What an arrogant young man! Thaddeus had none of the humility that many of the other story-tellers had. He knew his place in society; he was full of pride and righteousness; self-important; and yet he was under the control of his father, with no rights or freedom of choice of his own. He was happy to stay there too. I was interested that he would rather stay under his father’s thumb and have all that his father’s wealth could supply than turn his back on the luxurious life he lived so that he could follow Jesus. He could have done it. He did not have to give his father’s wealth away; he just needed to give up all that it meant to him.
That last thought rang in my mind. It was so easy to think it about someone else but I wondered what I would have done if that had been what Jesus said to me. Could I give up everything for him? I believed I was going to do well in my exams next May and that I would qualify with a good degree which would enable me to study further and fulfil my dream of becoming a doctor. Would the money I could earn as a qualified doctor prevent me from following Jesus’ call on my life? What was my purpose? Benjamin had discovered his as he transcribed the scrolls. What would mine be?
Thaddeus has all the arrogance of youth and more. My heart ached for him as he turned away. He did not know who or what he was rejecting. Yet he never lost the longing, did he? He knew, deep inside that he had said no to something that was even greater than his wealth. I am glad he got a second chance.
I do wonder how his story was included in the jar, for he only had a story when he was offered a second chance, long after Jesus died. Yet another question to which we will never know the answer …
In sharp contrast, Mary’s story is a joy! Although I never met the love of my life, the love between her and Cleopas was delightful. What a family they must have been. They supported one another in grief and celebrated their happiness together. I enjoyed the way Jesus deepened their love for one another and their child-like haste as they returned to Jerusalem! Their hearts must have been bursting with excitement!
I can imagine that serving Jesus would be like that whatever you are called to do. I know that transcribing these scrolls has been a joy for me and has given me energy I never thought I would have. It has put a fire in my heart and a determination to complete the task. My doctors have been amazed – but I know that this is work that I must finish – and finish it I will.