“Um, I’m Jesus and I don’t get pissed?” In case you didn’t know, Jesus is a bit of a smart-ass.
“Come on, man. I know of at least two places in the Bible where you you did, so don’t give me that”, I responded.
He thought for a moment, “Oh, you’re talking about the fig tree. And, the Temple Tantrum. of course.”
“Temple Tantrum?” I laughed. “Who came up with that?”
“Peter, believe it or not”. Jesus smiled at the memory of his old friend. “You know, for someone with such a thick head, he could be a really funny guy.”
Savoring that bit of irony, I sat there for a minute, waiting for him to go on. Finally, I said “So?”
“So, what?” he answered. “Oh, you want to know why I said I don’t get pissed when, plainly, I have.”
He got a sheepish smile on his face and said “You know, I’ve never been all that proud of either of those incidents. To be honest, I wish people would quit talking about them. Not exactly my finest hours, you know.” He looked down at the can in his hand. After a minute’s reflection, he continued, “The fig tree thing was really just a tantrum, even though Pete used that label on the temple incident.” He paused again, as if gathering his words, “Look, you’ve got to understand: I was having a really tough week. We had been walking for several days, so I was tired. Plus, we were heading for Jerusalem and I knew what was going to happen when we got there. All that was bad enough, but listening to James and John bicker the whole damn trip was getting to me. Then, I healed that blind dude; nobody realizes how much a thing like that takes out of a guy. When we finally got to Jerusalem, I had to do my kingly entrance and rode into town on that donkey. Let me tell you, that little bastard had an uneven gait that was super uncomfortable.” He sighed. “So the next day, we’re walking along and I saw that fig tree and I started thinking ‘you know, a few figs would really hit the spot right now’. When I walked up and found there wasn’t any fruit, I lost it. If you want to know the truth, I cursed it mostly because I was mad at myself for forgetting it wasn’t fig season.”
“Okay, that explains the fig tree. How about the Temple?” I asked.
“You’re not going to let this go, are you?” I shook my head no. “Okay, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I wasn’t really as mad as I made out when I kicked those tables over. I was hoping that I could make my point without all that messy cross business.” He gave a short laugh. “Dad wasn’t letting me off the hook that easy, though.”
“And, you’ve never gotten mad since?”
“Nope”, he answered. “Oh, I’ve been mildly ticked, now and then. But, nothing like you’re talking about.”
I was stunned. “So, how do you do it? How do you stay so cool and collected when assholes pass laws that go directly against everything you ever said? And, they do it in your name? Doesn’t that make you want to get all smitey?”
He laughed, “‘Smitey’, I like that. Look, smiting was never my thing; that’s always been Dad’s department. But, that stuff doesn’t piss me off for two reasons. One, those “assholes” you referred to? They’re my brothers and sisters, too. And I love them just like I love you. Plus, if I’m going to go off on them for their mistakes, I’d have to do the same to you. And, I’m pretty sure you don’t want that. Do you?”
“Um, no.” Again, we sat there for a moment. “You said there were two reasons. What’s the second?”
I don’t know how he does it, but when the guy smiles, I get this warm, fuzzy feeling. Like, no matter how bad things are now, eventually, they will get better. He turned that smile on me and said, “There was a guy who fought against some pretty shitty things a while back, named Martin. Know who I’m talking about?” I nodded. Jesus went on, “Well, Marty said once ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice’. Does that make sense?” Again, I nodded. “Well, I’ve been around a long time; you know, like John said ‘In the beginning was the Word’ and all that stuff. So, I can say from experience, Marty was right. Hang in there; this crap won’t last forever.” He finished off his beer in long gulp and said “Feel better?”
“Much” I said.
“Good.” He stood up. “Look, I gotta run. And, remember what Shepard Book used to say: ‘If you can’t do something smart, do something right.” What, didn’t I tell you Jesus loves Firefly?