JESUS THE HERO
by Dennis Kelly
Jesus was a hero. Lots of pictures show him rescuing a lamb. Sometimes he is climbing up a cliff in the rescue. This portrayal illustrates one of the Jesus' parables, he saves those who are lost. Many people think of him as a preacher. A wimpy kind of a guy. Well, I want to tell a different story about Jesus. I use the same stories that you have always heard, but perhaps I can explain them in a different way so that you see him not as wimp but as a strong stalwart kind of a guy who was not afraid of authorities.
He walked almost everywhere he went in the hot Jerusalem sun. He was probably strong and lean and weathered by the sun. He told stories that upset the thinking of the day. He did things that no one else was able to do. He fed the crowds, he healed the sick, he made the lame to walk and the blind to see. He preached good news to the poor. Jesus was a hero.
Listen to some of the stories about his life, and let me elaborate on them somewhat. I provide citations of the events that I discuss. However, I also paraphrase. Therefore, If you look up the citations, it probably does not matter which Bible translation you use. Sometimes the Bible gives part of the story in one place and then gives other portions of the story in other places. I often give more than one reference in the hope that you will go to the Bible and read all of the references. In this way you can get the full flavor of what is happening. You need to bring them all together to understand what is going on.
Before Jesus was two years old, kings came to him and gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh. These were kingly gifts given by three men who were declared to be wise men from the east. Matthew 2:1-11. They said that Jesus was born King of the Jews.
When Jesus was twelve, he went off from his parents to visit at the temple in Jerusalem. He mystified the smart folks, people with degrees. They were astounded by a twelve year old boy -- by his understanding of the scriptures -- what they said and what they meant. His parents were worried about him, but Jesus said "I must be about my father's business." Luke 2:41-49.
Then he waited, probably working in Joseph's carpentry shop, until he was thirty. Joseph was his mother's husband. Joseph raised Jesus as his own son.
Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan. Then he went into the wilderness and fasted for forty days. Up jumped the Devil. Satan had waited until he was nearly starved to death, and then he challenged him. Tempted him.
Satan. The ultimate bad guy. The meanest of the mean. The most unscrupulous one of all time. The slickest guy of all.
Satan said "If you are the Son of God, then turn this rock into bread."
Jesus said, "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." Deut 8:3, Luke 4:4.
Satan was stumped because Jesus knew and could quote without error the written word of God.
Satan showed him all of the riches of the world and said, "I will give you all of this if you will bow down and worship me."
Jesus said, "I shall not worship any God but God." Deut 6:13-14, Luke 4:8.
Satan was stumped again by the quotation of the written word of God.
Satan said "If you are the Son of God, then throw yourself from this high cliff."
Jesus said, "Do not tempt the Lord God." Deut 6:16, Luke 4:12.
Satan stumped again went away to wait for a better time. No better time ever came. After starving for 40 days Jesus was still able to beat Satan. Luke 4:1-13
Jesus was talking with the doctors and leaders of the land. They were in a house. The people he was talking to were the leaders of the ten surrounding cities. They were old men. You did not get to be a leader in Judea in those days while you were young. Old men are sick; just like they are today. Things haven't changed.
This other boy was sick. Four guys carried him on a blanket, but they could not get into the house. The place was crowded. The rich folks were there. So his buddies carried him up on the roof. They took the roof apart, and lowered him down -- right in front of Jesus. How much nerve did that take. Well, Jesus looked at this guy and the Bible says he saw their faith. Faith, well, I guess. Only a bunch of teenagers would have the audacity to do that.
Jesus said, "Your sins are forgiven."
The rich powerful guys are sitting there with their robes and staffs and said, "What in the world, nobody can do that. Only God can forgive sins."
Jesus said. "Do you think it takes more to say your sins are forgiven (which nobody knows except God) or to tell the guy to rise up and walk."
Then he says to the guy that is sick, "Rise up and walk! Get out of here before these rich cats convince you that I can't do this. Believe you are healed, but get out of here because it is too dangerous to be around this bunch." Mark 2:1-12, Luke 5:17-26
Jesus was preaching in Jerusalem. The bad guys decided to throw him off of a cliff. They come up on him and he walks away. He leaves them standing there and he walks away. Luke 4:28-30.
A guy with six thousand demons in him came up to Jesus. The leader of the demons is called Legion.
Jesus said, "Come out of there and leave him alone."
The demons leave. The whole bunch. Mark 5:1-17, Luke 8:26-39. Mat. 9:28-34. How scary do you think one demon is? How about a legion of demons? A legion is six thousand troops. Six thousand demons would be more demons than there are soldiers in nearly a division of infantry. Jesus tells then to go and they leave. In an army it would take a general to get that many men to go anywhere. Jesus, then and now, is the commander of the legions of angels in heaven.
At another time Jesus said, "Don't you know that if I were to ask, my father would send me more than 12 legions of angels." Mat. 26:53.
Jesus ruined funeral parties. He went to one funeral and they had already had the service and were carrying the body out to the grave. He stopped the procession and raised the guy up from the casket. He ruined the funeral, but he gave the boy back to his mother. Luke 7:11-15.
One time he went to a funeral he was four days late. He told the guy's sister that if she would believe she would see the glory of God. John 11:40.
Then he calls out "Lazarus come forth."
And the dead guy came out of the grave all wrapped up in grave clothes. I do not know how he walked, but there he was at the door of the sepulcher. Jesus then said. "Unwrap the guy and let him loose." John 11:32-44
Jesus went to a little girls house and found her lying dead. The mourners were already starting the party. They were mourning an crying out.
Jesus said, "Quiet! Get out of here!" Mat. 9:24, Mark 5:39-40, Luke 8:52-54.
He walks over and lifts her up by the hand and she comes back to life. Mat. 9:25, Mark 5:41-42, Luke 8:54-56. Jesus just ruined that wake. The party was over. There was no reason to have a funeral and there was no party to mourn the loss of the little girl.
Jesus sent out seventy-two of the guys that were following him. When they came back they were really excited. "We can cast out devils. We have cured the sick." Luke 10:1-17.
Jesus said "I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you." Luke 10:19 Jesus, as a leader of men, takes care of his own.
After the Garden at Gethsemane, Judas betrays Jesus and the soldiers came for him. Jesus just stands there and says, "Who are you guys looking for?" John 18:4.
They say, "Jesus of Nazareth." John 18:5.
And Jesus says' "I am he."
Then the soldiers all fell down. They are lying there in a heap with torches burning each other. Sticks gouging each other in the leg, in the ribs and in the face. Jesus just stands there and waits for them to get up. John 18:6.
Peter comes up with a sword and cuts off the guy's ear. Jesus picks up the ear and puts it back on his head. John 18:10.
Then Jesus turns around to Peter and says, "Cool it Pete. These guys are just doing what they are supposed to do. Let them come on. If I really needed help, I could ask my Father and he would send me 12 legions of angels." Mat. 26:53.
Webster's Dictionary says that a legion was 6,000 infantry along with a compliment of cavalry. In Isaiah 37:36, one angel wiped out 185,000 soldiers in one night. Multiply it out. See how many people 12 legions of angels could destroy. There are only 6 billion people in the whole world now. And all this took place 2,000 years ago. There were a lot less people then.
Jesus, in the meantime, is in the process of fooling Satan. Satan probably figured that since Jesus chased out the money changers from the temple with a whip that he has sinned, and now he can get him. Mark 11:15. Jesus doesn't say anything because anything that he says will be the truth and the truth would set him free. John 19:9, Mark 14:61, John 8:32. Instead Jesus lets himself be captured and taken to trial. During all this time Jesus doesn't say anything. They whipped him. Mat. 27:26. They put a crown of thorns on his head, Mark 15:17, Mat, 27:29. Make him march through the streets of Jerusalem. And them they crucify him. They drive nails through his hands and feet that weigh more than two pounds. Then they lift him up upon a cross to die. Mat. 27:35, Mark 15:24, Luke 23:33, John 19:18.
From the cross he takes care of his mother by setting her up with his buddy John. John 19:26-27. Then hanging on the cross, he hollers with a loud voice: "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" Mat. 27:46, Mark 15:34, Luke 23:46. After all of that punishment, how loud would your voice be?
Satan takes him illegally down into Hell and begins to punish him as a sinful man. Eph. 4:9, Three days later, God says: "Enough!" Ephesians. 1:19-20
Jesus quits being a defeated prisoner and whips up on Satan. Tells him that his time is up, preaches to all the prisoners of Hell, and leads a parade of the prisoners of Hell, out of Hell and into heaven. Ephesians. 4:8, Col 2:15.
He shouts, "Look here what I got! I have the keys to Hell and Death. Rev. 1:18. Satan is defeated. John 12:31. Men are free to choose life or death. We have all those who choose Life. Ephesians. 4:8. All men come to me! John 12:32. Satan is defeated!" 1 Peter 5:9, 1 John 4:4.
Jesus, while he was in Hell, took all of the punishment that we deserve for being sinners. Jesus never sinned. Therefore, he never deserved any of the punishment that he got. God says that all of our sins have been paid for by Jesus punishment. Romans 8:3. God says that we are free from Satan if we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Romans 10:13. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, then you will be saved. Romans 10:9. The confession is all that it takes. You can do it on your own in private -- but your life will be changed.
Do you know what Lord means? It means Boss! We have to accept that Jesus paid for our sins. That means that we accept him as Savior. But we also have to accept him as boss. We have to do what he tells us. Do what he says. John 15:14.
This is the commandment that he gave to us. "That we love one another as he has loved us." John 15:12.
Jesus taught us many other things. All the things that he taught us are for our own better life. Jesus did not try to keep us from anything good. He did try to keep us from doing those things that will screw up our lives.
The more you learn about the Bible and the more you follow its teachings, the better off you will be. I like the New International Version and the King James Version. Get a Bible and read it often. Try to read it all the way through each year.
God Bless you!