Quote: Ladies, can you imagine being married to someone part-divine? How could you ever win an argument? (I read this in a comment section and had to laugh)
So, you’ve probably heard that Dr. Karen King, Harvard professor, discovered a small papyrus fragment – eight lines of text on front and six lines on back — containing a suggestion that Jesus may have been married. The fragment is considered to be from a fourth-century dialogue, written in the Coptic language, between Jesus and his disciples. In it, according to Dr. King, Jesus speaks of “my wife.” Immediately, questions were raised about whether the fragment is actually from the 4th century, the context for the passage, whether Jesus is referring to the church as his wife, who wrote it, what was the author’s connection to the Christian movement, etc.
As a storyteller I can see how it is compelling to imagine Jesus as a husband and father.
For all us married folks, we’d like to know what the perfect husband says when the wife asks, “Does this make me look fat?”
Moreover, I’d like to pretend that Jesus had a helper in his lonely crusade, someone who loved both parts of him and was a disciple as much as the other 12. It is traditional for a Jewish rabbi to be married. But, there’s no mention of a wedding or any of the four gospels referring to his wife. And, Jesus wasn’t a traditional rabbi. He was headed to the cross. Maybe that meant that a family would be less a system of support than a responsibility and source of guilt. Maybe even a distraction from his mission. What if his loved ones were held hostage?
Certainly Jesus expected his followers to leave their daily life behind and join him. Still, I love mysteries and the idea of finding ancient archeological clues to hidden truths. It’s difficult, but the story could stretch to include a secret meeting where, for the sake of the wife after Jesus’s resurrection, Jesus’s closest friends and supporters deliberately took out any reference to the Mrs.
The kids idea, though. This is, of course, the plot of the best-selling The DaVinci Code, but I don’t know HOW you could start a world-wide movement with kids. Maybe the grandchildren of God would be better behaved than mine, but still. It’s been two weeks since our last au pair, Anna, finished her contract with us and went gallivanting with her sister around California. During those fourteen days I got everything done, but it was a tight schedule: 1) two school days were cancelled 2) one day was clinic for Evelyn 3) I had to take all 4 kids to pediatrician for flu shot because of Evelyn’s immune system 4) Chance had two extra soccer practices scheduled 5) I finally got a call back to finish putting together my audio studio and 6) I managed a time-sensitive hand-off with kids during Diana’s soccer so that I could give blood during a Red Cross drive. I also popped the screens in my house OUT for the power-washer-man, but I couldn’t figure out how to get them back IN so that only half counts. Meanwhile, my husband was dealing with a complicated emergency health situation with his mother in Virginia.
So, instead of visiting her this weekend, we went to Rocks State park so the children could have some exercise and fresh air. Wanting to be low-key, we avoided the climb up to the King and Queen’s seat. If you remember from a previous post, the last time we went there my kids kept going out too far or hanging over the edge and then Mike stabbed himself in the leg with a knife and then Chance went off the path down a switchback and got lost.
This time we followed a tow path down to Deer Creek where there are big rocks to climb that go right out into the water. The picnic part went well, but then it all started again. There are signs that say “DANGER OF DROWNING HERE, DO NOT SWIM OR TUBE IN THIS SECTION” and I had two kids trying to dip their feet in the water. The twins were being good, but there is Sylvia holding up a broken piece of glass saying, “What is this?” WHY DO PEOPLE LITTER IN NATIONAL PARKS??? I don’t know. I suppose so my kids can play with broken glass.
And then, WHERE IS EVELYN? She’s taken off with the whole climbing thing. Sylvia is climbing UP the rocks to the path so I want to be standing behind her in case she falls and Evelyn is going PARRALLEL and is hopping like a …rock bunny and I want to follow her in case she gets lost or falls and gets a cut or a poisonous spider bite which will…
The point is I can barely take care of my own family let alone have time to preach and do miracles and attend trials and be put to death and then resurrect and then ascend to heaven forty days later. Jesus could. He’s the son of God. He can do anything. And if his child was bitten by a spider, he could always do a quick healing.
There are no prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus having a wife or children. No mention in the New Testament. The church is his bride, his focus is on his mission. What if he did have a wife? It doesn’t really matter. His life-journey was to save the world. Our mission is to take care of our own little piece. Sometimes that means driving to sports practice, and recycling, and cutting box tops for school, and chasing four-year-old twins over giant rocks. Sometimes it means being patient with a spouse and saying ‘thank you’ when we want to say “Why did you put my lingerie in the dryer?” (Just an example, Mike is actually better at following directions than I am). Jesus didn’t have to be married to tell us that we should be nice, should take care of, should LOVE our spouse and children, should try to be better people. That’s not on a scrap of papyrus…that’s written ALL OVER the Bible.