By Jeff Blackburn
I love the way that, in their respective translations of the Bible, Martin Luther and James Moffatt  rendered the phrase “mighty God” in Isaiah 9:6 as “mighty hero”  or “divine hero.” I encourage you to study the information listed under endnote two to really appreciate why they translated it that way. To me, Jesus is not only my Lord and Savior, he is also my hero.
I spent 21 years in the United States Air Force, and, as a military man, I love the depth of meaning in the word “hero.” Growing up, I used to think of Superman as my hero (I still love going to the movies to see him). However, as my relationship with Jesus continues to grow and I learn more and more about what he did, is doing, and will do for me, I know that it is only Jesus Christ who fulfills the definition of a true hero. I looked up “hero” on Dictionary.com and this is what it said:
1. A man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: e.g., He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.
2. A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: e.g., He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.
3. The principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.
When I first read that definition, I thought, “Wow, that really fits with what I know about Jesus.” So I thought I would explore this definition with you in the hope that we can connect more intimately with our Lord. First, let’s look at the phrase, “a man of distinguished courage.”
What did it take for Jesus to make the correct choice to follow the will of God when he came to a crossroad in his life in the Garden of Gethsemane? There he agonized about doing what he knew God needed him to do, and finally he said, “…Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matt. 26:39b). I say it took courage! I pondered what it must have been like for him to know he was going to be handed over to the authorities to be tortured and crucified. After all, this was not the first time anyone was crucified, and surely Jesus was very aware of the agony he would have to endure. Yet he made the freewill choice to obey God and go to the Cross for you and for me. Now, that’s a hero!
Here is a definition of courage that we used at our “Men of Courage” conference a few years ago: That quality of the mind that enables people to face difficulties or danger with firmness. Some synonyms of courage are: bravery and valor.
Back to the definition of hero, and the phrase, “admired for his brave deeds.” What did Jesus do that fits with that part of the hero definition?
I thought about the fact that he always did what was pleasing to God (John 8:29b). He healed the sick, spoke the truth in love, walked in compassion, was filled with mercy and grace, stood up to the erroneous religious leaders, willingly laid down his life for us, and how about saving all of mankind—at least those who choose to believe?! (just to name a few heroic deeds).
How about the second definition of hero?
“A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.”
The phrase, “opinion of others” got me thinking about what God thought about His Son. After all, it was God who promoted Jesus to be His right hand man after Jesus had accomplished his earthly mission in the plan of redemption. Given that “…God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name” (Phil. 2:9), and that God made him “both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36b), it is clear that God thinks very highly of His Son. Why? Because Jesus walked out the course set before him and thus retrieved God’s shattered dream of a perfect race of people living forever on a perfect earth. And in my opinion, what God thinks carries more weight than what anyone else thinks. I am sure you agree.
The last phrase I want to look at is from the third definition of hero:
“the principal male character in a story, play, film…”
How fitting it is that Jesus is the subject of the entire Bible from Genesis 3:15 onward. He is God’s favorite subject! It was Jesus who carried out God’s plan of redemption, and it is Jesus who brought to fruition the “purpose of the ages.” Without the accomplished work of Christ, we would all be “…without hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). How miserable is that?! No hope…and in the world!
Jesus bled and died for us as the Passover Lamb. He controlled his mind, disciplined his actions, and prioritized his life to do the will of God, his Father. Doing that day after day, positioned him to be able to obey God and go all the way to the Cross and through its torture. With that final selfless act of obedience, he changed human history forever. He broke the curse of what Adam had done in his one act of disobedience, and thus made possible the reconciliation of all Creation back to God (Rom. 5:12-15, 8:19-21). Because of Jesus, everything will be put back the way it should have been from the very beginning in the Garden of Eden. What a hero!
1 Corinthians 15:24-28
(24) Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
(25) For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
(26) The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
(27) For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ.
(28) When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
As we press forward in our individual journeys to become like Christ, may we also drive our minds as Jesus did to always do the will of our Father. As Christians, let us draw strength from Christ’s spirit in us and make a difference in this world. Let’s be someone’s hero and do the will of God in a dying world! May our lives honor the sacrifice of all that Jesus made available to us in this day and hour. What a savior we have! What an example of how to walk and talk and be! What a hero Jesus is for all ages!
1. Scripture quotations marked (Moffatt) are from The Bible: James Moffatt Translation, Copyright © 1922, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1935 Harper Collins San Francisco, Copyright © 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954 James A. R. Moffatt. Back to top
2. See our book One God & One Lord, Appendix A, Isaiah 9:6. You can read and download all of Appendix A (“Verses Commonly Used to Try and Support the Trinity”) online at our BiblicalUnitarian.com website. Also, read King of the Mountain. Back to top