Posts Tagged ‘brother of Jesus’

theophilusJames, the brother of Jesus, and Luke, a doctor in Capernaum, are at the back of a room watching Jesus heal people. Both are scratching their heads.

Luke (with raised eyebrows): Did you see that? Healed Max–the guy who stands at the corner of Broad Street and Jericho Road–brushes down oxen and horses for a quarter.

James (raised eyebrow): I wondered where Max went.

Luke: A Goth cavalryman didn’t want his horse touched and hacked him with his sword. I sewed him up, but it looked infected on Wednesday. I treated him for two weeks–Jesus tags him and he’s good to go.

James (nodding): Yeah, he got all the healing genes in our family.

Luke (glances at James, stands and shuffles toward the door, over his shoulder to James): Don’t see much need for a doctor around here. I may head to Caesarea or become a barber. I can do hair and teeth pretty good…

James (standing, too): Feel unneeded? Let me walk you out. People say I’m “blessed” being Jesus’ brother, but it gets old. Does your brother think he’s God?

Luke (smiling): I guess if he needs us, he’ll know where we are!

People get up and step aside as James and Luke head for the door. They almost make it.

Jesus (calling out): Yo! James! Luke! Wait for me outside a second. (To the crowd,) that’s it for now. Let’s take a break and get some fresh air. I need to talk to my brother.

Lady: How blessed to be your brother!

Jesus: It’s more blessed to be a friend of God.

Jesus steps out and joins James and Luke by the curb. Luke is smoking a cigar.

Jesus: What’s with doctors and smoking? Stop it. It’s not good for you.

Luke (stomping out his smoke): Where does it say, “Thou shalt not smoke?”

Jesus (rolling his eyes): Whatever. I need you guys to help me out when I’m gone. I’m heading to Jerusalem soon.

James: What?

Jesus: I’m going there on a special mission. So, who do you think I am?

James: You are my brother, Jesus. Maybe the Messiah. But I’m not seeing it. You aren’t King material. You’ll have to do more than heal people and preach to make me believe you are anointed. I love you and you are amazing with people, but at the end of the day you’re the guy I shared a room with for 15 years.

Jesus: Luke, how ’bout you?

Luke: I find your story really interesting, that’s why I’ve been following you around. What you do is amazing. I love God, but I’m pretty sure you aren’t him.

Jesus (to both): That’s okay. This will all come together on Easter.

James: What’s Easter?

Jesus (smiling): You’ll see.

Luke: Hmm. Well, you said you needed something?

Jesus (nodding): James, after Easter, I need a leader–someone who understands belief is more than just thinking. Just act according to what you believe about me. We’ll talk again when you believe I’m God.

James (waving him off): You know I love you Jesus, but that’s not going to happen. Go with Peter or John. I don’t believe all the Messiah stuff like they do.

Jesus: Wait and see. When the time comes, I want you to write about the joy of persevering.

James kicks at the curb and shakes his head.

Jesus (turning to Luke): I need you to write down everything for Theophilus. “Theophilus” is code for anyone who seriously loves God. You don’t have to become a barber, you’re our historian. Matthew, Mark and John will write memoirs, but you’ll write from a non-disciple perspective. Kinda like Murphy. After I’m gone, keep writing for “Theophilus.” In a few years I’m going to send a real humdinger to join The Way. You’ll be friends.

Luke: I’ll follow. I’ll write.

James: I’ll wait and see.

Tr8: May you perceive YOU are “Theophilus”–God’s beloved. Luke wrote his gospel and The Acts of the Apostles especially for you. After the resurrection James indeed believed his brother was God! He wrote to you about his brother in The Epistle of James, near the back of your Bible. Enjoy.

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Jerusalem – May 23, 35 AD

Rolling Stone (RS): Thanks for the interview, James Josephson. Let’s begin. What’s your favorite song by the Beatles?

James: That’s really a tough one. I guess I’d have to say, ‘The Word,’ though I also like George’s ‘Within You and Without You.’ The double meaning and all.

RS: So, you’re a lyric, rather than a tune guy?

James: Yeah, I suppose so.

RS: Has anyone ever said you look a lot like Captain Kirk, on Star Trek?

James: No…well, maybe once.

RS: What about James Dean?

James: Yeah, I get that a lot. I think it’s the hair thing and motorcycles. When I was young I was the ‘black sheep’ of the family. I was pretty messed up. When I went to synagogue, which I skipped most of the time, I sat in the balcony.

RS: Was that because your older brother was the Son of God?

James: There was that, but initially that was all over my head. I didn’t get it. Dad alway seemed to trust Jesus more. Like he’d ask him if we should go fishing or not and where the fish were biting. Jesus would just nod or point to a spot in the lake. We’d always catch something if Jesus said it was a good day for fishing.

RS: Tell us, what was it like to have God as an older brother?

James: Well, you didn’t want to play cards with him. Goes without saying, he was a straight-A student. Once we were throwing the football in the backyard and he said, ‘Watch this,’ and threw the ball at Mom. It was a long throw. He yells, ‘Hail Mary!’ and barely missed her. He thought that was really funny. I thought it was a little strange.

RS: So, Jesus had a sense of humor?

James: Oh, yeah. He’d crack me up when he said I had a ‘holier than thou’ attitude. His favorite joke went like this: ‘Knock, knock,’ ‘Who’s there?’ ‘Behold,’ ‘Behold, who?’ ‘Behold, it’s me, standin’ at the door knockin.’

RS: I don’t get it.

James: Neither did I. John liked it though, and used it in his ‘Revelation.’ Bet you didn’t know that quote was for comic effect…that was sort of a weird letter. Makes me wish my letter was closer to the front and all.

RS: What about when your father died?

James: That was a hard time. It’s also when I began to realize Jesus had a connection with the other side. He always acted like Dad was on a trip and he was getting postcards regularly. It took the edge off the tragedy. Sometimes Jesus would say, ‘Dad thinks you could give football a little more,’ or something like that.

RS: When did you realize Jesus was the Messiah?

James: I remember exactly when it sunk it. It was after his crucifixion. On the weekend he died, I was in Cesarea. Mom sent a message. All she said was, ‘Jesus is in trouble.’ I dropped everything and headed for Jerusalem.

RS: And…

James: When I got to John Mark’s house on Saturday night I thought it was all over. I was devastated. Some of the guys went into hiding, but most of us just hung out at the house. Mom and some of her friends went to the tomb Sunday morning. They came back and woke the house, yelling,’He’s gone! He’s arisen!’

RS: So, what did you do?

James: Nothing, I stayed with Mom. Peter and John took off running to the tomb. It wasn’t that far away. They were all excited. Angels and stuff — you can read it in the Bible. At the time, I didn’t know what to think. We were all upstairs when he appeared.

RS: Jesus?

James (grinning): Yes. There was a big knocking sound at the door. Peter freaked and yelled, ‘Who’s there?’ then, my brother just appeared out of nowhere and said, ‘Behold, it’s me, standin’ at the door, knockin’. I laughed out loud.

RS: Then what happened?

James: Peter almost wet his pants. Jesus explained he was resurrected. Just before he left he came over to me and said, ‘James, meet me tomorrow morning on the porch.’ And then he was gone.

RS: Did you meet him the next morning?

James: Yes. That’s when I knew for sure he was God. He appeared as the sun rose and said, ‘Jay, I did it for you.’ Then, he explained his whole life and why he had to die so we could stay related forever.

RS: Did you see him again?

James: Yes, we even went fishing again. When we were by the lake, the last thing he said to me was how important it was my faith and actions match up. If we don’t act on our faith, it’s pointless. That’s in my letter in the Bible. By the way, mine was the first letter to the churches, but it got stuck in the back.

RS: Thanks, James. When can we look for your next album?

James: Well, I have a project I’m doing with Quincy Jones and Bob Dylan, but it’ll be a surprise. Probably around Christmas.

Tr8: Faith and actions should match up.