Spiderman / Flash / Shazam / Captain America: Receiving Power
You ever find it funny how some people get their powers in comic books/super hero stories? No real destiny involved, no real quest, no earning them, pretty much just “whoops-a-daisy, look at this crazy shenanigan/random happenstance, now I have super powers!” From “Ninja Turtles” up, it made me seriously contemplate hanging around hazardous materials and mystical objects when I was a kid.
Spiderman got bit by a radioactive spider...Really? That’s it? He gets bit by a spider and becomes a super hero...I’ve gotten bit by spiders before, all I got was pain, swelling, and lots of ointments. It just seems like such a stretch. The Flash got doused with chemicals and struck by lightning... I don’t even know what to say to that. It sounds like he should have been caught on fire, or exploded, not gain ridiculous speed. I mean we are talking about a guy who can outrun Superman, who can vibrate through solid objects, can cross dimensions, and this came from chemicals + lightning. Jim Caviezel (the guy who played Jesus in “The Passion of The Christ”) got struck by lightning during the filming of the movie, and he didn’t magically develop ‘Jesus’ powers.
Billy Batson was a kid and one day Wizard named Shazam said, “I need a champion for good.....let me pick a little boy who is nearing puberty and give him god-like powers.” So literally he is handed super powers by a wizard. All he has to do is call the wizard’s name. He then gets struck by lightning (again with the lightning), and is turned into Captain Marvel, who pretty much is Superman, but with magic powers. My question is why would you ever turn back? And I would have serious trouble standing there waiting for a lightning bolt to smack me in the face...?
Then there’s Captain America...drugs. Not knocking the guy, it took courage, but pretty much he’s just a dude on some real hardcore steroids. The same thing we punish Lance Armstrong and most of the Major league for. Maybe our professional athletes should just start fighting crime.
All this is to say, getting power in the world of superheroes can be a pretty sporadic thing. When it comes to God and power, things get a bit different. For a Christian, power comes from Christ. After the resurrection Jesus stated, “ .” – Acts 1:8, but even before the crucifixion/resurrection Jesus was giving his followers power. In Luke 9:1, “Summoning the Twelve, He gave them power and authority over all the demons, and power to heal diseases.” Jesus just handed out powers, to those who had faith. He didn’t have to strike them with lightning, or bring radioactive spiders from Egypt. His people had faith, and because they placed their faith in Him, they had power. There’s this great moment in Acts 3 where Peter and John heal and man and everyone freaks out, and they have this perfect opportunity to show off. I mean if you had powers wouldn’t you? But check out their response in verse 12, “When Peter saw this, he addressed the people: ‘Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this? Or why do you stare at us, as though we had made him walk by our own power or godliness?’” They then proceeded to give Jesus all the credit and make him known.
Now some of you are saying, “Yeah, healing and miracles aren’t exactly in my spiritual utility belt.” There’s more trust me. The prophet Micah makes this amazing statement “As for me, however, I am filled with power by the Spirit of the Lord, with justice and courage, to proclaim to Jacob his rebellion and to power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to But you will receive the ends of the earth Israel his sin.” – Micah 3:8. Micah needed, and used God’s power just to make the truth known. We need this just as much as he did.
We may think of sharing the message of Jesus Christ as just words, that it’s nothing like what Jesus or the disciples did, but don’t be fooled. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” 1 Corinthians 4:20. The reason that it’s more than just talk is that the Gospel, the message of Jesus Christ, itself is true power. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.” - Romans 1:16.
Maybe you are still doubting, maybe you are thinking “Yeah I believe the Bible, I’ve even quoted it a time or two, been on a mission trip and stuff like that, but that doesn’t mean I have power. I’ve never helped someone meet Jesus, or changed someone’s life”
This is for you, 2 Corinthians 2:9-10, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
You ever wonder why they have Batman on the Justice League, or Black Widow on the Avengers? Because power isn’t always what you think it is. Knowing Christ is having power, and you don’t even have to get struck by lightning.