Why would a prophet come to this place? Any person let alone a wise man, or a sage might ask such a question. Although Yeshua was very aware of the reason for his mission here.
The desert stretched out before him. Hot, dry, and desolate. He wiped the sweat from his brow as the sun beat down relentlessly upon his tanned skin and pale robes. This long journey had tired him, but his faith was stronger than ever, his resolve even more determined. Since entering this world, he had never felt closer to his father than in this place.
Three further hours passed as he walked, and the sun moved behind him as he climbed a mountain top to a clearing of grey rocks and sandstone. The heat was blistering and merciless. A thirst consumed him, and a waterhole was nowhere in sight. Familiar voices filled his mind. They were the voices of his disciples. The faithful hearts who had followed him and longed for his return.
As he waited, the familiar voices became fearful and more frantic until they were replaced with the voice of Lucifer, the deceiver. His presence dark and sinister. His form, as far as a mortal could perceive it, resembled that of a man with a hooded expression and large blackened wings emerging from his bent, contorted body. He spoke slowly in a grim and mocking tone through thin, contemptuous lips. His voice chilling the hot, desert air.
‘Did you think I wouldn’t find you here, Yeshua?’ he taunted.
‘While you are but a mere mortal, you shall never escape me. This world is mine. It is my playground and the darkened hearts of mankind shall be my legacy.’
Yeshua turned to him. ‘Why do you call this world your own when you do not belong here?’
Lucifer laughed mockingly, evidently enjoying the prospect of a debate. ‘This has been my home ever since your father banished me and so I will revel in the misery of each one of his lost children.’
Yeshua spoke slowly and carefully. ‘You are the one who is lost, Lucifer. You are the fallen angel. Few have fallen further than you. Do you not remember how you chose your own path?’
‘This is indeed the path I have chosen. The only one these mortals will follow. They shall learn to fear me.’ Then Lucifer grew thirty feet tall and shifted into the frightening form of a fiery beast, terrifyingly hideous and towering above the prophet with great malice.
Yeshua closed his eyes as though in meditation and took a deep breath. Lucifer, disappointed at this unimpressed reaction, returned to his original form.
‘Fear is your companion, Lucifer?’ the Prophet challenged him. You must know that fear has no place in my father’s kingdom.’
‘Your father asks too much. Fear is a powerful tool,’ he replied cunningly. ‘I have achieved much by striking fear into the hearts of mortals.’
‘What will you achieve in that but a fruitless, darkening of humanity?’ Yeshua asked.
‘Hate and loathing’ the Deceiver replied. I will divide them and lock them in battle for all eternity. Dividing and conquering with war, race, greed, and religious dogma. I will feed on their desperation.’ Believing these words to have angered the Prophet, Lucifer placed a golden dagger before Yeshua.
‘Take this dagger and strike me down,’ he said. ‘Don’t you feel the hate swelling inside you? Such suffering I will cause in this world to your precious mortals!’
Yeshua turned to him. ‘You will know that he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. This is not my purpose here.’
The Deceiver thought for a moment. Then he conjured a figure of flesh and bone rising out of the dust. The figure took the form of a beautiful woman, eyes flashing with temptation as she danced provocatively before him.
Yeshua took a deep breath, rolled his eyes, and looked away. ‘Why persist with these illusions?’ he said. ‘This is not my purpose here.’
‘You feel as humans do. Do you not know desire of the flesh? he taunted. The mortals do. They worship at the altar of pleasure. They are weak.’
‘They are human,’ the prophet replied. ‘Some have lost their way, but they can find love. There is much love in their hearts.’
‘Love!?’ Lucifer recoiled in disgust. ‘What do you and your father know about love? I was cast out. Abandoned and disgraced. Love? Nothing but a word to hold you in bondage.’
‘Humans know and feel it when they live in peace together. They know that they are better when they act as one. It is their true sovereign journey. They are inherently good. They can stray as you did. But they can always find salvation.’
‘Why do you labor with this foolish mission?’ Lucifer scorned. ‘Your mission is hopeless. Why do you care for them? The mortals will never be thankful. I can give you so much more.’
Lucifer conjured great treasures of gold and precious stones out of the dust, stretching out across the mountain. The treasures glittered in the merciless sun.
Yeshua looked on listlessly. ‘Life is not measured by how much you own. It is easier for a Camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.’ Then he looked up at the Deceiver and once again repeated the words, ‘This is not my purpose here.’
Lucifer retorted in contempt and frustration. ‘Then what is your purpose?’ he hissed.
The prophet replied slowly. ‘To remind you of who you are. So far you have strayed. You have forgotten.’
‘I have strayed, you say!?’ he retorted. ‘Amusing coming from the Carpenter.’
Then the prophet stepped forward. ‘Do you not remember who you are?’ he smiled.
‘Why do you keep saying this? You are deluded if you think I would turn to your ways. What would make you think such a thing?’
Yeshua took a moment before he looked deeply into the eyes of Lucifer. Without fear. Only compassion.
‘Because you are my brother.’
Lucifer’s eyes opened wide is disbelief and his contorted body shook as though reliving a trauma. He fell to his knees as repressed memories came flooding back. These memories flashed before him. Two children playing together. Two souls equally loved by their father. One exposed to the evils of the world and tempted into corruption until he had completely lost himself. The startling realization flooded him with a divine wave of compassion from his brother.
Lucian woke up. ‘Daddy, daddy!’ shrieked the voice of a young girl. He recognized her at once. His daughter.
He opened his eyes to discover he was being greeted by his entire family. His wife, children, sisters… his brother.
‘Lucian… thank god. I cannot believe it. You were in a Coma for weeks. You’ve been in a terrible accident. We thought we’d lost you.’
Lucian gazed into the eyes of his wife who was crying tears of happiness. He took a breath.
‘I promise. I will never drink again,’ he said. ‘The devil is in the bottle...’