Thursday, March 1, 2018
Lenten Book Club 2018 - "The Thief" chapters 6-12...
So we pick up right where we left off, with Nissa and Cedron heading for the pool of Siloam after their encounter with Jesus. The crowd around them gets whipped into quite a frenzy during all of this, and as I expected, when Cedron washes his eyes off in the pool, his blindness is gone. He can see, and this causes quite a bit of mixed emotions within the crowd around them. Some are happy, of course, but many are skeptical, thinking that Nissa, Cedron and Jesus are all frauds.
Longinus is on the scene as well, and boy are we starting to actually like this guy, right?! He's empathetic and caring in his own way towards others beneath his tough exterior and position. Nissa's saucy bravery in protecting her brother has drawn his admiration, and he disperses the crowd so that the two of them do not get trampled or otherwise hurt.
We are then whirled into a scene of Cedron being tried before the Sanhedrin, and and is it me, or was anyone else a bit confused about how this actually happened? Did they go there right from the pool? We could see conflict coming, because there was a lot of reactions amongst the crowd that they suspected Cedron of some wrongdoing or dishonesty, but are the Sanhedrin just on standby, waiting for some poor soul to be dragged in to see them on a moment's notice? I think I missed something here. Oh, and the no-good parents are dragged in and disown Nissa and Cedron for good measure.
Next thing I knew, some priests and others were starting to stone Cedron, Nissa was understandably hysterical, and Longinus was intervening. I felt very out of sorts and confused about how and why this all happened. My impression was that they felt Cedron was a charlatan, and thus they were"justified" in their actions. Longinus breaks things up and saves Cedron. He saw what happened with Jesus both times, and though torn, he believes that Jesus genuinely can heal and otherwise save lives. Cedron is badly injured, but is alive.
Longinus helps them both escape to a place they can hide out for a spell, and then departs. Nissa hides them out in the place where she transforms into Mouse, but works on getting them a house rental with some money she stole. It's not in the best of neighborhoods, but it's something. She also gets Amit the donkey back.
We see some more of Nissa working with Dismas to steal money for them to live on, and we learn a little backstory on Dismas's sad entry into a life of crime. Cedron tries to get work now that he can see, but his leg injury from the stoning is making that difficult. Nissa espies him speaking with Jesus, and learns that Cedron is working with a group called the Zealots, who support Jesus and His work.
We connect again with Longinus, and now things really get interesting. He figures out where Nissa and Cedron have moved to, and seeks them out. He is clearly drawn to Nissa, and she to him. and everybody, including you and I, know that this is going nowhere good.
Nissa just wants him to go away, because she fears him discovering that she is Mouse. He likes Nissa, and simply enjoys her witty company, but he also has a plan for Cedron: he wants to employ him to find the two thieves he's been searching for.
Cedron, of course, has no idea that Nissa is one of these aforementioned thieves. He wants to earn an honest wage to help support Nissa and Amit, and he figures he has nothing to lose, because his Jewish brethren already know that he supports Jesus, of whom many are already suspicious. What difference does it make if he now sympathizes with a Roman?
He agrees, and both he and Longinus are very happy with this arrangement. Nissa is inwardly horrified, and who can blame her? That's where we leave off.
THOUGHTS?! I'm terrified for both Nissa and Cedron. I'm feeling all kinds of empathy for Longinus, but we know things don't end well for him, so I'm already grieving. 😭This is the perfect read for Lent, don't you agree?
Please leave me your thoughts in the comments!