Jeff Pearlman

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Jesus in the window

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So I’m sitting inside my favorite Los Angeles coffee shop, and at the table in front of me is a man who could be Jesus Christ.

He’s wearing a blue shirt and khakis and brown sandals. He has brown hair cut short with stubble where a beard could have been. He’s been reading what appears to be a Bible for the last 20 minutes, and there are a whole bunch of religious texts placed before him.

Is he Jesus? Probably not.

But even if he were, would people act differently? Would they stop and pay for his meal? Offer him a place to sleep? Wash his ratty clothes? Would they listen to his words, or just presume it all to be the rambling of a crazy man?

See, that’s the weirdness of society and, specifically, religion. Every week … month … year we receive the same messages and stories over and over and over. Love thy neighbor and care for the needy and walk with righteousness and on and on and on. But, with rare exception, we don’t. We walk past the homeless with either indifference or disgust. We attach the word “morality” to issues like gay marriage. We pray, but often for ourselves and our families. Not the kid in Africa. Not the man in the window.

Were Jesus here, I don’t think anyone would give a damn.

We’d just assume he’s some guy in a window.

  • Tom Ehlebracht

    How do you know he was The Jesus? A guy performs a miracle in front of me I might believe no matter what he looks like! …And I’ll ask questions too.

  • Mike

    Well if you were to believe in such things, then it was Jesus in front of you…
    “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
    “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
    “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
    “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
    “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
    “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    (Matthew; 25, 34-46)
    But perhaps that bible verse is less relevant than something out of Deuteronomy about men shall not lie with men.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life