Reader friends, I have a treat for you today! I’ve got an excerpt from The Barabbas Legacy to share with you! I’ve heard a lot about this book, and while I haven’t had time to read it yet, it’s definitely on my TBR. How about you?
About the BookThe Barabbas Legacy
Series: The Barabbas Trilogy
on December 2021
Genres: Fiction / Christian / Historical
Amazon | Goodreads
In this poignant capstone to The Barabbas Trilogy, the man called Barabbas—infamous former thief, murderer and prisoner turned Christian—and his wife Chanah continue their mission of spreading the gospel across the known world as cauldrons of political and military chaos boil across the Roman Empire.
Nero is increasingly erratic, and it’s only a matter of time before the sharp knives of imperial politics finish him off. Various successors vie for position. Who will strike first, and who will come out on top?
Meanwhile, the rebellion in Judea has intensified, the Jewish zealots exerting great influence over the minds of the people. General Vespasian and his son Titus aim to put a permanent end to the insurrection. How many lives will ultimately be sacrificed on the great altar of Jerusalem? Can the Jewish nation survive the fulfillment of Jesus’s prophecy? What will become of the Jewish Christians and the apostles and sisters who lead them? And where will Barabbas and his family find lasting peace?
The Barabbas Legacy once again brings the early years of the church into vivid detail, concluding the journey of those first saints who sacrificed everything to bring Christ’s message to the world.
- Final chapter in The Barabbas Trilogy, concluding Barabbas’ imagined journey bringing Christ’s message to the world
- Triumph through adversity, which the burgeoning church of Christ experienced
- As Christians walk through the Lenten season and celebrate Easter, this book can help reflect on sacrifices the early saints made to spread Christ’s message
- Well-researched novel that stays true to historical context and real events associated with the Roman Empire
- Weaves significant Biblical figures, including Paul, Peter, Luke, and others, throughout the novel alongside historical figures like Emperor Nero
- Illustrates the important role women played in the early church leadership
From Chapter 15, Barabbas and Philip meeting with Emperor Vespasian in Rome
Vespasian leaned back, bringing a hand to his chin. His smile neared the borders of sinister. “Are you here to offer me eternal salvation? Do you believe I cannot achieve such a thing on my own?” I didn’t sense anger or hostility in his voice, but his pride clearly had a sharp edge when unsheathed.
“Only Christ can offer that, and you are free to choose it or not. He will not force anyone, for of such comes evil and sorrow.”
“Evil and sorrow,” repeated Vespasian, melancholy suddenly and surprisingly in his voice. The pride was gone. “I have seen much of that in my life. Galba, Otho, and Vitellius were evil, and they brought much sorrow.” He switched his attention to me. “I left Nero off that list, as I know you were friends, of a sort.” His gaze returned to Philip. “Do not worry, Master Philip. I will not follow in their foolish footsteps.”
The fact he had addressed Philip as ‘Master’ seemed significant. I could sense respect there, astoundingly. As I pondered, I was caught off guard when his eyes snapped back to me. “What can you tell me of your friend Nero, Barabbas? I personally avoided him as much as possible.”
I noted he hadn’t used the term ‘Master’ before my name, but I certainly wouldn’t have expected it. “He was a tortured young man,” I answered, carefully but honestly.
“I understand you were witness as Nero executed the previous Christian leader.”
“Yes,” I said sadly. “I sat right next to him.”
“Fascinating.” Vespasian shook his head slightly. “How can you say Nero’s name without loathing?”
I shrugged, maintaining his gaze. “He was a man. He had strengths and weaknesses, as we all do. He was a son of God, too, just as I am and you are. Being emperor crushed his soul. You are stronger in that regard, I believe.” I wasn’t trying to be obsequious or flattering. I felt it was true.
Vespasian’s eyebrows rose, and he smiled mirthfully. “You put yourself on the same level as emperors of Rome.”
I cast a nervous glance at Philip. “No, I do not. But God loves us as his children, equally.”
Now he chuckled. “Love? Have any of the gods truly loved mortals? Some say yes, others no. I’m not sure it matters.”
“It matters a great deal,” interjected Philip. “To know you are a son of God, and that he loves you unconditionally, is one of the greatest anchors your soul can possess. It brings both joy and wisdom, without measure. Our enemy, Lucifer, also called Satan, who is as real as you or I, desires to hide that knowledge from us, by any means necessary. Without it, we can never find God and come to know him. And without God, we can never know true, lasting peace.”
Vespasian took a slow breath, his face becoming serious. “You speak beautifully, Master Philip, and you teach your people to be peaceful and obedient under the law. If this is because of your god’s teachings, then I admire your god. However”—he raised a finger—“there are many in the empire who resent you. Some of the Jews may despise you more than they did before. I will endeavor to make sure Roman law is upheld across the empire, but I cannot promise protection from certain governors or particular circumstances. I must rule wisely, and sometimes that means making trade-offs.”
“It is enough,” said Philip, bowing again. “God will make up the rest. We thank you, Emperor Vespasian.”
I expected Vespasian to dismiss us, but instead he asked another question of Philip.
“Some say you are a prophet. Will I die peacefully?” It was a logical question following the recent year of four emperors, the other three suffering violent deaths.
Philip took only a moment to answer, which would have surprised me had I not seen and felt the Spirit shining so strongly from his countenance. “Yes, you will. You will make some mistakes, as all mortals do, but you will reign wisely, and then you will return peacefully to stand before God, who gave you breath.”
Vespasian blinked once, then again. He seemed shocked. “I believe you,” he finally said. “And it is a great comfort. Most remarkable. Tell my steward to take you to my palace, where you may eat and be refreshed. That will let many know you have my favor.”
About the Author
M.D. HOUSE is the author of The Barabbas Legacy, as well as the first two volumes in The Barabbas Trilogy, I Was Called Barabbas and Pillars of Barabbas. He also authored the science-fiction novel, Patriot Star. Before beginning his second career as a writer, he worked for twenty-five years in the world of corporate finance, strategic planning, and business development. Now, Michael lives in Utah with his wife, where he spends his time writing and enjoying his children and grandchildren.
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