I could hardly believe my eyes; Esther’s mother was helping her in the kitchen and laughing as they listened to Jesus telling a story. Jesus? What was Jesus doing here? And he wasn’t alone. Andrew, James and John were there along with a couple of guys I didn’t know.
“Simon, your friends arrived right after you left, and you’ll never believe what happened.
Jesus asked to see mom, and then he laid his hand on her forehead and it was like magic. Her fever disappeared, and she sat right up and said it was time to get busy. I don’t know what was wrong with her, she was so sick and now she isn’t.”
“I thought you could use a hand this morning, so I figured we could start our day here. And your lovely mother-in-law offered us some breakfast. Peter, have you met Philip and Nathanael? They will be joining us on our adventure.”
Both of the newcomers looked familiar, but in our area, everyone looked familiar, even if you’d never met them.
Esther looked up from setting the table. “Nathanael was just telling us about putting his foot in his mouth, something I’m sure you can relate to Simon.”
“Yeah, it wasn’t pretty. It was just the other day. I ran into Philip and he was all excited, wanting to tell me about the new teacher he’d just met.”
“I didn’t just run into you, I was looking for you. I found him sitting under a fig tree. Deep in thought or lost in thought, or sleeping it was hard to tell.”
“Hey, this is my story, let me tell it.”
“Well excuse me, go ahead.”
“I wasn’t sleeping, I was thinking, about nothing in particular, you know just thinking. And Philip arrives all out of breath telling me he’d found the one who was promised by the prophets and how I needed to meet him.”
“And what did you say?”
“Nothing, at least not right away. It was when you told me he was from Nazareth. Nazareth, that’s crazy. The one the prophets talked about is supposed to come from Bethlehem, and besides, Nazareth?”
“And what did you say?”
“Fine, I said; can anything good come from Nazareth? You happy now? I meant nothing by it that’s just something we say in Cana. Name one important person to come from Nazareth? Nope, you can’t, because seriously, can anything good come from Nazareth?
And then Philip dragged me to meet Jesus. When we got there, Jesus looked at me and called me a true son of Israel. A man of complete integrity.”
“Yeah, I figured he’d blown it then, I thought he’d must have someone else in mind. But Nathaniel had no problem being called a man of integrity, even after his snotty comment about Nazareth.”
“No, that’s not true. After he said that, I asked him, ‘what do you know about me?’ And he told me how he’d seen me sitting under the fig tree, which wasn’t a stretch. How many times have any of us sat under a fig tree in the shade? But then he told me what I was thinking about before you arrived.”
Jesus just sat there, listening to the back and forth between the friends.
“Nathaniel, you might have believed because of my comment about the fig tree but trust me you will see so much more than that before this is over.”
Before Nathaniel could say anything, the door burst open. The other Simon, the one-eyed zealot, rushed in slamming the door behind himself.
“I’ve been looking all over for you, and apparently I’m not alone. There is a crowd heading this way and it seems that they’re looking for you as well.”
Jesus didn’t look the least bit surprised, “They’ve heard about what happened and they are looking for a healing. There will be a lot of that ahead, the crowd will always want something.
Well, we shouldn’t keep them waiting.”