The #ReimagineFORUM @ Discipleship.Network

Equipping Your Reimagine Journey

October 9, 2011


Iron Man vs NuMan


...put on the new man who has been created in God's image

in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.”

  • Eph 4:24


I was born in the age of comic books when DC and Marvel comics ruled the world of kids. In those days, boys roamed the valleys, ran over hills, climbed trees, swam rivers or seas and fished to our hearts' content. We were adventurous and our games were team plays involving the neighborhood gang. We were very interactive and develop a lot of friendships. We compared our heroes and pitted them against each other in our imagination. Who was the strongest, the most awesome and most gifted? Never were there superheroes who were not romantic, strong and dependable and even spoke poetic Shakesperean English! They were all muscle-bound and handsome; yea, even the female counterparts!


Today, the new generation of kids are more into cyberspace than anything. Their games are interactive and are played even against teams from anywhere in the world through the world wide web. They interact but only with their fingers, eyes and minds – if you can really call it a mental activity. The adventure is purely virtual “reality” and nobody actually gets injured or die, just stressed out and exhausted, because many times they play over 24 hours. Their superheroes are still the same old DC and Marvel heroes, only retrofitted and enhanced with computer graphics and animation, but now acted out by actual human actors endowed with theatrical grace and supported with life-like animation. They have outgrown the Shakesperean lingo but replaced it with street-savvy language like “with great power, comes great responsibility”-Spidey, or “My actions define who I am”-Batman.


There is one common thread, though, that runs through the whole plot. These superheroes are always capable of great destruction in their pursuit of doing “good” while wearing briefs over their 'tutus', never revealing their true identity for fear of retaliation against their loved ones. Their mask seem to embue them with super-confidence and extraordinary power; but as always, there's a lot of collateral damage everywhere they go and everytime they save someone. The plot is always the same – save the damsel in distress, maim or kill the bad-asses, come out unscathe and be the hero of the day!


The superhero is masked and is living a lie. Yes, he saves the downtrodden but also destroys much of those around him. It's always about him and his ego. But wait! There's a new twist! Tony Stark is not afraid to make himself known as “Iron Man”! He is not shy to tell the world that he personally, as Iron Man, enabled the human race to achieve world peace. Yes, he still dons his electronic body armor complete with the latest virtual and real weaponry. He dares all his enemies to fight against him in the name of peace and destroys them, in the name of peace. Tony Stark is a self-styled messiah who professes to be a genius in physics and becomes all-powerful when clothe with beyond-nuclear techno-armor. He wants to redeem mankind from its destructive tendencies by destroying those who appear to threaten his personal agenda.


Somehow, there's a need in man to want a Messiah. We all want a hero. In fact, we all want to be a hero! Do you know you can be a hero? And you don't have to wear briefs over your tutu. You don't have to wear a mask either. You can desire to be Iron Man, or you can be real. You don't have to look like Mr. Universe, or be cool. But you have to do something.

Once upon a fullness of time, a baby was born in a House of Bread. A feeding trough was his crib, the earth was his playground and the animals were his playmates. The angels called him, YESHUA, Immanu-El. He grew up as a carpenter's son and apprentice. Life was hard because his people were oppressed. He experienced the sorrow and hunger common to poor folks like him. His father died early, so he had to become the head of his household and support his many brothers and sisters. But he was happy. He didn't blame his circumstances nor did he blame his parents; and he did not blame his GOD. He was content with his trade. He knew he was different. He was waiting for his call. Meantime, he did what he could to learn from his GOD. He devoted himself to following the Torah and was always in touch with YHWH. Many of his people did not want to even mention the Name for fear, because they were taught that GOD was too holy for anyone even to call his Name with defiled lips. But he knew YHWH like no other. He always walked with Him.


In the fullness of time, YHWH called him out from the slums of Nazareth to serve his people and to proclaim the Kingdom of YHWH. The Torah was not only in his heart, but it was in his eyes, on his lips and in his hands. Everywhere he went, he performed the works of YHWH – he healed those who were sick, he gave sight to the blind, made the deaf to hear, the mute to speak, demons to flee and the dead to rise. He never lifted a finger to destroy anything or harm anyone. His words brought comfort to the soul, his touch cleanse the leper and his command stilled the raging storm and sea. He operated in the supernatural kingdom laws of YHWH that transcended the natural laws of physics.


His only fault was that he did what was good even on the Sabbath and called YHWH, his Father. But even the Torah teachers could not find fault in him when he challenged them to convict him of sin. Though mistreated, he was submissive; he did not even open his mouth. He had done no violence nor did he ever said anything deceptive. YHWH was pleased to crush him for our sins to see if he would present himself as a guilt-offering.


Then he said, “Here I am: I have come – it is written of me in the scroll of the book – to do your will, O YHWH.”(Psalm 40:7,8) He laid down his life for the life of many so that their sins will be forgiven.


There are two kingdoms in conflict. One is a lover of self and only does things to feed self. All his knowings and all his pursuits are for one purpose only – self-gratification. The other is a lover of YHWH. He breathes and lives for YHWH and only does the things that pleases YHWH. The Torah is the light of his life and day by day, his life is being transformed by the power of the Word.


The former steals, kills and destroys; while the latter gives life – abundant life! What kind of hero do you want? What kind of hero do you need? Do you want to clothe your heart with iron? Or do you want to be molded like clay in a Potter's hand? Do you want to destroy? Or do you want to build and make things new?


Do you want to be cool? Or do you want to be real?


καινὸν (nu man)

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