Posts Tagged ‘Murphy’

cybeleMurphy, the non-disciple, is on his way to the hardware store to get some drywall to fix a wall in his pub in Caesarea. He decided to drop by Starbucks on the way. After ordering a tall, French Roast he sits in one of the two comfy chairs near the window and reads his iScroll. Luther, a metalworker from Antioch, talks to the barista who, in turn, points toward Murphy.

Luther: Mind if I sit here?

Murph: Have a seat. D’ja see the headlines? The Persians beat the Indians in the World Cup semis in a shoot-out.

Luther: Yeah? I’m not from around here. Is that a big deal?

Murph: Well, sorta. My wife is from India.

Luther: Oh, I see. (Sits quietly for a second or two.) I came here looking for a guy–Jesus of Nazareth or Joseph or somebody. You know about him?

Murph: You’ve come to the right guy. I know him well. If I weren’t a gentile, I think I could’ve been a full time disciple of his–but he only chooses Jews. I’m Irish. But he treats me like one of the guys.

Luther: Then you’re just who I need to talk to. You know, we’ve heard a lot about him in Antioch. Though I’m sort of surprised about his disciples being all Jews.

Murph: Really? Well, there you go. What do you hear?

Luther: Well, I’ve heard Jesus is everybody’s brother. Kind and gentle. Doesn’t offend anyone. A holy man who accepts everyone and has practically no rules for his group. He’s compatible with all faiths–Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, Stoics, Epicureans, Caesar–whatever. You know–he’s just spiritual. Not religious. He’s a gentle giant who could draw us all together…

Murph (holding up his hand): Whoa, campadre! I don’t know who you’ve talked to, but you’re not talking about Jesus.

Luther: But…

Murph: Jesus is more like a loving tornado. He puts everything on its head in the most paradoxical ways. He makes the Pharisees and Sadducees see blood–absolutely shreds hypocrites. He takes Jewish law to an absurd degree–he says, “Whatever is not from God is sin.” Don’t mistake his mercy and grace for agreement with all spiritual gurus–he’ll not have it. While he loves Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, Druids or whomever, he preaches repentance and a relationship with God, his father.

Luther: “God, his father….”  That’s a bit much.

Murph: No. He says it right out: “I’m God’s son.” “I’m the Son of God.” “I’m the only way, no one comes to the Father except through me.”  “The Father and I are one.” “I only do what the Father says.” He even said that he won’t remain dead when he dies!

Luther (frowning): Well this is disturbing! He’s not compatible with all the other religions? He’s not tolerant? We have a goddess in Antioch, Cybele, our Mother Goddess–surely believing in her HAS to be okay.

Murph: I don’t know where you got your information, but you have it all wrong. The Cybele worshippers may want Jesus to join ’em, but he won’t have it. You don’t really know him if you think he’s all sunshine and happiness glad to sit in with all the other gods and teachers. He’s the epitome of grace and truth. He’s brutally honest, but his grace is all about unconditional love and forgiveness to anyone who will repent and follow him.

Luther: So, you’re not a disciple because you are not a Jew?

Murph: I’m not one of THE 12 disciples, but I  follow him anyway. He treats me as if I were.

Luther: So, this Jesus is not going to make you a real disciple and unite the world in love?

Murph: Don’t know. He said a pharisee from Tarsus, not far from you, would straighten things out for the gentiles and would work in Antioch. Can you imagine that?! A pharisee leading gentiles in Antioch?!

Luther: That’s intolerable. I’m really disappointed that Jesus isn’t who I want him to be.

Murph: Get over the disappointment. Come with me. I can’t wait for Jesus to meet you!

Tr8: Jesus is always preparing a way, but he’s no everything to everybody. He is God among us, but will not be limited by our scruples and imaginations.


jesus and murphJesus is watching the disciples fishing out in the Sea of Galilee. He and Murphy, the non-disciple, are sitting with their backs to the setting sun. Peter is waving a flag.
Jesus: Murph, get your flags out and semaphore them to the left about 30 yards.
Murphy (flapping flags): M. O. V. E. L.E.F.T. 3.0.
Peter (flapping flags): F.E.E.T.
Murphy (flapping): Y.A.R.D.
Murphy sits back down beside Jesus.
Jesus: My last Passover is coming up. Are you going to join us in Jerusalem? It’ll be something.
Murphy: What’d’ya mean?
Jesus: Judas is going to betray me, I’m going to be crucified, the guys are going to freak, then I’m going to come back from the dead. Murph, do you believe I can rise again after I’m dead?
Murphy: If you say so. Want me whack Judas? I’ll make plans for J-city.
Jesus: Don’t worry about Judas. Hope you’ll come–you’ll see the greatest event in all history.
Murphy: In all history? How will people living 500 years from now know about ‘lil ole us in Judea?
Jesus: This is going to be so big the whole world will start their calendars over based on my resurrection.
Murphy: Wow! But who’ll believe it?
Jesus: The world will know because you and the Apostles and the 70 will love as I have loved you. You’ll tell the world about me. Matthew, Peter, John and a guy named Luke, a doctor who will talk with a Pharisee named Paul will write books about me. They’ll call ’em Gospels.
Murphy: Seems to me you’ll need some outside witnesses…
Jesus: Got it covered. This will be one of the most recorded events in history. Rome keeps records like nobody else. Plus, Ignatius, Origin and Eusebius and tons of others will write reference materials. They’ll help attach dates to rulers, proconsuls, rebels, high priests and what-not. The witnesses will be legion and will grow with time. You’ll see.
Murphy: You can count on me to keep your story straight–I’ll tell everyone I know.
Jesus: Murphy, you know you aren’t a Disciple, right?
Murphy (looking down): Yeah, I know. I screw things up way too often. I’m not worthy.
Jesus: No, that’s not it. You’ve been baptized, you believe and you follow me. You are mine, 100%. All of the guys have sin issues similar to yours–nobody but me is perfect. No, your destiny is to know me well, receive my love and be a nobody. No one will ever know you were born–except a blogger, who’ll do little better than imagine you.
Murphy: So, I’m just a nobody? But I get to be with you?
Jesus: Yep.
Murphy: I can live with that. Look, Peter’s flapping…says, T.O.O. M.A.N.Y. F.I.S.H. How shall I respond?
Jesus: Tell him,”Let’s eat.”

Tr8: Being a nobody doesn’t keep you from being close to Jesus.

RiuniteMurphy (the non-disciple) plays croquet with James, John and their mom, Salome in Mary’s front yard in Jerusalem. Salome has just penalty hit John’s ball under the pigeon coop as Jesus watches.

Jesus: Hey, Murph, I need you to run down to Roma’s to pick up three big bottles of Lambrusco and some French bread.

Murphy (the non-disciple, dropping everything): Sure, but first, I wish you’d…

Jesus: Granted.

Murph: Wait! You didn’t even let me finish!

Jesus: Okay, finish.

Murph (sighing): I wish you’d forgive me for my sins–I’ve tried not to, but I’ve been lusting.

Jesus: You wish you weren’t that way?

Murph (dejected): Yeah…

Jesus: You’re forgiven, stop doing that.

Murph: I try, but it’s like the weather almost…morning, partly lazy with a 60% chance of lust before noon, then gluttony turning into murderous thoughts by afternoon, then scattered guilt and 100% full guilt by sunset.

Jesus: Follow me a bit closer.

Murph (stepping closer): Okay.

Jesus (eyes rolling): I mean in your head, spiritually–stay close.

Murph: Oh…  After your Mountain Sermon I’ve been thinking…about offending parts. I figure I need to cut my feet off, then my hands, cut out my tongue, poke out my eyes–I guess my ears are okay…

Jesus: Led Zeppelin?

Murph: Yeah, gouge out my ears, too.        I’m a mess. I’m really sorry.

Jesus: Murph, who am I?

Murph: Well, you’re the Messiah, God’s anointed, Son of God…God among us.

Jesus: So, I know it all Murph. What you’ve done. What you will do. Everything. And I forgive you. Stop worrying about it. Go get the wine and French bread. I’m going to do something special tonight. It’s going to be a crazy week.

Murph (doubtfully): I’ll go, but I bet I’ll sin on the way….

Jesus: Murph. Keep your mind on me and what I have you doing. I appreciate your concern, but you’re going overboard. I need you to work with me and be of some use. Just don’t get confesstipated like Judas, he’s rarely sorry.

Murph: Oh, nuts! I called him a fool and an idiot about his cigars. Murder…

Jesus: Forgiven.

Murph: I

Jesus: Forgiven.

Murph: We’re okay?

Jesus: Yeah, Murph. We’re okay. I forgive everybody of everything, if they’ll just believe I can.

Murph (hugs Jesus): Okay, three bottles of Lambrusco and French bread. Some pastries or pasta? Their cannelloni is amazing.

Jesus: Murph, you’re blessed ’cause I’m here with you. People in the future are going to have to trust me without seeing me. Blessed are they that mourn their condition–they shall be comforted.

Murph: This has been a weird week, with the donkey and palms and hosannas and stuff.And, this weekend’s execution of the rebels and Barabas gives me the willies.

Jesus (winking): Well, things are going to get bad, but I have a big surprise for you on Sunday.

Murph (excited): What?! Tell me!

Jesus: You’ll see everything–really you all will SEE I can’t not be alive. We’ll talk about it at dinner tonight.


Tr8: Confession is good for the heart, but don’t become useless confessing when you ought to be walking in faith.

Last supper coming.

Jesus and his disciples are walking past Shilo near Tumus Aya while making their way to Jerusalem. John and Andrew are scouting ahead a few hundred yards, most are in the middle group and Jesus, Thaddeus, Bartholomew and Murphy (the non-disciple) are bringing up the rear. Murphy is tagging along. He just dropped his wife and stepchildren off at his sister’s house  in Bayt Funk, a little ways to the north.

Bart (wiping his brow): Man, it’s hot.

Thad (handing him his water bottle): We’re in the Holy Land, Dude. Here, take a hit.

Bart: Thanks. (hands it toward Jesus, who shakes his head).

As they walk, Murphy grabs a rock and puts it on top of a fence post. He does it again. And again. And again.

Thad: Murph. What in the world are you doing?

Murphy (balancing a rock): Puttin’ rocks on fence posts.

Thad: Clearly. Why?

Murphy (a bit embarrassed): So the rocks can see.

Bart: Rocks don’t have eyes.

Thad: Yeah, rocks can’t see, Murph.

Murphy: Well, yeah…but if they could.

Jesus smiles.

Thad: So, you put the rocks on the posts so they can see the world around them?

Murphy: Yeah, if they want. I ask ’em and they all say, ‘yes.’ They’ve been on the ground forever. Can you imagine what they think when they look out across the hillside?

Bart: Murph, rocks don’t think.

Murphy (nodding to himself): Yeah, but if they did. Just imagine. Like, how lucky are the high ones at Tel Shilo and on the cliffs?

Murphy gently places three rocks on a post. The others stop and look at it for a moment.

Murphy: Now these rocks have a new perspective of their world and each other. It’s like when I met Jesus and you guys.

Jesus: Murph, I like the way you think.

They begin walking again. Murphy continues to place rocks on the right hand fence posts. Jesus picks up two rocks and hands them to Thad and Bart. They stack them on a left hand fence post and each pick up another rock.

Tr8: A gracious heart imagines goodness where there is none (maybe).

Jesus and a half-dozen disciples are in the park sitting at a picnic table eating a light lunch – crackers, cheese and beer. [Note: Beer did not become a sin until the Protestant Reformation.] They’d just come from the market and were on their way to paint an old couple’s house and do yard work. Murphy, an Irish gentile who had a habit of following Jesus at a distance walks up with a second bag of crackers.

Jesus: Hey, Murph. What’s up?

Murphy (clearing his throat and spitting rather matter-of-factly): Ear’s the rest o yer crackers ye bought at the market. Jack, that b*stard, gipped ya. D*mn finger on the scale ee did. I kinely introduced myself and broke his f*ing fingers.

Jesus (questioningly, peeling a beer from the plastic thingy, handing it to Murphy): Perhaps a bit extreme, Murph. Where are you staying these days?

Murphy (blushing, looking aside): Uh, when not under God’s glorious stars, or bouncing at Adam’s Pub, I’m in kind company at Patel’s boarding house.

Jesus: Would that be with Patel’s ex-wife? I remember he was beaten within and inch of his life and he returned to India suddenly.

Murphy (looking down): I spose. What’s it to you, now?

Jesus (looking at Murphy knowingly): Hindi has had a tough life — dragged here from India — she and her kids need protection. You’re taking good care of them?

Murphy: Yes, sir. Little Evie, the youngest, puts the sun in the sky. I’m doin well by them, Jesus. Hell, I try to imagine what you’d do, then do it. I’d die for them. Trouble ever is my temper’s a wee bit loose at the edges, but I’d never touch Hindi or the wee ones.

Jesus (looking into Murphy’s eyes): I understand you, Murph. You know, we’re out to redeem the Tribes of Israel — twelve disciples, twelve tribes — it’s symbolic. I’ll be collecting seventy disciples for the rest of the world in a few weeks. Do you want to join us and follow me?

Murphy (shaking his head): No thanks, I’d best stay put and watch over Hindi and her kids. Raincheck?

Jesus (smiling): Good answer, Murph.

Murphy: Yeah, I’ll do m’best to follow you here — love God and love my neighbor and such.

Jesus: That works for me. Love you Murph. Okay gang, stay put, I need to run to the market for a second to talk with Cracker Jack about his hand. Anybody need anything?

Murphy: Hang on, d*mmit. Uh. ‘Scuse me, I mean I guess I better go, too.

Tr8: Follow Christ where you are.