Capernaum, a city on the North West shore of the Sea of Galilee isn’t really far from Cana, but Jesus and His Team still decided to take a flight for the short trip.
As I arrived at the Julius Caeser Local Airport in Galilee, I looked round with keenness. It was my first time in an Airport, and definitely it will be my first time on an airplane, so it was worth looking forward to. I was in just about the right time – Jesus said I should be there by the third hour, and here I was, 8:58am by my Rolex watch, two minutes before the time; I had made it!
As I alighted from the chartered taxi and tried to start my search for where The Crew (as we were called at that time) could be, I heard a loud shout to my left “Christosin! Over here.” l Iooked, and my guess was right, it was Peter. “Huh! Lousy Peter” I thought. “And this man is married with two kids?” I shook my head as I smiled and walked towards them.
Jesus immediately stepped out from among them to receive me. “Guys,” He said, as He gave me a pat on the shoulder. “Here’s our new man, Christosin. I asked him to join us immediately on this mission. I am glad he made it.”
I smiled and looked at Him from head to toe as He concluded His short speech. He was back in His customary blue suit, though this time, not a Tuxedo. He was wearing a fitted Silhouette with a neat, shiny pointed shoe to match.
“Hmmmm!” I thought, “this Jesus has a good fashion sense. And He isn’t even married!”
He looked at me as I thought of that. Obviously, He had read my thoughts again. I winked at Him and smiled. Then I went on to give a handshake to the members of The Crew that I saw, about 20 of them, as Jesus introduced them to me, one after the other. Some, we shared knuckles, jammed shoulders as guys do, though most were older than me.
I warmly shook the hands of the females, about three of them, including Mama Mary. Then I came to the last of them, and he stretched out his arms to give me a hug.
I wondered at first why his was different, but yet I accepted the warm hug. Then he said “Hey, I am John, the one Jesus dearly loves”, in his tiny voice. I looked at Jesus, who gave a friendly grin, as he tilted his head to a side, looked back at John and nodded with a response “Yeah, I have heard of you, and seen you from afar too. It’s so good to finally meet you”.
He was about my age, say 19, maybe even younger. I had finished the University quite early. Immediately, I felt at home with him because the age gap between us wasn’t much. It was obvious that he was the youngest of them all, maybe now it makes the two of us. He was skinny, hairy and a little shorter than me. He looked cool and gentle.
“That’s my kind of guy” I thought, as I sized him up without him noticing. We quickly bonded, he held my hand as we took a short walk and began to share our backgrounds. The others just watched on, not like they really cared. He shared about his childhood with me, I did mine too.
Just as we were getting into the discussion well, we were interrupted by Peter’s loud voice “Hey guys, time to go.” We reluctantly stood up from where we were sitting around the flowers. I figured they had purchased my flight ticket and we proceeded to the Departure section.
Seemed it was a special kind of flight, as I would discover from subsequent flights that I was meant to go check in with my ID card, International Passport or any valid form of identification, two hours before boarding. But I did none of those at the Check-In point. Here, I just skipped those protocols and kept strolling in with them; didn’t know though, as it was my first time, like I said earlier.
My luggage was handy, not heavy, so there was no need to take it through the Check-In point and keep with other luggage. I just tucked it in the luggage section at the top, in the Cabin, when we entered the plane.
We passed through the necessary protocols at the Departure section; our flight was announced, we marched in, did the necessary security and safety measures, and soon we were airborne. Somehow, John’s seat was next to mine, though mine was closest to the window. I had a good view from inside, as I felt ecstasy at my first airplane ride.
Not long after take-off, I was lost in thoughts, while still looking out through the window. They were the same thoughts I had earlier today, the thoughts of leaving my all behind, my carefully planned life, and following Jesus. I was still trying to digest them.
I determined to send my Dad a text immediately we land, seeing we had been instructed to put our phones off by the Air Hostess and other instructors. I was going to apologize to him for wasting his efforts over me and choosing another path. It was a tough choice but despite all, I wanted it.
“You look extremely worried” came in John’s soft and tender voice, as the Air Host and Hostess began to serve light refreshments. I looked carefully to my left, my eyes met his.
He looked really concerned about me. “Never mind” I said as I smiled. He insisted. Then I opened up to him what my fears were. Hespoke to me extensively, told me that he was a fisherman, and was a disciple of the John that baptized
people in water; before he stopped following him, after John told them that he was not the Christ.
“On that fateful day when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John,
“Who are you?’
“He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.”
“Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?”
“No,” he replied.
“Are you the Prophet we are expecting?”
“Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?”
John instead replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah – “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the LORD’s coming!”
Then the Pharisees who had been sent asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do
you have to baptize?”
(An Adaptation from John 2:12)
CHRISTOSIN – Nigeria