We live in a nation in which our presidents go out of their way to flash their Christian credentials. George W. Bush claimed to talk to God frequently when deciding what policies and initiatives to pursue. While Barack Obama hasn't gone that far, references to Jesus and God are included in many of his most important speeches.
This has gotten me to thinking about Jesus and his ministry. What if Jesus had proclaimed the "Good News" in the way that the Bush and Obama administrations have run our country. What if he had gone out of his way to protect the powerful and wealthy at the expense of everyone else. What if he had proclaimed that the "Kingdom of God" was top secret information.
Imagine the following press conference.
Jesus: I'd like to thank you all for coming on such short notice. I've been working around the clock on a new initiative I will call "The Kingdom of God Is At Hand." I truly believe this new initiative with revolutionize our world. Okay, I am open for questions.
Jerusalem Post: Hmm. I like the title of your new initiative. Can you tell us a little about it?
Jesus: No can do. It's top secret. If I told you, I'd have have to kill you.
Jerusalem Post: Sir, how can it revolutionize the world if you don't tell us what it entails?
Jesus: You've just got to trust me on this one. I promise it is a great program.
Rome Tribune: With all due respect, how can we decide if a program is good or bad if we don't know anything about it?
Jesus: Well, I am good, so any program I support must be good as well.
Damascus News-Times: Mr. Christ, that's gobbledygook. It's circular reasoning. If we knew something about the program and judged it to be bad, then we might determine that you aren't as good as you claim to be.
Jesus: Hey, judgment is mine alone! Since God and I are one, you have no right to question us...er...me. If I say it's good, it is damn well good.
Nazareth Times: What kind of an explanation is that? Look, you asked us all here for a press conference to announce this new initiative. You haven't told us any of the particulars and you keep sidestepping our questions. Why have a press conference at all if you aren't going to tell us anything substantive?
Jesus: You want something substantive, Judas? Fine. While I can't go into the details, I just want everyone to know that me and my disciples are watching, reading and listening into everyone's communications. Since all of you have a few skeletons in your closets, we have the goods on you. Next question.
Thessalonian Review: I wanted to ask you a question about the recent event in the Temple. You gave a very impassioned speech about the evils of the tax collectors and moneychangers, but when the local authorities voted to start an investigation, you quashed it. What's up with that?
Jesus: We need to look forward, not backward.
Thessalonian Review: But that doesn't match up with your speech. Looking at my notes, you said these folks were turning the Temple into "a den of thieves."
Jesus: They are thieves, no question, but we need these thieves to keep our economy moving. If I had them all jailed, we would enter a deep recession and no one wants that.
Nazareth Times: So, in essence, you are saying that the monied interests industry in the Temple is too big to fail?
Jesus: I suppose so, but PLEASE, don't quote me on that.
Damascus News-Times: In another one of your public speeches, you said something like "those who live by the sword will die by the sword." I was wondering if you would explain this statement in light of the fact that you recently announced in your much covered foreign policy address that we are in a state of perpetual war?
Jesus: My, look how the time has flown! I'd like to thank you all for coming, but I've got important things to do. Before you go, please help yourselves to the wine, bread and fish I conjured out of nothing.