- Before we set out the next morning a visitor came: the old man who had
contradicted Yeshua. I didn't sleep all night, he said. Rabbi, even if you'
re not the Messiah, you are still very great. Allow me to love you like a
son. And perhaps one day you can count me among your disciples.
Yeshua embraced him.
And this for the journey. Take it as if it had been given to you by your
father. It is all from my small farm.
He left us, wrapped in a bundle, flat bread, a skin of wine, olives and
little sweet cakes. So we had food for a few days, and we ate it almost
We had planned to be at home for Yom Kippur, or rather (for which of us
still had a real home?) at the Sea of Kineret. But Yeshua was stopped too
often and he patiently answered all the questions, and willingly preached,
and happily spoke with the children, so our progress was slow. We celebrated
Yom Kippur underway, and it was already the middle of December when we
finally arrived in Kerfarnachum. Shimon's wife ran up to Yeshua, to him, not
to Shimon, and said something more important that a greeting: Rabbi, my
mother is dying, the fever is consuming her. Come and help!
So Yeshua, tired from the trip, went in to the sick woman's bed. What does
We don't know. She talks nonsense in her fever. She's been like this for
He sat on the bed and felt her pulse. Feel it, Miryam!
Her pulse rushed and came in jumps like her breathing.
I said: If we put cold wet compresses on her legs the fever will go down.
Sit there in the corner and be quiet. Don't let anyone in. If I can get her
over the crisis.
Suddenly the gasping ceased. She died, I thought, and felt neither
disappointment nor relief. But she wasn't at all dead. She began to cough
and spit out phlegm, to wherever it landed. As soon as she could speak, she
said: Where are Shimon and Andrew? Where are they wandering about while
their old mother is dying?
Yeshua said: You're not dying, you're cured.
Oh, it's you! she said, you who my sons follow. Bring them back to me! They
left me alone, abandoned the work. They don't even produce grandchildren for
me. Shimon has been married a whole year and nothing happens. Shame on our
house! And you don't have a wife and child yourself. What kind of men are
you? And why is she with you?
She pointed at me.
Yeshua told us later that he told her: When you are abusive your lungs fill
with phlegm and you must die.
We all laughed.
I went outside, The family was in the courtyard, also the professional
mourners were already there and ready to cry as soon as the signal was
Is she dead?
On the contrary: The rabbi has cured her. Bring her something to drink. Then
I went to look for Shimon and Andrew. They were squatting against the garden
Hey, Shimon, Andrew!
They jumped to their feet. Is she dead?
The rabbi cured her.
So, Shimon said, cured. Well.
You should go in to her.
Did the rabbi say that?
No, she did.
Then say you couldn't find us.
You don't know her. Whenever she opens her mouth, she nags.
That's true, I said, but go in anyway. She belongs to your family after
Yeah, yeah, Shimon said. That's just it.
They went slowly into the house with their heads down, like children
expecting to be punished. I had to laugh, I couldn't help it. When I saw
Yeshua later I said: This healing hasn't brought much joy to anyone, perhaps
not even the old lady.
She has never had much joy in her life; fishermen's wives have it hard,
their daily bread is fear for their loved ones who are at sea.
Yes, I said, and you have taken both sons from her.
I couldn't have called them if they hadn't been called long ago. It's not I
who acts, but he who called me from the lap of eternity.
Word of the healing got around fast; the mourners talked about it.
And if he keeps this up!
Frank Thomas Smith