The story of ‘Jesus son of Ananias,’ the prophet
Jerusalem’s final prophet before Rome followed Christ’s command to destroy it.
“Josephus' depiction, in the second book of his Jewish War, of a society heading inexorably to its doom contrasts tellingly with his description, in the sixth book of the same work, of the treatment meted out to an inoffensive prophet named Jesus son of Ananias four years before the war. This Jesus, “a rude peasant,” took to crying out regularly in the Temple a disturbing message: “A voice from the east; a voice from the west; a voice from the four winds; a voice against the bridegroom and the bride; a voice against all the people.” He was arrested by some of the notable citizens and beaten, but that failed to stop his ill-omened words. The Roman governor Albinus also had him beaten, but only elicited between each stroke the cry “Woe to Jerusalem.” Since he declined to say who he was, where he had come from and why he was uttering these imprecations, the governor decided he was mad and let him go. He was to have a long career, uttering his woes for seven years and five months until he was finally killed by a ballista ball during the siege of the city in 70, “having seen his prophecy fulfilled.” But at the beginning of the story, at the festival of Tabernacles in the autumn of 62, such prophecy was alarming precisely because it was implausible. At this time, writes Josephus, Jerusalem, four years before the war, “was especially in a state of peace and prosperity.” It seems evident that deciding whether a society is on the brink of collapse is often a matter of perspective—and much easier to judge after the event than before.”
— Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations by Martin Goodman
The story of Jesus, son of Ananias is prescient for one reason, he was a prophet, but none of his prophecies were tasty to the persons who heard him. Instead he cried out that Jerusalem was to fall - and that to its face. The sign of a false prophet is that he always harkens to the cry to “tell us smooth things.”
Isaiah 30:10–16 (CSB):
10 They say to the seers, “Do not see,”
and to the prophets,
“Do not prophesy the truth to us.
Tell us flattering things.
11 Get out of the way!
Leave the pathway.
Rid us of the Holy One of Israel.”
12 Therefore the Holy One of Israel says:
“Because you have rejected this message
and have trusted in oppression and deceit,
and have depended on them,
13 this iniquity of yours will be
like a crumbling gap,
a bulge in a high wall
whose collapse will come in an instant—suddenly!
14 Its collapse will be like the shattering
of a potter’s jar, crushed to pieces,
so that not even a fragment of pottery
will be found among its shattered remains—
no fragment large enough to take fire from a hearth
or scoop water from a cistern.”
15 For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said:
“You will be delivered by returning and resting;
your strength will lie in quiet confidence.
But you are not willing.”
16 You say, “No!
We will escape on horses”—
therefore you will escape!—
and, “We will ride on fast horses”—
but those who pursue you will be faster.
And the sign of the decline of God’s house is that the people’s ears begin to itch:
2 Timothy 4:3–5 (CSB):
3 For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. 4 They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5 But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
I must say Christendom, there are few prophets that I admire more than Jesus son of Ananias. He has one message: “woe,” and proclaims it betwixt the blows of wrathful Jerusalem. If he spoke pleasant things, he would have a balding head, 2.5 kids, a moderately successful church, and the praise of the establishment. Instead his death proved his message true.
I hope Christians will wake to the reality that Christ is not in the midst of them. They have hated me for telling them so. The spirit is not upon them for they despise the poor for whom Christ intends his gospel to go. The spirit is not on them because they tithe dill and mint and cumin but have deserted the God of the law they observe. Their garments are moth eaten, their silver is corroded and will be evidence against them at judgment.
Why will you die O Christian, come out of the midst of her! Touch not the unclean thing! The time of Christ’s return is at an hour you do not expect. Let go of house, goods, and all you hold dear. Embrace the Lord and not your pride. Embrace the goodness of eternal glory rather than fading orgasms. The lot you have chosen for yourself is sinking and none of it will spare you from your just recompense when it arrives. Presumption - the one you have of your being true - it is like witchcraft to YHWH. Every man’s presumption is going to endure fire and I tell you your fire will burn up your profession of faith. Cast off your pride and lean on one staff - the budding staff of Jesus, safe in the ark of God, his holy presence.
If this is a message you wish to respond to, call on Jesus before you have no more opportunities to enter his presence.
May the Pneuma be a witness to you reader.