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Tiberius Caesar

Sketches depicting Tiberius Caesar

Throughout the life of Jesus, Tiberius was the Emperor of Rome. He was the second Roman Emperor, after Augustus who died in 14 AD.

Augustus was not Tiberius' true father, he was the son of Augustus' wife Livia, by her first husband. Tiberius was in power when Jesus was crucified. Tiberius died in 37 AD. The coin above was from a denarius which contained the image of Tiberius on it. The inscription calls him the divine son of Augustus Caesar, detestable to a Jew.

It is not known whether Tiberius had heard of Jesus, or knew about the crucifixion of Jesus. Word about Jesus and his miracles spread quickly throughout the Roman Empire, even to the Imperial Palace on Palatine Hill, but Tiberius had retired to his palace on the Island of Capri in 26 A.D. while all sorts of corruption was happening in Rome. He left Sejanus in charge of Rome who eventually betrayed him and was later tried by the Senate upon orders by Tiberius, and then executed. Meanwhile there were many rumors about Tiberius Caesar on Capri involving homosexuality and sexual perversity with young boys, which included all sorts of inhumane cruelty. In this picture it shows the "Tiberius Leap" (Salto di Tiberio) which is a giant 1000 foot cliff that, according to the historians Suetonius and Tacitus, Tiberius hurled his discarded young sexual conquests and victims into the sea to their deaths for orgasmic pleasure.

"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, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness."
- Luke 3:1-2

And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.
Mark 12:13-17

"And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away."
John 19:14-16

Heart Message 

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 Augustusís 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 doesnít end thereÖ 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 Tiberiusís step-sister. Vipsania was abandoned.
Julia was known for her adulteries and 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 slaveó 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

 

The Word "Caesar" is Mentioned many Times in the Bible
(Note: It was not always Tiberius because he died in 37 A.D.)

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 22:21 - 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.

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,

John 19:15 - But they cried out, Away with [him], away with [him], crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.

John 19:12 - And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.

Luke 20:25 - And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.

Mark 12:14 - And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

Mark 12:17 - And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.

Acts 27:24 - Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

Luke 23:2 - And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this [fellow] perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.

Acts 11:28 - And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Acts 25:11 - For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

Acts 25:21 - But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar.

Acts 17:7 - Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, [one] Jesus.

Luke 2:1 - And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

Acts 28:19 - But when the Jews spake against [it], I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.

Matthew 22:17 - Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

Acts 25:8 - While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.

Acts 26:32 - Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.

Luke 20:22 - Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?

Acts 25:12 - Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.

Sites to Visit:

Tiberius - Roman Emperors

 

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