Summary: But good triumphs over evil.
The Gunfight at the OK Corral
Sermon Objective: We are Christ-followers. That means our identity, values, and mission is intimately linked to Jesus.
We are in a series called “Lessons from the Wild West.” Two weeks ago we looked at: “Buffalo Bill Cody” (10:1-15) and discovered that he, just like the disciples of Jesus, was a common ordinary man who seized the opportunities given him and did remarkable things. We learned that God wants to use us ordinary people is extraordinary ways too. Last week we looked at “Remember the Alamo!” from Matthew 10:16-33 and discovered that following Christ was based on loyalty and sacrifice rather than ease and comfort. We live for a cause which is bigger than ourselves.
Next week we will look at: “Lessons from Sheriff Pat Garret” (10:34-42)
This week we will look “The Gunfight at the OK Corral” and at Matthew 10:24-25.
“A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!
They were an unlikely pair; Wyatt Earp and his trusty sidekick John Henry (Doc) Holliday. They came from different cultures and lived with different purposes but fate and appreciation for each other kept them together for much of their adult life.
Wyatt Earp was one of three brothers. These siblings stayed together most of the time; moving their families and being classified, by all rightful accounts, as a clan. Wyatt seemed to be the natural leader and is best known by his occupation as “The Law” in places like Wichita and Dodge City.
But always in his shadow was the good friend Doc Holliday.
Doc was born and raised in Atlanta Georgia. His dad was a lawyer and politician. He was ushered off to Baltimore, Maryland and trained as a dentist and soon afterwards moved west. Dentistry brought him poverty while living in Dallas so he took a new job -- “gun fighter.” He, like Wyatt Earp, was accurate and very fast. He was known as the “the answer to the mortician’s prayer.”
In 1880 the Earp clan and Doc made their way to Tombstone, AZ -- a town rightly named. Wyatt’s brother, Virgil, became the Marshall and immediately deputized all his brothers and Doc. Then things got tense. Tombstone had an over-abundance of lawlessness and many people there were already familiar with the Earp’s brand of law and order. On Wednesday, October 26, 1881, seven men decided it was time to put an end to the Earp’s reign and refused to relinquish their guns as they entered the city; a law put in place by the Earps which, in effect, meant they were the only ones allowed in the city limits with fire arms.
What ensued at 2 p.m. at the OK Corral would go down in history as a tribute to Western lawmen. Seven men stood outside the building brazenly showing their guns and defiantly daring the Earps to approach. It was apparent to all that once the law arrived this was going to be ugly.
On cue Marshall Virgil along with brothers Wyatt and Morgan and, of course, Doc, approached and once again ordered the men to relinquish their weapons. The outlaws made it clear that they intended to use the weapons rather than surrender them and within a matter a moments bullets were flying everywhere. In less than 30 seconds three men laid dead, three others severely injured and only two men were left without a bullet hole in them somewhere. One was Wyatt Earp and the other was one of the rebels who, after reconsidering his position on the matter, ran away before the shooting ever began.
So, you ask, “What does this have to do with Matthew 10:24 & 25?”
That’s a good question.
On the outset it would not appear as if there was not much in common between this historic event and the words of Jesus but there are, actually, similarities. Both are stories of the right side of the law winning while the group making up the composite of victory seems less than harmonic. Doc and Wyatt were an unlikely pair but together they were a formidable group. Jesus and me seem an unlikely pair but together we too are quite formidable. The same goes for you and Jesus.
This invincibility we experience with Christ is not of our own doing -- it is because of our association with the Master. As we choose to identify with Him and become like Him God will use us in unimaginable ways.
1. WE HAVE THE SAME DESTINY