Everybody Loves A Hero :: by Grant Phillips

Many moons ago while watching the old westerns I, as all other children, automatically knew the good guys wore white hats and the bad guys wore black hats. The guys in the white hats were our heroes. It’s been a long time since our heroes wore white hats to distinguish them from the bad guys, but all of us still have our heroes.

I’ve always loved the old westerns, and my favorite cowboy actor was Randolph Scott. After him were Joel McCrea, and thirdly Audie Murphy. The westerns of that era were my favorite.

Almost any show or movie you watch has a hero that wins the day, whether it’s a western, mystery, detective show, war movie, even sometimes a love story. We like to have heroes in our lives.

I can’t leave out Tarzan. The old Tarzan movies with Johnny Weissmuller always got my attention. I could sit for hours watching those movies, and just loved it when he would call his animal friends to give him a hand.

Today’s movies still have their heroes, such as; (no particular order) Gladiator, Ironman, Avengers, Sherlock Holmes, Taken, Shooter, Miracle, Rocky, Open Range, Batman, Superman, Blind Side, etc. The list could go on endlessly. (By the way, I am not endorsing any particular movie(s). I am just giving examples that we love our heroes.)

There must be something about the human psyche that longs to cheer on a hero, especially an underdog that becomes a hero. Sports fans, for example, cheer on their teams. Why? Because the team is their hero striving to defeat the “enemy.” We would even like to be the hero, and as children, we would often pretend we were just that.

Animals can be heroes. I think of Seabiscuit, a horse that gave people something to cheer for during trying times. Lassie was a hero to many children of yesteryear.

Children from the past and up through today want to be policemen, firefighters, nurses, and doctors because they protect and save the lives of others. They may want to be sports stars to be honored for their skills, or warriors to prove their bravery.

So heroes can be individuals, groups or even animals.

And then there are the unsung heroes. Immediately our military comes to mind. These kids deserve all the honor we can give them. Those from the Vietnam era received little from this country, and we should hang our heads in shame.

The Mom who faithfully tends to her family’s needs may not think she is a hero, but she is right up there on top. The hours spent cooking, cleaning, washing may not seem like much, but they are. She is there for her children, and her husband, at night when they are sick and she is bone tired, perhaps not feeling well herself. She is their encourager and their strength. Good Moms are heroes.

Every Dad that spends his days earning a living to provide for his family is a hero to those he loves. By the end of the day, when returning from work, he is tired but not too tired to pitch ball with his son and sit in the floor with his daughter sipping imaginary tea. Knowing his wife, his children’s Mother, is also tired, he asks her, “What can I do to help?” Good Dads are heroes.

These scenarios may not be totally realistic in today’s world, but they could be, and probably are by more than we think. Heroes are within our own family.

Teachers spend most of the day with our most prized possessions, our children. Good teachers treat them as their own, teaching them, correcting them and being an encourager and example to them. Good teachers are heroes.

So the reality is we have more heroes within our families and next door than we may realize. Let us honor them.

There is another hero I have saved for last because He is the greatest hero of all. His name is Jesus. He is the Son of God. Since He and the Father are one, He is God. In true heroic fashion, He came to our rescue.

He is my Hero because He reached down from a bloody Roman cross and:

“He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” Psalms 40:2

Bound for hell, with no hope, the God of Heaven came to my rescue. He forgave me my sins against Him, and put His Spirit within me. My enemy is defeated. He just doesn’t know it yet. My home is in Heaven with my God and my Lord.

We usually imagine our heroes in beautiful array, dressed in white, with an authoritative presence. When Jesus returns to the earth every eye will recognize Him as the Hero of heroes.

“And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.” Revelation 1:13-18 (NLT)

Many heroes of the old westerns often rode on white horses. Again, this distinguished them as the hero of the movie. The Hero of Heaven and earth also will be on a white horse.

“Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.” Revelation 19:11-16 (NLT)

When my Hero returns I will be with Him as he vanquishes His enemies. I will be in good company, for there will be many in His army who have also made Him their Supreme Hero. We will all be riding upon white horses, clothed in fine linen. That day may not be very far off. Will you be with us?

Everybody loves a hero, but have you chosen the right one? Just put your faith in Jesus and He will save you by His glorious grace, and be your Hero too.

Grant Phillips