Chapter 9- Go forth my son.
“Yeshua (Jesus), my son, I have heard that your cousin John is preaching and Baptizing at the Jordon river,’ Mary said. “Why do you mention this mother,” Jesus responded? “Since your father died you have taken up the reins of the family business with your brothers and supported me and your sisters and we are indebted,” Mary replied. “Perhaps it is time to let your older brother James take the reins of the family building business and allow you to meet your destiny,” Mary stated. Jesus sat in the shade of an olive tree and pondered what his mother has said. He was almost 30 years of age and he knew in his heart and mind that he would be destined to become a prophet like his cousin John. “When would be the right time he asked himself.” He had prayed often to God to give him a sign and yet no sign had yet to appear. Perhaps what his mother said to seek out John the Baptist and be baptized and seek out the spirit of God that John so willing shares with everyone. It had been almost ten years since Jesus saw John last at the Temple in Jerusalem during the Passover when he was 19 years of age. John’s father Ezekiel had died, as did Jesus’ father Joseph when they both were 16 years of age. For Jesus he could remember that this would mean he would have to provide for his mother who had become a widow and with the help of his brothers, keep the family business of building and carpentry alive.
After cousin John and Jesus met in the temple in Jerusalem they talked quietly outside the walls of the temple. John told Jesus that with his father the priest gone that it was time to strike out as the Prophet he was destined to become. They both spoke of John spending time in Egypt with the Essenes. “I believe in many of the ideas of the Essenes,” John said. “They feel the temple is corrupted and wanted to live a purer life,” John said. “I feel it is my calling to bring forth the truth about the future and salvation.” “I need to divorce myself from the Pharisees and Sadducees who pretend to be close to God, John stated. Jesus agreed that something must be done to bring about salvation for the righteous. For many years they met during the Passover festival in Jerusalem and talked about what was to be in the Kingdom of God and Judea. They always met together without their parents. After Jesus’s father died and Johns father died things changed. John went his own way in the wilderness and Jesus was called to provide for his mother Mary and his brothers and sisters by continuing the family business of building.
Jesus remembered the last time his cousin John and he spoke. He remembered John’s parting words for Jesus to live up to his destiny as the Angel of God had blessed them both at birth. John would live with the Essenes in Egypt for a while to learn from them and seek to find the true nature of God and how he could become a prophet that could make a difference in these terrible times for Judea. John had always called Jesus “little Yeshua,” because Jesus was much shorter that the taller John who towered over him at six feet two inches. Jesus took this nickname kindly and often called John, “Goliath,” because of his large size. They had always been close as cousins just as their mothers had been close before and after their first births.
When Jesus and his family returned home from the temple during the Passover feast during his 29th year, things changed. Mary his mother had encouraged him to go out and seek his destiny. His debt to his mother and family was met and James the older brother of Jesus would take over the family business and provide for Mary and her children. It was, as Jewish tradition would have it.
Jesus took James aside and said, “brother I think my time has come to go out and seek my destiny as the Angel of God predicted.” “John my dear cousin is already preaching in the wilderness near the Jordan and establishing a large following in all the lands,” Jesus proclaimed. James responded by saying, “it is alright for you to go forth little brother for you are a man who had met his family obligation after our father died and remained true to our mother.” “I can handle the family business and we will prosper and I wish you well on your journey. Stay safe brother,” James said.
Later that day Jesus bid goodbye to Salome and his other brothers and sisters and having packed his bag he said goodbye to his mother for the last time. “Mother I will always be with you and I will visit you often. It is my time to embark on my mission for God. I need to take the many years of studying our Jewish traditions and beliefs in the bible and make sense of them,” Jesus commented with great compassion. “Go my son and God be with you always,” Mary cried as Jesus walked down the dusty road out of Nazareth
Jesus had no idea where he was going but he knew his God would direct him on his journey. On his travels Jesus met many other Galatians who live in Galilee all their lives. Galilee was the northern frontier of Judea in those days and many Jews from other regions looked down on the Galatians as “lower” Jews. Jesus bid all the travelers on the road a “good day,” and then proceeded on his way. Jesus had but a few coins in his pocket that would buy him bread or wine. He knew if he stopped at the houses of his relatives that he would always be welcome and would fine food and shelter. He did this for over a month going from city to city, learning in the temple and seeking his future.
Finally, he heard that his cousin, John the Baptist, was baptizing at the Jordan River near Bethany. Jesus had not seen John in ten years and did not realize how he had changed. John was reported to be living on locusts and honey and living a simple life. After walking almost a day Jesus came upon the Jordan River near Bethany where he could see a large crowd of hundreds of people standing near the banks of the river. In the middle of the river a dark longhaired tall man stood. Could this be his cousin John whom he had grown up with? Jesus could not tell who the man was at the distance, so he walked further to the Jordan River edge. He heard the bearded longhaired man call out “make straight the way,” “repent and be saved of your sins,” John said. The large crowd and the spirit of those around him moved Jesus. Jesus wondered if John would recognize him after ten years. Jesus waded into the river, and suddenly the crowd parted. Jesus was facing John straight on. John watched as the crowd parted and wondered who was coming through the crowd. Suddenly, a shorter man whom he thought he knew stood wading toward him.
John felt a strange feeling in his body as if he was having a spiritual experience. He asked the shorter man, “Who are you? “Do you not recognize me prophet, “ Jesus responded? “Can it be, are you my cousin Jesus, “little Yeshua,” John replied. “Yes, I am he,” Jesus responded. You have grown a beard since last I saw you cousin. “Yes, we both have beards now,” Jesus replied. John was certainly surprised to see his second cousin, Jesus before him requesting that he be baptized. “Where had all the years gone?” John thought to himself. The last time John had seen Jesus was at Joseph, Jesus’ father’s funeral almost ten years ago. Jesus was already involved with the Mount Carmel Essene community and John just about to enter the Essene community at Quran near the Dead Sea. Many years had passed since and they no longer met at the festival of the Passover in Jerusalem. Both of John’s parents had passed away and Jesus and John have grown apart in their spiritual and religious life.
John looked at this man Jesus, and he began to understand that Jesus might be the one who was to come. “Could his cousin be the light unto Israel? John thought. “Jesus you should be baptizing me not I you,” John said. “John it is ordained that you baptize me in order for my ministry to begin,” Jesus responded. “But I am not good enough to even tie your shoe laces or buckles,” John responded. “Be that as it may, I beg you to baptize me and let the prophecy come true,” Jesus pleaded with John. “Then let be so, John said, and he took Jesus and baptized him in the Jordan River. The sun broke out of the clouds overhead and something strange happened that moment. All of the people standing around the Jordan River heard John Proclaim that Jesus was the light.
After being baptized Jesus finally realized the God had given him a sign that his destiny was to be fulfilled as the Angel of God had predicted to his mother Mary. Jesus went and sat on a rock in the shade and watched as John baptized hundreds of people that day never showing fatigue or doubt. His message was like Elijah, for he was a “prophet crying in the wilderness.”
Jesus felt the spirit of God within him more than he had ever felt before in his life. He decided to go and fast and wait for God to reveal his plan to Jesus. He knew that he must be renewed and ready to receive God’s word. He withdrew into the desert far from the crowds at the Jordan River. It was time for Jesus to begin his ministry and to bring God’s word of salvation to the people of Judea. Finally, he felt that his mission was at hand and that he had received the Word of God and like the prophets of old he would spread the good word of God.
And so it came to pass as Jesus fasted many days and saw many visions of the devil tempting him. He denied the thoughts of the devil every time and planned his mission for the future. He knew he needed to gain a following as did John the Baptist. He also realized the rich Jews would not make a good following. He had to reach out to the poor and the downtrodden Jews of Judea to hear his new message from God. All of Jesus’ life he had been reading the bible and the to rah and learning of what the prophets of old did and what they predicted in the future. Isaiah was his favorite prophet and much of what he predicted Jesus would endeavor to make true. It was a beginning for Jesus. It was the moment of truth that he was free to preach and to deal with death, disease, poverty, the Romans, taxes, and depression from years of captivity. God had dealt him a hand of cards and now it was his time to play the cards out with mankind.