Painted by Max Ernst in 1926, the painting is titled,
The Blessed Virgin Chastises the Infant Jesus Before
Three Witnesses: André Breton, Paul Éluard, and the Painter.
The painting is, of course, highly controversial.
It hangs in the Ludwig Museum in Cologne.
This painting, for me, asks an interesting
question: Did Mary ever spank Jesus?
The mere asking of this question would be tantamount to heresy among certain segments of Christianity who lean toward the ‘pure deity’ identity of Jesus and pay only lip service to the importance of his humanity. And among a different crowd, the question is equally ridiculous… I have many good friends who believe Jesus to be an invented figure who never actually existed. They consider him “a mythic figment created by childlike minds who need to believe in something greater than themselves.” I understand both perspectives. I see clearly what both groups are saying and I understand their reasoning. But I believe in Jesus. And as the roulette wheel of my life spins dizzy around me, my chips are stacked on his number. All of them.
And at this particular moment in my life
I am fascinated by the question posed by Max Ernst in 1926:
Did Mary ever spank Jesus? And if so, for what?
You can argue that Jesus never existed. You can argue that he existed, but that he was not “the voice of God, made flesh.” (John chapter 1). You can say that I am a child, a fool, an uneducated redneck. You can. You definitely can. This is America. And I will grant that your observations and conclusions are reasonable, even though I profoundly disagree with them.
But I choose not to embrace that debate. I have reasons for my convictions, experiences beyond sharing, and I see no value in defending my convictions or in attacking yours. I bring all this up only because I am at this moment delightfully entertained by the question of whether or not Jesus ever got a spanking.
I am easily entertained.
– Roy H. Williams,
by special permission of Indiana Beagle,
Supreme Ruler of the Rabbit Hole and All Things Contained Therein.