Living in this fallen world, it is not too long before we become aware of our own flaws and shortcomings. All of us possess tendencies or traits that hinder our sanctification and/or our effectiveness in certain situations. Maybe we are too trusting. Maybe we are not trusting enough. Sometimes we might speak before we think. Then there are all of the various temptations to which we are especially prone.
That is why, I think, that we all look for heroes. Heroes full of virtue, but lacking the flaws that we all possess. We flock to heroes like these with an “eagerness” that often borders on idol worship.
Unfortunately, it is not too long before we discover that our heroes are just as flawed as we are. History is filled with details of great men and women who succumbed to their flaws and temptations. Regrettably, we find this is true both of the heroes of the kingdom of this world and the heroes of the city of God. Those of us with more than a passing interest in historical theology cannot read too far before the flaws of the greatest theologians in church history come into sharp focus.
This should not surprise us. After all, most of the men and women God used to bring us His special revelation had deep flaws themselves. Moses had trouble following God’s promises and commands without expressing doubt (Ex. 4:10–17) or disobeying (Num. 20:7–12). He is but one in a list that includes Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Hezekiah, Samson, and far too many others to mention.
Even the most famous king of ancient Israel had flaws. We have seen how this man fell prey to the temptations that befall mankind. His dalliance with Bathsheba led to death, revolt, and eventual division of his kingdom. He had a strong blind spot when it came to his children. He turned a blind eye when Tamar was sexually assaulted. He was oblivious to the flaws of Absalom to the point where he neglected the needs and honor of his subjects and nearly lost his kingdom. Despite all this, David is held high as an ideal king, a paradigm for God’s people, a hero of sorts.
For all of his greatness, David as our hero is ultimately unsatisfying. That is why the Old and New Testaments declare that our hero is to be Israel’s greatest King; a King who possesses all of David’s greatness but none of his weaknesses; a King who alone is worthy of hero-worship because He is God Himself. Let us abandon all other lesser heroes and fall at the feet of the greatest hero, King Jesus.