by David Sisler

The owner's manual for a 1913 automobile read: "The automobile has now developed to the point where it is not anticipated there will be further developments or changes, and this manual should be a reliable guide for the motorist of the future."

Who would have believed it?

A few years ago, a newspaper in Seattle, Washington, published something it called the "Cost of Nothing Index." The author of the article discovered that you could spend over $30.00 a month and get nothing in return for your money.

For example, the minimum charge on each homeowner's water bill was $2.10. In other words you were charged $2.10 each month by the city of Seattle, even if you never turned on a faucet. The electric company charged a minimum of $1.50 on each bill for bookkeeping purposes. So, even if you never turned on a switch, you paid for the privilege of having electrical power at your house. There was a monthly charge of $5.45 for the sewer, even if you never flushed the toilet. The telephone company billed you $8.25 per month even if you never made a telephone call and never received a call. You didn't have to turn on the television, and the cable company still billed almost $10.00 a month.

Someone once said, "If you have gotten something for nothing you just haven't received the bill yet." Where your monthly utilities are concerned, you really can get billed for nothing.

Who would have believed it?

Some foods have become known for cities and countries where the food supposedly originated. But would you believe, in Denmark, there is no Danish pastry? It is called Viennese bread. The English do not have English muffins. They have crumpets. In Bologna, there is no bologna. In China, there is no chop suey. There are almost no turkeys in Turkey. And Spanish rice is not served in Spain.

Who would have believed it?

Speaking about God's Messiah, the prophet Isaiah wrote, "He had no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him. No beautiful appearance that we should be attracted to Him.

"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised and we did not esteem Him.

"He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors."

Isaiah asked, "Who would have believed it?" That is not at all like our popular image of Jesus, God's Messiah.

One of television's most fascinating game shows, dating from the days of black and white broadcasts, was "To Tell The Truth." Three contestants introduced themselves as the same individual. Two were impostors. The liars had to be separated from the one who was telling the truth. It is my guess that if three men were introduced on that show as Jesus of Nazareth, most of us would pick the wrong two.

We picture Jesus as one of the beautiful people. An extremely good looking man. Crowds attracted to Him because of His appearance. But He was not a "matinee idol." He was not admired by most people. Most people came to completely despise Him.

If you want to be popular, you do not want to follow Jesus. If you want to be accepted in all of the right circles, you do not want to follow Jesus.

But if you want to follow someone who is always the same, someone who never changes, someone who will be your friend regardless of your circumstances, then you do want to follow Jesus. Who would have believed it? If you want to please God, if you want to have eternal life, you will.


Published in the Augusta Chronicle 8/6/94

Copyright 1994 by David Sisler

Your comment is welcome. Write to me at: n4so@hotmail.com

Back to David Sisler's Home Page