I had this really cool idea to show how a classic underdog/Cinderella story actually shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was all excited to start. So I went to the first Gospel, Matthew. (Warning the idea didn’t quite work out.)
- Cue the opening scene… Genealogy… you know all those names that pop up on the screen that no one really cares about unless you know one of them… yeah that.
- Birth of Jesus- the main character reveal! We meet our main character.
Foreshadowing: “He will save his people from their sins (1:21).”
Now usually in my favorite “Underdog” stories, we are meeting the coach. Typically he is not real thrilled with the idea of coaching, but gets suckered into it anyway. The coach is the leader, teacher, and momentum for the team. The team cannot win without him… and in some of these movies, they are not really a team without him.
3. Setting the stage for the bad guy/rival reveal: Wise men seek Jesus but Herod… Herod wants to kill Jesus. While Herod is definitely a bad guy… He’s not the true enemy Jesus has come to defeat- that would be sin.
In our movies, the coach usually seems to have some history with the rival team. It’s personal. However, there is always someone there to support the coach and lead him in the right direction. In the Gospel, that somebody is John the Baptist. He is there leading the way, making straight the path for Jesus. When John baptizes Jesus, this marks the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Well, after Jesus goes to be tempted for 40 days that is…
4. Jesus calls his disciples.
In the movies, this is where we meet the team. See, the coach can’t win the games. He has to equip his team to work together, play hard, and win the games. Jesus assembles his team calling 12 men who will become known as the Apostles. Next, we see that Jesus begins to equip his team. This is usually seen as the montage in a movie. When the team goes from bad to good. Here, Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, to give to the needy, not to be anxious, and so much more. He performs miracles in front of them showing His authority over sickness, disease, and even death. Jesus specifically tells just his disciples the meaning of the parables as they relate to the Kingdom of Heaven.
5. Then Jesus sends these men out (10:5-25). However, he warns them persecution will come.
This reminds me of those classic underdog stories when the team starts winning. They’re in a groove. They’ve started working together. But there’s always that ONE team.
- In my mind, I wanted the triumphal entry into Jerusalem to be like when the Mighty Ducks finally come up against the Hawks. They’re a little intimidated, but proud and ready to take on this championship game. I wanted to portray the game showing how Jesus had a rough week, but came back to win in the end…
But, what I realized is I thought I knew the Gospels based on an overview. I’ve known the nativity story by heart since I was eight, and I probably knew most of the lines to Passion by the time I was twelve. (We read the exact same stories with the exact same words every year at Christmas and Easter…) However, my understanding read more like the way a children’s book Bible reads. Anointing in Bethany. Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem. (maybe those two are out of order) Last Super. Garden of Gethsemane. Trial. Cross. Death. Resurrection. Send the Holy Spirit.
I had forgotten that Jesus entered Jerusalem to have a Passover Meal with his disciples. Yes, he was treated like a King. Yes, he would die at the end of the week and rise again.
BUT His ministry did not stop just because the end was in sight. In fact, he kept teaching. He kept preaching. He called out the scribes and Pharisees.
My idea fell short because the Gospel is so much bigger than any movie we could watch. The plot of this true love story is to save and redeem us all. Jesus had a specific ministry to his disciples so that they would be equipped to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
But when trouble comes… Jesus’ friends cannot stay awake to keep watch and pray with Him (26:40. 43, 45). Then the Rock of the Church denies Jesus three time (26:69-75). When Jesus died on the cross, there is only one of his disciples mentioned there. Only one.
The men that Jesus had been equipping for the ministry crumbled under pressure. That’s why the story doesn’t end there.
Three days later Jesus rose from the dead! Then He went to find his disciples! Jesus came to them! Then He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. GO therefore and make disciples of all nations … (28:18-19).”
But there’s more. “I am with you always to the end of the age.” And Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to help them!
Way better than any movie ever written!
So there you have it. Idea not quite right but still a little fun to entertain. I also started trying to play with different genres of movies. All four Gospels complement each other and tell the same story, yet each author wrote for a different reason and different purpose. Could Mark’s Gospel be a superhero movie, like one where the superhero has an alias and knows who he is but no one else does? Could Luke’s be a documentary? Could John’s be a court room movie? Maybe one day I will play with those ideas. For now, I am going to enjoy reading through these Gospels and seeing where the Holy Spirit leads.
End note: Just because you think you know the stories does not mean you shouldn’t read it again. You might just discover something new.