Biographical Gospel of the Lord

- Chapter 180 -
A Great Reward For Jonathan

CYRENIUS NOW asked his gigantic rescuer where they were, and also for his name.
Jonathan answered, 'Sir, you must be a stranger, since this land which has so many characteristic features is unknown to you.'
And Cyrenius said, 'Friend, one region not seldom has a similarity with another, and in the twilight of the moon one may easily fail to recognize one's own homeland!
Besides, it is especially difficult to recognize a locality when one's feelings have first been stirred up by fear of death!
So you may as well tell me the name of this region into which the terrible storm has driven me.'
Jonathan now said, 'Good sir, you are surely familiar with the rule that one should not be too quick in telling someone just rescued where he is.
For if he is far from his destination, he becomes too depressed upon learning this too soon after withstanding great danger.
But if by some happenstance the storm does after all cast a rescued person close to the place of his destination, this sudden joy, after the recently withstood fear of death, could cost him his life!
Therefore the rescuer should at first be reserved and only after a while tell the rescued what they want to know.'
When Cyrenius heard this manner of reply from the to him still unknown rescuer, he admitted,
'Truly, you are a noble rescuer and have the right sort of wisdom along with it; so steer away that we may soon reach land.'
Here Jonathan announced, 'See, the bight is already reached! It branches off into a small arm at the end,
and if we were on a fixed and calm spot, we would already have seen my fishing hut.
In much less than a quarter of an hour we will be on dry land, for the wind is now very favorable to us.'
Cyrenius was satisfied with this answer, and Jonathan sailed through the bight with the speed of an arrow and reached the desired shore in a few minutes.
When the boat was made fast to the shore, all immediately stepped onto the land, and Cyrenius loudly thanked the God of Israel that He had saved him with all those dear to him.
When Jonathan heard that Cyrenius, whom he did not know at this time, praised the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, he said,
'My friend, now I am twice as glad that I have saved an Israelite in you, for I am also a son of Abraham!'
And Cyrenius responded, I am not quite that, for I am in fact a Roman - but I still know the holiness of your God and therefore acknowledge Him alone!'
And Jonathan said, That is still better! Tomorrow we will speak more about this, but for today go to rest.
See, my huts are roomy and clean. I also have straw in great quantity, so make yourselves a resting place - in the meantime I shall take my boat out again to see whether your ship cannot be refloated.'
Cyrenius naturally objected, 'Friend, tomorrow is time enough for that.'
But Jonathan answered, 'Tomorrow is the Sabbath, when we rest from all menial labor, so everything must be put in order still before sunrise.'
Thereupon Jonathan with his helpers again entered the boat and, since the wind had diminished somewhat, sailed all the more quickly out to the ship of Cyrenius. He had little trouble in refloating it, for the flood tide of the sea assisted by the full moon made matters all the easier.
Then Jonathan quickly seized the towing line, tied it to his boat, and with his helpers joyously rowed toward the fairly deep bight. Thus they brought the large ship into his safe harbor, where it was made fast to the shore by means of a very long rope, which was better for him than anchoring.
After this undertaking, which required a good two hours, Jonathan went home while the morning had already become fairly bright, laid down on his couch and with his helpers rested for three hours.
Cyrenius and his company also rested and slept fairly long into the morning.
When Jonathan awoke well refreshed, he honored and praised God in Joseph's Child and thought over what He had said to him.
Then he told the women to promptly butcher and roast about thirty of the choicest tuna for the many guests, and along with his helpers assisted the women.
In an hour the breakfast was prepared, and Jonathan went into the huts himself and awakened his rescued guests.
When Cyrenius awoke and found himself wholly refreshed and in good spirits, he immediately asked Jonathan whether he had been able to save the ship.
And Jonathan replied, 'Arise, and look out of this window!'
Cyrenius arose at once, looked outside, and beheld his great ship in the harbor quite well preserved.
At this he was glad beyond measure, went over to the giant rescuer and said in deep gratitude,
'Oh friend, such a deed cannot be rewarded in an ordinary manner - truly, I shall reward this deed in such a way as only an emperor can reward it!'
But Jonathan said, 'Friend, let that be for now, and come to breakfast with your company.'
Here Cyrenius asked in great surprise, 'What, you want to be our host also? Oh you noble man! Once I find out from you where I am, and who you are, then you shall also find out who I am, and a great reward shall by yours!'
Hereupon all arose from their resting places and followed Jonathan into the great hut where the breakfast already awaited the company, and all ate the well-prepared fish with great enjoyment and greatly praised Jonathan.
But Jonathan said 'Oh do not praise me, for the real credit for all that belongs to Someone Else - and not to me!
I was only a coarse instrument of Him who thus guided me and showed me in advance that I would have an important duty to perform during this past night.
And so it was - I found you in great danger and was your rescuer, and that was the will of the Most High.
I have fulfilled this holy will, and the realization that I have fulfilled the will of God out of love to Him is my great reward - and were you an emperor, you could not give me a greater!
Therefore I would also ask you to think of no other reward for me.
Just put your big and stately ship in order again, and when I learn the place of your destination from you, I shall also assist you in that matter with word and deed.'
And Cyrenius replied, 'Friend, that you shall promptly find out!
See, my destination this time is Ostracine in Egypt, for I am the governor and a brother of the Emperor. My name is Cyrenius Quirinus.'
At these words Jonathan fell down on his knees and asked for grace in case he had offended in any way.
But just as Cyrenius wanted to raise up Jonathan, there came Joseph with his entire household to visit Jonathan because he was so long in keeping his promise of coming back to Joseph's house.