Summary: This is the first sermon in a series titled Extreme Makeover. Jesus wants to give you big ears so that you can hear his word and do what it says.
EXTREME MAKEOVER: BIG EARS
March 28, 2004
Our culture today is really into makeovers. There are all kinds of reality makeover
programs on television today. Most deal with getting a new haircut, a new hair color, help
with makeup and a new wardrobe. But a new show that aired in prime time on a major
network was perhaps the pinnacle of all these makeover shows. It was called Extreme
Makeover. This show went beyond all of the others. It went beyond hair and makeup and
clothes to include things like plastic surgery, nose jobs and tummy tucks.
When it comes to having makeovers our culture is obsessed about the wrong
things. We are more worried about the size of our thighs, than the size of our lies. In a
world of mixed up makeovers I though it might be interesting to spend some time thinking
about what kind of makeover Jesus would give us. So for the next few weeks we are
going to look at some selected passages from the book of James. As we do so, allow
Jesus to give your life an Extreme Makeover. It won’t hurt a bit. Just a little Nip Tuck.
We are going to begin our Extreme Makeover by dealing with a part of our bodies
that many people are very subconscious about - their ears. We don’t want our ears to be
too small, too large or too pointy. Nor do we want our ears to be uneven. Did you know
that models have to have ears that a perfectly even with one another? When it comes to
ears we are very picky.
So if Jesus could do an Extreme Makeover on your ears, what would he do?
James shows us that he would give us big ears. What! Big ears! Who wants big ears!
Our culture makes fun of people who have Dumbo ears. But just like in the story book
those big ears prove to be a blessing.
At the age of 33, Erik Weihenmayer is a phenomenal athlete who loves to skydive,
snow ski and climb mountains. Mountain climbing is his specialty. As a matter of fact, he
is on track to be one of the youngest to climb all of the Seven Summits, the highest peaks
on each of the continents. In 1995 he scaled Mt. McKinley, in 1996 El Capitan, in 1998
Mt Kilamanjaro. In 1999 he climbed Argentina’s Aconcauga. On May 25, 2001 he
reached the summit of Mount Everest, a peak that 90% of those who begin to climb never
finish. Since 1953, 165 people have died trying to climb Everest, but Erik made it. Now
that is an extremely significant feat, but you don’t know the half of it. Weihenmayer
suffers from a degenerative eye disease, and when he was 13 he became totally blind. All
of his climbs have been without the benefit of his eyesight. Weihenmayer is a blind
Now you have to ask yourself, “How is that possible? How can a guy who can’t
see climb the highest peaks in the world?” If you ask him, he’ll tell you. He has learned to
- He listens as a bell tied to the back of the climber in front of him shows him which way
- He listens to his climbing partners who shout back to him, "Death fall two feet to your
right!" so he knows what direction not to go.
- He listens to the sound of his pick jabbing the ice, so he knows whether his footing will
be secure or not.
For Erik Weihenmayer, being a good listener is a matter of life and death.
We need to be listening for the Word of God like Erik Weihenmayer listens for
those bells, the warnings from his fellow climbers, and the sound of that pick in the ice.
We need to be listening as if our life depends on it, because it does!
Because listening to God and his Word is so important, Jesus wants to give us big
ears to that we can listen and hear him better as he shouts instructions to us to guide us
through life so that we can avoid the death falls.
I. Become A Hearer Of The Word. (vv. 19-21)
We need big ears to be hearers of the word. James tells us that there are four
things that we need to do to insure that this makeover is a success. James tells us how to
19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak
and slow to become angry, 20for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that
God desires. 21Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and