Some things you just have to see for yourself.
Go to your computer right now and look this up:
For those who don’t have access to the Internet — the above link takes you to an order page for Jesus Inspirational Sports Statues. According to the dealer, these “handpainted resin statues on a solid wood base … portray Jesus actively participating with boys and girls in a variety of sports. A wonderful way to reinforce Jesus ‘as friend’ in everyday activities.”
Sure enough, you’ll find statues of Jesus playing baseball, basketball (I think he’s about to do an “in your face” dunk over the six-year-old’s head), soccer (as he elbows the young boy out of the way as he prepares to kick the winning goal). Another statue portrays Jesus taking a handoff as another boy foolishly attempts to tackle him. (Is that considered a sin?)
Other statues show Jesus with children playing golf, doing ballet (obviously not a Baptist interpretation of Jesus’ leisure activities), and martial arts. (Fortunately, the statue does not show Jesus doing a karate chop on someone’s head.) I particularly like the hockey statue, where it looks as if Jesus is about to check his opponent on the way to a winning goal. (A theological question here: can Jesus ever miss hitting a goal?)
There are more statues (including skiing, running, and so on), but you get the idea. I must admit as I look back on my own misspent youth of playing baseball and flag football, I never actually thought about Jesus playing those sports with me. I guess as an eight-year-old I probably thought He had more important things to do, like sustaining creation and keeping the deacons in line and stuff like that. I’m not sure if a statue like this would have inspired me to great athletic achievements or not. (Hard to say, since I sort of peaked as an athlete in third grade.)
Now that I see what’s possible, I can visualize a whole new line of Jesus statues for adults. Think of the possibilities: Jesus as accountant, sitting at the calculator. If He’d been on the job, Arthur Andersen would have blown the whistle on Enron right away. There would be no statues of Jesus standing at a shredder.
Or Jesus as check-out clerk, always getting the change correct. Or Jesus as a businessman doing a hostile takeover, but being very compassionate in handing out the pink slips.
Maybe a statue with Jesus as webmaster, sitting at the computer with dozens of coffee cups everywhere. (A theological question here: would Jesus pay $3 for a cup of Starbucks, or would he go for the discount stuff and give the rest of the money to the church building fund?)
Of course, my favorite statue would be the one of Jesus as pastor, sitting at His desk working on next week’s sermon – with an open copy of Preaching magazine in front of Him!

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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