Jesus kicks at a stone. It is hard against his foot, unyielding. The way life feels to him at the moment. The sun saps his energy and the loss of his cousin saps his strength. John has been locked up for a while, suffering, giving Herod Antipas a private performance. But now it’s finally happened, and Jesus can feel the cold fingers of death reaching for him too. It’s unfair, he wishes right now there could be another way. Another cup to drink. He feels lonely and broken. John is gone. Gone. Gone. Gone. His fiery cousin, so full of passion and life. Extinguished. Once again an evil man has prospered and triumphed. If only he could call down the waiting angels and break down the gates of hell. Smash the hold of death on this troubled planet. But it’s not to be this way. There is another cup to drink, another meal to eat. Bread broken and wine poured out. Body and blood to begin an unexpected kind of healing. A long slow protracted process. No quick fix.
He hears voices, and though he is weary and feels older than his 32 years, the promise of company is a welcome distraction. Right now there is another feast to organise, another meal to offer. Bread and fish for 5000. He looks up, sees the first few eager faces, hopeful, expectant. He puts John and his pain and the spectre of the future to the back of his mind. For now anyway.
Matthew 13 verse 14.