They fished all night. Nothing. Countless times they set and recovered the heavy nets. Nada. Zilch. Heading to shore for a much needed rest, a voice rang out over the water:
“D’ya do orright?”
“Nah, just got here!” The standard fisherman lie reply to yet another wannabe know-it-all ashore.
“Look over there, the bait are chopping, try there, heaps of fish a bit further out to the left.”
The pic is from one of our recent dawn get-the-sugar-down walks along the foreshore. The storyline is from one of the gospels.
Usually when reading the bible we race through that kind of trivia to get to the more meaty stuff: the establishment of the church. After all, the creed thinks that a human life can be adequately described by: ‘born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate’.
The Master’s life is worth: a single solitary comma.
Late last year I ditched the doctrine. I set myself free from millennia’s worth of creedal crud. Jesus = God? Not for me anymore.
Stories like the one above now come to life, they become the sole point of the good news: to tell of this extraordinary human being:
A Rabbi with a trade, an avid outdoorsman, a lover of people who got his strength and vision from solitude, a good hand to have aboard any ship, able to sustain himself in the desert for extended periods without outside assistance, withstood an overbearing mother, able to feed bush tucker to a large group of people, an authentic man, totally free, a healer of the broken, freely choosing to live or lay down his life, able to put his hand to just about anything: tending a flock of sheep, practice horticulture and agriculture, had a predilection for arguing with the religious, he was wise, smart and funny. And he could and would party!
‘Worry not’ was his motto. The foxes have holes, the birds have nests, but he was happy with his ute towing his little boat around. The Magdalene in the front, his disciples in the tray.
What a man!
I imagine he had type 1 diabetes. He managed it by diet, long periods of fasting alternating with a high carb diet, and by exercise: rowing or walking across the Sea of Galilee. He would park up his ute, and walk the length of his country when too high. He recognised type 1 in others, and fixed them: Jairus’ daughter was in a coma with low sugar, and he gave her to eat. The lunatic boy after the transfiguration had too high sugars: this kind can only be healed by fasting. The blind man who saw people as trees had the classic blurred vision symptom.
He could get very cranky. Often justifiably so, but also because his sugars were too high. In the Garden he had a crashing low, which hastened his death on the cross. “Give me a drink!” It was bitter instead of the sugar he so needed. He gave back his spirit then and there.
Religion has a problem with the truly human one. They made him God, so diminishing everything he was and achieved, his entire life reduced to a comma. They fitted him into a system of blood satisfaction to an angry God. And so let us off the hook through cheap grace. Instead of transforming our lives to be like the Master, we now assent to the creeds and live our dreary lives as before: chop wood, fetch water.
The much maligned Pontius Pilate saw all this, and proclaimed his anti-religion Gospel to the baying mob: Ecce Homo! Behold the truly human one! Be like him! Be fully human!