2/25/2014

What would Jesus do?


The sun was just beginning to burn the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Some weeks before, four fishermen had been fished from their trade by the carpenter’s son to be his disciples. They were now with him. Sitting on the shores of the sea they had always regarded as a home. Their past, forgotten; hope erected in the future.

Jesus, for that was the name of the son of the carpenter whom the church had denounced, was busy preaching to his congregation. His voice was small, his frame was little – almost frail. The cloth he had used to wrap his body in was dirty such that in within his congregation you could hear some little whispers of people wondering what made this man believe he was the son of God and not just Joseph, the carpenter.

His voice had no charisma. It lacked that magic and fire that John the Baptist (now in prison) had had in those days when he had baptized people in this very same sea, calling them of the wicked generation, calling them to turn away from their sins and – in instances – labeling them offspring of the vipers.

However, the carpenter’s son’s sermons were not that magical. They were more of philosophy. More of teachings.

“Happy are those who are humble,” he attempted to raise his voice. “They will receive what God has promised them.”

A murmur swept through. They were asking him to raise his voice. He made a vain attempt to raise it. He did but it was not enough. The people just learned that the best way to hear him was to maintain a silence within themselves and silent they went as he went about delivering his teachings.

Minutes later, he got up from the ground he was sitting on – not a chair or a rock. He did not bother dusting himself. He just rose and started walking around his congregation that had started swelling little by little.

“If you forgive others the wrongs they have done you then your Father in heaven will also forgive you,” he said lifting up a child from a ground. The child smiled. He smiled at it before proceeding:

“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.”

There was a lack of ease in the audience as his eyes swept through. Each of them remembered the neighbor they had vowed to never talk to while others remembered the time they were whipped after somebody had said a lie against them before Caesar. They had thought it best to just forget the man and place him in a cubicle. Of enemies. Now, this man was saying it was illegal – nay, a sin – to do such a thing? No! Some thought, this man does not know what he is talking about.

Those who had just been released out of prison on false accusations left. The man, the son of the carpenter, was insulting them.

“Do not judge others so that God will not judge you…” he said before a commotion interrupted him. He held the child tightly.

In the eastern direction was coming a group of church elders and leaders – they were called the Pharisees and Sadducees – in their overgrown beards and well-ironed robes. Before them was a man whom they were dragging by the shoulders. Another offender of the law.

Suddenly, the congregation that had been feeding on the simple and loving message of Jesus was stirred. They made way for the esteemed men who, every Sabbath, quoted the scriptures for them and told them to live in accordance with what it said so that they reserve a place for themselves in paradise.

Jesus gently put the child down, approached the esteemed men and freed the man who was being dragged by the shoulders.

“Teacher,” one of the Pharisees – he was a scholar at Capernaum University, a Professor – said with all the sarcasm a man of his education could master. Jesus did not respond.

“We found this man sinning,” he finished.

Jesus was focused not on the team of the well-read men of God but on their victim. He had helped him to a rock.

“This man,” said another of the Pharisees – a Professor of theology who had specialized in the Torah – “was found right in the act of sinning. Teacher, we want you to help us as to what we should do with him?”

Jesus stayed for a moment. For the first time, he surveyed the team of the well-read men of God and he saw mockery on their faces.

He shifted his attention and went to the accused sinner. His head was bowed down. He was overweighed with shame and an apparent fear.

“What did you do?”

“This man did the detestable,” a Sadducee was the one who spoke on his behalf. “If you have read your Bible well, teacher,” he emphasized mockingly on the word teacher, “this man belongs to that category of people found in Genesis chapter 19 from verses 1 to 11. They are the ones who made your Father,” he said with a sneer the words your Father, “angry that He had to let fire rain on this earth.

“It was after that that the good Lord writing through his servants wrote in the book of Leviticus in chapter 18, verse 22, and chapter 20, verse 13, warning us against these people. Actually, your own Father,” he certainly enjoyed the tease that the word father left his mouth with, “said that we should kill people like him by stoning. We should stone them to death.”

At this, Jesus noticed that the men already had stones in their hands and some of his congregation had gotten stones as well in readiness for the stoning feast.

“Now, teacher, what do you advise us to do with this man who was caught lying down with another man as he would with a woman?” asked the theology professor, hitting the nail on the head and sending the crowd on a rampage for they had now understood what the man was being accused of.

Jesus signaled the crowd to be silent and after minutes the crowd was silent. He moved over to the man: a handsome gentleman who was finely clothed as well.

“Is it true what they say of you?” he asked mildly.

The man cried and nodded his head. The crowd gasped all at once before falling quiet again at the silent command of their church leaders with their eyes. 

“What shall we do with him for the law plainly states that we should stone such a worse than a dog individual to death?”

Jesus knelt down. 

He wrote. 

In the sand. And then, he faced away.

The church elders read and, one by one, each of them left carrying their stones with them. They carried with them a huge part of the congregation that had been listening to the son of the carpenter who was claiming to be the Messiah.

“Where are those who accused you?” he asked after minutes.

“They are gone,” the homosexual said.