Thursday, April 14, 2005
Jesus Throws a Tantrum (and promises ass-kicking super powers)
Matthew 21:This one has bothered me since I was a kid in Sunday School.
18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, *If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
Was this even fig season? Was this a commercial fig tree that had already been harvested? (Jesus displays a chronic disregard for agricultural Property Rights throughout the Gospels) What did the freaking fig tree do to him to deserve a summary withering? When I read this, I see a childish, wanton, destructive act.
Thats the first thing.
If that weren't enough, He turns around and tells the disciples that they too can zap trees, and even mountains, and presumably anything else that pisses them off.
If you're believing the bible, with all the miracles and stuff, that's not entirely infeasible. He gave the disciples power to go around healing people, so if He wanted to, He could hand out Withering power too, I guess.
On the other hand, it has certainly come to pass that people have cast plenty of mountains into the sea, and withered scads of trees, so maybe He meant that in a Tony Robbins self-actualizing way, rather than a Superman Heat Vision way.
On the other other hand, tree and mountain zapping power does not seem to be directly related to Christian belief. Russian trees and mountains took a beating under the Godless Communists, for example.
Okay, Jesus spoke in parables to separate the wheat from the chaff, and the True Believer will note that I have eyes, but do not see. I'd like to point out though, that after dishing the parables to the masses, Jesus tended to take the disciples back to the clubhouse and spell out the message for them in plain Aramaic, because they didn't have a clue what he had been going on about. Maybe I need that kind of kid-glove treatment.
I just don't know. I'll tell you this though - if Jesus comes around again, I hope I have something on hand for Him to eat.