Super hero stories have always been popular, but today we’re touching new heights of fan fervor as we return for a 6th, 7th, and even an 8th installment of the Batman saga. Movies are being made about even the most obscure of super heroes such as Ant-man and the Black Widow, and there doesn’t seem to be an end of future productions in sight.
Why are super hero stories so popular? Since pop culture is often a commentary on the values of a society, I wonder what our super hero obsession is revealing about us.
Are we looking for a hero? Are we longing to be a hero? Are we bored with our lives and simply love a two-and-a-half escape from reality? Do we try to live vicariously through Superman’s biceps, Captain America’s heroism, or Ironman’s wit?
Or is all of this stuff actually speaking to us on an even deeper level? Is there any element of the Gospel inside all of this?
I think there is.
A careful reading of the New Testament shows Jesus constantly revealing the deeper, truer, stronger, and better identities of His followers. He always seemed to think there was more to His followers than what a casual observer could see on the surface.
- Peter wasn’t just a fisherman; he was a fisher of men.
- Saul/Paul wasn’t actually a persecutor of the church; he was a champion of the church.
- Timid, fragile disciples were actually fearless world-changers, who would boldly die martyrs’ deaths for the cause of Jesus Christ.
Jesus always saw into the deeper, truer, alter ego of His followers. And He sees the same in you. You are more than you think you are. Empowered by God’s Spirit, and walking in your destiny, you are a part of God’s hope and plan for the world.
So the next time you’re at the cinema, lost in a haze of special effects and complicated plot twists, remember that God just might be speaking to you there.