Running from Palm Sunday to Easter Monday the Jesus Chronicles are a series of reflections on the Easter story and the life and death and life of Jesus and those who were around him. If you’re only just joining us why don’t you start with Sunday and Monday’s posts.
It had begun at a wedding, his mum of all people had let the cat out of the bag. He didn’t think it was quite time to start his campaign. But a wedding without wine was a pretty big problem. He wanted people to know that under his rule there would be plenty of joy and celebration.
His followers believed he was the special one. It had taken a while for them to be convinced of his cause; to begin with most of them had just come along on the jaunt for a bit of fun. It made a pleasant change from catching fish. But after a few years of following him around, day in day out, through days when the crowds threatened to overwhelm, and the days when they turned away to find something else to occupy their minds.
They stood with him as he brought healing to the hurting, they were astonished as he shook off the social norms and spoke to a woman alone, a Samaritan woman, and not a respectable one at that. But she had proved a great evangelist for the cause, running back into the village and bringing others back to see him. They had seen him cry when he heard the news of Lazarus’s death, but then preceded to say he was only asleep, and called him out of the tomb, it was like seeing a mummy walk.
It was not all simple for the disciples. Some of the things he said were really confusing, when they wanted an answer to their questions he told them a story or asked them more questions. But it was captivating.
He threw off the constraints that society tried to impose. It was as though he had another rule to live by. Normally when people wanted to climb up the social ladder they were very careful who they spoke to, and even more aware who they ate dinner with. Jesus wasn’t like that, he called out to Zacchaeus the tax collector who had climbed up a tree to catch a peek and proceeded to sit down and eat with him, in his house.
And Mary and the incident with the perfume. It was rather embarrassing really. They did their best to keep up with Jesus and the way he operated, but each time they thought they had the measure of him he turned things upside down. Here was another woman any self respecting Jew would stay away from but Jesus counted her and her sister Martha as some of his closest friends. Her behaviour was scandalous: she poured good perfume, that could have been sold to care for the poor, all over Jesus’ feet and then, to make matters worse, undid her hair to rub it in.
But through it all these disciples stuck with Jesus. Despite not really understanding his grand plan, despite struggling with the way he courted controversy with the religious leaders, and courted those no one else did.
When most of the fair weather followers had deserted Jesus they stayed. They saw that he was Christ the Lord. And that he was the only show in town.