It had been a long, tiresome trip and a trying search. The city of Jerusalem was a teeming metropolis, alive with people from all walks of life. Surely here, he thought, he would find the type of man he was looking for. Surely, there was at least one man in Jerusalem with insight, drive, and motivation, who could be inspired and trained to lead a small insurrection.
First, he tried the cloth shop owner, a short stocky old man with a withered look about him, whose name, according to the sign in the window, was Benjamin. He first tried to sell the owner some goods, as that was his main line of work. But the old miser had already stocked up for the next three or four months. So he made a note to check back. As he wrote, he began talking about the evils of the Romans, and their high taxation. Benjamin never flexed a muscle. “Doesn’t bother me any,” he said. “I’m rich enough to retire. I only keep this shop going for something to do.”
He could see that he would get nowhere with this fellow. So he left politely and thought he would try the other end of the spectrum. As his black and white chariot passed along the dusty streets of Jerusalem, he caught sight of a beggar, sitting by the side of the road. Perhaps this was his man. He stopped the chariot and spoke with the mendicant, who was obviously surprised to see a gentleman of his appearance stop and converse with the likes of himself. As he continued the conversation, he could see that the beggar, who was short of stature and somewhat elderly, was obviously both uninformed and apathetic about the political situation and how it affected his daily life. The beggar stared blankly at his visitor, obviously puzzled by the whole incident. He was also obviously offended when the man started to leave without giving him any money. The stranger apologized, and, reaching into his pocket, pulled out a handful of small change and dropped it into the beggar’s cup.
So, the stranger thought to himself as he rode along in his unique looking chariot, it’s not to be the rich shopkeeper, nor the poor beggar. Both were completely apathetic to the situation, the first due to his money, and the second because of his ignorance. No, the type of person he was looking for was obviously somewhere between the two--perhaps, the brawny blacksmith, whose huge frame caught his eye as he rode slowly by the large shop window. The sign hanging in one corner of the window read: “BARABBAS’ BLACKSMITH SHOP. FINE IRON WORK AS WELL AS HORSES SHOD.” He could see right away that this was a hard-working man. Certainly, he was not rich like Benjamin. Neither did he look to be as ignorant as the beggar was. Yes, this must be his man. He’d give it a try.
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