Ah, Easter is approaching! In the Midwest, we think of tulips blooming and new buds on the willow tree, friendly birds chirping in the morning announcing their return, and of course T.V. specials and blogposts proposing impossible-to-prove theories about Jesus. One idea made exclusively popular by Dan Brown a number of years back is that Jesus had a wife!
When Brown’s books came out, many an armchair gun-toting Christian hopped out of their La-Z-Boy in arms! How dare he?! Well unfortunately, Dan Brown is just a good enough story-teller and mediocre bourgeois enough of an artist that he sold a lot of his books in Target. Think Olive Garden. So, every American not educated in the ancient skill of critical thinking buys into Brown’s story. Also Americans, in general, love conspiracies as we have witnessed the last couple of years.
So Jesus had a wife! Blasphemy, I’m supposed to denounce!
Well, just a moment. You know, Jesus does actually have a wife.
First of all, it wouldn’t be crazy at all for Jesus to have a wife. It actually would be quite normal. Every Rabbi had a wife. That was a good thing. The domestic life is a gift from God and the center of His creation. Jesus did His first miracle at a wedding, for the love of Zeus. So, His disciples would actually have no real interest in covering up the fact that he went to prom with Mary Magdalene or drove their kids in their dinged up Dodge Caravan to Target for back-to-school shopping.
But that’s not exactly what I’m talking about.
Jesus has a wife. Oh, it wasn’t easy. A West Side Story sort of drama – or more like Sidney Potier in Look Who’s Coming to Dinner. It’s quite a romance, maybe a rom com, close to a Romeo and Juliet.
He gave her everything. She actually sort of slept around. For her, any suitor would do. Whoever told her what she wanted to hear, or promised her the world in the back of a Ford Focus or Rolls-Royce.
She led Jesus on, for sure. “You’re the one,” she would say with a wink. She was good with words, not so much with deeds. She could write a hell of a letter. “I’ll die for you.” But when a hotter fella offered a meal and a movie, she acted like she didn’t even know this poor carpenter’s son.
The joke is, He told her a long time ago that He would marry her. But after all she had been through and all she had done, she believed it less and less. Between falling for lies or falling on purpose, because she began to hate herself, she sort of tried to make Him hate her.
But He didn’t. He kept coming around. Spoke to her like a woman, like a person, and not just someone trying to get a date or a hot night. She didn’t know if she hated him or hated herself.
But then He put it all on the line. “I love you.” It had become just a pick up line. But there He was, on the cross for her. He meant it. All those cheesy love songs. “I’ll give you all I own.” “I will always love you.” “Endless love.” They could never back up their words. Whether or not she loved him, Jesus still gave her everything, all of Him, even His life.
A better vow than any wedding ceremony. He paid all her debts for free before she even said she liked him.
Jesus has a wife to whom He is absolutely committed and completely in love.