Rhawn Gabriel Joseph
Joseph, his earthly father, must have died soon after Jesus turned 12, for he is not again mentined in the Gospels. In the Gospel of John (2) for example, Joseph, is explicitly excluded and ceases to play any role in family affairs after Jesus turns 12. In fact, the young, teenage Jesus also appears to have attracted a devoted entourage of followers, that is, disciples.
"After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days."
Although Joseph has likely died, Mary, his mother, continues to play a significant role in his life after Jesus becomes a teenager and then a man. It is also clear that even before he begins his ministry, that Mary has become aware of his amazing powers, including his ability to perform "miracles" such as turning water into wine.
What is curious about the wine episode, is it takes place during a marriage, in Galilee, when Jesus was perhaps, thirty years old--on the "third day" (John 2); meaning that Jesus may have just turned 30. By "curious" we note that Mary may have been the host, and that Jesus played a role suggestive of a bridegroom.
Consider: "when they wanted wine" and had no more wine, Mary, his mother, instructs Jesus to make wine for the guests. She also gives orders to the servants to do the bidding of her son--which would be unthinkable unless they were in her command and it was her home or party.
Jesus also appears to be both miracle worker and bridegroom. Thus, after Jesus makes the wine which is then served to the guests, "the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and said unto him...thou hast kept the good wine until now."
The bridegroom is never identified, though it is clear that Jesus in fact provided the wine, and thus, logically, he is the one to be thanked.
Consider also the term "calling." We note that just as a man might be "called to the ministry" that is, to become a minister, "Jesus was called to the marriage" and his disciples came as guests.
"As retold in the Gospel of John (2): And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come."
But Mary was to have her way. She commands the servants: "Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it." and then "Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it."
"When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now."
What this implies is that Mary was the hostess, Jesus the bridegroom and his disciples were there was guests. Of course, there is no explicit statement to that effect, in the Gospels, either pro or con.
We do know, however, that Jesus was in favor of marriage: "For man shall cleave to his wife and they shall be of one flesh."
And Jesus condemned divorce:
"It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery" -Matthew 5.
Likewise at least two of his disciples were married, including Peter (also known as Simon). Jesus designates the married Peter to become the "rock" upon which the church of Jesus is to be later established: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church." -Matthew 16:18.
We also know that Jesus did not advocate celibacy, though he did have this to say about eunuchs--men who've been castrated:
"His disciples say unto him... it is not good to marry. But he said unto them... there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." -Matthew 19.
Some have interpreted this passage to mean that priests and men of god should remain celebate. Strictly speaking, of course, what this saying means explicitly, is there are those who wish to castrate themselves, and thus sacrifice their manhood, in order to serve heaven. Jesus does not say, however, that men who become eunuchs serve God, and this may well be because castration was part of the initiation rite for becoming an acolyte or priest of the goddess cults. By eliminating one's manhood, and thus by making one's self into a woman, one could identify with and become one with, the goddess, and therefore, one of her priests.
Jesus was not a eunuch, but a man who loved women and children and who enjoyed their attentions and their company.
And Jesus "said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom." -Matthew 13.
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.-Matthew 18.
"Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." -Matthew 19.
"It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." -Luke 17.
There is also the question of the young woman known as Mary--sometimes referred to as Mary Magdalen (from the Galilean village of Migdal), or Mary of Bethany, or "the other Mary." Mary is mentioned in all four gospels. In Luke, this woman is introduced quite early, while Jesus is still in Galilee where the marriage took place. Jesus is said to have performed an exocism, that she was possessed with seven devils, which Jesus drove out.
Some have argued that Mary Magdalen was a prostitute. However, this is based on a misreading of the Gospels. The "prostitute" (the woman "who loved many") is unnamed and is introduced in the chapter before Mary Magdalen.
And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner." Luke 7.
Jesus answered, however, and said: "Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven."
According to three of the Gospels, Mary is also present at the Crucifixion. But then so too is "the other Mary," who is also identified, in the Gospels of John and Mark as the mother of Jesus:
"There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome." -Mark 15.
"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene." -John 19.
In the Gospel of John "Mary" is identified as Mary of Bethany and the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Lazarus is he whom Jesus later raises from the dead.
Perhaps Mary Magdalen and Mary (of Bethany) are one and the same.
Jesus, as is clear from the Gospel of Luke, also has a very tender relationship with Mary of Bethany, "which shall not be taken from her." This relationship also provides Mary with special privileges which makes Martha, her sister, intensely jealous:
"Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." -Luke 10.
"They made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment" -John 12.
Mary of Bethany not only has a tender relationship with Jesus, but she is also under his command in a way that is suggestive of wifely submission:
"And... she [Martha] went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him" -John 11.
Jesus is her "master" and master also means "husband." And, as noted, although Mary is Martha's sister, Martha obviously has no power over her. Mary is under the control of Jesus: "bid her therefore that she help me" Martha pleads.
We also know that Jesus had a very special relationship with Mary's brother, Lazarus. Lazarus may have been his "beloved disciple;" the "disciple whom Jesus loved" the "desciple who should not die;" which may be yet another reason why Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead. Indeed, his other followers, in observing Jesus's attitude toward Lazarus had this to say: "Behold how he loved him" (John 11:26).
On the other hand, the "beloved disciple" may have also been a woman; such as his wife. Mary may have been one of the beloved disciples. Indeed, it is very curious that the name and sexual identity of the "beloved disciple" is never stated, even though this individual was so "beloved."
It was also his relationship with Mary, which played a major role in the decision of Judas, to betray Jesus. Judas was greedy and jealous.
In fact, the family of Mary, Martha and Lazarus (who Jesus loved), played a repeated role in the events before and probably during and after his Crucifixion, such as providing the "colt" for the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and the lodgings and the food for the last supper.
As he hung, dying on the cross, Jesus may have also entrusted the care of his mother to this beloved family, and to his "beloved disciple." Jesus instructed his mother to consider this disciple "whom he loved" to be her "son."
"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home." -John 19:25-27.
Thus, one might argue that Mary may have been his wife, and Lazarus, his brother-in-law--a brother to Jesus, and a "son" to his mother. This in turn could explain the relationship between the two Marys that became evident at the Crucifixion and why Lazarus was therefore a "son" to Mary (mother of Jesus) and why Mary was now a mother to this son; i.e. a mother-in-law and a son-in-law--or a brother who takes care of the mother of his "brother" when his "brother" dies.
It is also of note that Jesus, although he already had disciples, did not begin his ministry until after he had been "called" to this marriage on the "third day." According to ancient Jewish tradition, a man cannot become a teacher or a priest, until he is married. Likewise, before the marriage ceremony, when his mother asked him to perform a small miracle, turning water into wine, Jesus declines saying: "mine hour is not yet come."
His "hour" does not come, until after the "third day" and after the marriage" and after he turns 30.
On the other hand, if Jesus did not have a wife, this would have been a mark of distinction, yet another characteristic that set him apart from the crowd and other priests, including those claiming to be the Messiah. In fact, it would have been a scandal, and it was a scandal, especially as some of these women were married.
"And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance." -Luke 8:1-3.
Women were passionate followers of Jesus, and the presence of so many women in his entourage scandalized the Pharisee aristocrats who were shocked by and condemned this shocking and sinful behavior.
And Jesus said, "Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again...."
"....Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
"And Jesus said unto him, So sayest thou."
And the multitude cried out, "Let him be crucified."
"When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it...."
"Then the soldiers took Jesus and platted a crown of thorns upon his head, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and smote him on the head."
"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
Then they nailed his hands and feet to a cross beam...they crucified him... and in agony Jesus hung on the cross....
....and as the pitiless crowds sneered and mocked him, the dying Jesus, in mortal agony "cried with a loud voice, saying, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
And then, as the crowds laughed and jeered, "Jesus, cried again with a loud voice, and yielded up the ghost"
Jesus Christ was dead. They had crucified him.
He had died to cleanse the world of evil and to redeem it of its sins.
God had now sealed the New Covenant.
"Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. -Luke 24.
So far, everything had gone according to plan, and indeed, Jesus had been planning his death, and crucifixion, for years.
Now, in just three days time, Jesus would awaken from a drug induced death-like sleep, and would be proclaimed: Jesus the Christ, King of the Jews, and thus, King of Israel.
But then, something went terribly wrong.