SMtE: Thanks for coming on the St. Matthew the Evangelist Show, Jesus. I know you’re a busy man so let’s get right to it. You probably know of the great income disparity in the world today. What would you tell those who call themselves ‘Christians’ to do about it?
J: Go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. 19:21
SMtE: Gee, I don’t hear any televangelist saying that. That’s a pretty hard thing to do, give your money to the poor. No wonder there aren’t many true Christians.
J: Many are called but few are chosen. 22:14 The harvest is rich, but laborers are few. 9:37
SMtE: But you’re saying the opposite of what our consumer culture is telling us, that we should be as rich as we possibly can be.
J: You can’t serve both God and money. 6:24 You must worship God and serve him alone. 4:10
SMtE: So you’re saying we shouldn’t want to be rich, huh?
J: I tell you truly, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. 19:23 It is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it. 7:14 Many who are first will be last, and the last, first. 19:30
SMtE: Yikes, it sounds like there are a lot of rich and famous people we won’t be seeing in the hereafter. What would you tell the Occupy Wall St. folks, who are protesting the inequalities of our economic and political system?
J: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice. 5:6
SMtE: But they’re getting beat up by the police!
J: Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of righteousness. 5:10 Don’t be afraid of those who can kill the body, but not kill the spirit. 10:28
SMtE: But they’ll haul them off to court to face a judge. What then?
J: Don’t worry about how to speak or what to say, because it is not you who will be speaking. The Holy Spirit will be speaking through you. 10:19, 20
SMtE: But you’re facing a court of law.
J: The weightier matters of the Law are justice, mercy and faithfulness. 23:23
SMtE: Golly, I’m not sure they teach that even in Christian law schools! I gotta tell ya, the police state and all, sometimes I get scared, not for myself but for my kids and grandkids.
J: Don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. 6:34
SMtE: Yeah, but it’s still a little scary.
J: Why are you frightened, oh ye of little faith? 8: 26
SMtE: Well, okay, I admit I’m a little lacking there.
J: Don’t be afraid. 17:7 If your faith was the size of a mustard seed, nothing would be impossible. 17:20
SMtE: Do you think we should be going to church more?
J: When you pray, go to your private room and pray to your Father, who is in that secret place. 6:6
SMtE: The churches are telling people to be critical of abortion, contraception, gays, and all things pubic. What would you tell them?
J: Do not judge and you will not be judged, because the judgments you give are the judgments you will get, and the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given. 7:1,2 That is how my heavenly Father will deal with you, unless you forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart. 18:35
SMtE: There are a lot of people making huge sacrifices for those causes. What do you want from them?
J: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. 9:13
SMtE: But what our priests and preachers and televangelists are saying is so opposite to that!
J: Beware of false prophets! 7:15 The tree can be told by its fruit. 12:34 It is not those who say ‘Lord, Lord’ who will enter the kingdom, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. 7:21
SMtE: Have you been reading about pedophiles in the clergy recently?
J: Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of God. 18: 3 Never despise any of these little ones. Their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father. 18:10
SMtE: What do you think of free speech? Does anything go?
J: By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words condemned. 12:37 The things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and it is these that make a person unclean. 15:18
SMtE: You probably know what’s happening between the US and Iran today. What words of wisdom would you give Americans to meet this crisis?
J: Always treat others as you would like them to treat you. 7:12 Do not be afraid. 14:28
SMtE: Fair enough, but what will we tell the Zionists who are goading us into a war?
J: Hypocrites! It was you Isaiah meant when he so rightly prophesied: This people honors me only with lip-service, while their hearts are far from me. 15: 7,8
SMtE: Is there anything you’d like to say to us to wrap things up?
J: O, faithless and perverse generation! 17:17 You are all brothers and sisters. 23:8 What does it gain for a person to win the world and lose his soul? 16:26
SMtE: Gosh, why is it that humans just can’t seem to get things straight?
J: The worries of this world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word. 13:22
SMtE: Hey, I gotta tell ya that this has been great, and probably wonderful for the show’s ratings. Thanks a lot.
J: Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 6:21
Charles Rayner Kelly is a retired educator, a philosopher and a novelist. Among his novels is LITTLE POOR MAN The Story of St. Francis of Assisi