Superheroes & Fairy Tales

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“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” – GK Chesterton

Last year alone, superhero films grossed more than $4 billion worldwide.

Disney, which now owns Marvel and Star Wars films and has been built on animated fairy tales, is worth nearly $100 billion. 

People LOVE superheroes and fairy tales. I love superheroes and fairy tales!

Why? Why, as humans, are we so drawn to stories of good and evil…to characters in need of rescue, fearsome villains, and selfless heroes who save the day? Why are we so obsessed with happily ever after?

We were created for happily ever after. We are the princes and princesses in distress – languishing far from where we were meant to live. There is a conniving villain constantly trying to convince us that we are fine and not in need of a rescuer. And there is a selfless hero – our Father and our King – who has saved the day and made happily ever after possible again.

And yet we settle for the towers in which we’re trapped, as if they’re our home. We sit in our towers, cowering from the dragon, while the vanquisher stands waiting to intervene on our behalf. Waiting to wrap us up in His arms and pull us out. Because we know the tower. We think we’re comfortable in the tower. We think we’re in control in the tower. In order to be rescued, we have to let go of the familiar and trust that the rescuer is good and kind. We have to trust that our hero has a better life for us beyond the tower.

Hebrews is a call to trust that Jesus is a hero worth trusting in. This letter is a call to yell “Yes!” to the Rescuer when He asks whether we need help. It is an invitation to share in His glorious rest – in His heavenly calling – in His happily ever after. It is a reminder that He and He alone slays dragons – especially the enemy who comes to seek, kill, and destroy. It is a reminder that here, on this earth, in this life, we will face trials. We will face wilderness. We will face suffering. We will face death itself. But have no fear. Because sorrow lasts for the night, but because of Jesus, joy truly does come in the morning.

Hebrews 3 reminds us of this: Do not harden your hearts. It’ll be tough. You’ll experience suffering that did not exist in Eden and will not exist in heaven. You’ll be tempted to sin and you will sin at times – but trust that Jesus is better. RUN from temptation. Repent of your sins. Don’t be duped by the enemy who tells you your dingy, dark tower is better than your Rescuer’s kingdom. Choose the kingdom. As often as you can. The Holy Spirit will enable you to do so. And leave no man behind. When any one of you is tempted to believe your sin will lead to happily ever after, join together to remind him or her that Jesus is better. The kingdom of God is better. This is not only about you. It is about you all. Collectively. Serving a Rescuer who loves you all more than you can possibly imagine.

So as you enjoy superhero movies and fairy tales, rest in this – there is a real life Hero who supersedes them all. His name is Jesus. 

See you Sunday!


Community Group Questions: Hebrews 2:10-18

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CG Questions: Hebrews 2:10-18

Jesus is Better: Liberator and High Priest

Icebreaker Questions

  • Have you ever gotten a perfect score on something that you had to put a lot of effort into? What was that process like and what kind of feelings did you have as you put out the effort?  What kind of feelings did you have in the result?
  • Have you ever been through endurance training for a specific purpose or goal?  How did you feel in the process of training?  When you reached the goal? What things helped motivate you in either of these situations?

Discussion Questions for VERSES 10-18

1. How can Jesus, as God himself, be made perfect?  What does the writer mean by this phrasing in verse 10?

2. How was Jesus tested through suffering as a man?  For what purpose did this serve?

3. In verse 10, “founder of our salvation” has also been translated as “trailblazer”.  In what ways do you see Jesus as the trailblazer for our salvation? 

4. Do you find yourself ever growing weary and losing heart as you interact with the culture?  How might it help to fix our eyes on Jesus as the trailblazer? (see Hebrews 12:3)

5. In verse 11, the writer quotes from the 22nd Psalm.  What verse from that Psalm did Jesus pray from his cross? What is significant about the truths being conveyed in v. 1 and v.22 of the 22nd Psalm as it relates to this passage of Hebrews?

6. What is the bond between Christians and Christ Jesus?  How did He bond himself with us? Can it ever be broken? why

7. Verse 13 is a reference to Isaiah 8:17-18.  How do these things also relate to the bond we have with Christ?

8. What accomplishments of Jesus does the writer highlight in verses 14-16?  As our heroic liberator, how do the actions of Jesus mentioned here, bind us to him even more?

9. So far in our study, we have heard the writer reference Jesus as PROPHETIC (ch.1) and KINGLY (ch.2).  What title does the writer give to Jesus in these final verses of chapter 2?  What kind of priest? (merciful/faithful/high/relative to our struggle)

10. Do you ever feel like God cannot relate to our angst and suffering as human beings? Why

11. Are you most inclined to approach God in shame or trust? Why

12. How does this passage relay good news about Jesus to address those feelings?

As brother, liberator and high priest, Jesus is unashamed to call us siblings before God and atones for our sins forever!  We can come before God with clean consciences and welcomed as sons and daughters because of all that Jesus does!


Jesus is better.

Jesus is the difference maker. Jesus sets Christianity apart from every other belief system in the past, present, and future.

This may seem obvious. But it’s easy to forget, isn’t it?

It’s easy to forget that He is greater than everything else our idol-producing hearts raise up in His place. It’s easy to talk generically about God and how good He is, but leave out Jesus, the clearest evidence of His goodness, because He is less culturally acceptable than generic spirituality. It’s easy to become so excited about good things – gifts, even, from God Himself – that we elevate them above the Giver of all gifts.

And the irony of it all?

It’s to our own detriment.

We’re going to post up in Hebrews for much of this year, and one thing is made abundantly clear in Hebrews: Jesus is better.

The church audience of Hebrews had become obsessed with angels. It was the trendy doctrine of the day. They had elevated angels above Jesus.

Today we hardly talk about angels…which is a problem in and of itself for another day (they war on our behalf…how incredible is that?!)…but we have our own “doctrines of angels,” don’t we?

The idols we raise up, the generic spirituality we elevate above the Gospel of Jesus, the celebration of the gifts above the Giver…our “doctrines of angels” take different forms. What is yours? What does Jesus wants to supplant in your life?

 [Jesus] is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. (Hebrews 1:3-4)

He is more excellent.

For His glory, and for our good, He is more excellent. Nothing else wholly satisfies our souls!

Jesus is extraordinary. There aren’t words in our human tongues to fully describe His might, His dominion, His love, and His grace. But on this earth, even the glimpse we have of His fullness is life-altering. I know this, and so do you. But in our humanity, we forget. Let's remind each other to choose Him over our "doctrines of angels" in the coming months. After all, even the angels were created to worship Him.

See you Sunday!

Community Group Questions: Hebrews 1

CG Questions: Hebrews 1

  1. “God spoke” (Hebrews 1:1) Can any of you share a time when you know God spoke to you? How did it happen? What did He say?
  2. How is God speaking through Jesus better than God speaking through the prophets?
  3. Make a list of all the things Jesus is and the things Jesus did in Hebrews 1:1-4.
  4. List a few ways Jesus is described. Which one is your favorite and why?
  5. “After making purification for sins” the Bible says Jesus sat down. What does this imply? How can this encourage us?
  6. Names are important. Do you know what your name means or why someone chose to name you what they did? Heb. 1:4 says Jesus’ Name that He inherited is Superior to the Angels. See also Phil. 2:10-11. Have you bowed to the Name/Person of Jesus? Are there areas of your life you’re slow to bow? Why?
  7. Jesus is Superior to the Angels because Jesus is the Son. God the Father wants everyone to know that Jesus is His Son. See Mt. 3:17 and Mt. 17:5. If you are in Christ does God the Father “well pleased” with you too? How could such a thought motivate obedience?
  8. Even though Jesus is Superior to the Angels ... angels are still very important. How are they described here? What are there jobs? (See 1:14)
  9. Our theme for Hebrews is Jesus is Better. In chapter 1 we see Jesus is better than the prophets and the Angels. How is Jesus showing you that He is better today? What are you sometimes tempted to believe may be better than Jesus?
  10. Spend some time envisioning Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father speaking a better word on your behalf (Hebrews 7:25). A word of healing, a word of forgiveness, a word of hope. Can you hear Him? He’s whispering ...”I’m better my child...draw near, look to Me.”

I’ll be praying for you all as you pray and study this week!

Prepared 1/9/18 by Steven Helfrich