Witnesses – Chapter 20 – The Final Letter


The next day I went back to the letter that Benjamin had written and asked me not to read until I finished all the stories.  I unfolded the pages.


… I wonder what you are thinking, Ben, what you are feeling and believing, now that you have finished reading the documents.

I do not know when Jesus will touch you and draw you to himself.  I think that different stories will move different people.  I pray though that no-one will read these stories without meeting, in some way or another, the living Lord, Jesus, Messiah.  I suspect that each reader’s life experience, faith walk, and openness to Jesus will determine who will be changed when.

The Holy Spirit knows and that is enough for me.  I believe there are many people who will read these stories who will be touched by God.  I believe it was no accident that you found the jar when you did.  I believe God began your journey of faith when you uncovered the scrolls that day and he has great plans for you in the future.

My boy, go in his strength.  Release these stories to the world and follow Jesus as he leads you into your future.  May you know his hand of blessing every day for the rest of your life, just as I have done.  God gave me these scrolls for my life’s work at the end of my life.  You have begun to unfold the plans God has for you at an early age with many years ahead of you.

Use the time wisely, Ben.

Just one last thought – speculation really; as I was reading through the New Testament the other day I came across this verse in Paul’s second letter to Timothy when he says to his young protegé:

‘When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas,

and my scrolls,

especially the parchments.’

Could it be that the parchments in the jar were gathered by Paul?  Was that how Thaddeus’ story was included?  We will never know, but it is an intriguing idea.

God bless you. 

I will pray for you every day I have left.



I held that letter in my hands for a long time.  I thought of the journeys both Benjamin and I had been on since that day when my fork had hit the jar in my garden.

In the quietness of the damp English autumn evening, I gave thanks for Benjamin and his part in revealing the meaning of the scrolls to me and to the world; to those who told their stories with such courage and to the scribes who had also risked their lives as they wrote them down.  Many would have risked their lives committing the stories to writing.  But most of all I thanked Jesus Christ.  Each one of these stories was his story.  Every one of these people had met him, walked and laughed and cried with him, eaten with him and been healed by him.  No life was untouched or unchanged in some way.  My heart swelled with praise as if it was filled with a new song.

About Mandy Hackland

My love in life is to encourage others to deepen their relationship with God. I write devotional material, stories and small group studies with that in mind. I live in South Africa and also love spending time in the bush, bird watching and walking. I have moved to the coast and am enjoying the green spaces and beautiful vistas that surround me, reminding me of God's grace every day.
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