Do you have any super heroes? My six-year-old-soon-to-be-seven grandson, Wyatt, has lots of them. He has boxes full of the old heroes that I remember from my younger years, like Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and ones I am not as familiar with, like Four Arms, Iron Man, and Wolverine which undoubtedly dates me a bit. But he knows them all – the good guys and the bad guys.
Right now, he’s really into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and can name them quicker than I can name my own grandkids (seven, so far, with another one on the way). When we were together for the holidays, I sat down with him to first watch a video of another one of his super heroes, Bible Man, and then a Turtles movie that he’d just received as a Christmas gift. Every now and then during the movie he’d be inspired to get up and do one of his Ninja Turtle moves.
He likes it when I get down on the floor and play super heroes with him. His favourite thing is to line them up opposite of each other – the good guys on one side and the bad guys on the other to get ready for a battle. He then says to me, “Alright, Grandpa, when I say, ‘Attack!’ we start.” He hands me a couple of the guys, either good or bad, and says, “Here, these are yours! Attack!” And then the battle pursues. Slam! Bang! Crash! Super heroes flying, flipping, falling all over his room. We even do our own sound effects: “Psssh! Pow! Whack!” The good guys end up winning, but sometimes the bad guys revive, and the good guys have to go back and finish the job. Then Wyatt says, “Okay, Grandpa, let’s set them up again!”
It’s hard telling how much older Wyatt will get until he puts away these toys and turns to other sources to find his super heroes. I’ve just recently observed that he is now attracted to sports heroes. He is really getting into watching football, basketball, and baseball on TV. And he can already name a lot of his favourite players. I imagine he’ll want to be involved in athletics as he gets older for he’s already starting to participate in these activities.
My grandson’s interests in super heroes gets me to thinking about who OUR heroes really are, and why they are super to us. Is it because they have uncanny skills, supernatural abilities, and good, clean character? Or, maybe we just highly admire them because of their unique personality, outstanding bravery, and daring nature to win against all odds. They could be someone close to us or someone we barely know. But we hold them as super in our own eyes because something is special about them: They are our heroes.
Taking into account all these factors, we could probably list all kinds of super heroes we look up to. But the one that comes to my mind first and foremost is Jesus Christ, himself. What makes Jesus one’s super hero?
Consider some of his super hero traits:
- He is a chip off the ol’ block: His Father is Almighty and Jesus has his features, too. (John 14:8-11)
- He has power over nature. (Mark 4:35-41)
- He performs so many signs and miracles that the world could not contain enough books written about them. (John 21:24-25)
- He has timeless qualities. (Hebrews 13:8)
- He was raised from death to life and immortality. (Revelation 1:18)
- He will come back as our hero, riding on a white horse, to conquer his enemies and ours. (Revelation 19: 11-16)
- He will win over all evil and bring in everlasting justice. (Revelation 19:17-2; 20:7-15)
- He will save the good guys who will co-rule with him when he sits on his throne ruling the world (Luke 1:32; Romans 8:17; Revelation 3:21; 20:6).
- He was without sin yet he died for our sins that we might be saved. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
- He is superior to the angels (Hebrews 1:4); Moses and the prophets (Heb. 3:1-6); Aaron’s priesthood (Heb. 4:14-16; 7:1-28); Jewish law (Heb. 7:1-13); and sacrifices (Heb. 10:1-39).
Jesus is the one we model as the real super hero. He is not make-believe neither does he have any flaws. We can be let down by those we uphold as super heroes. But God, who said he would never forsake us or leave us (Heb. 13:5; Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:9), gave us his Son, Jesus Christ, who echoed that he, too, will always be with us to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:16-20). What a Super Hero!
Children will one day grow up to realize that many of their heroes are only in their imagination. Then they will soon put living, human heroes in their place. But they could also be let down once they learn their heroes are not perfect. They need to learn in spite of this, only one Super Hero truly exists, and that he is the Son of God. Grown ups need to understand this fact, as well.
Good News to you!