I had a dream. I saw a man step away from several people following him as if he needed a minute to think something over. He approached me.
"Hello, sir. Are you from around here?"
I said "No. How can I help you?"
"I am considering a trip to Jerusalem off that way."
"I believe I can promote my message about the coming of the Kingdom there."
"What Kingdom is that?"
"Why, the Kingdom of God. It's coming very soon."
"If God is coming, what is the problem?"
He motioned to the followers off at a distance. "One of them may tell the authorities a lie about me and get me killed."
"What is the truth about you?"
"I just want to tell people to keep the Jewish laws so they will be ready for the Kingdom."
"What is the lie?"
"The lie is that I say I am the Son of God."
"Is that a capital crime here?"
"Yes it is. I wish to carry on my ministry. I have no interest in dying."
"What is wrong with not going there?"
"I would miss the chance to tell people about the Kingdom."
He paused and said, "What would you do?"
"Well consider the natural consequences of each choice."
"One -- you avoid Jerusalem. You keep with your ministry and gain new followers in other towns. Then either the Kingdom of God comes, in which case you and your followers live well, or it does not come during your lifetime and you die with dignity and are perhaps seen as a prophet."
"Two -- you go to Jerusalem. One of your followers betrays you to the authorities and they put you to death. After your death, anything could happen because you will have been martyred. Your followers, who will miss you, could start a story that you came back to life. Along with some other embellishments, the story could snowball into a new religion that billions of people will practice."
"A new religion? I am a Jew. I don't want people to make up stories about me."
"Then it sounds like you have made your decision."
"Yes, I have. Thank you for your help, sir."
"One last thing. Why don't you write a book in your own handwriting about your beliefs? I bet a lot of people would find them interesting."
"That would be a good idea."
The picture in my mind began to blur as he walked back to his followers.
Coexist by Random Viewpoints