August 31, 2015
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life. 1Timothy 1:15-16
From the year 2000 to 2015, Jared Fogle was the spokesman for Subway.
During those years he appeared in more than 300 commercials for that fast-food chain.
Now for any person to stay associated with a company for that length of time, they must think he has to be doing a pretty good job. For example, Lance Armstrong spent years endorsing Nike products; Bill Cosby lent his good name to the promotion of Jell-O. These relationships continued because the companies were pleased with the results.
So it was for Subway and Jared Fogle. Between the years 1998 to 2011, Subway's revenues tripled. The experts in the company have gone on record saying that one-third to one-half of that growth can be attributed directly to Jared Fogle and his remarkable loss of weight.
But that was then, and this is now.
Jell-O and Cosby, Nike and Armstrong, Subway and Fogle -- have gone their separate ways.
This ending of these long-term relationships was brought about when these men fell from public grace when they were accused of some repeated and reprehensible activities. In short, they fell from public grace because their images and their realities didn't match.
Today, Subway has scrubbed its website of all references to Jared Fogle and it has officially said, "We have no dealings with him anymore and we're not going to talk about him anymore." Others are following Subway's example. Fogle's wife is divorcing him because of his transgressions and even his high school has demoted him. Yes, it's true. North Central High School in Indianapolis has removed Fogle's photo from its Wall of Fame.
Now I can understand why a company, a wife, and a school might proceed that way.
We all would agree: it is an incredibly rare individual who would continue to reach out and try to help someone who has publicly confessed to some particularly nasty sins.
Indeed, I can think of only one Person who would do such a thing: Jesus Christ, God's Son, the world's Savior. Read the New Testament and you will see Him reach out to adulterers, thieves, corrupt officials, and murderers. He continued to love those who ran away when He needed them, the man who denied Him, and the disciple who betrayed Him.
He has, in spite of your sins and my sins, continued to reach out to us and promises to help and heal those who come to Him with a repentant heart.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, "Chief of sinners though I be, Jesus shed His blood for me; Died that I might live on high, Lived that I might never die, As the branch is to the vine, I am His, and He is mine. Oh, the height of Jesus' love! Higher than the heavens above, Deeper than the depths of sea, Lasting as eternity. Love that found me -- wondrous thought! -- Found me when I sought Him not. Jesus only can impart Balm to heal the smitten heart; Peace that flows from sin forgiven, Joy that lifts the soul to heaven; Faith and hope to walk with God in the way that Enoch trod. ... O my Savior, help afford By Thy Spirit and Thy Word! When my wayward heart would stray, Keep me in the narrow way; Grace in time of need supply While I live and when I die." This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries