My son reminded me, on reading yesterday’s post about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead as a magician’s trick, that Rowan Atkinson has made similar comments in a very funny sketch. It has Atkinson as a minister reading the lesson about Jesus’ miracles and it can be viewed at:
The skit raises the issue of tricks becoming portrayed as miracles.
There are a number of versions online and on disc, some omit the final lines about the Son of God. The above clip includes them, the following text does not . . .
And on the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. And it came to pass that all the wine was drunk. And the mother of the bride came to Jesus and said unto the Lord, "They have no more wine." And Jesus said unto the servants: "Fill six water pots with water." And they did so. And when the steward of the feast did taste from the water of the pots, it had become wine. And they knew not...whence...it had come.
But the servants did know, and they applauded loudly in the kitchen. And they said unto the Lord: "How the hell did you do that?" And inquired of him: "Do you do children's parties" And the Lord said.."No." But the servants did press him, saying; "Go on, give us another one!"
And so he brought forth a carrot and said: "Behold this, for it is a carrot." And all about him knew that it was so. For it was orange, with a green top. And he did place a large red cloth over the carrot and then removed it, and lo, he held in his hand a white rabbit. And all were amazed and said, "This guy is really good! He should turn professional."
And they brought him on a stretcher a man who was sick of the palsy. And they cried unto him: "Maestro, this man is sick of the palsy." And the Lord said: "If I had to spend my whole life on a stretcher, I'd be pretty sick of the palsy, too!" And they were filled with joy. And cried out: "Lord, thy one-liners are as good as thy tricks! Thou art indeed an all-round family entertainer."
And there came unto him a woman called Mary, who had seen the Lord and believed and Jesus said unto her: "Put on a tutu and lie down in this box." And then took he forth a saw, and cleft her in twain. And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. But Jesus said: "Oh ye of little faith!" And he threw open the box and lo, Mary was whole! And the crowd went absolutely bananas. And Jesus and Mary took a big bow. And he said unto her: "From now on you shall be known as Trixie, for that is a good name for an assistant."
And the people said unto him: "We've never seen anything like this. This is great. You must be the son of God! You shouldn't be wasting your time in a one camel town like Cana. You should be playing in the big arenas in Jerusalem!" And Jesus did harken to their words. And he did go on to Jerusalem and he did his full act before the scribes and the Pharisees and the Romans.
But alas, it did not please them in their hearts. In fact, they absolutely crucified him.
Here ends the lesson.
In the UK, Atkinson released this on an audio cassette as part of a collection called "Not Just a Pretty Face".
That version includes the words
And the people said unto him: "We've never seen anything like this. This is great. You must be the son of God!” And the Lord said ”No. I am he who comes before.” And the people were sore amazed and said unto Him “Then tell us, Lord, tell how we should know the true Son of God”. And Jesus replied “By his name shall ye know him. And he shall have a slightly religious name. And Daniel shall he be called. And Paul shall be his name.” “Daniel Paul!” the people shouted. And Jesus said, “Yes. Something like that.”
Here endeth the lesson.
Paul Daniels is a British magician and television performer who achieved international fame through his TV series The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which ran on the BBC between 1979 and 1994.
There is apparently an American version by Atkinson which uses the name David Copperfield instead.
Youtube, it appears, doesn't allow clips of the skit with the Son of God references included.