6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: The Emperor in this story made the mistake of appearing before his people thinking he was covered when in reality he was naked. We can’t make the same mistake in appearing before God without the clothes provided for us by Jesus Christ

Emperor¡¦s New Clothes

How many of you kids know the story, ¡§The Emperor’s New Clothes¡¨ by Hans Christian Andersen

„X What¡¦s the story about?

„X The Emperor in the story was a vain man whose main focus in life was to dress in these elegant clothes and show them off to his people.

„X Two scoundrels exploited that vanity by offering to make for the Emperor an extraordinary garment made from cloth so light and fine that it looked invisible - invisible, that is, to anyone too stupid or incompetent to appreciate its quality

„X To make the clothes they required the best gold thread and silk which they promptly put into their bags

„X Then they set up an elaborate hoax of pretending to weave the kings clothes on their looms

„X When any of the kings officials came to inspect the work, they simply expressed admiration for the garments that didn’t really exist for fear of losing their position for being accused of being stupid or incompetent

„X Even the Emperor had to fake his response to the garments - lest he appear stupid and incompetent.

„X At this point, the scoundrels convinced the Emperor to appear before his subjects for the big parade, wearing only his magnificent new clothes.

„X So the scoundrels go through the pretense of pretending to put on the emperors clothes and the king marches out before the people under a canopy held up by servants

„X And, of course, the crowd cheered for the clothes that weren’t there - who wants to be thought of as stupid, right?

„X Until a little child did what little children do - tells it like it really is. He asks his mother why the king has no clothes on

„X Word spreads through the crowd and the king is highly embarrassed as he realizes he is not covered up at all and is butt-naked in front of his people

Surprisingly there is a similar story in the Bible about people who thought they were covered up but were really naked as well

„X Anyone know where that story is? Adam and Eve

„X God had created Adam and Eve, and given them everything they could ever want but he had one rule, not to eat of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

„X How many of you have parents who have made some rules around your house?

„X How many of you always obey all those rules?

„X That¡¦s what happened here as well. Adam and Eve broke God¡¦s rule

Genesis 3:6-13 6 The woman was convinced. The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise! So she ate some of the fruit. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her. Then he ate it, too. 7 At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.

„X How does it make you feel when you break one of your parent¡¦s rules especially when you find out you are going to be punished?

„X This is exactly how Adam and Eve felt, they felt ashamed, embarrassed and guilty

„X Shame is something our society tries to avoid, but it is a good thing

„X Unfortunately as we grow older we develop all sorts of ways of coping with shame until our conscience become calloused to shame and embarrassment

„X So what did they try to do? They tried to cover things up

So they strung fig leaves together around their hips to cover themselves.

„X I know this feeling. When I was a kid, my brothers and I were fighting and we broke a glass pane in a door

„X We all went to bed even though it was only 6:00pm thinking we would avoid punishment

„X We thought we would be safe in bed covered up by our blankets but it didn¡¦t work, we got a whoopin¡¦ anyway

„X Adam and Eve tried the same trick

8 Toward evening they heard the Lord God walking about in the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees.

„X The fig leaves didn¡¦t take away the bad feeling of shame so they hid in the bushes as well

9 The Lord God called to Adam, ¡§Where are you?¡¨ 10 He replied, ¡§I heard you, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.¡¨

„X We kids were laying in our beds when we heard Mum coming up the stairs

„X She was surprised to find us in bed so early and it didn¡¦t take her long to figure out we had done something

„X ¡§What have you done?¡¨

11 ¡§Who told you that you were naked?¡¨ the Lord God asked. ¡§Have you eaten the fruit I commanded you not to eat?¡¨

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