Jesus the son of Herod

Jesus  the son of Herod
Arlette Codfried

The life story of Jesus the son of Herod, better known as the son of God, begins with his mother Mary, the only one who knows the truth.
Mary  was a beauty, she had looks and she was smart. She had good upbringing and she could read and write. In fact Mary loved to read. Her education entailed that she was bi-lingual understanding Hebrew as well as Roman.  Her descendants put her in a higher social class. In her roots were kings and priests. Her mother was the child of a merchant and her father was a rabbi in the local temple. Mary was often found in the neighborhood of the temple which hosted a library. She could totally lose herself in the things she read about and was often unaware of the time. This would worry her mother. ‘Where is Mary?’ She would ask her husband when Mary had been missing for the whole day again. Or if Mary would be late for dinner. Mary’s father would smile, ’Oh wife, she probably forgot the time again, I’ll go fetch her.’ He would go and find Mary emerged in a book. ‘Oh, hi dad, did I forget the time again, I’m coming!’ She would grab her father’s hand and gaily telling him what she has been reading they would reach home. ‘Darling, you have to mind the time more, aren’t you hungry? Come eat child before you pass out.’ ‘Oh mother, if you did not tend to me who would? Hmmm the meat is very tasty today, I love it, can I have some more?’ ‘Eat child, eat, you’re much too skinny, Jewish men like some meat on women’s bones.’ ‘There you  go again mom, I’m really not interested in these stupid boys, they bore me, nothing interesting to say and seldom willing to learn. I think I’ll keep to my books and become a teacher just like father.’  Mary had blossomed into a handsome young woman with a dreamy gaze with which she looked at her surroundings, mostly not aware of the attention she caught with her presence. If she wasn’t in the library she would take long walks by herself, always with a book and some snacks her mother made sure she had. She would pick out a spot, under a tree or near the water and sit and read and stare and eat. Like always, it could become evening before Mary came back to earth and haste home where her mother cussed her for being late and how dangerous it is to walk around alone as a woman after dark but then Mary’s father would sooth his wife. It was as if he knew that his daughter was special and she was destined for something great.
Sometimes he‘d gaze intensely at his child, then he would smile. He only had this child and he praised his Lord everyday for  blessing him with this treasure. To him Mary was worth more than ten sons, or as she would put it, stupid boys. They were often in deep conversation with each other, he could really converse with Mary about many things, she proved to have a sharp mind and was capable of deep thoughts. Her father couldn’t think of anything giving him more pleasure than to spend time with the apple of his eyes. In her way mother took care of father and daughter by making sure that they ate in time and could be comfortable at home.
Mary’s parents  were well-known for the clean and loving way they lived and behaved against each other and the people around them. Her father was well respected as a teacher and religious leader. Her mother was very sophisticated  for her time In her ways of running her household and raising her daughter. Though Mary had reached a proper age to start a family – which Mary showed no signs of interest for – she did not push her daughter to do her will but was secretly proud of having such a daughter  who stood on her own and seemed satisfied with gathering knowledge rather than breaking hearts. She and Mary were quite close. As far as mother knew Mary had no secrets for her parents. So life was good for Mary’s family. What happened next came totally out of the blues.
It was one of those days that Mary wandered out to the waterfront to pass the day sitting against a rock in the shade of some olive trees. Mary had a fluffy blanket, a siphon with wine and some bread and sausage with her together with a sharp knife to cut the sausage and bread when she was going to eat. Also she had with her, her favorite book role. The story by Nero about Moses, one of the founding fathers of Israel. Mary made herself comfortable, leaned against the rock, stretched her legs, even spread them a little, wiggled her toes and yawned. Yes, this was going to be a good day. She grabbed her book from her basket and was soon completely concentrated on the story forgetting everything around her. She must have dozed off for she was woken by a voice talking to her. ’Miss, miss can you tell which way it is to Nazareth? I’m quite lost and since you are the only one around I’m forced to intrude on you. There, there sorry I had to wake you?’ As Mary opened her eyes, she was staring in a handsome and well built guy’s eyes. For a moment she was at a loss. ’What on earth was this, who is this guy?’ she thought to herself while she collected herself. ‘What did you say?’ she almost barked to the guy, adjusting her clothes. He was looking down on her smilingly as he observed Mary, the pretty girl he stumbled on, while he was cruising through the country. Who was he, not anybody Mary knew, that was for sure. For a while they stared in each other’s eyes surveying each other. “ Can you tell me the way to the next village, which must be Nazareth? Are you from there?’ ‘Well, those are a lot of questions asked by a stranger but since you haven’t harmed me as yet I will show you the way to Nazareth. You see that hill over there if you reach that you go left till you see the herd of sheep of Nasser, when you have passed that you keep going straight and you will have reached my village. Okay?’ ‘Okay? But please what are you doing here all alone so far from home?’ he asked carefully. Mary was a bit taken aback by his directness. ‘I always come here’ she replied ‘My kin knows where to find me and besides there is usually nobody here. I kind of like to be alone. ‘ She felt good in his presence, it was like meeting a kindred soul.
‘So, what is your name?’ the stranger asked. Mary responded with the same question. “You’re the man,’ she said, so you go first.’’Well I own all of Israel you can call me Cale for now.’ ‘So that is not your real name, how can I tell you mine if you are not truthful?’ ‘Believe me I would love to tell you who I am but I just can’t so what about calling me Cale. ‘ ‘Okay, I’m Mary, but what are you doing in these regions, are you from here?’ No, Mary I’m from the capital, I’m just traveling around the country, to get to know Israel. I see you’re reading a book, which is it?’’It’s a book from Nero about Moses, you know one of the founders of Israel. Do you know it?’ ‘Yes, I’ve read it but it is in Roman do you understand that?’ Mary  said that she knew this language. ‘Do you like to read, why I ask this since it is not common among peasant girls.’ After she agreed with him she explained who she was and who her parents were. He listened attentively. Then he asked about what she was reading and soon he was intrigued by her lively way of acting and talking. As always Mary was not aware of the impression she made on him. She was happy to find such a good listener.  Herod, which was Cale’s real name, was totally concentrated on this dazzling girl.   He had promised his father that he would remain incognito on his quest to learn more about the kingdom. He became totally mesmerized with this young woman and forgot all about his quest and surroundings. ‘Shall we go, it is almost nightfall, you could bring me to Nazareth.’ Mary was again in the real world. ‘Yes, let’s go!’ After they almost reached the village she asked him to enter it five minutes after her so people would not think they were together. ‘There is an inn where you can stay, I can’t invite you to stay with us. My father  has gone to Jerusalem and my mother would not approve. But I can invite you to dinner.’ Okay, I see you around seven, I hope your kin will not mind.’ ‘No, they won’t’, Mary answered resolutely. He watched while she ran home. She must be late, he thought.
It was no problem to check into the inn. He got a room in the front where he could overlook most of Nazareth. He could even see Mary’s house. At seven he was present at Mary’s. ‘ Come in, come in, don’t be shy’, Mary’s mother beckoned him to come inside. ‘ Make yourself at home!’ He sat down and soon a table with food was put in front of him. Mary he saw after he had eaten most of his meal. ’Did it taste good?, she asked him. She had changed and had her meal in the kitchen before she joined her guest. ‘Mary you invited him, go sit with him.’ Her mother was completely surprised by this invitation. She never imagined her daughter to be so bold. He must have made quite an impression on her. Mary sat down next to Cale. Soon either of them was aware of where they were. Cale was hypnotized by Mary, he kept asking her questions about everything he could think of just to keep her by his side so he could lose himself in her eyes, gazing at her mouth which brought forth the most beautiful words. Never once did she question him, a flood that had been built up inside her came free. She couldn’t get enough of talking to him. He did not say much besides asking a lot of questions but what he said appealed to Mary.
She hadn’t been able to get his real identity out of him but she gathered that he was an educated person and wealthy maybe important, was he a prince? She did not dare to think that because it was mind bothering to think such a thing. She would just enjoy the moment and be fascinated by this beautiful stranger.    ‘Mary I want to see you again before I travel on’, he said at the end of the evening. ‘Yes, I would like that.’ Cale returned to the inn. The whole night he thought of a plan to abduct Mary . He could not get her out of his mind and as such was his habit, he had to have her. Cale was the son of the current King Herod. He had asked his father’s permission to roam around the kingdom in search of a wife. He had traveled for months now and everywhere he went he had met the most interesting girls for which he had conjured attraction. As he was used to getting his way he had always made sure that he tasted these girls before he would come to a decision of which one to take on as a wife. Mary was a gem, he was totally aroused by her beauty and intelligence. Maybe she was the one.
The next morning he rode his horse to where he had left his people and gathered with his men to discuss the plan he had conjured last night. Around  ten he was on the same place at the water to meet with Mary. She came racing to the spot. Her mother was full of questions this morning. She made sure that Mary had breakfast and was wearing clean clothes. ‘Mary, why such haste, it looks like you are going to meet someone. Is it that guy from last night?’ ‘ No, I just want to be there before it gets too hot.’ ‘Mary let me brush your hair, at least you will look good while you read. O yeah, have you packed your book?’ ‘Yes mom.’ ‘Don’t forget your snacks and wine and take two cups, maybe I’ll join you later.’ ‘You never come out there but no matter mom, I’ll see you later.’ Mary almost ran to the place by the water where she was prepared to wait as long as possible for Cale. ‘Hi Mary, where are you running to?’, Nasser who was tending his sheep yelled at her in passing. ‘Nowhere, see you later.’ When she arrived there she noted that Cale was already waiting for her. ‘Hey  Cale, I couldn’t come earlier. My mother was acting weird and wouldn’t let me leave. It took ages before I could close the door behind me.’ ‘It doesn’t matter Mary, you’re here now. ‘ Cale had spread a blanket. On the blanket was wine and two cups also some fresh goat cheese and bread. Mary sat down. ’Would you like some wine Mary?’ Cale was already pouring the wine. ‘Yes, please.’ Mary guzzled down the wine. Then she took a slice of bread with goat cheese that Cale handed to her.  After another glass of wine she started to feel snoozed.  Soon she lost consciousness. That was the moment Cale had waited for. He lifted Mary and beckoned his men who were hiding close by. They loaded Mary on a cart and took her to their tent. The women undressed her and put a Roman dress on her. They laid her on the bed. She came to.
A masked man was hovering over her. She fainted again. In her unconsciousness she felt that someone was touching her and entering her and a few times she would open her eyes and be aware of this masked man doing these things to her. Somehow it felt good, she felt aroused and moved her body to meet his while he possessed her. Somehow she couldn’t react differently. If she thought of pushing him away she was not physically able to do so. The whole thing seemed to last for hours. Then she was out cold. When she came to she was laying on her blanket on her familiar spot by the river. She was alone. It was almost evening and except a burning in her loins she was not feeling uncomfortable. Something told her that something had happened but she could not remember what. Wasn’t she supposed to meet Cale? Had she fallen asleep? She must have slept for a while, she thought to herself. It was obvious Cale hadn’t come. He probably had to leave suddenly for she couldn’t think of any other reason for him not showing up. It was late, she would go home and return the next day. Maybe he would show up to explain why he had stood her up the day before.
Mary was at the end of her wits. Cale had not showed up for two weeks. He promised to meet her again and he was not keeping to this promise. Her mother found that her daughter acted like a ghost these few weeks. She was not the Mary she knew. This Mary was obviously keeping a secret. What was bothering her daughter? ‘Mary, you are hardly going to the library lately. Even your father doesn’t know where you are most of the time. What is the matter?’ ‘Nothing ma, I just want to be by myself sometimes. I’m still reading the book about Moses.’ But in fact Mary was mooning over Cale. He hasn’t been back to meet up with her. She was desperate. Finally she had to admit to herself Cale was not coming back.
Herod went on. Now he knew Mary’s background he didn’t think she would be suitable to be his wife. He had gone through all the kingdom and had possessed a lot of women but as far as he was concerned none of them made the cut. After 6 months he was back home. ‘What did you decide son?’ his father asked.  ‘Well, I don’t think I should marry either of the women I met. I have to marry gentry, but there was a girl, Mary, who filled me with lust.’ ‘I will find you a suitable wife. Did you stay long enough at one place to notice if any of these women became pregnant?’ ‘To tell you the truth I did not.’ ‘But son do you know the treat this poses to our kingdom?’ Herod, the prince did not think this through. What was he to do? He decided to go to the Romans who were his allies. The governor frowned on what Herod had to say. ‘So in three months children of yours can be born? We are going to make sure none of these will be born. Do you know any names of these women?’ ‘Not really. I’ve not really paid attention, I thought they would see it as I do, no obligations. They were already married sometimes, except one. A virgin named Mary, she lives in Nazareth. ‘ Herod had confessed to all his adventures with women. For Mary the story just begun when she found out she was pregnant. ‘Mary why are you throwing up every morning didn’t you get your moon sickness?’ Her mother asked after her father had noticed that Mary was not well and asked his wife to talk to her. ‘Mary did you have relations with Cale?’ ‘No, mom. I don’t think so.’ Mary told her mother what she thought she has dreamt about her and a masked man who she suspected to be Cale. Some recollection had come back to her in visions that she mistook for dreams in which she had relations with a masked man of whom she had the impression that she had seen him before.
Mary’s father was befriended with the mayor of Nazareth. The mayor was a Roman of course. Mary’s father went to him for advice. ‘Romus, there are rumors that the young Herod was roaming the country some months ago. This would mean nothing but strangely enough my daughter is pregnant. According to her she had met a guy Cale by the riverside and they had talked, she even invited him for dinner. They agreed to meet the next day at Mary’s favorite spot but he never showed instead she had slept for almost the whole day. Look, I know my Mary, she is not one to have secrets for me or her mother and she wouldn’t carry on with some boy without letting us know so I think my daughter was drugged or something for she has completely no recollection of having had relations.’ Romus had given his friend time to finish talking, once in a while he nodded then he said:’ I’ve heard about this infamous trip of young  Herod. It is said that he was searching for a wife and had sex with a number of women, willingly or in this case unwillingly. I’ve heard that the Governor has promised Herod to eradicate as much as possible Jewish children that are born then. It is not in my hands to stop this rampage but I would advise you to keep your daughter save. This baby can’t be born here so send her away as soon as possible. There is talk of a census by the Roman Empire of the different local parts like Israel. You can use that as an excuse to send her somewhere else.
Don’t let anyone get wind of it and be very careful.’ The two friends parted. Mary was driving herself crazy because she still couldn’t think how she ended up with child. The doctor had confirmed that she was going to have a baby in about 6 months. She was now getting ready to go to her uncle and aunt’s house in another village where she would be less conspicuous because the villagers did not know her well and besides her aunt was also pregnant. The village was a 2 day’s card ride away. The reason for Mary’s departure her father gave to others was that she was going to help her aunt with the baby. She herself was not showing yet so nobody suspected anything. Her mother would have wanted to cry but she kept strong for Mary and smiled when she said goodbye to her beloved child. Her father brought her away because he had to personally confer with his brother in law who was the Rabbi of that place. When they arrived the men immediately retired to the synagogue. Mary’s father told the uncle the whole story. ’We’ll tell Mary that I lost my speech so I can’t reveal her secret by accident. Find her a husband and then send her as far away as possible from here before she has to deliver.
I see what I can do with my contacts. Oh lord, Mary is going to have a baby! Caleb, it is a bad situation but we will overcome. If this child lives we can have hope for a better future for Israel. He will be able to infiltrate in the royal family or something. So seen from that perspective it is a happy occasion, a blessing. Praise the lord.’ After they finished talking the men went back to the uncle’s home to have dinner and spend the night. The next morning Caleb said goodbye to his beloved daughter and left for home, leaving Mary with her aunt and uncle. Mary was sad in the beginning especially since  her uncle was unable to speak. Her aunt listened to her and talked to her. Told her not to worry. ‘It will be alright Mary, don’t be sad. Becoming a mother is a magical thing. Look how long your uncle and I have tried to conceive a child but for years nothing happened. We prayed to God and everything and finally I carry a child in me.
You are young and healthy so your baby will also be strong and healthy. Take good care of yourself and eat enough then it will be okay. We’ll take care of you.’ Mary soon found her peace of mind again. Her uncle gave her books to read and her aunt kept her busy with making baby outfits presumably for her aunt’s baby. When she was there for 2 months, her mother came to visit to see Mary and her sister. She told Mary about the plans she and Caleb made for Mary. They had found a friend of theirs who was a bachelor willing to marry Mary and take care of her during and after she’d have given birth. Mary knew Joseph since she was a child. He was a solemn and calm man, a few years older than her and a student of the Thora. He would be visiting her the following weeks and they were going to marry there at her aunt’s house. That would happen within 2 months. And so the son of God would soon be making his first appearance on earth by being born.
So in November Mary and Joseph were married. Her parents were both present and it was a blessed day. Mary almost forgot her sorrow and Joseph was a peach. He truly had fallen in love with Mary. He had visited her in the village of her aunt and decided not to leave her side for now. So he visited her whenever he could and they grew close. In fact, Joseph was the only one Mary could talk to about her situation. Soon her pregnancy was showing and Joseph grew proud of her for being so strong and decisive. So as agreed they headed to Bethlehem, presumably for the sake of the census but in reality to hide from Herod who was on a rampage to seek out the children who had been born during the ‘journey’ of his son. Joseph acquired a donkey which he loaded up with some personal belongings and Mary and set on to Bethlehem.
They said their goodbyes and went on their way. It was a one week’s ride to Bethlehem and they would have to seek a save place for Mary to give birth. In the meantime the mayor of Nazareth sent word to the Governor of Israel that there would be a chance to overthrow Herod’s rule if even one of these children was born. This incident could cause Herod his kingdom. The alleged father of these children, Herod the son, had gone on and married his cousin who already had a daughter. Mary’s father wasn’t without allies and he send word  to 3 kings he knew in foreign countries. Ghana, India and China were the countries where they came from. He had come to know them during  a visit they made to his village years back. He told them the story and about the danger his daughter and grandchild were in. He sent the messages by trusted courier and got word back that these kings would help his daughter and grandchild. They thought it would be a good thing to save these people because they did not agree to the Roman Empire and this situation might be a breakthrough in their struggle.
Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem on a Friday after a week of travelling. They did not dare to stay at any public place but through a friend they found a simple house where as was usual some animals were staying. Mary stayed inside as much as possible while Joseph would go to town to gather their meals. In two weeks the time came that Mary had to give birth. Joseph had found a midwife willing to help with the birth and after some pain and pushes Jesus was born. Word was sent to Nazareth that he was born and that all was well with mother and child. The 3 kings had been waiting to hear from Mary’s father and as soon as they heard about his birth, the three  set out to Bethlehem. They had presents for the parents and child. Gold,  Essence and Mirtle. To help them on their flight away from Herod and his morbid wishes.
Herod had sent soldiers to all parts of Israel his son had been. And when the soldiers found a newborn baby they killed it. But as the soldiers were Jews they agreed with the people to kill only if there was no lamb’s blood on the doors. Only those who did not get the message their children were killed in that time. Mary and Jesus were save and not long after the visit of the 3 kings the family continued their flight to another country where their child would be able to grow up in safety. They traveled on until they arrived in India. It was a month’s long journey especially with a newborn but they did not experience much trouble during their journey and most of all Mary and her son were alive and well.