Summary: The qualities that make a hero in Jesus' eyes.

“Do You Wanna Be a Hero?”

September 11, 2011

1 Chronicles 11:11-14; 22-23

“this is the list of David’s mighty warriors:

Jashobeam, a Hakmonite, was chief of the officers; he raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter. Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite, one of the three mighty warriors. He was with David at Pas Dammim when the Philistines gathered there for battle. At a place where there was a field full of barley, the troops fled from the Philistines. But they took their stand in the middle of the field. They defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought about a great victory.”

“Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. And he struck down an Egyptian who was five cubits tall (7”6”). Although the Egyptian had a spear like a weaver’s rod in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear.”

This morning America is having a memorial of sorts. It has been ten years since the twin towers went down when two planes flew into them. Where were you on 9-11-01? The event was so significant that many people remember exactly what they were doing on that terrible day. I remember watching those planes fly into the buildings again and again. I remember watching the news coverage of the first plane and then as we are watching that – another plane comes zooming in and we watch it live as it crashes into the other building. As we are trying to process it all – suddenly the first building begins to collapse!

What a tragic day! It has forever changed our culture. But a certain pride of being an American came out of that terrible event. There were many heroes that day. Firefighters, cops, average citizens compelled to do heroic things. Often crisis brings out the best in people. Undoubtedly there were those who failed the test and lost their moment for heroic action – perhaps cowering in fear – but isn’t that normal? Don’t we call those ‘hero’ who overcome their fear and feelings to act in extraordinary ways?

So what exactly is a hero? Is it killing a giant with a club or slaying a lion in a pit or standing tall and fighting off the enemy? What makes a hero?

Wikipedia says, “a hero came to refer to characters who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good of all humanity. This definition originally referred to martial courage or excellence but extended to more general moral excellence.”

I have known a few hero’s in my day – some in my own family. My Dad, in World War II, killed a Japanese soldier with his knife when he jumped into his foxhole when their positions were over run. My son carried a wounded buddy on his shoulders in a hot LV with lead spraying all around, his friends blood running down his back. Some of my brothers did some pretty heroic things as well.

I don’t want to take anything away from our great American heroes. They deserve all the praise and glory they get – and so often heroes remain anonymous. They do some great heroic deed – and fade into time never having anyone know what they did. I’m sure such is the case on 911. We see and hear about a few heroes – but I’m sure there were many more than only God knows about. They won’t receive honor and glory until Judgment Day. But this morning I want to talk about a different kind of hero. God’s ways are not our ways. He looks at things a little differently. There were some incidents in Jesus’ life that impressed Jesus. He let it be known that these people were the real heroes. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

“When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

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