Sunday, September 05, 2004


Jesus Comes to Greet the LXX, Part II

“So, uh," I say, "your dad fixing to have you grow up in Judea, or in exile?”

“I don’t think he even knows, yet. Last I heard he was talking about Galilee.”

“Galilee!” I whistle. “All the way up north of Samaria, there! Hoo-ee! Well, I guess that’s better than down here in Egypt, or something. At least it used to be Israel.”

“Yeah, that’s what Dad keeps saying,” Jesus says. “Half the time, anyway. He wants me to be born in Bethlehem, for some reason.”

“Bethlehem, huh? That’s one hell of a way to travel just to get born.”

“Tell me about it.” He sighs, like he’s tired already from all that traveling he’s going to have to do. “My Jewish name’s going to be Yeshua, or Yehoshua, or something.”

“Oh, sure,” I say. “We’ve got some Yehoshuas here.” I point them out.

“Hey, man,” Jesus says, winking and cocking his finger at them like a pistol. Blowing imaginary smoke off the muzzle. “Hey, there. How you doin?”

“So,” I say, “come on over here, sit with me. We’re getting breakfast in a minute. Or, uh—do unborn people even eat breakfast? I don’t want to—”

“Sure,” Jesus says expansively. “Hey, no problem, I can eat breakfast if I want. Don’t worry about it.”

“Okay, that’s cool. So tell me,” I say, “how do you know the Holy Ghost? I guess you two fellers didn’t go to school together or anything. Seeing as how you ain’t even been born yet.”

“No!” he laughs. “That’s a good one, going to school with the Holy Ghost! You’ve got a good sense of humor, Sid. I find that a sense of humor often helps people get through hard times and awkward situations.”

“You sure got that right, kid,” I say.

“No,” he says, “how I know the Holy Ghost is, see, we’re, well, we’re sort of the same guy.”

“Say what now?”

“Sort of the same guy. One with God.”

A light goes off, now, finally. I’m so slow!

"Oh! Oh!” I cry. “Right! Damn, he told us about that, weeks ago now! III in I, or something!”

“That’s right!”

“God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.”

“You got it!”

“Damn, and you’re God the Son. Of course! I don’t know why I didn’t figure that out sooner.”

“Hey, don’t worry about it, it’s no big deal, Dad still doesn’t have all the bugs worked out. It’s not like a done deal or anything yet.”

“Oh, okay. Well, that’s cool.” Something else strikes me. “You wouldn’t be—nah, couldn’t be. No way. No, it’s just too preposterous.”

“What?” he says. “Go ahead, ask anything you like, Sid.”

“You wouldn’t be the Messiah or anything, would you, Jesus? I mean, you know, son of God, born in Bethlehem and all.”

“Well, that’s sort of a state secret, but yeah, why not, I can tell my new best friend about it, sure. That’s the plan. Guilty as charged: yes, I’m the Messiah.”

“Well I’ll be hog-tied,” I say, whistling a little. “Boys, Jesus here says he’s the Messiah!”

“Not yet!” he cries merrily, looking around. “Not till I start my earthly mission!”

“Damn,” the guys say. “That’s cool, man. The Messiah, huh? Wow.”

I guess we’re all thinking the same thing: we must be pretty important. This translation we’re doing is. The Messiah comes to chat with us over breakfast. Sees us naked, and all.

“Yeah,” he says, “the Greeks, they’re going to call me Jesus Christ. Khristos being their word for Messiah, and all.”

“So, wait a second, now,” I say. “Wait—just—a—second. When we say that it’s CCLXXXIV B.C., that’s before you, right? Before Christ!

He smiles modestly. “Yeah,” he says. “That’s me all right. I’m that guy.”

“That Christ guy.”

“You got me. Bull’s eye! Bingo! Hole in one!”

“Man oh man,” I say, shaking my head in amazement. “You know I used to think I’d never figure out what that was all about, that B.C. stuff, counting backwards and all. Where’d that come from? Why couldn’t we count forwards from I, like normal people? And here it was you all along. It just goes to show you, don’t it?”

“It sure does,” he says with a big friendly smile. “You just learn something new every day, don’t you Sid?”

“Truer words were never spoken, Jesus my friend.”

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