We all hope our eulogists get it right when it’s our turn to be remembered.
The problem is that, sadly, you won’t be around to set the record straight. If they happen to get a few facts of your life wrong. Who knows that better than Jesus of Nazareth! Yes, that Jesus! There are plenty of odd and sometimes contradictory Jesus quotes that he would certainly feel better if he could finally have a chance to set the record straight. And there are few things in this world I would like more than to make Jesus feel better . . . okay, more than a few, but I bet he will give me an extra special suite in heaven if I can make him feel better with this blog post. Here is part 1 of the post (quotes 1-3) in case you missed it.
So here goes – my imagining of the edits that Jesus would make to his most questionable Gospel quotes if he could:
4. “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'” —Luke 7:34
JHC: I was trying to make a point about how haters gonna hate, damned if you do, damned if you don’t, that kind of thing. The problem is that I made the mistake of reminding people of the rumors that swirled around about me back in my day. I should not have fed the trolls and should have never brought this up. Kind of like Nixon saying, “I am not a crook” makes people think Nixon was a crook. Or when Trump says, “Believe me, there was no collusion” well, we all know what that means.
Also, as long as I was mentioning rumors about me, I should have gone with something more impressive like “and you say ‘Here is a guy who can bench press 400 pounds and looks fabulous in a tank top’.” Have you seen Renaissance paintings of me? You know I would look good in a tank top!
5. As Jesus was speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, and they want to speak to you.” Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. —Matthew 12:46-49
JHC: So, yeah, I had some issues with my family. Who doesn’t? They didn’t know quite what to make of me, and I pretended they didn’t exist. It’s a pretty standard story. Unlike most people, my story had that whole twist ending of being crucified and deified, so my family ended up feeling pretty guilty about the whole estrangement thing. Kind of like how bad Romeo and Juliet’s family feel because of how their story ended up. Same with my family. So I guess I didn’t have to be such a d-bag to them. It’s kind of unbecoming of a Savior.
6. Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. —Matthew 10:34-35
JHC: Again, I kind of thrived on the family conflicts in my life, so I thought it would be good for everybody. Turns out that kind of added stress will make you less happy and take years off your life. I would love to take this one back. Especially the part about the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law conflict. Like that need a jumpstart!?! What the hell was I thinking?
7. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, as well as his own life, he can’t be my disciple. —Luke 14:26
JHC: Did I really say “Hate your own life”? That does not sound like me at all. The rest of your family, sure, hate away. Let’s at least strike out “as well as his own life.” That make the verse waaayyyy better. This could not have helped recruitment into the Christian religion. Imagine a club that says, “You can only join if you hate every single one of your relatives.” You’re going to get a pretty small and spiteful subset of humanity signing up.
8. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. —Matthew 21:19
JHC: The modern equivalent of getting to the Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru just as they’re closing and you are so hungry, you feel like driving through their plate glass windows to teach them a lesson. So, yeah, I’m a bit embarrassed that I killed an innocent fig tree for not having fruit, but really, what were my alternatives? Let it live. I don’t think so. Let’s at least reword this one so it doesn’t sound like I think the tree understands the language I’m speaking. Fig trees are widely known to be one of the dumbest trees around.
9.Then Jesus said unto them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” —John 6:53
JHC: This one was tough for people to swallow at the time (see John 6:60), but now millions of people every day are eating my body and drinking my blood. And untold thousands of 7-year-olds are taught that this is normal every year! Try it at home. Tell people to eat your body and drink your blood. At first they’ll be like WTH? But give it a few hundred years, and it might just catch on! You’ll never know if you don’t try. My only edit is that the “Verily, verily” part seems a bit overly defensive: like I knew that what I was saying was manic BS. If I had to do it over again, I would take out one of the Verilies. The first one.
10. No one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. —Mark 3:27
JHC: Yes, this still holds up as solid burgling advice, and you never know when you’ll need that, but looking back, it does make it look like I am sort of into tying up strong men. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But, you know, twelve apostles, all men. 1 Corinthians 7:1 says “It’s good for a man not to touch a woman.” It just leaves an impression, that’s all I’m saying. Let’s change this one to read “a strong man or strong woman’s house.” There, much better.
11. I have told you everything the Father told me. —John 15:15
JHC: Here’s one that people don’t get. If I didn’t mention a topic back when I was alive, it’s probably because it wasn’t a big deal to me. Hating on abortion, homosexuality, recreational drug use, bear bating, etc.: those aren’t my issues! So don’t go around claiming that I told you to hate gays or women or weed. If I had wanted to lecture you on those topics, you know that I would have. Let’s edit this one to at least say, “And if I didn’t mention it, it wasn’t one of my priorities. Leave me out of the discussion of whether it’s right or wrong. Argue on the issue’s merits alone.”
12. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. —Matthew 5:39
JHC: This one is easy; I don’t want you to get beat up all day and night. What kind of savior does that? Let’s be reasonable. I hereby revise it to read “Offer the other cheek also, because you’ll look like a total bad-ass. But if they do try to hit you again, duck really fast and then give them a swift kick in the loins. Amen.”
JHC: PS: Sorry about the book of Revelation. It was a first draft of a sci-fi screenplay I was working on. Not sure how that got in there. Please ignore.