caiaphas commands the angry crowd to embrace the Governor, rather than condemn, for he has come to atone for his sins. Cheers build among the people, and Pilate, appreciating the applause, approaches Caiaphas with his gifts. With resentment in his eyes, Caiaphas accepts the fruit tray and holds it up to his people as a sign of peace and respect between the Jews and the Romans. Suddenly Drusus notices Boaz’s suspicious glare, and the Romans shuffle around Pilate urgently. Pilate begins to push people aside himself, until he’s left completely vulnerable, face to face with Boaz and his blade. In sheer panic, Pilate shouts out for Cornelius, who appears just in time to fend off Boaz’s knife. Boaz quickly escapes the crowd and runs away, followed only by Drusus. Right as the Roman soldier prepares to kill Boaz, the Zealot reveals a knife concealed beneath his sleeve and slices Drusus’ throat. Drusus drops dead to the ground as Boaz darts away, knowing the rest will be after him soon.
Peter and the other disciples enter the Temple gates, where they find a crippled man on the ground begging for money. “We have no money, no silver, no gold,” Peter tells the old man as he takes his hand. “But what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” Stunned, the beggar rises first to his knees, and then to his feet, his legs shaking beneath him. All eyes turn to Peter in amazement. “God sent us his servant Jesus, the man you killed, and God raised him again from death,” he calls out to the mesmerized crowd. “We are his witnesses, and the Holy Spirit is with us and makes us strong.” John joins Peter, shouting, “Jesus is alive!” Their chants get the attention of Antipas and Caiaphas, who look back at the disciples in confusion. “Silence them now, before there is a riot,” the High Priest orders his guards. In the midst of Peter’s preaching, Reuben and his men club Peter and John brutally to the ground as Maya watches from the crowd, desperately trying to save her father. Peter and John keep shouting their message until they’re beaten to silence, then arrested and thrown into a prison cell. Despite being completely raw and bruised, Peter and John smile at one another, blood pouring out of their mouths, proud of what they’ve accomplished thus far. Mary Magdalene sneaks into the prison to share some good news. “Word has spread, like a fire, like the spirit itself,” she tells them, and the three of them can hardly contain their excitement. “Many, many people are coming to us. Perhaps thousands.” Mary hands Maya’s bracelet to Peter, whose eyes well with tears. “Mary, please take care of her,” Peter pleads. “We may never leave here…”
Cornelius charges into Pilate’s quarters, where the Governor sits in his wife’s comforting embrace. The soldier tells his leader of Drusus’ murder, and Pilate orders the execution of all the men who were found in the immediate area. As commanded, Cornelius and his men drag the innocent prisoners to the Temple steps and point a sword at each of their backs. “Deliver the assassin to us, or this will become an all-too-familiar spectacle,” Cornelius shouts out to the protesting crowd, as the soldiers plunge their swords into the three victims. Caiaphas, alarmed by the commotion, runs outside and sees the dead bodies lying on the sacred steps and Romans leaving the scene. Faced with the outrage of the crowd, he knows he must stand up for himself and the Jewish people against the ruthless Romans.
Peter and John stand in their dark cell, praying quietly. Caiaphas and Reuben enter the prison and stand directly in front of the prisoners, but John and Peter do not flinch. They continue their prayers, looking directly into Caiaphas’ eyes, challenging the High Priest. They may be bloody, but they are far from beaten.
Preview of Ep.4 ” THE WRATH” Airs Sunday April 26,2015
Here are a few added resources from A.D