Posts Tagged ‘To Serve Man’

Verses 11, 14: “Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!”” “But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out”

One of the classic episodes of the old television anthology series, The Twilight Zone, was one entitled “To Serve Man”. The tale was told in flashback by a government cryptographer named Michael Chambers, played by Lloyd Bochner; he detailed the historic meeting of aliens that had come to Earth and shared their technology and secrets to help humanity. Eventually they got the world’s peoples to begin immigrating back and forth from our world to theirs. They left a book written in their language, that Chambers’ department was trying to translate. A woman named Patty on Chambers’ staff had only managed to translate the title: “To Serve Man”. They assumed it was a friendly gesture to serve man as friends, advisors, and consultants. It wasn’t until the climax, as Chambers is about to board one of the flying saucers for his trip to their planet, that Patty frantically tries to get to him. He is confused as he sees her incredibly upset and wild-eyed. He finally manages to hear her scream, “Mr. Chambers, don’t get on that ship! The rest of the book To Serve Man, it’s… it’s a cookbook!” Too late, Chambers and the human race discover that they are nothing more than a food source to the aliens, who they have all but handed the planet over to. (For more information on the plot, you can go to this Wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Serve_Man_(The_Twilight_Zone)

What I remember most about this scene is the horrified look on the woman’s face, and then on the man’s face, as they realize the truth of what is really happening. The couldn’t understand the aliens’ language before; only when the true intentions were released did they react in the pure emotion that you and I would expect.

Paul and Barnabas were in Lystra, when Paul healed a lame man through Jesus’s power. The populace, overwhelming Greek in their culture, reacted in a way Paul and Barnabas had not encountered yet; they were calling the apostles gods! Due to not understanding the local dialect, Paul and Barnabas didn’t fully understand at first the reactions; but when the crowd began pressing the pagan priests for sacrifices in the apostles’ names, the two missionaries reacted with shock and horror, and leapt into action, trying to make them understand. This was further complicated by the Jews from the prior towns, as we’ll see next time. It should be pointed out (and I read this in a footnote somewhere) that unlike Herod, who didn’t stop the crowd from calling him a god, Paul and Barnabas, once they realized what was going on, didn’t hesitate to set the townsfolk straight on Who really should’ve been worshipped.

As a preacher once titled his sermon, “Expect the Unexpected”:  be ready for all that the devil throws our way…some of it we prepare for, and others we may not expect. But God has it all covered; we just need to be true to acknowledging the Author who is to be worshipped!

Something to think about.


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