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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)

TITLE: You and father never spank him; never yell at him; you treat him like he can do no wrong
By Preacher Johnson
05/07/08


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“Mother, I don’t want to go back.”

“James, you know we have to. Somehow your brother is not with the group. He must be back in the city. We must go back to find him.”

“Why?”

“James, don’t be disrespectful to me. He is your brother.”

“You and father never spank him; never yell at him; you treat him like he can do no wrong.”

Mary and Joseph’s eyes meet and both of them wonder if it is time to tell ten-year-old James about his older brother. Joseph bends to one knee, looks into his first born’s eyes and says: “James, there are things about your brother that you are not old enough to understand. One day, your eyes will be opened and you will know why things are the way they are.”

The boy looks to the ground, moves some dirt around with his foot. “Yes father.”

Three years later, Joseph and James are at work in Joseph’s wood shop. James seems to have something bothering him.

“Who broke the hammer?”

“Why don’t ask Jesus?”

“If he broke the hammer, I’m sure he would have told me.”

“Father, I don’t understand and I’m tired of it.” The young teen stops talking, a little bit fearful.

“Go on.”

“Whenever something breaks, whenever something has gone wrong, whenever someone disobeys; you and mother never ask Jesus about it, and you never blame him for anything. You always come to me or Joses or Simon or even little Judas or one of the girls but you never go to him.

Father I’ve heard the talk around town, how mother was with child before you two were married. Do you not punish him because he is not yours?” Wishing he had stopped his tongue before it ever go started, James waited for his father’s response.

“Sit down James.”

Joseph pulls over a chair, wraps his muscular carpenter’s arm around his son, “Son, do you remember what the prophet Isaiah tells us of a virgin having a son.”

“Yes father.”

“James, Isaiah is speaking of your mother and your brother. Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.”

James looks at Joseph with mystified eyes. Even as virtuous as his parents are, believing that there was some sort of sin in their past would have been easier to believe than this. “My brother, Jesus is the Messiah?”

“Yes, James he is.”

“May I be excused father?”

“Yes.”

James rises to his feet, walks to a nearby Juniper tree, sits and stares into the heavens that his brother created.

Years later, James is now a man and with his mother, sisters and other brothers following he shoves and pushes his way through the crowd. “Stand aside. We are his family. I am his brother; move over; I have his mother, sisters and brethren with me. We desire to speak to him; step aside.”

“Mother, it is no use. We will never get in there. We will have to wait for . . . ”

“James is that you?” Comes a voice from inside the room where Jesus speaks.

“Yes, it is I. Mary and the rest are with me. We need to speak to Jesus.”

Looking in through the door way James and the family see a man stand upon a table and yell, “Master, behold, your mother and brethren stand without, desiring to speak to thee.”

“Who is my mother? And who are my brethren?”

Jesus points to the assembled crowd, “Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

James’ face turns red, his fists clinch, he spins looking at Mary, “Woman, do you hear that? He does not acknowledge us! He asks who we are and claims others as his family. Who does he think he is?”

Time continues to pass, now, James gazes into the sky that his brother made, sitting under the same Juniper tree he sat under the day Joseph told him Jesus was the Son of God. Memories of their childhood, how Jesus never did do anything wrong, his life, the miracles, the sermons, his crucifixion and now rumors of his resurrection pour through his mind like a waterfall. Could it be true? What they say could it all be true?

“James.”

James recognizes the voice. Still seated he turns and looks into the eyes, of not just his older brother, but of his Saviour. James collapses to his face. “Yes, my LORD.”


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This article has been read 424 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Allison Egley 05/09/08
Oh, wow. This is really good. I've thought about what it would be like to be related to Jesus a couple of times. You really captured the feelings well.

My only suggestion, and it is a very, very small suggestion that has nothing to do with the story itself, would be to shorten the title a bit. :)

Great job.
LauraLee Shaw05/10/08
Great job with the topic. Some powerful lines in here.
Jan Ackerson 05/12/08
I really like the long title, and this very unique POV. I don't think I've ever considered what life must have been like for Jesus' siblings.

I think this would work better in past tense (just my opinion), and there are some small punctuation errors.

I enjoyed this look into James' life very much.
Debbie Wistrom05/14/08
Loved this POV.
It really makes one stop and think.

I could identify with the feelings of James as a child.

Well Done.
Sara Harricharan 05/14/08
Wow! So much going on here, all the quick shifts in time, etc. Very good, a different perspective here. Thanks for sharing this! Never thought to look at it that way. ^_^
Joanne Sher 05/14/08
Very creative take on the topic - and I LOVE seeing this from James' perspective. Nicely done.
c clemons05/14/08
Creative take on topic, a few errors with "ed" endings even in the title. I saw where you were going with the topic but it could use some smoothing out with the transitioning. A little more work and this could shine.
Helen Dowd 05/25/08
Oh! This is spectacular! Your long title inrigued me to read your entry. I was thinking, as I read your title, "Oh this is NOT a good title. It is far too long. Titles shouldn't be this length." But as I got into the story, I changed my mind. What imagination! What "reader-appeal"! You developed the story so well, and the conclusion brought tears to my eyes. Not too much is said about Jesus' siblings. So I am happy to read your well-delivered story...Helen
Gerald Shuler 12/16/08
Have you ever thought about when Jesus' siblings did something they shouldn't? Jesus wouldn't tattle to his parents. He would have told his sibling what had been done wrong and try to convince the guilty one to repent to the parents. No wonder James had a hard time accepting who Jesus really was.

Good story, good POV, well done.