My wife and I recently received a warm and encouraging message from the mom of one of our ministry’s alumna. She wrote how much she appreciated our many years of ministering to college students. She said we were, “superheroes.” While I appreciated deeply her sentiment, I had to demur to her characterization of us. I replied that we were not superheroes, but we were blessed to serve the One who is.
Superheroes are quite popular today as evidenced by the tremendous box office success of the Marvel Comics series of movies. They have grossed more than 22 billion dollars! Comic-Con conventions across the country attract millions of participants, of which much of the focus is on superheroes.
What attracts so many of us to the superheroes of both page and screen? Why do Batman, Ironman, Black Panther, Wonder Woman and the like grab our attention in such a powerful way? Is it because, perhaps, although they have superhuman powers, they also have weaknesses? We admire their abilities to overcome their enemies, but also relate to having weaknesses that trip us up? Perhaps the superheroes meet the desire we have for power and control while also providing a less than perfect role model, one to whom we can relate more easily.
While I have no objection to the movies many find so entertaining, it does sadden me that people become so enthralled with fantasy characters with superhuman powers, while ignoring the one Superhero in their midst whom they often characterize as mere fantasy in the minds of his followers. The truth is, there is only one superhero and his name is Jesus. He is Savior, Lord, Creator, the Alpha and Omega. He is omnipresent, omniscient, all powerful, and He is perfect. He is without weakness. And at his name one day, every person who has ever lived will kneel and acknowledge that he is Lord over all. (Philippians 2:10-11)
Yet, despite his supremacy, he forgives our sins whatever they are, and invites each of us into a relationship with him, to bring our needs before him, and to be his co-workers, even with all of our weaknesses, in his redemptive work among humankind. If this isn’t the description of a true superhero, I don’t know what is. He is able to rescue us from the deadly consequences of sin, and able to use us in powerful and transformative ways, even though we are weak and easily led astray.
Even in the Marvel world, there is not one who comes close to him. You can spend time and money focused on the superheroes of the fantasy world, but know that Jesus is the one superhero worthy of your adulation.
© Jim Musser 2019