I bend down and feel for the money bag at my feet. It’s heavier than normal for this time of the day. I’ve had the usual quota of ‘poor harvest’ stories, of course, but generally people know I mean business. Pay your taxes or suffer the consequence, that’s my motto. There’s the odd person who comes in and tries to play the ‘we grew up together’ card. Yet, I always remind myself of how they treat me once I leave this booth. To them I am the scum of the earth. Continue reading
In all my years fishing on the Sea of Galilee, I had never seen a storm like this. Throughout the night the wind’s strength grew. It belligerently resisted us, flinging angry waves across our bow. As we fought to stay upright on the crests and troughs, despondency set in. We were tired, soaked to the bone and starting to fear for our lives. Then we saw a shadow moving across the water. Terror clenched at my heart and someone screamed. Could this be a spirit—a sure sign that we were doomed to die in this accursed storm? Continue reading
One conversation kept creeping up among Jesus’ disciples. Right until the night of his arrest they were debating, arguing and evaluating it amongst themselves, despite everything Jesus had already said on the topic.
James, the son of Zebedee tells us of just one of these encounters: Continue reading
Today our journey finds us winding down a dusty path between simple mud-brick homes. As we duck into the narrow entrance of one of these, we hear the clatter of a falling jug followed by a soft curse. After the bright sunlight, it takes our eyes a while to adjust to the dark interior, and so we hear the talking and laughter before we actually see the group of people reclining at a low table. From behind a wall a woman appears, the shards of a broken jug in her hands. As she leans down to speak to the rabbi, her eyes narrow accusingly on the single woman in the group. Continue reading