What Would Jesus Drive?

What would Jesus drive? I’m glad you asked. Reflecting on the birth and life of Jesus Christ is exactly what Christmas was supposed to be about. But it’s perilous to make almost any assertion about J.C. No matter what your denomination, predilection, education, acceptance, rejection, or state of salvation, you can’t possibly say something upon which everyone will agree. Really, you can’t say anything at all about the matter without aggravating someone. All that conceded, here’s what Jesus would drive.

[Note: All citations and quotes here are from the New International Version of the Bible. That’s simply because the NIV seems mainstream enough. This is all tentative, conditional conjecture written by a not-always well-practiced, but believing, Catholic. The reader’s application of 2,000 years of Christian teaching, logic and competing theologies may vary. Non-Christians please observe quietly.]

Using the four Gospels of the New Testament as a guide, it’s apparent that Jesus’ favorite form of transportation was His feet. For virtually everyone who lived in the first century, the world moved at walking speed. That’s about three miles per hour. Jesus, who lived fully as a man, rarely never moved much faster than that.

Even that time His feet walked on water.

About the only transportation device that Jesus seems to have owned were His sandals. And even that ownership is an open theological question. In the third chapter of Matthew, however, John the Baptist uses the possessive to describe Christ’s shoes. In the 11th verse, John says “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.” In John 1:27, John the Baptist asserts that Christ “is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

On that sliver of evidence, let’s assume that Jesus owned his own sandals, and that He wasn’t completely against personal transportation devices. There is no evidence that He owned a second pair. And clearly He was the kind of guy who, if He saw someone who needed sandals, He’d untie his and hand them over.

Jesus also apparently wasn’t against roads. After all, the Romans were obsessive road builders and had about 500 years experience building them by the time of Jesus’s first birthday. And those roads extended into Judea and to Jerusalem. Yeah, Rome used the roads to move its military around its ruthlessly administered empire. But the roads also facilitated trade and movement between the various regions and cities. And Jesus advised, in Mark 12:17, to “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

While oxen-drawn carts, horses and the occasional chariot used Rome’s roads, there’s nothing in the Gospels that indicates Jesus rode in anything with wheels. If an online Bible search is to be believed, the word “wheel” doesn’t even appear in the New Testament, though it shows up at least 32 times in the Old Testament.

Jesus did, however, use boats several times. In Mark 3:9, he retreated to a waiting boat when crowds gathered around him. And in the eighth chapter of Matthew he wakes up when a storm arises around the boat carrying him and his disciples and “rebuked the winds and waves, and it was completely calm.” There’s nothing that indicates Jesus owned any boat—or that He was all that much of a boat guy—but it’s clear He wasn’t against using a vehicle if the occasion called for it.

The one time the Gospels report Jesus riding on or in anything on land is his entrance to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday—yes, the Palm Sunday. However, while he entered the city as a king, he didn’t ride some magnificent warhorse, but chose instead a small donkey colt.

In Matthew 21:1, Jesus sends two disciples to the village ahead of them to find a donkey and her foal, a colt, tied up there. He tells them to bring the donkeys to him. He rides the colt into Jerusalem. It’s a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy in Zachariah 9:9 that “Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

What would Jesus drive today? Well, Donkeys were useful animals, then and now, but they’re hardly the most majestic of beasts. And that donkey quality is what the Savior would want in a 21st century vehicle—something versatile and capable, but unobtrusive. Ordinary, without any airs. So think small SUV, van or pickup truck. And think inexpensive and somewhat unexciting. Reliability would be nice. Plus, it should be available in the Middle East.

The answer: The Toyota Hilux pickup—the mechanized equivalent of a donkey. And not the fancy Hilux, but the base model, powered by the simplest engine—the standard 139-horsepower, 2.0-liter four in the new Hilux. Vinyl seats, steel wheels (and without a .50-caliber machine gun mounted in the bed).

What Jesus would do with a Hilux is use it to spread His good news and serve the needs of the poor and lost around Him. You know, good things. And if He held the pink slip, He’d give that truck up the moment someone who needed it more could be found. And if He bought it, it was probably already well used.

There’s nothing in the Bible about traffic laws, internal combustion, tire rotation, insurance, or how environmentally conscious a vehicle should be to achieve some level of righteousness. Those are all 21st century problems we need to work out for ourselves. And all this is rank, hopefully entertaining, speculation.

But vehicle choice is important. Look at Pope Francis, who has bypassed the Vatican’s fleet of big Mercedes limos in favor of ordinary Fords, Kias and Fiats when he travels. Even the hardest core Protestants recognize that Francis is both trying to follow Jesus’ example of modesty and set an example for a church that often follows the natural human appetite for luxury and comfort. Priorities matter, and expensive cars shouldn’t be a priority.

What shines through all this is that Jesus likely wouldn’t care what He drove, you drove or anyone drove. Cars, trucks, boats, and donkeys are merely tools that can be used for good or evil. It’s not a matter of whether Jesus would drive a Hilux or a Ford Transit Connect or whatever. It’s the good He would do with it that matters.

Still, I’m pretty sure He’d be driving a Hilux.

Smartwatch Supreme? Meet Breitling’s $8,900 B55 Exospace

The smartwatch and wearable tech market is rapidly expanding, slated to ship nearly 215 million units by decade’s end. And now an old-school Swiss luxury timekeeper is joining the fray. Here's the new Breitling B55 Exospace, a titanium-cased watch from the brand that built a legacy on premium aviation chronographs. It’s not a fully-fledged smartwatch, per say, but the B55 does have capability to connect to your phone and display texts. Think of it as smartwatch lite. The price is anything but, with a stout $8,900 . But, hey, at least it's a bargain compared to the Breitling’s $160k Bentayga dash clock.

For the uninformed: Shortly before quartz movements arrived and disrupted the Swiss watchmaking industry, a finely made mechanical watch was without peer. We maintain that it still is, and that if you don't already own an IWC Pilot or an Omega Speedmaster, you pick up one of those instead. They are the air-cooled Porsche 911 of watches.

Consider the B55 Exospace to be a new GT3 RS: a fusion of classic shape with high-tech innards. The tough 42mm titanium case offers analog watch charm, and the guts are Breitling's Superquartz movement, which boasts accuracy ten times greater than a standard quartz watch. (Probably irrelevant, but sounds cool). The B55 has one digital display for showing a second time zone, and a second display that can perform smartphone functions. Those include notifications for SMS texts, WhatsApp messages, emails and incoming calls. It'll also track flight times if you're a pilot, or if you prefer to fly low, there's a lap timer as well.

The Applewatch and Android smartwatches are challenge convention, and you can expect to see more hybridized wrist bling like the B55 in the future. Whether high-tech wearables can stand up to the analog titans of Swiss watchmaking remains to be seen.

The Drive’s 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

TECH

iPad Pro with Pencil

The death of the laptop has been greatly exaggerated but this behemoth tablet boasts a graphics processing chip that can chug through four simultaneous 4K streams and a grip of apps that brings creativity to life for designers, architects, and even lowly journalists. Flip open the smart keyboard, fire up an app, and go.

uMake app

3-D printed car company Local Motors used the 2-D to 3-D simplicity of uMake on the iPad to craft elements of their prototype. How long will it be until the first mainstream car is churned out on an iPad? Just sketch, extrude, rotate, and export: the files created in uMake can be outputted in a variety of pro-grade formats, from CAD to basic PDF.

Apple Watch

Hands-free driving is a noble idea, but until the in-car experience reaches 2005 era interface standards we'll be asking Siri for directions in heavy traffic.

Amazon Echo

Smart, simple, and utterly addictive, this demure, black device hides in your home or garage like a clandestine pepper mill. At first she seems to be a luxury: in the epoch of the smart home, can't everything be controlled by your phone? But Alexa, as you're meant to call her, grows on you in the best way possible: In the mornings, you'll ask her simple things--"What's the news," perhaps, or "How's the weather looking in Los Angeles?" or even "Tell me about my commute." But oh, how Alexa finds a way into your life. You'll test her: "Alexa, play me the latest episode of Hardcore History by Dan Carlin," and she'll find a way to make you happy. She'll "shuffle John Coltrane" for you on a rainy day, "remind me to pick up bread on the way home," and even "order me more toilet paper" if you've chosen a batch in your recent purchases. And she'll do it all without a tap on a touchscreen--a liberating reprieve from the hegemony of devices.

Sonos Play: 5

We've been big fans of cutting the cord since Sonos dropped its first speaker, but this brainy plug-and-play model adds to the allure of the wireless system. Add Sonos' new calibration app to the six wireless antennae, simple touchscreen controls, and meaty melange of mid-woofers and tweeters packed into each unit and you've got the beginnings of your audio arsenal at hand.

Hero4 Session

The diminutive cousin to our camera of choice for on-road footage, the Hero+ makes it even easier to capture the sublime, the stupid, and everything in-between.

Sony A7 RII

High-end camerawork shouldn't stop with stills. That's why we're packing this multi-tasker, which shoots lush, 42-MP images and excels in low-light scenarios but also boasts five-axis stabilization and 4k, full-frame video. It offers the best of both worlds.

Pakpod

Capturing composed shots on the go can require complicated tripod setups. But this kickstarter project makes it easy to mount a Go Pro, iPhone, or any other kind of camera no matter where you're shredding, driving, or riding.

STYLE

Stirling Moss No. 7 Holdall

Leather duffels are a dime a dozen, but this one makes an occasion of any purpose it's put to. The secret? Call it Sterling—or Sir Stirling to you. Caracalla 1947, the Florentine outfit that has all but cornered the market on racing-inspired leather bags and accessories, offers the Stirling Moss No. 7 Holdall, embossed with the lucky number of Britain's greatest living race-car driver. You could do worse than show up at Silverstone toting a loaf of brown bread, a wheel of cheddar—and a helmet—in this thing.

Danner Mountain Light Boots

Materials matter, when it comes to outdoor gear, and this pair of mountain kicks boasts a Gore-Tex liner and full leather upper. But it's the heritage and history that will keep them on our feet. Danner makes its kicks right here in the United States, up in Portland, and has been doing so since 1932. This pair wouldn't be out of place off-piste, either, which earns them an anchor spot on our boot tray.

Pendleton Fremont Hybrid Coat

Quality driving jackets need not reek of your grandfather's closet. This heritage brand adds a quilted vest layer for warmth and versatility while the Italian herringbone pattern informs onlookers you appreciate the finer things.

Vuarnet VL1509 Sunglasses

First-world problem: Your sunglasses won't stay on your face at speed. This slick pair from French brand Vuarnet grabs onto your ears, making them suitable for drop-tops and open-face helmets alike.

Salt Optics/Aether Apparel Explorer Sunglasses

Do you need titanium-framed sunglasses for motorcycling? That depends. Have you ever sat on a pair of shades or dropped them? These won’t break when you do, because titanium is some of the toughest material on the planet. Plus the Explorer is clever as hell—the side curtains block most peripheral light penetration, as well as 80 percent of the wind, but the holes are just large enough so that they’re not creating blind spots. The result is less eye fatigue over long miles. And to help that cause the lenses are both polarized to reduce glare, and photochromic, to adapt to changing light conditions throughout the day. They also look badass, in our opinion.

Helly Hansen Ask Business Coat

Tailored cuts with technical fabrics: There's no trend we're backing more in 2016. This waterproof, breathable shell offers a suit-friendly silouhette while a down vest layer within will keep you comfy in chilly temps.

Filson Briefcase

Patina's one of those things that works for some items, but not others. You might like your quarter panels scuff-free, but the scrapes and markes of age will wear well on a briefcase like this one, which is made from waxed canvas and leather.

HOME

August Lock System

If engineers can reinvent the car key in fifteen different ways (do we really need another a touchscreen?!) then surely they can apply themselves to the front door of a man's castle. This smart system combines practical keypad entry with a permission slip-style bluetooth and wireless app that lets you lend access for a window of time to friends, lovers, and handymen with a simple touch.

Yeti Cooler

The measure of a cooler is simple: how long can it keep your beer, brats, or anything else cold? We'll chalk the selling point of this one--it's capable of withstanding a Grizzly onslaught--as a nice-to-have.

PK Aluminum Grill

Made from cast aluminum, this powerhouse grill and smoker offers top-notch heat retention and lightweight, durable construction in one package. Our favorite feature, however, is the ventilation system, which allows the pitmaster to switch between direct and indirect heating with the flip of a hatch. It's perfect for tailgating, and stows away easily in the garage or shed.

Dyson Humidifier

Cold weather means fragile skin. This high-tech humidfier means you'll wake up feeling refreshed without having to swap out moldy filters every couple of weeks.

Ratio Eight Coffee Maker

Pour-over coffee is about as twee as it gets: The barista leisurly sprinkles just-right water over your artisanal beans and everyone loses valuable minutes of their lives in an homage to overcomplication. This system means a better brew is just the push of a button away. Bloom, brew, and enjoy--and then toss the filter in the trash.

WeMo Light Switch

Smart home solutions are often just plain stupid. Why fiddle with your phone just to flip on a light switch? But this system--bundled with the Amazon Echo--means voice-controlled lights are now a reality. Think of how many times you've forgotten to flip the switch on the garage light, or have your hands full with bags. Now imagine that frustration vanishing with a word or two. We might not have flying cars, but at least a man can feel like a magician.

Petrolified Prints

Anyone who said you were too old for car posters hasn’t seen these. Martin Miskolci, the artist behind Petrolified, makes works of art of the world’s most iconic cars. Picking just one of his simple, but striking, illustrations will be far more difficult than finding a place to put it.

SOG Switch Plier

A man needs a better multi-tool. The SOG Switch Plier is a brilliant design, because the gearing magnifies your grip strength, so you get more cutting/prying/manipulating torque. SOG tools are damn burly, born out of US Special Forces supply and made from hardened BG-42 steel (with Vanadium) that keeps extra sharp.

Hults Bruk Axe

Sweden. It’s a nation with a lot of trees, and not a lot of people. And that was all the more true three centuries ago, when the forge that birthed Hults Bruk axes was born. As such, they know a thing or two about making quality axes like the Kisa, which was designed for both heavier around-camp work, such as splitting, as well as felling trees. The handle is made of extremely durable American hickory, and at 26 inches is about a half-foot shorter than a baseball bat, for enough swing leverage, but not so much length that you can’t control the 1.75-pound steel axe head. The latter is forged narrow, with a rounded edge that’s ideal for cross fiber cutting (acting as a wedge to pry apart split wood). Comes with a leather sheath to protect the axe head.

The XTR Pepo Bol d’Or Is Simply Breathtaking

Sometimes a photo stops you dead in your tracks. Here’s one of ‘em. It’s of the XTR Pepo Bol d’Or, a rowdy Ducati Pantah custom with endurance racing references galore. See those two big headlamps? The big fairing? The boxy tail section? All design queues that date back to the heyday of the hard-assed 24-hour French motorcycle race, the Bol d’Or.

The French, you see, do not screw around with their endurance racing. In addition to the Le Mans 24-hour auto and motorcycle races, the French contest the 24-hour Bol d’Or at the Paul Ricard circuit, a 12-hour at Magny-Cours and another 6-hour in French-speaking Belgium at Spa. It’s a packed calendar, but in the Seventies and Eighties, all of French-speaking Europe was racing bikes into the night, and the Bol d’Or was king.

In order to race in the dark, bikes were fitted with giant removable headlamps and bulbous fairings to keep riders out of the cold night air. What looked awesome in the Seventies looks just as brilliant today, draped by savant bike builder Pepo Rosell over a once-ungainly 600cc Ducati Pantah. But Pepo didn’t stop with handsome bodywork and dual headlights. The mad Spaniard grafted in a rorty Ducati 900 SS engine with ported heads and increased compression, fed by fat Dell’Orto carbs. He swapped out the spindly Pantah front end for a sturdy set of legs off of a S4RS. And then, for the rear, Rosell went off the deep end and adapted the rear swingarm off a Monster 696 to mate with the donor Pantah frame and a YSS shock.

It’s an extraordinary combination of work and craftsmanship, but the XTR Pepo Bol d’Or is clearly an act of love; an homage to the aesthetic of the grittiest and most dangerous racing to grace the modern era. And the result? Well, the result speaks for itself.

Drive Wire: Check Out This Paraglider’s Flight Down A Mountain

Today’s ridiculous video involves a psychotic paraglider running down a Swiss mountain using a speed wing. With what seems like a death wish, this airborne daredevil comes within inches of the mountain face as he makes his violent, yet beautiful decent down the mountain. After showing you this video we feel obligated to say please don’t try this at home.