Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Jesus as Narcissist?

Yesterday was the start of Passover, which mean that this is perhaps as good a time as any to tell the story of the self-centered and narcissistic Jesus that we find in Mark 14:

Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people may riot.”

While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.

“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me."


Think about that story for a second.  Is there a better example of sociopathic self-centered narcissism than this?

Jesus says "you will not always have me" to waste your riches on.

But couldn't any despot or crazed cult leader say as much?  And haven't they!?? And won't we be dead soon as well. So "charity starts at home" works fine too!

And then Jesus says: "The poor will always be with us."

But isn't that always the excuse for doing as little as possible to help?  What good will it do?  Sure we can teach a pig to sing, but to what end -- they will still be a pig?!

In John 1, we are told that the person who objected to the wasting of expensive perfume was Judas Iscariot, who intended to rob the 300 denarii that would have gone into purse, but this does not make too much sense. If Jesus was the "goose that laid the golden egg," why would Judas, the group's treasurer, sell him out for a mere 30 pieces of silver (30 denarii) when future skimming would clearly have yielded worth much more?  Who kills the goose that lays the golden egg? No one!

More likely than not, this part of the Judas Iscariot story was added, after the fact, to address the clear narcissism of Jesus who was acting very much like anyone who tells his followers he is the "son of God."  And why give to any program that helps the poor, when fraud is always a possibility?

Adding muscle to that theory is that the Gospel of John was the last of the four Synpotic Gospels to be written. The first Gospel -- Matthew -- does not identify the person asking about the waste of resources as being Judas, and neither does the Gospel of Luke, which skips the "waste" part of the story entirely to tell us that the biggest sinners in the world are among the most grateful when forgiven. Does anyone actually believe that lesson?  Not me.  You can forgive true sinners all day long, and night too, but just see if they are grateful for your beneficence of forgiveness!

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