America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
If Jesus Were a Christian: The Series
By Jesse Cramer
11 June 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. Episode synopses for an upcoming historical fiction series IF JESUS WERE A CHRISTIAN, which imagines a world where Jesus was, and acted like, a Christian.
S1.E1 “The Birth of Jesus” – Mary miraculously gives birth to Jesus, despite having never had relations with her husband Joseph. The next day, traveling Magi stop by with gifts for the newborn Savior, but no one is there, because Mary has her first homeschool co-op meeting, and Joseph thinks paid paternity leave is just a crutch for the socially dependent.
S1.E2 “Young Jesus Teaches at the Temple” – Mary and Joseph lose track of 12-year-old Jesus at the Temple of Jerusalem, only to discover he wandered away to teach the Elders about God. After his impromptu sermon, some Jewish middle schoolers ask Jesus if he wants to play outside, but Mary and Joseph say that Jesus isn’t allowed to play with anyone who doesn’t believe he is the Son of God.
S1.E3 “The Baptism of Jesus” – Jesus is getting baptized, and he would totally like you to come. It’s not at the Temple; actually, it’s down at the pavilion on the Jordan River. Jesus promises that the Bible stuff is only at the beginning, and then it’s really just a barbeque, and someone is bound to bring a volleyball net. Seriously, no pressure.
S1.E4 “The Temptation of Jesus” – Jesus is tempted by Satan in the desert for 40 days and then makes the following statement: Even I, the holiest of us all, am susceptible to the vicious attacks of Satan. I am indeed guilty of my own private moral failings. In consultation with other religious leaders, I have decided to take a three-month hiatus as I examine my behavior and its origins.
S1.E5 “The Woman at the Well” – Jesus stops in Samaria at the Well of Jacob, because he is incredibly thirsty. Just then, a woman approaches to draw water, and Jesus stops her right there. “Excuse me?” He asks. “Excuse me?! You’re married right? I see the ring, so I’m going to assume you’re married, but either way, it doesn’t really matter. You need to get moving on right now, because I can’t be alone with a woman who isn’t my wife.” Confused, she walks away, and Jesus spends the rest of the episode being thirsty.
“Jesus’ Ministry” – Jesus kicks off his three-year ministry by imploring
his followers to love their neighbors as themselves. He spends the
rest of his time clarifying that “neighbors” – in this context
– means white people.
S1.E8 “Jesus Walks on Water” – Jesus walks on water. Then, a scientist notes that the water is technically “ice,” because it is frozen, and Jesus has the scientist beheaded by one of the apostles.
S1.E9 “Jesus’ Sermon” – Jesus gives a lengthy sermon about the various temptations that face the world today, and how as Christians, it is important to remember all have fallen short of the glory of God, even the most righteous amongst us, and Paul records the whole thing in a letter to the Romans under the heading “Jesus Thinks Homosexuality Is Single Greatest Threat (Followed Closely by Women).”
S1.E10 “Jesus Heals the Sick” – Jesus joins an ethics review board for EVIDENCE-BASED GUIDELINES IN HEALTH CARE only to have the apostles refer to it as a “death panel.”
S1.E11 “Cleansing of the Temple” – Jesus returns to the Temple of Jerusalem for that Jewish holiday before Easter and is horrified to see merchants and moneychangers have overtaken the sacred grounds. He angrily throws away their coins and overturns their tables. When he settles down, the Temple Elders thank Jesus for taking care of the pestilence of those evil opportunists. They then ask Jesus for advice about a new issue involving some of the Priests and the young boys, but Jesus says those are all isolated incidents, and it is best not to take action at this time.
S1.E12 “The Parable of the Talents” – Jesus tells a parable about a master who entrusts his money to his servants. He gives five talents to one servant, two talents to another, and one talent to the last (where each talent is equal to 60 minas). Jesus looks out into the crowd and sees nothing but blank stares. He remarks, “Oh, this is one of those goddamn Common Core counties, isn’t it?”
S1.E13 “The Woman Cleans Jesus’ Feet” – Yeah! And then make him lunch!
S1.E14 “The Last Supper” – We’re not saying Mary Magdalene is spending too much time on her law degree but… she is clearly losing focus on her domestic duties. No appetizer, no dessert, not even the hint of a main course? Just crackers and juice? Mary, this isn’t the church pre-school snack. Criminals on death row eat way better than this. This meal is a real disgrace.
S1.E15 “The Crucifixion” - Christians get really testy about this, so the whole hour is just Mel Gibson reading his “Passion of the Christ” script. He does Pontius Pilate in a super-Jewy voice.
S1.E16 “The Resurrection of Jesus” – Jesus is resurrected from the dead and, after a few days of teleporting, he ascends into heaven. A cliffhanger surrounding Jesus’ brand new ministry to American Indians leaves us wondering if Mormons are actually right.
IF JESUS WAS A CHRISTIAN airs on Sundays at 8:30am, 10:00am, 11:15am with a contemporary evening airing at 6:00pm in all major languages and denominations.
Jesse Cramer is a published, produced, and award-winning writer of fiction, film, and drama. His most recent short film CIRCLES premiered at the MAXXI Museum in Rome, Italy and features a cast of autistic actors. His most recent play CROSS had successful runs in New York City, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. You can read his fiction online at WordRiot and Oblong. He is represented by Paul Young at Principato-Young Entertainment. He is also one hell of a tall guy.