Many people will know the story of the road to Emmaus, where the risen Jesus surprised some woebegone followers. But few know the story of Jesus’ return to Jerusalem*
After breaking bread, Jesus vanished. Cleopas and his friend quickly washed the dishes and set off to tell the others what had happened.
Jesus also wanted to head back to Jerusalem. But it had been a long day, and rather than walking back, he decided to take the bus.
Calling it a bus is an exaggeration. It was more a cart pulled by donkeys.
Jesus climbed on board, and sat on the bench next to a young woman. She grumpily shifted along, lifting her bag onto her lap. And proceeded to ignore him as the cart jolted on.
But later in the journey he caught her glancing at him. “Sorry,” she said, “but has anyone told you, you look like that prophet from Galilee. You know, the one they just crucified.”
Jesus smiled; “really” he replied.
“What a shame that was”, she said. “He was clearly a little crazy, but it was still a shame.”
Jesus was still smiling.
She went on “I don’t believe in religion myself.”
“Are you some kind of evangelical?” said Jesus. “What do you have against smells and bells?”
“Oh no”, she replied, looking a little disgusted. “I’m not ‘evangelical’. I’m just not into organised religion. I don’t need some priest or religious council telling me what to do.”
“I’m not religious, I’m more…”
“Spiritual?” said Jesus.
“Spiritual”, exactly, she said. “I’m spiritual. I don’t need organised, intolerant religion. I don’t need ancient, irrational traditions to help me live my life. I prefer to do my own thing.”
“So, I practice yoga, and I’m into new age ideologies.”
“Interesting” said Jesus.
“Ah, this is my stop.”
*This story of course is entirely fictional, but for the story of Emmaus see: Luke 24