You know, with Easter having just passed and my love of all those Discovery channels, and that I've just gotten my hands on a copy of the Godspell CD (which, even if you're not religious, I can't imagine anyone not listening to that album and having an overwhelming urge to be "perky!") it's got me thinking...
You know, if God was indeed Jesus's true father, that means that Joseph was Jesus' stepfather. Interesting when you think of it. I mean, all good Christains are supposed to believe that Jesus was perfect, and for the most part I do, but I also believe he didn't come into perfection until he hit adulthood. Why? Because there is no such thing as a perfect child. And, part of becoming an adult is screwing up. Childhood is a chance to screw it all up before you have to try to get it right. And, how would Jesus be able to understand sinners if he wasn't one himself.
Yes, this is leading somewhere.
So, if we grasp the idea that Jesus, while a really good kid, the kind the other kids on the street were probably compared to all the time.... ("Jacob, why can't you be like that nice Jesus boy down the street? He's always neat and clean and he never loses his sandals. And he's always helping his father with the carpentry business. When was the last time you helped your father and I do anything around the house? Never! I should die before you ever lift a finger around here. 37 hours I was in labor with you, and can you pick up a dishtowel? Nooo, your father and I suffer..." ) but not an absolutely perfect child, you have to have some sympathy for Joseph. I mean, how do you compete with that? "My son's true father is God. Oh crap." I mean, it isn't like he can send Mary to talk to him. "Mary, next time God comes to get Jesus for visiting rights, could you ask him about...." cause it seemed that the only one who really spoke to God on a "answering" basis himself was Jesus. The rest of us talk, God listens, and he sends us signs, but those signs are usually left for us to interpret. Jesus was the only one who seemed to be getting direct responses from him.
So, you gotta figure there were times when Jesus, like other kids in his position, would have used the "My real father" excuse.
"Jesus, I want you back home as it's getting dark out. No more running around with your 12 friends into the night, okay?"
"But Dad, the fun doesn't start until it gets dark out!"
"I don't care Jesus. I'm your father and I say you have to be in by the time it gets dark out."
"You're not my dad! My real dad would let me stay out all night if I wanted to!"
"Well, if he feels that way, why can't he tell me it's okay?"
"Cause he doesn't talk to you like he talks to me. And he thinks you're being mean to me! You don't want God to be mad at you cause you're abusing his son do you?"
I mean, what do yo say to that?
I have to figure there were times when Joseph wished God would come down and set down the rules so all the family could hear them. Cause this "Dad says it's okay for me to date that girl down the street, even if you and Mom think she's a whore..." must have worn a little thin at times.
Not to mention. "Can you fix this, Dad?"
Joseph takes child's toy and realizes it's totally beyond hope. "I'm sorry, Jesus, I just can't fix this."
"My real father could fix it. He could make me a better one too. Just by waving his hands. Gosh, you're not nearly as good as my real dad."
You know, it's thoughts like these that keep many "devout" Christians nervous of me. And I like it that way.