The city was bustling with activity. People were boisterously bartering, gossiping, jibing, and even begging on every block. It was difficult to walk without stepping over, around, or even under people.
Judas found the crowds that seemed to be headed toward the prophet and he ducked among them. The prophet sat on the temple steps, a few close men stood as bodyguards near him, their posture one of defense and protection. People lined up with all sorts of ailments, crying out for a healing. But the prophet just sat.
Judas snorted in disgust. Shouldn't the prophet be healign them all? Wasn't that his job, his right? For that matter, why didn't he have a tent set up and charge a nominal fee for his services? He could live like a king!
Wait. He was a king. At least that was what the old scriptures called him. Ironic that he sits there, surrounded by, what are those men? fishermen? common laborers?
As these thoughts played through his mind, Judas found himself suddenly at the head of the crowd. He was staring hard at the prophet, thinking about what he woudl tell mother about this man. The truth, or a lie, to placate her and make him seem like the wonderful son she believed him to be.
Just then the prophet stood and stared back into Judas's eyes. It was like he was seeing into his very soul. His expression was one of kindness, but the steady stare was unnerving and burned him, making him feel ashamed.
"Come up here," the prophet commanded. Judas's jaw dropped in pure shock. "Me?!"
The prophet nodded. Judas climbed the steps now on unsteady legs. The bodyguards frowned at him, confused, but let him pass.
"You know the scriptures. Yet you do know me."
"How could I?" Judas retorted in all logic.
The prophet sighed and then waved his entourage, now including Judas, inside the temple.
In all patience he began teaching, sharing the stories of old painted on the glass windows, quoting prophetic scriptures, and telling anecdotal tales with little moral lessons at the end. Judas listened. Some of what he said could be easily agreed with. But he knew in his heart that the people outside could never accept the world the way he painted it with his words.
Judas returned home, leaving the city having met the prophet, and not having met any ladies at all. He had no desire to, now. He was saddened to think things would not change. The world still wouldn't accept the old customs, and those that lived by them would continue to be persecuted. He didn't see this prophet with his humble ways seeking to overthrow the king, or rule the empires.
But at least he coudl tell his mother the truth. He saw the prophet.
And He was for real.