Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Tue, Feb 24 2004

Was Jesus A Man's Man?

I love Donald Sensing's recent post on Jesus and masculinity. I once knew a college professor who used to include in his material some thoughts on Jesus as a "take no prisoners" kind of guy. The professor would take us back in his lecture to the scene in the temple where the moneychangers were doing their thing, and he'd describe very theatrically the way Jesus must have come at them with eyes blazing and hands knocking everything off the tables. I used to get a charge out of the way even religion-scoffing male rebels sat forward with new respect for the professor as he set his jaw and told us to imagine the biblical scene. He spoke of the firm line of Jesus' mouth and the way Jesus must have kicked the tables over and scooped up fistfuls of money and flung it into the scoundrels' faces. Dirty Harry looks like a wuss alongside this Jesus.

There's a lot of discussion about Mel Gibson's film, The Passion of the Christ. Is it authentic? Is it art? Should art be authentic? Is it meant to be anti-Semitic--and if it isn't, does it come across that way anyway? Is Jesus' character too weak and is the actor too "pretty", and are the scenes too graphic?

I guess the thing I can bring to a discussion such as this is the observation that it gets people thinking and talking about spiritual stereotypes and expectations, and that's never a bad thing. As the tale is told, all of what we are (male and female, Jew and Gentile,) is a bold reflection of the possibilities of what happens when a Supreme Being opens up the universe for speculation. The story of Jesus walking this earth and dying from the weight of sin has nothing to do with gender or ethnicity or race or class or how much money there is in anyone's pocket. And arguing about who physically put nails into Jesus' hands is just a cowardly way of trying to putting the blame on someone else. The story transcends all details to become the most beautiful example of the Golden Rule ever displayed. To a person, we are part of this story. We each become the reason for the choice Jesus made to blend humanity and divinity and we each become a recipient of Jesus' gift of resurrection. Gender--or ethnicity, or height, or machismo--are just details that make a good story and keep us hot to tell the tale generation after generation. So, go ahead, guys. The next time they try that sensitive male-bonding thing on you at church, knock over some tables and give 'em "that" look. Dirty Harry didn't invent that look. Jesus did.

posted at: 10:51 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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