- Verse 4: Jesus and his disciples and his mother are at a wedding party, and the wine has run out. Jesus' mother, who seems not to be named expressly in this gospel, at least so far, mentions to Jesus that there is no more wine. Jesus' response is, "Dear woman, why do you involve me? My time has not yet come." I have two gripes with this response. First, the one that everyone has heard a zillion times already: Jesus seems to be breaking the fifth commandment. Christians have myriad ways to gloss over this point, but consider: replay the story with Track Palin standing in for Jesus, and Track's mother standing in for Jesus' mother. Not the kind of response one would expect from a son honoring his mother. Second, why would Jesus say, "My time has not yet come," then minutes, or perhaps even seconds, later, perform a miracle? If his time had not yet come then it seems that he would not have performed the miracle. If his time had not yet come at the time of his remark, but it was due to come within the next few minutes, then why would he have bothered to say this? Why wouldn't he have said, "Dear woman, who seems to have no name, wait just a minute, as I am awaiting the starting pistol that will signal that my time has come." I can't think of any reason for him to have made his remark other than to make a rude jab at his mother before "honoring" her by carrying out her wishes. Not very godlike, on several levels.
- Verses 7 - 10: Jesus turns water into wine. Sorry, I'm just not impressed. The fact that I don't have this ability is irrelevant. There are plenty of things I can do that would have astounded Jesus' contemporaries, probably far more than this silly parlor trick. Like, say, treating leprosy. And not just for a few people, and not in some way that I'm so ashamed of that I have to urge many of them to keep their healing a secret. Now that I think of it, he was right to be ashamed, going around healing a few lepers here and there rather than just eradicating leprosy altogether.
- Verse 11: By performing this so-called miraculous sign, Jesus "revealed his glory," therefore his disciples put their faith in him. This demonstrates exactly one point: that Jesus' disciples were easily impressed, ignorant bumpkins. Ok, maybe two points, the second being that Jesus had a real knack for awing easily impressed, ignorant bumpkins. Ok, maybe three points, the third being that his junk must not have been too impressive, otherwise he could have revealed his glory just by lifting his robes.
- Verses 14 - 16: Merciful, compassionate Jesus savagely attacks a group of slave-trading child molesters and wife beaters. No, actually, it's a bunch of people who are just earning a living in the temple. Obviously, the heinous act of providing for one's family is just too much for Jesus to bear. Also note that this is yet another sign that Jesusianism is not the same as Paulamalism: Paul instructs his followers to "be subject to rulers and authorities," while Jesus' little fracas was certainly illegal. Wait, no, that's from Titus 3:1, and Paul didn't write Titus. How'd that get into the bible again? Oh yeah, by a vote in Nicea. No, here's the one I was looking for, actually written by Paul: Romans 13:1: "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities..."
- Verses 18 - 19: "The Jews" ask Jesus to prove his authority to go around whipping people who are just trying to live good family values by feeding their children, whom Jesus will encourage them to abandon later. Jesus very clearly shows the sign of his authority, by referring obliquely to an event that will happen at some indefinite point in the future. Nice. I don't have to show you any sign; I can just tell you that a sign will appear later. I'll be sure to let anyone into my house who claims to be a cop, provided that he promises to show me his badge later.
- Verses 19 - 21: Jesus badge, so to speak, is that he will "Destroy this temple, and...raise it again in three days." This is one of those verses that we're obviously supposed to interpret metaphorically, right? John says that the temple Jesus spoke of was his body. I guess it's not necessary to point out that the phrase "three days" is a metaphor for "eh, about a day and a half, maybe a bit less". So if a man comes to my door and claims to be a cop, I should let him in if he says something like, "Let me in; I'll show you my police employment application in a few years."
- Verse 25: "He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man." What's in a man is bullshit for the most part, right? Seems to me he should have turned his bullshit detector on himself.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Lego Mommy: John, Chapter 2
Part 2 of my "Lego Mommy" Series.