The man peddled his green bicycle on the side of the highway, so close to traffic he nestled in with the BMW’s and rusty fords. He was in great shape, speeding uphill as if riding the tailwind of a jet, but it was the signs that caught my attention. “Peddling the Gospel”, one said, propped up on his back seat. Below that one hung a sign that proclaimed the existence of God.
His ponytail was streaked with years turned gray. He would have fit in with the Veterans Day parade we came from, with a mix of starched and ready soldiers, Vietnam War vets on motorcycles – a mix of proud and angry, and the protestors for peace who have a great point, but don’t know they’re fighting the same fight as the soldiers who have witnessed the hell that will not stop for a piece of paper on a stick.
The man peddles on and I wonder where he is going. He is bold, different than the fishbowl driving alongside him. Where is his family? How will his sign make a difference?
Is he crazy?
I’m reminded of the homeless prophet who ate bugs and wore camel skins. He proclaimed his own message, announcing a gospel yet-to-come, and did not stop when the authorities of the time didn’t like what he had to say.
He might fit in with the bicycle man, fishing among the throng for a listening ear.
I have no doubt people thought John the Baptist was crazy. Who lives on a steady diet of bugs and honey?
But Jesus came, just like the homeless man said, and called a few uneducated fishermen to help lead the world. They probably stank, and spoke rough, maybe lacked a few teeth. Jesus also chose a tax collector, a perpetually unpopular occupation. All but Peter and Jesus were thought to be teenagers. Who would listen?
The green bicycle is sturdy, carrying the man whose gaze never wavers. He sits upright and we pass him by.
Are his words just a naive message on a stick? Who will listen?
God gathers his messengers to prepare the way. This is happening, and many laugh at the modern prophets. “They are crazy” some say, “they don’t fit in, and speak of fantasies like the uneducated. Who wants to hang out with the unpopular?”
Hell whispers into the ears of the throng, leading the blind on their way into a war eternal.
But a sovereign God doesn’t needs mans intellect, or a BMW to change the world. He shook it up with a handful of outcasts and threw out a holy lifeline.
Discernment comes with those who catch it.
A reminder concerning true followers of Christ:
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. Revelation 22: 18-19
Have you wondered about modern day prophets? Do we need them now? Share your thoughts/experiences in the comments.