Today didn’t go quite as I expected. Nor yesterday. I had been hoping to gather up most of the apostles and some of the sixty disciples and go to the synagogue in Magdala this morning to pick up where we had left off and relaunch the mission. I had succeeded in attracting attention in Jerusalem and knew it was the only place to go to really get the message home to people and save them from the evil influence of the Scribes, the Pharisees and the Devil. I had been impressed by Jesus son of Ananias too, even if he had stupidly set himself up against everyone and got himself arrested. The way he kept his message simple and kept hammering it home were inspirational.
The apostles I did manage to find were more enthusiastic than ever, but being without my leadership during the few weeks since Yom Kippur has resulted in people going off to do other things. Peter had tried to hold everyone together but they had grown tired of his demands and were beginning to regard him as a madman, so his efforts had failed. Simon had tried to persuade some of the apostles to go with him to find a band of armed men to join who would give God more physical assistance in overcoming the old order. While he had failed to convert any of them to his way of thinking, which pleased me, he had gone off on his own and hadn’t been seen since.
The fishermen were still full of enthusiasm but missed their families and needed to fish, so in my absence they had drifted off. The likes of Matthew, Judas and Bart had felt the biggest disappointment at the non-appearance of the Son of Man, and I suspect they had found it very hard to come to terms with intellectually. They had gone away too, though no one was quite sure where to. In fact the only apostles that remained were Thaddeus and Jamie. I found them out in the fields yesterday and they immediately followed me without hesitation. It was they who told me what everyone else had been up to.
I didn’t expect or even want a big welcome in the synagogue. I had intended to sit out of sight and remain silent, and then perhaps chat to a few people afterwards with the aim of starting to gather a following again. But it had become like Nazareth. In a place where only weeks before I had been mobbed by people wanting me to teach, heal and save them, I was now being actively ignored. Some glowered at me while others made a show of turning their backs on me. I could understand there must have been a certain amount of disappointment when the Son of Man didn’t arrive, and I knew there had been some resentment at the impact on the town’s image caused by the camp, but I hadn’t expected this. We did our best to remain inconspicuous and left as soon as it was acceptable to do so. I decided to try again in a week or two.
I haven’t spoken to Mary yet about my plans. The certainty I felt yesterday is now less strong, and the relaunch may take longer than I had hoped. I need to find more of the apostles and return with them to some of the towns whose welcome for me never wavered.