Jude watched as Jesus climbed the mountain in the desert. After His baptism, Jesus told all He was led by the Holy Spirit of God to go directly into the wilderness and fast for forty days. Jude watched Him intently because he was concerned about his oldest brother, whom he had always felt the deepest connection to.
His remaining brothers, James, Joseph and Simon, said Jesus was crazy. Who would one go out into the wilderness of the desert mountains for forty days without food or water? He has lost His mind! Jude also heard Jesus say He would be tempted by an evil force to prove He was, as he claimed to be, the Son of God. Maybe He was crazy, or even worse, an imposter.
Jude adored his oldest brother as he was growing up. Jesus had been the voice of reason, and taught Jude about God. He told Jude of His special love for Him, and often said God had great plans for them both in the future. He was also the finest of carpenters, making the most beautiful things with His hands.
Jude had to prove to himself Jesus was neither crazy nor an imposter. So every night he took a cloak and climbed up the mountain and perched in a place out of sight and secretly watched the actions of his brother. He stayed very still and quiet so as not to be noticed.
Jesus took no food or water at any time, but He prayed continuously. His prayers were sincere and heartfelt. He often cried, and Jude noticed He repeated the word ’Father’ many times.
“Dear Father, I live only to know your will for me!”
There was a powerful but wistful manner about Jesus, and he seemed not to be weak or hungry from a lack of food or water. A glow surrounded Him as He walked alone, asking God for a cleansing of spirit and declaring His great love for Him…
A dark, sinister spirit of a man appeared one night and tried to get Jesus to turn stones into bread and eat, but He refused. The man talked Jesus down the mountain and when they came back, the stranger was distraught. He offered to make Jesus the ruler of the entire kingdom, if He would only turn away from God and bow to him, but Jesus would not be swayed.
Jesus seemed not to be bothered by the bitter cold at night. His only need was to fast and pray, and then He would raise His head as if listening for an answer. Jude did not hear a response from heaven until the thirty ninth day, when he heard God repeat the words He had spoken the day of Jesus’ baptism;
“You are my beloved Son; in you I am well pleased.”
On the eve of the fortieth day, as Jude climbed up the side of the mountain his foot slipped, knocking rocks down the side of the mountain.
“Are you all right?” A voice called out.
Jude hid behind a bush, afraid.
“Do not be afraid, Jude, it is I, Jesus.”
“How did you know it was me? I have stayed hidden!”
“I know who you are, Jude. You are my youngest brother, son of our mother Mary, and I have known of your presence here every night.”
Jude stepped closer to meet Jesus face to face. “James, Joseph and Simon say you are crazy; I had to see for myself!”
“So, our brothers do not yet understand. Do you think I’m crazy?”
“No! I now know who you are! I have seen you here and heard God speak. You are His Holy Son! I will live to tell the world the truth of you!” Jude then flew into His brother’s open arms.
Jesus and Jude spent the night talking. They spoke of their great love for their mother, and an understanding of their three brother’s current lack of faith. Jesus talked to Jude of living a life of servitude to the Father, and bringing hope and healing to those with lost causes.
At sunrise, Jesus rose and said, “My fasting is over, Jude, and the angels have brought food. Come now, and share a piece of my bread with me!”
John 6:35 -- And then Jesus said “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”
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