Year 2, Week 06

Week 6

19.  Mary and Martha
20.  Lazarus
21.  Tiberius Caesar, 42 – B.C. – 37 A.D.

Tiberius Caesar Scripture – Luke 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,

Matthew 22:17-22 “Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left him, and went their way.”

Tiberius Caesar

A Real Controlling Spirit 

A Dreadful Glimpse of Dysfunctional Drama

Sometimes a single snapshot from a different angle might illuminate the kind of dominance contrasted by the humility Jesus exemplified and taught his disciples to live.

In 26 BC Augustus, the first emperor of Rome and step-father of Tiberius became gravely ill and the fear of dying without a successor became a powerful drive. Tiberius as one of the possible heirs to the throne was dominated by his powerful father, who forced him into politics in 24 BC at the age of 17.

Tiberius was also made a general over Roman legions and upon returning to Rome after foreign campaigns in 19 BC he married Vipsania Agrippina, the daughter of Augustus’s close friend and great general, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. This marriage had been pre-arranged by Augustus before her first birthday. It is reported that Tiberius loved Vipsanius very much.

Previously, in approximately 21 BC, Augustus was somewhat afraid of the rising power of Agrippa and thought to keep him close by forcing a marriage to his daughter Julia. To accomplish this Agrippa was then forced to divorce his wife Marcella to marry his daughter Julia who was 25 years younger at the age of 18. They had five children together.

It doesn’t end there… keep following.

In time, General Tiberius was sent to fight in the Alps, returning again to Rome in 13 BC, Agrippa his father-in-law had died, so his father Caesar Augustus forced him to divorce Vipsania, the woman he loved, and marry Julia who was the widow of Agrippa, his father-in-law, and Tiberius’s step-sister. Vipsania was abandoned.
Julia … her marriage with Tiberius was not happy. They had one child who died in infancy. They did not like each other at all. According to Suetonius, Tiberius ran into Vipsania again and followed her home crying and begging forgiveness. Steps were taken to make sure he would never see her again. Tiberius and Julia were separated around 6 BC.

Could it be that Augustus had some responsibility for the monster that Tiberius turned out to be? Only God knows. But our Lord and Savior calls us not to be controlling over others, but to lead in humility.

“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
“What is it you want?” he asked.
She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”
“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink”
“We can,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”
When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matt. 20:20-24  

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