A Fresh Word

CHRIST, Culture, Commentary

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Big Jake Lil Jake

Reference texts:

(2 Thessalonians 2:4) - Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (‭1 Timothy‬ ‭6‬:‭10‬ KJV)

My favorite movie scene is from this old western that I use to watch with my Popi called, “Big Jake, Lil Jake.” The movie released in 1971, and it stars John Wayne. Wayne plays Jacob “Big Jake” McCandles.

The McCandles Family is wealthy and dysfunctional. Wayne’s character is estranged from his wife and they are physically separated. During this division, marauders attack their ranch and kidnap Lil Jake, the youngest McCandles, for a large ransom.

The movie culminates with a stand-off between Wayne and another great actor named Richard Boone, who plays the criminal mastermind. He has arranged an exchange of millions of dollars for the boy in this abandoned old city.

While there are groups of men on both sides, Wayne and Boone meet alone in the courtyard. Big Jake drops a treasure chest between them and then my favorite scene begins.

Boone, the bad guy, believes that he sees some sneakiness in Big Jake’s eyes. In a very dramatic fashion, he warns the hero that no matter what happens, if anything goes wrong, ‘anything at all’, he will kill the boy. Jacob McCandles throws him the keys to the treasure chest and says, “that’s what dreams are made of.” The robber opens the treasure chest and finds nothing but newspaper clippings. Jake then whispers the exact same dramatic threat that had been whispered to him a moment ago.

This scene always resonated with me but until I learned scripturally how this world will end, I never knew why. There is an evil spirit in this world that entices people to love money. That love of money will lead them to lie, cheat, steal and threaten for that treasure chest. That’s what their dreams are made of.

We serve a messiah though that turns selfish dreams into newspaper clippings. According to the Word of God, just when it looks darkest, when the evil spirit is giving his conquering speech, the Messiah is going to flip it on them.

Points To Remember:

1. Wayne’s character was calm as he faced his adversary. No matter how it looks, we need to walk in the assurances of the Gospel.

2. Never negotiate with the Devil. Jake had no intention of giving them a ransom.

3. Walking with this world and for this world is an exercise in futility. You will die for newspaper clippings. Living for Jesus gives us a life of meaning that lasts for eternity.

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Filed under John Wayne Big Jake & Lil Jake old westerns 2 Thessalonians 2:4 1Timothy 6:10 Richard Boone

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