Thomas grudgingly accepts that the day went well but thinks Peter is getting it all wrong
Thursday July 20
Must say today didn’t go too badly. I thought Jesus would be busy celebrating, but the last I saw of him he was writing page after page of his diary. I think the big occasions inspire him and he wants to write as much as he can to preserve the events and his thoughts and feelings about them. He once told me he often goes without writing for days at a time, so his diaries must read like a sequence of triumphs and disasters with big gaps in between. For me, virtually every day is worth writing about, and every page is a success in itself.
I didn’t like the way Peter allowed so much of the meeting to be wasted on mass healings and exorcisms, but the crowds seemed to want it and I was pleased it all went so well. Jesus must have lost a lot of confidence after Nazareth, so today would have reassured him and should inspire him for the future. Healing and exorcism won’t save anyone, but they might make a cured person a bit more inclined to listen to the message, and they are certainly a good way of attracting the crowds, so I suppose we will have to put up with them.
The preaching was pretty good when it came. He stuck to agreed lines for most of the time and seems to be getting the hang of parables. He even had a good one about forgiveness that I hadn’t heard before. We still haven’t sorted out what the core message is, but whatever it may be, I think he was close to delivering it today.
I was surprised at the number of people who managed to turn up on a work day, but given the demand for healing there must have been many who were too frail or ill to work anyway, and a good number looked like farm labourers who won’t be able to get much work at this time of year. There weren’t many ‘respectable’ people, but if the aim is to save the poorest and put those with nothing at all to the front of the queue, that doesn’t really matter.
One thing I would change. Peter had put Jesus on a slope above the crowd, and I still think they would be able to see and hear him better if he was below them on the slope – on a platform of some kind, of course. Maybe we should try a boat soon.