Sunday, February 12, 2012

Luke, Chapter 11: Jesus gets the munchies

Jesus is praying, and his disciples ask him to teach them how to do it, like John did for his followers. Seriously? We're this far along in the story and Jesus has not thought to teach them a prayer? So he teaches them a version of the Lord's Prayer.

When he's all prayed out, Jesus suddenly has the munchies. Problem: it's midnight and it's the first century and no one has thought of 24-hour fast-food restaurants yet. So he challenges the disciples to think of a friend who might be willing to give them some bread at this late hour. He also gives a long-winded speech about Martha Washington and aliens. Whoops! It's about eggs and scorpions, but I suspect the level of sobriety is about the same.

Another time, Jesus is casting out devils. His critics suspect that he's able to do this because he's an agent of Beelzebub. His supporters beg him to prove them wrong with a sign from heaven. He points out that the Pharisees themselves cast out devils and people who live in glass houses and all that. He has a few more pearls of wisdom to drop about mental illness, namely that there's no point treating it because the devil that possessed you will just come back with seven of his friends.

As he's talking, a woman blesses Mary's womb and breasts for successively bearing then nursing Jesus. After an uncomfortable silence, Jesus replies that people who listen to him and follow him are more blessed than she is. Not satisfied with insulting his mother, he keeps going, insulting all the people, who refuse to listen to him and will suffer armageddon.

When he finishes talking about the apocalypse, a Pharisee stupidly invites him to dinner. First off, Jesus sits down to the table without washing his hands. Then he admits that he doesn't clean his plates and silverware before he eats, either, because inner cleanliness is what counts. Note that you will not find many Christians following this particular teaching of Jesus. Then he starts ranting about how the Pharisees love status symbols too much and have killed all the prophets. As he's raving, the Pharisees egg him on, hoping he'll trip himself up.

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