One day Jesus visited Donald Trump at Trump Tower. He had been invited because Donald wanted to ask him a question and Jesus was curious. Trump usually answers questions since he has such a high IQ and even has an uncle who was so smart that he taught engineering at MIT for fifty years.
“You know, Jesus, I’m smart. Really smart,” said Trump, after some small talk. “Probably the smartest person who was ever president. It’s in my genes. I have great genes. But I want to tell you something—something big—I don’t know everything. I know you might not believe that, but it’s true.”
“I believe you,” said Jesus. “In fact I’ve known that for some time.”
Trump continued, “And you are smart too, I hear. Maybe as smart as me—who can say? But you’re the Son of God and all. So I want to ask you a question.”
“What would you like to know?” asked Jesus.
“I’m interested in eternal life—in heaven. Now I’m not worried that I won’t go to heaven, of course. In fact, if you come to Trump Tower you will see that I practically live there now! And my latest wife is an angel, if you know what I mean. And we know angels don’t grow old, just like my wife doesn’t grow old, because I keep replacing her with a younger one.”
Jesus stared at Trump, struggling to maintain his divine composure.
“So my question is this, Jesus: Let’s just suppose I wasn’t 100% certain about going to heaven. What must I do to be totally sure that I will—you know— inherit eternal life, as they say?”
“Have you read the Bible?” asked Jesus.
“Oh, totally. Nobody has ever read it quite like me. I am the ultimate Bible reader.”
“OK,” said Jesus. “What does it say about how you should live?”
Trump paused, “You mean in Two Corinthians?”
“No,” said Jesus, “in the Law. In the Old Testament.”
Trump smiled. “Oh. I see. My Bible is brand new. Latest edition. I don’t read old stuff—only new Bible stuff—like Two Corinthians.”
Jesus responded patiently.
“In the part of the Bible called ‘the Law’ it says you should ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.’”
Trump combed his air and formed his mouth into a perfect circle as though he was going to say something, but Jesus interrupted.
“Do you do that?”
“Big League,” said Trump. “Nobody loves the Lord more than Donald Trump. Believe me!”
“Good,” said Jesus.
“So I am all set!” Trump was elated. “I have this eternal life thing in the bag. Bigly! I knew it.”
“Not so fast,” said Jesus. “There’s one more thing you have to do. You must love your neighbor as yourself.”
“Love my neighbor as myself? As myself? Come on, Jesus. You are pulling my leg, right? I mean, I have some great neighbors but they aren’t as great as me. They don’t have as much money; their wives aren’t supermodels; they never had a reality TV show; and nothing in their apartments is plated with actual gold. Some are losers. How can I possibly love them like I love myself?”
Jesus began to respond but Trump interrupted.
“You know I just thought of something. I bet my neighbors actually love me more than they love themselves! Why wouldn’t they? So I make it easy for my neighbors to follow this rule about loving your neighbor as yourself.”
Once again Jesus tried to respond, but Trump interrupted.
“I do have some great neighbors, though. Great neighbors. Every one one of them is a millionaire. Every one. And some are billionaires—but not so rich as me,” he added quickly.
“Donald,” said Jesus, “these are not your neighbors.”
“Yes, they are,” said Trump. “They live in the same building. They are my neighbors.”
“No,” said Jesus. “That is not what the Bible means when it speaks of our neighbors.”
“Well then who is my neighbor, according to the Bible?” said Trump. “Not those foreigners who work at Gucci’s on the first floor I hope.”
“Let me explain this by way of a story,” said Jesus.
Trump looked at his watch and said, “Ok. But I hope it isn’t a long story. I feel a tweet coming on.”
Jesus got up and walked to the window and began to speak.
“A man was traveling from San Diego to Los Angeles when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half naked and bleeding to death on the edge of a deserted beach. The pastor of San Diego’s largest megachurch happened to be walking along the same beach, and when he saw the man, he made a wide berth and passed by at some distance. In similar fashion, the mayor of a local town, when he came to the place and saw the unconscious man, passed by at some distance. But an undocumented migrant worker, as he walked along the beach, heading to the farm where he picked watermelons for thirty-six dollars a day, came across the injured man and took pity on him. He went to him and saw that he was bleeding from knife wounds. So he poured clean water from the bottle in his lunchbox into the man’s wounds to clean them Then he took off his shirt and ripped it into strips to make bandages to stop the bleeding. And he waited with the man, cradling his head in his lap. After a time, the injured man regained consciousness and the migrant worker helped him stand and supported him as they walked together to a nearby building which housed a small shop that rented beach towels.
Although he had very little money, the migrant worker gave the owner of the shop $50 in exchange for letting the injured man rest in his facility, and use some of his towels for bandages. He also borrowed the shopkeeper’s phone and called 911. As he headed off to the watermelon farm, the migrant worker was happy to see an ambulance pulling up in front of the shop.
Jesus paused and kicked Trump in the shin. “Pay attention, Donald.”
“Sorry, Jesus,” said Trump. “But this is such a long story.”
“I need to ask you something important about the story I just told you. Which of the three people who encountered the injured man was a neighbor to him?”
“I have no idea,” said Trump. “I don’t know where any of these people lived. Probably none of them were neighbors.”
“Ah but you see, Donald,” explained Jesus, “in the Kingdom of God our neighbors are not just the people who live next door or in the same high rise building. Our neighbors are the people who come into our lives who need our help. And the injured man on the beach needed help.”
“Was he vetted?” asked Donald.
“Vetted?” replied Jesus.
“Yes. Vetted. Was he a terrorist? A rapist? A murderer? Was he an American citizen? The pastor and the politician were right to give him a wide birth until he was vetted. You don’t put yourself at risk helping people who are not vetted.”
“How long does vetting take?” asked Jesus.
“Doesn’t matter. You take whatever time you need.”
“But the man was bleeding to death,” said Jesus.
“Doesn’t matter. You vet people before you help them. And if they die—too bad. They should have been more careful. This migrant worker was probably not even an American citizen. And he took this unvetted guy—who could have been a terrorist or a murderer—and left him with a shopkeeper. Not very neighborly if you ask me. I certainly wouldn’t have brought that injured guy to Trump Tower.”
“In the kingdom of God, we help those in need,” said Jesus. “ Even when it is uncertain, or even dangerous. That is what it means to love your neighbor as yourself. If you were bleeding to death on the beach you would want help. You would want a neighbor to help you, even if they did not know who you were.”
“You asked about eternal life, Donald,” said Jesus. “You must love those in need—all of them, in every part of the planet, in every religion— as you love yourself. Then you will inherit eternal life.”
Jesus noticed that Trump was typing something into his phone.
@realDonaldTrump Jesus has crazy ideas about neighbors. Over-rated as a thinker, even if he is the Son of God. Sad.