My relationship with Jesus is very similar to my relationship with Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Harry Potter, and Peter Rabbit. Like the others, Jesus makes an interesting character is a story book. Unlike a lot of other story characters, Jesus comes across as rather arrogant, claiming to be God’s Son, claiming to be so important that people should forsake homes and families and even neglect their dead in order to follow him. He claims, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” as though he were something really totally special like you don’t see in anyone else. Yet when a fig tree failed to produce fruit for him when he was hungry (and it wasn’t even the time of year for it to have fruit) he got so angry with it that he cursed it to death; it withered and died at his curse. I’m not sure how that helped satisfy his hunger, though I suppose it satisfied his lust for power and served as an outlet for his frustration. But it was seriously childish to:
- expect fruit on a tree when it was the wrong time of year, which I’m sure Jesus knew when he looked for figs;
- get so angry at the tree for not having fruit that he cursed it to death;
- and to demonstrate his superior power by this outburst of rage and cursing that was able to kill the tree, shrivelling it from the roots by the next day.
Surely that tree belonged to some poor family who depended on it for fruit in the right time of year but Jesus up and killed it for not bearing ripe figs at the wrong time of year.
When story characters like Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Harry Potter, and Peter Rabbit act like that, they always learn a lesson from their terrible behaviour. Jesus didn’t. He went down in history as an admirable Master of Nature.
I try not to get too close emotionally to people who act out in such extreme fashion like that.