This article is from a message I shared that used the movie, “Spiderman, into the Spider-verse” for illustrative purposes. There are Bible lessons from Spiderman! Can any of you remember the day when you were chosen by God? Can you remember that you were just like any other citizen of the planet? Can you remember how all the things in your life all came to a certain place, it just seemed like God was leading you, he was involved in it, and somehow if I could use this terminology. You got bit by the gospel. You came to Jesus.
Here is a powerful thought. God chose you! John 15:16a “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit…”
God chose you, and he chose you for a purpose! The day you came to Christ and accepted Him as your Savior, you may not have thought that you just needed help, or you just needed forgiveness, or you needed out of a scrape you were in. But you see, God had bigger plans. He chose you from before the foundation of the world. He chose you because he had a purpose for you. And I want you to know that God is not going to give up on you. But he will complete the work He started. Paul writes to the newly formed church at Philippi and says:
Philippians 1:3-6 “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”
God isn’t going to give up on you! Once the gospel gets in you. Once you get bit. Once you get chosen…God will not give up on you. You thought that the only thing you were getting was fire insurance. You didn’t want to go to hell. But God had more in mind than that. He had complete transformation in mind for you.
Did you know according to 2 Peter 1 that you actually become a partaker of the divine nature? That’s right. The very nature of God, the nature of Jesus would be in you, and you will continue to be transformed until the day you go to be with him. You would also be given something new to put on. You would take off the old you. You would put on the new man which is Christ. Ephesians 4:24 “and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
The amazing thing is that actually all Spiderman movies illustrate the same Bible lessons. The first biblical lesson is transformation. Our hero is transformed. The truths we learn from this movie are not difficult and the plot for this movie is not complicated. Most of you haven’t seen this movie, and that is okay. I would recommend this movie to anyone. It is cartoon format, and you probably didn’t see it. But that is okay because, the plot is easy:
Somebody gets bit by a spider
He is a normal person.
The spider is radioactive.
It changes the kid.
In this case it is a Junior High School Kid. His name is Miles Morales. Let me read a little synopsis of the movie. Miles Morales is a New York teen struggling with school, friends, and on top of that being the new Spiderman. When he comes across Peter Parker, the erstwhile savior of New York in the multi-verse. Miles must train to become the new protector of this city. I hope you can follow my simple mind as I relate this to the gospel. Miles didn’t choose to become the next Spiderman. The radioactive spider chose him. At first, it felt a little weird for him, his hands and feet sticking to stuff, he felt funny, he felt ostracized. All he knew we he had a new nature in him. He was not the same.
CLIP 1 The Change 16:40-19:30
That is a funny and great clip. But there was something amazing that happened in it. Think about what he is experiencing. He is experiencing a new calling. He has been called to serve as Spiderman! When you get saved, God puts a call on your life. A call to serve his kingdom! He is experiencing transformation. Everything about him is new. He is experiencing a new nature. When you get saved, you get a new nature, you are a partaker of the divine nature.
Here is what I want you to see. In the movie a comic book falls on Miles and explains what is happening to him based on what has happened to others before him. Does that sound like anything you have ever heard before? Starts with a B and has “ible” behind it? When you get saved and chosen, a transformation is taking place and God has given you a book that will explain what is happening.
This movie in a sense illustrates for us four things that we need that God will provide for us to complete the work he started in us.
Bible Lessons from Spiderman
As God completes the work in us, he gives to us…
- A Book That Guides Us
I never thought I would compare the bible to a comic book. If you have been called and chosen, you have been given a book to guide you. I am talking about the inerrant, inspired, infallible Word of Almighty God. Bible lessons about Spiderman are astounding. Psalms 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path.”
It is a mistake to think that you can make it without the Word of God. Why would you even try? The Word of God is a huge blessing to you. It will cause you to grow, to know, to understand, it is your lamp to show you the way. Someone says, I don’t know what to do next! I don’t know how to handle this situation. It’s in the word. This book is your guide.
Now, If you watch the whole movie, from time to time they show a 1 second clip several times with different comic books. I think the idea is that as Miles continues his journey, he stays in the comic books and they guide him as he is growing into his new calling as Spider man.
One of the clips in the movie shows Miles as he reads a comic book and sees that Spiderman jumps off a building. He goes to the top of a tall building, looks over the side, sees a shorter building, and then decides to jump off of that building. He has faith but its not too strong. The scripture tells us, Romans 10:17 “so then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” If you want faith you have to have the word.
In the first clip he doesn’t have the faith he really needs. But after staying in the books…the comic books. He finds faith. And then watch him soar. At the end of the movie, he is leaping off of tall buildings and there is even a reference to faith.
CLIP TWO Living Out The Word 33:02-34:08 and 1:23:09-1:24:52
Is there anyone who never struggled with being able to actually do what the Word says? Sometimes in our faith we may struggle, but if we continue in the word, we will ultimately be able to do what God has called us to do.
Not only does God give us the Word to Guide us, but he also has given us
- A Model That Motivates Us.
I want to tell you straight up in my life. I do not model myself after Spiderman, Batman, Thor, Iron Man, anyone like that. I want to model my life after Jesus. But seriously, have you ever asked yourself, why do they make so many of these movies? They made this movie early this year and then they made another movie about Spiderman that came out in July of 2019. Thats okay, I can learn bible lessons from Spiderman!
They keep making these super-hero movies over and over again. And the Superheroes are always fighting against some similarly notoriously bad guys. People keep packing out movie theatres to watch this stuff. Why do they do this? Can I tell you why? It is because every human being on the planet, on the inside somewhere says, “We need something or somebody to rescue us. We need somebody to save us.”
The truth that even on a subconscious level people around the world sense there is something wrong with our world. They have on some level the idea that we cannot save ourselves. That we need something outside of ourselves that is greater than us to rescue humanity from the dilemma we find ourselves in. People instinctively know that one day evil will become so prevalent, that natural men cannot stop or save us from some impending danger.
I saw on Facebook a number of years ago, a picture of Jesus and was talking to all the Superheroes and he says, And that is how I saved the world. I loved that. It tells us in a moment, why people love movies about Superheroes! It is because they are actually looking for Jesus!
Can I just make a bold declaration? There is only one Savior of the world. Jesus! The world will keep seeing bigger and bigger problems, and more death, and pain and sorrow. And the only solution is Jesus.
Hopefully you get that Jesus is unique. There is a word that we use to describe Jesus. We say that he is the only begotten Son. In Spanish we say “unigenito.” In Greek the language it was written in John makes up a word that is used nowhere before or after this because it is three words put together, And those words mean only begotten Son. So there is this sense that Jesus is the unique Savior of the world. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” There is no one that is like Jesus! And that is why he is worthy of being imitated. He is unique.
Jesus in one sense is unique, but there is another sense, where He is the firstborn. In other words, others will be born again in His likeness. Not that we become little Jesuses. But rather that we are stamped with his image. Colossians 1:15 describes him like this: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”
Why is Jesus so special? He is special because we need someone to exemplify and image what we can become. He is the firstborn. You and I get born again into his family. We ought to resemble our Elder Brother. And that is who Jesus is. Colossians 3:10 “and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,”
Here is the idea: You have to put on Jesus. Just like Miles put on Spiderman, one of the bible lessons from Spiderman ist that we put on Jesus! The new man that you put on is being renewed after the image of Him who created you. Romans 13:14 puts it even plainer. “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ…”
Clip 3 Put On Christ 31:55-32:36
I hope you follow what I am saying. There is a scene where Miles goes in to buy a Spiderman costume and it doesn’t fit well. The guy in the comic book shop or the place where he bought the costume, that is Stan Lee, or the guy who was the inventor of Spiderman, tells Miles, “The suit fits everyone eventually.”
Miles is attempting to become what Spiderman was. And so he puts on the suit. He has in his mind this image of Spiderman. He is probably thinking I don’t measure up. I am not like him. And the guy in the store says, the suit will fit eventually.
When we get saved God gives us the robes of righteousness. We may not feel like we have it down. But as we put on Christ, we will become more and more like Him. The suit will fit us eventually as our lives are transformed into His image. And then the next thing God gives us so that we will stand complete in Christ is …
- Mentors That Guide Us
Everybody needs somebody. We need Pastors, and Teachers, and Evangelist, and prophets, and Apostles. We need mentors. We need people we can turn to and call on for prayer and encouragement. One of the Bible lessons from Spiderman is that we need mentors! In Celebrate Recovery, we say that we need accountability partners, and sponsors. Others have no formal type of arrangement but they know they can call one another, really good friends. But we all need those within the body of Christ who will help to guide us, and mentor us.
I don’t want to get to deep into the plot of the movie. But basically, the bad guys are bringing all kinds of parallel universes together to destroy everything. And so Miles, the new Jr High Spiderman, goes to try to fight the bad guys. Suddenly, there is another Spiderman. The first Peter Parker is dead, and suddenly, another Peter Parker from another universe. (but this guy becomes his mentor)
Clip 4 Peter B Parker 20:44-22:17, 35:46-36:59, Trailer 1:08-1:39
We need people to speak into our lives! A couple of things that I want to say about our spiritual friends and mentors. The new Peter B. Parker, he had some ups and downs in life. But he knew he always got back up. Seriously, the mentors you have in your life, although they will have some of the semblance of the firstborn of all creation. Although they have Jesus. They are not perfect. Sometimes life teaches people. Who has went to the school of hard knocks? I have. It can make you wise.
Proverbs 13:20 “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.”
And God doesn’t want us just to come in here on Sunday morning and be strangers. He wants us to share our lives. That is what Peter B Parker was doing in the movie with young Miles. He was sharing the ups, the downs, the good, the bad. Paul did that with those in Thessalonica.
1 Thessalonians 2:8 “So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.”
We need mentors who will share their lives and people who we can share our lives with. And then, the final thing God gives us so he will finish the work he began in us is…
- Brothers and Sisters Who Fight Beside Us.
We don’t fight in a physical way. We fight spiritually. We fight in prayer. We have to get dressed for the battle every day! We have to put on the armor of God. It is a joy to know that we have brothers and sisters who bear the image of Jesus who are fighting beside us. That is what happens as this movie concludes. The spidermen and the spiderwomen from all the parallel universes come to together to defeat the enemy.
Clip 5 The Fight 1:28:06-1:29:40
I know that you can too if you will stand alongside your brothers and sisters in Christ.