This is a story about a little baby spider who saved Jesus' life.
King Herod was very much afraid of the baby Messiah. He had been visited by Wise Men and Kings from foreign lands. All traveled to pay tribute to the newborn baby who is destined to bring a new kingdom to the World. He had become fearful of losing power, especially to a baby, and placed orders for all children two years and younger to be killed. Sometimes even the parents were killed trying to protect their children. Jesus' parents, as well as other who had heard the news, fled to Egypt for safety. They traveled mostly during the night so they would not see them. But the vast Roman army was quickly catching up to guard the borders.
It was much quicker to cross the open plains but very difficult to go over the rugged mountain terrain, especially when you are carrying a newborn baby. Guided by Angels, they started their journey over the mountain tops. From their viewpoint at nighttime, they could see the campfires of the approaching Romans soldiers and at times they were able to hear their voices. Mary was very fatigued and needed some rest. After all, she had just recently given birth and had very little time to recover before fleeing for their safety.
As they traveled over one of the mountain tops, they came across a series of caves. Joseph, lighting a torch, looked into the caves to see which one was better suited to hide in. Mary was already sleeping on the ground when Joseph returned. Jesus as well was calmly sleeping in Mary's arms. Joseph carried them as quickly as he could to the back of one of these caves. Before leaving, Joseph being a carpenter and therefore skilled with his hands, had made a sword. While Mary and Jesus hid, Joseph kept guard just in case the soldiers entered the cave.
They were so far in the cave that they could not see the opening any more. This was Joseph's strategy. For what soldier would want to search a deep, dark cave with the chance of meeting a wild animal in one of them. By nightfall, the Roman army was already at the bottom of the mountain terrain where Joseph and his family were hiding. The solders were preparing their evening meals, sharpening their weapons and sharing war stories. By morning they would surely be searching the caves.
The cave Joseph and his family were hiding in did not have a wild animal in it, but it did have another inhabitant: a little baby spider. This spider was awakened when Joseph carried his family into the cave. He was curious as to why anybody would want to enter a cave. So when Joseph came out of the cave to check on the soldiers, the little spider climbed onto Joseph and journeyed with him to the mountain's edge. There they saw and heard the soldiers.
With tears in his eyes, Joseph quietly prayed to God.
“Father of Abraham, I was guided by a dream to be with Mary; I was guided by you to protect her and the baby. I see only death within reach of me and those I love. I see nothing beyond the next day but those who have already passed away. To quietly leave now, unseen by the Romans and those you blessed me with would be a fate worse than death itself. I may never fully understand but I do know that I would rather die living than to live dead. And I chose to follow my heart and stand ready to do what my mind says otherwise. I am scared but I will protect them with my life. You do not have to worry about me.”
The little spider hearing Joseph's prayer and was deeply moved. He did not know anything about the baby Messiah, but his heart was moved by the love and sacrifice of a father. When Joseph returned to the cave to check on his family, the little spider jumped off of him. The little spider wanted to help but what could a spider do; especially a baby spider? So he thought for a moment, and immediately had an idea.
The spider crawled to the cave's opening and began to make a spider's web, but not any ordinary spider's web. This would be his first spider's web and he wanted it to be the biggest and best of any kind. After all, he wanted to help the family whom he had heard Joseph praying about. And so, during the long cold night, this little baby spider kept weaving his beautiful web. Never once did he take a rest or slow down. Running along strands of web and swinging through the air, this spider was focusing everything he had on completing his first spider's web.
As the sun was coming up over the horizon, the Roman soldiers were preparing their journey up the mountainside. Joseph was deep in the cave never to have gone to sleep. The baby spider was very slow compared to the much older and experienced spiders, but he kept working as fast as he could while the soldiers came closer and closer. As the soldiers approached the opening of the cave where Joseph's family was in, they stopped.
There before them was a wall of web. A web pattern the like none have never seen before. The morning dew was already covering the web, and as the morning light was hitting the web, an array of incredibly beautiful colors was reflecting off of it. It looked as if a rainbow were covering the cave's entrance. And to add more beauty to it, as the solders moved around they could see the changing colors of the web. A combination of morning dew and light has blinded them. It was as if they were looking upon the door to Heaven.
The army commander, as well as the others, was so impressed with the beauty of the web that they stared at it for what appeared to be for eternity. Not just the colors shining off of it but the patterns within patterns. Soldiers were seeing all sorts of shapes and symbols; artwork like no one has ever created before. No one wished to damage it and excuses were being made to protect it.
The commanding officer reasoned that it would have taken many days to weave such a magnificent web and if anyone had entered the cave would have surely damaged the web. He gave orders to protect the spiders’ web. Joseph being at the back of the cave and hearing every word the soldiers were saying was curious about the spider's web which he surely would have seen when he entered the cave. By evening, when the army had moved onward towards the other mountains terrains, Joseph awoke Mary and they made their way to the caves entrance.
There they saw the same rainbow effect from the evening sunset which the Roman soldiers had seen from the morning sunrise. During the whole day not once did Jesus cry or make trouble in endanger his parents' as well as his own life. Mary awoke Jesus so he could see the beautiful web. He saw the different colors and began laughing with great joy. After the sun had set, Joseph used his sword to cut an opening to continue their journey to Egypt.
Leaving the cave, Jesus began smiling and waving towards an area of the cave. Mary was curiously looking around to see what he was looking at but saw nothing. Jesus was waving directly towards the little spider that had saved him and his family from certain death. Making their way through the terrain and safely entered Egypt, avoiding the armies that King Herod had sent out with orders to kill the King of the Jews, they stayed until it was safe to return home.
The little spider was honored to have saved their life. Taught by a prayer, the little spider learned to help others to best way he could. From the sacrifice of the whole night's rest, the whole world was able to come much closer to understanding this. Creating a thing of beauty that has inspired the world with a love for others to be a part of.
© 2010 melmika
Denny on December 29, 2019:
My Pastor shared this story this morning to the children and adults in church. I'm sharing it again tonight to my 6 year old.
Thomas on November 27, 2015:
I was looking for a story to tell children at our church. I remembered this story from when I was a small boy. My teacher, a St. Joseph Nun told me and my class mates a story about a spider that saved Jesus. I mentioned this to my daughter. She googled it and found it. It is the only story that I remembered from all the stories that were read to us. I was about six years old at that time. I am know seventy seven. Hopefully the children will love it as much as I did.
Brigand on March 19, 2011:
"The spider was deeply moved" -- "The spider thought for a moment, and immediately had an idea."
I propose a vote: sentient, considerate, and self-effacing baby spiders shall be permitted to run for presidency of the UN General Assembly.
Surely you people must see that the spider will save us all. The ant-people will NEVER conquer us when they arrive on Earth too.
*adjusts aluminium hat*
Miggin on January 10, 2011:
Brilliant. Just the story I was looking for to read as apart of a school assembly at the start of January.