The Gospel of Mrs. Jesus

A historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School has identified a papyrus fragment in Coptic that she says contains the first known statement saying explicitly that Jesus was married. --The NY Times

And it came to pass that Jesus returned to his hometown of Nazareth, and his disciples followed him. In the crowd was the one Jesus favored the most, the woman who was his wife. No one knew her true name. Someone called her Mary once and she got really mad, so everyone just called her Mrs. Jesus.

When they reached the gates of Nazareth, Mrs. Jesus began to preach to them.

"Verily, I say that some of you believe that because I'm a woman and am pleasing to the eye that I have nothing useful or worthwhile to say." She laughed mirthfully at the notion, tossing her head back and revealing a fine thicket of auburn hair with red highlights.

Mrs. Jesus continued: "You men are like mustard seeds which a farmer takes and sows in his field. It is the smallest of seeds. Get it? OK, it gets better. So even though the seeds are really tiny -- teensy-weensy really -- they're spotted by a flock of ravenous buzzards and utterly devoured. Let those with ears hear my words!"

The words of Mrs. Jesus left many of his disciples speechless, for she had not talked so boldly to them before.

"I'm just getting started," Mrs. Jesus said rolling up the sleeves of her tunic. "I've been holding a lot back, just stuffing it down, and that's not healthy. It's Mrs. Jesus time."

Then she proclaimed: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who owns a hundred sheep and discovers that one of them has gone astray. Does he leave the 99 in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?"

"No, he certainly does not."

"He sends his wife, who's already cooking dinner for 5,000 and packing for the next trip to God knows what desert, to go out and find the little lost sheep, lay it on her shoulders and carry it back home. And let me tell you, her shoulders are plenty sore the next day. But somehow, someone is apparently too busy or too important to give her a massage to work out the kinks in her shoulder, even though it takes like what, two minutes."

The crowd of disciples stirred and some began to murmur that Mrs. Jesus had gone too far speaking of Jesus in such an intimate way. Others thought that she had the right to speak, but admitted that she was starting to over-share. Still others, mostly the women, wanted to hear more.

Mrs. Jesus continued: "This calls to mind another parable. I'm winging this one, so bear with me. So it came to pass that there was a man who had a son and a daughter to whom he bequeathed a vast inheritance. The son squandered his money in loose living, drinking, gambling, laying down with women who were not his wife, you know, typical guy things.

"As soon as the son had spent his last penny, he returned half-starving to his father and begged for a scrap of food from his table. His father replied, 'Woe to you, my son! Your sister has invested her money wisely and now runs the family business, while you have squandered your fortune on typical guy things. She is now my favored one -- you may work as my servant. No wait, even better -- you may work as her servant!' And so the prodigal son obeyed his father and became his sister's servant for life. Girl power!"

Many of the male disciples were shocked at the words of Mrs. Jesus, thinking her to be too opinionated, or perhaps dipping into the mead again. One of them stood up and said to Mrs. Jesus: "If women are the equal of men, I challenge you to feed 5,000 of us with just five loaves of bread and two fish as your husband did last week.

And Mrs. Jesus said unto them, "Oh Jesus Christ! And I say that with the utmost respect. But come on, don't kid yourself. The five loaves of bread and two fish are just stage props. I'm the one doing all the cooking in this family, and believe me, it's not getting any easier. But do I get a smidgen of help? Not really. Oh, he'll plant a kiss on my forehead once in awhile as I'm preparing a fish stew for 5,000 and ask if there's anything he can do to help, but then he's off telling one of his parables again. I think he overdoes the parables, frankly. We get it. Move on. But he won't listen."

Again, the disciples were dumfounded and Mrs. Jesus continued.

"It's not like we spend much quality time together anymore. Not like we used to. God, we used to have so much fun in the beginning. And there were only a few disciples around. That's part of the problem with us now. I always thought 12 disciples was a good number to stop at, but he kept saying, 'No, this is going to be really big, I can feel it.' He's that way, once he gets an idea in his head, there's no stopping him. I just hope it doesn't get him into trouble one of these days."

The crowd fell silent, quietly enjoying their fish stew. Jesus saw that it was good and turned in early that night, leaving Mrs. Jesus to clean up a huge mess and pack away 144 baskets of leftovers for the following day's breakfast.