Saturday, December 23, 2017

"the Son of man should be glorified" - Christmas Story


Christmas Story

On the River Jordan 2000 Years Ago

One day, 2000 years ago, a man appeared from nowhere to the bank of the River Jordan.

In the river, there was a prophet baptizing people with water.  Scores of people were in the river and on the river side waiting to be baptized.  The sky was clear, and trees and weeds are in the early summer.

The man walked down to the river, but he realized there were a few Roman officers on horses watching the prophet and the people.  There were also some Jewish officials from King's palace and Temple priests standing near the Roman officers.

While the man was approaching to the prophet, he saw a terrible vision.  The prophet was arrested and put in a jail, and a dancing girl shouted, "Kill him!"   And then, he could further see a more terrible vision where he himself was hung on the cross to be killed by Roman soldiers.   But he continued to walk down to the prophet.

The prophet looked up to see the man coming into the river toward him.  They exchanged words, and the prophet baptized him.  Then, a strong voice came down from the Heaven like a thunder in summer, telling: "It is My Son," although some people looked like not hearing it.

And then, Jesus started his mission, though, he continued his journey back to his old house he had left more than a decade before to see his mother and brothers who, however, would not believe that he was authorized by God.

The Righteous Servant at the Wedding at Cana

The man finally reached his old house.

Then, his mother took him to a wedding ceremony for which he had returned from Qumran through the River Jordan.  However, when he met a prophet there, he changed, but he continued to travel to his old home where he came back the first time in a decade or more.

Nobody, later, would tell whose wedding it was and what relationship his family had with the newly married couple.  However, it was clear that his mother played an important role in the ceremonial.  Jesus was needed because his father had been off to a very remote place.  It was a wedding ceremony at least where the mother and the father of Jesus had been expected to attend.

They served meals and wine.  But one servant took a little amount of wine, each time he poured it from a jar to a cup, out of the cup to another jar and poured an equal amount of water to the half-filled cup from other jar in a corner of the kitchen of the host house.

As the party was going on, somebody who was loudly speaking Greek requested more wine, but the servant told the host of the party that there was no more wine.  The host was embarrassed; so were the newly married couple.  The guest who requested another cup of wine looked important for the host family.

Then, Jesus said to the servant, "Bring another jar filled with water!"  His mother looked puzzled, but soon she realized that her son had looked mysteriously changed since he had returned home.  And he helped her find something missing in her house, although he had been away from home for a long time.  She said, as if she had been the wife of the host, to the servant to obey her son.

So, the servant went into the corner of the kitchen, where he had prepared cups of wine while doing his secret business, stealing wine, to fetch the jar with water.  He came back with the water jar to the hall and dipped water from the jar to the cup of the requesting guest.  The guest drank the water and said, "How sweet this wine is.  Usually a host offered poor-quality wine when guests got drunken.  But this house prepares the best quality wine for the end of the party!"

And then everybody took more cups of wine from the jar.

But there was another servant who was watching the party from the beginning.  He of course noticed that the bad servant was making a dirty trick.  When he heard the voice of Jesus, he exchanged the two jars in their positions in the corner, so that the bad servant took the jar with stolen wine to the hall as he thought it was the jar with water.

But Jesus saw the face of the bad servant who was wondering why it was wine but not water.  The bad servant looked at the face of the righteous servant in a vindictive mood.  So, Jesus said to the important guest, "This is my first miracle in this village."  The guest looked astonished and tried to say something.  But Jesus stood up and started leaving the party with his mother who exchanged goodbyes, in a hurry, with  the bridegroom and then bride.

This was the only social event Jesus joined since he had returned from Qumran to his old home through the River Jordan.

On the Galilee Lake

On the Galilee Lake 2000 years ago, two poor fishermen were mending nets.

"If we could catch fish enough to fill our boat, we could be rich men," said a younger brother.
"If we could catch fish enough to fill our boat, we would sell them even to Roman soldiers," said an elder one.

They continued their work outside the boat on the ground.

"Only if we could catch fish enough to fill the boat every night, I could build my house," said the younger brother.
"If we could catch fish enough to fill our boat over and over again, we would sell them even to Greeks at nice prices," said the elder one.

They continued their work under the softly blue sky with spring birds flying.

"Indeed, if we could catch fish enough to fill the boat and get big money, I could marry a beautiful girl," said the younger brother.
"If we could always catch fish enough to fill our boat and become famous, we would sell fish even to Jerusalem priests at very nice prices," said the elder one.

They continued their work in the warm air, being surrounded by spring flowers along the shore.  In good time, a strange strong wind started to blow over the Lake.  Then suddenly they saw a Moses-like man walking swiftly through the Lake toward them with water being parted so as to make a path for the man to travel.  He got on the shore while the wind stopped and the Lake returned to the ordinary state.  Then, he stood by the two brothers.

"Master, we could not catch fish at all though we had tried hard all night," said the elder brother at strain as he could not know what to say to a Moses.  "Then, take your boat to the middle of the Lake and throw your net!" said the Moses-like man.

The two brothers silently and obediently, as if blamed by a prophet, rowed their boat to the middle of the Lake in the wake of the path where the Moses-like man had come, and threw their net to soon find many fish caught.  They took the fish into the boat over and over again, so that the boat got full of fish.  They hurriedly returned to the shore with shock and awe, and got on land, leaving fish in the boat.   And, they knelt down before the man like two criminals under the death sentence.

Then Jesus said to them, "Follow me and you will catch many souls."  They started to follow him, leaving the boat with full of fish that should have generated a great fortune for them, although the younger brother looked back at the boat for a moment.

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Joh 12:23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.