• 46°

Christians should have more than a passing resemblance to Jesus

Who was that masked man? It’s getting so these days that even my iPhone doesn’t recognize me… really!
If I have tried once I have tried a hundred times. Just as I have trained myself, and my phone, I pick it up, hold it inches from my face and NOTHING!
It’s then I remember, hey, I’ve got my mask on! Yep, that face recognition software is of little use if the face is no longer recognizable. If nothing else, this does go to prove to my doctor that I am guilty of faithfully wearing my mask.
As a child, what could be more thrilling than pulling a mask over your head? Now, overnight it seems, masks are all the rage. Everybody who’s anybody is wearing one. Perhaps you’ve had that funny feeling as I have walking into Kroger’s with a mask on thinking, “Boy, I hope they don’t think I’m here to rob the place!”
The truth remains that underneath, we are still who we are!
Who was that masked man?
That famous phrase comes from a memorable line often asked at the end of an episode of The Lone Ranger, a radio and television program featuring a vigilante cowboy, popular from the 1930s to the 1950s.
Again, who we really are, that’s what matters most… to us and to God!
One of my favorite accounts of the New Testament church is found in Acts, chapter four, where Peter and John are hauled before a religious council to answer for the healing of the lame man who lay by the temple and was healed by God’s power.
After a brief message by Peter, the reaction of this astute group revealed three noticeable observations that stand out in the lives of Peter and John that should be evidenced in our lives as well.
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.”
What really speaks to me is the line, “they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”
Let’s observe first that these fellas resembled Jesus.
It’s not so much what the disciples did or said that stands out as much as it is what others saw in them. They saw Jesus… they reminded them of Jesus!
I have been told all my life that I look like my Grandpa Henson, my Mom’s dad. It makes sense, I’m related to him. You see, we tend to resemble those to whom we are related.
Second observation, the lives of Peter and John sparked courage! They saw boldness in these guys!
Boldness is defined as… “not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring.”
I’ve heard that there is a big difference a mere desire to do a thing, and a burning passion to do it… a determination to accomplish it at any cost. A mere desire is like warm water in a locomotive, it will never produce any steam. It takes fire and force and enthusiasm to generate the things that propel successful character.
The last observation is that who these men really were displayed proof!
Now don’t miss this, — “And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.”
Right before the eyes of the questioners was the answer to their question!
How many of you remember the name Clara Pellar? She was a sweet little old lady who would grace the Wendy’s restaurant commercials many years ago. She would stand at the counter of a competitor and after seeing a very small hamburger patty on a very large bun she would ask the famous question, “Where’s the Beef?”
Allow me to ask a question, “Where’s the proof?”
May our lives shout the proof who Jesus is and what He can do!
This is what others saw in Peter and John. But what about me? What about us?
It matters who we remind others of because God is watching!
When the wife of missionary Adoniram Judson told him that a newspaper article likened him to some of the apostles, Judson replied, “I do not want to be like a Paul…or any mere man. I want to be like Christ…I want to follow Him only, copy His teachings, drink in His Spirit, and place my feet in His footprints…Oh, to be more like Christ!”
On a wall near the main entrance to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is a portrait with the following inscription, “James Butler Bonham — no picture of him exists. This portrait is of his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle. It is placed here by the family that people may know the appearance of the man who died for freedom.”
No literal portrait of Jesus exists either. However, the likeness of the Son who makes us free can be seen in the lives of His true followers. Behind the mask, may the world clearly see Jesus in me!

Tim Throckmorton is the Midwest Director of Ministry for the Family Research Council and can be reached at 740-935-1406 or tthrockmorton@frc.org.