According a late-day press conference, God announced Jesus would no longer be in the family business and that the two had mutually agreed to part ways after over 2,000 years of working together.
"It probably wasn't a good idea from the start," Jesus stated to a group of three-hundred reporters. "I mean, I thought going into the family business would be a good idea, but when you have two strong-willed people - and one of them happens to be God - there's going to be differences of opinion. Eventually, you just have to agree to disagree and part ways for the good of the business."
"It's tough having that conversation with your own son," God admitted in his characteristically booming voice. "But we had to move forward with this decision. I mean, we had a good run for what, a thousand years or so? We were both loved and feared by all of Europe, the churches were magnificent, everyone was willing to kill or die for us, but now we look more like a fast-food chain with these cookie-cutter churches. It's a real bummer. Some of it was our own fault. The Inquisition was a public relations nightmare and the Crusades - well - they never really worked out, did they? Then that little bastard Martin Luther came along and ruined it all. And I don't have much to say about the guy who made that printing press, Gutenberg, yeah, the guy who got everyone into books. That whole education thing didn't help at all once people started thinking for themselves. Anyway, we parted ways for the greater good. We simply have to re-brand before all these Muslims, Hindus and Jews make a comeback. Jesus wasn't on board with the change. I mean he fought us tooth and nail on that Christian Rock thing in the '80's, and those t-shirts from a few years ago that said Jesus is My Homeboy, the kid hated them. I actually thought they were pretty cool."
"I'm going to miss him to tell you the truth," long-time business rival Lucifer said candidly. "Everyone has this idea we hated each other or something, like we were out to get each other, but we actually were perfect compliments for each other, you know. Shoot, I had a lot of respect for the guy, ever since we had that Temptation-in-the-Desert thing - he really earned my respect that day. I guess he just wasn't willing to change, which you have to do in this religion biz. Look at me with the Evil business. For centuries, it was cake. All I had to do was scare some kids, possess a soul now and then, and I was earning a nice living. Now, just to turn a profit, I have to outsource most of my work to guys like Cheney and Rumsfeld. They say I drive a hard bargain. Try dealing with them. Anyway, I wish him luck."
"I've been practicing law for a long time," former Jesus prosecutor Pontius Pilate said after the press conference, "and I don't think I've ever felt worse than I did about the Jesus decision. Well, maybe the lashing and the crucifixion. Looking back, the punishment seems a bit harsh given the crime. But you have to remember, those were Biblical Times, baby: an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, right? Anyway, Jesus and I are good now. He had a little too much sacrificial wine one night and he got pulled over, but I knew the judge and I took care of it. So I guess bygones are bygones. Or at least I hope so. He's still got some pretty powerful friends, you know."
When asked what he thought actually happened to cause the final fallout between the Father and Son, Jesus explained: "I'm just too old school for my own good, I guess. I'm a sandals-and-robe kind of guy in a designer-fashion world. Heck, I went to Greenwich Village the other day and people were handing me money and food like I was homeless. It was irritating. One guy handed me a bagel and I kinda snapped. I was like, 'Hey, I'm the Son of the Almighty, alright? I'll make this one bagel into enough to feed this whole city, man!' But I had to cool down, you know, because of that 'love thy neighbor' policy we had at the business for so many years."
In spite of his frustration and his obvious disappointment, good things seem to be on the horizon for the former Prince of Peace. The Disciples will be airing a two-hour roast on Comedy Central, hosted by Judas, of course. In attendance will be all the greats from Christianity from the Arch-Angel Michael to Joan of Arc (who will be attending while still protesting the title "roast"). Jesus, however, is looking to take some time to himself and re-connect with some people he may have lost touch with. "I'm going take it easy for a while. Peter and Paul are going to take me fishing. They retired down in Florida, live together. I try not to judge them, and it's legal in Florida, so whatever. Then maybe I'll go check out Moses - he moved to Phoenix, loves the weather. Judas has made a killing in politics, so I might go see what he's up you. First things first, I'm going to text Mary Magdalene - she was always a good time, and it's been a while if you catch my drift."
So it's just a little catching up with old friends, maybe a hot date with Mary Magdalene, and that's about it for the Alpha and the Omega for now. He's ready to hang up his Crown of Thorns and enjoy a healthy and long - like eternity kind of long - retirement. Though He may be gone for now, I am sure He will return.