Jesus was a Media Artist
The most creative person in the Bible.
Conveniently, my favourite verse in the Bible is also the shortest.
I’m guessing that 90% + of you guessed the verse - since it was also the easiest to memorize in Sunday School.
The verse is “Jesus wept.”
‘Where is it in the Bible?’ Gospels, duh. ‘Verse reference?’ I’m … going to have to look that up (see image below).
It is my favourite verse because of what it does not say. It does not acknowledge Jesus’ other emotions that are clearly expressed in the Gospel. We see Jesus lose his temper, get violent, call people names, and dress them down (for righteous reasons). We see him joke around with the disciples. We witness stories of his temptation. (I just wish there was a sex scene to really top it off.)
As Bob Darden, former Senior Editor of The Wittenburg Door, once told me, “If Jesus was fully human and fully divine, he certainly had all the other emotions that come with being human.”
‘Why does this make “Jesus wept” your favourite verse?’ Because being human means more than just being sad - it is being creative. A creative life is a spiritual gift, albeit very hard to express effectively. But Jesus did it.
Jesus was a first-century media artist. He is the most creative person in the Bible. He was an orator and storyteller. His stories were complex but relatable and understood by his audience (some of the time). We are still moved by them - and always will be.
Creativity is a human trait and divine quality. The Bible isn’t explicit, saying that Jesus was creative - at least not like it was about him being sad, but we see his creativity throughout the Gospels.
‘What does this mean for the future of The Wittenburg Door?’ It means that we celebrate the example of Christ’s creativity and strive to use it with dignity and respect … as we satirize ourselves and others.
The Keepers of the Door disagree on many topics, perspectives (theological, social, and political), and even on what is funny. We agree on the impact satire can have on religious discourse, the need to do so in love, protect the role of the jester, and hold a mirror to the Church as we see ourselves reflected in the foolishness. So we have to make room for different creative voices, especially on social platforms.
I celebrate the creativity of The Wittenburg Door. Satire is a literary form that necessitates creative expression. It doesn’t always have to be laugh-out-loud funny, but it does have to be creative.
Explore your own creative voice. Like love, creativity is most valuable when you share it with others.
“Jesus wept” was a gift because that simple act demonstrated what it means to be human. And Jesus was also very creative.