It was the middle of the morning rush hour on Friday, January 12, 2007, when a young man in jeans, a T-shirt, and a Washington Nationals baseball cap stepped off the Metro at the L’Enfant Plaza Station in Washington, D.C. Standing near a wall in the Plaza, he opened the case that he was carrying and removed a violin. He placed the violin case on the floor and threw in a few dollars as change hoping to encourage passersby to contribute more. Then he began to play the violin…
The young man played feverishly for 43 minutes. In that time, 1,097 people passed by. Of those passing through L’Enfant Plaza that morning, only seven people stopped to listen. Twenty-seven tossed some money into the violin case. His total earnings totaled $32.17.
What made this incident so unique? How was this street musician different from others that would occasionally “set up shop” in similar locations?
“No one knew it,” reports Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post, “but the fiddler standing against a bare wall outside the Metro in an indoor arcade at the top of the escalators was one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written, on one of the most valuable violins ever made.”
The violinist was the internationally acclaimed virtuoso, Joshua Bell. His performance in the L’Enfant Plaza Station was arranged by The Washington Post. It was an experiment: In an unimpressive setting at an inconvenient time, would people stop to appreciate beauty? Most did not!
But Joshua Bell is not the only “master” that has gone unnoticed and unappreciated…
John wrote concerning Jesus Christ: “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (John 1:10-11).
God “put on” flesh and lived among men in the person of Jesus Christ (Jn 1:14) He was the Son of God, yet many did not recognize Him. Many others rejected Him.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God (John 20:30-31) and the Savior of the World (Luke 2:11). He will save those who believe in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
Study His life and teachings, recognize His greatness, trust His promises, and obey His commands. Follow in His steps and He will lead you to glory.
– David A. Sargent, Minister