I’ve always loved cars and motorcycles. If memory serves me correctly, in 1977, Ford Motor Company introduced something they called, “The Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon.” It was a station wagon with moon windows in the back and a rainbow paint scheme. My brother had one. It had several strikes against it. It was a Ford Pinto, possibly one of the most pathetic cars ever produced by Detroit – strike one. It was a station wagon – station wagons are not exactly cool sports cars – strike two. It was gutless – strike three. On the outside, it was flashy. But it was still a Ford Pinto, under the hood. It’s as though the design team didn’t know the basic truth that it’s not what’s on the outside of the car that matters; it’s what’s under the hood.
Contrast that to a little Yamaha RD-350. I had one of them when I was sixteen years old. Anybody who was anybody had a Honda 500 Four. But I had the little Yamaha 350. It was very ordinary looking. No sissy bar. No highway pegs. It sounded like a wind-up toy when you revved it – ring-a-ding-ding. Like a chain saw with a string of sleigh-bells attached. It smoked like a coal furnace — except it was the blue smoke of the two-cycle engine. In spite of how it looked and sounded, it had a rockin’ two-stroke engine. When I sat on the bike, all 145 pounds of me, it would beat those lazy Honda 500 Fours, leaving them to breathe that blue smoke. To me, the RD-350 was a great example of how you can misjudge something if you don’t look closely – look under the hood.
In our passage today, Jesus gives three of his disciples a look under the hood. And what they learn is that he is not a Ford Pinto. Oh – and Jesus is not an RD-350. Jesus is the Son of the Most High God.