And they answered him, "Well, it appears that there isn't a consensus yet among the crowds. Herod seems to think that you are John the Baptist come back from the dead; so I would stay out of Galilee for the foreseeable future if I were you. Others say Elijah; but you don't really look the part, and your diet is too rich for that to be a good description. And still others say one of the prophets. Jeremiah seems to be the prophet that gets mentioned most often, especially after that rant in the Temple; but we've also heard Amos. Thomas heard you compared to Micah; Simon even heard someone think you were Zephaniah, but I think that is a dark horse. So there really isn't agreement on this as of yet."
John piped in, "We've been concerned about this, actually, because your image is becoming diffuse and confusing to the crowds. Your public personna needs sharpening. "
James said, "Now don't get testy with us. We went ahead and hired a PR firm, one that is known for creating simple but effective public images that stick with the common man and woman. Now, they've been doing some polling, and think that you would be best served by choosing between the identities of either Moses or Elijah. Both of these have an overall positive reaction in the polling data, Moses because of the whole manna thing, Elijah because he opposed the alien influence from the Tyrian royal house, and would probably play well with the anti-Roman faction. But you need to choose one soon, today if possible, and then just stay on-message and be consistent with your public pronouncements and deeds of power."
Then Jesus turned to Peter, who had been uncharacteristically silent up to now. "But you, who do you say that I am?"
Peter looked straight at Jesus and said, "Um, the Annointed One of the LORD?"
The rest of the disciples broke out unanimously: "No, no, no! That one never even got mentioned in the polling! There will be no support for that image, not at all!"
Then Jesus said, quietly, "You know that the Son of Man will be arrested by the chief priests, and be beaten and ridiculed, and he will be crucified."
The disciples stared at Jesus in shocked silence. Then the PR guru spoke up. "Crucified, huh? Would be original; would have the advantage of never being done before. Let me try to picture that. . . no. No. That will never garner a following. Too negative, too violent. The rating on that image would never be family friendly. No, I can't see building a consensus on that idea. I really think the Moses revived would serve you best. Let's put some drawings together, present it to a couple of focus groups, and see how it plays. But I really think you can build a consensus on that. By the way, start carrying a staff. You might as well get comfortable with it now. I'll give you a call in a couple of days. But please -- no more talk about crucifixion! It is a real turn-off. You'll go nowhere with that, not if you want to have any influence on the under-30 multi-ethnic contingent. And let's face it, with an all-Jewish following, you could stand to build in something that will appeal to a wider constituency. Let's start thinking big-tent, shall we? I'll get back with something solid by the end of the week."
And thus the modern church was launched.