“If I had a chance to do it all over again, I would never want to be considered a role model. It was like a game that was stacked against me and there was no chance that I could win.”
(A quote snatched from an interview filmed as a segment during Episode VI in the documentary series "The Last Dance".)
And so it is for all of us.
Had we the ability to sample a cross section of humanity from all people groups and cultures through all human existence we would find Mr. Jordan is not alone in his sentiment. Given time we all become very much aware of our failure to live up to anyone's standard, including our own - much less that of a perceived deity.
Hence the truth in the words "There is no difference, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God"
Watching a documentary on a superstar athlete and the team he played on in the NBA (National Basketball Association), and seeing segment after segment of footage depicting the swarming crowds and media personnel pressing against him, I honestly began to feel a combination of disappointment and anger. Disappointment, because the flaws of my hero of the basketball courts were exposed, and angry because he could not escape it. It was such harassment.
The scrutiny in the repeated questions, microphones up in his face, renewed my admiration for our Savior Jesus for the 33 years of His earthly tenure. The multitudes that pressed on Him to get his attention as He approached the ultimate championship contest of His crucifixion - WOW! Folks could see Him and touch Him, watching Him earnestly for flaws. Yet He could say at any time throughout His unique vocational life as a perceived superstar, "Come unto Me and learn of Me…for I am meek and lowly."
The game was stacked against Him
Recently, CNN news commentator Don Lemon stated, "…Jesus Christ admittedly was not perfect when he was here on the Earth." I pulled this quote from the report of his interview with fellow CNN journalist Chris Cuomo at townhall.com
We're inclined to say things like that from ignorance, but also from incredulity. Don't you find it difficult, on the basis of your own experience, to believe any man could possibly be free of fault?
In Galatians 4:4 the Apostle Paul pointed out that Jesus was "made of a woman, made under the Law (referring to the Law of Moses)." So according to this statement Jesus was human in birth and under the strict scrutiny of an impossible code of morality and ethics which his fellow countrymen were more than willing to hold Him to.
Peter, a student of Jesus for three years, once stated in a missions conference what a relief it was that forgiveness of sins against that Law was now offered to everyone through faith in Jesus Christ. The Law, he intimated, is "a yoke which neither our ancestors nor we could bear (Acts 15:10)."
Yet this same Peter, in a letter of his own also insisted emphatically,
"…Christ…suffered for [us], leaving [us] an example, so that [we] might follow in His steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth." (1 Peter 2:21-22 [NET] brackets mine)
It's not that it can't happen, it's that based upon my experience and that of everyone around me I've never seen anyone even come close to moral perfection. This is precisely why we are told that common persons like us must "walk by faith and not by sight." (II Corinthians 5:7)
Add to this Luke's record of the Apostle Paul's message to some folks in what is today modern central Turkey. There he related the words of a proud Father in Heaven upon the accomplishment of His unique son's impeccable life and mission, "You are my beloved son, this day I have begotten You." (Acts 13:33 [NASV])
Perhaps you have some other references that come to mind from your Bibles. Suffice to say our Savior is the one and only person that could ever say, "Whoever believes in [ME] will not be disappointed (ashamed by the failure of the One we trust)." (Romans 10:11 [NASV])
For this reason He invites us to trust Him.
Grace today y'all!