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A few months ago, our household experienced one of those weeks. After repeated troubleshooting on our 1992 minivan, it became clear that it was a whisker away from blowing a head gasket. Then, determined not to be left out, our 1989 K-Car became a 1989 not-so-OK-Car and threw a crankshaft rod bearing. Thankfully, into this mechanical horror show stepped a dear brother in Christ who not only volunteered to fix our van, but also gave me a rusty beater car he had been doing some patch up work on - a 1977 BMW 320i.

Receiving this gift car has taught me a couple of things, one of which is that no matter how old it is, or what shape it is in, most people think you have money when you drive a BMW. Image wise, I find this somewhat alarming and a little bit entertaining. Some have even compared me to . . .

A few months ago, our household experienced one of those weeks. After repeated troubleshooting on our 1992 minivan, it became clear that it was a whisker away from blowing a head gasket. Then, determined not to be left out, our 1989 K-Car became a 1989 not-so-OK-Car and threw a crankshaft rod bearing. Thankfully, into this mechanical horror show stepped a dear brother in Christ who not only volunteered to fix our van, but also gave me a rusty beater car he had been doing some patch up work on - a 1977 BMW 320i.

Receiving this gift car has taught me a couple of things, one of which is that no matter how old it is, or what shape it is in, most people think you have money when you drive a BMW. Image wise, I find this somewhat alarming and a little bit entertaining. Some have even compared me to the fat cat preachers on TV! Trust me, although at times I think I'm a cat, there is nothing at all fat about me. Simply put, my BMW distorts others' impressions of me. So, please store "don't judge a preacher by his BMW" right next to "don't judge a book by its cover."

While you are at it, you might as well also tuck away "don't judge a preacher by His barn." Of course, I am talking about Jesus. By itself, removed from the story of Jesus' whole Life and Purpose, the fact that He was born in a stable (which was probably hewn out of a rock wall or cave) would give many people the impression that Jesus was nothing to write home about. That's a common mischaracterization of someone born in a place where animals are stored. Think about it. When a kid runs out of the house and leaves the door wide open, what does his mom or dad tend to yell after them? You've got it: "Hey, what were you, born in a barn or something?"
Jesus could have yelled back, "Yes!"

Yes! Jesus was born in a barn and the world would do well to remember that and not misjudge Him by it. He was born in a barn because His mission was not an earthly one that required social position, riches, or even an army. No, it required humility, submission to His Father in Heaven, sinlessness, and ultimately the perfect, self-sacrifice of His life on the cross for all people born everywhere. You don't need to be born in a palace or a maternity ward for that.

Anyone who says otherwise is just the kind of person who would judge a preacher by his BMW or His barn.

Pastor Tim Davis, Copyright 2004
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