Last night, I noticed as she walked in.
Although she was a servant, she was in charge of the whole house. On nights like that, when her master conducted trails, and would receive many people, guests and passersby alike, she had the responsibility of overseeing the courtyard as well as the gateway to the house. Going about her usual turn, she entered the courtyard and like a skilled servant, took a quick sweep of those standing there to see if anything was unusual. She had started out of the big open space, which was decorated with vases of carefully selected and beautiful hand-picked flowers with an open fire burning brightly in the center of the courtyard, when she noticed a man who appeared to be in his mid-thirties. He was looking unruly with an overgrown beard, he looked unkempt. She looked sternly at him as he warmed himself at the fire place.
Then suddenly she remembered.
The other day, she had gone to the market by the lake of Gennesaret quite later than her usual time; for she loved going quite early, so she’ll get her things fresh. But on this day, having so much to do, she didn’t make it till noon. As she got closer to the market, she felt something strange. She had expected to meet a whole number of people going to and fro the market road, but today was rather few. As she got closer, she noticed the market was silent. The stalls and sheds she met were deserted. She drew closer to the center of the market, towards the fish sellers stand only to notice the whole market had gathered like a swarm of bees beside the lake looking ahead with rapt attention. “What could be happening?” she wondered. She moved closer and noticed a man talking from one of the boats afloat, while another man adjusted the sail.
“There was a certain man….” She heard him say, and would have stayed till the man finished but for the work she had to do at home.
“Yes” she muttered unconsciously. He was the other fisherman she saw setting the sail that day. She couldn’t have mistaken him.
She was excited.
Having heard so much about the man she heard from the boat, she had longed to see and hear him again. Perhaps, this man here could lead her to him.
“You were with Jesus of Nazareth, right?” she said out of curiosity.
“No, never!” blotted the older man.
“Did I say something wrong?” she wondered.
“Erm….I…I…only meant to ask if….” she tried explaining but he cut in, “I said I don’t even know what you are talking about”.
Feeling slightly embarrassed, she left him alone to go about her own business but kept an eye on him.
She left the courtyard to see what was going on with the trial inside and to her surprise she saw the same man, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, standing in front of her master, Caiaphas.
No, this can’t be! What has he done? How can he be the criminal? The same man, who was said to have healed many, raised the dead, and who taught with so much authority.
She rushed back to the courtyard, perhaps she could press the man she is now so convinced to be a disciple of Jesus, only to hear him shouting and cursing out loud to the men around him.
“I swear I have never seen him”.
She was confused.
Suddenly, a cock crew outside the courtyard, and she remembered she hadn’t put the chickens back in their pen for the night. And she went out to do so.
Another cock crew,
Suddenly, the same man ran outside with tears on his face, sobbing.
“What is wrong with this man?” she wondered. It was the same man she had asked a question and had denied. What was he then looking for in the palace? What is his business here tonight if he wasn’t a disciple of Jesus or at least a relative?”
“Why the denial?”
She walked back into the courtyard wondering who this Jesus was. She had so many questions on her mind; and she could only wait, perhaps she’ll find someone soon enough to explain to her.
Well, that wasn’t even her immediate concern.
She was feeling sleepy, but couldn’t leave the courtyard until they had finished the trial.
So she found a place to sit and wait, gazing at the men and women who moved in and out.
“So much for a servant like her”, she thought.