American Icon Meets Jewish Rabbi

Greg Laurie, the pastor of southern California mega-church Harvest Christian Fellowship, who in my opinion is taking over the mantle left by Billy Graham of being America’s evangelist, is unassuming, not flashy, and preaches a clear, biblical Gospel message like Dr. Graham. At the Harvest Crusades held in baseball stadiums, thousands come forward to ask Christ into their lives.

Recently, my ministry intersected with Harvest when they asked me to write a study guide for new believers that would be coming to Christ through a documentary film they produced and Greg hosted. The film is called Steve McQueen: American Icon.

Greg has long been a huge McQueen fan and even owns a replica of the famous Bullitt Mustang. Doing some research, Laurie discovered that at the height of McQueen’s fame and celebrity, he left Hollywood and moved to a tiny town in southern California. At the time, he was the biggest box office star in Hollywood. But all the money, fame, cars, motorcycles, and women were not satisfying the deep void in his soul. Something wasn’t right and Steve knew it.

Having always wanted to take flying lessons, he found an instructor there and actually moved into a small living quarters at the airplane hangar—a millionaire star living in a tiny room where the bathroom was in another building.

As the flight lessons began, Steve became intrigued with the instructor, Sammy Mason. Seeing that there was something unique and peaceful about Sammy, he and Steve also became friends. Finally, one day, puzzled, Steve asked him: “Okay, what is different about you? I have to know what it is.” Sammy simply answered, “Well, Steve, I’m a born-again Christian.” Wanting what Sammy had and now knowing that he too could have it, Steve soon asked Christ into his life after hearing a message from the balcony of the small church that Sammy attended.

If you want to watch the entire story, check it out here. (For some odd reason, Hollywood doesn’t like to tell these tales.)

Here’s today’s take-away: No one at that time would have ever thought Steve McQueen would be interested in a relationship with Christ or identify with being a Christian. … Nobody.

What would the most famous man in Hollywood, the millionaire playboy, want with Jesus? Because he had discovered through very personal experience that nothing in this world can satisfy that hole in the soul. And Steve had certainly tried.

Who are the Steve McQueen’s in your life? Who are you just assuming would never be interested in Christ because their life just looks amazing? The beautiful thing about Sammy Mason was his life was shouting Jesus through his actions so much so that Steve had to know what was different. Oh, may this be said of us.

“Then he told me, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak. For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard. What are you waiting for? —Acts 22:14-16 NLT


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