Friday, July 5, 2019

A Tangled Web!

I took my son and daughter to see Spider-man: Far from Home yesterday, and the movie far exceeded our expectations. This angsty, action-packed sequel picks up where Avengers: Endgame left off and follows Peter Parker on a humorous and heartfelt European vacation. But it’s the villain of the story who really steals the spotlight.

Spoiler Warning

When four elemental monsters begin wreaking havoc all across Europe, a mysterious new hero emerges claiming, “I’m here to save your world.” This courageous new hero, dubbed Mysterio by Peter and his classmates, fends off the elemental monsters at great personal risk while simultaneously forming a friendship with Peter. Believing Mysterio to be much more capable and competent than himself, Peter gives Mysterio control of EDITH—a billion-dollar tactical system embedded in a pair of sunglasses that he inherited from Tony Stark. Not surprisingly, Mysterio isn’t what he seems.

To his horror, Peter discovers that Mysterio, Quentin Beck, isn’t a hero at all. Rather, Beck turns out to be a brilliant but unbalanced ex-employee of Stark Industries. Beck utilizes advanced technology to create incredible illusions. The elemental monsters are nothing more than holographic projections and special effects. Beck desperately wants the world to believe that he is an Avenger’s level hero and he’s willing to orchestrate cataclysmic disasters to accomplish his goals. With EDITH now under Beck’s control, he plans another duplicitous demonstration of daring-do that will level half of London, and it’s up to Spider-man to stop him.

Mysterio reminds me a great deal of a man we read about in the Bible named Jacob. Much like Mysterio does with Peter, Jacob once tricked his older brother, Esau, into handing over his inheritance. Later, Jacob disguised himself as Esau in order to deceive their father, Isaac, into giving him the family blessing too. Jacob eventually repented and became a godly man, but the world remains replete with people who pretend to be something they aren’t in order to deceive others.

Jesus warned his followers, “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves” (Matthew 7:15 NLT). The Apostle Paul also warned about false prophets, saying, “They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NLT). Satan and his servants can deceive people by appearing to be attractive, upright and virtuous. Many unsuspecting believers have followed smooth-talking, Bible-quoting leaders into destructive heresies or dangerous cults. This is why it’s important for Christians to be watchful and wary.

Peter Parker learned the hard way that appearances can be deceiving. Thankfully, Mysterio’s evil scheme failed and Spider-man won in the end. Christians can take heart that even though deceitful schemers may fool us on occasion, God will never be fooled and, like Spidey, God always wins in the end.