What A Strange Little Man (Chapter 4, page 1 of 7)

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Chapter 4

I could not imagine why such a thing would bring so much pleasure to the strange little man, but again, I thought it was nice to see him smile.

"Tell me about this 'Jesus'," I whispered.

I didn't want anyone to hear me speak about this man. I had heard that some took a dim view of him, and I sure didn't want to risk my position here at the prison. He pulled the little stool made of twisted vines up to the bars of his cell and sat down. I too, grabbed a chair and sat in front of him. I knew if the captain walked in while I was doing this I would likely be reprimanded, but curiosity had gotten the best of me.

He started, "I was once a man about town. I was the one citizens sought to learn the finer points of the law. The training I received as a child had served me well for I fear I would have not been able to have an audience with Nero had I not been so trained."

"You've seen Nero?" I asked surprised.

"Spoke with him just last week. He is quite certain that he is the reason I will die today. But this is the end to which I was appointed from the moment I met the Christ," he stated factually.

"Who, or what, is the Christ?" I enquired quite excitedly.

Imagine, I was about to be told why he was here. This was exciting because we usually don't talk much with the prisoners. It was just not done; but this fellow seemed to have liberties others did not. I sat closer to the edge of my chair as he went on.

"It all started when I was a young man. I was known as a great teacher of the law. People wanted to hear me speak everywhere I went. This was largely due to a teacher named Gamaliel who taught me some of the finer points of the law and how to apply reason to every day life. Due to the years of training I received, I was enraged by the heresy of a group of people known as 'The Way.' They were called that because the things they taught were new to the people, and they were also convinced their 'way' was the true way to know God. Jesus had ushered in a doctrine none of us were ready to accept. I had heard of others claiming to be the Messiah, but none had gained such a following as this man. The excitement of a messiah would usually die down after the man making the claim was imprisoned, so my training would not allow me to accept this teaching as anything but heresy. It stirred the crowds to praising God in the streets! They were doing things in the marketplace that was only supposed to take place in the synagogue."

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