John the Baptist and Benny (his last loyal disciple) sit talking through prison bars.
Benny: Brought you some honey and locusts. And a thermos of coffee from my mom.
John (head down): Thanks. Hey to your mama.
Benny: Man you look really depressed. Sorry.
John: Tell me again what Jesus said.
Benny: Well, I asked just like you said: “Are you the one or shall we look for another?”
Benny: He looked really sad–maybe even a tear–and said, “Tell Cousin John everything you’ve seen–blind see, sick healed, dead raised, demons running, people comforted–tell him to remember Isaiah 61.”
John (smiling slightly): Ah, break out the faith…
Benny (reaching through the bars to touch John’s robe): Then he said you were the greatest man to ever be born of a woman. John, he loves you. I know he does. It was clear as day.
John (hopefully): Did he say he’d try to come visit? Man, I been praying day and night to see him again.
Benny (dropping his head): Uhh, no. Said he was moving to Capernaum. Further north. Near the beach…
John: Well, maybe John and Andrew could visit? They were good guys while they were with us. I could use some encouragement here.
Benny (shaking his head): No, they’re staying with Jesus and going to Capernaum, too.
Benny (quietly): John, nobody’s coming. It’s just me.
John (looking into Benny’s eyes): Thanks, Ben. Means a lot.
Benny: It’s nothing. No trouble coming in tonight. There’s some kind of huge banquet going on in the palace. I heard Herod promised up to half his kingdom to his step-daughter for dancing.
John: I’m glad you are here. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been totally forgotten. I pray, sing and meditate and review Scripture and stuff, but seems pointless. Even so, I continue.
Benny: Sure. Things are bound to look up pretty soon.
John: Maybe. I’m God’s man, good or bad. He sent me to make a pathway in the wilderness and to declare it’s time. I wavered for a bit, but of course Jesus is THE Messiah, the Chosen One.
John: I can feel his spirit with us now. And, yeah, Jesus is here. How could I doubt?
Ben and John look up as keys rattle in the dungeon door. Two guards enter. One carries a sword, the other a dinner platter.
Tr8: Persevere in trials. We are loved and cared for in adversity. God’s plan isn’t always easy or painless, but it can be full of faith, hope, love, peace and joy regardless of the circumstances.
References: Matthew 11:11 and “In the Meantime” by Andy Stanley.