The Greatest Heroes
Thursday - March 10th
Scripture to Read Today: Ephesians 4:7-16
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
The Batman movie starring Robert Patterson and Zoe Kravitz won big at the box office during its opening this past weekend. Some say it may be the breakout, post-Covid movie for which Hollywood has been waiting. Seeing yet another Batman franchise of movies emerge makes me feel pretty old.
It seems that we have a new franchise of caped-crusader movies about every decade or so. Each has its own twists on the main character. Some are considered darker than others—some initiate new cultural changes to reflect the times. All seem to be successful. I still like the slightly zany 1960s TV show starring Adam West. What a classic!
Artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger created the comic book character Batman in 1939. But, of course, they also created the alter-ego of Batman, Bruce Wayne. Both the first and last names of this alter-ego come from heroes of revolutionary wars. In the early 14th-century, Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, successfully led his people in their first war of independence from England. Major General Anthony Wayne served as one of the most successful generals during the American fight for independence from England in the last part of the 18th century. Robert the Bruce and Anthony Wayne provided the source for "Bruce Wayne."
God raises up heroes at critical times in human history. We may be seeing one of those heroes emerge right now in Ukraine with President Volodymyr Zelensky. These folks seem to be designed and prepared for just their moment in time.
The Apostle Paul mentions people God gives the church who have specific gifts needed to grow the church. Paul says, "Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people" (Ephesians 4:11-12). These are specific people called and gifted by God to help local churches thrive. Like historical heroes, these folks show up at just the right time with the right gifts to be used by God to make a difference.
Those Paul mentions in Ephesians 4:11-12 serve the church in equipping believers to carry out the work of the ministry. We falsely conclude sometimes that they are to do the work of the ministry, and we cheer them on from the sideline. These gifted people have been tasked with training and mobilizing followers of Christ to serve.
Thank God today for those who serve the Lord as a way of life (like pastors). Think of one or two of these dear servants of God who have spoken into your life for Christ. The Lord has brought three pastors from my past to mind as I write. God used each of them to impact my life but in different ways. I am grateful for the gifts they were and are to me and so many others! Fictional heroes, like Batman, have their place in fictional folklore, but those who serve the Lord in ministry are some of the true heroes in this world!
While heroes of comics and movies have their place, God gives the greatest heroes to equip the church!