God was very proud of his son.
God and Mary were working well together as co-parents. They decided to let Jesus think he was the son of Joseph until he got a bit older. Adoption issues were tough, even back then.
Joseph treated Jesus as his own son and taught him everything he knew about carpentry, building and living a good life.
One day, Jesus, like many kids do, asked the question every parent dreads:
“Dad, I’ve been doing the math, and well there are some things that don’t add up.”
“Like what, son?” Joseph kept sawing at a piece of wood as he broke into a sweat.
“Well, you and mom celebrate my birthday on Saturnalia.”
“And you and mom were married the summer before that.”
“Was I really born on a pagan holiday?”
Joseph breathed a sigh of relief. “Yes, you were really born on a pagan holiday.”
Uh oh….almost a clean getaway.
“Doesn’t it take 9 months before–“
“Well…you see Jesus….uh….go ask your mother.”
Jesus was a smart cookie. He knew what went down, but he decided to check with Mary anyway.
“So mom, I was wondering….about my real dad.”
Mary looked up from crushing grain in a mortar. “Um hmm.”
“Who is he?”
“Well aren’t we the little smarty pants?”
“Okay, look. Joseph is your dad. But something happened before your dad and I got married. You are special….”
“I don’t ride the short bus!”
“No, no, no…look Jesus. You’re special in a….really cool way. You are going to bring about huge changes on this planet.”
“Yes. You are going to start a revolution! A spiritual revolution! And it all starts now. You’re twelve, right?”
“So what do I do? How do I know what changes I’m supposed to make?”
“You can’t make any changes in anyone but you, son. But you can do what dad and I taught you.”
“Do the right thing; tell good stories. Love people.”
“Now get your things. We’re headed into Jerusalem.”
“Cool! Can we go to the bizarre? I need new sand cruisers.”
“Your shoes are just fine, Jesus. We can’t keep up with the Silvermans you know.”
“Off with you! And corral your brothers and sister. We need to leave before dark.”
After arriving in Jerusalem, Jesus, being the oldest, decided to strike out on his own for a spell. He wandered into a temple, and struck up a conversation with one of the guys who worked there, an elderly man with wild, bulging eyes.
“’Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy!’” Cough, cough, cough.
“Okay,” Jesus stared at him. “And?”
The old man with the quavering voice stared back at him with glassy eyes. “Well, that’s it, really. I mean it’s my job to say scary quotes and make people feel ignorant and foolish. Oops!” He slapped his hand over his mouth. Old Eebajeeba was never very good at keeping secrets.
“I see. Look, I won’t tell anyone. I know the scriptures frontwards and backwards and frankly, they’re really pretty useless.”
“Oh I agree.” Eebajeeba leaned over confidentially, “Sometimes I even make things up just to freak out the Pharisees!”
“Really?” Jesus laughed as Eebajeeba chortled and coughed. He began hacking. He was very old.
“You okay there, old timer?”
“Ah yes, too much time at the hooka I’m afraid. Oops!”
Jesus wandered into the temple and some of the Pharisees stopped him. “Go home boy–this is a place of worship.”
“Oh yeah? And who are you worshipping?”
“No I was just wondering. Look, you aren’t going to get anywhere with that kind of attitude.”
The Pharisee stood tall and pointed at him: “If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, “You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord.” When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through.”
Jesus shook his head. “’Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidst, My righteousness is more than God’s?’”
“Exactly. You want to quarrel scriptures old man, we can do that all day. I wanna talk about your job here, in the temple. Pretty sweet set up you got here.”
Just then Mary and Joseph appeared in the doorway.
“Jesus! What on Earth are you doing in here! We’ve been worried sick!”
“Duh, mom. You know I need to be in my Father’s house.”
“You told him?” Joseph looked at Mary angrily.
“Well you had to teach him math, Joseph.”
The Pharisee pointed to the door. “The LORD is a jealous God, filled with vengeance and wrath. He takes revenge on all who oppose him and furiously destroys his enemies!”
The family decided to leave, but not before Mary shot back, “No he isn’t. God’s actually pretty chill.”
They exited the temple laughing and Jesus wiped his eyes, staggering and chortling. “Did you see his face? I mean, talk about a leprosy attack coming on!”
They stopped and turned to see old Eebajeeba around the corner, looking kind of hackneyed.
“Hey, Eeba–whatever, what’s up?”
The old man walked to Jesus and put his shaking hand on his shoulder. “Go East, young man; go east.”
With that, Eebajeeba turned and made his way down the road, cackling and dancing a sailor’s jig.
“What does he mean, mom?”
“He means you’ve learned all you can in this neck of the woods. Now it’s time to get a handle on the rest of the world.”
“Mom, why was that guy back in the temple so angry?”
Laughter and more ‘cracks’ about the temple workers followed. Jesus knew, though, that he had some serious work to do back east.