He’s more than a showman.
Do you know who P.T. Barnum is? Well, if you’ve watched the hit-musical the “Greatest Showman” – you’ll know that P.T.Barnum (Hugh Jackman) is the main character of the film. It’s a rags to riches story in which P.T. Barnum goes from being a nobody, to being a somebody. He becomes rich and the top man that everyone wants to know. He becomes the “Greatest Showman”. He puts on the best show in town. Through his own efforts and showmanship, the million dreams he dreamed as a boy come true. It’s a rags to riches story.
I wonder at night as you lie in bed what are the brightest colours that fill your head? What are the million dreams that keep you awake? Money, popularity, romance? If we’re honest they’re never far from our dreams. But do you remember Jenny Lind’s song in the film? “Towers of gold are still too little/These hands could hold the world but it’ll/Never be enough/Never be enough.” That’s one of the lessons of the film, P.T. Barnum’s successes are never enough for him. He’s not satisfied. He always wants more.
This world alone cannot satisfy us. It was never meant too. The Bible says: “That God has set eternity in the hearts of men…” Ecclesiastes 3:10. We are made by God to be in a relationship with God. But here’s the strange thing – I don’t naturally wake up thinking, “Great another day for me to spend getting to know God better!” No – I’m too busy concentrating on trying to fulfil my dreams. I want my plans to work out. It’s all about me – I don’t want God interfering with my life. That’s what the Bible calls sin. We’ve all pushed God from the centre of our lives, and we ignore him, and hate the idea that we have been made to live for Him. So, what do we do? We live our lives trying to fulfil our million dreams. But those dreams never satisfy us, because only God can. But our sin – this living for my dreams has separated us from God.
But let me tell you a different story. It’s a riches to rags story. It’s about the Son of God – who had lived for eternity in the glory of heaven – a heaven without pain, without suffering. Yet because God loved us so much, He was willing to send His own Son to this earth. God, the Son, left the glory of heaven and added humanity to his divinity – the God- man Jesus Christ. He left the riches of heaven and was willing to be put in an animal trough in Bethlehem. After He grew into a man, He dazzled more people than any showman could ever do. The Lord Jesus healed the sick, fed 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish, and he raised the dead back to life. The spotlight of his day was on him. The crowd roared their approval. But Jesus didn’t want the fame, the glitz and glamour this world could offer. No, He chose the cross. Such was God’s love for us – that God was willing to send His own Son to the cross to die and take the punishment for all our sin. All those times I’ve lived my way and not God’s way – the Lord Jesus took my punishment instead of me on the cross. He died in our place. Do you now what? The cross did really deal with sin – our rebellion against God – because after three days – the Lord Jesus rose from the dead. He had opened a way for those who believe in him to have forgiveness, and to get right with God.
So, what will it be today for us today? Will we go the showman’s way – dreaming our million dreams that can never satisfy us? Or will we turn and trust the Lord Jesus? He offers us more than a cheap show. The Lord Jesus offers us eternal life – a real relationship with God forever.
Here at Bethel Baptist, as we celebrate our 150th year, we’d love to share with you that the Lord Jesus is more than just some showman.