DISCLAIMER: The following may be offensive to some – no disrespect is intended. This is just a blog, don’t get riled up about it.
I know…I tell you I’m back and then I disappear again. This seems to be the year of the ADD blogger. Not that I haven’t been busy with other projects, mind you.
I’m on a quest to understand my religion (Christianity). Sometimes it’s good to shake things up a bit. That’s when insights occur, at least in my life. So, I’ve been studying the life of Jesus in a feeble attempt to know Him better. Churches spend a lot of time on what we should do and hammer into us that Jesus was the Son of God, human and divine. He had a soft spot in his heart for the poor and oppressed, the widows, children, etc. We’ve all heard it over and over. We have artistic renderings of a fairly white man with longish hair and a scruffy beard, wearing robes and sandals. He’s always very clean. The pictures don’t look much like a middle eastern man, but what do I know about art?
I have my own picture and I don’t mean to be sacrilegious here or disrespectful in any way. I’m just trying to get my head around what Yeshua (Jesus) was like. There are few, if any, records of his childhood up until about 12 or so. And then we have the story of Jesus being lost from his folks and turning up in a temple discussing life with the Rabbis. Okay. I know when I was 12 I was still playing with dolls, but then, I wasn’t divine either. Oh, I had a tiara, but, oh nevermind.
After much reading on first century second Temple Jews, their culture and life, I’ve come to some conclusions myself on Jesus’ early years. I think he was like any other kid who just wandered around in the village or community hanging out with his buds. He probably got dirty playing some type of stick ball and Mary would yell at Him to get back into the house and wash up for supper. I wondered if she used the phrase, “Oh for Heaven’s sake, Jesus!” Probably not. I imagine Him with a squeaky voice prior to puberty and then that silly little wispy mustache that guys are so proud of as they mature. We know He had lots of facial hair…it’s in all the pictures shown in Sunday School.
The bible never talks about pets. That bothers me somewhat. These people worked hard; they had no tv or video games for entertainment. Oh, once a month or so the Romans might toss somebody in a lion pit and everyone would cheer, eat hot dogs and then go home. But daily entertainment was slim. I think they had to have had a pet or two along the way. Maybe some families had a fish, maybe an Egyptian family transferring in brought a cat with them. Why not have some dogs running around?
I’m thinking even Jesus as a kid had a dog of his own. There just aren’t any stories in the bible about a boy and his dog. I think the church fathers got together as they were discussing canon and said, “Absolutely not! No stories about Jesus’ dog – it makes Him too human.” The true story is they were afraid people wouldn’t understand or maybe get some of the stories twisted. You see, Jesus did have a dog, a nasty cur He named Demon. Demon had a bladder issue and frequently other families in the village (remember they didn’t have glass windows in their homes) would hear Jesus trying to deal with his dog’s problem by yelling “OUT, Demon, OUT!” You know how stories are passed down through the generations.
Or maybe not…sigh…