We made the whole thing up! It was a joke at first; Jesus, this unknown guy, from Nazareth of all places. We’d hung out together for a few years, and he was always messing about, pretending to be some famous person, then he hit on this idea of a prophet, a holy man. He tried it on a couple of times, and a few people believed him. We told them the truth afterward, and they were amazed! They said he was totally believable. And then, wouldn’t you know it, we met this guy, what was his name ... oh yeah, Luke.
He was a physician, a real learned guy. He had traveled quite a lot, even been to Alexandria in Greece! Greek culture was quite wide spread in our day, anyhow, and Luke said he had written a play, in Greek. The Greeks were fond of their different gods, so his play was about a god, in human form, who had come down from the heavens to live on earth, and rescue us humans from our sinful ways. Good luck! Anyhow, Luke said he got the idea from the Egyptian culture. They had a few gods who came down to help, and he had read that the Babylonians also had similar beliefs, so as the Jewish books also promised a Messiah, well, we could provide the messiah they were waiting for.
He said wouldn’t it be great if we could fool people for a while, with Jesus of Nazareth as the main character, then later when we revealed the truth they would be amazed again. But then we would form a theatrical company, and use the phony event as advertising. Then we could put the play on for real, and make some money out of it! He had some grand ideas, I tell you! He had seen many plays in his travels, and had seen how people paid good money to watch.
Jesus, of course, was all for it. He was kind of mystical, a bit different, and his girl-friend, what was her name, oh yes, like his mother - Mary. Except she came from Magdala. The Magdalene. She agreed to stay out of the way at first, to get the whole story off the ground. Jesus was to be a holy man again, a prophet. Then somebody came up with ‘the Son of God’! That was pushing it a bit, you know what the Rabbis are like, but Luke thought if we were careful we could get away with it for a while. Hooo boy! What did we know? The whole scenario just took off! It wasn’t long before we realized we were in deep trouble. You see, times were hard then, what with the Romans, and all the taxes, and people were looking for something to hope for, someone to believe in. And of course, the Nazarene just ran with it!
He was clever, a real smart guy, and in the beginning we did not know just how deep his knowledge of the Law, and the Prophets, was. His mother, years ago, had enrolled him in a Rabbinical school. They taught young men to be priests. He was only fourteen or so at the time, but really smart, with an excellent memory, and he impressed the old priests so much that they took him in. He could quote from the old books better than any Rabbi I know! But you know what, I will just start right at the beginning, and let the story tell itself.