Friday, June 11, 2010

279: Jesus's Mommy Issues

Matthew 11-12
"Someone told him, 'Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.' He replied to him, 'Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?' Pointing to his disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers.' " - Matthew 12:47-49

After teaching his disciples, Jesus goes to Galilee. John the Baptist, who was apparently imprisoned, sends some of his disciples to ask Jesus if he is "the one" or if they should expect someone else. Jesus lists all of his miracles and tells John's disciples "blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me". A simple "yes" or "no" would do. Jesus seems to have to give the most cryptic answer possible.

Jesus goes on to tell John's disciples, and the crowd that's gathered, that there is nobody greater than John the Baptist in the whole world. However, Jesus says, the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the baptist. I guess there's maybe a half dozen people in the kingdom of heaven at this point, if that's the case.

In the next section, Jesus denounces the people of the cities he has visited. Even after his miracles, they have not repented of their sins. I guess nobody sent Jesus the memo about the Israelites. Miracles don't do the trick with them.

Next, Jesus says that nobody knows the son except the father, and nobody knows the father except the son, and the people that the son chooses to reveal the father to. I've heard this before in my many attempted conversions. Actually, I only heard the "nobody knows the father but the son" part. They didn't quite get around to saying that nobody knows the son but the father. If this is true, then what's the point of trying to learn about God or Jesus at all, if only they know each other?

Jesus goes on to say that all who are weary or burdened should come to Jesus and he will give them rest. He tells them to "take his yoke", because his burden is light. The burden of having Jesus is light? Jesus just said yesterday that you have to disown your family if they don't believe what you do. How is this a "light burden"?

The next chapter starts with Jesus's disciples picking grain on the sabbath. The Pharisees see this and declare that Jesus's followers are breaking the law. Jesus counters by saying that David's men ate consecrated bread when they were starving. Moral of the story: two wrongs make a right (?). Jesus also says that if their sheep feel in a ditch on the sabbath they would pull it out. Therefore it is ok to do good on the sabbath. What happened to not one letter of the law being changed? I guess it's ok to break the law when the law is inconvenient. And Jesus complains of other people's hypocrisy. "Takes one to know one" has never been so true.

After this little stunt, the Pharisees begin plans to kill Jesus.

Jesus again drives a demon from someone. People begin to wonder if this could be "the one". The Pharisees again say that it is only through the devil that Jesus drives out these demons. Jesus then says a house divided cannot stand (you've probably heard that quote as a result of Abraham Lincoln). He says if Satan is used to drive out Satan, then how can his kingdom stand. I'm not sure why Satan has a kingdom to start with, considering our "all good" and "all powerful" God hates evil.

Next is the famous (or infamous) unforgivable sin. Jesus says that every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven, but blasphemy against the holy spirit will not be forgiven. So I could personally kill every person on the planet, and that would be fine if I asked for forgiveness. But the moment I say the Holy Spirit is bullshit, I'm forever damned? Oh wait, did I just commit the unforgivable sin?! Oh shit! Just kidding. I took the blasphemy challenge when I was young and impressionable.

Jesus goes on to say that, like Jonah, he will be entombed for three days and three nights. But instead of in the belly of a fish, he will be in the heart of the earth. Keep that "three days and three nights" in the back of your mind. I predict it will be relevant.

While Jesus is still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers ask to speak with him. Wait a minute. Jesus had brothers? This concept is actually hotly debated, even though the text seems pretty clear. For some reason, people find it impossible to believe that the "virgin" Mary didn't stay a virgin for her entire life. That debate is for another blog, because it seems rather irrelevant.

Someone from the crowd goes up to Jesus and tells him that his mom and brothers want to talk with him. Jesus responds by saying "who is my mother, and who are my brothers?". He points to his disciples and tells the person that these are his mother, and brothers. Uh, sorry Jesus, wrong answer. Don't be a dick, go talk to your mom.

*News*
We have yet another fundie losing his mind over the Muslims trying to take over the world. There's something wrong with me being more religiously tolerant than an evangelical Christian.
“Sharia,” or Muslim law, is arbitrary and discretionary. A custom-based body of law based on the Quran and the religion of Islam, it covers civil and criminal justice, as well as regulating individual conduct both personal and moral.
A law based on religion that covers civil, moral, and conduct issues. This seems terribly familiar. If only I could remember where I'd seen that before.
The integration of the justice system and the church, under Sharia law, is so thorough that Sharia courts are essentially religious courts and the judges are usually local mosque officials.
Religious courts where the local priests are judges. I'm getting crazy deja vu. If only I could remember where I'd heard all of this before. Oh, that's right, this is almost exactly the same as biblical law. In fact, switch "mosque" with "temple" and "sharia law" with "the laws of the prophets" and it's exactly the same. The only difference is that Islam has an absolutely insane faction that actually follows their holy laws.
We are engaged in a war with a totalitarian system, a war being waged to conquer us, but neither our government nor our citizens seem to care. You will when you wake to the 6 a.m. call to prayer, at the mosque they built near you. But that will be too late.
If we allow Muslims to build a mosque it would almost be like we had freedom of religion in America. I don't understand what people are thinking. I daresay it brings a teaching of Jesus to mind, namely Matthew 7:3-5's lesson on hypocrisy. These people worry about sharia law, but can't see the terrible laws of their own bible.
Right now, Europe’s Muslims are disillusioned and bitter. The more dangerous and committed can volunteer for the jihad against the West, with passports from their resident country. Jump on the Internet and see what’s going on over there.
I can't believe I'm going to say this. If you let terrorism make you fear an entire group of perfectly normal people you're letting the terrorists win. You're supposed to be loving your enemy anyway, and turning the other cheek. Remember?

(via TCPalm)

3 comments:

  1. I'm really enjoying this whole series/blog - especially now that you've got to the New Testament. Your dry and pithy comments are hilarious.

    I'd also like to point out that in Europe we're not over-run with Muslim hordes. Yes, there's an issue. The 7/7 attacks in London being a case in point. But the way that text describes it, it's as if there's total societal meltdown and that is just not the case.

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  2. On Matt 11: Why did John the Baptist have to ask if Jesus was "the One"? Didn't he acknowledge who Jesus was when he said that Jesus should be the one baptizing him? Moreover, he must've witnessed at the baptism the sky cracking open, the dove descending, and the voice of God announcing that Jesus was his son.

    Matt 12:7. Jesus quotes Hos 6:6 ("For I desire mercy, not sacrifice"), so what was the point of the crucifixion again?

    Matt 12:27: "And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out?"
    So apparently Jesus wasn't the only one driving out demons. Was there anything original about this guy?

    Matt 12:30: "He who is not with me is against me." Jesus, apparently, was big on coalitions of the willing.

    Matt 12:31: "[E]very sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven."
    If every blasphemy will be forgiven, wouldn't blasphemy against the Spirit also be included? I think we have a new record - he just contradicted himself within the same sentence!

    Matt 12:32 "Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come."
    So much for all that talk earlier about forgiveness. What ever happened to "to forgive is divine"? But then, Jesus here is also making a distinction between himself (presuming that he is the "Son of Man") and the Holy Spirit. So much for the Trinity.

    Matt 12:33: What is a "good" or "bad" tree? If one defines goodness for a (fruit-producing) tree by the quality of its fruit then this aphorism is a tautology. Otherwise, what other definition of goodness could one devise?

    Matt 12:39 "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah."
    So much for all those miracles that Jesus supposedly performed. If there was any real memory of them (or even that there had been some), who would've penned this quote?

    Matt 12:40: Hey, Bryan, you've been reading ahead. I thought you weren't going to do that.

    Matt 12:42: Who the hell is the "Queen of the South"?

    Matt 12:43-45: "43 When an evil [or "unclean"] spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first."

    So I guess Jesus shouldn't be driving out evil spirits, since apparently this just makes the situation worse.

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  3. How is it that Christians can claim Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life when he was not honoring his mother? I guess it would depend on what constitutes "honoring" your parents.

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