This story is meant to be fiction. It goes along with Philippians 1:3-12. Any theological value found in these stories are meant for a modern audience, and should not be used to interpret Philippians.
He stopped a moment to bow his head after he said it. Flavius, the Roman guard, stared at him–this man who looked so tired from the months of imprisonment–wondering why he lowered his head like this. Flavius looked to the only other man in the room, the man who was dictating the words of this poor Jewish peasant.
“Why do you bow your head?” Flavius asked. “Do you wish now to honor the gods?”
The poor Jewish man’s dictator looked up to him.
“I only write what he tells me to write,” the dictator said. “He has told me to write that he prays fervently for those whom he is writing.”
“Who does a poor Jewish peasant write to? Who could possibly want to hear what he has to say?”
“I think you, my friend, would be surprised where this poor man has been. But nevertheless, he will not let me write a lie.”
The Jewish man opened his eyes once again and stared at the man who was writing for him.
“Tell them this,” the Jewish man said quietly, “I am here in this prison to further the kingdom.”
“Whose kingdom are you furthering?” asked Flavius sarcastically smiling. “Surely you are not in jail for furthering our kingdom.”
“No,” the man said. “I am not. Continue by telling them that it has become clear I am in chains for Yeshua.”
Flavius’ ears perked up. He was now interested. His brother had worked in the palace guard down in Jerusalem about twenty years ago, and that was the only story he ever told–about another Jewish peasant that had lived. A carpenter from Galilee who was crucified. His brother had never seen such a spectacle. The word was the man who had died was an innocent, and Pilate was only trying to appease the Jewish authorities. The whole thing was a real mess in his brother’s eyes.
“You wouldn’t be talking about that wandering Jew from Galilee, would you?” the guard asked.
The room went silent.
“How do you know the name of Christ all the way here in Rome?”
“From my brother. He has told me many stories about a wandering peasant who came into Jerusalem about twenty years ago. My brother said the man looked him in the eyes, and he had never felt such shivers. Like the guy was looking into his soul.”
“You have no idea,” the tired Jewish peasant said. “You have no idea at all.”