Yet many in the crowd believed in Jesus and were saying,
“When the Messiah comes, will he do more signs than this man has done?”
The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering such things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent temple police to arrest him. Jesus then said,
“I will be with you a little while longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. You will search for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”
The Jews said to one another,
“Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? What does he mean by saying, ‘You will search for me and you will not find me’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?”
From the Ephesus file – a contemporary midrash!
Coalitions, I reflect, often bring strange bedfellows, each contemptuous of the other’s perspective. Not, surely, marriages made in heaven. No hint of a backhander here though, differences in belief set aside;
Priest and Pharisee bound by a mutual… Well what? Mutual fear or even hatred? And of what? The man or the confusion in the public square, in the psyche of the people, in the retaliation of the Empire – holy and Roman?
Perhaps, I muse, if we search, if we screw our eyes up tightly enough we may just catch a glimpse of a wise woman hurrying past on the corner. Or is that simply folly?
We see the tussle between heart-felt conviction, that no Messiah could do more and the head-strong checklist of the signs that would herald just such a Messiah. All crosses here, no ticks
They are nameless these courtesy chiefs, one by one deposed by Rome (could they be cried Comey or Priebus?) but they send their all-bark- and-no- bite men, beefeaters before their time and place guarding ceremony, tradition and empty cells, to effect an arrest. But, when origins and destinations are beyond expectation and heads are ruling our hearts we are left with, but an empty enigma.
Creating God who breathes life into us. Help us to recognise you in each and every breath that we take. Your inspiration, our respiration. Help us to take a moment to breathe. A moment that is permissive, allowing us not to engage our knowledge without taking heed of your tugs on our heartstrings. Help us to grow in authenticity moment by moment. Amen.
The Rev’d Helen M Mee is minister of Granton United Church in Edinburgh and Convenor of the Assembly Equalities Committee.