One of my favorite movies of all time is the 1963 production of The Pink Panther starring Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Jaques Clouseau. The “Pink Panther” is the world’s largest rose-colored diamond, named because of a tiny flaw resembling a panther. The plot centers on the attempted theft of the gem by the Phantom, whose accomplice is Clouseau’s wife. The poor inspector is so inept, he is constantly looking in the wrong place at the wrong time to foil the theft. The jewel is actually planted on Clouseau at one point, making him appear to be the real thief. The inspector speaks English with a heavy French accent, which causes problems in one memorable scene. Clouseau asks the hotel desk clerk conspiratorially if there is a “message” for him, but pronounces it “massage.” A hilarious exchange ensues where the clerk believes Clouseau wants a back rub, when all he is looking for is a private communication regarding the jewel theft.
Every time I recall that scene in The Pink Panther, I think of the message of the Good News about Jesus. Some people just can’t understand what that “message” is all about. They believe its meaning is one of guilt and shame, and they just don’t realize the significance of God sending His only Son to live among men and die on a cross to save us all. It took a mighty miracle on God’s part to bring me into His everlasting arms. Only then did I begin to see the life-giving magnitude of the Christ story.
Like the humorous scene in The Pink Panther, “the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). But what the world calls “God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom,” and “God’s weakness is stronger than human strength” (1 Corinthians 1:25). Those who do not heed the call of God are like Inspector Clouseau, misunderstanding what’s being said to them. The kingdom of God is the precious gem, the “pearl of great price” (Matthew 13:45-46), and Satan is the thief who tries to keep us from seeking Him.
Holy God, open everyone’s ears and eyes so that all may believe. Amen