Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone like this, a man who has God’s spirit in him?” So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one as intelligent and wise as you are. You will be over my house, and all my people will obey your commands. Only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “See, I am placing you over all the land of Egypt.” Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, clothed him with fine linen garments, and placed a gold chain around his neck. He had Joseph ride in his second chariot, and servants called out before him, “Kneel!” So he placed him over all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but no one will be able to raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt without your permission.” (Genesis 41:38-44)
Joseph was one of the twelve tribes of Israel, a son of Jacob and his wife Rachel. Known as “the righteous one,” he was favored by his father (who gave him a special colored coat) and sold by his jealous brothers to Egypt. Faced with many trials, including false imprisonment, Joseph never loses his faith in God.
This faithfulness is rewarded when Joseph correctly interprets the menacing dreams of Pharaoh, the Egyptian ruler. Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams as being a Divine prediction for seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine, and advised Pharaoh to prepare by storing grain during the first seven years. Impressed by Joseph’s wisdom, Pharaoh appointed him as his viceroy, second only to the king himself, and tasked him with readying the nation for the years of famine.
Joseph became a superhero of the people of Israel, saving them from certain starvation.
There is a rich history of many heroes of myth and legend. They typically exhibit feats of incredible strength, fighting prowess, and cunning. A recent version is Superman, the archetypal modern superhero. Superman first appeared in Action Comics, no. 1 (June 1938).
Superman’s origin is perhaps one of the best-known stories in comic book history. A kindly couple from a mid-American town find an infant and raise him as their own. As a child, he exhibits a collection of superhuman powers—invulnerability, incredible strength, the ability to leap incredible distances, and super speed—that would later become the hallmarks of his alter ego, Superman, the “Man of Steel.”
That dual identity of human and alien would provide an ongoing sense of tension for the saga. Superman served as a beacon of hope during the depths of the Great Depression.
It was Superman’s values—and not his godlike powers—that were the true essence of the character.
The Holy Bible is full of examples of superheroes. They were heroes not because of any special powers, but because of their faith:
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. For our ancestors won God’s approval by it.
By faith we understand that the universe was created by God’s command, so that what is seen has been made from things that are not visible.
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was approved as a righteous man, because God approved his gifts, and even though he is dead, he still speaks through his faith.
By faith Enoch was taken away so he did not experience death, and he was not to be found because God took him away. For prior to his removal he was approved, since he had pleased God. Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.
By faith Noah, after he was warned about what was not yet seen and motivated by godly fear, built an ark to deliver his family. By faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed as a foreigner in the land of promise, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, coheirs of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
By faith even Sarah herself, when she was unable to have children, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she considered that the One who had promised was faithful.
Therefore from one man—in fact, from one as good as dead—came offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as innumerable as the grains of sand by the seashore.
These all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they were thinking about where they came from, they would have had an opportunity to return. But they now desire a better place—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He received the promises and he was offering his unique son, the one it had been said about, Your seed will be traced through Isaac. He considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead, and as an illustration, he received him back.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and he worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, as he was nearing the end of his life, mentioned the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions concerning his bones.
By faith, after Moses was born, he was hidden by his parents for three months, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they didn’t fear the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter and chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the short-lived pleasure of sin. For he considered the reproach because of the Messiah to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, since his attention was on the reward.
By faith he left Egypt behind, not being afraid of the king’s anger, for Moses persevered as one who sees Him who is invisible. By faith he instituted the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn might not touch the Israelites. By faith they crossed the Red Sea as though they were on dry land. When the Egyptians attempted to do this, they were drowned.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after being encircled by the Israelites for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute received the spies in peace and didn’t perish with those who disobeyed.
And what more can I say? Time is too short for me to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the raging of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength after being weak, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight.
Women received their dead—they were raised to life again. Some men were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection, and others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and on mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.
All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us. (Hebrews 11:1-40)
Another superhero came into this world as a baby:
About two thousand years ago, God the Father sent Jesus Christ (the Son of God) into the world so that the world might be saved through Jesus. Jesus is the Word, which was with God in the beginning, and was God. The Word was made flesh by God causing an Israelite virgin named Mary to become pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Mary was the mother of this child, but there was no earthly father who had caused her to become pregnant. This child was named Jesus.
By the power of God, Jesus performed many miracles. Some of these miracles included healing all kinds of diseases, bringing dead people back to life, casting out demons, controlling the weather, walking on water, and turning water into wine.
Jesus lived a perfect life and did not sin. There were some people who did not like what Jesus was doing and plotted to have Him crucified. He was scourged, mocked, and hung on a cross until he died. Then, he was placed in a tomb. Just like the Passover lambs were offered and their blood was shed for the forgiveness of sin, Jesus was offered and his blood was shed. His perfect sacrifice was better than an animal sacrifice and by the shedding of his blood came the forgiveness of sins for all people once and forever.
Jesus was the ultimate Superhero, who paid the price for all mankind when he suffered on the cross. He took on himself the rebellion and sin of all mankind from the past, present and future. So, even we have caused him the pain he suffered. He was the final sacrifice, the perfect sacrifice for all time. No longer did man have to sacrifice animals to cover their sin because his ultimate sacrifice PAID the price for all time.
He arose from the dead three days later and appeared to his disciples and apostles and many witnesses. He returned to his Father in heaven, but before ascending he charged them to spread his teachings to all the nations of the world. He promised to come again to take his people who believe in him and look for his appearing to be with him in the clouds.
Who is a “superhero” in today’s world?
Are they the First Responders?
Are they the volunteers?
Is it the mother working from home to support her family?
Before He left the Earth, Jesus made a startling proclamation:
“I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)
He was not just talking to the Apostles, but to all Christians who are true believers:
“Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)
Christians can perform miracles like healing, casting out demons, changing the weather, and any of the other works of Jesus. You are in a unique position to help those around you, at this unique time in history.
We might not all be called to perform miracles, but we can all be superheroes:
…if you offer yourself to the hungry,
and satisfy the afflicted one,
then your light will shine in the darkness,
and your night will be like noonday.
The Lord will always lead you,
satisfy you in a parched land,
and strengthen your bones.
You will be like a watered garden
and like a spring whose waters never run dry. (Isaiah 58:10-11)
Practical acts of charity can include holding open a door for someone, offering assistance, and helping someone trying to get a stroller down the steps. Every small interaction with another is an opportunity to have a positive impact on both of your lives.
When you look, you’ll find opportunities to perform random acts of kindness:
- Donating to your favorite Christian organization
- Letting someone else go first in a line
- Giving someone a compliment, and spread encouragement online
- Lending a hand to a neighbor or coworker
- Volunteering at a local charity or church
- Paying for the person behind you
- Giving a big tip to someone who served you
As you operate in a selfless mode, the ways to help others are endless!
You can be an superhero!
If you are not sure that you are saved, you can accept Christ into your life right now, by praying:
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior.”
Spread the Word:
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One thought on “Superheroes and Salvation: Faith in Action”
Inspirational and edifying!