So often I feel a sense of relief when Jesus goes off on a trip. Then I feel guilty about my feeling of relief, and then I feel anxious about my feeling of guilt, and soon my feelings pile up and I regret feeling anything at all. But if I didn’t feel anything at all, that nothing feeling would be worse than anything. At least I still care deeply about him, whatever the actual feelings are.
At least he didn’t exorcise me again today. I’m just a bit under the weather. If only he knew how it feels when your husband keeps telling you you’re full of demons. Oh, here I go again about feelings. Time to give Mary a hand and get the place tidy, now that lot have gone. I’m looking forward to a nice restful Sabbath.
Seem to have stirred Jesus up into taking his mission more seriously again and getting back to basics. Peter and the others are up for more touring and less cosying up to the rich and influential. I haven’t yet told them I won’t be joining them. I’m happy to stay around here for a while and do some writing, but then I’m going back to Nazareth.
Mary complained that he had soon tired of her, but I think in a way she’s pleased things are picking up again. She seems more than happy to have the company of the other three Marys anyway, and they spend a lot of time chatting together as well as grinding corn, baking bread and doing other essential work. She looks a bit strained at the moment but says she feels fine.
Jesus, Sunday December 31, 29 CE
Sunday 30th December
Mary was sick again this morning. She was fine yesterday so it can’t be something she ate, unless she keeps eating something bad every night. She didn’t seem keen to be exorcised but I insisted. After a while she convulsed and then relaxed, and I could sense a demon coming out of her. She was better after that.
Tom and Peter came to me and suggested we start touring the area more ourselves instead of relying on others to spread the word. They’re right. Apart from anything else, I’m starting to become unpopular here. It seems to happen eventually wherever I am. You’d think people would be more grateful for being saved. We agreed to start with some of the local towns and villages and see how it goes. Peter has got most of his old spirit back since Tom arrived. They’ve never got on that well personally but when they compete constructively it’s good for them and the entire team.
Thomas, Saturday December 30, AD 29
Didn’t stay long in synagogue today. It used to be the highlight of our week in Galilee, at least before the Yom Kippur debacle, but Jesus says the Pharisees have been giving him a hard time since he arrived here. Before we went he told me he was going to keep out of the way and avoid trouble, but a certain Simon was waiting for him at the head of a queue of Pharisees.
Jesus was extremely patient for a long time, but eventually he cracked and called them a bunch of slimy hypocrites. They asked him to leave, which he did, curing a woman with a severe bleeding problem on the way out just to goad them.
Jesus, Saturday December 23, 29 CE
Another successful week expanding the mission and finding rich sinners to turn from their wickedness and give generously to the poor. It’s all going very well, yet I’m feeling oddly restless. There must be more to it than this.
That sounds like a knock at the door. Who would be visiting at this time of night in the middle of winter? I can hear voices: more than one; a man and a woman; familiar voices. Surely not! I’m going to see for myself.
Mary Magdalene, Sunday December 17, 29CE
I need to think about rejoining Jesus soon. Cyrus has plenty to do here, and I want to get away before he says any more about getting a divorce. Jesus and I have happily lived apart for years without thinking about divorce, and now I want to get closer to my husband, not further away. As Cyrus is the paying tenant now, I’ve moved into the spare room and let him keep the master bedroom. He’s been very good and has not laid a finger on me since Wednesday.
Simon slept for two days and finally woke up on Friday, saying he felt much better. He managed to get outside to the toilet but then felt faint and had to come back in again. He had some bread and water and went back to bed to sleep through the Sabbath. Today he’s been walking around the yard in the sun and fresh air, and he seems to be recovering well.
The servants haven’t said anything but some of them will have seen him. They know who he is and what he believes, and they will have seen his bandages and heard the news from Bethsaida, so it’s a big risk to us all for him to remain here for long.
Jesus, Saturday December 9, AD 29
Another week over and things are going well. The message is spreading fast, and already I can’t walk around Bethany without being recognised. If people ask me to heal members of their family, I’m happy to go to their house to do my work. They’re usually delighted with the results and often ask me to stay for a meal. I always accept when I can, and use the occasion to tell them to renounce evil, give their money to the poor and prepare for the coming Kingdom. I’ve told all the apostles to follow my example, and a loyal base of supporters is already building faster than I had expected.
Some of my best results are achieved with people I’d least expect to become followers, such as tax collectors and prostitutes, but these are the people who need saving most, so I’m quite happy to mix with them if it’s what I have to do. They can be quite good company actually, and I’m looking forward to some of the dinner parties I’ve been invited to.
I tried to stay on the right side of the Pharisees today by not healing anyone at the synagogue, but they were still very sniffy and holier than thou. Then as I was leaving a man asked me to go to his house to see his possessed daughter, and one of them overheard and started condemning me in a loud voice for even talking about healing. Just to annoy them I told the man that if he had faith, his daughter’s demon would leave her without me going to visit her. That really wound them up, but they are so petty it makes me want to do more to annoy them in future.