18
Sep
07

$20 Violin

Many years ago a famous violinist died. Leaving behind no family members, there was no one to whom he could bequeath his Stradivarius. An auction was summarily convened, in part, to sell the instrument. It was eventually purchased by another violinist. He paid twenty thousand dollars for the violin, a sizeable sum in its day.

Shortly thereafter the new owner of the Stradivarius announced that he would play a concert on his new violin. When the evening arrived the concert hall was filled to capacity. People were waiting in breathless anticipation. At just the right moment he walked out on stage with nothing but his violin and he began to play a composition of Paganini. He held the audience spell-bound. His technique was flawless. His tone was exquisite. At the conclusion of the final note, the audience instantaneously jumped to their feet and roared with applause. He bowed, simply, and walked off stage. A few seconds later, with the applause still thundering, he walked back on stage, took his violin by its neck, raised it over his head and smashed it on a nearby piano bench, shattering it into a thousand pieces. Hen then walked off the stage. The audience was horrified. They were stunned. A moment later a second man walked out on stage and stood before the people. They became very quiet as he spoke these words: ‘The violin on which the maestro has just performed his first selection, the same violin that he has just destroyed, was but a twenty dollar violin. He will now perform the rest of the concert on the twenty-thousand dollar Stradivarius.’

What was the point he was attempting to make? The genius is never in the violin. It is always in the violinist. And the same is true for every believer and follower of Jesus Christ. At best, we are but a twenty dollar violin. But music can be heard when he is taken up in the hands of the Heavenly Violinist.

We do not worship the rod of Moses, the trumpet of Gideon, or the slingshot of David. Such would be grievous expressions of misdirected worship. But such is also the case when the Christ follower rests his or her confidence in the power of his or her own abilities. As Paul so eloquently stated, “What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants though whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one” (1 Corinthians 3:5).

Man is nothing; God is everything.

Arturo G. Azurdia III, Spirit Empowered Preaching (Great Britain, Christian Focus Publications, 1998), 146-147.
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