Faking Your Death

Third Sunday after Pentecost

Jeremiah 20:7-13

Romans 6:1b-11

Matthew 10:24-39

John and Anne Darwin had acquired a huge debt equivalent to tens of thousands of dollars. John and Anne had no hope of paying off their debts by traditional means and so they came up with a very non-traditional plan to do so. John Darwin faked his own death and his “surviving” wife collected his life insurance money. John went out for a trip in his canoe one early morning and never returned. He failed to report to work later that day and was reported missing. The next day, a rescue team recovered the remains of his wrecked canoe. John Darwin’s body was never found on that lake. John went into hiding for the next year until he was officially pronounced dead. Anne Darwin, his wife, then collected the life insurance money. Using this substantial sum of money, Anne Darwin settled on the massive debt she and her husband had owed and she found that she still had quite a lot of money left over.


The couple spent several years figuring out how to invest their new money. After first traveling to Cyprus and Spain, they decided to build a hotel in Panama. John, however, soon realized that his fake passport would not pass the scrutiny of applying for an “investor’s visa” to build the hotel. So he decided to return to his home country, fake amnesia, and apply for the investor’s visa under his real name. To make a long one short, things unraveled rather quickly after that as the police did not believe John’s story, and John and Anne were arrested for insurance fraud.

John Darwin sought to eliminate his debt and start a new life by convincing the world that he was dead.

The Apostle Paul writes in Romans that we who are baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection are dead to sin and alive with Christ. We are dead to sin. The power of Sin and Death are convinced that we are already dead. You can’t kill someone who is already dead and you can’t harm the life of one who is already dead. When your enemies think you are dead, you are free to live without fear. Continue reading