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Malachi of Bethsaida
by Cecelia Lester
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Malachi of Bethsaida

“Malachi, it’s time to take lunch to your father,” Malachi’s mother, Anna, said.
Malachi stopped playing with his baby brother. He had his tenth birthday two months earlier. Then his father, Elijah, said that it was about time for Malachi to start learning the fishing trade. Their family had been fishermen for a long time. Malachi’s
grandfather, Samuel, had recently had to stop working with Elijah. Samuel was becoming more and more lame.
Anna filled the pouch with five small loaves of barley bread and two small fish. Malachi tied the pouch with its strings on the sash he wore over his shoulder and across his chest. Anna bid him a safe walk. Samuel asked God to go with him. The baby looked at him and cooed.
On the edge of the village Malachi stopped and looked back towards home. He did not like this part of the chore. The walk was long--the weather, hot and dry. The children who lived nearby were busy with their own chores at home. His father started out doing this for Samuel, just as Malachi was doing now.
On this particular day, Malachi was walking along, watching the birds fly through
the air and land in the bushes up on the hills. As he was walking around a certain curve in the road, Malachi saw a huge crowd of people, filling the valley between two small hills. Up on one of the knolls stood a group of men. On of these men was talking to the crowd.
Malachi moved closer to the crowd of people. He tried to get even closer to see and hear. The people were amazed.
“He healed the blind beggar.” “He gave sight to the blind.”
“He allowed the lame man to walk.”
“He doesn’t need his crutch. All this healer did was lay his hands on him.”
“Who is he?”
“They say he is Jesus, an itinerant preacher from Capernaum.”
“He is from God.” some said.
“He’s got demons in him,” others said.
All at once men who traveled with the healer came down through the crowd, fanned out through the people and talked to them. As Malachi watched, one of them came up to him and asked a question.
“Might you have some food to share with these people?”
“I’ve got my father’s lunch, a couple of fish and five small barley bread loaves.” Malachi answered.
“Come with me, I’ll take you to meet the Master.”
Malachi followed the man through the crowd and up to the top of the knoll.
“Master, this lad has five small loaves of barley bread and two small fish.”
“Son, my name is Jesus. What is your name?”
“Malachi, son of Elijah, son of Samuel!”
“I’m honored to meet you. Could you let us have your food for some of these people to eat?”
Malachi thought about it and decided that his parents would want him to share with these people.
“Bless you, my son!” Jesus accepted these loaves and fish, held them up in his hands with his arms extended. He looked up to heaven and asked the Lord Almighty to bless this food and to bless the giver.
Those helping Jesus circulated through the crowd passing out the food. Then they came back through the people, collecting what was left. Each of the Master’s helpers had a full basket of broken,left over loaves of bread.
Malachi went on down the road to the seashore. Elijah was waiting for him; the boat already was moored. Malachi told him about the crowd, about the Master and about the stories of healings and the Master’s request for the lunch Malachi was bringing him. They worked side-by-side mending the nets and sorting the days catch It was getting late.Elijah decided it was time to start home.
“That’s the place where the people were and the Master was up on that little knoll over there.” Malachi excitedly told his father as they passed the spot.
“The Master blessed the food and asked the LORD to bless me, too." Malachi told
His father. He was feeling very good about how he could help Jesus.
“Let’s hurry on, son. It’s getting dark and your mother will have supper waiting for us,” Elijah said, as he quickened his steps.
When the two of them got to the door of their home, they could hear shouting and joyous singing. Anna came in from the kitchen and told them the news.
“Samuel has been healed. He can walk without his crutches or his walking stick. It’s a miracle!”
“Praise God, now our son has something to tell you.” Elijah said.
Anna listened intently to her son.
“Our meal is ready. Samuel helped with the preparation of it. He is so thankful that he can walk.” The family sat down to their evening meal and celebrated the good news of Samuel’s healing and of Malachi’s meeting and assisting the Master.

The End

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