I ask you to take a few minutes and participate in an exercise which will prove a very important point. What I need you to do is think of ten people who you have known for at least ten years, either acquaintances or distant family, but not immediate family or good friends. I will hum a few lines of "How Great Thou Art" while you compile your list.
Now, if you did this right, you have ten names on a list. These people could be co-workers, a distant cousin or even the clerk at the convenience mart who you give your money for coffee to each morning. At any rate, there are ten people on this list who YOU HAVE KNOWN for at least ten years. Now, put an by the names of those who would put you on their list. I would venture to say that if there is more than one , something is amiss in our experiment.
Let us assume you have no more than a couple people with *. Sometime (not now), think about what each one of those people would say about you if a reporter came to their home and asked them for their opinion about you, your family and your reputation. Most people would be very surprised if they ever saw what others would say.
Personally, I shudder to think what some of my cousins would say about me. Honestly I have no idea for I haven't seen some of them for thirty years. There are people I have known for thirty years that I couldn't say for sure I would know their current opinion of my life. I know people who might put me on their list and I barely know their name. I know them, but I really know very little about them.
Many of us live in fairly small towns where everyone THINKS they know each other. I know I have gone in the convenience store to get an iced tea and while waiting in line could hear the clerks talking about so and so and how they can't believe they said or did whatever it is they did. I can stand in line at the Post Office and hear the latest news about all sorts of people. In fact, everywhere I go, I hear the latest news about someone. Thus, everyone thinks they know each other.
Actually, very few people know me yet hundreds recognize me every day. Some people, like the tellers at the bank know my name and greet me. Others, like the ladies at the Post Office know me, but have never taken the time to figure out who I am. If a reporter came to town and asked different people if they know me by name, very few would have a clue who I am. If the reporter showed them a picture of me, hundreds of people would say; "Oh, I know him".
Isn't it funny to think about all the people around us who claim to know us, but don't even know our name? What they really do is recognize us. In reality, they do not know us from Adam or Eve. I am sure by now you are asking "what's the point in all this?"
There are numerous letters and blog posts floating all over the Internet written by people who have one thing in common. Each one of them claims to have know Sarah Palin for ten, twenty or even thirty years. They go out of their way to let the reader know this fact. They never go into any detail as to how they know her or whether she knows them. Most claim to be from her home town or state or country.
Amazingly, every one of these letters I have glanced at are caustic, mean and go out of their way to tear down Mrs. Palin and make her out to be a liar, a cheater, a hypocrite and those are the nice things being written. People claim to have the "inside scoop" on her family, her alleged affairs and all sorts of other stupid things. Some of these people are getting tens of thousands of views per day and the comments left are entirely supportive of their letter.
Now, there was once a man who worked in his father's carpentry shop until he was almost thirty years old. He had a number of brothers and sisters, actually they were only "half-brothers and sisters", who knew this man better than anyone on earth for they grew up with him. When this man turned thirty, he left his home town and started a ministry. He traveled the region teaching and healing people and getting thousands of people to follow him.
When he came home though, no one believed in him. He could do no mighty works in his home town because of their scorn for him and their belief he was just taking people's money. They told the local reporters from the Jerusalem Post that their brother was a fraud. They even showed up at his meetings trying to lure him back home and to give up being someone they felt he was not.
Of course this story is about Jesus and what he faced with his earthly family and hometown. These people watched him grow up and he was just another kid who was restless and left town in search of greener pastures. The Bible says that Jesus could not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
In due time, Jesus' half-brother James and perhaps some others did become followers of Him and became disciples along with his mother. But, the point of the story is that at the beginning, not even Jesus' own close relatives knew who he was. They told everyone they knew who he was, but they were wrong. As it turned out, they had no clue their half-brother was the Messiah.
Anyone who dares to stand up and tell the truth will be admired by some and hated by many. The Bible says that a man's greatest enemies come from his own household. Jesus said this and proved it to be true. It should not surprise anyone that people from Mrs. Palin's hometown write letters claiming to have the real dirt on this person. Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun and that is absolutely true.