I’m fascinated about the culture’s take on Jesus. The latest angle is to take the accuracy (mostly) of the Gospel message and combine it with the mundane. It’s the “buddy Jesus” thing that has been showing up a fair amount. In the show, Jesus makes an appearance as he does every 100 years or so (incognito). Peter respects but misunderstands who Jesus is, walking with this miracle worker (power) around wherever he’s headed (mundane). Jesus walks on water, but only because Peter’s dollar bill blew away. Jesus meets with the president and says “you know nothing of my work” (pretty funny if you ask me). And here He is, a parody ofthe real Jesus, the One I talk about and live by every day.
I love good parody. When you know the story, it’s funny to see a twist. What worries me is how many 13 year olds are watching Fox right now (and most every other time) and are having one of thier few exposures to Jesus be, well, this. I guess it could be worse. But it certainly could be better, too. Much better. Biblical, for example. I’m always fascinated when we put Jesus in these places. I don’t think it’s overtly offensive as much as I do see it as a passive-agressive approach of making jokes about something that’s actually quite serious (with that whole forgiveness thing and new life deal).
It’s also intersting to think about what would have happened if Jesus were still here, or, came to visit Peter Griffin for an episode. What would have happened if Jesus didn’t die? What would have happened if He came back again every 100 years or so? Would Jesus be a star today, found on the cover of Star Magazine or TMZ? Let’s offer response:
- Does Jesus actually do this — come back every 100 years or so? No. He’s omnipresent, which means He’s everywhere, all the time. He reigns over everything and can pretty much do whatever He wants. He is here, among us already, in Spirit and in the hearts of believers.
- Jesus says to Peter “It turns out I’m just as human as everyone else”. This sounds sacrilegious but is actually true. Jesus was meat and blood, breathing, sneezing and burping. Gross but true. He is Fully Man but also Fully God, which is where He’s totally different. Jesus is 100% man and 100% God, which is what makes Him the Savior.
- Is Jesus our buddy? Yes. He is our Friend, but He’s a little different than any other friend in that He is God. He gives up His life for His friends, and because His life is different (fully God, fully Man), this means that we can live new lives through Jesus.
- What if Jesus never left? What if He didn’t die? Strange to think about, because His death is a critical step to the Salvation offered in Christ. Jesus came to earth about 2,000 years ago, lived a perfect life, was killed by people who wanted Him dead, was buried and rose again on the third day. He was seen, post-grave, by over 500 witnesses who chronicled the whole experience in many places, including the Bible. He is now at the center of history, reigning over life and keeping pretty much everything in rotation. Life continues because of Jesus. He will return one day and bring with Him a new heaven and a new earth. And no, he won’t work in a record store.
Seth McFarlane and team have served up another piece of pop-culture Jesus management. Very interesting. Slightly offensive, but I don’t get mad when people don’t understand who He is. Doesn’t seem very loving. I’d rather write about the real Jesus and laugh along at Family Guy, if that’s okay.