Summary: What Would Jesus say to one who thinks taking human life is God’s Will?
“What Would Jesus Say To Osama bin Laden?”
(Use Vs 1 & chorus of the hit song "Where Were You?”[When the world stopped turning] by Alan Jackson)
Where were you? How many can remember where you were or what you were doing when you heard of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11? Much like those of my parent’s generation who can tell you what they were doing in 1941 when they heard about Pearl Harbor, or those of my generation who can tell you where they were when they heard about the assassination of J.F.K, this event will go down as unforgettable. But there’s a subtle difference. Back in the 40’s people had to hear about the events of the war over radio or read them in the newspaper. In the 60’s, TV, still in it’s infancy, gave us the news in B & W, several hours delayed. But this.. this event was “live and in color.” Many actually saw the second plane crash into the World Trade Towers, as Alan Jackson sang we saw “the black smoke rise against that blue sky,” the burning Pentagon, the charred woods in Pennsylvania, as it happened. And those images are burned in our memories forever.. and so will this one. (pic of bin Laden) It was not very long after the attacks that we started hearing this man’s name as the one who master-minded this incredible crime.. Osama bin Laden. How many, before Sept. 11, had heard his name? President Bush calls him the “Evil One”and there is a reward out for him like in the old days of the west.. “Dead or Alive.”
As we continue in our series on what Jesus might say to some of the contemporary people of our day we want to discuss what the Son of God would say to Osama bin Laden. Now, let’s clarify two things as we begin: (1)I hope you did not come today expecting to hear what I would say to this man; because I am not qualified to pass judgement on any soul, that’s God’s job. As we mentioned last week, one of the things we don’t want to do to any of the people we profile, is to make this a “slam or finger pointing” session. David Berkwitz of Newsweek asked the question in a web article on 12/22, “What Would Jesus Do About Bin Laden?” He asked different religious leaders their opinions but the only “Jesus” he could find that he agreed with was Jesus (hey-soos) Ayala of Brooklyn who said: “We should kill him and (castrate) him. Not necessarily in that order.” Berkwitz concluded: “Now, that’s a Jesus most of us can live with.” After what we’ve seen that kind of anger is understandable isn’t it? (2) But that’s why we need to talk about what we think the Lord might say to this man. Jesus specialized in talking to the undesirables.. what the religious leaders in His day called “sinners.” When they asked Jesus why He bothered with “those kind of people,” He said, “It’s not the healthy who need a Doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mk. 2:17) So, I believe Jesus would be anxious to talk to this man. Now, all of us would probably agree that it would be appropriate for Jesus to pronounce eternal judgment on Bin Laden. He does deserve it doesn’t he? But I don’t think that’s the only alternative Jesus would offer. And as we’ll see, that’s not only good news for Osama bin Laden but for us as well. Would Jesus say? I think He’d say at least three things in an effort to pry open the hardened heart of Osama bin Laden.
I. I, (JESUS), NOT MOHAMMAD, PROVIDES SALVATION: (Acts 4:12)
Osama bin Laden is not exploring or experimenting with the spiritual. He doesn’t wonder what God would want of him. On the contrary, this man is convinced, by his upbringing and extreme religious beliefs, that he is on the right path. Let’s learn a little about him.
He was born in 1957, to a Syrian mother, and to his father, Mohammed Awad bin Laden, who like many in the Arabian culture, practice polygamy, having a harem of wives. Osama was the 7th son among 50 bothers and sisters. His father started his life as a poor laborer in the 1930’s but ended up as owner of the biggest construction company in all of Saudi Arabia. This was due to the close relationship the senior Bin Laden developed with the then King of Saudi. He was so impressive to the King that he was eventually given the exclusive right to build all construction projects for the royal family. So, Osama’s father was a very ambitious, successful, very powerful and he was also a very dominating personality. He insisted that all of his children be kept in a large house so they could be watched. He was a tough disciplinarian and made sure each child observed, strictly, the Islamic code in order to protect them from the “corruption of the infidels” or non-believers. Osama revered his father, obeying his every instruction and was devastated when his Father died when he was 13.