We are all wonderfully aware just how much the Vatican has warped the story of Jesus. So much that it barely makes sense any more. So I took another look at Jesus in an attempt to put him into a modern context. There is a real shortage of understanding as to what was going on 2000 + years ago and if we want to understand such a massively influential guy; a fresh perspective really helps.
Firstly: Jesus was a Brawler
I want you to think back to the moment he saw the money changers in the temple. Jesus got angry. And if Jesus gets angry at low principled people; its OK for everyone to get angry at low principled people. So he grabbed a switch – I think they mean baseball bat in modern terms – and started a fight. He started a fight with a building full of people. What a bad-ass.
And his followers were not the kind of peace, love and mung beans kind of hippies either. Jesus didn’t beat up a building full of people on his own! These guys all jumped in. So his followers were willing to put themselves in danger for him and his principles. That is the kind of ‘putting your money where your mouth is’ kind of conviction that is missing from the modern spirituality. Those guys would hold a drum circle to send love and understanding to professional scammers. Its a joke.
I did try to put the mantle of gang leader on to Jesus as well. It didn’t fit. I mean, that story is pretty gangster, but he clearly wasn’t in it for the money. He pretty much had a gang. He hung out with prostitutes, thieves, tax collectors and other assorted scum, he just didn’t involve himself in profit. I suppose that is why we still remember him. Though I will say that amongst that crowd, I think a Guns and Roses T-shirt would fit just perfectly.
Jesus went on benders.
If you remember the story of turning water into wine, then you have to ask why that was the miracle he chose to perform. And the answer is simple: he wanted to get drunk. He had been at a wedding (his own?) and in those days the party went on for a week. Everyone hung out and danced and drank and ate and shagged and partied together properly. It was awesome. It sounds like Jesus hadn’t finished drinking yet though. So when they told him that all the wine was finished: he cried “Bullshit” and zapped some water into the sweet elixir of booze.
If he were a more modern guy, he might have turned sugar into amphetamines or lawn clippings into weed.I think things just went a little differently back then. Either way, Jesus liked to get wasted – for a week at a time. That sounds like pretty black T-shirt behavior to me!
Is this the kind of guy who is the foundation of our culture?
I know this stuff is an unusual interpretation, and it may confront some Christians. And don’t think for a second that I am not a fan: I am so much of a fan that I became a Reverend. It is a side of Jesus we just don’t see represented that often and I think the Vatican is talking some serious Gibberish. Mary is a mother and a Virgin? Seriously??!! And Jospeh married the girl who was having another mans child?!!??!! I don’t buy it.
Anyway, I can talk about how warped our view of the Christ has become over the last TWO MILLENIA, and there is room for a wider interpretation of him. He was a really nice guy. Such a nice guy that we mark the beginning of history by his birth! He must have been a super nice guy to have that much influence. There was that time where he created enough fish and bread out of thin air to feed 5000 people. He was well known for healing all kinds of people. He wouldn’t let himself walk past a blind person without fixing it! He was a real rock star.
So influential that when thousands of people met him, they followed him. People gave up the lives they were living and started following him around. It seems weird now, but in the days before social media and blog posts (;P) that was how things were done. the only was to hear what someone said was to follow them around and listen to them talk. Though what is fascinating about this is that it also entailed giving up the life you already had to do this. Jesus had a show that was on the road: so if you wanted to be a part of it, you had to strap on your best sandles and start walking.
And I think he grew a big entourage in this way. With lots of followers and people coming from all over so that Jesus could sort out their ailments, he had a real road show. People would come to him for all sorts of advice and philosophical dilemmas. His wisdom was magnetic and contagious. He had all the buzz and hype of a modern rock band. He was a star that everyone wanted to be around. He lived the life of a modern rock god, with all the excesses that entails…
Jesus even went to rehab.
Except they didn’t have rehab in those days. He had to go into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. And what did he do there? Get his head around temptation. If you look at the Dead Sea Scrolls; those stories tell of how seriously laid Jesus got. This guy used to heal the emotional pain of prostitutes; and how do you think a hooker says thank you? I am not saying that Jesus was an alcohol or sex addict and needed rehab in the way that we understand it. I’m just saying that the rock and roll lifestyle took its toll on him: he needed a break to get his head straight.
Now, for Jesus to be a sexual being is anathema (definition). They have gone to extreme lengths to take sexuality out of the bible. Ludicrous propositions like Mary being a virgin, Jesus never having a lover in his whole life and myopic views on marriage and homosexuality.
Now it is obvious that the theology on this topic is seriously warped. There is no attempt to marry the chronically promiscuous attitudes in the Roman Empire with those of the modern era. The bible fails to relate to modern sexual issues. Sexuality and sexual union are still topics of great contention that people ask spiritual teachers about all the time. I don’t believe Jesus refused to comment, but it clearly didn’t suit the ideas of lesser men and was changed.
And if Jesus’ story was re-written in terms of sexuality, then it is easy to imagine how the bible warped his lifestyle too. Jesus always wore saintly white and never said a bad word to anyone, healed the sick and helped little old ladies across the street. When really it is equally plausible that Jesus wore a black T-shirt with a skull on it.
I doubt that the Jesus I am highlighting here would even be considered a spiritual person. He is not a new-age hippy: I don’t see this guy in flowing purple. He wouldn’t be accepted as a priest because the clergy would have issues with his lifestyle. I don’t imagine he would go on Oprah because they wouldn’t know how to frame him. I don’t know how he would be recognized as having any spiritual credibility in this day and age. How is that so?
So after all of this wild conjecture about somebody famous, I would like to try to synthesize a definition as to what Jesus was really all about. He was a revolutionary. He wanted to change the way humanity treats one another in order to effect a new society. His revolutionary ideology was incredibly popular and successful. In the centuries following, many groups started living by the philosophy he espoused. Communes if you would.
His philosophy was resilient enough to build a society on it. Though it did not co-habitate well with the Roman Empire. When these Christians refused to fight in the army, they were thrown to the lions amongst other painful deaths.
Jesus fought , recklessly, and constantly for love at all costs. He was so successful in offering a better way to live that he was a wanted man. He was a threat to the powers that be. So they hunted him, payed for information leading to his whereabouts and arrested him. He was then killed slowly and publicly as an example to others who would defy the Roman Empire. The death of a political revolutionary.
That is the Jesus I want to follow. The one who stood up for what he believed in.
Who cares if he wore a ‘AC-DC’ T-shirt.
I Want to Hear More of This
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