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."