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.

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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.

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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.

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The Enemy leads the Nazarene into the wilderness.

The conversation resumes after several days.

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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.

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The conversation resumes a couple of years later in the vicinity of Caesarea Philippi.

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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.
Temptor: Shhhh….
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.

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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.

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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.
Mischief: 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