+JMJ+ Welcome to part 23 of A Journey as Jonah joins a certain tentmaker searching for the body of the false messiah, convinced as the tentmaker is that it was stolen by some of the dead rabbi’s disciples. Jonah only wants to give the tentmaker what he wants so he can free his sister and life can go back to normal. And now the journey continues.
A Journey – Part 23
Fifth Day for the Second Time, Thursday
We left this morning to search for the body of the false messiah, the one whose deluded disciples claim rose from the dead. We hope to pick up the trail of the missing Council members as we are almost certain that if we find them, we will find the body, too. The ruiner of tents will not let go of this idea for a moment, it is all he talks about. We have not been on this quest for a full day and already I am weary of his incessant chatter. Lord, help me, I know he is faithful and a Pharisee and learned in the Law and Prophets, but I have to exercise every bit of control I have and then some not to knock him out and shove him out of this carriage and tell the driver to make haste. Please give me strength to endure this insufferable man so I can rescue my sister. She is the only reason I am here.
We have to take our meals in the carriage, which I suppose is nice enough as these things go. I notice that it is not an inexpensive design. How he acquired this one is not a mystery to me now that I have spent time with him. He has his tent business, though I cannot see how he makes a living with that, though there are always those who will be separated from their money for little to no return. No, I suspect that he has done a few favors for handsome rewards for both Jew and Gentile, for Sanhedrin and our Roman rulers.
I almost spit out an olive when I wrote those words just now. I caught myself at the last moment, just as he looked up from slurping his wine. He would not have noticed if I had not had that attack of loud coughing as I swallowed most of the olive without chewing it. Then the humor of the situation struck me. Thank you, Lord, for lightening my mood in the carriage, but maybe next time I do not need to nearly choke myself to death in the process. Nevertheless, blessed be You, Lord, forever.
The reason we must eat our meals in the carriage is that we do not have time to stop, not to find proper hospitality on the road, not even to eat the food we brought with us. No, we have to travel as far as we can and as quickly because the Sabbath approaches. We have until sundown tomorrow to cover as much distance as possible. So here we are, bouncing along in this box full of food, drink, candles, writing and study materials (he is always studying, always searching the prophets, hunting for clues), and everything we will need for the Sabbath. I hope he knows where we will spend the Sabbath since we will lose much travel time as it is, and even more if we have to search for a place to spend it.
We stumbled across their trail early on. They seem to be traveling toward the Galilee. Of course this confirms them as traitors in the surly spy’s suspicious mind. They must be, says he, taking the stolen body to hide it among those Jews most friendly to the gentiles, those who welcome both Greek and Greek gold. Worse would have been for them to run to the hated Samaritans, those whose ancestors so freely mingled their blood with the gentile conqueror nations. I hope we don’t reach the Galilee and find that they have done just that.
I only hope that if we discover where they have gone, we do not find that they have eluded us on land only to further elude us by sea. I am not comfortable traveling shipboard, or, in truth, being so far from our homeland, so far from my home. So far from Rachel. Thinking of her just now I felt such a pang of longing in my heart, it almost took my breath away. I have tried to keep it from others and from myself, but I really am afraid for her. And for me if I lose her, and only partly because of the shame that would bring the family. And that I could not save her from herself. I do not want to control her, though she thinks I do. I only want to keep her alive so she can live her life as the Lord intended. Why can she not see that? I have kept too much to myself all these years. In truth, I have focused on our family name, and more on myself than our family, all this time, and not nearly enough on her. My wealth. My honor. My pride. It is true what Solomon said.
How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!
Yea, to get understanding is rather to be chosen than silver.
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
Pride goeth before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.
I only hope that we can find them soon and return to Jerusalem and I can free Rachel from the clutches of the Council. At least while she is imprisoned she cannot be spreading those terrible and insane rumors about the dead rising and other crazy talk, but that is the craziest talk I have ever heard. She seems to believe it but there is no way I ever will. Not ever!
End of Part 23
Other parts of the story are linked on the Fiction page.
Note: The Proverbs of Solomon, 16:16-18, Jewish Publication Society, Tanakh 1917, translation from the Masoretic text (the one the Pharisees mostly used, as I currently understand it). Public domain. Read the Proverbs 16 on BibleHub. Tanakh, the Jewish Bible: Torah, Nevi’im, and the Ketuvim – The Law (A better translation would be “Teaching” or “Instruction”), the Prophets and the Writings.)
Thank you for visiting and reading. I hope you’ll join me again. Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, please stay safe and well, virtuous and holy, and remember, we are all on the journey to the heavenly city. So don’t be like this stubborn rich young man, but pick up your cross daily and follow Him, so you can become who you were meant to be: a SAINT! May the Lord bless and keep you and yours, and may His peace be always with you. +JMJ+
Image in the cover: From the east, Nazareth, Holy Land, from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
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