I liked this series of ‘interviews’ with Jesus– a simple and rather old fashioned didactic vehicle, but very well written- direct and controversial whilst full of love and fun- rather like the man himself. Thanks to Chris Howson for pointing them out.
They are recorded in Spanish, but the English transcripts are available.
The producers of these narratives are a brother and sister- María and José Ignacio López Vigil, based in Ecuador and Nicaragua, and clearly come from a perspective influenced strongly by Liberation Theology, and engagement with justice issues in South America.
I am thinking of trying to use some of them here…
Here is one typically challenging example.
RACHEL The microphones of Emisoras Latinas are still here on the Mount of the Beatitudes. Before us we have a panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee, and with us again, in an exclusive interview, is Jesus Christ. In an earlier segment, Jesus, you referred to the second part of the historic discourse you gave on this mountain. What did you speak of in that second part?
JESUS Well, first of all I blessed the poor people and congratulated them.
RACHEL And after that?
JESUS After that I cursed the rich people.
RACHEL You… cursed?
JESUS Yes, I cursed the rich people.
RACHEL Can you repeat your words for us?
JESUS I said it then, and I say it now Woe to you who are rich, who are well-fed, because you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh and make fun of the poor, because very soon you will weep and cry out when God empties your coffers, when God rips off your clothes and your jewelry and leaves you without bread and without money to buy anything, just as you did with your workers!
RACHEL Those are very hard words.
JESUS Much harder is the heart of stone of people who don’t want to share.
RACHEL Perhaps there are people listening to us now who are wealthy but also generous – people of humble spirit. Would you curse them also?
JESUS Once a rich young man with a good heart wanted to join our band. He wanted to put his hand on the plow of God’s Kingdom.
RACHEL And what did you tell him?
JESUS You have to choose either God or money. If you want to join us, first share out your wealth among the poor.
RACHEL If those were the conditions… I don’t think many rich people would have taken part in your movement.
JESUS A few understood, but the truth is that in those days, as in these, it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.
RACHEL Your message doesn’t sound politically correct. Don’t you feel it’s too radical?
JESUS Radical, yes. We took the axe to the root, because the root was rotten.
RACHEL They have always taught me that you were meek and humble of heart, but now I find you a little … how to say it? … a little intolerant.
JESUS God does not tolerate injustice, Rachel. In the end God will not ask us about rites or prayers, God won’t ask us about fasting and temples. We will be examined only regarding our justice, and God will be relentless with those who are unjust.
RACHEL You’re quite stirred up …
JESUS Didn’t you ask me to recall what I said on this mountain?
RACHEL Even so, could we close off our program by restating that your message is really a message of peace?
JESUS God’s message is fire upon the earth, and I can’t wait till it’s blazing! Listen, Rachel, if every morning of your life you don’t earnestly desire for there to be an end to wars, violence, lies, envy, power-mongering, then you’ll never understand my message.
RACHEL Is there anything else you’d like to add?
JESUS Look toward the horizon, Rachel. In these very days in which you’re living, I see signs in the heaven that announce a storm coming. Let those who have eyes to see observe the signs, and let those who have ears to hear listen to what’s going on.
RACHEL We are talking with Jesus Christ in his second coming to our modern world, which is ever more unequal – and therefore ever more violent. The Mount of the Beatitudes, Rachel Perez, Emisoras Latinas.
ANNOUNCER Another God is Possible. Exclusive interviews with Jesus Christ in his second coming to Earth. A production of María and José Ignacio López Vigil, with the support of the Syd Forum and Christian Aid.