This week we continued in our series Discovering Your Spiritual Superpower, in which we are exploring different superheroes stories to help us discover and use our own spiritual superpowers and gifts God gives us. Today we talked about arguably the greatest superhero of all time- Superman.
Two Jewish high school students Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created the Superman story in 1933. The story of Superman has roots in Jewish tradition through the story of Samson and Superman’s real name Kal-El (meaning the voice or vessel of God in Hebrew). While it was written by two Jewish students, Christians also find parallels between this story and Christ. In Superman’s story, a father in the heavens sends his son to earth with powers that are greater than normal humans. The child grows up in a small town and ultimately saves the world- a story very similar to Jesus’. Both Superman and Christ have great powers- Superman can fly, has super strength, and super-speed to rescue people who are in trouble, and Jesus has the power to heal diseases, command the wind and the waves, feed thousands, and save the world. Both Superman and Jesus have a great capacity for good and particularly reach out to those who are hurting. They both fight injustices too, for Superman speaks out against Hitler and the KKK throughout his comics and radio programs and Jesus speaks against people who oppress the hungry, thirsty, and poor. Both Superman and Jesus sacrifice their lives to save the world and then are resurrected.
Both Jesus and Superman are known for their great capacity to do good and to save the world, particularly those who are in trouble and oppressed. We see this to be the case in John 8, where legal experts and Pharisees are getting ready to stone a woman who committed adultery until Jesus steps in to challenge them with the words “whoever has not sinned can cast the first stone.” When it’s only Jesus and the woman left, Jesus tells the woman, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” Jesus exhibits radical grace and chooses mercy over judgment. He doesn’t condone the sin, he chooses forgives and treats her with dignity and respect.
As Jesus saves this woman, Jesus saves us too, offering us mercy and forgiveness. As recipients of God’s mercy, we are called to be vessels of that saving grace and mercy. We are to use our spiritual superpowers to reach out to rescue hurting people in our world and offer them Christ’s love. If a situation like John 8 happened today, I wonder what our response would be. Perhaps instead of being a woman who committed adultery, what if it was a person who was homeless? What if it was a person labeled a criminal by our society? What if it was a person with a different sexual identity? What if it was an immigrant family without any papers? I wonder what Jesus would say to these individuals. I wonder what we would say. Would we be crying out for their judgment and condemnation, like the Pharisees and legal experts? Or would we live by a different ethic- an ethic of love and mercy, an ethic that treats all people with dignity and respect? May we all be people, who like Superman and Jesus, use our spiritual superpowers to fight against injustices and offer grace and mercy to all, no matter who they are.
- Monday- John 7:52-8:11
- Tuesday- Judges 13-14
- Wednesday- Judges 15-16
- Thursday- Matthew 25:31-46
- Friday- Luke 6:27-42
Questions to Consider and Discuss:
- What are some similarities and differences between Jesus and Superman?
- How is God inviting you to use your spiritual superpowers to rescue people who are oppressed in our world?