NEW HAVEN, CT—In a groundbreaking new report on one of the most revered figures in religious history, top biblical scholars published findings Monday that suggest Jesus Christ may have relied on the influence of His well-connected father, God, to land His powerful role as Lord and Savior to mankind.
Examining evidence from the Gospels, as well as recently unearthed ancient Christian and Gnostic texts, researchers at Yale Divinity School concluded that Christ’s close familial relationship to the Creator of Heaven and Earth likely contributed to His meteoric rise from obscure carpenter to high-level divinity, giving Him a leg up over candidates who may have been more qualified for a position within the Holy Trinity.
“The selection of Jesus to become the Messiah appears to be a clear-cut case of nepotism,” said noted theologian and report co-author Philip Baxter, who remarked that in first-century Judea, it was widely believed John the Baptist was the frontrunner to sit at the right hand of the Father. “Until the age of 30, Christ’s only employment had been as a laborer with His stepfather’s woodworking business. So we must ask: How does someone with no background in management suddenly get put in charge of a 12-apostle team? And how exactly does a person with no prior experience as a monarch get appointed King of Kings?”
“God likes to claim He moves in mysterious ways, but there doesn’t seem to be too much mystery here at all,” Baxter continued. “This looks like blatant favoritism.”
The scholars behind the report said revised translations of the Gospel of Luke reveal that during the Annunciation, the archangel Gabriel not only foretold the birth of Jesus but also mentioned to the Virgin Mary that he hoped soon to be promoted to Messiah and to deliver the Jews from bondage. The report states that Gabriel, with centuries of divine service behind him, was justifiably suspicious when he wound up relegated to his dead-end messenger job and the promotion instead went to Jesus, who just happened to be God’s only begotten son.
This reportedly created an atmosphere of low morale among God’s longer-tenured servants, who believed the young Jesus would never have been given such a position if His father had not been He Who Reigns Supreme Over All That Is Seen And Unseen.
“Jesus would go around telling this story of His humble beginnings, how He was born to a refugee seeking shelter in a manger, but in reality, He was a child of privilege,” said Baxter, remarking that Jesus was well aware that His father, who had created the universe and everything in it, would always be able to provide for Him. “It was easy for Him to tell people, ‘Ask, and it shall be given,’ or ‘Knock, and it shall be opened unto you,’ because that’s pretty much how life works if your dad is an all-powerful, all-knowing deity.”
“In the meantime, a lot of angels and prophets who had been angling for Jesus’s position are looking on in disgust as this ne’er-do-well son goes around from party to party multiplying loaves and fishes and turning water into wine,” Baxter added.
Leaders of several Christian denominations denounced the report, arguing that Jesus earned His role on merit and was fully qualified to bring salvation to all mankind. According to a Vatican spokesman, God was “pretty hands-off” in His son’s career, and, if anything, Jesus had to work twice as hard to get out from underneath the Heavenly Father’s shadow. Meanwhile, a representative from the Eastern Orthodox Church sought to rebut the report’s claim that Jesus never actually fasted in the desert, but instead went on a 40-day-and-night-long bender to escape the responsibilities of his ministry.
Nonetheless, the report does document occasions on which God appears to have pulled strings on His son’s behalf: For example, Jesus was allowed to retain His position as Lord and Savior despite a criminal record that came to include violating the Sabbath, multiple acts of sorcery, and disorderly conduct in a Jewish temple.
“Even after He was condemned to death and crucified, His father still intervened to make sure Jesus didn’t face any lasting consequences for His actions,” Baxter said in reference to God raising His son from the dead. “Most people don’t bounce back from a mistake like that. Most people don’t get that second chance.”
“No one swooped in three days later to resurrect John the Baptist after he was beheaded, that’s for sure,” Baxter added.
Baxter went on to describe how God sought to burnish His son’s reputation by enlisting Christ’s apostles to co-write a lengthy biography, an apparent attempt to control the narrative that presents a sanitized portrait of the time Jesus spent on Earth. He cited in particular the epistles by Paul, John, and others, which he called “little more than letters of recommendation written on Jesus’s behalf.”
“The New Testament goes so far as to blame Jesus’s entire crucifixion on mankind—suddenly, He died for our sins,” Baxter said. “That’s quite a brazen claim, but it’s not widely disputed, because His connections go all the way to the top, and anyone who comes forward could be struck down instantly for speaking out.”