Estelle and Robert: To Know Him

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 4 (v.1) - He Eats Bugs!

Submitted: July 14, 2019

Reads: 17

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Submitted: July 14, 2019

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In the days of the reign of Tiberius Cesar, the Word of God came unto Jesus' cousin, John. His mother, Elizabeth knew that the hand of the Lord was upon Him even from her womb, and his father Zacharias, whose mouth was stopped for the duration of the pregnancy for his unbelief, forbade John not when he said he must go into the wilderness of the country all about Jordan. It was a calling he couldn't deny. He knew even from his youth that when God speaks, you must obey.

Ripping a chunk of wild honey perched precariously on a low lying branch, he wiped the sweat off his tanned brow, squinting into the distance. Had news already spread so quickly? He'd only yet baptized a small handful. The words he was saying had flowed through him as if he'd practiced for years. No one would have recognized him as the son of Zechariah the priest, mild and meek in behavior, now he spoke with God-given power and authority, and people listened, pricked at their hearts. His message was not of him, that was for sure, summed up as "Repent ye! The Kingdom of heaven is at hand!"

Estelle found herself blushing even as she peered from several stones casts away yet from where the rugged outdoors John stood, his hair flying into wings around his brown face, one brow up at those gathering near him, yet a broad smile on his face. If she hadn't heard such nasty rumors, surely they couldn't be true, that he ate locusts she probably would have blushed all the more. Strong, masculine, and a lover of the One True God of their ancestors, their mother wouldn't object to the relationship. She covered her face with her veil to hide the blush that crept up on her cheeks regardless, glaring daggers at Robert who cocked his head, knowingly. She needn't have worried, she wasn't the only virgin that flushed at the thought of being Mrs. John the Baptist.

Robert shook his head at his sister's antics, moving closer, without shame to wear the man stood in the cleft of the rock. He skewered his eyes, trying to zone in. Did John eat locusts? No one could be quite sure but he was determined to find out. Maybe a wiry leg would be hanging off of his great beard, or worse, between his teeth. He dug his hands into his pockets, he'd have to bide his time as John waded into the Jordan, his arms outstretched to hold onto those who came to him to be baptized, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth, therefore, fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say withi...

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth, therefore, fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear, nor to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire!"

Mavy stopped looking for her children, stunned by this John's audacity. Who dared speak to the leaders of the Jews in such fashion? She scrunched her nose, not entirely sure what had possessed her that she should let her impressionable youth go out to see John for the third day in a row. Hormones, she knew was likely the reason Estelle was going. This was quite the trek just for amusement's sake. She wasn't about to say no. She was once in love too, and the exercise was good for both the children, but now, well, this would simply have to be nipped in the bud. She jumped when a woman called out above the din, just behind her shoulder, "What shall we do then?"

John smiled again, "He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise."

Mavy stroked her arm with her hand, that wasn't a bad idea.

A beefy man, a publican, raised his concerns, "Master, what shall we do?"

Give our money back!, Mavy found herself thinking and quickly flushed, looking around her quickly to see if anyone had heard her possibly say it aloud. It wasn't easy raising two growing children on her own and having to pay the publican's high fees didn't help.

"Exact no more than that which is appointed you."

Mavy held back a clap. Maybe the man wasn't so bad after all. He seemed to have some common sense. Her eyes scanned until they landed on the auburn-brown hair of her son and she couldn't help but smile. He'd perched himself on a rock close to the wilderness prophet, leaning in intently.

Estelle shuddered, noting the sun glint off the sword at a soldier just ahead of her as he called out to John, "And what should we do?" Truth be told she couldn't remember a time where Roman soldiers didn't crawl around, yet it wasn't a good feeling regardless.

"Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages."

The questions ceased as the baptisms started again. Murmurings grew louder as the buzz spread, Could this be the Christ?

John paused, his arm still tight around the drenched woman, confessing, denying not that he was not the Christ, nor that prophet.

"Who art thou then? We must answer those that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?"

 

John's eyes twinkled, helping the lady to the shoreline, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said by the prophet Esaias."

 


© Copyright 2019 Jessica Goyette. All rights reserved.

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