Years ago I delivered a message titled, “From Hero To Zero.” This is what happened to Jesus in Jerusalem the last week of his life on earth. The day he entered Jerusalem the crowd proclaimed (John 12:13)… “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” In the people’s view, Jesus was indeed their long awaited Messiah. He was their hero.
But in just a few days these people would be screaming, “Crucify him!” Jesus would be betrayed… arrested… beaten… and crucified. He became a zero in the same eyes that hailed him as their hero. And this was not a surprise to Jesus. This was the reason he chose to go to Jerusalem. All these events, as horrible as they were, were God’s will. As Jesus said,
Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” (John 12:27-28)
According to Acts 4:27-28 God did not leave salvation to chance. It was God’s will for Christ to enter Jerusalem in a triumphant manner (Hero) and in less than a week plummet in popularity to zero. Jesus walked so closely with His Father he was willing to obey his own message and teaching to die… literally. But for this day (John 12:13) Jesus was the hero who was willing to become a zero to glorify God.
Most people today want to be a hero to glorify God. They want the big platform… name recognition… to be a gospel rock star because they think that is the best way God is glorified. They just haven’t looked closely at Jesus’ life nor contemplated his teaching. Yes, God does use “heroes” to glorify His name… BUT… he uses many more “zeroes” to glorify his name! The “zeroes” outnumber the “heroes” innumerably. Then one day the “zeroes” will in all likelihood be more highly honored in glory (“The first will be last and the last will be first”).
There are some who “Ride The Wave” of God’s blessing, but there are many more who live in caves. It is those who live in caves for God’s glory who are described as “Those whom the world was not worthy.” If you feel like you’re a zero, not having much of an impact for the King’s Kingdom, consider that there is one standard God uses to evaluate His own… Obedience. If you’re obedient, you are a hero in God’s eyes.