New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Sermonette: June 20, 2022

 

June 20, 2022



A heavy metal band I commonly listen to, Skillet, recently released a song called “Hero.” In the song they describe, with no shortage of energy, how we need a hero. From the Skillet’s perspective, there is so much wrong with the world, life, and inside all of us that there is no way to make it through without an intervention by a hero. They feel a necessity for someone to fight for the weak, someone to fight for what’s right, and for someone to fight for humanity after death. Skillet isn’t crazy. I see this desire for a hero everywhere, from sports, to video games, to politics. Everyone’s heart starts to beat a little harder at the word ‘hero.’ But what I want to challenge today is how we view our imaginary ‘hero.’ Most of us are looking for a guy who does things. Someone who is defined by the volume of his voice, the number of people who follow him and the amazing flashy things he does. Why do teenagers like Randy Moss? Is it because he is a great receiver, or because he does it with style? Or for adults: if one politician can answer questions eloquently and the other has a stutter, who are you more likely to vote for? In our politicians do we not often look for distinguished military service records? Not to downplay athletes, politicians, or the military, but we like our leaders and heroes to be defined by what they do, have done, and will do.

In this same way when Jesus came to Earth and announced he was the ‘messiah,’ the peoples of that time had expectations. For those unfamiliar, ‘messiah’ basically means “Jewish-end-all-super-hero.” When Jesus announced that he was this ‘messiah-superhero’ the Jews began to expect Jesus to start to do things. So far Jesus had been teaching, preaching and performing healings. Basic stuff, with an occasional miracle mixed in. Now, though, the Jews expected him to become more active. Primarily, they expected him to summon armies to his command and throw off the Romans in a spectacular way. Think Mel Gibson in the movie “Braveheart.” But Jesus didn’t. (John 6:15) Jesus refused to be the big flashy leader who was renowned for his exploits. The Jews had received some leaders of that fashion a short while earlier called the Maccabees, but they did not accomplish all that much. Rather, Jesus was something else all together. Ironically, the clearest picture of this is not Jesus’ own words or the stories of Jesus’ life, but the prophet Isaiah’s lesson. In Isaiah 42 we find this prophecy of Jesus.

“He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged”

Jesus was the ultimate hero. He came and saved every last human being when they could not save themselves. This is especially amazing considering how he did it. He didn’t go about with loud, flamboyant speeches or crazy activism, but rather he moved about quietly, consistently, and faithfully to God’s plan. The ultimate of heroes allowed his mission to be about how faithful he was to God’s plan. And through this faithfulness, he rescued the helpless: us. So today, if you want to truly accomplish something; if you want your life to truly mean something in the grand scheme of things; be quiet. Be humble. Be faithful to God. Mimic the only hero powerful enough to defeat the powers of hell and death by defining your life by the “bruised reeds you will not break and the smoldering wicks you will not snuff out.”

 
 

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