Murph (standing and motioning): Hey, guys! Come have a seat and some iced tea.
Jesus (motioning for the others to sit): Hey, Murph. What’s happening?
Murph: You know the blog I keep on the blackboard inside? I’ve hit a roadblock. I usually like to write about you, but I have a block.
Jesus: Hmmm. What’s the problem?
Murph: Well, I’ve just finished reading I and II Kings, I and II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah and Jeremiah…I’m not seeing you in there too much. You see, I believe you are who you say you are–you’re God. Yet, you seem pretty violent in past.
Jesus (shrugging): I get this a lot. First, the big idea the writers were trying to get across is that I’m pretty jealous. No, I really jealous. Second, those folks who wrote about me, didn’t know me like you do. Plus, those folks had no appreciation of the value of a life.
John: I’ve wondered about that, too. A lot of killing and destruction back then.
Jesus: The Children of Abraham have been loved and warned about my jealousy from the beginning. I don’t like other gods before me. I can’t explain Old Testament violence in a way you’ll understand, so you’ll have to trust me. Just believe this: It’s going to all work out in the end in spite of all the suffering–I’m going to make all things new someday. You’ll get to see it.
Murph: So, do we need to be afraid of you?
John: Aw, come on, we know you. You love us and we’re good in you.
Jesus: Still, it’s not good to place others or stuff in front of me. You see, YOU guys are pretty good about keeping things in their place. I let you know when I want change.
James: True. You don’t pull any punches regarding truth and your expectations.
Jesus: Here it is: I want to be first in your life. I want you to be my disciples. I want you to think of me and then apply me in your life.
Murph: For example…
Jesus: For example, I don’t like it if you put your wife before me unless you put your wife before me because that’s what I want. Murph, you aren’t one of the Twelve. You could be, but that’s not what I want and you know it. You are committed, but you are also married with a family and influence in this community. What I want for you is for you to put your wife, family and community first because I want you to. It’s a paradoxicle–by putting me first, you put them first.
John: Sure, the first-last thing.
Jesus: Yeah, sort of.
Murph: So, when I don’t filter the rest of my life through you, you get jealous.
Jesus: Yes. The road to destruction begins with your turning away from me. Life is me, death is not me. Life is full of suffering, but I can guarantee that if you don’t put me first, the suffering will not only increase, but will seem all the more cruel and pointless. I am The Way, The Truth and The Life–no one experiences God except through me.
James: I guess I already knew this was true. You’ve been teaching us this from the beginning. I don’t see your jealousy much because I love you.
John: Me, too. You ARE love. We find abundant life in you.
Jesus: But beware. I’m not kidding. Don’t be like the Pharisees or Sadducees. I’m so disappointed in their love of Torah and traditions. My spirit groans for them. Their futures do not look bright. You guys will see–within your lifetime Jerusalem will be a wasteland, the Temple will be gone and Israel will be no more. If only they would see and hear, but they are stubborn and stiffnecked.
Murph: I hope to keep you first, Rabbi.
Jesus: You do well, Murph, but remember, I’m watching you.
Tr8: Jesus is watching and he is jealous. Keep him first and love according to his will.