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Story Time Jesus is a LOL Jesus-style image macro series featuring a painting of Jesus teaching a group of disciples with captions narrating gossipy, modern interpretations of famous Biblical narratives.
The painting used in the series is The Parable by American painter Lars Justinen (shown below, left). The first instance of the image macro series was posted to the /r/AdviceAnimals subreddit by iamhusband on February 1st, 2012. The captioned image (shown below, right) retells the biblical account of Matthew 14:22-33, which describes Jesus’ miracle of walking on water, in a more modern fashion. The thread was positively received by the Reddit community, receiving 696 upvotes, 461 points overall and 16 comments before being archived. In less than a week, at least 40 additional instances were shared on Reddit and more than 146 instances were submitted to Quickmeme.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said.
- Matthew 14:22-33
Humorous parodies of Christian iconography have previously been seen with LOL Jesus image macros and a variety of GIF animations on internet humor sites like SomethingAwful and YTMND as early as 2005. Some of the more notable subsets of the LOL Jesus category include Jesus is a Jerk, Raptor Jesus" and Guido Jesus.
On February 2nd, Redditor fouzzz posted another instance in a thread titled “Story-time Jesus’ party miracle,” which received nearly 1,000 points overall with a net score of 4,943 up votes and 3,952 down votes. The image macro series quickly spread onto Tumblr when L.A.-based artist Mike Mitchell posted an instance describing Jesus’ healing of a paralyzed man (Mark 2:1-12, shown below), which accumulated more than 5,100 reblogs and likes in the first five days.
That month, Story Time Jesus was featured on a number of internet culture and humor blogs including Uproxx, Blame it On the Voices and International Business Times. Throughout 2012, additional instances were posted on We Know Memes, Cheezburger, Christian Funny Pictures and The Meta Picture. In July 2012, a Facebook fan page for the series was created, gaining 86 likes as of August 2013.
International Business Times – Retelling the Easter Story of Jesus the Fun Way: Story Time Jesus Funny Photo Memes [SLIDESHOW]
Christian Funny Pictures – Story time Jesus meme – So I ask this dude what his name is
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