Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
It is seven weeks after the crucifixion of Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth by Pontius Pilate. All the poor of Jerusalem, who found in Yeshua their Messiah, go into hiding, but the word is spreading. Little by little the story is told: of Yeshua who came back after his death and of the Messiah who appeared to his disciples. The matter is hotly argued on all sides. The pious Jews cannot believe in a Messiah who was killed; the Messianists devoutly affirm their faith.
Saul of Tarshish and Joseph bar Naba come upon a street preacher, a rustic Galilean, who tells with great conviction of Yeshua’s return after he was entombed. Cries of belief and of repugnance interrupt his talk. Saul himself speaks with great bitterness against this Messiah, for he has no patience with the gentle Yeshua who was crucified.
The agitation rapidly spreads. One of the most vigorous upholders of Yeshua is Reb Istephan. He has a gift for moving people’s souls, and more and more Jews become persuaded. Joseph bar Naba knew Yeshua in his lifetime, and when Joseph hears Reb Istephan, he is convinced. Joseph becomes a Messianist. This conversion disgusts Saul, and in sorrow and bitterness, he turns away from his friend Joseph.
Then a dramatic incident takes place. Simon, the first of Yeshua’s disciples, heals Nehemiah the cripple in the name of the Nazarene. Many are impressed by the cure, but others resent Simon’s use of the Messiah’s name. As a result, his...
(The entire section is 1185 words.)
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