A Bible Short Story by Johann Quisumbing
In the days of King David to the Judean exile to Babylon, this city was both the legendary king’s residence and government buildings. Most of the palaces were torn down by the invading Babylonians. Only a few government buildings were still standing. Then, when the exiles returned, the old city was rebuilt but remnants of David’s line did not rebuild the palaces. By the time the Romans came, the City of David was mostly made up of the residences of the rising middle class.
They rode through the old city’s porticos, then Simon stopped the wagon in-front of one of the surviving 3-story government building which he had taken over. A servant came out to tie the mule to a hitching pole. Both Simon and Lazarus alighted off the wagon and entered the building.
“Master?” said a stout man slowly getting up from behind a wide desk. “We were not expecting you for a couple of days.”
“I know, I know Joral,” Simon said. “Lazarus and I are here in the city to see my cousin at the Temple. Since we were in the neighborhood, I thought I’d check on the renovations upstairs.”
Joral trailed behind them as they crossed the lower floor where laborers were busy unpacking bundles of processed wheat husks. Some of them carried several bundle to an adjoining room where a millstone can be seen moving in circle.
“How many bags of flour produced today?” Simon asked Joral as they ascended a grand staircase.
“Only about 9 bags. One of our asses became ill. We had to wait for a replacement.”
“You see, my son,” Simon said to Lazarus. “This business requires constant overseeing. If Joral was not here, there could have been a longer delay in fulfilling the order. This is why you must pay more attention and remember that the clothing you wear and everything else comes from this business.”
“Yes father,” he said with a slight hint of exasperation.
Simon was smiling inside when they reached the second floor. The went down a hallway a little to where they can hear hammering. Jorel pushed open ornately carved double doors to reveal a vast room.
“As you can see, Master. They took down the walls of 3 rooms to form this large room. I believe this room can hold over a hundred people.”
“Excellent, Jorel. This large room should bring in some extra revenue. When will they finish the renovations?”
“In 3 months or so, Master.”
“Good… just in time for the summer festivals. Very well, we must go. It will be a long climb to the top of the Temple Mount.”
To be continued…
Though my story is basically fiction, the character of Simon the Leper is an actual Bible personality who actually lived in Bethany, a village in Judaea on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives. He is only mentioned in two verses in the Gospels according to Matthew and Mark. There is no other reference of him in the Bible. So, I asked myself, ‘what was his story? How did he catch leprosy? And how was he cured?’ There are many such characters in the Bible, many of them had no names at all, but yet there are worthy stories to tell about them. With the help of some sanctified imagination and some artistic liscence, I felt their stories should be told especially of their faithful encounters with Jesus Christ.