Jesus made it very clear that He’s the hero of the Bible. If you’re not careful though, you can read the Bible and think He’s just one of many heroes. This is wrong for a lot of reasons. It can cause you to despair when you’re not like someone in the Bible. Also, you might think it’s totally fine to do things that are sinful because your hero did it. Most dangerous of all – you’ll focus on people who are minor actors in Gods story, instead of focusing on God Himself. Compared to Jesus, all the other “heroes” look like the guy in the picture.
One of the people Christians do this with the most is Paul. I mean Paul is a pretty stout character. More than any other person, he was responsible for growing the church where people had never heard of Jesus (Romans 15:20). He was once bitten by a snake and didn’t slow down a bit (Acts 28:3-6) and he wrote more of the New Testament than any other author. Once, after being beaten and thrown into a dungeon, he and one of his buddies lead a set of their favorite worship songs to an audience of other prisoners (Acts 16:22-25). How can you read that and not think Paul one of the heroes of the Bible? It’s easy. All you have to do is remember that Paul knew a few things about God, that we tend to forget. This is what allowed him to stand out so much in scripture. I’ll stick with one for this post and make it a series:
1) Paul didn’t worship a God who is immune to suffering. It’s almost become cliche now, “how can a good God allow so much suffering.” It would be a great question if God never suffered, but He did. Jesus entered into human history with us. He grew up working a normal job. He never made a lot of money. Even though He became famous, most of His fans turned on Him at the end of His life. He was beaten. He was murdered to purchase eternal life for us. Jesus suffered for us … and with us. Like Os Guinness said, “ours is the only God with wounds.”