Tag Archives: whip

Son of the High Chief


A friend of mine shared this story recently.  My friend is part Samoan and part Hawaiian.  He was born in Hawaii but moved to Samoa during his childhood.  Adjusting to the new cultures in this high-context society was difficult for his brother and him, but they made a friend in one of the locals.

Their friend, as it turns out, was the son of the High Chief.  We might expect the son of a high-class family in power to be arrogant and dismissive of foreign-born, mixed race kids who were new to the area, but he was anything but.  He was friendly and took a personal interest in helping my friend and his brother adjust.

He taught them local customs, like cooking the family meal on hot stones outdoors every Sunday.  He taught them local culture, like the need to show respect for elders.  He taught them the local language, and he helped them to fit in.  He was a good and faithful friend.

One day, the town drunk appeared as the three boys were playing outdoors.  Children knew him to be a violent and abusive man, and they avoided him whenever possible, but today, he caught the boys by surprise.  My friend could tell he was drunk again, and he could see the rage in his eyes.  This day, he had come for the two foreign-born boys.

But just as he moved to attack them, the son of the High Chief stepped between his friends and the man.  The man’s anger snapped, and he began to beat the boy mercilessly.  Several times, he knocked the boy to the ground, but each time, the boy would stand again, blocking the way to his friends.

My friend and his brother asked each time he fell if they should go for help.  Should they go to get the townspeople, who would come and rescue their friend, the son of their High Chief?  The townspeople wouldn’t allow such a crime to happen to their leader’s family.  In fact, they might have even killed the drunken man for what he had done.  But each time, the answer was, ‘No,’ and the boy would stand again to take the beating.

When the man’s anger had been spent, he left them alone, and the boy was taken to the hospital to treat his wounds.  My friend and his brother visited him the next day.  His face was unrecognizable under the bruising, the cuts and the swelling, but he was alive, and he would recover.  The boys looked at their bandaged friend and asked him to solve the mystery that troubled their hearts, “Why wouldn’t you let us go for help?”

He looked at them as the teacher who patiently tries to birth a new way of thinking in the minds and hearts of his students.  “I have taught you so much… This is what it means to be the son of the High Chief.”

The boys couldn’t have asked for a clearer picture.  Their friend, knowingly or not, had shown them an image of what Jesus Christ did for each of us when He went to the cross.  He stood between us and the evil one, who wanted to hurt us.  He took the beating that was meant for us.

Had Jesus wanted, legions of angels would have come to His rescue, yet he refused to call for them.  Each insult, each beating, each whip of the lash, each thorn of the crown He accepted as an act of love for us.  And each time He fell on the road to Golgotha, He stood again.  His purpose was set; His mind was determined; no matter the cost, He would stand in the gap for us, because This is what it means to be the Son of the High Chief.

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Filed under agape love, Christ, christianity, grace, Jesus, sacrifice, Salvation, Savior, Substitution

Upgrade


It’s been a long year, and it’s only March.  I’ve been on the road 47 of the last 65 days, spent over 220 hours in meetings, been on 35 airplanes for over 100 hours and waited no telling how long in airports between flights.  I’m tired.  I mss my family.  I’m ready to go home.

I was the first one on the plane to Bangkok, and I had been in my seat for about ten minutes when a flight attendant came to see me.

“Are you Mr. Kientz?”

“Yes, I am.”

“May I see your boarding pass?”

“Sure, here it is.”

“Here’s your new boarding pass.  You’ve been upgraded to business class.”

“Upgrade.”

Weary travelers the world over long to hear that word.  Thos who frequent business class don’t understand the envy we economy class fliers feel when they draw the curtain between us and the priveledged.  Bigger seats, more leg room, fancy meals, better movies on bigger screens, a better blanket, a bigger pillow….ahhhh….Upgrade!

As I settled into my seat, very thankful for the unexpected blessing, I opened my Bible to John 2.  It begins with Jesus attending a wedding.  The host of the wedding ran out of wine, and Jesus’ mother brought the problem to Jesus.  In his first earthly miracle, Jesus turned as much as 180 gallons of normal water into wine that was even better than what the party-goers had been drinking before.

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The very next story tells of Jesus chasing all the money changers and those selling animals for sacrifice out of the temple.  He was incensed that they had turned His Father’s house into a market where people profited off the worship of the Lord, so he put together some cords to fashion a whip and began cleaning house.

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Chapter 2 ends with the Jews asking Jesus to perform a miracle to prove His authority.  He tells them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days, I will raise it up.”  Of course, He wasn’t talking about the building He had just cleaned out.  He was talking about the temple of His body.  Jesus knew that His purpose was to die for our sins.  But His death was just the end of the beginning, because He would raise His body back from death to life.  He would still have a body, but the new body could fly and walk throught walls!

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But that’s just the smallest part, because Jesus’ death did so much more!  It paid for every sin we have ever committed or ever will.  It bought us life with God for all eternity if we will just leave our economy class seat and agree to move to first class, where we will get our own new bodies one day – bodies that won’t get sick or die – bodies that won’t be tempted to sin – bodies set free to love God without reservation or selfishness and love each other without resentment, bitterness, or jealousy and love ourselves without guilt or shame!

Upgrade.

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Filed under christianity, eternity, heaven