Monday, January 12, 2009

The healing of Peter's mother-in-law: What really happened

This episode is recorded in three of the Gospels. Jesus and his disciples go to Simon Peter's house, his mother-in-law is ill. Jesus heals her. . .

And she immediately gets up and serves them.

But wait! Is that how it really happened or has this passage been corrupted by the evil patriarchalists, like so many other passages? It appears the answer is, "yes" as a new dialogue has recently come to light. I reproduce it below in it's entirety:

Then Jesus said to Mabel, "My good woman, put your feet back up and rest a bit."

"But I feel fine, Jesus" was Mabel's slightly irritated reply.

"Yes, I know you do, I healed you after all!"

"And Jesus, " Mable continued, "You know how Arnold gets when his supper isn't on the table at 6 o'clock."

"I've been meaning to speak to him about that, he could get his own once in a while."

"But he works hard for this family. And I appreciate that. And, most of the time, I don't mind serving him on time."

Mabel was about to continue, when Jesus interrupted her, "But Mabel, you know you have been given gifts and talents which you could use to sit at the city gates and decide business. You could do more meaningful work, my good woman."

And here Mabel drew herself up to her magnificent height of 5 feet, 2 inches. "Now Jesus, don't you go "good woman"ing me! Meaningful work, indeed! Do you have any idea what an art it is to get rolls as fluffy as mine are? Sissy Stanhope, you know her across the way, hers you could use for a boat anchor! And my curries? You'd never know I wasn't a native Pakistani."

"Ooh, don't remind me about Mrs. Stanhope's boat anchors." Jesus said, rubbing his stomach. "But don't you know what important business you could be conducting with your talents and your wisdom?"

"Bah, don't let those old men fool you. It's about 3% business and 97% arguing about their golf handicaps! Why would I want to waste my time with them?"

"Because, Mabel, you could have a wider influence. You could be doing bigger and more important things." The disciples sat in quiet amazement as this appeared to be the first dispute the Rabbi would lose.

"Now Jesus. I have a clean comfortable home. I am a genius in the kitchen. You've enjoyed my hospitality often enough to know that. I have six children who are well-fed, clean, and mostly well-behaved. Your Peter's wife, Pearl, you know her, my eldest."

"Yes, Mabel, Pearl is a lovely young woman and a good wife to Peter, " here it almost seemed as if Jesus let out a sigh of exasperation, "But I am telling you that I have come to liberate you from the old patriarchal order. You can do so much more."

"Liberate? Liberate?! Next you're going to tell me that I've been put down and kept in my place unjustly by some imaginary men's club. Just like that movie I saw."

"Well, Mabel, the movie was a bit fanciful, but yes. "

"And I can leave the youngest two home alone after school to fetch their own supper while I sit at the city gates and let Bernard think his handicap is only a 3, right?"

"Well, I wouldn't put it that way, exactly." Jesus searched for something more convincing, "You could teach those men, you really could Mabel. You could teach them they need to start pulling their fair share of the load around the house."

"You know what, Jesus, I think I will. And I'll start right now. You and the boys can fetch your own **#*#* dinner!"

With that, Mabel threw down the dish towel, walked out of the house and down to the lovely little tea room she'd been wanting to visit.

And the disciples grumbled in amazement as they realized she really did expect them to get their own supper.

Here endeth the lesson.

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