"Brave or Stupid"
July 12, 2015
Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD. Psalm 107:43
Years ago in New York City, thousands of people stopped running their rat race and looked up to see Harry Young, the "Human Fly," climb the outside skin of the Martinique Hotel on Broadway.
Each magnificent move Young made seemed to be so sure and confident. Then, as he approached the top, he failed to gain the foot and toehold he needed. Young fell to his death upon the pavement below. The newspapers spoke of the sign Young had pinned to his shirt, before the beginning of his climb. The sign read, "Safety Last."
Bold words if you can carry them out, pitiful if you cannot.
In the 1920s, a clever man from Egypt immigrated to the U.S. Before he left home, he converted all his assets into small gold ingots. On shipboard, the clever man entertained his fellow passengers by juggling some apples. Pleased with the applause, he took out his ingots and began juggling them. The crowd was aghast. One lady cried out, "Oh, please don't! Juggling apples is one thing, but tossing your treasure, that's too much." Such a reaction fueled the man's bravado and the risks he took. All was well until the ship lurched, and the man missed his catch. Two ingots hit the deck. One hit on its corner and unceremoniously bounced over the side of the ship and into the sea.
Risking your treasure and future can certainly wow a bunch of onlookers, who will cheer your bravado.
Of course, they are cheering because it's your treasure and your future which are at stake. They are impressed because they can't believe anyone would be that brave -- or that stupid.
Do you need a scriptural example of what I'm saying? If so, look to the three crosses on Calvary. Look and see Jesus die so your sins might be forgiven and your soul saved.
As Jesus died, people made fun of Him.
That wasn't unusual. A society whose entertainment centered on gladiatorial competitions would have no problem making mockery of someone condemned to die in such an ignominious manner. What made Golgotha's scene unique was the fact one of Jesus' fellow-condemned added his voice to the verbal abuse being heaped on the Savior.
The thief's challenge for Jesus was to "Save Yourself, and as long as You're doing that, You might want to save us too" (see Luke 23:32-43). That line had to sound silly to the crowd. They all knew that when the Romans crucified you, you stayed crucified.
Over the last few years, I have seen many people publicly and privately making fun of Jesus.
The militants of Islam relish laughing at the Lord and His followers. The jokesters of the Comedy Channel love pointing out Christianity's flaws. Even some so-called Christians take great delight in laughing at those faithful who try to follow the teachings of an unchanged -- and what they feel is a politically-incorrect -- Scripture.
These voices of detraction may seem brave and bold, but they are foolish because they are dying souls who need a Savior. Far better they, like you, should say, "Jesus, remember me when You enter into Your kingdom."
Far better they, like you, should plan for eternity rather than playing with it.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may all the voice of humanity be brought to faith and sing the praises of the Christ, who gave His life for their salvation. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries