Welcome to another one of our movie guides - taking a movie and the principles and action - and using it to work with your students to illustrate points, liven up talks or just have plain fun..
Spiderman 2 rates as a PG in the UK which makes it suitable to show for your group. To be honest, there's nothing bad in this movie that would require editing.. The movie lasts 122 minutes so be prepared - but the movie flies by.
For those who haven't seen the movie I'd suggest you watch it. The movie has more than your average action adventure movie, combining action, excellent CGI graphics, a lot on Spiderman and his sometimes difficult relationships, a strong script, dry humour and of course a love story that drives and underpins the movie..
Points from this Movie:
In essence this is a love story between Peter Parker and Mary Jane. This is a complex relationship due to the fact that Mary Jane doesn't initially know that Peter Parker is Spiderman. It can be used to explain the complexity of love and its effect on people. We can also say that just as Peter saves Mary from various situations throughout the movie, so Jesus showed his love for us by dying on the Cross.
We find that Spiderman's loyalty undergoes several challenges, as do other people in the movie. There's his loyalty to what he feels is his calling, and this conflicting with his loyalty to Mary Jane. We find Mary Jane has a conflict of loyalty between Peter and another guy. But ultimately we find that Peter is loyal to both his calling as Spiderman, Mary Jane and to his gran.
3. Bitterness and Hate
We see that Peter's best mate, Harry Osborn, is being torn apart by bitterness and hate about his father's death, after Spiderman was forced to kill him in the first movie. Harry is prepared to hand over power to a madman in order to find out who Spiderman is. When he finds Spiderman is Peter Parker, he initially helps Peter. But at the end of the movie, we see the struggle within Harry and he smashes a window hiding a room built by his father. Cue Spiderman 3, but it's a lesson about the destructive power of bitterness, hate and lack of forgiveness.
4. Your true identity in Christ
This movie follows Peter as his role as Spiderman conflicts with his school (Uni) work. Though he is a great student, his grades are going down as he follows his 'call' as Spiderman day and night. Maybe you have this same struggle. You're not sure who you are. Sometimes our work for God can actually get in the way of our work, family, college life. This is a path too many pastors and blokes have gone down. By the end of the movie, we find Spiderman in a place where his love, school and Spiderman life are more in balance. But watching the pained expression on Mary Jane's face, we know this is going to be a struggle.
5. The cost of following Christ
This leads neatly on to the next point from the movie. In the penultimate scene, we find that Mary Jane knows that Peter Parker is Spiderman. But Spiderman hears sirens and Mary Jane says something like, 'go get them tiger..' and Spidey's off in action, happy as you like. The camera cuts back to Mary Jane and there is a troubled look on her face. She's happy for Spidey but knows there will be a cost.
In the previous movie and this movie, we've seen how Spidey has seen a cost, with his grandfather being killed, and his gran and Mary Jane nearly killed on several occasions. In Luke 14.25-33 we see from Jesus there is a cost to being a follower of Jesus. The cost is worth it eventually, eternally, and it's different for everyone and not always dramatic or painful. But we need to be aware. so we are prepared.
Peter has a complex web (if you'll excuse the pun!) of relationships. This reflects the Bible. When we read through it we see people's lives warts and all. We find that not everything or everyone is perfect (even Jesus said only God is perfect). But life is meant for relationships. In 1 Corinthians 12 we find out about the body of Christ being different but being one body, working together. Ecclesiastes 4.12 says 'Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.' So we are made to live in relationships.
As Christians, our relationship with God determines our relationship with others. Jesus said, 'Love God and then love others.' Our love for others is directly proportional to our love for God. This is because the more we love God, the closer we are to God, the more we love people because the more like God we become. Check yourself today.
7. Character over Gifting
Harry Osborn is a bitter man. But he's stumbled on an arsenal of weapons and cool stuff his father used as the Green Goblin. Harry Osborn's mind lights up. We know he intends to use these to destroy Spiderman if he can.
Our motives aren't always so obvious. But we need to make sure that 'preachers don't promote us too fast' as Corey Red said about Mase. (A rapper who gave his life to Christ). We need to be rooted in God, allow God to deal with the bad stuff. See, as we climb the Christian ladder, we face more temptations, the more people look to us and the further we have to fall.. Compare being at the foot of a mountain with 100s of others, or being the one who climbs the mountain in full view of those 100s.
We all want to see God use us and move forward with God. Often times there are other reasons we don't move forward such as controlling or leaders or churches, spiritual attack, distractions. But we need to allow God to grow us and work in us, promote us in his time and way. And remember, as Derek Prince says (paraphrasing Jesus in Mark 10.44 - '..and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.') - 'the way up is down.'