Summary: When we look at the life of Jesus we discover He was a Master at making mountains out of molehills. He was always finding the sublime in that which was simple. He used the insignificant over and over for the basis of inspiration.
Basil Matthews tells of being in a little Arabian village and seeing a tall Arab boy playing a flute
in the dusty streets. He was surprised and asked the boy if he could examine the instrument. He
discovered it was made out of an old gun barrel. The boy had found it on a nearby battlefield. He
had filed it down, drilled holes in it, and out of a weapon designed to inflict misery he created a
instrument of music.
Creative people are always taking something worthless and turning it into something worthwhile.
Many can take trash and junk and turn it into trinkets and jewelry. No one can match the creative
ingenuity of Jesus, however. He can even make a mountain out of a molehill. We are using an old
cliche in a positive way when we say this, for we mean that He can take something minor and
minute and turn it into something major and magnificent.
Ordinarily this saying is used as a negative remark about those who turn trifles into tragedies,
and who exaggerate minor miseries into monstrous malignancies. Every gas bubble is made into a
bleeding ulcer; every minor pain is the onset of cancer; every storm is expected to be a rerun of Noah
and the Ark. The worry wort and the hypochondriac are experts at making mountains out of molehills,
but very few can persuade themselves to appreciate this awesome ability because it is all
negative. There is a positive side to this cliche, however. G. K. Chesterton points out that if you can
see the tremendous in trifles, and find wonder in the commonplace, then you are making mountains
out of molehills, and he can think of no more productive form of manufacture.
When we look at the life of Jesus we discover He was a Master at making mountains out of
molehills. He was always finding the sublime in that which was simple. He used the insignificant
over and over for the basis of inspiration. A poet put it-
He saw the world in a grain of sand,
and Heaven in a wild flower,
Held infinity in the palm of His hand
and Eternity in an hour.
You will search the Scripture in vain to find Jesus speaking of the 7 wonders of the world. The
common people heard Him gladly because He spoke of commonplace things. All of His illustrations
were from everyday life that all men were familiar with. He spoke of the birds of the air; the lilies of
the field; the grain white unto harvest; the sheep and the shepherd, the fishermen and his nets,
women baking, men plowing, and all the commonplace facts of life. Ninety nine per cent of all
Jesus said was plain bread and butter talk. When He came to the last night of His life in the flesh He
did not change His life style. In fact, if it is possible, He specialized even more in life's
commonplace basics. He took a towel and a basin of water to wash His disciples feet, and that is
about as commonplace and down to earth as you can get. Now we want to examine His instituting
the memorial by which His church will remember Him all through history, and again we see His
love for simplicity.
He does not leave to his church some elaborate ceremony with complex ritual that only the well
trained could participate in, but instead he takes a cup and he takes bread. Cup and bread, no big
deal. The lowliest peasant has a cup and some bread. The condemned prisoner in the dungeon has
his cup and bread. What kind of memorial is this for a king? Look at the Washington, Jefferson,
and Lincoln memorials, and then you will see honor. For Jesus there should be a crown with
glorious jewels, and a long shiny jewel-studded sword, or at least something that is lasting.
Anything but a perishable piece of bread that can be thrown to a dog, or left to mold and decay in a
What madness is this? A king whose hand can grasp the constellations, and he takes a cup. A
Master whose marvels and miracles could astound the world, and he takes a piece of bread as the
basis for his memorial. Where would the Pharaohs be today if they had taken a piece of bread and a
cup instead of building the majestic pyramids? They would have been forgotten completely. Jesus
does not want His disciples to forget Him either, but He does not insure their remembrance with
anything elaborate or complex. If He can build a perpetual memorial to His name out of these
commonplace things, then He is making a mountain out of molehill, and turning the trivial into the