Baby Jesus

This is the most popular of all of the Jesuses. This is the Jesus depicted by painters and sculptors in the standard manger scene — or “crèche” as it were. He is innocence incarnate — like a dozen white baby seals playing with a half a dozen soft fuzzy kittens, all of which are befuddled and bemused by a Roomba. This Jesus is so adorable and is usually depicted with ruddy cheeks, smiling eyes, a cute button nose, and arms outstretched as if to say, “I am here to heal the world and bring tranquility to all the lands” or “Bring me some gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Or both.

Toddler Jesus

Toddler Jesus spent his years in Egypt hoping to remain anonymous so he could avoid King Herod. Since we know that Jesus of Nazareth was a Caucasian, he was able to do this with ease. Toddler Jesus learned to walk in the inflatable pool that Joseph built for him; Toddler Jesus loved building things with Legos and once Mary almost got upset when she went to the rest room in the middle of the night and stepped on a Lego piece in her bare feet. But she didn’t get upset and nor did she curse. She just smiled and shook her head amusedly. Toddler Jesus loved fish sticks and whenever Mary ran out of them Toddler Jesus always made more so Mary wouldn’t have to run to the grocery store.

Touchdown Jesus

Obviously when he grew up and scored in the top 10 percentile on the SATs, Jesus went to Notre Dame and played football. He scored so many touchdowns that they built a mosaic of him and called it “Touchdown Jesus.” Replicas of this Jesus are available at the Notre Dame Bookstore. He majored in English and wrote parables for his senior thesis, many of which were later published. When talking about this Jesus to alumni of other universities, you might be asked if Jesus looks on them less favorably than he does with other people. The answer to this question is invariably “yes”.

Jesus Christ Superstar

This is a 1970 rock opera with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. It opened on Broadway on October 12, 1971 and tells the story, through irresistible music and compelling lyrics, of the last week or so of Jesus’s life. Teenagers who didn’t know from Jesus, opera, or oratorios liked the beat, the hard rock sounds, and the singing and bought the album, as did parents who felt that the record offered a chance to understand some aspects of this youth culture around them, and especially its music — and so did some more forward-thinking clergy and theologians, who saw any opportunity to spread the word about Jesus where it had not previously been.

Adult Jesus

This is the Jesus you see in most old fashioned paintings, the Jesus with the flowy white robe and a red velvet sash and flowy hair like Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters. This Jesus is common on bumper stickers, window clings, rear view mirror air fresheners, sleeveless shirts and general gun show accoutrements. Here we see the development and fulfillment of Jesus’s most salient characteristics: selflessness, mercy, forgiveness and generosity. This is the Jesus who walked the earth, befriended the downtrodden and now serves as a role model to so many.


An exclamatory expression used to express extreme surprise mixed with fear and a tinge of displeasure as in, “We were hiking in Yellowstone National Park when a bear popped out of the woods and scared the bejesus out of me.” Also used to express some sense of what composes the self, like “I had atomic Buffalo chicken wings the other night and when I took a shit this morning it burned the bejesus out of my butt.”

“Personal Jesus”

This is the first single off Depeche Mode’s Violator album. It reached No. 28 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1989. While open to interpretation, I consider it an indictment of televangelists, who found their reputations smudged and besmirched with some frequency in the late ’80s. Johnny Cash recorded a cover of this song in 2002 for his album American IV.

Jesus Montero

This Jesus is a Venezuelan baseball player who plays catcher and designated hitter for the Seattle Mariners organization. He played most of 2014 playing for the Everett AquaSox, the Mariners’ single A affiliate team.

“Jesus, Take the Wheel”

This is a song recorded by American country music artist Carrie Underwood. And when I say recorded, I mean, home girl sang the bejesus (See supra) out of this song. It tells the story of a woman who was driving to Cincinnati to see her parents and she was reflecting on the stresses of her life when the car started spinning on a sheet of black ice so she invited to Jesus to take the wheel of the car and subsequently, her life.

Jesus H. Christ

This is used in the vernacular, as an expletive. When Catholic kids are little they invariably think it means Harold because in the “Lord’s Prayer” it says “Our Father, who art in Heaven, Harold be thy name…” Mark Twain makes reference to this term so it’s been around since the 19th century but no one is quite sure of its etymology.