Summary: Was Jesus fully God? Was He fully man? And if so... why would Jesus go to all the trouble of being both?
(Start at 0:06 mark and continue through 1:25… stopped before the bloody “S”).
Does anybody know who the actor was who was reading the voice over? (Anthony Hopkins, who played Superman’s father Jor-el in “Superman Returns”). And his dialogue in that points to the Biblical influence on the Superman myth.
Some time back I read an interesting insight from CNN:
They wrote: “Superman's father is "Jor-El" and his name is "Kal-El." Both names contain "El", the name for God in Hebrew….
Steve Skelton, author of a book explaining the parallels between Superman and Jesus said, "It is so on the nose that anyone who has not caught on that Superman is a Christ figure, you think 'Who else could it be referring to?”
(Jesus Christ Superman, June 14, 2006)
As CNN noted, the word “El” is the Hebrew word for God, and that Hebrew word “El” shows up a lot in Scripture as part of people’s names.
For example, can anyone tell me the names of the two angels whose names end in “el?”
(Gabriel and Michael)
GabriEL means “God is my strength”
MichaEL means “Who is like God”
IsraEL (the man who’s 12 sons became the nation of Israel) means “God contended”
SamuEL (the first in a long line of prophets) means “God has heard”
DaniEL - God is my Judge
EzekiEL - God strengthens
Then there are names that begin with “El”
ELisha - My God is salvation
ELijah - My God is YAHWEH
El shows up in many Biblical names… included the name in our text this morning: ImmanuEL – which means “God with us”
Now, Superman’s given name is actually Kal-el.
This was a made up name but it sounds like the Hebrew word for “The voice of God”.
As CNN noted, there’s an obvious overtones of Superman being an image of Christ.
One of the phrases in that clip we played earlier had Superman’s father saying this:
“They can be a great people, Kal-el, if they wish to be. They only lack the light to show them the way. For this reason… I have sent them you, my only son.”
And the newest Superman movie - “The Man of Steel” - Jor-el says:
“You shall be a God to them.”
Essentially - that’s what the angel said to Joseph, over 2000 years ago:
"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son. And they will call him Immanuel" —which means, "God with us." (Matthew 1:23)
God with us (pause)
One of the questions we want to consider this morning is this: was Jesus God?
You see, in the Superman myth, no one ever pretended that Kal-el was a god. He was just a strange visitor from another planet with powers and abilities beyond those of mortal men. He was impressive and he was strong. But he was just a mortal, and one day – he would die.
So Superman was NOT a god.
But was Jesus?
Was Jesus God?
(PAUSE) Well… yeah.
The Apostle John said He was.
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God” John 1:1
Later in that chapter John tells us WHO that “Word” was.
“The WORD became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
So there’s no question: The Word Was Jesus… and the Word Was God.
John couldn’t have been more specific.
But, Jehovah Witnesses have never liked this passage… so they changed it. They have a dishonest “New World Translation” which magically transforms John 1:1 to say – NOT “the Word was God – BUT “the Word was A god.”
This perversion of this text is one of the reasons that no honest Greek scholar has ever accepted the Jehovah Witness translation of the Bible as reliable.
John declares in no uncertain terms: Jesus was God.
Was Jesus God?
Thomas said He was.
When Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to the all the disciples… except Thomas. When the other disciples told Thomas about what they’d seen, he “doubted” (that’s why we call him “doubting Thomas). Thomas said “"Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." (John 20:25)
When Jesus appeared to him a little later, He challenged Thomas to place his fingers in the wounds of His side and feet, but Thomas never bothered. Instead, he’s in awe. He fell to knees and declared “My Lord and My God” (literally, “the God of me”). John 20:28
Cultists have tried to argue that Thomas was simply mistaken. He was overwhelmed by emotion and just spoken in error. But, if that were true, Thomas’ declaration would have been blasphemous and Jesus should have rebuked him. But Jesus didn’t rebuke Thomas. Instead He praised him.