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Everyone was talking about him.
Some people were even listening to him.
Rabbis have always told stories to explain the scriptures,
but his stories were different.
They made you think about yourself and other people – and God;
and they made you want to change, be better.
But for most people it wasn’t so much what he said as what he did.
He healed people:
blindness, deafness, twisted limbs, fever – even leprosy;
he healed people.

I remember thinking how can one man do so much for so many people.
That day in particular he looked worn out.
For once the talk had not been all about Jesus; it was the news about his cousin John that was the hot topic.
John had always been an extraordinary man: outspoken and fearless when it came to pointing out the shortcomings of our leaders. So it was no surprise that he was unpopular with Herod’s family.
But, even so, for John to be beheaded as a favour to the king’s step-daughter, all because of a dance; what a scandal!
For most people that’s what it was – a scandal to be deplored, wondered at and shuddered over.
But for Jesus it was bereavement. And it came at a time when he was already exhausted from the demands being made on him every day.


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