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My provincial (my boss) came to me one day and asked, “Do you need a generator?” I told him we didn’t need a generator; I need a plumber. I tried to explain to him that the city does not have telephone poles and all the electrical lines in the city are underground. We have never lost power here during storms, ever.  Three days later there is a huge, yellow, ugly generator outside the door.  It is also oversized, so I can’t store it anywhere because I can’t get it past the doorway. What am I going to do with this thing? It was about as useful as having a boat in the desert.  Every time I walked by it, I had an emotional response (laugh, cry, etc.).  I would be talking to nice folks enjoying a good conversation and suddenly ask them, “Do you want to buy a generator?” They would say, “Thanks, but I don’t need it because I live in the city.” One month, maybe two months later the electrical supply house for the city blows up. Obviously, I didn’t see that coming. We were out of power for three days. The first thing I did after I got a flashlight was walked down the hall and ask, “How does thing work?” Once I got it started, for the next three days, I had to listen to people say such phrases as, “What a great idea to get a generator!” “Finally, someone is thinking ahead around here!” “Who is the genius who thought of this!”  When my boss came over, he said, “So you will never need a generator, eh.”  I said, “You are a prophet.”

A prophet can be summed up in this way: a prophet is a crazy person who has valuable information that can transform your life. Let me give you another example. The state of Florida wants to sell some swamp land for a bargain, but you have valuable information that there is crude oil underneath the property and it is worth a fortune. Would you buy it?  Of course, you would.  Let’s say your kids say to you: “Are you crazy! Don’t spend our inheritance on a swamp. Have you lost your mind?” Would you still buy the land even though people think you are wrong? Of course, you would. Why? Because you have valuable information. Think about Christ.  He came to give us valuable information about living our lives in the most fulfilled way, and then he gives us valuable information about how to go to heaven. Do we use the information?  Absolutely. Do we still use the information even if friends think we are crazy to carry crosses and keep holy the Sabbath? Yes.

Jesus was in front of Lazarus’ tomb when he said, “Lazarus come out.” That is crazy. The reason why it makes no sense is because Lazarus is dead. Even if he was awake, he is wrapped in burial cloth from head to toe and looked like a mummy. He cannot see because his eyes are buried under cloth, and his hands and legs are immobile. If I were Lazarus, I would have said, “I would love to come out but I can’t. Send someone in here and take away the wrappings and I would be glad to come out. Lord you take away all the obstacles and difficulties, make it easy, and I will do whatever you say. But that is not what happened in the story. Lazarus came out to the grave. Maybe he did the rolling pin approach to getting out, or perhaps he did the inch warm move. He listened to Jesus’ voice, and he came out. He came out because Jesus was a prophet. To everyone else, Jesus was crazy.

Here is a fact: there are crazy people in my life, … and God is one of them. We can come up with thousands of reasons not to listen to God. He is too hard, the standards too difficult. Yes, God, you take away all my difficulties and the obstacles. Take off the burial wrappings and I will dance out of the tomb. Make it easy and I will be happy to do whatever you want. There is only one reason why we should listen to God. It is this. He has valuable information that can make our lives great. All we need is one good reason, and we have it. Christ is God, but he is also a prophet.

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