"You’re Not Him"

Despite all the odious people who wave it around, the Bible really is a good book. I particularly like the Gospel of Mark. The other gospels are based on lore — their authors had no additional sources beyond Mark, and Mark begins with the baptism of Jesus and ends with the empty tomb. No virgin birth, no three wiseguys.

Except for Chapter 13, which, we hear, was altered later, the Gospel of Mark is the best and only historical source for those who want to know what Jesus actually said. There are lots of people who want to worship Jesus, but unfortunately, there aren’t too many who want to live by his teachings.

Jesus once said, “I was hungry and you didn’t give me food. I was cold and you didn’t give me clothes.” And his followers said, “When did we do this, Lord?”

And he said, in a 16th century English rendering of the Aramaic language, “Insomuch as ye have done this unto the least of my brethren, ye have done it unto me,” or something like that.

This is all a long drawn-out set-up for this excerpt from “Bob Dylan’s 113th Dream.” You don’t usually think of Bob Dylan reading the Bible, but this passage makes it pretty clear he did, way back then:

I went into a house with a US flag upon display.
I said, “Could you help me out? I’ve got some friends down the way.”
A man said, “Get out of here. I’ll tear you limb from limb.”
I said, “You know they refused Jesus, too.”
He said, “You’re not him.”

That cracks me up every time I hear it.