Unlikely Heroes

Last night, I’m watching an episode of Monk who has been called the defective detective. The guy is a mastermind at solving crimes as he notices every little thing that is off-kilter and is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge. However, he has extreme OCD which means sometimes his phobias overpower his logic.

So in last night’s episode, Monk is speaking before a class of students in Middle School most likely on his job and they all start aiming their laser pointers the last guest gave at him causing him to scream and go crazy. The villain in that episode he’s investigating then says Monk always flinches, and that’s why he’ll always be afraid.

How does it end? The villain is an astronaut about to test pilot a new plane and destroy crucial evidence at the same time. Monk gets in front of the plane and stands there while the military put laser points on him. This time though, they’re from actual guns. Still he stands and doesn’t flinch. The cops then arrive and the bad guy is arrested and everyone’s happy. (Well, except the murderer of course.)

This is something that always strikes me about Monk. Monk is the one the students laugh at, but at the end of the day, they applaud his bravery. He is what we call an unlikely hero. Another episode like this is when he comes down with the flu and his assistant tracks down the murderer. He finds out that she’s been captured by the murderer though and although Mr. Monk is sick with the flu and in his robe, he goes to a dump and fights the villain in bags of garbage. (For Monk, that’s a lot.)

Heroes can often be the unlikely ones. Think of how Jesse’s sons all came and stood before the prophet Samuel. Which one did God choose? The runt. This one became the hero of the people. How many soldiers were used to defeat the Midianites? 300. Who led them again? The runt of the family.

It seems God is always going against what our conceptions would be. We think God chooses the best of the best, but he chooses the least of the least. He revealed himself in the most obscure and unknown people of the time. “How odd of God to choose the Jews”, as the line goes, and then follows with “But odder still are those who reject whom God chose.”

And what of our savior? Yes. He is God incarnate, but not the way we expect. He came as a little baby into our world. Is that how we would expect God to show up? What about his life growing up? There is nothing in his appearance that we should desire him says the prophet Isaiah. Jesus would not stand out in a crowd, yet he’s the hero.

God continues this throughout the NT. A short and balding man who probably spoke with a lisp is chosen to be the greatest evangelist of all time. Paul then took a liking to a youngster named Timothy and because of him, we have two books of Scripture.

Throughout history, this continues. Aquinas’s fellow students made fun of him and called him a dumb ox, yet his teacher said that the world better watch out for when that ox bellows, he’ll be heard around the world. Martin Luther was a trembling man who lived in terror every day until he learned of the grace of God in justification through faith and ended up changing the world.

So what about you?

What’s stopping you from being heroic today? Now not everyone fights out in the battlefield. Some are more supporters, but everyone plays a part. In fact, not playing a part is a choice and you will be used by God for his glory anyway. Why not be wise and play a part so you can partake in the joy of God as well?

Go out today. Be a hero. The world may see you as unlikely, but remember the precedent God has already set as mentioned in 1 Cor. The weak shame the strong and the foolish the wise.

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