And he’s much more radically feminist than most Christians today. That includes Christians who are evangelical, Apostolic, Bible believing, and church going.
What marked beliefs and behaviors he has. There’s this care for human bodies, for looking on the inside, for interpreting the traditional Bible subjectively, for letting others translate all the important stuff.
His body is worn down and hungry one day as they have to travel through the dangerous land of bastards. He sends his apprentices off to find some fast food, and this woman shows up. To this very day, we still don’t know her name. But he’s a Jew and a Rabbi, which means he’s a man. Shouldn’t be talking to a woman, especially not alone, especially not a half breed woman, which means she’s a non-Jewess, who confesses she’s slept around a good bit and is in a relationship now with some guy she’s not married to. Since he’s approached her, the Rabbi I mean, she talks with him about trying to meet one of his physical needs (“thirst”), and he tells her she’s got it all backwards. When she believes him, she goes running off to the village to tell the mongrels in the town that this guy knows all about her (which means he knows something about them too). She’s good at piquing the men’s interest, and this time is no exception. This is all long before anyone had printed up one of those evangelical tracts or had published a gospel of John or had made a Jesus film. So she, being the very first evangelical, has to make up everything, which was fine with him in the first place. They all head back out to the suburbs to meet this guy and invite him home. Now, it’s a big “no no” for a Rabbi to cut through
He’s ragged out again. Falls asleep in boats during the worst storms, and such. Tries to get alone with God every once and a while. People flock around him. He feels sorry for them, gut wrenching emotion. So he has his apprentices give them food, which he changes nature to do. Still, there are people pressing in. No surprise a Roman guy in uniform gets to him; the guy officially insists that they speak Latin (but he’s whispering something in Hebrew Aramaic on the side). Anyway, children and women get in to him too. There is this old women who can’t hide her bleeding. She wants to touch his body but settles on a little feel of the hem by his dusty feet. A big “no no,” touching a Rabbi I mean. So he calls her on it. Then he just melts, giving her the cure that no male gynecologist can. There’s also this Greek woman whose daughter has frequented one of those temples where the men get the little girls high on deities; now she can’t shake the habit, and the thing keeps giving her the shakes; so the desperate mother yells at him for help. Now here’s a public dilemma for a Rabbi. So he mutters something about the House of Israel and the mom tells him she’s just a hungry bitch of a dog. That does it. Just when we think he’s going to have her escorted off the premises, he makes a different kind of example of her. “Listen up everybody. If you’re a church goer especially. Now this is the kind of involuntary belief that will get you what you want from me.” So she gets what she wants. The little girl goes on to live a happier life as a woman. They all loosen up again. And the theological debates about who gets to worship God on the mountain fall flat. Languages mix. His apprentices think to themselves, “if we’re ever going to get published, looks like we’ll need to polish up on the Greek.” Life gets happy, and much more interesting for both the men and the women.
(Oh, when I first posted I meant to say this: There’s no debate over the death penalty, whether by stones or by sticks made into a cross. So some of the other Rabbis bring him a woman caught having an affair. They know the rules: she dies. He ignores the fact that it takes two to tango--that is, that adultery also requires an adulterer (the man) and that a trial also needs at least a couple of witnesses. He just bends his body over, sticks his finger in the dirt, writes something that they can read. To this day, we don't know what it was but the last time a hand wrote something mysterious on a wall the outcome wasn’t pleasant. It also required interpretation, and subjective interpretation at that. Anyway, they all end up fleeing the scene. Which means he’s more or less alone, again, with a loose woman. The Rabbi asks her where the prosecuting attorneys are? She doesn't know. The verdict? “Acquitted by the most Supreme Court of all. Now stay out of trouble.” Since nobody feels like debating anything anymore, because everybody is so glad they’re free and that they’ve got their own lives back, they all go home to party.)
He’s agreed to have a kosher lunch over at another Rabbi’s house. He’s hungry so why not? Everyone’s still following him, watching him. Then a woman comes and starts making a scene. They all suspect who she is because her silhouette’s recognizable in the shadows. And her perfume is pretty distinctive too. She pours some on his body and gets everything all wet with her undignified tears. She’s touching him. Throwing her hair on him, kissing him. Fine, it’s only his feet, but still. What’s interesting is what he does. Nothing. But what he says is this: “Reverend Pal, you should have done this for me when I came in. I’m your guest after all. Think of your floors and your maid if nothing else, man. I know real love and care when I see it. Back at you, Lady.” Now, I’m afraid to say, this whole episode ramps up the theological debates about who gets to worship God on the mountain. The talk goes into High Hebrew. His apprentices are really nervous now. And people are whispering things about a death wish. But the woman doesn’t forget any of it.
He’s dying now. Women are there watching the awful scene. The Greeks would call such baring of body “gymnastics” of the torturous kind, but the Roman men have things under control. It’s a multilingual, multicultural example. Too many lines crossed. And he’s still talking to women from up there, making sure his mother’s going to be okay, and his friends who’ve returned to the scene after hiding. Those women follow, taking their perfume and such. Crying still. A few days later, they see him first alive. Since it’s women who are there, he sends them off to get the men, off hiding again. They’re his first Apostles, the women I mean. The men will claim that title later, after theological debates rise again over who gets to worship God on the mountain. The men hope that will shut the women up, at least in church. They write a few things like that in Greek, remembering Eve first but forgetting Adam. They dust off the scrolls of Aristotle and find a nice way to know everything, including separate but unequal roles for men and women in nature from the Beginning. They have a hard time remembering the Rabbi’s care for human bodies, for looking on the inside, for interpreting the traditional Bible subjectively, for letting others translate all the important stuff. Miracles? Hyperbole? Too unorthodox. Too rhetorical. Too feminist. Too unfaithful to and deviant from the original text. So nobody needs to tell parables anymore.