Afterwards, Jesus decided to wander around the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, apparently having no job, family, or other responsibilities. And since he had no job, he had no money, so he had no food, but he wasn’t inured enough to homelessness to eat bugs like John. Hunger and isolation does funny things, and by the end of those 6 weeks, he was having conversations with Satan, his dad’s old tempter-in-chief and gambling buddy.
Satan was all, Well, if you’re really a god or God’s son, why are you starving? Turn some of these rocks into bread. But Jesus was all, Dad says I gotta trust It and starve for a little longer.
Then Satan took Jesus to the top the Temple and was all, Why don’t you test out this God’s your dad theory and throw yourself off? Cuz if It’s really your dad, It’ll send angels to save you and then you’ll know for sure. But Jesus was all, Dad’s not that kind of God. It always says, Don’t test me, son! So I’m not gonna risk it. Continue reading “Matthew 4: Starvation, Satan, and Stuff”
Three dudes showed up in Jerusalem and went before King Herod and was all, So where’s the crown prince that was born recently? We saw this star that totally meant that the future King of the Jews was born and we have traveled for months to bring him these awesome presents.
This freaked Herod out–he was barely hanging on to power with the Roman war machine demanding tribute and obedience. The last thing he needed was some sort of magic competitor. So he put the visitors off with something noncommittal and started asking around. Everyone told him that the prophets promised that the messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Then he summoned the wise men and was all, The baby you’re looking for is in Bethlehem. When you find him, let me know so I can go worship him too! Continue reading “Matthew 2: The wise men”
One day there was this girl named Mary and she was engaged to this man named Joseph. But even though Joseph had never gotten so much as a cuddle, Mary’s tummy started protruding through her smock. She was clearly pregnant. Since Joseph was a decent dude, and he didn’t want her stoned to death for adultery, he decided he’d break up with her all quiet-like. The night before he was going to end things, however, he dreamed of an angel that said it was God that had knocked Mary up, so he needed to go ahead and marry her to make an honest woman of her and to raise God’s kid, who was the savior of the world all those prophets promised. The angel told Joseph to name the kid Jesus, which is cooler version of Joshua, after all the other Joshuas God had favored.
Because Isaiah and the other prophets said that the messiah would be of the lineage of David, it’s important that Joseph, Jesus’s step-dad, was the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandkid of David.
Zechariah dreamed of four chariots, one drawn by red horses, one drawn by black horses, one drawn by dappled horses. His angel told him they represented the four winds patrolling the earth.
When some exiles returned from Babylon, God told Zechariah to take three of them–Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah–to Zephaniah’s house and there to take their gold and silver to make a crown for the high priest Joshua because God loved him so much because he was making sure the Temple got rebuilt.
Zechariah had more dreams he thought were important visions. In the first he saw a gigantic scroll flying around and the angel that was his spirit guide told him it was a curse on all thieves and anyone who swore to God but didn’t mean it. In the second, Zechariah saw a woman sitting in a basket. The angel shoved her down in it and put a lead cover on then some women with stork wings flew down, picked it up and carried it off. The angel looked at a confused Zechariah and said, The broad is Wickedness and the basket is Iniquity. The stork-girls will take her to Babylon to live from now on.
Zechariah had another vision. He saw a giant, super elaborate, golden floor lamp standing between two olive trees. An angel was there beside him, and was all, Do you know what this lamp means?
And Zechariah was all, No.
And the angel was all, It symbolizes Zerubbabel, with whom God is super pleased because he finally started rebuilding the Temple.
Zechariah nodded sagely, and the angel went on, Do you know what the trees stand for?
The trees stand for the two guardians of the earth, the once and future kings, who will be back when needed!
Zechariah had another vision. In it, he saw an angel with a measuring tape about to measure Jerusalem for its new city walls. But then another angel came up and was all, You don’t need to do that because Jerusalem will be too large and too powerful to need city walls!
So then Zechariah went around telling all the Jews left in Persia to return to the Promised Land. God has forgiven us and will make us prosper! It will soon punish these nations that conquered us! Return south posthaste!
Also during the time written about in Ezra, and when Haggai was writing instructions about the Temple, God started talking to Zechariah ben Berechiah ben Iddo and sending him visions.
God told Zechariah to remind everyone not to be losers like their ancestors and cheat on God again, because they were still recovering from that mistake. God also showed him visions of guardian angels riding red horses who persuaded God to relent and forgive the Jews. The angels even got God to promise to punish the nations that conquered Judah!
The angel continued, Then the world will end and the holy dead will rise and go to heaven in the rapture.
Daniel was all, So when’s all this supposed to happen?
And the angel was all, A really long time from now. Don’t worry about it. Just continue being your awesome self.
Next time Hosea, a misogynistic trip back into time to before the exile
The angel continued, So look, Dan, there’s only going to be four more Persian kings. That fourth king is going to pick a fight with Greece and lose. Then there will be a mighty Greek king, but his kingdom will get divided up after he dies.
Then there will be a King in the North and a King in the South. They will war, and then attempt to reconcile by marrying a southern princess to the King in the North. Unfortunately, it will be a red wedding and one of her kinsman will arise to seek vengeance. This southron will defeat the North and sack Winterfell. But then the King in the North will rally and invade the South and defeat it. They will continue to fight for generations, but eventually the North will win and that northern king will set himself up as a god.