July 27, 2008

What If Jesus Had Had Kids?

Jesus%20w-children3-1.jpgI don't have a lot of arguments with the Lord. I expect Him to be capricious, irrational, and possessed of a mind and purpose beyond the comprehension of the smart monkeys. Why? Because, as God, He can.

I don't expect Him to answer my prayers because it is a very big universe and He's got a lot on his plate -- even for a Supreme Being. Imagine, if you will, being God in His office and deciding to step away from Your desk for a minute to get Yourself a beverage from the Holy Vending Machine (No charge). You're away for about 45 seconds but when You get back there are 25,345,654 "While You Were Out" slips on your desk along with about 100,000,000 items of Spam from Tibetan Prayer Wheels. What could You do, even if You were God. You'd just answer as many as You could at random, and then break early for a long lunch.

On top of this, our general behavior doesn't make it any easier for Him. In this, I'm a fan of the George Burns line in OH, GOD! where, as God, he remarks, "It's up to you. I gave you everything you need."

Which He did.

None of this really gets to me. I'm used to God's ways and don't expect any special favors from HIm and do count my many, many blessings.

It's the silence I can't take. I mean, 2,000 years is a long time between messages and messengers, and we've just about used up all the possible interpretations of the New Testament and are starting on lap number 2,365 for the Old Testament. You can say what you want about that latter day Supreme Being's Condensed Version of the Bible, the Koran, but at least there's only one book and when you've got it memorized you've got it. No radical departures. Lest your head leave your shoulders.

That's why I've started to think it would be nice if Jesus had had kids. I know about the "only Son" rule and I'm down with it. Somehow "The Holy Octogon" just wouldn't have the same ring. But where does it say that the Son couldn't have had a son?

Jesus certainly had time to get this together, and it would seem to me it would be part and parcel of "living a full life in the flesh." Maybe He did and just kept it all on the down-low. If so, it would be human, all too human. Still, it would have been nice if it had happened and He had given it a little PR. Sometimes I think all these vapid super-heroes our pop-culture keeps dreaming up are an unconscious yearning for the Divine, one step removed.

Besides, a son of the Son would have given us, especially during the Son's son teenage years, a third book to argue over, "The Way-New Testament." It would probably have been written in some sort of Aramic text-messaging but that would speed up the translation process (Hey, can we kick those bozos at the The Dead Sea Scrolls project up to tortoise speed please?), and it would engage our own feckless and foundationless youth.

But the real boon to all of this would be a break in God's silence over these past 2,000 years. As a father I can well understand why you don't want to talk about your child if things are not going well; if, say, He's still living and home after a couple of millennia, just hanging around your right hand, and all He does -- day in and day out -- is to judge the quick and the dead. (How hard can that be, really?). Yes, there's a lot of things your kids do that you are not to quick to talk about.

But nobody, not even the Supreme Being, can resist saying -- on a daily, if not hourly basis --- "Let Me tell you about My grandchildren...."

January 3, 2007

Posted by Vanderleun at July 27, 2008 11:51 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Don't forget He had a Jewish mother-- He'd have had to clear the kid thing with her first.

Posted by: Connecticut Yankee at January 3, 2007 8:25 PM

Having married into the faith, I have some insight into this -- having a Jewish mother makes it even more incomprehensible that there were no grandchildren. Pinning, haranguing, begging, pleading, reminding, encouraging sons & daughters for grandchildren is an honored pastime of Jewish mothers.

Which reminds me of my favorite Jewish joke:
"A waiter addresses a table of Jewish women enjoying a group lunch and asks 'Excuse me Ladies, is anything here alright?'"

Posted by: Nils Desperandum at January 4, 2007 5:43 AM

Hi Gerard,

It is true that God does not give lectures at prestigious venues nor does He give press conferences everytime a minor demigod makes a political power play.

However, He does speak to many ordinary people everyday with a still small voice that comforts them and instructs them.

When I first found this out, I was shell-shocked. "Surely this must be a figment of the human imagination...or worse", I though to myself.

As time has gone by, I have become convinced of the reality of God's active and vigorous involvment in the lives of those who have called out to Him by His name.

Posted by: bleedingbrain at January 4, 2007 8:55 AM

It is as the guy said, "I've given you all you need". And somehwere in the New Testament, Jesus says (when someone asks him for a sign, that he might believe), "Look guys, you have Moses and the prophets - if that isn't enough for you, there's not much else I can do".

Posted by: ZZMike at January 4, 2007 10:18 AM

...about 100,000,000 items of Spam from Tibetan Prayer Wheels...

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

Posted by: rickl at January 4, 2007 7:07 PM

According to oral tradition, Jesus actually did come close to marriage and children. However, it pretty much put the kibosh on things when the rabbi refused to perform the wedding ceremony unless they promised not to baptize their children.

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at January 5, 2007 9:12 AM

That were funny Gerard. God is chuckling...

Posted by: Doug Anderson at January 5, 2007 10:10 AM


I hope you have availed yourself of the opportunity to wander over to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. If not, hurry!

Posted by: Cris at January 5, 2007 11:55 AM

Gerard, Since you seem to hunger and thirst for more, check out the Book of Mormon.

Posted by: bookdad at January 8, 2007 12:00 PM

Can o' worms, Mr. V.

He did have 'kids' - remember? One of them disobeyed and cut some dude's ear off with a sword, others denied he existed, and the rest got skewered and hung from trees and stuff.

God has it worse - instead of biological kids, he's got a giant foster home.


Posted by: RiverC at July 27, 2008 12:19 PM

I have never understood the need to make Jesus some kind of namby pamby celibate guy.

To put him in that category, you've got to first admit that He violated one of God's first commandments, "Be fruitful and multiply."

Then you have to completely ignore that throughout his short life, neither he nor his family ignored the tenets of their religion.

Jesus pretty much moves into manhood at 12/13 when he gets left behind at the Temple to debate the wise teachers there. But, they shine right over the fact that the Jewish faith requires a young man of 12/13 to have his Bar Mitzvah. What do you think Jesus and his family were doing? Ignoring the rules of their faith? I don't think so.

Then we know that he followed the various holidays and he didn't really start his preaching until the age of 30, an age where it would be expected for him to move to Teacher/Rabbi status.

Don't discount the Jewish mother. I've not known one that didn't want her son to find a good Jewish girl to marry and produce grandchildren.

Also, and I'm not as sure on this one, but I doubt Jesus could even become a Rabbi at 30 and be unmarried.

He was a lusty outdoorsman who lived off the land and had a large contingent of adoring groupies. Anyone who thinks he was some pasty-faced monk is nuts. We know for a fact that he kept Mary Magdalene so close that the other disciples were jealous of her influence. Who (female) besides a wife or mother could possibly claim influence over a 1st century man? Who but a wife or mother would be allowed to administer to his battered, tortured body at his death? The two Marys are the two allowed. One his mother, the other the most loved. Does anyone seriously believe he would push his "mistress" in his mother's face?

A study of Jewish/Middle East 1st century traditions says that he wouldn't be single at 30 or 33 at his death.

Posted by: Sara at July 27, 2008 1:39 PM

Sara, please speak of things which you understand.

If the wisest elders could not get their minds around him, saying, "The incarnation is the fullness of the mystery of God" then how can you or I?

Girard was being funny (and succeeded!)

Also, you seem to be unfamiliar with the real dude, who, as we like to say, "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life." '

That is, he was above all things an eternal badass, if I may say so.

Why must a man be defined by his procreational 'ability'? Would we define a man by his intellect or physical strength?

As for St. Mary Magdalene, please read about her before making assumptions.

Peace, lady.

Posted by: RiverC at July 27, 2008 2:36 PM

Sweet. Sad. Always the question.

Posted by: Cathy at July 27, 2008 2:57 PM

Jesus did have a son ...

"And His Name shall be called ... Obama."

Posted by: Dr Bob at July 27, 2008 2:57 PM

God produces, not reproduces.

Posted by: Donald Sensing at July 27, 2008 3:32 PM

RiverC, save your preaching.

I much prefer to put my faith in a Son of God who is a lusty leader of extraordinary intelligence rather than some ethereal person whose followers see him above the physical of this thing called life, as if he was too good for such base or basic humanness.

I am as interested in the day to day life of Christ as I am in his Words. When they were on the road from place to place, were they camping out, singing songs around the fire, or maybe telling stories in the form of parables? When He spoke to the multitudes, what were the multitudes doing for sanitary facilities? Who did the clean up?

Wanting to see the manly side of the Son of God is not sacrilegious, it is wanting to sense the whole man.

His intellect suffers not a whit to explore the more physical. In fact, it is enhanced as it is a whole lot harder to be both intellectually adept and physically adept. And why would we think the Son of God wouldn't be adept in all ways?

I guess the real question one has to answer with their eternity on the line is would they rather follow an ethereal egghead or a physical leader of great intellect, compassion, knowledge, love, and a willingness to take great risk to himself in order to save everyone else?

Posted by: Sara at July 27, 2008 4:14 PM

"the Jewish faith requires a young man of 12/13 to have his Bar Mitzvah."

Bar Mitzvah (son of the commandments) is not something one has, it is something one is at the age of 13 willy-nilly.

Under Jewish law, a boy becomes an adult for legal purposes when he turns 13. Some of those purposes include counting toward the minyan (quorum) of ten adult men required for worship services, leading them in prayer, and reading and interpreting scripture at services.

It is an honor to be asked to read scripture in a Jewish service. (Don't worry they won't just grab you at random). That honor is often granted to members of the minyan who have experienced major life events. One of those events is coming of age.

When a Jewish boy turns 13 he may be called to the bimah (podium) for the first time and be allowed to read a passage from the Torah (the scroll containing the 5 books of Moses) and the associated passage from the Prophets. He may then intepret that which he has read and offer thanks to his parents and teachers.

That is it. The service does not make you a bar mitzvah it is a celebration of the fact that you have become a bar mitzvah.

The more important issue for the life of Jesus is that Jews have always interpreted the words from Gen 1:28 "Be fruitful and multiply" as a commandment incumbent on Jewish men.

Posted by: Fat Man at July 27, 2008 9:07 PM

Sara, you would have to ask those who knew him directly what he is like. That is, ask the saints.

I recall your accusation as being one that is often used against Calvinists and such who must - because of their conception of what God is - hold that Jesus' perfection involved not doing human things such as learning, going to the bathroom, having injuries, etc.

That was never the original doctrine of Christians.

However, since the very beginning it has been the teaching of Christians that he remained a virgin. It is for us moderns to take every choice a holy person makes and turn it into an ideology. Yet, if God were a particular human he would be limited in that humanity to live a particular life. So he was male, and a virgin.

Meanwhile, the world is flooded with Christian babies and the commandment is fulfilled.

Dunno what else you want from me.

Posted by: RiverC at July 28, 2008 4:52 AM

"Don't make Me come down there!"

Posted by: Rich Fader at July 28, 2008 10:07 AM

"Don't make Me come down there!"

Posted by: Rich Fader at July 28, 2008 10:08 AM

And you REALLY wouldn't want Him having to say it twice, would you?

Posted by: Rich Fader at July 28, 2008 10:09 AM

And by the way, I have to disagree. I think God's mind is beyond man's comprehension to be sure, but capricious and irrational seems to be more our department.

Posted by: Rich Fader at August 4, 2008 8:24 AM