My peace didn’t last long. The sun was going down on another restful day and I was out admiring the view when I saw a figure in the distance, stomping towards the farm. I kept watching and it turned out to be Tom. He was in a foul mood and ranting about wanting to leave the disciples. Worse, he said John the Baptist had been executed and that nothing good would ever come of my mission.
Jesus, Sunday July 30
I didn’t ask what had happened between him and Peter but obviously they had not parted the best of friends. I should never have risked pairing them up but it would be so good if they could find a way to work together. I was too distracted by the shocking news about John to want to talk things over with Tom anyway; I just hoped the story was wrong.
Then who should turn up, just before it became completely dark, but my friend and mentor Cyrus, his donkey laden with goods, on another of his trading trips. He had been in Jerusalem recently and confirmed the terrible news about John. I would normally be delighted to see Cyrus and could sit around for hours chatting to him about his travels, but not now. I told him Tom would benefit from a verbal massage if he wanted company, and then escaped to sit here on my own and think.
Am I afraid for myself? A little, but I know God will protect me. I just keep thinking about how terrible and lonely it must have felt to be arrested, imprisoned and finally executed, knowing you’re guilty of nothing more than trying to save people. What’s the harm in that? OK, he told the rich and powerful that they would have no place in the new Kingdom, and I can see how that must have irritated them, but they had the opportunity to give it all up if they wanted to. It must be very hard though, to give it all up if you’re rich. Harder than…squeezing a donkey through a narrow gate. No, that doesn’t have much impact. Harder than squeezing a camel through a narrow gate. Still doesn’t do much. Harder than squeezing a camel through…the eye of a needle! That would make people stop and listen. Tom would like that. I must try it out on him in the morning, if he’s not deserted me by then.