Release the Peeps!
January 27, 2012 1 Comment
OT: Exodus 5-6
Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh and are all “Hey Pharaoh, God says ‘Let my people go party in the desert!'” And Pharaoh is all “Who is this God guy? Also, no.” And Moses and Aaron are all “Our God showed up and told us we need to go to the desert and sacrifice to him or else he’ll hurt us because he’s kind of a dick sometimes.” And Pharaoh is all “Why do you want the Hebrews to be slackers?” Pharaoh tells all the slave masters to stop giving the slaves the straw they need to make bricks, but to keep the brick quota the same, so the Hebrews have to gather the materials and make the same amount of bricks in the time it usually takes them to just make the bricks. That way, Pharaoh thinks, they’ll work harder and stop being lazy and thinking about running off to the desert for a rave. The Israelites are like “ummm this is kind of impossible why are you doing this?” and Pharaoh says “You are lazy bums, nothing but lazy bums” (17) and tells them to get back to work. The Israelites are like, “Way to go, Moses and Aaron, you guys just got us more work and made Pharaoh hate us more.” And Moses is like “Yeah, God, WTF?”
God is like “Don’t worry Moses, I got this. I’m God, and I made a covenant with your ancestors, which I recently remembered when I heard you all screaming in agony – sorry about that – but any peep of yours is a peep of mine, so just tell all your peeps to chillax because they’re my peeps and I’ve got it under control and also did I mention that I’m God?” So Moses relays this reassuring message to his peeps, but they cannot chillax because they are fucking enslaved. So God’s like, “Moses, go tell Pharaoh again to release the peeps.” And Moses is like, “Dude, even the peeps won’t listen to me anymore, so why would Pharaoh?” Flashback to a lot of genealogy leading from Jacob’s kids to Moses and Aaron. Then we just repeat the whole thing where God tells Moses to lead his people out of Israel and to tell Pharaoh to release the peeps and Moses gets all glossophobic.
Why doesn’t Moses do his party tricks for Pharaoh to prove he’s got God on his side? Wouldn’t that be more effective than whining?
NT: Matthew 19-20
Jesus goes from Galilee to Judea and heals his huge crowds of fans. The Pharisees come test him, asking if the law allows a man to divorce his wife for any reason. Jesus is like, “Remember how God said a man and his wife are one flesh? Humans can’t tear apart what God smooshed together.” The Pharisees are like, “Oh yeah? Well then why did Moses tell us to give our wife a divorce certificate if we leave her? WHAT NOW?” Jesus is like, “Moses let you divorce because you were stubborn dicks. But it wasn’t supposed to be that way originally. I’m telling you that if you divorce your wife for any reason other than adultery, you are committing adultery if you marry another woman.” His disciples are like, “Sheesh, why bother getting married at all then?” Then Jesus tells his disciples that not everybody is able to deal with this rule, which for some reason he tried to illustrate with a confusing example about eunuchs, basically saying that some are born eunuchs, some achieve eunuchhood, and some have eunuchhood thrust upon them. Gross.
Some people bring children to Jesus to be blessed, and the disciples scold them (why?), but Jesus is like “no it’s cool the kingdom of heaven is basically all children anyway” and he blesses them. Then a man asks Jesus what he has to do to live forever, and Jesus says to keep the commandments, but the man asks which ones, and Jesus says not to murder, steal, lie, or sleep around, and to respect your parents and love your neighbors. The man is like “yeah yeah I did all that what now?” And Jesus is like “well now you should sell everything you own and give the money to the poor” and the man gets sad and leaves because he’s rich and doesn’t want to give that up. Jesus then famously tells his disciples that “it’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom” (23). The disciples freak out and are like, “Dude, this kingdom of heaven is very selective. Who even gets in?” And Jesus says, “It’s impossible for human beings. But all things are possible for God” (26) – I guess meaning that no matter what you do, you won’t be worthy, so you can’t earn your way in; you just have to do your best and trust that God will work the miracle of letting your unworthy sinful ass into his magical palace. Peter says, “Look, we’ve left everything and followed you. What will we have?” (27), and Jesus is like, “Don’t worry, when I’m up in heaven in a throne, you all will be in twelve thrones over the twelve tribes of Israel. And if you left your homes and families and things to follow me, you’ll be rewarded with a hundred times than what you started with.” Jesus also claims that “many who are first will be last” and “many who are last will be first” (30), but we know this can’t be true because, in the immortal words of the Prophet Reese Bobby in the Book of Talladega Nights, “if you ain’t first, you’re last.”
Oh good, another parable.
Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who hires people to work in his vineyard and promises to pay them one denarion each. He hires some in the morning, and some in the afternoon, and some in the evening, and at the end of the day he gives them each one denarion. The ones who were working all day are like “This is some bullshit, we’ve been working all day and we make the same amount as the people who’ve only worked an hour?” And the landowner is like “IT’S MY LAND AND MY MONEY AND I CAN DO WHAT I WANT AND SOME WHO ARE FIRST ARE LAST AND SOME WHO ARE LAST ARE FIRST MWAHAHAHAHAHA.”
Jesus and his twelve apostles are on their way to Jerusalem when Jesus stops to predict his own death again, telling them in third person that the Human One will be tortured and crucified and then will rise three days later. Then James’s and John’s mother show up to embarrass them in front of their cool friends by asking that Jesus place them at his right and left hand in heaven. Jesus asks if they can drink from the cup that he’s about to drink from (I guess asking if they can withstand torture for their beliefs?) and they say yes, and he’s like “Okay, you’ll drink from my cup, but I don’t have the authority to say who sits where at the heaven-table. That’s my Dad’s job.” The other ten disciples get angry at James and John, which seems uncalled for since Jesus didn’t say he’d give them special seats after all. But Jesus calms them down by saying that whoever wants to be great should debase themselves and serve others, just like the Human One does, and unlike the Gentile rulers who boss everyone else around.
On their way out of Jericho (when did we get to Jericho?), Jesus and the apostles and the crowd of fans are stopped when two blind men by the road start yelling and demanding mercy from the Son of David. Jesus is like “ok what do you want?” And they’re like “to see, duh,” and so he touches their eyes to make them see and then they follow him.
The parable of the landowner and the whole preceding conversation doesn’t make God sound just at all; it makes him sound power-trippy and flippant and condescending and heartless. And I don’t like the promise that if you abandon your family you’ll be rewarded with a hundred families. It’s as frustrating as in the Book of Job when Job gets a new family to replace the one that God murdered. Family love is about quality, not quantity. You don’t want a new family, or a hundred new families, you want those specific people because you love them. Why is God apparently incapable of understanding that?