‘Oma’, comments Summer the next morning. ‘I miss Jesus.’
‘Yes dear, I do too. And the angels miss Him. Who do you think misses Him the most?'
‘His Father’, she answers.
‘Yes, they are very close’, replies Oma. ‘Remember how hard it was for the Father to allow His Son to come down to earth?’
‘Yes, I feel sorry for the Father’, states Summer. ‘His love is so great, not only for His Son, but for us too.’
‘You are right.’
'Oma, I’d love to see the Father.’
‘Yes Summer, it would be wonderful. Maybe when Jesus comes back to earth to take us to heaven we will see Him, but we must be satisfied with knowing He loves us. Now dear, it is time to meet Jeannette and Kevin. Are you ready for our journey?’
Soon all four make their way through the nebula of Orion to the holy city.
At the tree of life, Yosfi and Caph are waiting.
‘Hello children and Oma. Meilon and Betil will meet you at the garden of roses.’
Summer and Jeannette look at each other. ‘More roses!’
‘Oh’, laughs Jeannette, ‘I can smell the perfume already.’
When they see the garden, the girls long to spend time wandering through the roses.
Meeting Meilon and Betil, Summer ventures to ask, ‘Can Jeannette and I enjoy the roses for a while?’
‘Yes, you can do that’, answers Betil.
‘We will talk to Kevin.’
The girls hurry off in great excitement.
‘Look Summer, look at these roses.’
‘Oh, they are magnificent.’
The girls are thrilled with the garden. ‘Heaven is such a wonderful place’, says Jeannette.
‘How can there be so much beauty? It amazes me.’
‘Summer, I want to stay in this garden.’
‘Me too, but I think we need to remember that Jesus is down on earth right now.’
‘Yes, and He is going to die’, says Jeannette.
The girls are concerned about wanting to enjoy themselves among the roses when Jesus is going through His big trial.
‘Maybe we should go back to Meilon and Betil.’
‘Yes, I guess we should.’
They walk slowly through the roses, stopping every now and then to smell the perfume.
Meanwhile Meilon and Betil have asked Kevin what he has been reading in the Bible. Kevin explains that Jesus had asked him to have his Dad read some stories of the children of Israel.
‘Kevin, what did you learn from the stories?’ asks Meilon.
Betil adds, ‘Do you think the children of Israel were strong in their faith?’
‘No’, replies Kevin. ‘All they did was complain.’
‘Do you think that is a problem?’ asks Betil.
‘It got them in big trouble’, says the boy.
Meilon pries Kevin a little. ‘Does it sound nice to hear a person complaining all the time?’
‘Nup’, answers Kevin.
‘What do you think it tells you about the person?’
Kevin thinks a moment, then states, ‘I suppose it shows they don’t trust God.’
‘Have you heard people complain like the children of Israel?’
Kevin is quiet. He looks at the ground and a smile creeps over his face. He looks at the angels and says, ‘Yes, I have. It’s me.’
‘Kevin, do you complain?’ asks Betil.
‘Yes’, answers Kevin, ‘and I think that is why Jesus told me to read those stories. He said to remember them and asked if I noticed anything in particular. Well, I did, the people complained.’
‘Do you think Jesus wanted you to think beyond the children of Israel?’ questions Meilon.
‘I guess so.’
‘Well son, if you learned that lesson it is very good, but you need to make a decision about it. You can learn in your head, but then forget it. You need to make a decision that it becomes a part of your life. Do you know how to do that?’
‘No’, he replies. ‘Remember what you have been taught about having the Spirit in your heart, on the inside? That is what you need.’
‘I suppose I need to surrender.’
‘Yes Kevin. Will you do that now?’ ‘
Okay. I’ll go and pray, and then I can tell Jesus His Spirit is in my heart.’
Kevin walks away from the angels and kneels down. He pours out his little heart to God, confessing that he has failed to surrender. He says he wants to, and asks God to forgive Him and cleanse Him from sin.
‘And God, please give me your Spirit so it can change me on the inside. I want to be ready when Jesus comes to earth again. Please teach me how to live better, and not complain. Amen.’
When the girls arrive back, they notice Kevin is not with them.
‘Where is Kevin’, asks Jeannette.
Meilon answers. ‘He is alright. He has just gone aside to pray.’
‘Did you enjoy the roses?’ asks Betil.
‘Oh yes, but we thought it was not good to be enjoying the roses while Jesus is beginning His ministry on earth, so we came back.’
The angels smile, and Meilon says, ‘I know Jesus would be pleased with your decision. As soon as Kevin returns, you will see the baptism of Jesus in heaven’s imagination.’
John is standing in the River Jordan calling the people to repentance. He has baptised many at the riverside, but there are others who stubbornly refuse to surrender.
John notices a young man at the edge of the river. It is Yeshua, but the baptiser does not know him. He cannot take his eyes off the Prince of heaven.
‘This man is different’, says John to himself. ‘His face is so pure. He is not sin-hardened like many who have come to be baptised.’
Jesus meets John in the middle of the river.
Looking intently at Him, the baptiser thinks, ‘This must be the Messiah.’
Yeshua asks, ‘Will you baptise Me?’
John is shocked. If this is the Messiah, it should be the other way around. ‘I should be baptised of you’, says John.
‘Let it be to fulfil all righteousness’, affirms Yeshua.
Humbly John agrees and baptises Him.
As soon as Jesus comes up out of the water, a shaft of light falls from heaven upon His head, then taking the form of a dove, alights upon His shoulder.
It is the sign. ‘This is the Messiah’, utters John with great joy in his heart.
He then raises his voice and announces to the crowd, ‘Behold the Lamb of God.’
‘Oh, it is wonderful’, says Summer.
‘Yes’, answers Betil. ‘Our Commander has now been anointed with the Father’s Spirit, officially beginning His ministry as the Messiah.’
‘But there is more. Watch’, adds Meilon.
Jesus walks out of the water and kneels on the bank of the Jordan River. He prays in the hearing of the people who listen in awe. Never have they heard such a prayer.
When He has finished His prayer, Jesus remains on His knees and listens to His Father speak from heaven.
‘This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.’
Jesus rejoices in His Father’s approval and the presence of
His beams of light. John hears the words and understands. A few others hear the affirmation of God’s Son, but not everyone hears a voice. Most only hear thunder.
Satan has heard the Father’s words, and he is angry.
‘God might be proud of His Son’, he seethes, ‘but I am going to mess things up.’
Satan watches Jesus rise from His knees and sees Him walk towards the wilderness.
‘What is He doing?’ he thinks.
‘Hey master, why is He going into the wilderness?’ asks Toga.
‘I have no idea, but I am going to keep track. You all stay here and I will follow Him.’
Kevin asks the first question. ‘Why did Jesus go into the wilderness?’
Meilon explains. ‘The Spirit of God directed Him to go to where He would be alone to think about His ministry and to pray for strength to fulfil it.’
Speaking to Betil, Meilon reminds Betil of the prayer of Jesus on the river bank.
‘Oh yes’, responds Betil. ‘We all wanted to answer our Commander’s prayer, but the Father told us to not do anything. He Himself would answer it.’
Meilon adds, ‘Our Master would rather hear His Father confirm His ministry.’
Jesus spends forty days in the wilderness. He fasts from both food and water, which makes His time more difficult.
It is very hot during the day and very cold during the night. God’s Son has no covering to shield Him from the burning sun or to place over His body while He sleeps.
Satan is watching in the shadows.
When Jesus is totally famished, the devil makes a sudden appearance.
‘Hey, if you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread.’
Jesus looks at the angel and without a word repeats the Scripture, “It is written, man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
Satan is furious. He was certain Jesus would crumble under the pressure of starvation.
As he slinks away, the devil says to himself. ‘Okay, I lost that one, but not the next. I will be more subtle. I will quote Scripture…. that will trap Him.’
The devil appears before Jesus again. He begins with his statement of doubt. ‘If you are the Son of God…’
He is hoping he can make Jesus forget He is God’s Son. Only then could he have hope of victory.
Satan then takes Jesus to the top of the temple. ‘Jump down’, he suggests. ‘For it is written, “He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up…”’
The devil exults in his cleverness. ‘This will get Him’, he says under his breath. Jesus looks at the fallen angel a moment, then says, ‘It is written again, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”’
Fuming, the devil turns on his heel and departs. Satan realises there is no point in trying to make Jesus forget He is God’s Son. He knows who He is.
There is only one more way to get Him.
He has worked out from the Bible that the Son has come to take the world from his hands through much suffering. ‘I will offer Him an easier way to win the world back and He won’t need to suffer’, muses Satan. ‘But in the end, He will worship me. That’s what I want. Ha! This will do it.’
Satan takes Jesus to a very high mountain, and with deception, reveals the cities of the world. All the sin and sorrow have been hidden from sight.
In a most charming manner, the devil bargains, ‘All of these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’
The answer is immediate. ‘Get thee hence Satan: for it is written, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”’
Jesus will only worship God. Fuming, the devil leaves, a defeated foe.
‘Hooray’, says Kevin. ‘Jesus defeated the devil.’
‘And did you notice how He did it?’ asks Betil.
‘Yes’, say the children together. ‘He quoted the Bible.’
‘And guess what’, rejoice Meilon and Betil together. ‘We were allowed to go down and bring Him food and water to drink.’
The children are happy that their angel friends were privileged to help Jesus. ‘Children, we will continue the ministry of Jesus tomorrow’, announces Meilon.
‘We will be back’, replies Kevin with enthusiasm.