Jesus Goes To Yankee Stadium – Good News for April 22

22 04 2009

John 3:16-21

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.

And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

The Daily Path: There was a time when anyone watching a sporting event on television, especially a major one like the Super Bowl or World Series, would see a man in a funny multi-color wig holding up a small white sign with “John 3:16” printed on it. The guy knew where the cameras would be aimed during the broadcast, such as behind the goal post or behind home plate, and that’s where he would buy a ticket. Whenever that camera focused on action in front of him, he held up his sign for millions of viewers to see. This guy was either a millionaire or had a sponsor because he seemed to appear at every event and the seats he occupied could not have been inexpensive.  

Like many, I used to think “John 3:16 guy” was a certified looney tune. I would make my “Stan Doubtsall” judgement without even knowing what was to be found in the third chapter of John’s gospel. For all I knew, it could have said “Kin, you have won a trip to Yankee Stadium for lunch with Joe DiMaggio. All you have to do is read this verse.” But I couldn’t be bothered with such nonsense. I knew better because…

I wanted to live in darkness, not the light.

Instead of being mentally challenged, the “John 3:16 guy” was enlightened far beyond my experience. He was also brave enough to die a million deaths by exposing himself to ridicule from the viewing masses like me and certainly from others surrounding him in the crowd. Imagine what he must have experienced in Philly! Yet somehow this guy carried on his quest for many years so that the light of Jesus work could be exposed. He may still be at it.

Maybe one day I’ll be seated next to him in Yankee Stadium and have the opportunity to apologize for judging someone courageous enough to carry the light of Jesus into the darkness. I can buy a hot-dog for the crazy man who was actually trying to help me all those years. 

Room to Chat: When you see someone on the street today that you are certain is a whack-job, remember “John 3:16 guy” and his boss… another who was judged, Jesus of Nazareth.