#WednesdayWalk—Searching the Night Sky

“But Judas of Galilee, he gives me hope. His words are compelling,” the man told me.

I stared at him from across the camp fire, watching his face glow with orange and yellows from the flame. His face was filled with expectation, a desire to find the Messiah—so much so that he seemed too eager to follow anyone. I hesitated to say anything about what I encountered yesterday.

“I have heard about this Judas,” I said. “He was stirring up the crowds that came into town for the census.”

“He is drawing some people to him,” the man explained. “His words are so convincing. He seems to speak truth.”

“How do you know?” I questioned, eyeing him with suspicion. He looked on the verge of tears.

“I have nothing but hope left. If I lose that…”

“It seems you want to believe him, but something is stopping you.”

My voice trailed off as he sat there looking at me. Only the crackling fire broke the uneasy silence.

“But others are following him…,” he finally said.

“The words of men can be so deceptive, so compelling,” I said. “They know what we want to hear. They entice us with cleverly crafted words.”

“But how do you know if what he speaks is truthful?”

I paused and lowered my gaze into the fire, watching the flames lick up and down. I followed a tiny ember as it rose above the flames into the night sky and watched the orange glow contrasted against the dark. I returned my gaze to the man, his face filled with eagerness to know the truth.

“Yesterday three magi from the east were In Jerusalem asking where they could find the King of the Jews who was born. They said they saw His Star in the east and that they wanted to worship him.”

“King of the Jews? A new born… the Messiah as a baby? And why would magi want to worship a baby? That doesn’t make any sense.”

“I know, but I saw the magi. I saw their determined faces and felt the longing in their heart. They were not following a man’s words. Something was motivating them from deep within their souls.”

The man stared at me. “I do not see that in this man Judas.”

We sat in silence for a moment, listening to the crackling fire. Then I caught the man looking up at the sky, at the stars above. I joined his skyward gaze, searching the night sky.

© 2023, Chris G. Thelen

#WednesdayWalk Through the Bible — an exploration of what unknown people might have seen or felt when they witnessed the events in the Bible. This post is from the perspective of a man who saw the magi in Jerusalem (Matthew 2:1-2)—who later encounters a man who heard Judas of Galilee as mentioned in Acts 5:37-39.

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