Okay. This is really cutting the late line. 😦 The assignment was to give either our main protagonist or antagonist give a speech. And since Jairus is NOT really the type to speak publicly, I went with Mordecai because he is the closest one person I have to an antagonist. This scene could technically fit in the early morning before chapter 2….
Gulls screamed overhead. The crowd of began to disperse as teacher walked down beach towards the boats of Simon and Andrew several stones’ throw away. Fishermen started to spread out their nets to untangle and mend for the day. Blacksmiths and weavers started back into town for their work. Mordecai, the sandal maker, looked measuredly around at these dozens of fellow Jews leaving the beach like the receding waves, going back to the ocean of life. How could they walk away after what they had just heard this teacher say? He turned to the Jonas the cheesemaker beside him. “What do you think of this Jesus, man?”
The cheesemaker looked at him blankly. “Why do you ask?”
“Reuben! Abihu!” Mordecai called to two fishermen a few yards away. “What do you say to Jesus?”
A few other heads close by turned to look at the speaker.
“Men!” the sandal maker commanded their attention. “Men of Capernaum! Men of Israel! Men of God’s chosen people! What do you think of this Jesus?” His black eyes surveyed the faces around him expectantly.
“He’s a good teacher,” one of them nodded.
“A good teacher?” Mordecai echoed questioningly. “Yes, but is he nothing more? Can you not sense the fire in his words, men?” He answered the rhetorical question. “His words stir! They stir ever span of your heart, of your soul, your mind and your strength. You are men of this sea,” he looked at the two fishermen. “You can sense when a ripple is swelling into a wave.”
They nodded in reply. “Do you sense the ripple in this Jesus’ words? Can you feel the wave coming when he speaks of the kingdom of God?”
“What are you getting at, Mordecai?” a man asked, crossing his arms, but looking intently at the sandal maker.
Mordecai’s passion and charisma swept through the small knot of listeners around him. “Listen, men of Israel. You know in your hearts you are asking the same question. Could Jesus of Nazareth be the deliverer? Could he be the Messiah? Surely he could deliver us from Rome. His voice is power. The reason Israel has never been able to regain her freedom before is that she has never been united. There are too many factions, too many bands with zeal, but without unity. But this Jesus could unite us. He could unite Israel through his words of truth and victory.” He leaned forward, searching each set of eyes around him.
“When we are unified, we are stronger,” he continued. “As Solomon wrote, ‘Though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.’ Together, led by this man of power, of fire, we could withstand. We could not be easily broken.” Mordecai increased his volume with each snapping link of the chain. “We could find our freedom. Once again, we could be God’s holy nation!”
Something of hope’s fire flashed in a few of the gathered men’s faces. The screaming gulls overhead echoed the battle cry.