One summer in Edmond Oklahoma my little brother Cisco and I were visiting my dad. We didn’t have much money, and dad had to work a lot. We spent our time watching Family Matters and Full House on a small 17′ television while sitting on the floor in the living room, and shagging balls for the high school’s baseball team during batting practice. One day dad took us to the library where I picked up a book on how to do magic tricks. I have always been kind of impressed with illusionist and magicians. That summer Cisco and I tied some towels around our necks and put on a magic show for dad and my step mom.
Think of the popular book and movies series Harry Potter, would that movie been as good if it was just a regular kid in high school? We are infatuated with people having power beyond explanation. We all secretly wish that we had the ability to fix glasses with a wave of a wand, or shoot laser beams out of our eyes. Throughout history people have been manufacturing power and deceiving people into believing that they are something more powerful than just mere human. They too are overtaken by the desire to be noticed for having a great power beyond what is explainable.
When someone comes along doing things that are unexplainable people begin to think. There are many people who will follow that person, and when they couldn’t figure out how these things were done after trying to search for an answer time and time again they would eventually start to believe that maybe he is in some way super human. I would have to say that this goes for a lot of things, and not just magic. I know a few people who couldn’t live without their drug dealer. What about the young girls that are deceived everyday by the guy who seemingly has all of the power and in untouchable, only to later be abused and mistreated, or knocked up and left for the next unsuspecting victim. These are all just as powerful, if not more powerful than a few magic tricks.
As you might suspect by now this stems from the story of Simon the sorcerer in Acts chapter 8. Just as this guy fooled the Samaritans into thinking he is divine, the dealers do that for the people who have been tricked into thinking that he has the source of life for them. It didn’t take another sorcerer to come into Samaria with better tricks, it took a waiter to come into town with a message. A message of freedom and power, a message of redemption and love. In the scripture it says that they were fooled for a long time, but Philip merely spoke the message and they abandoned their faith in a man’s tricks. The message held more power than all of the years of tricks this guy had, so much so that he too believed. It wasn’t until after the message was spoken that miracles and signs were shown.
Look around, there are people who have been fooled all around you. They don’t need more tricks or fancy talk. They don’t need a Master of Divinity, or Doctor of Apologetics to convince them of the trickery of those around them. They need a message that has the power to shut down the tricks of man. They need a willing waiter to serve the message of love and redemption. The power isn’t the person who is delivering the message, but the message itself, and there is no level of trickery or deception that can prevent the message from breaking in and changing the lives of those who are in captivity.
Just remember that in a card trick the outcome is not only known by the person doing the trick, but determined by him as well. The purpose of the trick is to make you believe that they have a power that they really don’t have. Every Christian has the message that not only breaks down the trick and reveals the deception, but makes the person doing the trick completely overcome with amazement, and as one who knows tricks is able to see the real thing when it comes. There is power in the message of Jesus Christ, so set people free from the bondage and oppression with His message and not by your own power.