Wow! Someone found an ancient piece of papyrus that had Jesus referring to his wife! Actually, I believed years ago that he had a wife when I was into studying the bible. I thought that the idea that he didn’t marry to be odd, given the culture in which he lived. I also thought it pretty lame that people thought that Jesus had to be single because being married would taint him in some way. What does that say about us married people? Can only celibates have any real spiritual connection to God? And what does that say about marital sex? I was taught that sex within the sanctity of marriage is supposed to be sacred. Well, actually, I was sort of taught that. While the words said sex in marriage is sacred, somehow the celibacy of the male leaders in my church seemed to say the opposite.
I didn’t share my thoughts with anyone, but I was secretly delighted when I read The Da Vinci Code and later some books on the Gnostic gospels. I can’t recall which Gnostic writings mention Jesus’ relationship with Mary, but I remember that one of them said that Peter was offended by the fact that Jesus kissed her on the mouth and there is a gospel attributed to Mary M. herself that implies a very special relationship with Jesus. I take these writings seriously although I do know the difference between actual historical evidence and fantasy. The Da Vinci Code’s depiction is clearly fanciful.
I have had some fanciful thoughts myself about Jesus and Mary Magdalene. One is a reflection on the story in the bible about the time Jesus attended a marriage feast in the town of Cana (John 2: 1-10). As the story goes, Jesus was at the wedding along with his friends and his mother, Mary. At some point, Mary notices that there is no more wine and she appeals to Jesus to do something about it. At first he gets all huffy. “You must not tell me what to do.” Ouch! My first thought was, “That is no way to talk to your mother.” My second thought was, “Who did Mary think she was butting in when the wine jugs ran empty?” That is when it occurred to me that maybe this was HIS wedding. That would make her anxiety about the situation make total sense. The story tells that she instructed the stewards to do whatever her son said. Jesus told them to fill six thirty-gallon jars with water, a bit of a chore when they didn’t even have running water. Don’t you think they might have turned to the chief coordinator of the affair and said, “Do we really have to do what this guy says?” One might wonder what this coordinator was doing that he didn’t see the problem? And why didn’t Mary go to him in the first place since the problem should have been his to solve. Perhaps the last portion of wine was in his kitchen and he had been nipping it throughout the event. It says that Jesus turned the water in the jugs to wine and when the chief coordinator tasted it, “he said to the bridegroom…’You have kept the best wine until last.’” If my theory is to hold, no one knew about this amazing miracle with the exception of Jesus, his mother, and the servants who filled the jugs with water. But that is in keeping with other stories where Jesus tried to play down his miracles.
This is one of my fantasies about Jesus. I have others. You might consider it irreverent.
I was listening to a news show last night concerning the shoddy movie made about Mohammed that resulted in Middle East violence. Three persons were invited to comment. One represented the Muslim faith and he presented his view of the situation. Another represented the Jewish faith. A third represented the Christian faith. The Christian, a bishop and a scholar, was asked about his reaction when people in the media demean or make fun of Jesus. His response was that these depictions are not so much commentaries on Jesus as on those who call themselves Christians. I rest my defense.