Summary: Our world creates a never ending cycle of always needing that one more thing to be accepted. Our church tells us we just need to do that one more thing to be good enough. Jesus just says come!
Tonight I want to start our time together by taking a look at a couple of TV commercials. They are both Coke commercials from their new slogan, “The Coke side of life.” As we watch each one, I want you guys to really watch close and think about what each add is really communicating.
***Watch the two commercials, pausing to talk about each one***
A few of weeks ago, a couple of us went to Gordon to hear a guy named Donald Miller speak in chapel. One of the things he talked about was the way that advertising and marketing work. He shared with us that the classic approach to the majority of advertising today is a two step process. First, an advertiser’s job is convincing you that you aren’t happy. Second, their job is to convince you that if you buy their product, you will be happy.
Subconsciously, that is the aim that these two coke commercials are taking. In the first commercial, it starts with a group marching, very rigidly and uniformed, into the small door at the bottom of this weird shaped building. Once inside, the camera zooms outward to show a coke bottle that erupts into a party. Thus, the coke side of life is a lot more fun than life without coke. In the second commercial, the dog is angry and attacking the bottle of coke while a series of black ink blots in the form of skulls and ghosts, as well as the word No float around him. Once the dog eats the bottle, suddenly his manner changes and the ghosts and no’s are replaced with hearts, smiley faces, and yes’s. Thus again, the coke side of life is a lot better than life without coke.
It might seem funny at first but really think about all the commercials you guys see on a regular basis; so many of them take this approach to advertising. If you don’t wear this brand of clothing, people won’t like you as much and you won’t get the guy or girl you like. If you buy a PC instead of a Mac you are going to end up like this dorky, fat, old guy with lots of problems instead of the young, cool looking guy. If you smoke these certain cigarettes or drink this certain beer you will be cool, popular and most importantly hot.
Advertising has dictated how we view ourselves and the world around us. Almost every commercial we see today communicates that life would be better if only...and according to research, over 3,000 times a day we are told over and over and over again that we and the people around us are not happy, not cool, not pretty, too fat, too thin, and on and on. Marketers make us believe that we, and everyone else around us, are scum unless we buy their product!
Tonight, I want to talk about this idea of thinking that culture has so strongly forced upon us by looking at a story in Matthew 9:9-13. Here we will see this mentality of being scum played out in a number of scenarios that will help us as we talk about jumping into a relationship with Christ.
***Read Matthew 9:9-13***
In the culture that Matthew lived in, it was not the media that had such a powerful influence on the way people thought. Instead, it was the religious leaders of the time that had the powerful effect. Everyday, they would spend their time studying the Old Testament laws and dictating to all of their fellow Jews what was the right way to live and what the wrong way to live was. Everywhere they went they would puff out their chests as they were dressed in beautiful robes and tell the Jews they weren’t good enough for God. They took the same approach as commercials do. They convinced people that they weren’t good enough for God unless they did this or did that. They spent their time selling God as a product.
Matthew was one of the people who would have been most affected by this constant attack of negative messages. A few weeks ago we talked about how Jesus helped a Roman Officer who would have been viewed as unclean by many Jews and a man that they would avoided. Matthew, even though he was a Jew, was actually considered even more unclean and unacceptable than the Roman soldier. Everyday Matthew would have been ostracized by his fellow peers and told that he was scum of the earth for three reasons.
First, he would have been harassed for turning on his people politically. See, as a tax collector, he was collecting for the Romans not the Jews. In some ways, he would have been viewed as working with the enemy and betraying his people.