SALOME’S DANCE – Machaerus, Perea
The prison guard opened the cell door and Cornelius found John as before calmly waiting for him.
“Peace be with you, Cornelius. It is good to see you again.”
“I must beg your forgiveness. For I have sought the one of whom we spoke and neglected to see to your release.”
“That as it should be,” smiled the Baptist.
Then there was a knock at the door and one of his disciples peered in and said, “Your messenger has returned, master.”
“Let him enter.” Seeing that the messenger hesitated when he saw Cornelius, John said, “Do not fear. What did he say?”
“He said, ‘Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.’ ” [Luke 7:22]
Clearly, Cornelius knew who sent the message. John the Baptist bowed his head in a moment of silence and then lifted his head high with a knowing smile. Then he looked at Cornelius and said, “Again, that is as it should be. My task is done. Soon, I shall go to be with my fathers.”
“What talk is this? I have come to secure your release. This night during the celebration I shall persuade the governor to request a boon from Herod Antipas of which he cannot refuse.”
“Nay, Centurion. My task is completed. I must diminish so as not to take away what is rightfully his.”
Then Cornelius could hear faint trumpets blaring through the small dungeon windows.
“The governor is arriving. I must go. When we next see each other you will be free.”
“You will see me, but not as you expect. Farewell!”
The story continues on in my next post a week from now.
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