Just this past May, not more than 2 months ago, David Gonzalez, age 35, was busy remodeling an old home in Hoffman, Minn, that he had purchased for just $10,100. But while he was busy tearing out old insulation in the walls and ceiling of the house he uncovered what is considered to be the “Holy Grail” of all comic books: Action Comics edition No. 1. 1938 – the very first comic to introduce the Man of Steel, Superman.
Reports indicate the comic book had remained untouched in the home’s ceiling for more than 70 years. Only around 100 issues of this comic book are known to be in existence today, and a recent sale of an Action Comics No. 1 edition in near mint condition took in 2.16 million dollars. To further heighten the attractiveness of Gonzalez’s find for collectors, this past month marked another blockbuster film for Superman: Man of Steel. This was an incredible find, at an incredible time.
But the story goes on… while Gonzalez and his wife’s aunt (who had apparently come over to help work on the house) got into a dispute about her demand for a financial cut from the sale of the comic, they got into some sort of crazy tug-of-war match and accidentally ripped the back cover off the book, dropping it’s condition by at least 2 points and it’s value by more than $75,000… maybe a lot more. Ouch. That was an expensive argument.
The almost insane value of this classic comic book is shocking, but when I heard about the huge loss of value because of a silly argument it practically took the air out of my lungs. I threw my hands in the air and shouted, “how nuts!” Last month, Gonzalez’s comic book sold for $175,000. Not too shabby, but it could have sold for a lot more…
Could you imagine if you or I owned a classic comic book valued at $1 million?! I don’t know about you, but I would first get insurance on the item and then I probably could not help myself but show it off to everyone – if you came over my house you would have to see “THEE” comic book. I would probably subtly but proudly talk about its value and how it gained its worth and how remarkably unique and rare it was and on and on and on…
But why am I not that way about the immense, endless, and incomparable worth of Jesus Christ? You and I gasped at the story of this Superman comic book and its shocking value… maybe you (like me) imagined what you would do if you were the one who found the comic book. But why do we have dozens of Bibles practically coming out of our ears, containing the amazing story and worth of Jesus Christ, yet the Good news of Jesus rarely exits our mouths…especially when we’re around the unsaved?
A Puny Jesus?
Maybe it’s because we’ve lost sight of the full picture, the full worth, the full value, the crazy amazing work of Jesus Christ…. It is so easy to get focused-in on the value system around which the world revolves. We plink our pennies, save our dollars, and hope for the day when will be able to rest and relax with some of the personal treasure we’ve stored up for ourselves. And we can so easily lose sight of the immense worth of Christ and where real, lasting hope is found.
Maybe the size of our picture of Christ has slowly been shrunk down or whittled away to a more comfortable, manageable Jesus, who doesn’t call us to radical discipleship, innovative evangelism, or risky faith. Are we more excited about getting a raise on our job than going on a mission trip to reach someone who’s never heard about Jesus?
Sometimes it seems like you and I would be more broken-hearted and sick inside about the thousands of dollars lost on a completely fictional comic book, than we are about the thousands upon thousands of people who pass by our church building everyday without Christ, un-rescued, and still living in the domain of darkness, apart from Christ’s light.
So who really has more value and worth? Superman or Jesus?
The early believers residing in the ancient city of Colossae needed a bigger picture – a full portrait of Christ’s supreme value and worth. False teachers were promulgating various heretical ideas within the Colossian church, claiming that Christians needed to still follow the Old Testament ceremonial laws and extra-biblical regulations, that they needed to seek after some sort of deeper or special knowledge, that angels were to be worshiped as mediators to God, and that a select few could reach perfection as some sort of “elite” tribe of thinkers.
But more than all of these false ideas, these heretics were teaching a small, inadequate picture of Christ – that Jesus Christ was not really God-in-the-flesh, that He was not fully divine, that His value, worth, and work were not really incomparable and supreme. Therefore, the apostle Paul wrote to them (and to us) by the power and inspiration of the Spirit so that we could see a huge portrait – a painting as it were – of who Jesus Christ is and what He accomplished for us and for our salvation…
Let’s watch as Paul paints each brushstroke of this amazing portrait of Christ, the Son of God in Colossians 1:13-23…
Listen to the full audio message entitled “Superman vs. Jesus” (Colossians 1:13-23) by simply clicking on the play button below or by subscribing to our iTunes podcast. This message was originally delivered at Evangel Baptist Church on Sunday evening, July 21st, 2013, during the report service for our local teen mission program called Neighborhood Gospel Outreach.