Tuesday, February 23, 2016

In Which Giving 5 Year Olds Infinite Power Backfires Somewhat

Wow, it’s been awhile, everyone. How’s life treating you?  It’s been kind of a super crazy year for me, but now I simultaneously have a chance to catch my breath AND find myself kind of bored.  Plus, a friend asked me to write about some sort of crazy story, so I’m going to do that.  STORY TIME, CHILDREN!

Today I’ll be telling you all about the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, which people often confuse for the Gospel of Thomas, which they shouldn’t.  First of all, the Gospel of Thomas is probably the best Gospel that got cut by the Biblical Selection Committee, and this… well, isn’t nearly as good, from a “morals and ethical notions” kind of perspective.  Also, I’m pretty sure there’s no murder in the actual Gospel of Thomas, and this one, oh boy.  So much death.

Okay!  This is the story of the Baby Jesus,  only he’s not a baby, now he’s 5.  Now, you Bible Nerds may remember that in the boring old regular Gospels, two of them start around about the time Jesus was being born, one of them skips to him at 12, and then they all jump to him turning 30.  And at 30, Jesus is a mostly chill, sandal wearing, tax paying proto-hippie (just don’t buy shit at church in front of him or whatever, though).  He’s all “don’t be dicks to other people” and “people are generally terrible, but some of them can change” and “fuck water, I’m making wine, bitches!!!”

Jesus is basically a great guy, is what I’m saying.  But as a child, apparently, he was TERRIBLE.  This makes a lot of sense, all children are TERRIBLE.  The difference between Jesus and most other terrible 5 year olds, though, is that as the divine son of a creation deity, 5 year old Jesus already has access to phenomenal cosmic powers.  As anyone who has ever met a 5 year old could tell you, this will be awful for basically everyone. 

Our story opens with Li’l Jesus barking orders at a stream of water for some reason, and then making clay birds, because he’s bored and video games wouldn’t be invented for another two thousand years.  But some jerk sees this and is all “OMG he’s playing with clay on a SATURDAY!”  and freaks right the hell out.  You might remember way back in Moses Times when God was all “Never do anything fun or productive for any reason at all on Saturdays, because I told you so, neener-neener-neener”?  Those rules were still in effect, apparently even for kindergartners.  So, this guy goes and yells as Jesus’ step-dad, who ALSO freaks the hell out. 

Joseph yells at Jesus, and Jesus is all “I’m magic, yo!” and turns the clay birds into real ones that fly away; thus proving that he can manifest a spark of life in wet mud, and also destroying any evidence that he was trying to have fun.  Then some uppity six year old throws a stick at the water Jesus was yelling at earlier, and Jesus is all “Mine mine mine!” (as a five year old will do) and he goes full on end of Raiders of the Lost Ark on this kid.  Like, seriously, I’m not sure if his face melts off or if he super-fast ages to death.  My translation quotes “the lad withered up wholly”, so no matter what happened, it was awful.  Then, Jesus goes home and takes a nap.  The dead kid's parents start yelling out at Joseph that his son is a monster, and they are clearly correct.  Li’l Jesus must be stopped.  But he won’t be, and the dead kid and his parents are never mentioned again.
(Guys.  I LOVE this story.)
Just to prove I'm not making this up, here's a 700 year old picture of this story.  Kid Jesus is in blue.

Later on, Jesus is out playing in the street when another kid bumps into him, and he’s all “Smote that bitch!” and yet another child is murdered by our Lord and Savior.  Because he bumped into Jesus’s shoulder.

More angry parents start yelling at Joseph, who, to be fair, has been put into an impossible situation of raising a child sociopath with infinite power bestowed upon him by his actual, also cosmically powered god-father, whom you may recall cuckolded Joseph before the wedding night and basically just ruined his life.  Maybe the reason Jesus grows up to be so pious and understanding is his stepdad was possibly the most compassionate person ever?  He certainly didn’t take after his biological father, a notorious divine asshole.

As a crowd of angry, yet justified, villagers gathers outside his house to make this monster stop, Joseph tries to explain to Jesus that killing people for petty reasons in generally frowned upon.  Jesus nods his head, says “You’re right, not-my-dad, killing that angry mob would be too easy; they should suffer for a while.”  He snaps his fingers and suddenly the entire crowd is struck blind.  The rest of the city now in a panic, and with no other recourse, Joseph sends Jesus to boarding school, so that he can be someone else’s problem for a while.

Jesus soon has a teacher named Zack, and Zack thinks that he is a child wise beyond his years.  Now, at first I thought that just proved what an idiot Zack was, but then I remembered how many murderous sociopaths are actually hyper-intelligent and super charming.  Maybe Zack was just enthralled by this conniving little psycho?  But OF COURSE this is going to go badly for Zack.  See, in short order Jesus gets bored with him (as he does with all things), and basically starts pointing out what an idiot he is, and how little he understands God and the nature of the universe, and why don’t you just go and kill yourself already, Zack?!?!

After talking Zack off the ledge and putting him in therapy, the school makes Joseph take his awful kid back, which Jesus finds hilarious, because he is horrible.  But good news!  Watching all these people freak out about him makes him laugh even more, so he reverses the previous blindness and stuff, which I guess is good.  Of course, no one ever wants to mess with this child ever again, as he has clearly gone completely mad with power.  Oh, and also, while he fixed the blind people he himself had blinded earlier?  Yeah, the dead kids are still dead.  Hooray.

A few weeks later, Jesus and a friend of his named Zeno are playing on the roof.  Now, I’m not a parent, but I’m pretty sure “don’t let 5 year olds play on roofs” is a pretty easy concept to get behind, because that’s a good way to get their tiny bodies to fall off and die.  As you probably already figured out, that’s exactly what happens to Zeno.  Naturally, Zeno’s parents believe that Jesus has killed again (but really, what were they thinking, letting him play with a demigod child who is a known murderer?).  Jesus turns to his friend’s lifeless corpse and goes “Hey, Zeno, did I push you, or did you fall off the roof like an idiot, which you are?”  And the corpse responds “Yeah, that one was on me, Mom and Dad.”  His parents, too terrified to know what else to do, worship Li’l Jesus in fear, hoping that their son’s corpse won’t be his meat-puppet-play-thing for long.

The rest of the book is sort of a greatest hits prequel to the miracles in the Canonical Gospels, with the added weirdness that a small child sociopath is doing them instead of a kindly teacher type.  Some idiot kid chops his foot off, Li’l Jesus touches it and the bleeding stops, more people join his cult.  Jesus goes to get water, the pitcher breaks when he’s fucking around with it, and he carries the water home in his shirt (That sure sounds like a weaksauce miracle to me, but I didn’t write this damn thing).  Jesus, aged 8, manages to feed an entire village with just a little wheat (I wonder if that trick will come in handy later in life?).  Jesus feels the magic and rubs some wood for his dad to make furniture with.  That is not a joke. (Mostly.)

As the book continues, there are a few more healing acts and resurrections, plus some more of Jesus schooling his own teachers whenever he runs into them, and pint-sized Jesus’ cult of followers keeps growing.  That’s where the book abruptly ends, because apparently Jesus aged 12 to 29 were considered the boring years.  Frankly, that’s a shame.  Super horny, sociopathic Jesus who could kill or raise from the dead anyone he wanted (and as his hormones went crazy) and who already had a cult of followers doing his bidding would make for some good reading.  Somehow Jesus became much more chill as he aged, and apparently we’re doomed to never find out how.  Eventually Jesus let go of his violent tendencies, and all was well.  As long as you didn’t sell stuff at church, that is. 

Oh.
And as long as you didn’t throw sticks at the water he was just yelling at, I guess.

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