In the midst of our litigious society I wonder what it would look like if Jesus had come to America in the 21st century? As a test example we will have a look at Mark 9 where we have the story about the father who brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus. Now I know we aren’t supposed to categorize people like saying “an ADD kid” or a “demon-possessed son” rather “a child with ADD” or a “child with demon possess” if you want to be politically correct [the NIV headings actually get it right by calling him a “boy possessed by an evil spirit”). He brings his son to Jesus and the son immediately gets thrown into convulsions at Jesus’ feet. Jesus commands the spirit to come out of the boy and the boy again convulses violently as he falls to the ground. Then he is still. The crowd thinks he is dead. Jesus raises him to his feet and sends the boy and his father on their way.
As I was reading this story I couldn’t help but wonder how this might play out if Jesus had come today to 21st century America. The father would have probably sued Jesus for emotional harm to his son and filed a suit against him for practicing medicine without a license. They boy would probably show up to court with a neck brace on and piles of paper work from subsequent medical and psychological evaluations. It would probably get thrown out of criminal court but end up a win for the father and son in a civil suit and Jesus would have to fork over 1.5 million dollars and do several hundred hours of community service. Jesus would then go out to a lake, throw in a net a few times pulling out fish with $100 bills in their mouths until he had the correct sum of money. The community service wouldn’t be a problem to get fulfilled.