It’s always interesting to meet a celebrity or a famous individual in person. Sometimes you are able to see why they have made an impression on so many people, maybe even yourself. Their knowledge, charisma, gifting or lovable personality will bleed through in the smallest of conversations. On the other hand, meeting a celebrity or a hero of yours can burst the bubble you once had of them. Finding the real-life interaction to be far from enjoyable and it forever changing your perception. When it comes to Bible “stars” or “celebrities” we don’t have to wonder what they would be like in real life. It’s all recorded for us to see, warts and all. What I appreciate about the Bible is it never tries to hide or puff up the realities of those contained in its pages. The Bible is brutally honest about many of the so called “heroes” of the faith, and if you take a close read at their lives, you will come to one conclusion; that they are in desperate need of a savior like the rest of us. Take Jacob for example, through the pages of Genesis we see Jacob reflect the Hebrew meaning of his name, trickster or cheat, repeatedly. Jacob cheats his brother, manipulates his father, fails to protect his family at times and consistently backslides in his worship. The question is, why does the Bible record his faith? Doesn’t his shortcomings sabotage his witness? By no means. Jacob also has wonderful moments of worship, confession, and zeal for the glory of God. In short, the answer is not to look at the perfection of his and others faith, but the object of their faith. The book of Hebrew emphatically reminds us that “since we are surrounded by a so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the found and perfector of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2). Like Jacob, the Christian life will be messy, and its messy because we are messy people. We have no reason to hide our imperfections. But the good news is that the gospel, the good news of the person and work of Jesus, is for messy people looking and trusting in the only person who wasn’t messy, Jesus Christ. The very person who took the penalty for our sins to the cross of calvary. The very person who currently sits at the right hand of God the Father. The very person who we have committed to following, trusting, obeying even if it means admitting our shortcomings along the way. In doing so, we strive to repent of sin, hypocrisy, and self-absorption, and point people not to ourselves, but to Jesus Christ, his life, death, resurrection, ascension and future advent. In the end, let us continue to follow the one who will never let us down. To God be the glory alone.
Luke Wartgow is lead pastor at Carson Valley Bible Church.