This Week's Story

A teenager searching for his identity questions John the Baptist.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Who are you? part one

A teenage boy, maybe seventeen years old, came through a sandy ravine on his camel. The camel lowered his legs and body; the fellow swung his legs off the camel’s back and took a few steps. He looked back at the camel. Instantly, the camel spit at him, a smelly mixture of saliva and vomit from the camel’s first stomach. The fellow jumped aside.

A stranger stood watching curiously. “What is the problem with your camel?”

“My camel Eitan had a fight with my father’s camel this morning. Father’s camel used his neck to force Eitan to the ground and kicked him.

“Eitan was angry and decided he wasn’t going to take me on my trip today. I still saddled him and we came looking for you. We have travelled twenty miles. Eitan is holding a grudge against me. I wasn’t surprised that he spit at me, though I cared for him patiently this morning. He drank plenty of water, at least thirty gallons.”

“He’ll be fine. May I help you?”

“Yes. My name is Levi. I am from the town of Ain Karim in Judea. I know it is your birthplace. Since I was little, I have heard many times about your parents and the strange circumstances that were attached to your birth. I know places where you have been living in the Judaean Desert. So I have come with questions I hope you will answer.”

“Levi, join me for supper. We can eat and talk.”

“What do you eat? People say you eat locusts, and honey that wild bees store in holes in rocks. Is that true?”

“Yes. Locusts and honey are tasty food for people in the desert.”

The man started a small fire, took dead locusts from a ceramic container, and removed their legs and wings. He roasted them until they were brown and crisp. He salted them lightly. Scrunchy good they were! He served honey on the comb. Delicious—sweet and sticky. The comb was waxy, perfect for chewing.

“What should I call you? I was told your father was told by an angel to call you John. My parents told me your father Zacharias was a priest. He and your mother had no children. They grew too old to expect to have a child, but your father had an unexpected visitor. The angel Gabriel visited your father Zacharias when he was in the temple burning incense.”

“Levi, your story is not twisted. Father told me, ‘When I saw the angel, I was shaking with terror and awe.’

“The angel immediately comforted him, ‘Do not be afraid. Your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elisabeth is going to have a son. Call him John. You will have much happiness. Many people will rejoice at his birth. He will be great in God’s eyes.’

“Levi, you may call me John. Stay overnight and tomorrow we will talk.”

Next week we will return with part two. You will find much of this story in Luke 1 of the Bible. Levi is fictitious, but a realistic character based on research.

Todd Warren, Nathan and Scott Thomas bring this story as written by Barbara Steiner. Find it also on the website:

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