- Iscariot: Chapter 1 – In which we meet Pontius Pilate and learn about an obscure Goddess.
- Iscariot: Chapter 2 – In which we meet Jesus of Nazareth, his brother James, Simon the Zealot, and Donny, one of King Herod’s slaves
- Iscariot: Chapter 3 – In which Judas splits a bottle of wine with Mary Magdalene, daughter in law of the almighty.
- Iscariot: Chapter 4 – In which we learn that Jesus is not scared of lightning. Also Kelsey, the formerly barren lady from Chapter 2, has become fertile and now it’s a whole thing.
- Iscariot: Chapter 5 – In which we learn that just because you have love for all things, doesn’t mean you can’t get annoyed by certain peoples antics.
- Iscariot: Chapter 6 – In which Menahem asks, “Are you there, God? It’s me, Menahem.”
- Iscariot: Chapter 7 – In which Pontius Pilate learns who King Herod is and what King Herod do.
- Iscariot: Chapter 8 – In which we meet Martha, wife of Judas, and she’s a delight.
- Iscariot: Chapter 9 – In which we meet the remaining apostles at the Passover feast.
- Iscariot: Chapter 10 – In which Pontius Pilate reminisces about the good ol’ days.
- Iscariot: Chapter 11 – In which there’s a bit of exposition until the angel Lucifer shows up and has a brief chat with Judas.
- Iscariot: Chapter 12 – In which we are made aware of the political situation in Rome.
- Iscariot: Chapter 13 – In which the Passion of the Devil.
- Iscariot: Chapter 14 – In which we meet the rice goddess Inari and a fox named Mrs. Noodles.
- Iscariot: Chapter 15 – In which Mary, Martha, and Kelsey meet a Behemoth and the story passes the Bechdel test.
- Iscariot: Chapter 16 – In which Judas and Jesus travel through India and learn about road building.
- Iscariot: Chapter 17 – In which (much like in Game of Thrones, Season 3, Episode 8) there’s a wedding.
- Iscariot: Chapter 18 – In which crucifixion shmoosifixion. Jesus and Judas are back, baby!
- Iscariot: Chapter 19 – In which we extrapolate upon the Ascension a little bit.
- Iscariot: Chapter 20 – In which Judas and Mary have a pre dinner drink, and we leave them there.
I have a friend at work named Aimee and I love her to pieces.
What I like about her is that she’s nice to everyone. All the time. And really, I think she cares about people’s happiness. You know? She wants everyone to be at ease. And if they can’t be that, she sure as shit isn’t going to be the one to make them unhappy.
I, on the other hand, worry about people. Instead of hoping or wishing that people are happy, I just want everyone to be safe. It’s weirdly similar, but it means that she’s much more bright and cheery and I’m more sullen and anxious. Still, we make a good friendship match. Yin and Yang etc.
To link this into the story, despite her normally cheery attitude, Aimee has the occasional bad day. Because she’s human. As were all of these prophets and apostles. Admittedly, I have no idea what these individual people were really like but it’s irrelevant because they were human. As was Jesus who also had bad days.
“He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” (Luke 22:36)
That’s not peace and rainbows. That’s clearly a call to arms. Jesus said that because he correctly assumed that the cops were coming to arrest his ass for knocking over some tables at the temple. (Mark 11:15) This is weird but broadly demonstrates my point.
Whatever you believe happened to Jesus after he was crucified, at THIS POINT IN HIS LIFE, dude was human. Dude had bad days. Dude wanted to love everyone, but…and this is key…try as anyone might to love everyone, try as Aimee does, and try as Jesus probably did, I’m sure he thought some people were assholes.
So here’s a little bit about that.
In which we learn that just because you have love for all things, doesn’t mean you can’t get annoyed by certain peoples antics.
It was the day after the group beach outing and Jesus, looking rather sun kissed, surveyed the multitude of people in the square and smiled.
“Check it,” he said to his apostles. “A lot of people have come to hear the good word. Truly these men and women are blessed. They hunger and thirst for righteousness and I shall give them that satisfaction. Let’s go up to the top of the rock and I’ll give my sermon.” (Matthew 5:6…more or less.)
James coughed. “I don’t mean to quibble with you, Jesus, but I think the good words these people are searching for are already being delivered.”
“What do you mean?” Jesus asked. “Whither?”
James pointed to the rock. “I mean that someone beat you to the punch today.”
The group looked towards the rock and indeed, a man draped in vestments stood and preached. His robes were crisscrossed with strips of colored cloth which were laid out in such a way that they formed a number of little squares. Four similarly dressed men stood as a sort of honor guard around him. Truth be told though, if it were to come right down to it, they could act as an amazingly effective real guard as well. The crowds were listening in a contemplative way as the man preached about lands in the far west and the far south. About how people were coming from these strange lands and stealing the jobs of hard working and honest folk.
Jesus knew this man, and he knew him well. He had pulled this sort of thing before.
“Athronges!” Jesus proclaimed when he saw the man. “That clown robed, racist, horrible man. Well, I’m going to get to the bottom of this. I specifically had this spot reserved. And he’s finishing up! Everyone’s going to leave.”
“Some of the people may have come to hear you,” Simon pointed out.
“A bunch of them probably did since we’ve been saying we were going to be here, but they won’t stay. Why would they stay for two sermons?”
“Your words will give them far more hope,” Simon replied.
“Even so, nobody wants to sit through church twice in one day. Plus I’ll come off looking second fiddle. Well this won’t stand. If Athronges thinks he can swoop in like a nine headed dragon and steal my flock…I…He…I…”
“Literally, can’t even?” James offered.
“Let’s just go up there,” he replied.
Jesus and his followers made their way through the crowd just in time to hear Athronges finish his sermon and invite the people back the following week. The crowd began to disperse and Athronges, surrounded by his four hulking brothers, glanced over at the newcomer.
“Hello, Awrite. It’s the golden child his self. What’s a minted man doing amongst the rabble?” Athronges asked.
“Save it Athronges. You know I’m not rich,” Jesus replied.
“Now far be it from me to question such things. I’m but a simple shepherd trying to steer a flock, so A dinna unnerstan or ken how it works in the big city. But I was to understand that you had kings visiting you when you were wean and one of them gave you a muckle bag of gold. Which, if I’m not mistaken, makes you some amount of wealthy.”
Simon then spoke unto Athronges. “Well I’ll have you know that Jesus’ dad spent all of that on myrrh and goats, but the goats all died of Paramphistomiasis1, so Jesus is actually so poor he can’t even afford new sandals for his wife.”
Athronges laughed along with the rest of his brothers. “A’m sairy bigyin. My mistake. And a’m sairy to you, Simon the Zealot.”
“Why are you apologizing to me?” he asked.
“I just feel bad for you, being that you’re an ugly, bald, fannybawbag and your breath stinks and you have no wife and no prospects to find one and you’re a wallaper and a wanker and a kiss ass.”
“Screw you, Athronges,” he retorted.
“There’s no way my bonnie wife would allow it. Someday, after you hit puberty, ye may come to understand what it’s like to desire a bird. Much good it would do ye. If ever you do manage to scrape up enough money to buy a cult prostitute, you could marry her. I’m sure you’ll have a lovely wedding day. Or as she would call it, “the day of small things which she despises!” (Zechariah 4:10…new translation)
Jesus stopped for a moment and took a breath. Peace filled his mind. He even smiled for a moment.
“Charming as always, Athronges. Your message won’t work though. You can rouse up the rabble with your racist little rants…”
“Wonderful alliteration, Jesus,” Simon interjected.
Jesus sighed. “Thank you, Simon. As for you, Athronges. As I said, this won’t work. These people need honest solutions. We cannot blame those who are not truly at fault. You seek to bring out the worst in us all, and I tell you, that you’re racing down the wrong road.”
Simon took in a breath to say something but Jesus held his hand up to quiet him. “Come my brothers and I shall prove it. I WILL give my sermon. It will be super great and as Simon pointed out, Athronges can go screw himself.”
“Aye, but not by him. The div’s to stupid to even know what screwing is.”
“Oh that does it. You’ve gone too far Athronges,” Simon whispered before screaming for all the gathered people to hear. “To screw means to have sex! You will rue the day you ever crossed Simon the Zealot!”
Simon raised his hands towards the brothers. He screamed to the sky and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Clouds began swirling above the square and the sky darkened. Without warning, and surprising absolutely everyone, two she-bears came bursting out of a tavern and roared towards the newly cursed man. Thunder struck a nearby tower and hail began to fall.
Fortunately for Athronges and his brothers, there had been a sizable crowd. While the beasts clearly wanted the five brothers, there was a bit of confusion on the bears part as to how best to eviscerate them. While those on the outskirts of the crowd were able to avoid the claws and gnashing of teeth, the bears happened upon and mauled their way through forty two youths who unluckily found themselves located between said bears and their quarry. (2 Kings 2:25…sort of)
The brothers took off down an alley, while the screams of the dying echoed behind them. The bears, however, were also behind them. Luckily, Athronges had enough of a head start that it seemed as if he, at least, would be ok. Physically. For a while.
Eventually a number of bloodied people finally succumbed to the sweet embrace of death, leaving nothing behind but the wailing of their friends and loved ones.
Jesus and his followers stood by, mouths agape.
“Well that escalated fast,” James finally said.
Jesus turned to his fellow apostle. “Simon. Seriously. What the hell, man? What the damned hell?!” he yelled before walking into the crowd to try and heal what living children remained.
Simon had an embarrassed look on his face. “Wow…I don’t think any of us were expecting that.” he said. “Jesus, let me help you where I may.”
“Simon. I will forgive you. It is what I do. But it will be tomorrow. If I see so much as your shadow for the rest of the day, I cannot be held accountable for what I may call down upon you.”
Simon hung his head and walked away in shame.
The rest of the apostles just shook their heads and went out to walk next to their Lord. Except for Judas who missed the whole thing because he was at home having “The Talk” with his son.
Notes [ + ]
|1.||↵||Paramphistomiasis. Or “Parasitic Winter Diarrhea” can be fatal to goats.|