CASEY VANDER JAGT

The story of a Dutchman in Michigan, USA who had great zeal for Christ.

Casey Vander Jagt lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was a huge Hollander and strong as an ox, and he was famous for the unexpected. Not so much for what HE did, but that he responded instantly to unexpected opportunities God gave him.

One day Casey was down town in Grand Rapids. He was on foot and came to an intersection to cross the street. He found that the stop light had stopped working, and a city policeman was directing traffic.

The cop was only doing a fair job, so traffic was a mess, and the cop had totally forgotten the pedestrians. He was not letting them cross at all, and a large crowd had gathered on each of the four corners.

Now, Casey did not go take up the cause of the disadvantaged down trodden pedestrians. He only saw a great opportunity to preach the Gospel. Casey walked right out in the traffic to the policeman. He took the cop by the back of the collar, and flung him over his shoulder, and let him dangle there. Then he signaled the traffic in all directions to stop, and turned to one of the corners filled with pedestrians, and began to preach the Gospel,

He preached for about three minutes to each corner in turn– he had a booming Dutch voice, so they heard real well. All this time the cop was complaining to Casey and ordering Casey to let him down so that he could arrest him. After Casey was finished preaching the Gospel, he let the cop down and told him he could then arrest him.

The cop did so, and he took Casey to the police station. The cop told his story to the Police Chief, and he got ready to book Casey. The Police Chief stopped the cop and said, “That’s Casey Vander Jagt. You can’t arrest him– he’s our friend. Let him go.” The Police Chief encouraged Casey to try to find some more socially acceptable evangelism methods and sent him on his way– knowing Casey would do the unexpected again anyway.

Andy Warhol, the world’s worst scourge on art since Picasso, said that every man had his fifteen minutes of fame. Well, every saint of The Lord Jesus Christ can be famous every day– famous with Jesus his Lord. But the saint who wants into The Lord’s hall of fame must be prepared to do the unexpected with unexpected methods– “…instant, in season and out of season.”

Think of Samson, Moses, Ehud…. stop right there. I was going to list a lot of those fellows. Instead, can I ask you to read the account of Ehud’s unexpected methods? It is found in Judges Chapter Three. That boy was left handed, which was considered a real disadvantage in olden days, but look at that boy use that eighteen inch dagger!

And how about Shamgar there in the last verse of Judges Chapter Three?

Judges 3:31 And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.

Did you read the one about Samson who killed a thousand men?

Judges 15:15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.
16 And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.

Every one of you Jack Asses has a jaw bone.

Are you using it to witness for Jesus?

What are you doing with the opportunities God has given you?

One more about Casey. Casey had been a hard drinker before he was born again. One day he went back to his former favorite bar, walked in, yelled, “The bar is closed, it’s time for church.” He got his Bible out and started to read a verse, and some old drunk told him to shut up and came swaggering up to Casey. Casey had a fist like a ham, and he plastered the guy and knocked him down. The drunk staggered back to his table, everyone had a good laugh, and Casey preached for a few minutes.

Another one. Casey wanted to preach on the mall in downtown Grand Rapids. He took a bull horn with him and started preaching with it. The mall authorities called the police. The police told Casey he could preach, but he could not use the bull horn. That was a mistake, for Casey had a voice like two bulls. So, he raised his voice in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and did he ever give them the Gospel.

Have you gotten the point here?

None of these things could have been done by a committee, an evangelistic association, or a patriotic movement. One man. And he delivered the message instant in season and out of season.

So, what are YOU doing in the spirit of Casey and Jesus Christ?

 

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