ILL. Mitsuo Fuchida was the pilot in charge of one of the most successful aerial attacks in recorded history. Under his command was a squadron of 360 specially selected pilots, & on Dec. 7, 1941, Fuchida’s squadron bombed Pearl Harbor.
He quickly became one of the most highly decorated pilots in the Japanese air force, & the one most hated by the American forces. That included Jacob DeShazer, a young B-25 bomber pilot who longed for the day when he would be able to pay Japan back for what they had done.
One day that opportunity arose as DeShazer became a part of the very first bombing raids over Japan. But after dropping his bombs on the city of Nagoya, DeShazer lost his way in the heavy fog & was forced to bail out when his plane ran out of fuel.
He was quickly taken prisoner, & for almost two years, DeShazer suffered from hunger, cold, dysentery, & watching his fellow prisoners die. And the more he experienced this treatment the deeper his hatred of the Japanese grew.
Then, in 1944, someone gave DeShazer a Bible. He started at Genesis & read on & on, barely sleeping. And by the time he had come to the Book of Romans he had surrendered his heart & life to Jesus as his Savior & his Lord.
Immediately Matthew 5:44 became a crucial challenge to him, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you & pray for those who spitefully use you & persecute you.”
Because of it DeShazer’s attitude toward his Japanese guards began to change. His hostility evaporated & every morning he greeted them warmly. He prayed for them & sought to witness to them. Slowly their attitude toward him also changed & some of them even began bringing him extra food & supplies.
Finally, the war was over & DeShazer was free. Returning home he studied for the ministry & decided to return to Japan as a missionary. After establishing a church in Nagoya, the very city he had bombed, he wrote a pamphlet entitled, “I Was a Prisoner of the Japanese.” It wasn’t long until thousands of Japanese wanted to see & hear the man who could forgive & love his enemies.
Meanwhile, Fuchida, the Japanese hero, had come out of the war a very disillusioned man....Continue reading this sermon illustration (Free with PRO)
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Vanita George on Apr 20, 2005
I’d like to finish by reading this little excerpt I picked from TD Jakes’ book called “God’s Leading Ladies” and it goes as below:- To become a leading lady, you must raise the curtain and step forward. You must extend yourself beyond the self-imposed limits, external pressures, and patriarchal ...read more
Contributed by Tom Clawser, M. Div. on Aug 21, 2004
An ancient Chassidic parable tells the story of Yechiel, the young grandson of a Chassidic rabbi, who once played hide-and-seek with a friend. When it was his turn to hide, he found a great hiding place where he waited, somewhat impatiently, for his friend to find him. He waited and waited; it ...read more
Contributed by Charles R. Swindoll on Oct 13, 2004
Early in my ministry, I met a man named Worral. He had been stricken with rheumatoid arthritis at age 15, and when I met him 30 years later, he was totally paralyzed except for 1 finger, could barely speak and was totally blind. But he had a string tied to that one mobile finger that could turn on ...read more
Contributed by Jeff Simms on Apr 18, 2004
In “Let’s Roll: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage”, Lisa Beamer reflects on the loss of her dad. She says, “Slowly, I began to understand that the plans God has for us don’t just include “good things”, but the whole array of human events. The “prospering” he talks about in the book of ...read more
Contributed by Greg Buchner on Sep 26, 2004
Billy Graham once said, “What is heaven going to be like? Just as there is a mystery to hell, so there is a mystery to heaven. Yet I believe the Bible teaches that both are literal places. I’m not worried about where ...read more