In his prime, Jesus could walk on water, turn water to wine (he was good with water tricks), and disappear from caves about as well as anyone. As far as saviors go, he was one of the best. But it's 2006 now and Jesus is a lot older now. You see, most prophets peak between age 25 and 50. He is now a tad over 2000 years old. He no longer has his thin physique or thick brown beard. He probably looks more like Santa Claus or possibly Dick Clark if he's kept up with styles. Look, I hate to be the one to bring it up, but these facts beg the question "does Jesus still have it?"
By the time you are done reading this, I'm sure my inbox is full of Christians writing angry emails about how he'll always have it. But I ask you, did Michael Jordan still have it when he came back to the Wizards? Did Marlon Brando still have it when he did that stupid heist movie with Edward Norton? Or did Yoda still have it when he lived on that swampy dump of a planet?
And they were all still very good! Yoda could lift airplanes with his mind, Jordan could lift the level of his teammates play, and Marlon Brando could lift a sandwich like he was gonna hump it as convincingly as any actor ever could. But none of them were what they were in their prime.
Now in today's world, 25% of the world's population (Christians) believes that Jesus will return one day, rock like the old days, and fix things up all swell for him and his followers. But that's a lot of God damn (pardon me) pressure! Would you want the pressure of one fourth of the world expecting you to fix every problem on earth? What if he David Blaine's it and bails out of his staying underwater for 9 minutes trick? What if he accidentally turns Ed Bradley into a fish while doing sixty minutes or falls in a pool at Paris Hilton's birthday party? He would embarrass not only himself but an awful lot of Christians who've been shouting about his big comeback for years. That would be disaster! Pretty soon Tony Kornheiser will start arguing on PTI that Jesus wouldn't be a top 10 cover corner in the NFL. Christian churches would start saying that Peter was really the brains behind the whole calendar resetting and bible writing and that he's the man.
So I will ask a tough question: Are we sure we want him to come back? If he never comes back then we will all remember him as the man. We'll all continue to strive to be like him. We'll continue to ask "What would Jesus do?" and pretend to know the answer. (In most situations I think he'd turn a bunch of water into wine and through a huge party.) Sometimes things are better left in memory. Jesus Christ has done a lot for society as a symbol. He helps us through our lives, makes an excellent exclamation when something surprising happens, makes jewelry that is always fashionable, and carries us on the beach in tough times. Maybe it's time we paid him back by not being so demanding. He's no spring chicken anymore, so why don't we just let him enjoy retirement in peace.
Check out more of scot's writing at scotrichardson.com