“It’s the 21st century, but the gods of Mount Olympus and assorted monsters have walked out of the pages of high school student Percy Jackson’s Greek mythology texts and into his life. And they’re not happy: Zeus’ lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.” (www.ign.com)
This sounds like fun…yes? Sort of a “when Harry met history class” that includes those cool Greek mythology monsters and the shocking truth that Zeus’ bolt has gone missing…where will danger strike next?
The reviews have been mixed, but I think this comment from one teen says it all:
I’m sooooo watching the movie! I don't care about the reviews!!!!
Well, I sooooo hope she enjoys Percy Jackson and The Olympians. Who wouldn’t with a sword swinging Zac Efron look-alike whose dad is Poseidon? And believe me…he’s ready to make some waves people!
I don’t know how much you’re on the up and up with Greek mythology, but the top dog head honcho dude is Zeus, and there are an assortment of other gods with different roles and powers.
Do you know who was really on top of this Greek stuff? It may surprise you, but the early Christians were all over the Greek’s false beliefs, because they kept them from seeing the truth about Jesus Christ. Check out this encounter:
There was a man in Lystra who couldn't walk. He sat there, crippled since the day of his birth. He heard Paul talking, and Paul, looking him in the eye, saw that he was ripe for God's work, ready to believe. So he said, loud enough for everyone to hear, "Up on your feet!" The man was up in a flash - jumped up and walked around as if he'd been walking all his life.
When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they went wild, calling out in their Lyconian dialect, "The gods have come down! These men are gods!" They called Barnabas "Zeus" and Paul "Hermes" (since Paul did most of the speaking). The priest of the local Zeus shrine got up a parade - bulls and banners and people lined right up to the gates, ready for the ritual of sacrifice.
When Barnabas and Paul finally realized what was going on, they stopped them. Waving their arms, they interrupted the parade, calling out, "What do you think you're doing! We're not gods! We are men just like you, and we're here to bring you the Message, to persuade you to abandon these silly god-superstitions and embrace God himself, the living God. We don't make God; he makes us, and all of this - sky, earth, sea, and everything in them (Acts 14:8-14).
We look back at the ancient Greek culture and find it amusing that people would actually believe in the Olympian gods and their powers, but those folks took them very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that when they saw the real power of the only real God, they automatically gave credit to the wrong source.
That’s why the Apostle John used their own language and concept of God to tell them about Jesus:
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son (John 1:1;14).
The Greek word for “God” here is Theos, a term the Greek philosophers came up with to describe the One true God who created everything. The Greek word for “Word” in this passage is “Logos,” which was a term they used to describe a physical appearance of God.
So John is saying, “Hey Greeks! You know the God you believe in named Theos? Well, He’s real, and this Jesus we’ve been telling you about is Him in human form!”
So what does this mean? It means that the fascinating and life-changing story about the God of the universe who sent His Son to earth to be born of a virgin, live a perfect life, die a horrible death, then rise from the dead to prove His claims is not mythology. It happened in time and space, and it is the greatest story in any time period.
In Percy Jackson, there is a threat of eternal damnation that the “god man” must prevent through bravery and sacrifice. That is exactly what Jesus did when He died on the cross. He knew that the cup of God’s wrath was going to be poured on Him, causing the most horrible pain ever experienced – yet He pressed on. He knew redeeming us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse Himself (Galatians 3:13) would completely separate Him from the Father, who He had perfect intimacy with, until He rose again three days later. But He still died for us.
Even better… When we believe Jesus was who He said He was and did what the Bible says He did, and we put our faith and trust in Him alone for salvation, we discover that our Father really is God - the true and living God, who reigns over all of nature and humanity.
Like the early Christians, let’s lovingly show our friends the true and living God by telling them who He really is and what He has done for us.
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Talk to your friends about mythology and why some people try to put the story of Jesus in the same category. Make sure you know or can reference the huge amount of evidence for the existence of Jesus and proofs for His resurrection. Here are a few good resources:
Accelerant: Feed the Fire
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son (John 3:16-18).
Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20:30-31).
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).