Monday, May 02, 2005


For pt. 1: click here

Pt. 2
He was taken up to the highest point of a mountain. As he looked down, he saw villages, cities, landscape and kingdoms.

"You know, Jesus, you could end a lot of suffering real fast... your people are calling out for someone to rise up, call them to arms, and finially rid the land of occupation. your people are calling out- and YOU can be the one to save them"

Obviously Jesus had not travelled alone up the mountain. As he looked down the mountain, aching belly, and pulsating headache, he began to think of people that had been mistreated by the romans- there were family members, neighbors, and even close friends who were now enslaved because of high Roman taxes and the lack of rights that his people were forced to live with.

His mind began to wander, thinking about the men who lived on the outskirts of the village- the men who had taken a vow to stop at nothing until the occupiers were driven out. These men were the local heroes, the providers and voice for the poor... the dispossesed. These were the men that Jesus had looked up to as a young boy, hoping that some day his people would be free.

Jesus' memory raced on as he stared out at the villages, which looked all too much like small specks of dust from the mountain where he stood. He imagined the faces of all the men and women who had lost family members in the struggle for freedom. He imagined the faces of children who had nothing to eat because Herod's son, Phillip, had raised taxes to send to Ceasar for Rome's next big war.

He couldn't stand back any longer and watch his people suffer. From early on he knew that he'd been set apart for something big. He had always admired those militants who stood up for his people, and the passion they had. He had come to the desert to fast, to wait and see what was to come next. Here he was, led to this mountain top- faced with the opportunity to leave the mountain with more power than anyone had ever seen... the power to liberate his people...

"Follow my way Jesus and your people will never suffer again at the hands of foreign invaders and you will rule any kingdom, anywhere, any way that you want."

Jesus looked into the serpent's eyes. His gazed moved to a rock, upon which a silver sword lay, glistening as the mid afternoon sun beat down upon it.

"All you have to do is pick up the sword and follow me... and you can lead your people away from this mess. You can bring an end to this madness, you can bring peace to your people and make sure that all are taken care of. Just take the sword and I'll make sure you see victory"

The heat of the sun was beating down on his temples, sweat filled his brow as Jesus pondered the offer. His head was pulsating again. Maybe this was it, why he had come. Then he remembered the voice he heard the day John had baptized him in the river: "THIS IS MY SON, PRIDE OF MY LIFE- MY BELOVED, WITH WHOM I AM PLEASED."

There was something about that voice- that voice that led him to the wilderness. There was something about THAT voice that was very different from the voice of this serpent. There was something reasurring about THAT voice... that Jesus was the one who would bring peace to his people, but maybe not in the way that people would expect- maybe violence was not going to be the way... there was something in THAT voice that could only be explained as LOVE.

Jesus gave one more look at over the valley intio the villages, the cities that lay ahead... he said a prayer for them- an ancient blessing his grandfather had taught him. And then Jesus turned away from the sword and the serpent and walked down the mountain.

The sun began to set in the west and the cool air began to set in.....

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