Thomas, Saturday January 13, 30 CE
Agreed to join Jesus on one more tour, to provide some strategic input, but didn’t realise till we set off that this one was planned to last at least two weeks, not just a few days like the last one. I’ll see how it goes, but I really wanted to get back to Nazareth soon.
Jesus really stirred things up in the synagogue today. I had all these things scripted for him, but he just can’t resist goading the Pharisees and went off on a rant of his own. Actually it was quite good. He’s become so used to using parables that he came up with one on the spot.
It was about people who take the moral high ground, and featured a Pharisee and a tax collector praying in the Temple. The Pharisee brags loudly about being better than ordinary people because he obeys every detail of the law, fasts regularly and gives at least a tenth of his income away. The tax collector simply bows his head in shame and asks to be forgiven for being such a bad person. The moral wasn’t lost on his audience.
What I really liked about it was that it came back to our old theme of roles and fortunes being reversed. There was actually a tax collector at the synagogue who had been hiding at the back in shame, who liked the story so much he invited us all to dinner at his house this evening, which annoyed the Pharisees even more. He fed and wined us royally, and Jesus forgave him his sins, and he made a generous contribution to the tour purse and promised to give a bigger amount to the poor, so everyone was happy. Apart from the Pharisees of course, but they wouldn’t be happy being happy anyway.