Where were the people coming from?  It was another one of those days; it started off when the twelve of us got back from our trips.  We were clamouring to tell Jesus all about what happened, and people were gathering around him as they always seemed to be doing, so he said.  “Simon, let’s get away, everyone to the boat.” 

It seemed like it kept getting harder and harder to have time with Jesus.  The crowds were always there, pushing and demanding.  They all had needs, spiritual needs, and it seemed more important, to them anyway, physical needs. 
The blind wanted to see, the lame wanted to walk and the lepers; the lepers wanted it all back.  And really, who could blame them?

And so we made our ways to the boat, pushing it into the water and then clamouring on board.

She really hadn’t been built for this, she was a work boat not a tour boat,  but everyone found their spot and it wasn’t long before we were making our way across Galilee.  There was something about being on the water, as long as I could remember there was a boat in my life, and this was one of those days that was made for being at sea. 
The blue of the  sky was only broken by the occasions streak of clouds, the sun was almost painfully bright and there was just enough wind to push us across the water at a leisurely pace.  A perfect day to be on a boat with friends. 

And as we sailed we talked, everyone had something they wanted to tell Jesus about their trip.  It had been beyond imagination. 

Jesus had sent us out in pairs.  Andrew was with Thomas, James and John were together, as were Judas and the Zealot.  Phillip and Bartholomew were friends from way back and apparently so were James and Thaddaeus. 
The odd couple it seemed was Matthew and I.   I assumed we had been paired up, partly because nobody else wanted to partner with the tax collector.  And it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. 
Away from the group Matthew lightened up, he always seemed to have a funny story and his laugh was infectious.  And as we walked, we talked about what it was like before we met Jesus.  I told him about my love for the sea and my love for Esther and how hard it was to be away from her. 

Matthew was open about growing up the son of a tax collector and how that seemed the only avenue open to him when it came time to strike out on his own.  He knew the reputation that his profession had with most people. 
He had tried hard to collect only what was due and not to take advantage of people.  But the concept of an honest tax collector was as foreign as a sympathetic Roman soldier, and so people avoided him; it was a lonely life. 

What was surprising was his knowledge of the Law and the Prophets, it seemed that he could always find a story from God’s word that fit any situation. 
But for most of the people we met our past was irrelevant, they heard that we were disciples of the one from Nazareth; they wanted to know all about him. 
And so we shared our Jesus’ stories and then we did what he told us to do, we anointed sick people with oil and prayed for them.  It what happened was incredible, and it was the same for the other ten.  When we prayed and called on Jesus’ name, miracles happened. 

Sick people became well and lame people walked. I heard a boy speak who had never uttered a word in his life, and the gratitude was overwhelming. 
People said they would never forget what had happened.  But I wondered how long they’d remember, how long before the memory of the healing would fade, or simply be passed off as a coincident, or maybe their child just wasn’t as sick as they thought he was.  After all, everybody speaks eventually. 

But we knew, we could feel the power as it passed through us.  And every once in a while someone who was just plain evil would confront us.  And we would stand our ground and command that the evil leave them in Jesus’ name, and it worked.

The stories tumbled over one another as we all tried to tell Jesus how it happened for us, and while he laughed and told us to get used to it he seemed distracted and reminded us of who we were, and that the power was not ours, it was his.

And then all too soon the trip was over, we all splashed overboard and pulled the boat up on the sand.  Jesus led the way, we walked for maybe ten minutes before we found ourselves in a large field, and it was there Jesus told us the news of his cousin John.

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