WE WERE BACK at the temple almost every day that week. The merchants and money changers had moved their operations outside of the temple court. There was still a demand for what they had to offer, but at least it wasn’t happening inside the temple gates.

During the day, Jesus would teach and tell stories, and each evening we’d make our way back to Bethany to spend the night.

Jesus continued to teach about loving God and loving people, but he would return to the theme of his death and resurrection time after time. He insisted that the High Priests were plotting with the Romans, and it wouldn’t be long before they killed him.

It hardly seemed possible that the crowds would even permit that to happen. After what we had seen when he rode into the city, the religious leaders had to realize that they would have a riot on their hands if they tried to harm Jesus.

We had talked about where we would be celebrating the Passover, but Jesus told us not to worry about it, that he had everything arranged. I was hoping that it would be with Lazarus and his sisters, I could only imagine the feast that Martha would put on, but when I mentioned it to her, she said that no one had said anything to her.

Toward the end of the week, Jesus called everyone together. He told us that he would be taking the twelve into Jerusalem the next day, and the rest of the group would be staying in Bethany.

Mary seemed a little put out that she wasn’t invited to celebrate the Passover with her son, but for the most part, people had gotten used to certain things being reserved for the thirteen of us.

Jesus told John and me to head into Jerusalem to get things ready for the evening meal. He gave us an address and told us the owner would meet us and show us where we’d be eating.

I don’t know how he made the arrangements; it was almost spooky how things just seemed to happen.

On the way, John and I talked about fishing and laughed at shared memories from our childhood. I had known John longer than I had known Andrew, our families had always lived next door to each other, and our fathers had grown up together.

My mind drifted as I thought of the days we spent as kids playing on the beach and around our father’s boats. There was never any doubt about how we would spend our adult lives. We would fish the waters that our fathers had fished and their fathers had fished.

If you had of told us that we would end up following an itinerate preacher all over Palestine we would have laughed at the thought.

“Hard to believe it was less than a week ago.” John’s words pulled me out of my nothing space, where I often went while I walked.

“I beg your pardon?”

“I said, it’s hard to believe that it was less than a week ago.”

My mind was scrambling. So much had happened in the past week.

“Many things were less than a week ago. Are you thinking about any one thing in particular?”

“When he rode into Jerusalem on the colt. It was crazy. I couldn’t believe the way the crowd was responding. I was convinced we were on the brink of something great.

“Simon and Judas were almost frothing at the mouth; they were so excited. They were ready to crown him King on the spot.”

“I know,” I said, “That’s why I can’t understand his mindset over the past couple of days. He’s so convinced that everybody will turn against him. Everybody loves him.”

The conversation drifted into lighter topics for the rest of the walk; the upcoming celebrations, what plans Jesus might have for next week, and before we knew it, we were walking into the outskirts of Jerusalem.

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