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14 karat gold
by Julie Michaelson
03/29/10
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And,
this gospel
of the
kingdom
will be
preached
in all
the world
as a witness
to all the
nations,
and
then
the end
will come.
[Matthew 24:14]
***********************
It is a beautiful day,
along the Sea of
Galilee. Jesus and
His disciples are taking
a short rest; the smell of
cooking fish, and freshly
baked bread, just bought
at the midday market,
is in the sweet summer air.
The grass is soft and cool,
beneath their tired, bare feet.
Their dusty sandals lay about,
under the spotted sunlight
of the shady trees.
Hopping about, here and there,
are a few tiny birds:
searching for small crumbs,
from the delicious,
sweet-smelling,
fresh bread.

While the others are further
down the shore, a bit,
taking a short stroll,
Jesus comes over and sits down,
beside Peter. The disciple
is busy chewing on a piece
of cooked fish. He looks
up, and stops chewing for
a moment, when his Master
sits down.
__________________________
[GENTLE SMILE.]
"Here, Peter:
I have something to
show you."

(Peter sets the piece
of fish down. He wipes
his fingers, roughly,
on a small damp cloth,
after picking out
a tiny fishbone out,
from between his teeth.)
"What IS it,
LORD?"

(A very thin, braided chain
of gold slips down, from
His enclosed palm.)

(Peter's eyes look down,
squinting, curiously.
The piece of jewelry is obviously
very delicate, and well-made.
But, there is something odd about it;
each of the tiny rings of gold
is almost too clean, and smooth,
as if they had not been made
with imperfect human hands.
How very strange!
Peter reaches out, with his fingertips,
to touch the softly swaying,
unbelievably delicate chain.
He frowns, and then looks
up into his Master's face.)
"What IS this, LORD?
It is so............"
(Bark of laughter.)
"I have never SEEN anything,
like this! Where did You ever GET it?"

(Jesus smiles,
and lets more of the
gold chain drop, from
His opening palm.)
"It is not from our time,
Peter. It is from a different age:
where men will build
things, without using their
own hands."

(Peter allows the fragile-
looking, thread of gold
to lay across his work-roughened,
opened fingers. It was cold,
and reminded him of the delicate,
feathery touch of the webs
made by the spiders, that
one came across on the
slopes, up on the northern
hills of the countryside.)
"But....it is so FINE!
How can anyone MAKE
such a thing: without
using their own HANDS,
LORD? And.....WHO
could AFFORD such a THING....?
Not even,
KINGS....surely!"

[CHUCKLE!]
[SHRUG.]
"Where this comes
from, Peter.....such
things are quite COMMON."
[OPENS HIS HAND,
EVEN MORE.]
[HIS VOICE BECOMES
MORE SOLEMN,
AND SUBDUED.]
"But look,
Peter.
Look: very closely....
and quietly."

(Peter glances up,
at the sound of his
Master's voice. He
feels a slight chill,
in spite of the warm
summer's breeze. He
lets the chain drop
from his own fingers.)
"But, WHY..?
Then...You don't
wish me,
to TELL anyone?"

(Jesus looks into
His beloved disciple's
puzzled eyes. He
shakes His head.)
[QUIETLY FIRM VOICE.]
"No,
My Peter."

(Peter nods.)
"Yes...
very well.
But....what IS it,
My Lord?"

(Jesus lets the entire
thread of finely spun
gold slip, very slowly,
from His hand.
It doesn't fall to the grass,
though, because something
is keeping it anchored to
His palm; and, it too, is
made of very fine, thin,
oddly perfected,
sculptured gold.)

(Peter's curious eyes
suddenly widen to a glare,..
filled with absolute horror.
His strong, sea-weathered
face turns a sickly white.
His shoulders, once relaxed
after a warm afternoon's refreshment,
now become rigid and still.
His mouth opens slightly,
and his dry lips do not move.
Then, his eyes travel up to
his Master's calm Face.)
"Oh!
How HORRIBLE!
Is this...."
(Gulp.)
"...a piece of
JEWELRY? But,
HOW......?"
(Peter takes in a harsh
breath.)
"Oh, how HORRIBLE!
HOW could a person
WEAR...such a THING?"
(Peter grimaces: squinting
his eyes away from the
incredible thing. Then,
his lips curl, as if about
to vomit up his supper.
His hand reaches up to
cover both his disbelieving
eyes.)

[CALM, QUIET VOICE.]
"Look,
My Peter."

"LORD!
NO!
NO!"
(But Peter, used to
obeying his Master's Voice,
takes his hand away,
and glances down again,
at his Master's open hand.
Tentatively, his fingers
reach out to touch the
shiny, gold thing; then,
he stops, and moves his
hand away.)
"NO!
It is too HORRIBLE!
But....who would WEAR..
such a THING? SURELY,
not the ROMANS! Why,
WOULD they? WHY?
But, WHO? And,
WHY? HOW HORRIBLE!
NO!"

[QUIET VOICE.]
[NOD.]
"Oh, yes.
Yes, My Peter."

"NO! Not even
the HEATHEN...
would wear such a THING!
It is too HORRIBLE,
and SHAMEFUL!"
(Peter gets up, suddenly,
from the soft, green,
summer grass. His remainding
pieces of fish
and bread lie, growing cold,
under the shade of the
wavering branches.
Peter turns away from his Lord,
and leans one hand on
the rough bark of the tree,
as if about to bend over,
and heave whatever supper,
he has already eaten.)
"NO!
I don't BELIVE IT!
You MUST BE WRONG!
NO!
NEVER!"

[GENTLE VOICE.]
"No,
My Peter."

(Peter abruptly turns,
and kneels down,
before his Lord.)
"I KNOW...that,
You cannot be wrong!
Only.....WHO...?"

[TENDER SMILE.]
"Many,
MANY...of
My children,
Peter: all
over the world."

(Peter grimaces
again, and shakes
his head: dumbfounded.
He whispers,
almost to the point of tears.)
"But....WHY?
WHY,
LORD?"

[SOFT, GENTLE VOICE:
ALMOST A WHISPER.]
"Because...
of
Me."
*********************
Pilate
said to them,
'What then
shall I do
with Jesus
Who is called
Christ?'
They all said
to him,
'Let Him
be crucified!'
[Matthew 27:22]



If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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