THE SIGN – Wilderness East of the Lake of Galilee
Jesus then gathered only his chosen twelve and they circled around him. He called over the boy with the bread and fish.
Cornelius could not see what Jesus was doing but he heard him prayerfully giving thanks for the bread and the fish. As he looked upon the backs of the twelve, he saw them bend over closely to what Jesus was doing in their midst. Then all twelve broke out in joyous laughter. Soon they were handing out lots of bread and fish to the waiting line of people who carried filled baskets back to their respective groups. Levi who was now called Matthew brought to Cornelius’ group a basket full of warm barley flat loaves and fish that was amazingly smoked dry and ready to eat.
When all have eaten, Jesus again gave instruction only to his closest twelve to each to take a basket and collect the left over pieces from among the people. When they returned they had collected twelve baskets filled with bread fragments.
The sun was just setting in the horizon. Cestus went back to the boat to bring food to Nacob and Lyca. Cornelius was lounging close to the fire listening contently to Jacob telling Trax the story of how David narrowly escaped Saul’s trap, when, to his surprise, Simon the Zealot approached him.
“The Master wishes you to join us up at the ridge.”
As he got up, he asks, “Did he tell you to get me?”
“No. I volunteered.”
About half way up the ridge, Cornelius asked, “How is it that it was you to volunteer to get me? I thought you did not like Romans?”
Simon paused to face him, “That is true! I still do not trust your people. But the master considers you with high regard and even to my surprise, I have to agree. I have heard that you tried to have John the Baptist released.”
“To no avail, I’m afraid. I failed him!”
“Yet, it was told us that you would have risked your own life to save him from execution.”
“How did you hear of that?”
“We do have eyes and ears in Herod’s palace,” Simon amusingly said. “The wife of Herod’s treasurer, who at times comes to minister to us with the other women in our group, witnessed your anger at Herod’s celebration. Be at peace, Cornelius. She was the only one that noticed your anger. She knew, through John’s companions, that you were going to petition for his release. When the order was given for his execution, she saw you walking after the guards and guessed that you were going to do something violent until your governor called you, of course. But it is of no more matter. To all of us here, your intentions are clear. Of this, we thank you. For myself, well, now I am beginning to understand some of my master’s teaching.”
He held out his hand and Cornelius took hold of it and shook hands.
“Come! The master awaits us.”
The story continues on in my next post.
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