Before our office closed due to the coronavirus, we were talking about a movie with a virus theme. When one actress’ name was mentioned, a coworker mentioned that she wasn’t a fan because of a comment she made a few years ago. The actress couldn’t understand how people could put their trust in a “skinny carpenter” (Jesus). I sat up straighter when I heard it. Now I wasn’t a fan! How could someone call Jesus that?! I asked who or what the actress believed in. She had chosen a more plump god who died centuries ago.
It still hurts my heart to think of someone saying Jesus was “just a carpenter” — skinny or not!
The Pharisees felt the same way back in the day. In the showdown in Matthew 22, they felt like they had Jesus’ back up against the wall when they asked which was the greatest commandment. Henry Blackaby wrote in “The Experience (Day-by-Day with God),” “No doubt the Pharisee expected Jesus would have to choose one of the Ten Commandments over the other nine, opening the door for debate. Then he’d have this unschooled carpenter’s son right where he wanted him.” “Unschooled?” That hurt my heart, too!
While I am so disappointed in the unbelieving actress and the ignorant Pharisee, I find that sometimes I also treat Jesus like He is not as big as He is. Sometimes when I pray, I make my requests to the Red Sea-parting God. I know without a doubt that He is capable of dividing waters and leading me through on dry ground! Other times, I act like He is the size of Zacchaeus and may or may not be up to a challenge.
And that is exactly where the devil has a victory in my heart or head. What am I thinking? Is God the God of the Book or not? Is He able to conquer a virus that has the whole world running scared? Is He still up to healing the sick or meeting the needs of those who are not able to work due to a quarantine? Or is He asleep somewhere up in the sky and so far away He cannot hear?
The Bible tells me He is STILL the God of David who faced Goliath! He is STILL the God who parted the Red Sea! He is STILL the God who was with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fire! He is STILL the God who sent His Only Son to save us once and for all!
Someone reminded me of Hebrews 10:39 last week: “We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” Somebody say “Hallelujah!” I had it in my phone’s NOTES but didn’t have it in my head. I am carrying it in my pocket now for my own peace of mind and also to share because I know someone else will need to remember it, too.
I decided to pray for the actress — that God would speak to her through these bizarre times. After much investigation on the internet, I could not substantiate the comment. I’m glad to hear it!