Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Nasty Jesus and the Jesus Sarcasm Seminar

"I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword" (Gospel of Matthew 10:34)

I find it amazing how with all the Jesus Seminar type dissection of the New Testament in this decline or downside of historic Christianity that nobody has ever suggested that maybe some of the remarks, stories, parables were the hidden message of a radical revolutionary that said "I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword" (Gospel of Matthew 10:34).

Maybe there were hidden messages too in Saint Paul when he said to obey civil authority like maybe his jail keepers were standing over the fence listening to his courtyard conversations while he was under house arrest in Rome.

And maybe, just maybe, Jesus had a dark Yiddish (way before Yiddish) sense of humor when he said things like turn the other cheek or love your neighbor. Maybe he was being sarcastic in a number of times and places that memory and oral history does not accurately translate to us in the written word.

Maybe “turn your cheek” or “love your neighbor” was not always verbatim and literal for Holy Man/Revolutionary Jesus.

Though it is a relief to think that Jesus was more human and capable of hate towards the Romans and their stooges in the Temple crowd of lackey priests paid for by the Romans.

I ran into my friend Paul Erland’s story of Jesus and the demons and the swine (Mark 5:1-20) on Facebook.

Turning Swine into Water

Paul, who I would rate as a militant Agnostic is the person from which I originally heard the above Matthew quote in an essay. I also think I misread that essay and started this blog as a reaction. In a way, I like agnostics much better than bully atheists who seem to know it all and in particular, Hitchens, Rushdie, Dawkins come to mind.

Anyway, the passage of taking demons out of a man and putting them into pigs and then sending 2000 of them into the sea seems a passage that most pastors take literally in a modern age and totally skip any hatred that militant, nasty and possible hate filled Jesus had toward the Romans – the gang that eventually killed him.

Is there a Jesus Sarcasm Seminar going on anywhere I wonder??? Can I join?


Anonymous said...

Reading a book called "Christianity: The First 3,000 Years," by Diarmaid MacCulloch. He devotes some pages to Jesus's sense of humor, something few writers or commentators have ever done. He says Jesus's calling his father "Abba" was the equivalent of the modern-day "Dad," and that his description of himself as the Son of Man was roughly "one of us," or "us guys." (He only referred to himself as the Son of God on one occasion, and that was rather obliquely.)
The novel or story of Jesus as a funnyman is yet to be told.

Mike McShea said...

In other words, it is not necessarily true that Jesus never laughed.

Dave said...

He was human..of course he laughed and cried and raged! Why would we expect otherwise? The MESSAGE...not the what really matters! He points..THE WAY! Love is a verb..a call to action!