theophilusJames, the brother of Jesus, and Luke, a doctor in Capernaum, are at the back of a room watching Jesus heal people. Both are scratching their heads.

Luke (with raised eyebrows): Did you see that? Healed Max–the guy who stands at the corner of Broad Street and Jericho Road–brushes down oxen and horses for a quarter.

James (raised eyebrow): I wondered where Max went.

Luke: A Goth cavalryman didn’t want his horse touched and hacked him with his sword. I sewed him up, but it looked infected on Wednesday. I treated him for two weeks–Jesus tags him and he’s good to go.

James (nodding): Yeah, he got all the healing genes in our family.

Luke (glances at James, stands and shuffles toward the door, over his shoulder to James): Don’t see much need for a doctor around here. I may head to Caesarea or become a barber. I can do hair and teeth pretty good…

James (standing, too): Feel unneeded? Let me walk you out. People say I’m “blessed” being Jesus’ brother, but it gets old. Does your brother think he’s God?

Luke (smiling): I guess if he needs us, he’ll know where we are!

People get up and step aside as James and Luke head for the door. They almost make it.

Jesus (calling out): Yo! James! Luke! Wait for me outside a second. (To the crowd,) that’s it for now. Let’s take a break and get some fresh air. I need to talk to my brother.

Lady: How blessed to be your brother!

Jesus: It’s more blessed to be a friend of God.

Jesus steps out and joins James and Luke by the curb. Luke is smoking a cigar.

Jesus: What’s with doctors and smoking? Stop it. It’s not good for you.

Luke (stomping out his smoke): Where does it say, “Thou shalt not smoke?”

Jesus (rolling his eyes): Whatever. I need you guys to help me out when I’m gone. I’m heading to Jerusalem soon.

James: What?

Jesus: I’m going there on a special mission. So, who do you think I am?

James: You are my brother, Jesus. Maybe the Messiah. But I’m not seeing it. You aren’t King material. You’ll have to do more than heal people and preach to make me believe you are anointed. I love you and you are amazing with people, but at the end of the day you’re the guy I shared a room with for 15 years.

Jesus: Luke, how ’bout you?

Luke: I find your story really interesting, that’s why I’ve been following you around. What you do is amazing. I love God, but I’m pretty sure you aren’t him.

Jesus (to both): That’s okay. This will all come together on Easter.

James: What’s Easter?

Jesus (smiling): You’ll see.

Luke: Hmm. Well, you said you needed something?

Jesus (nodding): James, after Easter, I need a leader–someone who understands belief is more than just thinking. Just act according to what you believe about me. We’ll talk again when you believe I’m God.

James (waving him off): You know I love you Jesus, but that’s not going to happen. Go with Peter or John. I don’t believe all the Messiah stuff like they do.

Jesus: Wait and see. When the time comes, I want you to write about the joy of persevering.

James kicks at the curb and shakes his head.

Jesus (turning to Luke): I need you to write down everything for Theophilus. “Theophilus” is code for anyone who seriously loves God. You don’t have to become a barber, you’re our historian. Matthew, Mark and John will write memoirs, but you’ll write from a non-disciple perspective. Kinda like Murphy. After I’m gone, keep writing for “Theophilus.” In a few years I’m going to send a real humdinger to join The Way. You’ll be friends.

Luke: I’ll follow. I’ll write.

James: I’ll wait and see.

Tr8: May you perceive YOU are “Theophilus”–God’s beloved. Luke wrote his gospel and The Acts of the Apostles especially for you. After the resurrection James indeed believed his brother was God! He wrote to you about his brother in The Epistle of James, near the back of your Bible. Enjoy.

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