The voice of the Son of Man tells Peter when the end of the world will be, and it’s not far off…
Monday August 28
Thought for the Day was a parable I had written about not hiding your lamp under a bowl. In other words, if you have something illuminating to say, tell the world about it and don’t hide it. It would have made a perfect pep talk for the seventy, but they hadn’t really needed any more pepping, so perhaps the quieter ones who remained were the ideal audience. After that Jesus spent most of the day talking to Peter and me. Mary and Cyrus were out in the vineyard overseeing the end of the grape harvest and supervising the start of the treading process, so we were free to sit and talk uninterrupted.
We were all frustrated at not knowing quite what to do. There is so little time left but so few specific preparations we can make. The three of us could go out and preach locally, but everyone round here has heard the message so many times and by now are either believers or think we are mad. We could go out on the road, but there are already 70 men out there spreading the word and encouraging others to spread it further.
After lunch it was so warm and quiet that the three of us dozed off. I was awoken by the sound of a man in pain, and looked up to see Peter holding his head. I wondered if he had been stung, or had fallen out of his chair, but he was busy talking to himself and I didn’t want to interrupt. Jesus was awake now too, watching with concern. After a few minutes Peter looked up at us as if we had just walked in.
“I have heard a new voice. A strong powerful voice I have never heard before, but I know exactly who it is. It’s the Son of Man.”
I avoided asking him how he knew that, if he’d never heard it before. The voice might have announced who it was, but what was to stop a voice announcing who it was, even if it wasn’t? Clearly such doubts didn’t trouble Peter.
“He’s coming to save the chosen people of Israel on Yom Kippur.”
“Where’s he going to start, and how will we know it’s him?” I asked, humouring him.
“He hasn’t decided where to start, but he will descend on a huge cloud accompanied by angels and archangels, and will travel the length and breadth of the land to save the chosen.”
“So we won’t really be able to miss him,” I said, “and it won’t matter whether we are in Jerusalem, on a hillside, in a town or in the fields…Ask him something else. What can we ask him?”
But he had gone. Perhaps he didn’t like the attention, which would be surprising for someone who rides around on clouds of thunder saving thousands and dooming tens of thousands. But then again, he won’t have actually introduced a new age and saved the chosen people before, and might not have even have had much practice riding a cloud, so I wouldn’t blame him if he had a touch of performance anxiety.
Peter’s visiting voices had left him with a blinding headache, and he went into the house to find a dark room. Jesus and I sat and chatted excitedly till the evening, then ate with Mary and Cyrus, who were excited about the progress they were making.