Jesus tramped up a mountain, along with handpicked men. His desire was that they go out preaching, driving out evil. But this meant they had to spend time with him, walk with him. Now there were twelve:
Simon, but Jesus renamed him Peter,
James and John, sons of Zebedee - Jesus knighted them ‘sons of thunder’,
James, the son of Alphaeus,
Simon the Cananean.
And then there was Judas.
He left the mountaintop and descended for home. When he got there the people were thick as flies, he couldn’t even eat. Jesus’ family had heard enough. They felt the salvation-show had gone on long enough, Jesus needed to come back to reality.
The spiritual champions from Jerusalem decided Jesus was in cahoots with the devil. This was the best they could come up with and made sure everyone knew it. Jesus stood and faced them, armed with riddles and rage:
If darkness drives out darkness, what’s left? Anyone? I say ‘light.’ And if hate drives out hate? C’mon, that’s easy, isn’t it? I say ‘only love remains.’ Light is stronger than darkness, love is stronger than hate. It just is. You can get a lot wrong in this life but you’d better make sure and get that right. I won’t tolerate your lies! Hear me - I won’t!
His family had arrived by then. They said tell Jesus we’re here. The crowd carried the message inside to him: Your family wants to see you. Jesus took a moment and eyeballed the crowd. My family? Show me a man doing God’s will and I’ll say ‘he’s my brother.’ Find me a woman obedient to God and I’ll say ‘there’s my mother.’ That’s family to me.
*I’m going to take this offline now, work through a few more chapters, and then see if a publisher might be interested in some form of it. If so, fine; if not, just as fine. The Shame will return to its regularly scheduled, well, shame.