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A day in the life of ... Jesus

During the festive season, we celebrate the birth of the most significant figure in history – Jesus. As the son of God, he was also fully human, using his five senses to experience the same 24-hour periods that we do. In this enlightening article, Jo-anne Brown reflects on what may have been a typical day for Jesus during his years of ministry.

The road ahead ... a day in the life of Jesus would have been a tiring yet rewarding journey from dawn till dusk.
The road ahead ... a day in the life of Jesus would have been a tiring yet rewarding journey from dawn till dusk.


The night sky is just beginning to glimmer, and a faint glow soon appears in the east. The man rolls over, stands to his feet, and stretches, gazing out the window at the still-sleeping world.

He covers his head and steps out into the pre-dawn stillness toward the mountain on the edge of the village. He pauses halfway up the mountain, looking down at the world below him, noticing the first streaks of sunlight touching the tops of the trees. There is something beautiful in this early morning stillness.

This is his time. His time for silence, for solitude, for spending time with his Father. Life has been so full lately, with many demands on his time and many people needing help. He finds a smooth rock and settles down to watch the sunrise. He talks to his Father, telling him everything on his mind, wondering about the day ahead, and thinking about the people he is close to.

Then, as the sun fills the sky, Jesus walks back down the mountain and into the village, filled with a sense of peace and purpose. People hear he is coming their way and rush to meet him. Some want to listen to what he has to say, some want to be healed from sickness, and some just want to see who this person is that everyone is talking about. And, of course, some have come to criticise.

The street is crowded, and people are jostling each other out of the way. A small child is pushed to the ground and, losing sight of her mother in the hubbub, begins to cry.

Jesus crouches beside her and smiles into her face. “It’s okay,” he says gently. “You’re safe now – your mother’s coming”, as he sees an anxious woman hurrying toward them. The little girl leans into Jesus’ arms, then smiles shyly as her mother picks her up and hugs her.

Jesus says to the crowd, “You know, little children are precious. Such innocent hearts are close to the heart of God. Look after them and learn from them.”

He gets to his feet and gathers his closest friends to him. “Come on; we need to find a quiet place where we can hear ourselves think.” He smiles again at the little girl in her mother’s arms, and he and his friends turn to go back up the mountain.

Their quiet time doesn’t last long, and soon the crowds are following after him. They have many questions and want to hear more of the stories Jesus tells.

He finds a grassy spot on the side of the hill and sits down. Small children rush to sit at his feet, followed closely by their mothers. “Be kind to each other,” he says. “Be gentle and compassionate to all those you meet. Don’t fight and squabble over unimportant things – be people of peace. Spend time with me and discover the peace I can bring you.”

Jesus tells them stories ... stories about ordinary people, about being generous, about how to love those who mistreat us, and not to judge others. He teaches them how to find peace instead of worrying about their difficulties and how to truly connect with the God who loves them.

He reminds them of how special they are, that when they show kindness, compassion and justice, they are like bright lights, making a difference in the world.

As Jesus talks and children play, the shadows grow longer, and the day cools down. His friends point out how late it is getting, that people are far from home and have nothing to eat. Something needs to be done, but what? There is nowhere nearby where they can get food for the thousands of people who have been with Jesus all day!

Jesus looks at them and says, “I think you’ll be able to figure something out.”

They look at each other in puzzlement, with no idea how to solve the problem, until one sees a boy pull out some food for himself. He has a few small fish and some pieces of bread. Okay, that is nowhere near enough to feed even the children in that crowd, but maybe Jesus can do something with that. And he does!

The little boy gives Jesus what he has, and Jesus takes it gratefully. He asks his Father to bless it and then gives it to his friends to share among the crowd. Now, there are thousands of people there, but somehow that little boy’s meal is enough for everyone to have plenty to eat, with enough leftovers for people to take some away with them.

After they’ve eaten, the parents gather the children and begin the journey home. Jesus and his friends start down the mountain, and as they get to the shore of the lake, he suggests they find a boat and cross over to the other side, where they can find a resting place for the night. As darkness falls and the men row the boat across the lake, Jesus rests in the back, thinking about the day’s experiences, the conversations he’s had, the people he’s met, and the little girl he comforted. It has been a good day, and he smiles.


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