“I’d like to speak to the rabbi,” I say, with only a slight tremor in my voice.
By all accounts, this rabbi’s teachings are wise and his miracles, spectacular. Some even say he is our long-awaited Messiah. Perhaps Rabbi Jesus holds the answers to the questions of my heart.
Trouble-maker. That was my impression when I first heard of Rabbi Jesus. He swept into Capernaum as if he owned it. His presence drew the sick and downtrodden from as far as Tyre and Sidon into our once peaceful town. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the fervent Pharisees came too, their somber, superior presence sowing nothing but disquiet.
I’m an upright and reserved woman and I tell you honestly that I didn’t like the sound of this rabbi and the rabble following him. Had Simon brought him home on any other day, I would have given my son-in-law a good tongue-lashing and suggested the rabbi finds another town to disrupt.
I watch the sun dropping down to the hills and the shadows lengthening. Clouds on the horizon catch the orange and red tones of the setting sun. A small breeze, cool against my cheeks, ripples over the water, gently bobbing the boat up and down. It’s a welcome relief from the cloying heat of the day, hotter than any I recall from my years fishing these waters. But then sitting in a tethered boat as Jesus speaks to the crowd, isn’t exactly the same as sailing. I gaze out at the enraptured faces, softened by the last light of the day, and realise that despite the heat, none of us would have chosen to be anywhere but here.
I nervously pace around the court of the Priests, paying little attention to the discussion around me. Joseph, the Arimathean, glances up and pats the empty space next to him. As I slide in beside him, he whispers, “Do not concern yourself, Nicodemus. The guards were merely sent to question the Rabbi, nothing more.”
His words are kind, but untrue. The chief priests have been lying in wait for the one known as Jesus, hoping he would appear at the Feast of Tabernacles. They have had guards posted on the temple steps watching for him. Continue reading
On the fourth day of Master Simeon’s wedding feast, the wine ran out. We’d seen it coming, of course. The day before, my brother Jehu had hurried back to the kitchen with an empty wine jug in his hand, his forehead creased with worry. He rushed over to count the remaining wine skins and then silently beckoned me over.
“We’re not going to have enough,” he whispered. Continue reading
Faith. Jesus spoke a great deal about it. He commended people who had it, and reproached those who didn’t. Faith, the Bible tells, is the requirement to be saved. But more than that, it must infuse our daily lives, for the just shall live by faith (Rom 1:17). Continue reading
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