Tuesday, February 16, 2010

As I Recall: All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kinderjesus.

Enough with the Old Testament! I've decided to skip ahead. We’re going forward by 80 jillion years (no, not really. I don’t know how long it is. A few thousand? Hundred? Stop guessing, Emily, stop it.) We’re going from David to his descendant, Jesus. Well, half descendant, half-deity. More specifically, we’re going to talk Jesus Stories! Huzzah!

For those that don’t know, Jesus was big on metaphors and similes. And he sure liked him some story morals. Since this is my first Jesus post, let me break the man down in a simple timeline.

1. Born. Donkey, manger, swaddling, shepherds, baa. (Details next Christmas.)
2. Child. “My father is God, I don’t have to listen to you, wahh.”
3. Adult.
a) Collects followers made of fishermen, tax collectors, other unlikely dudes.
b) Teaches his followers about peace and love through stories.
c) Heals a whole crapload of people.
d) Betrayed.
e) Killed.
g) Goes to Heaven.

Today we’re going to go over a few stories that Jesus tells (refer to section 3b.)
Once again, I’m going from memory on these bad boys. So I’ll need a bit of poetic licensing.

1. The Good Samaritan

Now there’s this Jewish guy walking along, minding his own biz, when a group of robbers come over and steal all his stuff; his gold, his donkey, his pride, etc. They leave him for dead on the side of the road. He’s laying there, writhing and everything, when I think a judge comes by? Maybe a doctor? Some professional of some sort who should theoretically be a good person. Sandal maker? Whatever. But he just passes on like a fart in the night. Next, a priest comes along. He also sneers and walks on. (Jesus, you will learn, is not a huge fan of priests.)

Then finally someone from Samaria comes along. This is actually quite the “OH SNAP” situation, because Samaritans are supposed to be the arch nemeses of the Jews.

(Side note: I'm not sure who ISN'T an enemy of the Jews...for some reason they really rile people up. Is it the yarmulke? It's probably the yarmulke.)

Now, you’d assume that this Samaritan isn’t going to stop. Well, hold on to your pack mule. Not only does he stop; he takes the guy to a nearby Hilton AND pays for his hospital bills. So moral of the story: love your enemy, don’t listen to what society tells you, and get a good insurance plan that covers helping thine enemies. CLASSIC Jesus.

I'm not pushing any ideals here, but I think it's important to your Bible In Pop Culture knowledge to know that the phrase "Good Samaritan" has become pretty general, and usually means "a stranger who helps someone." But this parable stresses giving help no matter who the person in need is. Even enemies.

2. The Prodigal Son

(This picture is from the site called It's A Black Thang.com which makes me so happy on so many levels.)

This story starts with a man and his two sons. One of these sons works hard and is awesome. And the other one is a pretty big jerk. He makes his dad give him a bunch of money, and then goes off and gambles and spends it and ends up sleeping with pigs. The son realizes he has no idea how to handle money, and crawls back home, begging forgiveness.

The dad is all “Oh, my son! You’re so awesome! I’m so glad you’re home!” To which the good son calls bull, of course. But the dad’s all, “Don’t you understand?! It’s my son and I love him!” So here we learn two things. One: parents are suckers (PS. Hey mom, I might have to come live at home for the month of May. Tell you about it later.) and Two: Forgive and forget those who have wronged you.

3. Rich Dude v. Poor Dude

As far as I can tell, that man is either knocking himself out with ether, or drinking a can of High Life in Heaven. I'm not sure which to root for.

Jesus is big into telling people that they have to be poor to get into heaven. Which helps, since everyone he’s preaching to just so happens to be poor as dirt. Now, I don’t really remember which parable is which, because Jesus is so into this moral. So I’m going to go ahead and combine them into one giant Rich v. Poor story. OKAY. SO. This rich guy is SO rich, he has to buy more and more storehouses to fit all his grains. And every day he passes by this poor guy begging in the street, but he just snarls and snatches his fancy robes away from him.

Eventually, both men die. The poor man goes to Heaven and the rich man, who doesn't get to take his grains with him, descends into Hell. The rich man’s all, "I'm thirsty. I'm hot. Fire hurts me." He calls up to Heaven for some water and gets a Soup Nazi NO HELP FOR YOU response.

The. End.

Moral of the story: Don’t be a dick. Also, Jesus tells people that it’s harder for a rich person to get into heaven than for a camel to get though the eye of a needle. “So you’re saying there’s a chance!”

Best part of this: tie between the camel's face and the plunger.

I’m pretty sure that the importance of the Rich v Poor stories (and why there are so many iterations of them) is that before Jesus came along, it was pretty well accepted that the richer, the holier. Like, you probably couldn’t get into the temple without paying alms. And if you couldn’t get into the temple, you couldn’t know enough about God. And if that’s the case, you can’t get into Heaven. So Jesus is all--BAM! FALSE! And blows everyone’s minds. Also, this pisses off all the priests. (Spoiler alert: Don’t piss off the priests, they will hunt you down.)

4) Sand vs. Rock

This one's short and sweet: Jesus tells everyone that basing their lives on his would be like building their house upon a rock. And not basing your life on Jesus would be like building your house upon the sand. The rains came down and the floods came up. The rains came down and the floods came up. The rains came down and the floods came up, and the house on the sand went *SPLAT!!*

Ahh, nothing like an interactive Sunday School Song to jog your memory.

Now those are the stories I remember, and those are the stories you’re gonna get. And you’re going to like it! Don’t be ungrateful, or I shall throw you out to the pigs.


Kristin said...

true or false: godspell influenced the retelling of these stories?

Emily said...

Haha, I wish it was from Godspell, but to be honest, I don't remember much! Mostly I remember that I was supposed to do a Jersey Shore accent at one point and couldn't pull it off.

Kristin said...

hahahaha. oh my gosh, you made my day.

p.s. i realized last night that, due to an incredibly busy week, i had not looked at your blog in over a week. of course i had to remedy the situation by reading through about 10 posts ... thus delaying my important luther (95 theses, etc.) homework. thank you, emily. and i mean that in the most genuine of ways. :)

Emily said...

Oh, you are so welcome. If I can make one person fall behind in their work...I have done my job.