MAN OF STEEL: SON OF GOD
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INTRO TO TOPIC: THE POWER OF A MYTHIC STORY:
QUOTE: “Story is the language of the heart… Hollywood screenwriting teacher Robert McKee believes that we go to the movies because we hope to find in someone else’s story something that will help us understand our own… What is all the great stories that have ever moved you, brought you joy or tears – what if they are telling you something about the true Story into which you were born, into which you have been cast?” (John Eldredge, Epic).
“Mythic stories help us to see clearly, which is to say, they help us see with the eyes of the heart. So cast a wide net, and draw in all those stories that have ever stirred your soul, quickened your spirit, brought you to tears or joy or heroic imagination.” (John Eldredge, Waking the Dead).
“I suspect that men have sometimes derived more spiritual sustenance from myths they did not believe than from the religion they professed.” (C.S. Lewis).
“All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them.” (Matt. 13:34).
- Jesus, the world’s greatest teacher, used stories to teach spiritual lessons.
- CS Lewis used fantasy stories to teach us about Jesus (Chronicles of Narnia).
INTRO TO MY LOVE OF SUPERMAN:
- As a child, I remember seeing Superman in the movie theatres at age 6 in 1978. I read the comic books, watched the Super Friends cartoons. He is my favourite superhero.
- It has been 75 years since Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1 in June 1938.
- I saw the Man of Steel movie on Friday night and loved it! Here’s sneak peek…
MAN OF STEEL TRAILER #1
Jonathan Kent says, “You are the answer, Clark. You were sent here for a reason.”
- Jesus is the answer. He was sent to the Earth by God the Father for a reason.
THE BIG IDEA: The comic book hero Superman is a Christ figure, whose heroism inspires us to discover the world’s greatest Superhero: Jesus Christ.
SUPERMAN IS A CHRIST FIGURE: “Superman is not Jesus Christ. But he is a Christ figure, a figure resembling Christ, as we all should be. That said, the story of Superman bears some incredible parallels to the story of the Super Man, Jesus Christ.” (Stephen Skelton).
- Superman was created by two Jewish teenagers – Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
- In fact, Siegel was inspired by the OT hero of Samson for Superman’s strength.
- In the 2006 Superman Returns movie, when Jor-El sends Kal-El to Earth, he says: “Even though you’ve been raised as a human being you’re not one of them. They can be a great people, Kal-El. They wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all—their capacity for good—I have sent them you, my only son.”
- In Superman Returns, “Lois and Superman discuss at length whether she and the world need a savior. He tells her that with his god-like listening powers, he hears people crying out for one every day. The climactic battle with Lex Luthor escalates the connection. In the final battle, Superman is attacked in a manner similar to the account of Jesus’ death and then experiences a resurrection from a watery grave. At one point, he even assumes the physical position of Christ on the cross as he sacrifices himself to save humanity.” (Christopher Lyon, Focus on the Family’s Plugged In).
- “The Man of Steel movie is one of the most spiritually symbolic and Messianic-image-packed treatments ever made about this character. Here, Clark Kent even comes to understand—at the age of 33, no less—his responsibility to step up, face off with and destroy an ultimate evil that threatens all mankind. All through this film dialogue and images hint at connections between Superman and Jesus. Several people talk to Clark about his ability to save the people on Earth. Superman levitates with his arms spread in a cross-like form on several occasions.” (Bob Hoose, Focus on the Family’s Plugged In).
- In Man of Steel, Jor-El says about Superman, “He will be like a god to them.” In the Bible, we see that Jesus is the Son of God. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
TEN SIMILARITIES BETWEEN SUPERMAN AND JESUS:
- Superman’s birth name is Kal-El. Jesus is called Emmanu-El. El is Hebrew for God.
- Superman is called the Man of Steel. Jesus is called the Man of Sorrows.
- Superman is called the Man of Tomorrow. Jesus is called the same Yesterday, Today and Forever (Hebrews 13:8).
- Jor-El sent his only son Kal-El from Krypton to Earth to be the light of the world. God the Father sent His only son Jesus from Heaven to Earth to be the light of the world.
- Superman’s earthly parents Jonathan and Martha are a humble, godly couple. Jesus’ earthly parents Joseph and Mary are a humble, godly couple.
- Superman’s enemy is a man named Lex Luthor. Jesus’ enemy is Lucifer.
- When Clark was a child, he kept his powers a secret. In Man of Steel, He becomes Superman at the age of 33 to save the world. Jesus didn’t begin performing miracles until He was 30 years old, and He died when He was 33 to save the world.
- Superman can fly and he has X-ray vision. Jesus can fly (He ascended to Heaven) and He can see into people’s hearts and minds.
- In a comic book storyline in the 90’s, Superman was killed by Doomsday and later came back to life. In real life, Jesus died on the Cross and three days later came back to life.
- The “S” on Superman’s shirt is actually a Kryptonian symbol for hope. The Cross is a Christian symbol for hope and salvation.
A LOFTY CALLING:
- “Jesus also lived much of his childhood in obscurity. His dual identity as fully God and fully man is kept a secret. Yet there is a clear purpose to these “alter ego” years in Jesus’ life. Living among humans, experiencing what we experience, ensures that there is nothing we encounter in this life that he has not first encountered.” (Craig Detweiler).
- “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16).
- What an amazing thought, that Jesus is a God who relates to us in our suffering!
A COSTLY CHOICE:
- Throughout his ministry, Jesus offered hints of his sacrificial calling. Jesus said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:24-25).
- Jesus also said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matt. 20:28).
- Jesus had to make a costly choice before the Cross: “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matt. 26:39).
- Jesus is the world’s greatest hero because He died for us, so our sins could be forgiven and we could be adopted into God’s family and live forever in Heaven.
THREE WAYS JESUS IS BETTER THAN SUPERMAN:
Superman is better than Batman, Spiderman and Iron Man. But Jesus is better than Superman.
- Superman has a weakness: Kryptonite. Jesus is all-powerful.
- Superman is a comic book hero. Jesus is a real life Saviour.
- Superman helps people with physical problems and saves the world from bad guys.
PREACH IT: Jesus heals sicknesses, delivers people from anxieties, fears and worries, delivers people from bondages and addictions, and saves people from their sins, providing them with peace with God and the hope of Heaven. Jesus loves YOU!
CLOSING: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13).
That’s what it truly means to be a hero – and that’s what makes Jesus the world’s greatest hero!
APPLICATION: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” (1 Pet. 2:21).
As Christians, we are called to follow the example of Jesus, and be loving, sacrificial heroes.
- Jesus – the Original Superhero by Dr. Craig Detweiler.
- The Gospel According to the World’s Greatest Superhero by Stephen Skelton.
Man of Steel: Son of God – written by Pastor Chris Jordan
NOTE TO PARENTS: The Superman movie Man of Steel is rated PG-13. If you’re wondering whether it is suitable for your children / youth or not, I encourage you to check out Focus on the Family’s review, and hopefully that will help you make the decision about whether or not this is something that would be age appropriate for your children.
Here is the link: http://www.pluggedin.ca/movies/intheaters/man-of-steel.aspx