Roll With It

Jesus lost his cool a time or two, like that iconic episode tossing tables in the Temple – and there were a few terse conversations with his disciples when Jesus’ words arrived with a wallop. But for the most part, Jesus seemed to have a very long fuse. You have to have a good sense of humor to be Jesus in this crazy world.

It’s funny how often Jesus would put the brakes on a moment, interjecting an odd request or unveiling a disruptive truth, only to evoke little more than blank expressions and a few emotionless blinks of the eye. The gospels tell of several times when Jesus explicitly asked the people not to spread any stories about him, but we all know that a man holding a wild tale will bust a seam if he doesn’t get to share. St. Mark must have chuckled when he scratched this line: “but the people told all the more.”

It was his own mother for crying out loud who, at a wedding party, dismissed Jesus’ theological objections with a mere wave of her hand. The festivities were full tilt, but the hosts faced an impending embarrassment: the kegs were nearly dry. Mary came to her son, expecting a remedy, but Jesus was disinterested. “My time has not yet come,” he said, leveling a nuanced announcement of eschatological priority and salvific intent. This single line has sent theologians down a thousand trails.

Mary, however, wanted wine. She paused for perhaps a nanosecond, as a courtesy, then turned to the servants and said, “So, about the ale – Jesus will take care of it, do what he tells you.”

And Jesus didn’t seem to mind. He filled the casks to the brim — and for all those other cases, I don’t recall any time where he chastised a follower for blurting out something that was supposed to stay quiet. Jesus knows what every father and mother discovers. You do your best, and then you roll with it.

words have a way of making friends. drop a few here.