The Greatest Hero
Stephanie Olson, Co-founder Set Me Free Ministries
How many of you remember the television show The Greatest American Hero? I recognize that some of you younger readers won’t likely remember the show. And I also recognize that some of you more discriminating readers won’t know the show.
It was a cute, but quirky, show about a teacher who is called upon to be a superhero. Given the superhero suit and the instruction manual, he is asked to save the world. Ah, but our hero has the misfortune of losing the instruction manual, and thus, a series of “superhero” blunders and mishaps unfold as this unlikely superhero attempts to conquer evil.
We have a desire to have heroes, don’t we? It seems there are heroes all around us. Superman, Spiderman, Batman, and then as we grow up, perhaps it becomes sports legends and movies stars. We admire more appropriate heroes such as firefighters, police officers, and veterans. Even an adorable youngster will tell everyone that dear ole’ dad is his hero.
Heroes are often emulated. We want to be like them. We want to possess their traits, their character, and their good looks. But the flaw in human (or imaginary) heroes is that they will always disappoint. They can never truly measure up to the pedestal on which they have been placed. They are human (the real ones anyway), just like us. Hey, even Superman had Kryptonite!
Look at the heroes of the Bible: Abraham, Moses, Noah, David, Peter, Paul, and the list goes on. Every single one of them had his flaws, except for One … Jesus.
What if we had a Church that saw Jesus as our hero? A hero just like we see movie stars, sports legends, and even (for some) television evangelists. What if we desired to emulate Him? We aspired to posses His traits, His character, and, instead of His looks, the way He looks at others. What would it look like if all of us wanted to be just like Jesus? I think the Church would look quite different.
We might be hated, but we would never be called hypocrites. We might be accused unfairly, but we would be bold. We might be scoffed at, but we would make a difference in the lives of the poor, needy, widows, and orphans. We might be opposed, but we would be humble. We might have few friends, but we would love many. What if Jesus was our hero?
What if we did what Philippians 2: 5-11 called us to do? “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
There is no single person who is entitled to our worship outside of Jesus Christ! He is the only One who will not disappoint. He is the only One who “understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) He is the only One we should truly want to be like.
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Ephesians 5:1-2
He is the Greatest Hero!