Jesus and his disciples were traveling the land, preaching the way and showing off miracles. They came across a desert village whose residents were suffering from a severe drought. Even though these townsfolk were somewhat used to dry conditions – living in the desert and all – the current dry spell was hitting them hard. Many of them were on the edge of death from dehydration. Jesus and his merry men visited with a homeless man who was sitting on the ground, against the side of a building and enjoying the speck of shade that the building had cast upon him.
“My savior,” he said. “Help us. We are dying of thirst. Please give us some water.”
Jesus nodded. He lifted his hands, looked up to the sky and closed his eyes for a moment, as if concentrating. Then, thunder roared and rain began to fall from the sky. A drizzle became a pour. The man on the ground began to smile, and all the townsfolk poked their heads out of their homes to see what was happening. Before long, all the people in the village were out in the streets, rejoicing in the rain.
“Oh, Jesus, my lord,” said the seated man. “Thank you. Praise you. I love you.”
Jesus nodded and smiled, keeping his humble demeanor.
What Jesus did not tell anyone – not even his disciples – was that this was a new miracle. The ability to make it rain over a desert was a trick he had learned but had not quite gotten the hang of. He was able to summon the rain but he had difficulty controlling the thunder and lightning.
As the people continued to enjoy the precipitation, dark clouds covered them and it became unusually dark for the daytime. Thunder roared again, but this time, it was much louder than before. The townsfolk slowly went from feeling joyous to feeling frightened. Then, a giant bolt of lightning struck the ground in the middle of the village. The townsfolk – never having witnessed lightning in their lives – entered into a state of panic. Lightning struck again, and the sparks on the ground bounced over and onto a pile of discarded rags sitting outside a house. The rags caught fire, which spread to the side of the house, and the fire climbed its way up to the house’s thatched roof. It was not long at all before the whole house was aflame.
Some embers from the roof of the house crumbled off, caught a gust of wind and drifted over to a neighboring building’s roof. The roof caught fire, incinerating the house, almost instantly. If this was a miracle from Jesus, then the Plague of Frogs was a piece of Heaven.
When the storm stopped and the flames died down, the townsfolk formed a mob and confronted Jesus and the disciples.
“Who is responsible for the burning of buildings in my town?” said the town elder.
The disciples buttoned their lips while Jesus thought about how he would respond. Before he could speak, though, Judas stepped up, pointed to Jesus and said, “It was him.”
“Is this true?” said the elder.
Jesus nodded, not one to lie.
The elder summoned the town’s law enforcement agents, who were conveniently right there as part of the mob.
“Arrest this man!” he said. ” You will be detained in a jail cell until the morning comes, when you will tried in a court of justice for your crimes.”
Jesus was hauled away to jail to await his judicial hearing. When the morning came, news of Jesus’ trial was all over town. The headlines in the local newspapers read: