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Posts Tagged ‘The Shadow’

Verse 41: “So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.”

Those who follow this blog know I sometimes use cartoon references (back when cartoons were fairly safe to let your kids watch), especially Saturday morning cartoons. (I realize to today’s generation of kids, that “Saturday morning cartoons” doesn’t make sense to them, with the advent of cable and cartoon networks.) But I digress…

Hong Kong Phooey was one of my favorite cartoons on Saturday mornings. Even though it only lasted less than 2 seasons, I enjoyed the comic superhero, who was a mix of The Shadow and Shang Chi, Master of Kung Fu. He was voiced perfectly by the great actor Scatman Crothers. Part of the “in joke” of the show was, that no matter who Hong Kong might splatter with mud or run over with the Phooey-mobile on the way to a crime, everyone who was the inadvertent brunt of the encounter took delight in crossing the path of “America’s secret weapon against crime”! Everyone virtually sang Hong Kong’s praises, even if he might have just run over their feet! Nobody was ever mad that he accidently hit them! They sounded honored to have had said encounter with the great superhero. I never
caught that as a kid, but as an adult, it does make me chuckle.

The disciples, on the other hand, truly and sincerely rejoiced to be beaten in Jesus’s name. No warning from the council this time; they received the customary 39 lashes (one less than the amount to cause death) and released. They knew they were in God’s will, and they knew His will was no “health and wealth” religion like we sometimes see today. It’s easy to complain to God when things go bad during the day; but take a minute and thank God that they weren’t worse! Thank God that He is still there, and can use even bad things for His good.

Something to think about today.

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Verses 13-17: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.””

Police Commissioner Wainwright Barth was having dinner with his nephew, Lamont Cranston, in the fashionable Cobalt Club. He was scolding his nephew on being late to this meal that Lamont had invited him too. Lamont apologizes, stating he was late because there was some…trouble on the bridge. Barth then receives an urgent message about another report of…the Shadow.

Lamont: “I thought you said he was only a rumor.”
Barth: “I’m sick of this Shadow business…his meddling in police affairs. This time tomorrow, I’ll put a task force on him.” (Barth crumples the note).

The light around Lamont dims, his eyes shining, showing the viewer that he is about to use the powers…of the Shadow.
In a hypnotic, dark voice he says, “You’re not going to appoint a task force.”
Barth agrees…”I’m not going to appoint a task force.”
Shadow: “You’re not going to pay any attention to these reports of the Shadow.”
Barth: “Ignore them entirely.”
Shadow: “THERE IS NO SHADOW.”
Barth: “There is no Shadow. If there were, I’d be Eleanor Roosevelt.”

Uncle Wainwright frowns and rubs his head as if he had a momentary headache; then he continues talking to Lamont, who has resumed his normal identity.

Barth: “Where was I?”
Lamont: “You were about to tell me who she is”, Lamont says. (referring to the recently-arrived, attractive woman named Margo Lane.)
(This dialogue was taken from The Shadow, a 1994 movie starring Alec Baldwin as Lamont Cranston/The Shadow, Penelope Ann Miller as Margo Lane, and Jonathan Winters as Commissioner Wainwright Barth.)

Of course, the Shadow was a fictional crime-fighter, just like Batman or the Phantom. He used his powers to cloud men’s minds in order to crush the criminal element…sometimes he also had to cloud the minds of the police in order to remain what he wanted to be…a 1930’s urban legend that no one would seriously consider was real. He used misdirection, rumor, and denial to conceal the truth of what was fact…that a costumed vigilante was waging a successful war on the underworld of crime.

In real life, there are those who would conceal the truth to further their means. Governments of other nations not as democratic as ours suppress information daily in their attempts to control the populace. There have even been recent revelations that certain government agencies in our own nation have concealed spying operations on our population. The Sanhedrin and religious leaders in Acts were no different. Yet they were cornered: here was truthful evidence of a miracle: a lame man of over 40 years of age walking and leaping; two men, not educated or formally-schooled, yet speaking to the council on religious matters as if they were; what’s more, they were disciples of Jesus…the same Jesus who had been crucified for saying he was the Messiah! And were there ever a whole lot of witnesses to attest to the act! The only thing they could do at this point, was threaten them in the name of their “religious authority” not to continue their preaching. In other words…pop the hand, don’t do it again!

Ever heard of trying to “ignore the elephant in the room”? (something so obvious, that NO ONE could say it wasn’t so?) We’ll see in the next passage how the council’s actions…at hiding the overwhelming truth of Jesus Christ…were about as effective as those of Commissioner Barth.

Something to think about.

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