Heroes and Celebrities

The 260 Journey
The 260 Journey
Heroes and Celebrities

Day 176

Today’s Reading: Philippians 2

We live in a time when it is more popular to be a celebrity than a hero. Numbers of followers or views have replaced the one who risks their life for others. Media has given us celebrities, where danger and risk give us heroes. The gap is much wider between fame and greatness. Heroism is linked to honor and bravery, while celebrities just have links. We have big names today but not big persons.

The scary part of all this celebrity worship is that we are seeing celebrities and not heroes rise in the church. We must be careful that we don’t allow pastors to become the center of the story. Jesus is. We have to make sure the “stars” aren’t outshining the Son.

Philippians 2 reminds us of who is the center of attraction. The apostle Paul gives us the Hero of the greatest story ever told:

God exalted him and multiplied his greatness! He has now been given the greatest of all names! The authority of the name of Jesus causes every knee to bow in reverence! Everything and everyone will one day submit to this name—in the heavenly realm, in the earthly realm, and in the demonic realm. And every tongue will proclaim in every language: “Jesus Christ is Lord Yahweh,” bringing glory and honor to God, his Father! (Philippians 2:9-11, TPT)

Paul not only wants us to remember this, he also wants to remind us of what the Father thinks of His Son. Paul tells us that God put Jesus on the pedestal. And we must always remember it’s all about the Son. As Augustine said, “Christ is not valued at all unless He is valued above all.”

Don’t get it mixed up. It’s not what church you go to, it isn’t who your pastor is, it isn’t whether your ministry is on television. It’s whether or not you choose the Son! Anything before that means you have chosen celebrity over Hero. Hero Jesus. That’s the name that gets you it all. That’s the name that gets you to heaven. Jesus is the name that changes your life.

I have had people tell me, “I tried Jesus and it just didn’t work.”

“Wait one second,” I tell them. “You may have tried church. You may have tried religion, or a denomination. But you didn’t try Jesus. It’s impossible to say, ‘I tried Jesus and it just didn’t work.’”

Why? Romans 10:11 answers that for us: “The Scriptures tell us that no one who believes in Christ will ever be disappointed” (TLB). Can you name one true follower of Jesus who was on his deathbed and said, “Jesus is a liar. I regret ever following Him”?

Jesus is not a hobby. He is not a Sunday thing.

The words Paul uses in Philippians 2 to describe Jesus is really important. He seemingly hijacks a verse from Isaiah 45, which speaks about Jehovah God, and he inserts it into his chapter to describe Jesus in Philippians 2:10: “At the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”

And now Jesus is being bowed to and declared to be Jehovah. Let me make it even simpler. Listen to Isaiah 45:21-23:

Is it not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none except Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. . . . To Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.

God says in Isaiah that every knee will bow and every tongue confess to Him. Now in Philippians 2, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess to Jesus. It not only tells me about the deity of Jesus and that Jesus is God, it also reminds me that Jesus is the Hero of our story. Whenever I am tempted to follow a celebrity or try to be one, I need to remember Philippians 2. If we want to be reminded of our part of the story, remember the words of Robert Capon.

Jesus came to raise the dead. The only qualification for the gift of the Gospel is to be dead. You don’t have to be smart. . . . You don’t have to be good. You don’t have to be wise. You don’t have to be wonderful. You don’t have to be anything. . . . You just have to be dead. That’s it.