He was beginning to establish quite a following. There were a number of men who left their jobs and families behind just to be part of this work my son was starting. His cousin, John, had laid the groundwork by baptizing those who were burdened with sin. All that was required was their repentance.
It was a new message for those who listened. People had been bound by the law and the ritual established over the centuries. These traditions and laws were constant reminders of the covenant God had established with us. They were our way of serving God, trusting Him and keeping His commandments, but they were rules that couldn’t be kept – even by the staunchest of believers. There was no sacrifice or offering that could pay the price for sin. We were all slaves to it.
My boy grew up with these traditions, but he knew them better than any other rabbi I’d ever heard. Even as a child, his words resonated with people. It was as if he had written them himself.
Now he shared a new message with those who listened. He talked about a kingdom not of this world – complete payment for sin – life after death.
Pretty soon he had a number of followers. They were from many walks of life – mostly fisherman – a tax collector – one who managed the financial affairs – but they all dropped what their lives held and followed him. This inner circle of friends would become part of a much bigger group. It didn’t take long and people were coming to hear his words – to be healed by him – to have demons removed – to gain insight and learn.
Many thought he was the Messiah – the king they longed for – the second David, come to rule and make them the powerful nation they once were. He was so much more than that.