What would happen if Jesus came back to earth?

Was Jesus married? Last Tuesday, a scholar from Harvard Divinity School suggested at a conference in Rome that he might have been. She presented a fragment from a sheet of fourth-century papyrus on which appear the words: "Jesus said to them, 'My wife…'" Another phrase seems to say, "she will be able to be my disciple." Most experts agree that the fragments, written in Coptic, are authentic.

Lee Siegel,

23 de setembro de 2012 | 01h00

Scholars will be debating the meaning of these words for a long time to come, struggling to answer the main question, which is why, if Jesus was married, none of the gospels mention it. On television last night, I heard more than one commentator say that he wished Jesus were alive, so that he could tell us. Now that, I thought to myself, is an interesting notion, perhaps even more interesting than the riddle of whether Jesus was married.

What would happen if Jesus came back to earth?

I cannot speak for Brazil, or for any other place, but I think I have some idea of what would ensue if Jesus suddenly appeared in America.

Of course, there would be astonishment, and a great upheaveal of emotion, ecstasy and tears. Then reality would set in.

First Jesus would have to find a mountaintop from which to address Christians and all the other people who wished to see him and hear him speak. But what mountain would it be? The most beautiful mountains are in America's national parks, and they would be off limits because of laws regulating the number of people who could congregate in a national park. Various states would then offer the use of scenic local hills. The states would start to quarrel. The federal government would step in. A debate would then take place about the limits of federal versus state power.

In the meantime, various momentous events would have occurred that would have the effect of distracting people from the extraordinary occasion of Jesus' appearance. The reality star Kim Kardashian would announce that she was giving birth to triplets, the result of a miraculous annunciation. Donald Trump would rename his empire "Christ Properties." Apple Inc. would release "iPodEternity". Liberals would fear Jesus's potential as a dictator. Conservatives would fear his potential as a revolutionary. The middle class would beg him for a tax cut.

The new landscape being utterly alien to him, Jesus would have to hire some advisors. These people would immediately advise him to keep up with all the fast-moving events by getting himself a Twitter account. Unfortunately, because of the limitations of the form, Jesus would have to express himself in radically abbreviated style:

Seek, Find, Know-Get!

Do unto others; Them you. FYI!

No sin? Cast stone. Then see!!!!

Camels have it easier than rich people. HTH! [Hope that helps.]

And so forth.

Once he set himself up with a Twitter account, the son of God would simply have to get himself a presence on Facebook. But what picture should he use on the home page? A gorgeous head shot? Full or profile? An artist's rendering (Leonardo, perhaps?) of the Last Supper? But the whole idea of a last supper might turn some people off as being too gloomy. Maybe just a beautiful sunset. And what about friends? What if, say, Lady Gaga ends up having more?

Well, once the Facebook dilemma got straightened out, Jesus would then be able to position himself for the necessary visits to talk shows. On Oprah's new cable channel, he would have to discuss out-of-body experiences. On Martha Stewart, he would tell audiences about his recipe for instant bread and fishes. On Stephen Colbert's show, he would let Colbert tease him for having a "Jesus complex."

After that, Jesus' new consultants would arrange for him to go on a "miracle tour." Getting sponsors would not be a problem. But then the decision would have to be made about which miracles to perform. Jesus would have to be careful not to offend anyone. For instance, raising people from the dead. Who would he raise? He couldn't show favoritism by bringing a white person back to life, but not a black person. Not to mention the other colors. And if he resurrected one from each, would it be a man or woman? Young or old? Rich or poor? Soon he'd have to bring everybody back from the dead. Then he'd have to find everybody jobs.

After dozens of offers to do everything from running for president, to serving as a judge on "American Idol," to direcing Sean Penn in the "The Life of Jesus," Jesus would withdraw into the wilderness, never to be seen again, hoping and praying that his absence might make people more good, and more serious, than his presence.

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Lee Siegel

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