‘Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us’. (Matthew 1:18-23)
Bastard may refer to:
A child whose birth lacks legal legitimacy—that is, one born to a woman and a man who are not legally married to one another
according to the ancient palestinian culture, to have a child out of wedlock was a big no-no. It was a life or death situation. the inference of something like that happening in your community could really mar your status as someone to be taken seriously. by cultural standards, if Jesus was the Son of God in the ways the creeds express, than Jesus by ancient palestinian (& human) standards was a bastard. He was illegitimate. He was already an outsider while inside the womb. And, since he had come from another dimension, he was a foreigner. He was alien to the world he entered and estranged from the one he left.
In this framework, Jesus shows us what it looks like to leave behind our own worlds for another one. He shows us that we must become bastards to all the worlds we know. We must become illegitimate to all of the things that give us status, at the risk of entering into a world with no status or a worse status than before. he shows us what it looks like to embrace the foreigner within and live as a foreigner everywhere we walk.
even if Jesus wasn’t the Son of God in the traditional sense, his story still reverberates. In one place, he even talks about not having a place to lay his head, but also in that verse, he uses the phrase ‘son of man’ which would have not just been used by him, it would have been used by most people as a phrase that just means, ‘i, you, or anyone’. his ‘homeless’* state shows us that we must become homeless to our own ‘states’, to those things that give us importance, that ‘make’ us, that give us status, we must intentionally remain in exile from them. a painful process that must be recognized and participated in for it to have meaning.
the illegitimacy of christ’s birth (remember, Joseph was going to quietly divorce her for this) teaches us that there is a need for us to become illegitimate to the world before us. illegitimate to the worlds that form/ed us.
if the ‘conception’ of jesus is true, it shows us that we all must become bastards of our own world. because IF jesus came from heaven to earth to indwell in the stomach of an alien womb, than this informs us that we too must become bastards from our own creations.
we must be a perpetual stranger to our own ideas.
if you follow the cycle of the divine jesus than it might look like this. jesus came from heaven (one world), then he invaded the world (initially;practically) in the womb of teenage girl (two worlds) then 9 months later he invaded a new world, all the while, each time being estranged from the world before; then he entered into the world of death (three worlds) and divorced himself from the world before. than in resurrection (four worlds) became a new immigrant in a new body in his rebirth again re-introduced into the world.
as people who follow jesus we must be willing to be in the constant process of illegitimizing the worlds we come from, or at least estranging ourselves from the worlds we live in and create. or as jesus instructed nicodemus, ‘you must be born again’. to be born again means to divorce ourselves from what was before, and its moment-by-moment process that renews itself as we learn new things.
*(whether or not that is what he meant is under scrutiny)