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Nathan; The Hidden Family Part II
The only thing that Jonah could think about that night was Nathan, and how this Jewish boy, who was raised in a Jewish home, said Jewish prayers and blessings, studied Torah and went to Hebrew School, was expected to go to Christian schools where the teaching would be so foreign to him, and he was supposed to be able to make the adjustment all on his own. Jonah didn’t know how long Nathan had been in Christian schools, but the transition from Judaism to Christianity had to have been a real source of confusion for him. He was not raised to believe in the Christian Messiah, nor had he ever been introduced to the Christian Scriptures. There was something very special about Nathan, and Jonah saw this as an opportunity to help him in what ever way that he could.
The next morning Jonah got up and said his morning prayers, showered and dressed and was ready to go. He skipped having breakfast because he felt like he wanted to get to the school a little earlier. When Jonah arrived at his classroom, Nathan was waiting for him in the hallway. Jonah was happy to see him, he said, “Good morning Nathan, how are you?” Nathan replied that he was fine, and he asked if Jonah had a few minutes to talk before class. Jonah told Nathan that he was early, so he had plenty of time.
They went inside the classroom and Jonah offered Nathan some juice that he’d brought from his hotel room and Nathan accepted. Jonah asked, “What’s on your mind Nathan?” Nathan told Jonah that he wanted to share a story with him, and Jonah told him that he’d love to hear it. Nathan said, “There once was a man who had a wife and son. The man had a high level job in the field of science. One day he discovered something that he wasn’t supposed to, something illegal, and he turned it in to his supervisor, not knowing that his supervisor was in on the illegal activity. The man and his family were in danger because what he found was something that would expose some very important people. He went to the FBI for protection and they immediately moved the man and his family to a safe place where they could keep watch over them.
A few weeks had passed and there hadn’t been any problem. So the man asked if he could take his family out for the day. He wanted to visit his longtime friend who was going to be the guest Rabbi for Shabbat services that weekend. The officer standing watch said that it would be fine, but for them to be cautious, and he’d arrange for an escort to follow them. While they were on their way to Synagogue, two trucks rammed in to their car, hitting both sides of the car at the same time. It was obvious the two trucks were waiting for them; they somehow knew that the man and his family would be driving on that very road, on that very morning.
The man died at the scene, but the wife and son were taken to the hospital, where the decision was made to let people think that they had died also, and they would be given new identities. There was a funeral for the man, his wife and son, and from that point on, the Jewish mother and son began to live a life as Gentiles.”
At this point Nathan tearfully looked at Jonah and asked, “Are you understanding what I’m getting at Rabbi?” Jonah, in complete disbelief, asks, “Are you David?” Nathan replied, “David died eight years ago, you have to get used to calling me Nathan.” Jonah asked, “You and your mother are in the Witness Protection Program?” Nathan replied, “Yes, for eight years now. Rabbi, I recognized you as soon as I saw you yesterday. When I went home, I told my mom that you were here, and she cried. She knows that she wouldn't be allowed to see you, we’re not supposed to have any contact with anyone from our past.”
Jonah was beside himself, he couldn't believe this was happening. He asked Nathan about the man that his mother is married to. Nathan explained that James Wright is just part of their cover. He is his mom’s husband on paper only; there isn't an actual physical James Wright living with them.
Jonah asked, “What is your mother’s new name?” Nathan replied, “It’s Sarah.” Jonah had to talk quickly now, because class would soon begin, he told Nathan, “I want you to tell your mom that I asked if she would arrange for me to assume the identification of James Wright. That way we could all be together freely, and life would be better for all of us. I believe your father would find comfort knowing that his family was being cared for by his longtime friend.” Nathan replied, “But Rabbi; Jonah, you’d lose everything that you've worked so hard for.” Jonah replied, “That doesn't matter Nathan, those are only titles, but you and your mom are like my family, you two are what’s important. Please Nathan; ask your mom if she would consider arranging that.” Nathan, with an obvious sense of relief, told Jonah that he would go home and talk to his mom. Jonah and Nathan hugged one another, and Nathan left the classroom.
Jonah couldn't help but think about the young Jewish girl in the Bible, named Hadassah. She had to take on a new identity, but it was in that new identity that she became a Queen, and was able to save her people. Jonah was gong to look at all this in as positive a light as he could. Two people that he thought he’d never see again, could possibly be coming back in to his life, but these two people could be in great danger if the wrong people found out that they were still alive, because there’s a “Haman” out there who wants them dead.
Jonah would be on pins and needles until he found out word from Nathan concerning what his mother said. Jonah knew that like Queen Esther, he was going to need to pray and fast for God’s divine intervention in this situation. Jonah didn't want to do anything to jeopardize Sarah or Nathan’s life. Jonah stopped for a moment to have prayer before his first class would begin. He cried, “Father, why do things like this have to happen? It’s not for me to question Your plan, but so much time and heartache has been spent. Not just this eight years since Aaron was killed, but also the almost thirteen years before that, which my best friend spent with the only woman that I’ve ever loved. Why did I have to go through the pain of losing her to Aaron, and then go through the agony of thinking she was dead? Please Father, allow me to be with my Rosalind; Sarah, and her son. Please, please, please Father!”
Jonah had to gather himself before his students began to arrive. He was feeling quite a melting pot of emotions, but the one thing that was more important than anything else was the safety of his beloved Sarah and Nathan, they had to be the number one consideration. Jonah’s first class of the day began to arrive, and he greeted them with a smile as if nothing was wrong.
Class began and Luella raised her hand to ask Jonah a question. Jonah acknowledged her, and she said with a big grin, “Mr. Jonah, are you referred to as Doctor on some days and Rabbi on others?” Jonah replied, “You Googled me Luella.” She nodded in affirmation. Jonah went on to say, “Those are only titles Luella, I prefer being called Jonah, or Mr. Jonah as most of you call me by. I am a Rabbi; I serve more in the capacity of an interim Rabbi, which means I help serve the needs of a Synagogue who has lost their Rabbi, and I hold a Doctorate in religious studies, but I’m still just Jonah. So in answer to your question, yes there are times when some may refer to me as Dr. Silverman, and other times when I would be referred to as Rabbi, depending on where I am at the time.”
Donny raised his hand and asked Jonah if he ever spoke in Churches. Jonah replied, “I haven’t ever been asked to speak in a Church, but I would be happy to if I were asked.” Donny replied, “Is this the first time you’ve ever taught a class in a Christian school?” Jonah replied, “Yes it is, and to be honest I was surprised that I received the invitation to come here and teach, but I was very happy to have the opportunity to do so Donny.” It was at that moment that Jonah got a weird feeling that he might have been asked to come there for more than just the purpose of teaching. He was hoping he wasn’t being used as a pawn to draw Rosalind (Sarah) and David (Nathan) out from their protective cover. Jonah was starting to feel a little sick inside, but he had to teach this class.
Jonah asked if there were any more questions, and one more hand rose, it was Sutherland, she asked if the Model Prayer that Jesus taught to His Disciples was anything like the daily Hebrew Prayers that the Jewish people say. Jonah replied, “Does anyone in this room know how many commandments there are in the Torah? No? There are six hundred and thirteen. Does anyone in this room know the Ten Commandments? Every one of you, as it should be. You could say that the Model Prayer is, to the daily Hebrew Prayers; what the Ten Commandments are, to the Six Hundred and Thirteen Commandments (Mitzvot). That’s about the best example I can think of Sutherland, and I’m really glad you asked that question, because it’s important to have an understanding that the Model Prayer doesn’t steer you away from the Hebrew Prayers, anymore than the Ten Commandments steer you away from the Six Hundred and Thirteen Mitzvot. On a side note, the number six hundred and thirteen is the reverse of one of the most quoted verses in the Gospels; John 3:16.
Does anyone else have a questions or something to add? Okay, let’s get started. I want to teach you something that hopefully every time you read the passage you will remember. I’m reading from the Gospel of Luke, chapter six verse one. ‘Now it happened on the second Sabbath after the first that He went through the grain fields.’ Does anyone know what the second Sabbath after the first means? It is referring to the second Sabbath of four special Sabbaths that begin on the Sabbath before the Hebrew month of Adar begins, and ends on the Sabbath before the Hebrew month of Nisan begins. The second Sabbath after the first is the Sabbath before Purim, which has to do with the Book of Esther. This Sabbath is called Zachor, and it has to do with remembering the Amalek. That’s why it’s recognized on the Sabbath before Purim, because the Amalek is likened to Haman, the enemy of Israel in the Book of Esther. So when you read that passage at Luke 6:1, you’ll know that in real time back then, it was the Sabbath before Purim.
We’re almost out of time class. I want to encourage all of you to pay close attention to little details as you study your Bible. What I shared with you today was seemingly a minute detail, “Second Sabbath after the first,” but when you have an understanding of what that means, it shows you firstly, that the celebration of Purim was a few days away, and secondly, that the Jews back in Yeshua’s day were honoring the four special Sabbaths just like the Jews of today do. Don’t take little details for granted, they may have a great deal of meaning. I’ll see you tomorrow class.”
As the class was leaving and saying good bye to Jonah, a woman walked through the door and he heard some of the kids say, “Hi Mrs. Collins!” Jonah looked at her and asked, “Mrs. Collins? I thought you were going to be gone the whole week.” Mrs. Collins said, “We need to talk Jonah,” and she closed the door. She said, “I’m Special Agent Emily Collins. I was assigned to Nathan eight years ago. I have always been undercover as a teacher so that I’m never very far away from him. I do have my Teaching Credentials, so it was an easy cover and no one at the schools have ever known that I am an undercover agent.
I am very close with Sarah and Nathan, and I have heard a great deal about you over the years, especially from Sarah. These eight years have been severely lonely for them, so I thought it would be a good idea if I could get you here, and ask you if you would consider assuming the identification of Sarah’s husband, James Wright. I was concerned about that being an awful lot to ask of you, but I have heard in the last hour that you’ve requested to assume his identity. I have one question, are you sure you want to give up your life, you are very accomplished; do you really want to leave all that behind?” Jonah answered with a resounding “Yes!”
Jonah went on to say, “Sarah and I grew up together, we were best friends when we were kids, and by our first year of college we were engaged. I went to Israel for a year for my Rabbinical Studies, Sarah was going to join me as soon as she had break. While I was away, my good friend Aaron came in to the picture and suddenly I was out of the picture. She told me that they had to get married because she was pregnant, I was devastated; my good friend took my girl.
Agent Collins told Jonah that she needed to tell him something that he’d better brace himself for; she said, “Jonah, eight years ago we had to collect DNA on Aaron, Sarah and Nathan, for proof of identification, Nathan is not Aaron’s son. I asked Sarah about it and she said that Nathan is your son. She told me that you two decided before you left for Israel, that you wanted to have intercourse to seal your bond. Well, you did! Sarah ended up pregnant, and she didn’t want to cause embarrassment to you, being that you were working toward becoming a Rabbi. She told your friend Aaron that she was pregnant with your baby and he talked her in to marrying him, with the intention of you knowing the truth at some point. Then after they got married Aaron didn’t want you to know, nor did he want Nathan to know that he wasn’t his biological father. Sarah didn’t want to take your dream away from you Jonah.” Jonah replied, “Sarah was my dream! I would have never been embarrassed of her being pregnant with my child. I would have been so happy to rush back home and marry the girl that I had adored practically my whole life. God, I can’t believe this! Does Nathan know that I’m his father?” Agent Collins said that Sarah wanted to wait to tell him, that it was going to be a real shock.
Jonah asked, “What’s the next step, what’s going to happen today? Am I staying to teach the rest of the day? To be real honest, I don’t much feel like it. I feel like I need to go somewhere and just scream for a while. I feel so cheated, and I’m so angry with myself that I made my beloved Rosalind; Sarah feel like my becoming a Rabbi was more important to me than she was, there was nothing more important to me than her. God I’m angry with myself.”
By this time Jonah was weeping uncontrollably. Agent Collins didn’t know that right words to say to help this situation. She told Jonah that he was finished teaching and for him to go back to his hotel room and she would call him. She went on to say, “Sarah has never stopped loving you Jonah, you have to know that, and she has mourned for you, she misses you so very much. Please know that her intentions were not to hurt you, but were out of her love for you, please remember that! I’ll call you as soon as I get things wrapped up here. You’ll be with Sarah and Nathan soon, I promise.”
Jonah left the school and headed back to his hotel room. He couldn’t even begin to know how to process this day. He was happy to finally be with the woman he loved, but he was sad and angry that he wasn’t the one that was with her and Nathan all these years. It felt cruel that he had been cheated out of being the husband and father that was rightfully his position to hold. This was truly a test like none other that God had put him through, and one that he was going to need God to help him with. Jonah looked at his life, and the achievements he had made, and realized that the very ambition that helped him attain those achievements, is what also took away what meant most in life to him; his Rosalind. Why would God allow this? “What did I do to deserve this Father! Why did You allow me to lose Rosalind and my son to another man? Why?” Jonah angrily threw his leather bound Chumash across the room, but very quickly went to retrieve it, and apologized to God for treating His Word in such a way. “Forgive me Father! I’m acting as if You’re the problem, when I’m the one that’s the problem. I was willing to treat Your Word disrespectfully, but I would have never treated Rosalind in that way. I think I’m beginning to understand why You had to allow me to lose Rosalind; because from the time I was very young I’ve been putting her first in my life. Father forgive me for doing that! You’re the most important One in my life, and I should have never treated You otherwise.
Yesterday I felt so accomplished in life, I had no idea what I had lost, and deservedly so. Help me through this Father, please!” Jonah’s phone rang and it was Special Agent Collins. She asked Jonah if he was ready to meet with Sarah. He told her yes, but that he would like to be alone with her for a little while so that they could talk freely and discuss Nathan. Agent Collins had already arranged that. Nathan would be with her at the movie theater. While they were talking there was a knock on the door. Jonah told Agent Collins that he needed to answer the door, to please hang on. Jonah opened the door, and it was Sarah. It was like a miracle, he was standing in front of the woman he loved and thought he’d lost forever. He invited her in, and they just held each other. Sarah said, “I can’t believe we’re finally together Jonah,” and Jonah replied, “You’d better get used to calling me James.” They smiled a tearful smile at each other and James said, “We start from right here Sarah. Our old lives are gone, and our new lives are from this point in time forward.” Sarah agreed and added, “How do you want to handle telling Nathan that you’re his father?” James replied, “God will provide just the right opportunity for us to tell him, I promise.”
James looked at Sarah and said the most beautiful words she could have ever wanted to hear him say, “I love you Sarah more than words can express, you and Nathan are my life now, and I know that you love me, because you had an identification made for me long ago when you were first entering this program. Agent Collins told me that you wanted to make a way for us to be able to be together someday. But as much as we love each other, our love for God must always be first and foremost in our lives. I don’t want to take a chance on losing what we have ever again.” Sarah wept and held on to James as tightly as she could. It was at that moment that he remembered that he left Agent Collins hanging on the phone. He picked up his phone and on the other end was a sniffling Agent Collins trying to regain her composer. James said, “Agent Collins, thank you for being here all these years for my family!” She replied, “It has been my pleasure James, I’ll call you when we’re on the way home, enjoy yourselves, Mr. and Mrs. Wright!”
Jonah had no idea when he came to substitute teach that his whole life was about to change, literally! He thought the possibility of living his life with the woman that he loved was gone forever, but he has been given a second chance at that love and he was not going to do anything that would cause him to lose her again. Jonah, Rosalind and David were destined to live a happy life together as, James, Sarah and Nathan Wright. There were many challenges yet to come, but they would face them together as a family.
God had to take away what Jonah loved most in life, in order to show him what most in life he should love. James reaped the blessings of a humbled and repentant Jonah, and he never put God second to anyone ever again.
Mr. Jonah; The Hidden Family Part I
- Mr. Jonah; The Hidden Family Part I
God’s Word doesn’t change from the Torah to the Gospels, only the perspective does.
Together at Last; The Hidden Family Part III
- Together at Last; The Hidden Family Part III
True is the love that you’re willing to fight to get and work to keep.