And so it went. For the rest of the trip Jesus told us stories and taught us about the Kingdom. Every once in a while someone would recognize him, word would spread and soon we’d be surrounded by a crowd. A clamouring clutching crowd, more times than not they weren’t there to hear what Jesus had to say about the kingdom, they were only seeking the healing that Jesus could bring.
Finally, after all the starts and stops, we arrived. Not that there was much to arrive at. Whatever I had been expecting Nazareth to be, this wasn’t it.
I’m a fisherman, and it’s not that I have anything against farmers, but they’re not fishermen. And Nazareth, for the most part was a village of farmers. Terraces growing grapes, orchards of olive trees and fields of wheat surrounded the 30 or so homes. Now I understood why so many of Jesus’ stories revolved around farming, farmers and their crops.
Looking around, I could understand why Jesus had left Nazareth and made his way to Galilee, if only for the view.
It had only been a couple of days and I was already missing the water.
As we walked along the paths that separated the homes, people called out and waved to Jesus. It seemed there wasn’t a person in the town he didn’t know.
“Well, this is it.” Jesus said. We had stopped outside a home that had a sign next to the front door that simply read, “Carpentry by Joseph. ”
“It hardly seemed worthwhile to replace the sign. Everybody knew that Joseph had passed away, but he taught my brothers and I the trade, so I guess it’s still valid.”
Just then the front door burst open, and a whirlwind blew out to meet us.
“Jesus, I didn’t know you were coming, or I would have prepared. I don’t have enough food for all of and where will you sleep? It so good to see you, I’ve missed you so much.”
“Take a deep breath, Mom, it will all work out, trust me. That’s why I didn’t tell you. I didn’t want you stressing over us coming.”
She wasn’t very big, but she had a force that went beyond her personality. Her dark eyes shone with a passion for life and the lines around her mouth and eyes revealed a life with more smiles than frowns.
“I’m Mary, Jesus’ mother, and you are . . . ?” She didn’t even wait for us to answer. “Come on in and I will find something for you to eat. Jesus show your friends where to wash up.”
That evening we met Jesus’ brothers and sisters and sat around the kitchen and talked for hours.
The room was full of laughter as Jesus and his siblings caught up on news, shared inside jokes and remembered the time when the small house was home and the love that was showered on them by Mary and Joseph.
When the conversation finally died down, we were relegated to homes around the village to spend the night.