Logic vs. moxy, protocol vs. passion, ego vs. superego. It is the core of one of the most brilliant pairings in all of cinematic history: Spock and Captain Kirk. In the latest (and BEST EVER!) installment of the Star Trek saga, we watch as Spock’s slavery to the rules of his logic endanger his life and career repeatedly.
In one way, this film is about Spock leaving that slavery for something better (and more logical in my opinion). By the end, he has been able to hold onto logic while embracing a bit more of his human side. What a great parallel to the scripture!
When Jesus enters the scene, the place is rife with the same type of slavery: slavery to rules. Not only were they obeying the 613 rules in the Old Testament, but the rabbis had set in place what they referred to as a “wall around the torah” that consisted of hundreds and hundreds more laws that backed up from the ones in the Bible so that no one would even get close to breaking the Biblical law. They were enslaved.
Then, Jesus walks in and makes a caricature of the whole thing. He says things like, “If your eye causes you to sin, don’t just stop looking at bad stuff, or going where the bad stuff is. I mean, guys if we are going to build a wall around it, let’s really build a wall! Let’s really get serious about holiness! If you are having a problem with eye-sinning, pluck it out!”
Right. So, how many men are left in that situation with eyes? Maybe a couple women, but if One Direction has anything to do with it, maybe not many girls in your youth group.
What is going on here? A whole lot, but one of the things is that Jesus is pointing out how ridiculous an obsession with keeping all the law is. The law is not where the power is, it is pointing to the power. In the Old Testament, the Law is pointing to God and ultimately Jesus. The whole thing is a big blinking arrow pointing at Jesus.
And that’s the lesson. I know you needed a reason to justify taking your students to the movies again, so here’s a couple questions to ask after the movie is over… Maybe read Matthew 8:19 first and explain about the wall around the Torah.
- What is it in the beginning of the movie that is enslaving Spock?
- What does he have to to inside himself to be able to make the decisions that save everything at the end?
- How is Spock like the teachers of the law in the New Testament?
- What do you think Jesus would say to Spock?
- How can we make the same transformation we see in Spock?
- What is a first step you could take on that path today?
Jeremy Steele has been working in youth ministry for the past sixteen years and now serves as the Next Generation Minister at Christ United Methodist Church in Mobile, AL. He writes for Group Magazine, RETHINK Church and various publications and organizations. You can find a link to all the places he contributes on his website at JeremyWords.com.
Follow him on twitter: twitter.com/unpretending