The prequel to this story is here.
The following is based on a document buried near the site of present day Jerusalem. At a first glance it appears to be a rustic account of a loan application interview. At a second glance, it retains that appearance.
The clock slowly ticked on the wall of the Galilee Savings and Loan. Jesus sat nervously in the bank, shuffling a binder of papers in his hand. He watched as one of the consultants finished with his client who stood up and walked away with a sad look on his face. The consultant looked at Jesus blankly and then opened his mouth and… closed it again. He then leaned back in his chair and looked at the ticking clock, raising one eyebrow. After three minutes he pulled open his drawer and retrieved a pen; he placed the pen neatly on the table and spent a few moments arranging it to be perfectly parallel between his computer screen and a Manila folder lying on the desk in front of him. He got it in perfect alignment and then reopened the draw and placed the pen back inside. Again he looked at Jesus.
“Next… please.” He slowly said.
Jesus made his way over and took a seat. The name badge on the consultant read: Kevin – Account Manager.
“Just give me a moment to pull up your file, please.” Kevin said with no discernible tone of any sort in his voice. He sat perfectly still for eighty-five seconds and then slowly opened the Manila folder that was already on his desk.
“Now that I have your file, we can begin.” Kevin said. “I understand you are applying for a personal loan. Basically, what I am going to do is ask you a few questions relating to your finance, your credit history, family or employment history, or anything else that may be relevant to us ascertaining your eligibility for this loan, do you understand?
Jesus nodded, “Yes.”
“So we will start with your name, please?” Kevin asked.
“When were you born, Jesus?” Kevin asked, scribbling notes as he listened and nodded.
“Christmas,” replied Jesus.
“Oh? I guess you get twice the presents then, huh?” Kevin chuckled to himself. “What year?”
“I see. What do you do for a living, Jesus?”
“I’m a labourer by trade, but I am looking to become a musician.”
“I understand that your parents aren’t together anymore. What happened?”
“That’s a fairly personal question,” Jesus recoiled.
“This is a personal loan. Are your parents divorced?”
“Separated. They were never really ‘together’. Mum cheated on her husband with my dad and she hated him because he knocked her up and then left.”
“Well, it sounds like maybe she was better off without him,” Kevin replied in an autonomously apathetic tone.
“I guess. But my step-dad didn’t respect her because she had a child and she is a virgin.”
“Was a virgin,” Kevin corrected.
“Is,” Jesus reaffirmed.
“I’ll go on,” Kevin said with a blank expression, “Your father, what does he do?”
“Well… he’s kind of like a judge – like on the Supreme Court; he judges people after they’ve done something and passes a verdict. Although..”
“He kind of sets the rules too… so he’s like the legislative and judicial branches in one. He also directly intervenes, so he’s also like the executive branch too.”
Kevin frowned, “That sounds like a conflict of interest; it could lead to absolute power, couldn’t it?”
“Well, I suppose – but family is my biggest interest.”
“You mean his biggest interest?”
“We’ll get to that,” Jesus said.
“Does your father have any other children?”
“No it’s just him.”
“It’s just me.”
“I see. Now, Jesus, this is a fairly substantial loan you have applied for here. In order to make sure we get a reasonable return on our capital we need to establish what this loan is for.”
“Well, I want to travel and spread the message of peace and love to every man, woman and child on Earth.”
“Okay, so part of it is to cover airfare?”
“No, I’m only going a couple of miles.”
“That doesn’t sound very comprehensive.”
“Maybe…” Jesus mused, “There’s only so much time in a day.”
“Well, we need to establish whether or not we require a guarantor for the loan, God forbid something should happen to you.”
“Oh no, he encourages it.”
“I’m not sure I follow…”
“Well, I have to die,” Jesus declared.
“Yes… yes, I guess we all do, don’t we?” Kevin mused.
“I suppose.” Jesus replied despondently.
“Jesus, where do you see yourself in ten years?”
“Well, I’d imagine I will be nailed to a cross bleeding out of my spleen.”
“That’s fairly morbid,” Kevin stated while wondering what a spleen actually is.
“No, I die after that.”
“But I come back.”
“Well, I just kind of leave after that. But I will probably tell everyone I’m going to come back.”
“And you will, right?” Kevin asked.
“God, no. There’s not much to do down here. Did you ever watch Becker? A disgruntled doctor! Who would have thought? They don’t make sitcoms like that anymore.”
“Would that include not coming back to fulfill the payments on your loan?”
“Oh… no, I’ll come back for that.”
Kevin looked at Jesus blankly for a brief moment. He closed the manilla folder and paused while he pondered, the rusty gears ticking in his three-week intensively trained customer service mind.
A beeping sound rung out as Kevin’s computer displayed an urgent alert: REMINDER – LUNCH.
Kevin abruptly pulled out a stamp and firmly hammered it down onto the papers in front of him: APPROVED.