The following fictional conversation takes place between two senior demons (Temptor and Mischief) in Jerusalem proper circa 26 A.D.
Temptor: We need to talk.
Mischief: You sound concerned.
Temptor: What do you make of the hullabaloo caused by the Nazarene?
Mischief: As our Master instructed, we have kept a close watch on him since the Noel.
Temptor: Yes, I know. Very little about his life as a carpenter’s apprentice has been worthy of reporting.
Mishief: Then why are you alarmed?
Temptor: Something seems to be stirring. A cold chill runs down my spine every time I’m near him.
Mischief: Wait. It looks like he’s heading down to the Jordan river.
Temptor: He’s probably looking for his cousin John the Baptizer.
Mischief: Isn’t John the one Master was enraged about?
Temptor: Yes. He’s calling men to repent and be baptized.
Mischief: What a dreadful sight.
Temptor: Yes, dreadful indeed. The most horrid part is that he refuses to cooperate with the religious guild.
Mischief: Why does he want to be baptized? Interesting.
Temptor: I suppose the Nazarene is a disciple of John’s now.
The demons are immediately surrounded by a darkness not visible to human’s eyes. They shudder with fear as a blinding light shines about a dove descending from Heaven.
A powerful voice, taking them by surprise, throws them to the ground.
Mischief: What in Hell was that?
Temptor: It was nothing of the sort. I know that voice. It’s the voice of the Enemy.
Mischief: I think I have gone blind.
Temptor: You should know by now to cover your eyes whenever the Enemy is near.
Mischief: I heard his voice. Why is the Enemy well pleased?
Temptor: I’m not sure, but I have the feeling we are in serious trouble.
Mischief: Why? What is happening?
Temptor: I’m afraid a series of events has been set in motion. I fear there is no way to reverse the damage that has been done.
Mischief: But he is just a man. What can he do to us?
Temptor: I know men. He is more than a man. I recognize the Spirit of the Enemy at work.
Mischief: We’ve seen the Spirit move before. We’ve been privy to the work of Prophets and Priests.
Mischief: Why is he any different?
Mischief: Do you not remember Moses and the burning bush?
Mischief: Do you not recall King Belshazzar and the hand writing on the wall?
Temptor: This is profoundly different. It is as though the Enemy has taken flesh.
Mischief: Taken flesh? You cannot be serious. You have surely gone mad.
Temptor: Hide yourself. This is no time to be seen. The Master is on his way. If anyone can stop this, surely it is he.
The Enemy leads the Nazarene into the wilderness.
The conversation resumes after several days.
Mischief: Can you see what’s happening? I’m still blinded by the light of the dove.
Temptor: Yes, I can see, but as through a glass dimly. I will tell you all that I observe.
Temptor: Our Master is offering him food.
Mischief: Surely he will take the Master’s food. This has to work. He hasn’t eaten in 40 days.
Temptor: He’s refusing. He said something about his Father’s food.
Mischief: We’ve watched him without slumber. No one has brought him food!
Temptor: He says his food is the words that come from his Father’s mouth.
Mischief: Rum thing. I’m not sure I follow the logic.
Temptor: Now, that’s more like it!
Mischief: What? What? Do tell!
Temptor: The Master is telling him to throw himself down from the Temple.
Mischief: (With a sound of relief) Finally, all seems to be returning to normal. I do hope he jumps.
Mischief: (With a sly grin) Although, I must admit that this seems to be a rather obvious strategy. I doubt he will fall for it.
Temptor: I don’t believe my eyes. Now the Master is offering him authority and power.
Mischief: Has our Master gone mad? He wants all of the glory he can get. Why would he offer it to another?
Temptor: Even I don’t understand this exchange. Something mysterious is at play.
Mischief: Mysterious indeed.
The conversation resumes a couple of years later in the vicinity of Caesarea Philippi.
Temptor: Mischief, old pal, good to see you again. What have you been up to?
Mischief: I guess my name pretty much answers your question. (Both laughing)
Temptor: Let’s see what the Nazarene is busy doing today.
Mischief: The Master is growing in his concern about this One.
Temptor: Yes, but but our covert mission to turn the hearts of the people away from him seems to be gaining ground.
Mischief: (Laughing) We nearly have everyone convinced that he is only a good MAN. Only a prophet.
Temptor: Temper your hubris, Mischief. Our work is far from done, though the Master is pleased with our progress.
Mishief: Why such caution? Nothing can prevail against us!
Temptor: Look. There’s that impulsive fisherman. He shows real promise. I think he may be of future use.
Mischief: Indeed. If we could only get him to cast in his lot with Judas.
Temptor: Yes. I do hope he is willing to choose the right side when his time comes.
Mischief: (With disgust) Yes, that Nazarene will one day pay for his treason.
Temptor: Shhh… They’re starting to talk. Let’s listen in.
Mischief: This should be good. (Snickering)
Temptor: Why would he ask his disciples who they believe that he is? What an odd line of inquiry. Our Master is much more direct with us.
Mischief: It looks like Peter is going to be the first to answer. You never know what will come out of his mouth!
Temptor: Yes. Very good. Peter is affirming our strategy.
Mischief: How so?
Temptor: He says others believe the Nazarene to be a prophet.We’ve dealt with prophets before. We can handle prophets.
Mischief: Now you have my interest. We’ve taken care of our share of prophets in the past. This is going to be fun.
Mischief: What now?
Temptor: Ugh. This Nazarene is relentless. Still he insists for a more specific answer. “Who do YOU say I am?”
Mischief: Can he not leave well enough alone?
Temptor: Hopefully we can trust Peter to come through for us one more time.
The sound of a heavy iron gate locking shut silences the demons. A crackling noise reverberates throughout the darkness that has once again fallen upon them.
Mischief: What in Hell?
Temptor: Again, it is nothing of that sort. (Exasperated) Peter confessed that the Nazarene is the chosen One of God, the Messiah.
Mischief: I am fearful. Why am I fearful?
Temptor: I knew something was different.
Mischief: You mean that the Enemy has taken flesh?
Temptor: Yes. This changes everything.
Temptor: Yes, everything.
Mischief: (Trembling) I fear that this is the beginning of the end.
Temptor: (Sadly) No, Mischief, I fear this is only the end of the beginning.
…to be continued