COLUMN: Food for thought by Sandy Sutherland
A FEW years ago we walked into the Scottish Antiques and Arts Center in Doune, near Callander.
My wife could soon find herself among the antiques and I among the comics! Old copies of the Hotspur, Dandy, Beano… brought back childhood memories.
My favorite comic, delivered weekly by Cunningham’s of Brora, was the Beezer. It was released by DC Thomson from 1956 until 1993 when it was merged with the Beano.
My favorite comic book character – ahead of Pop, Dick & Harry, Baby Crockett, the Badd Lads, Ginger and the Numskulls – was Colonel Blink – a myopic Mr Magoo-type character with the tagline: Colonel Blink: The Short-Sighted Gink .
The Beano, which is still available today and avidly read by one of our grandchildren, was also an enjoyable read, but at times the characters, like Dennis the Menace, were more subtle than Beezer’s clumsy Colonel Blink. .
In a comic strip, Hank Ketcham, the creator of Dennis the Menace, has his animated character sitting on Santa’s lap and whispering in his ear, “Do you believe in yourself?”
Jesus believed in himself saying, “I am the Son of God” (Matthew 27:43); “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30); “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58); “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
If the Son of God became man without ceasing to be God, we would expect him to:
1 Having a unique entrance into life: The virgin birth (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18, 23).
2 Be without sin: “Which of you will convict me of sin? (John 8:46).
3 Manifest the supernatural: “Go and report to John [the Baptist] what you have seen and heard: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the gospel is preached to the poor” (Luke 7:22).
4 Have a strong sense of difference with other teachers where his teaching was ultimate. He never recanted or changed; he never guessed, surmised, or spoke with the slightest uncertainty.
5 Speak like no one has ever spoken. Even his enemies said, “Never has a man spoken as this man speaks.” The people were “continually amazed at his teaching” (John 7:46; Luke 4:32).
6 Have a lasting and universal influence.
7 Satisfy the spiritual hunger of mankind: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6).
8 Exercise power over death: “I am the resurrection and the life…”; “Lazarus, get out! (John 11:25, 43).
Not only to have a single entry into the world but a single exit from it: “He’s not there; He is risen, as he said” (Matthew 28:6).
Jesus believed in himself but the question that remains for me is: Do I believe in Jesus?
There’s nothing subtle or hidden about who he is or what he came to do. Colonel Blink has always been oblivious to his clumsy and disastrous myopia.
We cannot have such an excuse not to see or believe in Jesus for salvation. As for the “real reason for the season,” we can leave the myopic characters to the comics.
Sandy Sutherland is a retired Free Church pastor who lives in Brora.