The headline read: “Matty Lovo is a Hero”
I googled it. And it’s a true story. Matty Lovo, then 9 years old when it happened, saved his father’s life.
Matty’s dad, Matty Lovo, Sr, a semi-tractor-trailer driver, was hauling lumber through St. Helens, Oregon, when he had a seizure and lost consciousness. The semi veered into oncoming traffic. Stuck a utility pole. And seemed destined for a tragic accident.
Matty, Jr, however was riding with his dad that day. And his quick thinking saved both their lives. Matty called his dad’s name. When he failed to answer, the boy then smacked him in the face to wake him up. Still no response.
So, the nine year old boy, climbed into the drivers seat and steered the the big rig back into it’s lane. Then he got on the C.B. radio to ask for help. Another driver heard him and told Matty to turn off the ignition key.
As the semi was slowing down, Chris Howard happened to pass by in the opposite direction. When he saw a child was steering a slow moving rig, he stopped his car. Jumped out. Ran down the truck. Climbed up into the cab. And put on the brakes to bring the rig to a complete stop.
Later when the two appeared on a TV show, the interviewer asked Matty Jr how and why he responded as he did. The boy replied, “I thought, I should just do what my Dad does.”
Our word of the week is “Example.”
While there is power in the Word, example often has a greater influence on others. Jesus came to earth, not just to preach, but to live. To influence. To be the model for the message he taught. Peter put it this way.
“For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps” (1 Pet 2:21)
Jesus set the example in the obedience to his parents when he was 12 years old (Lk. 2:52). For 18 years he labored in the carpenter’s shop in Nazareth, leaving us an example of work. When he began his ministry at age 30, be was baptized by John, “to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt 3:15).
Jesus’ life was one of purity. Honesty. Sincerity. Humility. Sacrifice. Submission. And bonded by love. He modeled the two great commandments to love God and love your neighbor (Matt 22:37-40).
He treated sinners with respect. Exercised patience with the apostles. Handled critics with wisdom. Displayed courage when threatened. Demonstrated restraint when tempted. And revealed the character of the Father.
Christians are called to “follow in His steps.” We are to be a Christ-like example to our children. Our friends. Our brethren. To a world lost in sin. In the Mountain message, Jesus uses the metaphors of “salt” and “light.” We are to be a preserving and illuminating influence in the world.
Paul exhorted Timothy to “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12). Good advice, not just for young preachers, but all people!
Following Jesus’ demonstration of humility and service, as He washed the disciples feet, He commanded. “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (Jn 13:15-17).
Young Matty Lovo saved the day by thinking, “What would dad do?” Likewise we will avert many problems in our lives when we ask, “What would Jesus do?” Our attitudes will improve. Our actions will be spiritual. And our example will be better, clearer and purer, when we follow Jesus.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman