“Was it bad, bubba?”

“They did not believe me,” Gamaliel said.  “I have failed.”

They were silent as Gamaliel shook his mind loose from the short, painful meeting.   He had not expected it to go well, but he hadn’t expected it to be such a disaster, either.

He turned his attention to Benjamin, his despair making him reckless, and he asked Benjamin a direct question.

“What is this secret you are hiding from me, my son?”

Benjamin trembled visibly, his face turning pale as he looked at his grandfather and then quickly away.

Gamaliel raised his eyebrows.  Was it so important?

Benjamin was quiet for a long time as they threaded their way slowly through the streets and Gamaliel respected his silence.

“Bubba,” Benjamin finally said, his voice tight, “I am a follower of Yeshua of Nazaret, the Maschiach.”

He went on rapidly. “The Maschiach has come and his name is Yeshua bar Joseph, descendent from David.  He was a marvelous Rabbi, but more than a Rabbi, although he was no Rabbi at all.”

Gamaliel could not help himself.  He turned away, unable to look Benjamin in the eye.  Benjamin grabbed his arm, trying to turn him around but Gamaliel freed himself and made his way to a stone bench where he could sit for a moment.

Bubba, you have to understand. . .”

But Gamaliel sat with his hands in his lap, his head bowed, his shoulders slumped forward and he would not look at his grandson.  This was the end.  He could take no more.

Benjamin took a deep breath.

“Grandfather, Yeshua of Nazaret is the Maschiach and he died for the sins of the world.”  It sounded like a creed he was reciting.  No doubt it was.

With his eyes tightly closed, Gamaliel sat in utter darkness as he heard his beloved grandson tell his story.  And his heart died a little more at every word.

*****

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The Temptations of the Cross by Bert A. Amsing
Copyright © 2012 by vanKregten Publishers. All rights reserved.
http://www.desertwarrior.net    info@desertwarrior.net

Footnotes and references included in original manuscript.