Knew he’d be back sooner or later, but it was a pleasant surprise to go to Mary and Joseph’s for a meal yesterday evening and find Jesus there waiting to greet us. Well, it was pleasant for me, but Hannah was quite cool and I suppose she could feel Jesus pulling me away from her and the kids again.
It was just like the old days, or maybe not quite like the old days, because he used to blend into the background more. Now he stands out and commands attention. Part of it is he has more to say, or maybe he is more positive and less angry in the way he says it, and part of it is he somehow has this presence now that you just can’t ignore.
I thought his family would be constantly asking him questions about his time away, but they almost seemed to be avoiding the subject and were much more interested in everyday chitchat. Mary was particularly excited about a big society wedding they had been invited to, and what she should wear and what they could possibly take as a present. Jesus raised his eyebrows at me and smiled. We could catch up later.
Met Jesus at the synagogue today and was half expecting him to dazzle them all with some new interpretation of the scriptures or a warning of impending doom, but he seemed content to watch and listen and occasionally read something to himself.
“What’s the point Tom?” he said afterwards when I asked why he hadn’t taken the opportunity to try out some of his ideas and challenge people’s assumptions. “A man can never be recognised in his home town or hope to impress his own family. To them he’s the same old nobody they’ve always known, and always will be. I even got called Bastard and Rain Man yesterday. At least it meant they hadn’t forgotten me completely.”
“You’re right about that,” I said. “I like your line about not being recognised in your home town too. I’m going to start a book of useful sayings to use when we’re out spreading the message. Any good ones will go straight in the book so we don’t forget them…Maybe change it to ‘A prophet is never welcome in his home town’, just to make it sound grander.”
Jesus agreed and said he felt as prepared as he ever would be to start his mission, but we agreed to spend the Sabbath resting with our families and meet up tomorrow after I finish work.