I need to pack up and eat before the sun sets, but I just wanted to capture something of the day first. Jesus went back to Nazareth this morning. I think it’s time he made a go of this urge to go out and compete with all the other prophets trying to save the world. It will at least get it out of his system.
Thaddeus came round again this morning. I feared bad news but he was still walking tall, and when he got near enough I could see he was smiling. He was carrying a small basket which he handed to me.
“Here, I want you to have these eggs. Both my hens laid today, so there’s one each for you and Jesus. Is he around, by the way? I want to thank him.”
He seemed really disappointed when I said he had just missed him.
“How did it go then?” I prompted after a short pause, trying not to let on how eager I was hear the story he was so desperate to tell. Any disappointment was soon forgotten.
“I went home yesterday and decided not to try to fight against Matthias. As Jesus said, it’s hopeless anyway. I walked all the way through his huge estate to his house. More like a palace really. I expected his men to throw me off his land but for some reason they let me pass, and just stayed close to make sure I didn’t do anything stupid. I was even more surprised when Matthias agreed to see me and dismissed his men so we could talk in private.”
Thaddeus told me how he had thrown himself on the mercy of Matthias, saying he was powerless to resist the seizure of his land. He offered Matthias all the land, and himself and his family as slaves, if only Matthias would promise not to let them starve. Apparently Matthias had never heard anyone speak like this before and appeared confused about what to do. Then he admitted that although he had been trying to expand his estate by taking over some pieces of neighbouring land, he hadn’t really considered or cared about the consequences and had more or less left it to his men to decide what to claim. He had promised there and then not only to give Thaddeus his land back, but also to give him part of an adjoining orchard containing fig and olive trees. He even gave Thaddeus a written contract confirming his ownership of the land.
“That’s why I wanted to thank Jesus,” said Thaddeus. “It’s a shame he’s not here. The funny thing is, now I’ve been so close to losing everything I’ve realised that he was right about earthly riches not having any real value. I would cheerfully give it all up and start to prepare for the end of the world if I could find a suitable leader.”
Well, I thought, there’s another follower, if Jesus and Tom can get themselves sorted out. With a few more like Thaddeus, they might even make a go of it. Anyway, those ideas of my husband’s seemed to have saved Thaddeus and his family in the present world without having to wait for cosmic judgment, so maybe there is something in them. I wouldn’t like to try that approach too often though; people might start to take advantage once the novelty wore off. It seemed rude not to accept the gift of two eggs when it meant so much to him, so I thanked Thaddeus and sent him home without a gift in return from me, his head held high.