Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jesus was from a messed up family

The ancient Hebrews were borderline obsessed with tracking family historic data. These end up as long dry lists of names in our bibles that most of us skip over, however these lists can help us realize that the image we have a plastic Jesus that can't relate to our messed up family life can be put into a more realistic light.

People like to talk about being in the line of the kings.  It was technically true just as I can say that I am a descendant of Scottish noble. First, when people looked at Jesus running around they just saw him as the illegitimate child of Joseph and Mary's, who in social standings ranked somewhere around dirt.  Then going back we will see a long list of less than admirable characters.  (I'll be blitzing through Matthew 1 here)

Abraham - liked to tell people his wife was his sister.
Isaac - loved his oldest boy the best
Jacob - cheated his father-in-law to make a fortune
Tamar - who pretended to be a prostitute to have a baby with her father-in-law without his knowledge
Ruth - a foreigner born woman who seduced a man into proposing to her while he was drunk
Jesse - who didn't consider his youngest boy to be worth presenting with the rest of his children
David - slept with the wife of one his most loyal followers then had him killed to hide his guilt
Solomon - who had a sex addiction (hundreds of wives plus a harem of like a thousand)

On and on it goes into the accounts of the kings who did some good, but mostly bad.  A sultry list of characters to be certain.  The point is that even Jesus' own half brothers thought he was baked.  His step father isn't recorded as being around after he was 12 so it's likely that he died when Jesus was still young.  The people from his small town even tried to literally push him off a cliff.  The friends that he did make abandoned him in his darkest hour and even denied that they knew him.  Plus his dying words were calling out to God asking why he had forsaken him.  If anyone knew what it was like to feel alone without the bonds of family, it was Jesus.

If he can really forgive people for abandoning him and he indeed is God.  Maybe he isn't so plastic after all.  Even if you are angry at the church I urge you to consider Jesus.  he could end up being the family you are missing.
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