In There's Always Time, Daniel Smithson is on vacation in Jerusalem with his wife, Lisa when a stranger accuses him of being a liar, a thief, and a conman. He claims Daniel has cost him time, effort and billions of dollars and promises he is going to make him pay. In subsequent meetings, his assailant has no idea who Daniel is. Neither realizes Daniel will do things in his future, which are in his attackers past.
Daniel has discovered how to time travel and goes to first-century Jerusalem, where he hopes to follow Jesus. However, the joy of traveling anywhere in time, is overshadowed with concern over what effect his actions have already caused a stranger to try to kill him. More urgently what should he do with the live grenade he is left holding.
As I walked up the stairs, my heart beat faster. Lisa’s dream that had started Sam researching time travel was coming true. I was in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus and now I might get to see him, assuming I could get through the crowds. My skill at being in the right place at the right time had worked again. With no effort, I was getting what I wanted.
“How come there are so many people?” I asked Sam.
“Passover starts this afternoon. They’ll stop doing the normal sacrifices at 1:30pm, so people can sacrifice their paschal lambs. I imagine they’re starting to line up, so they can get into the temple courtyard first.”
“But it’s only 10.”READ MORE
“9:56. apparently, up to 250,000 lambs were sacrificed at Passover, so I imagine you could have a long wait.”
“But that’ll make it harder for me to find Jesus.”
“From what I can work out, he’s most likely in Solomon’s Porch.”
It took me an hour to get there and at one point, I wondered whether I should go out and come back in closer to the Porch, but when I tried to turn back, the crowd was even heavier.
Eventually, I made it close enough to see a man standing alone on the steps by the porch. He’d been teaching and was now moving back from the crowd. I knew it was Jesus. Sam noticed this and asked, “Are you scared? Your heart is beating faster!”
“Excited, scared and overwhelmed actually.” I replied, “The idea of seeing the Savior, it’s almost too much for me.”
She pointed at the man, “You think that’s him there?”
“But he looks the same as everyone else.”
I shook my head, “I don’t agree, he has an aura, a presence. He is much more than just a man. Can’t you sense it?”
“I don’t know, I’ve never tried to sense someone’s aura.”
The colonnades where Jesus was now standing were empty and I walked unhindered. When I tried to walk directly towards him, though, two men grabbed my arms.
“Can we help you?” one asked in a surprisingly gentle voice. He was a heavyset man, with brilliant blue eyes shining above his full beard. His calloused hands obviously came from manual labor and his grip on my arm was vice-like.
“I wanted to talk with the Savior.” I said, trying to push through.
“Messiah!” Sam warned.
“Messiah.” I repeated, “Your Master.”
“Everyone does,” the man said kindly, “but we can’t let everyone do so. He’s asked us to try and keep him safe from the crowds, or they all want him to cure them from their sicknesses.”
As we were talking, Jesus looked in my direction and his eyes locked onto mine. They bored into me, looking deep into my soul.
He was about the same size as me, with brown hair down to his collar. His beard and mustache were short and neatly barbered and his skin was suntanned. He had a reddish-brown robe, on top of a brilliant white one-piece robe, tied with a wool belt at the waist. On his feet, he had what I’d have called roman sandals, with leather laces around his ankles and lower calves. He raised his hand and called, “Simon, bring him over.”
“Simon?” I repeated, “you’re Simon bar Jonah? Simon Peter?”
“I am. Do I know you?” He pushed past the other apostles and we walked towards Jesus.
“No, but I know of you.” I said, as we reached the spot where Jesus was standing.
“Only the good things, hopefully.” The other man who had stopped me said, laughing.
“Thank you, Bartholomew.” Simon Peter said with a grin.
As we reached him, Jesus put his hand on Simon Peter’s shoulder, “Thank you, Simon. I’d like to talk in private with this good man.”
“Good man.” I thought, “He thinks I’m a good man.”
I’d received many plaudits in my life, some to do with my business life and to do with the volunteer work Lisa and I’d done over the years. None made me feel as good, as having Jesus refer to me as a good man. He shook my hand and placing his left hand on my shoulder, led me to a bench against the wall. I felt a jolt as he did so, and my heart beat faster again.
“Well, Daniel Smithson, what brings you here and now?” He asked with a smile.
“He called you Daniel Smithson.” Sam said, “How does he know?”
I was too surprised to answer Sam. He knew who I was and that I was a time traveler.
“Nnggg.” was all I could manage.
He smiled at my confusion, “You’re surprised I know?”
“Not really.” I squeaked in a high-pitched falsetto. I cleared my throat and tried again, “Not really.”
The next forty-five minutes will stay with me forever. Strangely, even though I have a perfect memory of the conversation, I can’t tell others what we talked about. I had no restrictions placed on me, yet if I try to talk about the specifics; I find my tongue stopped. I was not to follow him over the next few months. I could return at the end of His mission, but not before. The last thing he said to me was about my gift. He didn’t clarify which gift, but I assumed he meant my time travel ability, because he warned me if I used it wrongly, I’d find things would go badly. He paused and, taking hold of my hand pulled, me to my feet. I felt an indescribable thrill as for a third time he looked deep into my eyes, “Remember, if you can help, you should, every time.”
“That’s what you said to Alexis and Tyler, last week about Lisa.” Sam said.
“It is and he was right then as well. And what you felt before, Sam was the spirit.” He said with a smile, “Now enjoy the Passover with your friends.” He beckoned to his apostles. They came over, then they were all gone.
“Daniel! He answered me with his last comment.”
“He was replying to what I said about Alexis and Tyler.”
I sat down and thought for a few seconds, “You’re right, he was. Means he knows about you as well.”
“And he called me by name too. How? He told me what I felt before, when you asked about his aura, was the spirit. And how’d he know who you were?”
“Surprised me at first as well, but that’s one advantages of being the Son of God.”
“Son of God? Is he really the Son of God?”
“I know it’s hard for you to believe there’s a God.”
“No, I believe in God. I did all the research and studying Lisa and you suggested, I have to believe there’s a God.”
“You never stop amazing me, Sam.”
“I’m good at that, aren’t I?”
My only regret about my interview was, with Lisa gone, I wouldn’t be able to share it with anyone.
I sighed and Sam asked, “Lisa?”
“How’d you know?”
“I know how much you loved her and how much she loved you. You did what she dreamed of doing.”
“Well, yes, I was thinking about Lisa. Apart from you, she’s the only person I could ever talk about it with.”
“Because it’s personal.”
I felt a hand on my shoulder and looked up to see a priest, “Daniel ben Zadock?”
“Please excuse the interruption, but the High Priest would be honored if he could speak with you, “
“Caiaphas wants to speak to me?” I questioned.
“The high priest pointed you out to me and asked me to bring you to him.”
“What does he want to talk to me about?”
The priest smiled slightly, “I don’t know. I’m simply doing as asked. Could you please follow me?”
I nodded and the priest set off towards the court of the Israelites.
“Now what could Caiaphas want to talk to you about?” Sam asked, as I followed the priest.
“No idea. But this means I may get to meet the Great Sanhedrin. What can you tell me about them?”
“Per the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Sanhedrin is the supreme council and court of justice among the Jews. The name Sanhedrin originally meant the assembly of the Ancients, or the house of judgment. Right now, they’re the supreme authority of the Jewish people. They handle all religious and civil matters not claimed by the Romans; and the decisions issued by its judges are law. They made up those weird Sabbath rules we were listening to the other day. They have the exclusive right of judgment in matters of special local importance, such as the case of a false prophet, accusations against the high priest, the sending out of an army in certain circumstances, the enlarging of the city of Jerusalem, or of the Temple courts, etc.”
The priest led me to what Sam had called the chamber of hewn rock and into, what I assumed, was the Sanhedrin meeting room. It was dark, and difficult to see into the corners. Even in the middle of the day, there were candles and torches lit. The priest led me to the middle of a semi-circle and asked me stop in front of a raised dais. As I walked in, all talking stopped and everyone looked at me. Joseph was sitting on a back row and he nodded and smiled at me. I nodded and smiled back.
“You are the magi, Daniel ben Zadock?” the man who had been speaking, when I’d entered the chamber, asked. From what he was wearing, I assumed he was Caiaphas.
“I am. And you are?”
My forwardness and tone of voice surprised him and there was a sharp intake of breath from several people. Joseph and some others smiled.
“I am the High Priest Caiaphas.” He replied in an irritated tone.
Sam picked up the irritation, “Well, duh! Pardon us for being so dense.” A flashing sign with an arrow appeared next to him. It said, ‘The high and mighty High Priest Caiaphas.’ As he moved, it followed him.COLLAPSE