For instance–I’m nine days away from my deadline, but I research until the last minute. (Gives me something to do when I have to leave the house and wait.) In any case, the WIP contains a reference to the fact that Herod Antipas built his city, Tiberias, by the sea of Galilee, which was fringed with reeds. And so I wrote in banners that flutter from the watch towers emblazoned with reeds. I also have a merchant come from Jerusalem to see Herod, and he happens to present the king with a crown decorated with . . . reeds. Just pulled it off the top of my head and wrote it in.
(Ooohh–just got another idea. I’ll have to write that one in, too.)
Okay, so I’m at the salon yesterday waiting for some chemical to do its thing on my hair, and I read that Herod A also put reeds on the backs of his coins. Pretty cool. Then I read that Jesus talked to some folks about John the Baptist and said, “What did you go to see? A reed shaking in the wind?”
Ahhhhh–get it? A reed? Jesus was hinting that they were hoping for another king like Herod. And while that was a very cool insight, it got better. Remember when they mocked Jesus and dressed him in purple and put the crown of thorns on his head? Do you remember what they placed in his hand?
A reed. For the king of the Jews.
Wow. Pretty cool, huh? And people think novels are made up . . .
If there’s one thing I’ve learned through working on this WIP, it’s that we contemporary Christians who operate from an ignorance of Jesus’ times and Jewish history–well, we’re only scratching the surface of the story. We think the Scriptures are rich, but we’re only mining about an inch of the top layer.
There’s so much more to learn.