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1950’s Game, "Going To Jerusalem," Misrepresented the Christian Life

Mark 8:33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter – same word. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (NIV)

Peter’s attitude was not only selfish; it was satanic. Like Satan in his pride, Peter wanted to pursue more power and glory for himself, but that’s not where Jesus was headed. Jesus was headed for a cross, and if we want to follow Jesus, that’s where we’ll be headed, as well.

In the 1950’s, Parker Brothers came out with a game for church families, called “Going to Jerusalem.” The playing pieces were not like those in the “worldly” game of Monopoly – a top hat or a Scottie dog. No. In “Going to Jerusalem,” a player got to be a “real” disciple. Each was represented by a little plastic man with a robe, a beard, some sandals, and a staff.

In order to move across the board, players looked up answers to questions in a little black New Testament that was provided with the game. Players always started in Bethlehem, and then made stops at the Mount of Olives, Bethsaida, Capernaum, the stormy sea, Nazareth, and Bethany. If a player rolled the dice well, he or she went all the way to a triumphal entry into Jerusalem, but no one ever got to the Crucifixion or Resurrection. There were no demons or angry Pharisees.

Players only made their way through the nice stories. It was a safe adventure, perfectly suited for a Christian family on a Sunday afternoon walk with Jesus. (Lee Eclov, Vernon Hills, Illinois; www.Preaching

From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Take A Risk, 11/5/2009

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