Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Heroes #1

The following will be a list of people whom I have met over the course of my life that I consider to be my heroes. This will be a multi-part series, and I hope to condense and put into words the significance in my life of each one, even though in doing so I risk diminishing their importance to me by limiting my expression to words.

My number one hero of all time is Jesus of Nazareth. What a wonderful man, and what a wonderful Lord! He lived in a country under military occupation, yet seldom spoke of the political oppression that he and his people endured. Instead, he sought to illuminate their hearts with true spiritual insight. When confronting the moneychangers at the temple, he was asked about taxes. He answered, Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s. In doing so, Jesus does two things: he demonstrates that human political power is temporary and is a shadow of unseen spiritual events in a nation (that’s my own personal opinion). Secondly, he asks us the question, who is your God and if so, what belongs to Him?

He had the strength to stand up to the Pharisees, the religious leaders of that day. He called them a nest of vipers, because they argued about and adhered to the customs of men, and urged others to do likewise. Do not fear what goes into your mouth (referring to Jewish laws for unclean food); rather, fear what comes out, for it proceeds from your hearts. [loosely quoted]

He had the compassion to forgive those most needing forgiveness, such as the woman caught in the act of adultery, and one of the thieves who was crucified next to him. He healed those who were sick, blind, and deaf, not only for their faith, but also for the faith of others on their behalf (when the crippled man was lowered by litter through the thatch roof into the place he was staying). He saw into the heart of the old woman who gave all she had at the temple, and contrasted that with those who made a show of giving.

He had spiritual authority over the enemies of mankind. He cast demons out of those who were possessed and commanded demons with authority. He was able to fast for 40 days in the wilderness seeking God’s will. He was tempted by the devil himself, yet did not give up, using scripture as his defense. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. You shall not put the Lord thy God to the test. Worship the Lord God only, and Him only shall you serve.

Finally Jesus showed God’s love for us by being obedient to God’s will in dying on the cross for the sins of all mankind. Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. He endured this for my sake, and yours. Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us! God’s love… how beautiful it is, and yet how little we understand it. I fear I shall be put to shame when I see him in glory, face to face, yet even in this his sacrifice is greater than my sin. My lack of devotion, my stubborn disobedience, my selfish isolationism shall then be burned away. It is to this love, I cling. Thank you for all you have done for us, Jesus. I love you!

This is so very limited, but perhaps it gives you an idea why Jesus is my number 1 hero of all time.

Armchair coach
Amateur historian

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