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Ezra: The Boy Who Walked with Jesus

Ezra: The Boy Who Walked with Jesus

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Ezra: The Boy Who Walked with Jesus

154 pagine
2 ore
Jun 12, 2014


In this novel, Ezra, the son of the apostle Peter, is an active member of a fishermans family living in ancient Capernaum, where Jesus stayed while on Earth, teaching and preaching. Twelve-year-old Ezra is a working member of the family, typical of boys his age. He is excited about traveling with his family and Jesus as they walk about the vast area. A shepherd, he is responsible for the care of the familys animals, sheep and an ornery goat, and other assigned duties. He is intelligent, hard-working, and anxious to learn about Jesus. He becomes a successful eavesdropper. Of course there are conflicts. He secretly befriends a Roman boy, enemy to all Jews at the time. Their developing friendship is important to both boys. Life at that time was difficult for young people, but there were also many happy times as well as problems. The actions and incidents are based on extensive research of the Bible and many other historic references concerning the ancient world. Only Ezra as the imaginary character with the events and incidents with Jesus are a figment of the authors imagination. It could easily have happened to a boy at that time.

Jun 12, 2014

Informazioni sull'autore

It has been said that most people today will have at least five careers during their lifetime. T R Hollingsworth has had an interesting life. First a stay-at-home mother, she became an office worker, teacher, published writer, editor, and speaker. She has earned Bachelor and Master Degrees in Education. Her books and articles for young people have been published by Julian Messner (Simon & Schuster), Broadman, God’s World, Cricket, and other national and local publications. She is currently working on an adult novel and a memoir.

Anteprima del libro

Ezra - T.R. Hollingsworth

Copyright © 2014 T.R. Hollingsworth.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

LifeRich Publishing books may be ordered through booksellers or by contacting:

LifeRich Publishing

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Bloomington, IN 47403

1 (888) 238-8637

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.

Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.

ISBN: 978-1-4897-0155-8 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4897-0156-5 (e)

LifeRich Publishing rev. date: 06/04/14



























About the Author


For the boys and girls

Who join Ezra and Jesus on the walk to Jerusalem

and beloved

John, Caroline and Wyatt McGinn


I want to thank Doris Gwaltney,

professional editor and writer, and a dear friend

whose comments, suggestions and enthusiasm

were a constant source of encouragement

and faith In Ezra’s story and his walk with Jesus.



who has taken an active interest and role in my life.




It has been a life-long experience. I have taught in public and private schools and in Presbyterian Sunday schools most of my life. One Sunday while teaching from the church material, I began to wonder… How would Jesus have felt about a twelve year old boy or girl who lived during this time and knew him personally? I thought about that a lot. So I decided to start a research project to satisfy my curiosity. At first it was just a thought. Then it became part of my life when I had time to spend from work and every-day living.

I went to the Bible and studied the Old and New Testaments, the Apostles and their relationships with Jesus. I searched references written by Biblical scholars and other references written about that historic time and about Jesus’s ministry. I wanted to know what the area around the Sea and Galilee, Bethsaida, Capernaum, the Jordon River and all of Jerusalem was like, how the Jewish people were treated by the Roman rulers. I searched for the kind of food they probably ate, the typical family life of someone who followed Jesus. I learned that family members often traveled with the disciples as they spread the Word in groups of two. I wanted to know all about the men who became Jesus’ disciples. What kind of clothes they wore, what games they played, their place in the family. As I searched there were always new questions. What was the weather like? Was it hot or cold, rainy or dry? How did they travel by land or water? After many years I felt I understood what life was like at that time.

I am also a writer. Writers are storytellers. What if…? are words that awaken our imaginations. Many writers build their stories around actual historic facts, happenings, and probabilities. Then they think of a possible plot. I began to think, "What if children, a young boy or girl, walked with Jesus as he taught and preached? What if one of the disciples was his or her father? My research suggested that it could have happened.   What if…?

That’s when Ezra joined me. That day Ezra (and I) began to walk with Jesus! I had found a reason why I spent so many hours over the years studying and collecting information about his time on earth. I had always felt one day it would have a definite purpose. Now I hope you will join Ezra and me as we meet Jesus who lives with us to this day. He invites you to know him just as Ezra did. Of course Ezra is a fictional boy, but the facts concerning Jesus’s life, the places he visited, and his relationships with others are as exact and authentic as this Biblical researcher and writer can present.




It’s time to turn the page and leave for the adventurous, often difficult, days ahead as you walk with Ezra and the Apostles. Travel the road with Ezra, his father Peter, his brother John and his mother Rachel. Stay in their small home. Sleep with the animals at times. Meet and enjoy Ezra’s best, but forbidden friend, Claudius, a Roman. Listen closely as Ezra questions and learns from Jesus, God’s beloved Son. Feel the joy as well as the hardships on the long walk to Jerusalem from the Northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Observe and think of Jesus’ last days of life on earth. Give thanks that he cared enough to sacrifice his life for you – and me.


Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Mathews 19:1 4

Taking a little child in his arms, he said, Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me. Mark 9:37


The Boy Who Walked with Jesus




oar handles and dipped them into the cloudy waters. The skiff barely skimmed the surface. He watched his father’s broad back and thick, rope-like muscles that expanded into brawny bulges. He tried to match strokes, but his were short and weak in comparison. Someday, he thought, someday I too will have muscles and strong arms like that.

Raising his arm, he swept the rain from his face. It had been a long trip. He felt tired and grumpy after hours of staring into the shallow waters of the Jordan River. The rain had stopped, but in the morning dawn the skies were overcast and dark. Breezes added a chill to the dampness. Shivering, he pulled his woolen cloak more closely about his thin body.

Ezra looked down into the water, tried to ignore the tears trickling down his cheeks. Again he swept his arm across his face. A lonely sadness chilled his mind and body. In the search for his Uncle Andrew, they had travelled south along the river for several weeks. But they had not yet found the place where he followed the man called John the Baptist. Shaming tears streamed down Ezra’s cheeks. To hide them he stared down into the bottom of the boat.

Determined to forget his sadness, Ezra straightened, squeezed the wooden handles tightly, and forced the oars into the water. By remembering the many short visits with unknown cousins and new friends, he admitted there had been many happy times. He thought of the welcoming aunts and uncles, the special excursions with them. His gloom lifted slightly as he remembered the good feelings and the excitement of being treated as a special visitor.

Now, rowing with renewed energy, he wished they’d move closer to home, not away from it. He thought of his mother’s teary eyes as they left Bethsaida. She was the one he really missed. Yet he even missed his brother John who was watching over his sheep and goat. And his little sister, too. He even missed the sheep who knew his voice. Tears threatened again.

Just then his father looked back and called, I think we’re getting close, Son. Pointing with his oar, he yelled, See that clump of trees over there? Ezra nodded. We’ll pull in there and store the boat in a safe place. I understand there is a village nearby where we can sell the few perch we’ve caught. Ezra pulled harder on his oars.

As they neared the rocky beach, Ezra saw Shep, his little terrier, waiting near the water’s edge. When the bow of the small boat touched land, the dog ran back and forth, barking and yelping. He jumped into the water and swam around the boat to reach Ezra.

Ho, Shep! Ezra called. Come here, boy. The dog tried to jump out of the water but fell backward, sputtering, and blowing as he sank below the surface. They laughed as he turned and swam back to the shore. Usually the dog slept in the boat’s bow, but earlier Ezra had set the dog on shore so he could stretch his legs and run. He could easily follow the boat’s moves.

Ezra hopped from the skiff into knee-deep water to help push it up on the shore. When he stepped on land, Shep jumped into his arms, scattering water and sand. Ezra picked up a piece of driftwood and tossed it a distance into the river. Unsuccessfully chasing after the bobbing wood, the dog scrambled into the waves, barking happily. Returning to shore, he shook violently, sending a stream of water onto Ezra.

His father pulled as Ezra pushed the boat into a crowded grove of fig trees. The boat will be safe here, his father said. After we sell the fish, we’ll look for Uncle Andrew and John the Baptist. Then we shall return home. He grabbed the handle of the pail loaded with the few perch they had collected that day.

Shep! Come! Ezra called. The dog raced out of the water again. Ezra patted his rough wet hair. Happy now, he looked up at his father who smiled his approval. Ezra finally convinced his father Shep was needed to help him shepherd the family’s sheep and goat. Even though both knew pet dogs were shunned by most Jews.

The rain had stopped. Yet in the morning dawn the dark skies were overcast and still threatening. Breezes added a chill to the dampness. Ezra shivered and pulled his cloak more closely about his body. His tunic underneath was wet and clinging.

As they walked, carrying the basket of fish, Ezra listened eagerly to his father. Usually a silent man he now confided, When I can afford a larger boat, we will stop fishing for other men. Then you can join your uncle and me. We will all work together. Life will be easier then. Ezra nodded. He understood that no Galilean fisherman wanted to work for another man. Then I will be old enough to help you every day, he said proudly. They strolled on companionably silent.

Ezra watched as the buyer weighed and checked the fish for freshness, praying it would bring a nice price. His father seemed content as he carefully counted out the coins and stored them in a small leather pouch. They walked side by side down the path that stretched along the river as they searched for Andrew and the strange baptizer.

Tell me more about him, Father, this man from the wilderness. Ezra searched his father Simon’s face and waited silently.

Your Uncle Andrew claims that this weird man of the wilderness called John the Baptist is telling everyone the Messiah is coming soon. Andrew is so convinced he tells the truth that he hopes to become this Baptist’s disciple.


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