10 Ways Rev. Jamison Resembles Job

1. Both are tested. Job was tested by God when Satan told him that if he were to strike everything Job has, he would curse God to his face. Matt Jamison claims that the Sudden Departure was a test for what's to follow.

2. Both have beef with wicked judges. Though we don’t fully know the circumstances yet, there has been a devastating incident Matt has experienced involving a wicked judge taking bribes. Matt’s sister briefly mentions this and then we see more evidence when Matt digs up money left for him by Kevin Garvey, Sr. Job 12: 17-20 talks about similar judges, saying they will be made fools of and stripped of their power.

3. Both are guided by birds. Birds appear before Matt three times in "Two Boats and a Helicopter." The first, he pushes out the doorstep of the church, with a broom. Two birds then appear atop a roulette table at a casino (a place that will later be the site of Matt's financial deliverance). Finally, three birds appear on a traffic signal while Matt is on his way to put his faith on the table. Job 12: 7-9 says, "But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky and they will tell you…that the hand of the Lord has done this."

4. Both remain faithful in the face of adversity. Matt fights to keep his church, even though only a handful of parishioners still attend. He still has faith in its purpose. Job declares, "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the Lord," just as he begins to lose everything.

5. Both bear the physical wounds of their faith. Matt’s wounds come at the hands of an angry relative of a person he disparaged in his "newsletter," marks that are clear every time we see him. Job was afflicted with painful sores that made his face nearly unrecognizable.

6. Both speak in the third person. Matt’s begins the third episode of The Leftovers with a story, where he references his own journey as a sick child, in the third person. The third chapter of the book of Job opens with Job lamenting his story, referring to himself in the third person.

7. Both rely on friends and family  who fail them. Matt’s friendship with the banker utterly fails him in the end – it does not save his church. Even Matt’s sister fails to help him. Job’s friends spend a great deal of time trying to convince him of the futility of his faith. Job’s wife advises him to curse God and die.

8. Both were once esteemed members of their community. Job 29: 25-30 could have been said by either Job or Matt. "I chose the way for them and sat as their chief…I was like one who comforts mourners…But now they mock me." Aimee even drives home the point, referring to Matt as "Father Nutballs."

9. Both cry out to God for help. Laying on a cot next to his suffering wife, Matt cries out to God for help, asking for an answer to his dilemma, while looking at a painting of Job. Job, too, spends a great deal of time crying out to God for an answer to his own dilemma.

10. Both appear to have their requests answered by God. While Job simply wanted an explanation, which God provides, Matt needed a tangible answer. The "miracle" at the roulette table seems to be just the answer Matt is looking for. For both men however, God’s answer seems to bring more questions. Job’s answer is basically to accept that he could never understand all the forces at play. Matt’s "answer" does not get him what he wants in the end.

Bucher is active on Twitter and runs his own website.