Thomas, Monday June 26
I managed to get Jesus and Mary together this morning for a little chat. Mary was relieved that I had noticed her agitation at being overrun by visitors, but then started to get apologetic.
“Don’t get me wrong,” she said. “I said I would support your mission and I still mean it, but I just find it a bit overwhelming having all these men crowding me out of my own house. And if you could possibly find some other sponsors, it would help spread the burden and make it easier to live within my means.”
We understood perfectly, and thanked her for her generosity and patience. I could just see Hannah or Jesus’ mother in the same situation. They wouldn’t last five minutes.
I reminded Jesus that we needed to sit down and finish writing the sermons we had been working on. I told him I would also appreciate his input on some parables I had started writing, and maybe we ought to prepare answers to some of the tricky questions that might come up when we started touring further from home.
Jesus was happy with the first two but said he never let himself worry about how to respond to the unexpected. He always trusted in God, or his instincts, or both, and found that too much planning made him tense and less spontaneous. I understand completely, though that would terrify me. I sleep better at night if I have it all worked out in detail.
Jesus said he would like to go with all the disciples to Nazareth. I had hoped he would give up on Nazareth but for some reason he seemed to want to give its people one last chance. I still had my doubts but it was his choice. He would be able to show his mother that he was making a go of his life, and I have to admit I wouldn’t mind showing Ruben I didn’t need him or his job any more…Oh, if only I could have my job again and go back to Hannah and my adorable family…At least I can pay them a visit and reassure them I will be back before long. Then perhaps I can go for that job in Sepphoris.
We eventually decided to meet up in Nazareth on Thursday evening, leaving a day to get sorted out before making an appearance at the synagogue on Saturday. We agreed not to plan any further ahead, but I had the feeling we would end up coming back this way regardless of how things went in Nazareth. There are plenty of towns around the Sea of Galilee where the message would be welcomed.
Matthew said he wanted to check his house was all right and said why didn’t we all go and eat with him on Thursday and stay the night. That sounded a very good idea. I had almost forgotten how well off he was. He could be a big help financially. We also agreed it would be a good idea for Simon, sorry, Peter, and the other fishermen to go back to their boats for the next couple of days. They could make sure everything was still there, and any fish they caught could go to Mary to replenish her stocks or be sold to provide some spare cash.
They seemed more than happy with the idea and the five of them marched off, Philip having been accepted as a fisherman by the other four as well as in my mind. Matthew had become friendly with Bart and Judas and invited them to go with him to his house. That just left Simon the Zealot and Thaddeus and Jamie. Oddly, the three seemed to be getting on well together, and Mary already seemed much more relaxed now more than half the group had gone, so it was agreed they could stay a bit longer provided they earned their keep working on the farm.