What Child Is This?
The small caravan had come far, from the land of Egypt, through wilderness area and among rugged hills, on toward the country of Galilee. It dwindled along the way, as individuals disembarked where they came to significant settlements along the way. Finally only Mary with her husband and her young child, along with another more aged couple were still continuing, as the wagon they still occupied went on northward to reach its destination.
It came to a stop suddenly, and unexpectedly. The door to the wagon was abruptly ajar. A man with thick beard and holding a long blade, with other men behind him, stood there. He shouted, "All your money and valuables, hand them over, now!"
The older man still traveling handed over a bag with jiggling coins as his hands shook. Mary's husband then took a bag holding coins, full though it was smaller, and held it out. The man with the thick beard snatched it from his hand.
"What do you have in that box under where you sit?! Tell me!"
"There is frankincense and myrrh, eastern fragrances, in it."
"Pull it out. I will take that too!" That man held out his long blade toward them. The other men with him were similarly armed.
Once he had a grasp of the box, he had another man who had been behind him help him carry it out from the wagon, and they both departed, with the others with him. After a little more time the wagon they were on continued on.
Mary said, sadly, "Now we come back with nothing."
Her husband said, "We come back, with our lives."
The child, who watched what was happening outside the wagon said, "And we come back with our God." He smiled.
They looked outside, and saw the earth open up under the bandits, they were suddenly swallowed up.
Mary said, surprised, "Judgment has come on those men! But, we are still without anything now, that we had traveled with."
The child said, "Are we? See what we have under our seats."
Mary and her husband looked. There sat a box just like there had been there, previously. And next to it was a coin bag just like the one they saw taken from them.
The couple were brought in the caravan wagon to one of the small towns in the country of Galilee, occupied yet by some of the empire forces. They departed from the wagon through the dusty street to where the home Mary's husband, Joseph, was going to inherit from his aged family. They had been gone several years due to all the circumstances they had, since leaving for the tax count.
What was different now was an infestation, where rats came first, now there were aggressive snakes here. One soldier of the occupying forces had been bitten, and an old uncle in Mary's family had been, too.
When Mary came to see her uncle, with the child she wanted to introduce, she was astonished and very concerned to see that uncle's condition. Then she learned about the aggressive snakes, which could give people here a poisonous bite. The child disregarded the concern, and came to give the great uncle a hug. Right after that, Mary's uncle looked all better, and he was no longer suffering.
Mary was shocked, she had seen her uncle laying there lethargic with great discoloration and swollen in areas, and just like that he was in the same position with features restored to normal and him looking just somewhat older than he had looked when she had last seen him, several years ago.
Mary said, "What is the meaning of this? You were very affected from one of the snakes biting you, and you look fine now!"
Her uncle said, "It has to be your child who you brought to show me. I felt like I was dying. I didn't expect him to but he just came and hugged me,, and suddenly everything was better."
Mary said, "I was told strange things about him being born, that I didn't understand. And strange things have been happening. You might be right."
Her uncle said, "Right before I was bitten, one of the soldiers in the same area was bitten. Maybe he might be better if you went with your child to him. That is, if you care about the soldiers around here still living."
"Well, they have done nothing to me and have left me alone. And there are thieves and bandits in places these days endangering others. Maybe the soldiers will be useful in ridding us of those who endanger us. I can take him and see if he wants to do anything like he did with you. I will come back later."
Mary led her young child out from that home. But now there were snakes seen in many places along the street here. And before Mary might have stopped him her child ran out in the street, where a dozen of the aggressive snakes were nearby!
Mary cried for her little son to come back off the street between the cluster of homes. Her child though went leaping up and down, and though snakes right there raised up to strike and bite him, he somehow was so fast, he struck at them all with his feet, and each of them then collapsed and lay there as if dead. He did it enough that there were no more snakes moving anywhere near them. Mary then ran out to gather her son up and ran across to the cluster of homes on the other side.
When they were safely across, she said urgently, "What just happened, child? There were so many snakes! And they are dead now? It looked like you struck them down and killed them. But how could you do that? Nobody has ever done that!"
She sat down suddenly, where there were crates nearby, with her child. He told her, "These were fiery snakes. It was told before that the only way to survive the aggression of fiery snakes is with having abundant faith."
Mary was puzzled. "Who has faith such that an attack from a snake will not work against them?"
Her child said, "You had faith in what you were told when I was going to be born."
"Little Yeshua, what do you know? I spoke only to your father about some things told to me, in a strange way, before you were even born. I did not understand those things well, and you have been too little for me to talk about any of that. Why do you speak like you know things you shouldn't??"
Her child said, "Why say still he is my father? You know you were told the Spirit of the Most High would come upon you and what you would bear would be called son of God."
"Yeshua, you could not have known that! Who is telling you these things??"
"And you believed it then. You could have much more faith now. These fiery snakes are overcome with faith."
"Then no one has faith, like you do, if that were true. Come, we should be looking for that bitten soldier. There is a post those soldiers use, over that way. We should go now." Mary took her child's hand as she stood up, to lead him there. But she couldn't stop thinking, how did her little child know so much? There was nobody who could have been telling him such things.
They came to the military post soldiers used in this town, and Mary, holding her little sons hand, saw one soldier standing right there attentive, and she spoke to him, "Excuse me, word came to me that one of the soldiers here was bitten by one of these aggressive snakes that, are everywhere right now. I came with my son to see him and speak blessings for him."
That soldier said, "He is in the tent resting, but he looks really bad and it is doubtful anything will save him. Come right here and see."
Mary peered into the tent with the imperial colors displayed on it. On a cot toward the back lay this very sick man, who looked a lot worse than her uncle had. Mary said to her child, "This man is in really bad shape. Is there anything you want to do for him?"
Her child who had looked at this man looked at his mother then. He said, "Can you really think of saying you would not do anything for any one you see is in need?" He went closer to that man then.
He said to the this man, lying fully on his back and showing pain, "What would you have God do for you?"
In pain that man with disfigurement to his face said, "There is God? Why did this happen to me? I would have God take what is killing me away!"
Little Yeshua reached out, and touched the man's arm. He said, "Believe God, he will do that."
The poisoned man looked at the little boy in surprise. "You are healing me??"
"It is just God who will heal you, believe that."
The poisoned man said, "Almost all my life I was shown to believe other gods, not the one of your people. I could not know if they were real though. But I will try, and if I am really healed, I will just believe in the one god of your people, and do what is required with this one god."
A strong warmth was felt in his arm, and he gasp. He spoke, "It was cold there, and I thought if I survived I would still lose at least that arm, and maybe any other limb."
Mary said, "It is working! Normal color is coming back to your skin!"
The man still lay there, but he continued to look still better as Mary watched. The soldier who she spoke to outside stepped in, and said, "You have been in here for a good while. How long does your visit take?"
Mary said, "Look at him! Do you see?"
That soldier said, "He looks normal, the way he did before he was bitten. This is amazing!"
Mary said, "Yes. It is because of God's work when this man said he will believe our God and do what is shown God would have him do. I think then he should convert to the beliefs of my people."
The man who was bitten, and was showing he was now well, said, "It is because this little boy was brought to me. This is a miracle because he came! You know that creature from which we all had to turn from, by the road in-between this town and that nearby one when we came this way? This boy brings miracles, he should be brought with some of us that we can deal with that creature, that seemed dangerous."
"No!" Mary became angry. "I brought my little son here because my uncle said we could help you too, after I brought him to my uncle, who had also been bitten by one of the snakes, and was then healed when my son came to him. We came and did that, but I am not volunteering my child for any missions. I am going home with him." She turned to go out, holding the boy's hand.
The soldier from outside said, "The centurion will hear about this. I will follow and see where they are living. The centurion will then know what to do."
Mary and her young child went straight along that side of the road through the town, toward their home now in this community, without awareness of the soldier coming that way without hurrying watching where they went. There were still fiery snakes in many places along the street, except for where little Yeshua stomped on those which lay dead now. Mary still held his hand all the way, so that he would not run out from her. And they came to where their home was now, which the soldier following saw was a small simple structure, meant for business and trade as well as use for living in. The soldier watched for a while, and seeing those he had followed did not leave soon afterward, he turned to go back to the station where he had been, to wait for the centurion with whom he could speak.
Mary said to her husband who had waited there in this simple home he had inherited for Mary with their son to return from seeing her uncle, "You would not believe what things have been happening. Those snakes out there are very numerous now. My uncle had been bitten and he was in very bad shape, like he would die. Yeshua came right to him and hugged him, and my uncle was suddenly all better. He told me it was just because Yeshua hugged him. And he said one of the soldiers had just been bitten by one of the snakes already, and that I might bring Yeshua there and see Yeshua might bring healing to him too. But there were so many snakes out there that would be in the way, I didn't think we would go. But Yeshua ran out among them and just killed those right there with jumping on them, and he was never hurt!"
Her husband said, "You are right! How can I believe that? Did you really see that? Could there be a mistake in what you saw?"
"Have I ever said anything that wasn't true to you? I saw those things! And that soldier that was bitten was in much worse shape and would have died, and he was healed. And you can go find those things out!"
Last edited by GodlyD&D; 10-30-2022 at 01:32 AM.
Mary's husband said, "Alright. I might ask around though I would rather not, and as fantastic as those things you said are, strange things have already been happening, and I won't say you are wrong about those. But what is with our son, that these things happen?"
Mary said, "You know I told you things had happened, before he was born. I told no one else, and you told no one else. And yet, he knows. He knew all about it, and he told me that I would remember it. So, what does it mean that he knows what neither of us told anyone else about?"
"It means it has to do with those things you told me that happened, and with who that means he is."
Mary said, "Sure, but I can't understand what that is." The look of confusion showed itself all over her face.
Her husband said, "Mary, what you said means that he is from God. It's that he will be a miracle worker!"
Mary said, "I thought I understood that he was the promised heir to the king. Why would it mean something else?"
"I know I can check with your uncle, even if I won't manage finding what soldier had been healed, and you know that. So I can't just doubt what you say." He paused, and then asked, "Didn't you just bring him in here with you? Where is he now?"
Mary said, "He is here." She looked around, and then with concern she went to the door. "He must have gone right back out while we were talking with one another."
Mary hurried out. On the road that went by their home, there were more forms of the snakes now lying motionless along it right there. But her son was not right there. She looked then along the way they had returned to this home. There, a good distance away, she saw two of the soldiers occupying this area walking away, one of them holding the hand of a small child. She cried out, "The soldiers! The soldiers have taken our child!"
Mary's husband was quickly at the door, and he looked around. "And these snakes are all killed?! Let us hurry to your uncle, right now!" He closed up their shelter, and he went with Mary two structures further along that way by this road, to where her uncle was staying, though Mary did not understand what her husband would do.
Mary's uncle opened the door to them. Her husband said, "You were bitten by one of the deadly snakes, Baruch, and you are fine?!"
"Yes! I did not know if I would still live. Your little son came, and I suddenly healed. He only touched me!"
"If you are all well, help! Soldiers are taking our child right now! We must go confront them. Come with us!"
"He is taken? We will all go! God will use us, God would not just let that miracle worker God sent be taken away right away!"
The three then hurried out from there, going in the direction of the two soldiers guiding their child toward the soldiers' outpost.
The soldiers had not hurried so much as they guided the child who slowed them a great deal, so they had not come to their outpost yet, while they were close to it. Mary along with her husband and her uncle ran up behind them, and they came close to the two soldiers and the child still held by the hand. She called out loud, "That is my child you are taking! What are you doing that for?!"
Startled, the soldiers turned around. Mary recognized one as the soldier who had let her and her child see the one who had been bitten by a venomous fiery snake. Seeing her, the soldier said, "The centurion sent both of us to retrieve this miracle-worker, who may overcome the terrible animal we found here. No, not a snake, but much more terrible."
Her husband said, "He is but a little child, why would you bring him to a terrible animal and be sure this little child, who you take from us, would overcome that? That would be too dangerous to do, and an injustice to us!"
The soldier said, "I have seen things he has done already. The bitten soldier has completely healed, after this child came to him. And I saw this child miraculously killing fiery snakes along the road there."
Mary's uncle said, "But you say there is a terrible animal to deal with! What is it then?"
That soldier said, "We had never seen animal like it! It is a sort of dragonlizard, it was huge, as long as three or four men end to end. That creature saw us after we turned to go far around it, and it still approached us, but we all hurried far around a hill and crossed another bridge instead of the one closer that we had been going toward. It looks like it eats anything."
Another man, a larger one with more insignia on his uniform, approached. "Lysias, this is the child that works miracles? Why the delay? We will gather the men and go there again."
Mary said, "Excuse me! That is my child! You are not right to take him away."
The centurion said, "We are taking him, but just to deal with that creature, as these fiery snakes were dealt with. Then he can be brought back. You may come with us if you will. But we are going with him, now."