Dear Human Flock,

I have something to get off of my resurrected chest. You know I love you (there’s a whole book to remind you if you forget!) but after careful consideration, I’ve realized this relationship is co-dependent. This is on both of us: you put me in the position of being responsible for humanity, and I let my savior complex feed right into that. You strayed, I forgave you, you strayed again, I forgave again; it’s been a pattern.

This year was especially hard. I thought about talking to Dad, but his approach to conflict is too “Old Testament” for me. So I, Jesus of Nazareth, started therapy. After lots of reflective journaling and a little bit of ugly crying, I realized that my lack of boundary setting isn’t kind, it’s toxic enabling. If unhappiness was the tomb, I was the boulder keeping me inside.

Here’s my truth: I’ll always be your shepherd, but that’s not everything I am. I have my own identity outside of this relationship. I’m a foodie who loves a perfectly tender tilapia—whether hosting 5,000 of my closest brethren or just dining solo. Yes, I can hold my own with the temple intellectuals, but I also like to unwind and watch a trashy tv program every once in a while—did you think FBoy Island wasn’t divinely inspired? I’m more than a parable sower in a pair of sandals; heck, I’ve been saying for centuries that I’d love to learn to rollerblade. I don’t always want to be “Jesus Son of God,” sometimes I just want to be the J-man.

This is not an attack, this is me being my authentic self. When you say “so-and-so needs Jesus,” I feel at fault for their behavior. That’s really unfair to me. This messiah needs you to step up and take responsibility. I’ll show up for you through small miracles and my image printed on toast, but my job stops there.

It’s not that I don’t love helping you—I do. Loving thy neighbor? Caring for the meek? That’s my jam! I’m still the same guy from the gospels who healed the sick and made merry with the sinners. I want to get back to that version of me. I’ve given you enough guidance; now I need to step back and let you take the wheel.

Even after this act of emotional labor I’m performing, I predict that some of you will still want to make your salvation my problem. I’m ready to hold a firm line there: if you’re not doing the work I may say a polite hello at Christmas, but I’m not going to let my spirit enter you—that sort of intimacy requires trust. I was martyred once, but now I have to prioritize my peace. Like the classic Christian song, I’m putting “Jesus First in My Life.”

Thank you for giving me this space. It’s a big weight off my holy shoulders. Now, I’m off for some self-care—episode four of FBoy Island, online shopping for rollerblades, and a glass of my blood. Please, it’s not that hard to be kind to one another, I can show you how– nope, I’m sorry, I overstepped my own boundary there.