Thomas, Tuesday December 26, 29 CE
Never again. I haven’t drunk as much as I did last night in a very long time. The wine was just so much better than I’m used to, and the way they kept filling my cup, I thought it would run over if I didn’t keep drinking. I always thought Pharisees were so abstemious too.
It was Jesus’ birthday, and I made sure I kept telling everyone he was 29. It’s really important for the image, if he’s interested in any kind of publicity at all these days. Most people expressed surprise he was that old, saying he only looked about 27, which of course he loved. You need a bit of vanity to put yourself forward as saviour of the world. Anyway, I told everyone: never mind measuring the years by reference to the reign of Caesar, we’re entering year 30 of the age of Jesus. It may have sounded hubristic but it’s the kind of thing people remember and repeat to others.
The evening got off to a bad start, before improving and then drifting off again. Our Pharisee host, Simon, couldn’t help scoring a point by having a go at Jesus for not performing a ritual hand-washing before the meal. Jesus wasn’t quite sure how to respond but I remembered a line he had once used about it being cleanliness within a man’s heart that mattered to God, and I reeled that off in his defence. Jesus grinned gratefully at me and developed it into a tirade against the Pharisees for showing off their virtues with gifts to the temple while being bad on the inside.
Simon was momentarily silent, no doubt seeing it as his right to be superior on matters of the law, but then he noticed that two of the tax collectors he had invited were enjoying the scene, so he laughed and congratulated Jesus on making an excellent point. After that we enjoyed a fine meal of meats, fruit and of course far too much wine.
The saviour of the world drank even more than me. After a while he started telling everyone he was the Son of Man and would soon arrive on his cloud and go round judging the world. I knew he’d had enough when his line became, “I’m the son of God, you know. Call me a bastard but I bet your mother never slept with the Big Guy.” This appalled Simon, who would have had no trouble getting Jesus stoned to death for blasphemy, and I quickly apologised and started to persuade Jesus it was time to leave, eventually helping him to stagger home. He’s still sleeping it off and it’s mid-afternoon. If the real Son of Man arrives today, we’re in big trouble.