American adults (age 18 and over) spontaneously named President Obama as the person they admire enough to call their hero in a Harris Poll that did not provide a list for respondents to choose from.
The Harris Poll, released on Thursday, was conducted on 2,634 U.S. adults between Jan. 12 to 19, 2009 – just ahead of President Obama’s inauguration
“The fact that President Obama is mentioned more often than Jesus Christ, should not be misinterpreted,” The Harris Poll clarified in its report. “No list was used and nobody was asked to choose between them.
Following Barack Obama, the next most popular, personal heroes are Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Abraham Lincoln, John McCain, John F. Kennedy, Chesley Sullenberger, and Mother Teresa, respectively, to round out the top 10 people Americans say they admire and would call their hero.
Respondents gave multiple reasons for their choice of heroes, including: doing what’s right regardless of personal consequences (89 percent); not giving up until the goal is accomplished (83 percent); doing more than what other people expect of them (82 percent); overcoming adversity (81 percent); and staying level-headed in a crisis (81 percent).
Only 14 percent of Americans said they admire either their mother or father enough to call them their hero. In contrast, nearly half (49 percent) said a public figure is someone they admire and consider a personal hero
By Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter
And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only. Mark 9:7-8
Peter, James, and John had their own chance for hero worship. One day Jesus led them up a high mountain to a place where they would be set apart by themselves. While there on the mountaintop, Jesus was met by Elijah and Moses who talked with Jesus a while. Jesus was transfigured before their very eyes. They watched Jesus’ garments become whiter than even Clorox bleach could whiten. Peter being ever impetuous, wanted to build huts for Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. While contemplating the idea of building these huts, a cloud overshadowed them and a voice cried from heaven saying; “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him.” When the cloud had lifted only Jesus remained.
One Solitary Life
Herein lies the basis for a Christian’s belief in God. Although taught by the prophets and lawgivers of old, it wasn’t until the arrival of Jesus on the scene, that all those ancient prophecies and stories took on fuller meaning. The only thing that sets our faith apart from the religions of the world is one solitary life, the life of Jesus Christ.
All religions have their laws and lawgivers. All religions have their prophets and holy men, but only Christianity has Jesus Christ. Some religions allude to Jesus as just another prophet. Thus this mountaintop experience set Jesus apart from both the law (Moses) and the prophets (Elijah) when the voice was heard from heaven saying “this is my beloved Son listen to Him”.
Peter, like many of us, wanted to honor all three men equally by building huts for them all. He wanted to show his appreciation and respect for these three men of God. He saw Jesus in the company of Moses and Elijah and viewed them equally. As a Jewish male, raised on the law and prophets, he grew to appreciate the history of Israel and to respect the great men of faith like Moses, Abraham, Aaron, and Elijah. Although Jesus continually called himself the “Son of God”, until this time, I am not sure the three men actually understood the importance of Jesus’ life and ministry. He was just considered a great man, or a prophet. Although Peter had alluded to Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” in Matthew 16:16, I still do not think the fullness of that revelation had registered with him.
Even though transfigured before their very eyes and shining with the glory of heaven, it wasn’t until after Jesus’ resurrection that Peter, James and John fully understood the whole purpose of Christ’s coming. They had heard the stories of Moses’ face shining with the Glory of God when he descended from Mount Sinai, in Exodus 34, therefore the fact that Jesus also shone with the brightness of God’s glory was not really anything new. And then having Moses and Elijah there with Jesus, made it seem like a reunion. Peter, James and John, may have thought of themselves as special in some way, to have been invited to this gathering of by-gone saints.
Later in Mark 9:34 we see the disciples arguing as to who was going to be the greatest in the kingdom of God. After the mountaintop experience, it may be reasonable to conclude that the disciples were excited about seeing Moses and Elijah and could not help but talk about it even though Jesus told them not to. It would be the same if any of us were to be standing in the presence of someone we admired and idolized. Even better, if there were three people we have grown up holding great admiration for. Pick someone you adore from pop-culture and imagine being invited to a private meeting with that person, how would you react? An example of hero worship is outlined in the recent Harris poll quoted at the beginning of this article.
On this mountain top journey, God addressed this tendency in us to elevate men to such a high degree. It was for this cause that God cried out through the cloud to listen to Jesus. As long as we go through life with our eyes and ears on someone we elevate higher than Jesus, (the word of God made flesh) the more problems we will have with our walk of faith. Salvation is not a work of our flesh, it can not be legislated by law, nor given by man or government, it must grow out of a heart of love for Jesus and the sacrifice he made on our behalf.
The prophets could not impart this faith, for they could only address the people to warn them when they drifted away from the law. The prophets of old foretold of a time when the sin problem would be dealt with, but until then they could only admonished the people to remain in the ways that Moses had set out before them. Therefore the people grew up with a respect and admiration for the law, at least when they were actually living according to it’s mandates. All the kings of Israel could not impart this faith either. Even though King David is still admired by some in Israel even to this day, he, like our current President, is just a man.
3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:3-5 (NKJV)
What the law and prophets, kings and Presidents, could not do, Jesus accomplished, by dying on the cross and raising again on the third day. Therefore he takes first place over all other political, religious, and spiritual leaders as well as the prophets of old. He is to be the CENTER of our worship and life. He is to be THE ONE we listen to. Jesus is the only one who has ever risen from the dead after dying for our sins. That surely makes him the HERO of our faith.
Apart from Christ, Christianity would be no different than the other world religions which all claim their own prophets and lawgivers. We on the other hand have CHRIST, the beloved Son of God. It is because of Jesus we are set apart from others. Not because we are special or more worthy, but because Jesus makes us special, because of his love for us.
Ps 8 (GW) It is better to depend on the Lord than to trust mortals.9 It is better to depend on the Lord than to trust influential people. Psalms 118:8-
Moses did not die for me, Elijah did not die for me, Mohammad wants others to die for him, Buddha is dead, Krishna is also deceased, Obama, although President of the United States, is just a man. Jesus, however, not only died for me, he also arose from the grave and lives in me through His spirit.
Certainly, we live, move, and exist because of him. As some of your poets have said, ‘We are God’s children.’ Acts 17:28
You haven’t received the spirit of slaves that leads you into fear again. Instead, you have received the spirit of God’s adopted children by which we call out, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15
Do not let your life become clouded, by elevating yourself or others to a position greater than that of Jesus Christ. If you set your affections on Christ, who is seated at the right hand of God, then you too will be counted among the faithful, and receive the crown of life, which is awarded to all those who call upon the name of the Lord. Listen to Him. Make Jesus your hero. Elevate Jesus to first place, after all you were first on his list when he chose to die for your sins. Can the same be said of Obama or anyone else for that matter?
But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)
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