Posted by: everynation | February 28, 2007

“We Don’t Need a Savior”

by Jed Walker

jed.jpgA thought came to me when I was watching the movie “Superman Returns.”

No, I’m not talking about the thought that came during the previews, the notion that I can’t wait to see Spider-Man 3 because Spidey’s a far superior hero to Superman. That’s another topic for another time.

And no, I’m not talking about my nagging confusion as to why all it takes to baffle a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist like Lois Lane is a suit, tie and a pair of glasses. Every time I go to the movies I’m always asking myself, “I know I’ve seen that guy somewhere before…”, but for some reason that part of Lois’ brain is not there.

What I am referring to is the most emotional, lasting scene of the movie. Superman has returned from a 5-year journey (Lois, didn’t you notice Clark was gone the same exact period?) on the chance he could find his home planet. In his absence, Metropolis has tried their best to move on. To that end, Lois pens an editorial piece entitled, “Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman” for which she is awarded journalism’s highest prize.

Midway through the film, Lois finally has her moment with the Man of Steel. Brazen and defiant, lips trembling and overcome with emotion, Lois turns to Superman and says, “We don’t need a savior.” This got me to thinking. Chances are we’re not just talking about the savior from Krypton, but also the one from Nazareth who doesn’t wear the fancy pajamas.

Most people come to this point not as a conclusion to rational thought but as a response to pain. Most people stop believing in God or Jesus because they’ve been hurt, not because they’ve become so strong that they no longer need help. Usually this kind of a declaration is a bluff; maybe if we’re emphatic enough we’ll begin to believe it.

I found Superman’s response interesting as well. Instead of arguing with her, he asked if she would go with him. I think this is how Jesus treats us. He won’t argue with us and prove that we need a savior. It’s as if He ignores that matter to move on to the real issue. Will we go with Him? Will we leave the familiarity of our pain, the bitterness that’s settled in our heart and the safety of the rooftop, for a moment to be with Him?

Apart from the idea that a Father sent his only son to save a world, the “Superman as Messiah” parallels break down as the movie goes on, but before it does, it raises a question of super-heroic proportions.

Jed Walker is a Spiderman afficionado and the Director of the Every Nation School of Campus Ministry in Nashville, Tennessee. Click here to read why he thinks Spiderman is better than Superman.


  1. great insight..! though i’m more of a batman fan myself, the messiah metaphor is something that i realized about superman as a christian – the parallelism of father sending son. and though this is not a film review post, i do agree about pulitzer prize-winning lois not recognizing him! too funny.

    as i sit her commenting, superman and lois’ flight over the city brings to mind the exhilarating, childlike wonder i first felt, and still feel to this day 16 years later, of being found by the one true Saviour.

  2. Jed, great blog, and I was thinking the same when I saw the movie. The scene where he was looking down on the world and hearing all the needs had tremendous parallels. I look forward to more such blogs. Thanks, Mike Watkins

  3. Jed – Welcome to the EN Plog (Pastor’s Blog).
    As I said before, my favorite super-hero in stretchy pants is Nachooooooo. Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Hulk & Bautista all together could not stay in the ring for one minute against Nacho & Eskelito.
    See you in Nash nxt week.

  4. Now with this kind of writing and ideas we’re really going have some fun while doing great ministry together. thanks Jed. Keep writing.

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