One of my first assignments for Moody Bible was to compose a letter of someone who had heard or come in contact with Jesus and what their reaction would be taking in consideration the first century world.
I must share with you the happenings of these days. Papa, mama and brother attended a wedding in Cana. I remained at home as I often do. Brother told me during the feast, the wine ran out, but within the hour there was more, much more. Papa told brother the new wine was much better than the first and wondered why the bridegroom had held the better wine until then. Brother did not believe the bridegroom knew from where this new wine had arrived.
Uncle Nicodemus came to the house to speak with Papa several days later. They spoke in privacy as to keep the rest of us from hearing, but mama, brother, and I could not keep too far away. We tried not to listen, but did not want to make too much noise that would disturb them either. As the conversation went on, we could hear Uncle Nicodemus sharing of the signs he himself had witnessed and those, which the other Pharisees had witnessed or had been told of.
He spoke of the temple being turned about and all of the traders being told to leave. He mentioned of the Capernaum official’s son that had been mysteriously healed. He spoke of the man in Jerusalem who had been an invalid all of his life – thirty-eight years, I believe it was – and was miraculously healed as well. In Samaria, of all places, this man spoke to a woman at Jacob’s well who had several husbands and the one she was currently living with was not her husband. Uncle Nicodemus was told that this man, which I believe he called Jesus, told the women of all her doings and she was amazed and shared what he has told her with all who would hear.
Uncle Nicodemus finally told Papa of how he had went to see this man, Jesus, during the night and had spoken to him of all the things that happened. Unfortunately, during this time, Uncle Nicodemus was whispering, so we were not able to hear all of the details, but we did hear the need to be “born again” meaning not of flesh, but of spirit. At one point, Uncle Nicodemus seemed to be angered because Jesus had questioned him as teacher of Israel.
Oh, cousin! I do not understand what this all means. Papa spoke with mama after Uncle Nicodemus had left and I later heard her speak with the ladies while they fetched water at the well. It seems some have been angered by the actions of this Jesus and others seem to have chosen to follow his teachings. Philip and Nathaniel chose to follow this man’s teachings and they have not only shamed themselves, but their entire families. It seems as if the life provided to them was not good enough. Their responsibility was to guard the traditions, the status, and honor of their family, but they chose shame in it place of responsibility.
I will do as Papa and Mama instruct, but I often wonder what is truly behind the signs and acts of this teacher, Jesus. Could he possibly be the Son of God? Could he be the promised Messiah that has come to save us? I have heard so many stories of the healing and promise he professes. I have even seen some of those who he has healed and they look so different, so free. I would never do anything to bring shame to our family much more than I already have, but Cousin, what if this man is the one who can free me from this curse? Oh, cousin, it has been a long twelve years and I long to be clean. Maybe if I touched him just once, could he free me?
With a deep longing for your return and companionship, your cousin, Veronica.