Most people believe that violins by Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737), which sell for millions of dollars, project a superior sound to modern violins. On the contrary, modern sound tests have failed to show the proof of these claims. In fact, in a recent series of tests, Stradivari’s violins, once again, failed to impress…well, sort of.
Stradivari’s violins are beautiful works of art. But in “blind” sound tests, such as those published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, modern violins are preferred. Modern violins are consistently said to project sound louder and better. But, guess what? When listeners were told a Stradivarius was being played, they picked it as the better instrument!
This isn’t unusual. Name brands are perceived to have quality. People pay thousands more for name brand watches, purses, etc. In functionality, though, the illusion of the brand often fails to live up to perceptions of superiority.
Assume that you had paid millions of dollars for a Stradivarius because you thought it had superior sound. Then it failed to impress when compared to a far less expensive, modern violin. Would you feel duped?
In Spiritual matters we see this every day. People are duped by the illusion of worldly matters. But the illusion of this world’s value is surpassed immensely by the actual value of heaven and the functional reality of the gospel.
The Hebrews writer lets us know why Jesus is better: As the Son, Jesus is greater than all messengers and messages (1:4-7); He builds a greater house than Moses (3:1-6); Jesus brings a greater rest than Joshua did (4:8-9); He is a greater priest than Aaron because He is sinless and lives forever (7:26-28); He has a greater ministry with a greater covenant, built on greater promises, with the greatest sacrifice (Hebrews 7:22; 8:6; 9:12).
Those who live for this world cannot see beyond its allure. Rather, we must appraise the value of things according to their spiritual worth (1 Corinthians 2:14-16)! Things in the world have the illusion of being better, but Jesus is the best! And why would you listen to anything else?