Ninja Christ

Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. (Mark 11:29)

It’s funny how many people have tried to duke it out with God. There was Job, of course, who lasted 42 rounds before God ko’d him. Most guys didn’t last that long. Moses went down fast, but, to his credit, kept coming back for more. Jacob fought God to a draw, coming away with only a limp, though you have to suspect that God threw that match because he liked Jacob’s spunk. Then you’ve got the prophets, some of whom really liked to tear it up with the Almighty. Even though God outweighed them by a long shot, the prophets were feisty and quick, and were often able to turn God’s size against him. In fact, the best prophetic tusslers were experts at reversals, and God often found himself trapped by his own moves. But that never lasted for long; whenever God found himself in the ropes he simply overpowered his finite opponents and, with a roar, body-slammed them like so much soggy matzah.

So Jesus comes along. He doesn’t look anything like his dad. Jesus is of average height and weight, maybe scrawnier than most. He’s not intimidating at all. Most of the time he just hangs around with his buddies. But early on he shows an aptitude for sparring. At the age of twelve, he sneaks into the religious gym at Jerusalem where he finds the veterans throwing a few lazy punches at each other. When they notice him, they let him put on a pair of gloves and are surprised when Jesus throws a barrage of quick, successful jabs. The session ends when his irate parents yank him out of there.

Years later Jesus is cornered in the wilderness by the neighborhood’s reigning cage fighter. This bad dude has heard about Jesus and is going to nip any future threat ASA-freaking-P. At first the dark boss just plays with Jesus, fishing for any real street cred the dude might have. Jesus easily holds his own. The gangster punches harder, but Jesus takes the hits without flinching and returns a couple stinging rebukes. Frustrated (and a little worried now), the neighborhood champ unleashes a thermonuclear blow that would liquefy anybody but God himself. He is shocked when Jesus does not fall, but even more astonished when Jesus, whom the gangster knows could now finish him off, doesn’t take him out. Instead, Jesus simply lets him slink away to regroup and prepare for a rematch.

After this encounter, Jesus has to put up with challenges from every religious wannabe on the block. They pick fights with him, gang up on him, try to trick him, and accuse him of lawbreaking. Most of the time, Jesus ignores them like pesky flies. And even when he can’t avoid a rumble, he is the measure of restraint, jabbing just enough to convince his challengers to back off. Most of the time this works fine and Jesus can get on with it.

But every once in a while, some with huge chips on their shoulders won’t take the hint. They’re looking to prove themselves, and a couple of bruises isn’t going to convince them to sit down. When Jesus meets up with this type, he changes tack. Instead of meeting force with greater force, he does the rope-a-dope. They swing away at the air and Jesus lets them. He can’t be hit and doesn’t hit back. His opponents eventually discover their impotence and stand there, not knowing what hit them (which was nothing).

At the end of the skirmish, all would-be god-fighters learn that God doesn’t get hit unless he wants to get hit. He shows incredible patience with jerks, often humoring them to humor himself, but they never even get close to contact. God’s own kids, however, are another matter. He often lets them duke away at him and even land a few pops here and there. God knows that sometimes a kid just needs to swing at something and he’s as good as anything. That is, of course, until he swings back.

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2 Responses

  1. Having grown up in the bowels of Christendom, and being possessed of an overactive brain, I don’t often come across anything I haven’t heard or thought of before.

    But Jesus as street fighter is brilliant and a new one for me. It paints one of the clearest pictures of the character of Jesus I have ever seen. Well done.

  2. I like the idea of God as a sparring partner to teach us to fight. I wonder if that’s why the enemy is allowed to stay around. Apparently we need to learn something very important by getting him underneath our feet. Perhaps that is what is required to prepare us for the ruling, reigning and judging positions.

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