The Wizard of OZ
I’ve been acting with a few local community theater groups since 1995. In April of 2010 I auditioned for a part in The Wizard of OZ. I was notified by email that I was in the chorus. After 15 years of lead parts, I wasn’t interested in just being in the chorus, so I didn’t go to the first few rehearsals. One night the director called and asked if I planned on coming to rehearsals soon. I told her, “No,” and explained that I wasn’t interested in just being in the chorus. She exclaimed, “You’re not in the chorus! You’re The Wizard of OZ!” I replied, “Why didn’t you say so? That’s a horse of a different color!” I had been the Wizard of OZ all along and didn’t even know it. I think it’s the same for most Christians. They really don’t know who they are in Christ!
I love the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. I imagine him looking like Danny Devito. Think of how funny it would be to see Danny Devito climbing up a sycamore tree. Jesus called him down and invited himself to Zacchaeus’ house. In verse seven the people called Zacchaeus a notorious sinner. He was not your average, run of the mill, garden variety sinner. No. He was a renowned, prominent and famous sinner. Tax collectors such as Zacchaeus were the Biblical version of the Mafia. Jesus going to Zacchaeus’ house was like Billy Graham visiting John Gotti. Just the presence of Jesus moved Zacchaeus to repent and repay those he cheated and to even give half of his entire wealth away to the poor. Jesus didn’t tell him to do any of those things, yet he felt he had to do it. I believe Zacchaeus discovered who he really was. You see his name means “clean and pure one.” The general public knew him as a short, rich, thief, and had labeled him as a notorious sinner! But Jesus restored him to his rightful position when he declared him to be a “true son of Abraham.”
Another interesting character found in the Bible is Mephibosheth (try saying that 10 times fast). He was the former and now deceased King Saul’s grandson and deceased Prince Jonathan’s son. Before David became king he promised his friend Jonathan that he would always show kindness to his family. So David brought Mephibosheth, who was crippled in both feet and could not walk, to the palace to live. Mephibosheth defined himself as a “dead dog,” but David viewed him as royalty. Mephibosheth daily dined at the king’s table.
Think about that for a moment. A crippled man previously crawling on the streets of a terrible place called Lo-debar, was now dining with the royal family! There he sat with David’s son Absalom with his beautiful long hair. He looked like Fabio. He probably modeled for the book covers of romance novels in Jerusalem. His sister Tamar was glamorous and also one of the beautiful people. Then you have good ol’ “know it all” Solomon. (Well, actually he did know it all). The one thing that put Mephibosheth on equal ground with this elite group was the table. I like to picture that table with a beautiful table cloth that draped down to the floor. No one could see Mephibosheth’s crippled feet under that tablecloth. That’s what God’s grace does for us! It covers all our faults. God knows what’s below the surface, but his grace covers and hides our weaknesses and shortcomings. The Bible says, “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6 NIV). We are sitting at the King’s table and our crippledness is covered by His grace!
Allow me to remind you of your true identity in Christ. You are an heir of God and a joint heir of Christ (Romans 8:17). You are God’s masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). You are holy and without blame before Him (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16). You can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13). You are a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). You are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). You are loved (1 John 4:10). You are redeemed (Galatians 3:13). You are the salt and light of the earth (Matthew 5:13,14). You are accepted by God (Ephesians 1:6). You are free in Christ (Galatians 5:1). You are an overcomer (Revelation 12:11). You are a king and a priest (Revelation 1:6). You are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7). Christ lives in you (Galatians 2:20). You have everlasting life (John 5:24). God is always on your side (Romans 8:31).