The Common Good
September/October 2005

Gospel Polls Well in Samaria, Region

by Ed Spivey Jr. | September/October 2005

What if Jesus had professional consultants?

It seems like only yesterday that Americans voted to continue the inspiring legacy of the Bush family,

It seems like only yesterday that Americans voted to continue the inspiring legacy of the Bush family, only to realize later what a really bad idea that was. Oh well. No harm done. But three years from the next presidential election, potential candidates are already testing the waters, stocking their war chests, and hiring highly paid consultants for their potential bids. I’ve often wondered why Jesus didn’t use a consultant to boost the effectiveness of his own ministry. So just for fun, let’s say he did. Following is a conversation between Jesus and his new media professional, just after Jesus healed the leper.

Consultant: Sir, could I have a word with you? No, no hug, if you don’t mind. I know you healed the guy, but let’s not take chances with contagious diseases. Anyway, nice work, but why did you tell him to keep quiet about it?

Jesus: I don’t want more crowds.

Consultant: Well, HELLO! Isn’t that exactly what we want? We’re trying to preach the good news here, not hide it under a bushel. No?

Jesus: That’s good. Can I use that?

Consultant: Of course. So, what do you have against crowds?

Jesus: Everywhere I go throngs of people show up, with the pushing and the shoving and the pushing. Oy. Yesterday it was what, 5,000 or so? Plus, I had to feed them all.

Consultant: And we appreciate you coming through on that one, sir. The caterer got confused and showed up at the wrong throng.

Jesus: It happens. So, did we reimburse that kid?

Consultant: I’ll take care of it. Could we stay on topic, please? As I was saying, get used to the crowds. The new PR firm is really capitalizing on the miracles and your excellent speaking skills. Oh, and they just came up with this great idea for your entry into Jerusalem: A big white horse with a fancy saddle. Plus, we’ll pass out those noisemaker thingies that curl open when you blow on them.

Jesus: How about I just ride in on a donkey?

Consultant: Tshyeah! Like I’d let THAT happen! Besides, we tested the donkey idea on a focus group and it fell flat, very flat. So we’ve nixed the idea.

Jesus: What’s "nixed"?

Consultant: Never mind. By the way, I wanted to apologize for yesterday. It won’t happen again.

Jesus: I hope not. I was just visiting some folks when suddenly this guy comes down through the ceiling...the CEILING, for My sakes!

Consultant: A glitch. A mix-up. I promise it won’t happen again. We talked with security and from now on the advance team will check all the ceilings.

Jesus: And manhole covers.

Consultant: What’s a manhole cover? Never mind. But again, Boss, we got great press on that ceiling thing. They loved how you healed the guy, a complete stranger, even though he landed on your toe. By the way, how’s the toe?

Jesus: It’s better. I heal quickly.

Consultant: The point is, I think you should start using your power in more memorable ways. No offense, sir, but turning water into wine looked like a cheap parlor trick.

Jesus: It was the right thing to do.

Consultant: Frankly, I think the bride’s parents were just trying to cut costs. Whatever. Okay, new business: I understand that you’ve been instructing the disciples to shake the dust from their feet if people don’t listen to our message. Tell me you didn’t say that.

Jesus: I said that.

Consultant: Wrong! Don’t you think that’s a little harsh? How about they leave their business card and do call-backs in a week?

Jesus: I’ll think about it.

Consultant: Beautiful. Next item: Larry just came in with the new slogan and you’re gonna love it: "Stick With the Big Guy." Does that rock, or what!?

Jesus: I thought we settled on "Follow me"?

Consultant: BOR-RING! It’s weak, and it’s got no shelf life. You’re gonna be around for a long time so it’s gotta have staying power.

Jesus: Actually, I might not be here as long as you think.

Consultant: But you’re just getting started!

Jesus: I know, but I’ve got this feeling.

Consultant: Bad toe again?

Jesus: Maybe.

Ed Spivey Jr. is art director of Sojourners, and he promises to stop making things up about Jesus.

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