Crocodile Tears...what's worse than being a faker?

One option that people have used to try to explain away Jesus' sorrow is that he was faking.

Commentators in this camp claim that he just played along at Lazarus' tomb, cried for dramatic effect over Jerusalem and that whole Gethsemane thing was just an illustration.

Can you tell I don't buy this explanation?

I can't stand the thought of Jesus pretending to cry.  That's the kind of thing that makes it tough for people to trust you.  And Jesus is trustworthy.  Right?

What could be worse than being a faker?  Why would anyone claim Jesus was faking? 

They're defending Jesus' divinity (on false terms)

If you run the wrong way around the circle, you end up doing things like this.  This idea probably deserves a whole post, but in short here it is...

If you start with a definition of God (independent of Jesus) and try to fit Jesus into that definition, Jesus won't fit.  You'll have to keep cutting bits and pieces of him off.  Eventually, you'll probably get so frustrated with the project that you'll put Jesus on a shelf (or a cross).

Jesus' sorrow doesn't fit a philosophical definition of god (impassivity and immutability being cheif traits of this mythical primum movens).  But then again, neither does his exhaustion, his hunger, or his bowel movements (and references to said movements).  "Gods don't have bodies," the philosophers say.

But the incarnation of Jesus is essential to our salvation and to our knowing God at all.

They're defending the gospel (on false hopes)

The consumer gospel has become so widespread nowadays, people will shift their theologies to protect it.

Imagine me telling you: "You have problems in your life, emptiness, burdens and Jesus is the answer to your problems because he is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-awesome and for 52 weekly installments of an hour of your time and 10% of your income (plus a little extra when missionaries like those great InterVarsity people come to town), He can solve all your problems."

If I tell you that and then you see Jesus broken, weeping, what are you going to think? 

You should think that I can't deliver on my promise to connect you with someone who can make your life smooth sailing from here on out.  If the Mighty One we worship wept, well, a servant is not greater than his master.

This gospel falters at the point of Jesus weeping.  It breaks completely when Jesus goes to the cross.  Which, I think, is a good thing.  Because this gospel isn't a gospel at all.  Good news isn't that good if it's not true.

Why do bloggers feel the need to have three bold-lines?

As a student of stand-up comedy, I know that there's a great rhythm to three's.  Two men walk into a bar and the third one ducks.  A priest, a pastor and a rabbi walk into a bar and say "What is this, some kind of joke?" 

You know the schtick.

But a third reason to make Jesus a faker doesn't come to mind, so there won't be one tonight, at least, not for me.

What do you think?  Why might people want to believe that Jesus' tears were fake tears?

No comments:

Post a Comment