The internet is buzzing about the hotness of Jesus in the new Son of God movie. The actor Diogo Morgado portrays a Jesus with flowing hair and 6 pack abs. The adulation almost smacks of a violation of the 2nd Commandment and appears antithetical to the teachings on humility.
But is it?
I've long wondered about the modern marriage of piety and the secular world. Just look at the crowds entering church today. Some humble servants now look anything but as they don their Sunday best of Prada and Stetsons.
Not long ago, my wife and I arrived at church to see a bad-ass Corvette in the parking lot, right near the front door. It could have been driven by the devil himself with it's sexy, low slung lines and dual, chrome exhaust pipes. Is this an appropriate ride to bring to church? Why not! Doesn't the Bible talk about beauty all around us? OK, so Jesus on the big screen is hot. Sure, for historical accuracy, he probably would have looked a lot more like Boris Kodjoe than Diogo Morgado, but that's beside the point.
Maybe for the period in time the good book says He walked the earth, Jesus was hot.
And isn't there an almost religious grace in beauty. How many times have you heard a new parent speak of their child in angelic terms?
As a kid in church, I would pray with one eye open. Better to see the cute girl in the next pew or the sun streaming through the stained glass windows.
And I would wonder if Jesus or the apostles ever had fun. There seemed to be no humor in their words. So whenever the preacher would make a modern day analogy to the Word, I would perk up.
The new Pope? He once rode a Harley! I bet he looked pretty fly too.
So maybe this latest Jesus is hot because bringing the scripture to life in modern times, is a bit like praying with one eye open. Like letting the outside world intrude on the theological. Like a Pope on a Harley. The perfect marriage of modernity and Moses.
Recently in church, bowed in prayer in my usual sacrilegious repose, I peeked out and saw that my wife was wearing knee high, zipper boots. When the prayer was over, I said a hearty "amen." Twice!