Theme: Jesus sees the potential in the disciples, and in us
Bible refs: John 1 vv 35-51
Similar clips: The Bourne Identity – Who are you?
Location of clip: 55 mins to 57 mins 30 secs
Shock horror! Peter Pan has grown up. He has evolved into Peter Banning and is now married with his own children. One night a certain Pirate comes looking for him and kidnaps his children. Granny Wendy tells Peter about who he really is, and Tinkerbell helps him fly again. He and Tinkerbell go back to Neverland to find his children and defeat Hook once and for all.
Peter has met up with the Lost Boys. The boys don’t recognise Peter at first, he’s changed so much. They laugh at him, run rings around him and show him how unlike Peter Pan he is. One of them draws a line and demands that all those who doubt that this is really Peter Pan must cross the line with him. They all do, except one. One of the lost boys steps up close to Peter, takes a good long look at him, removes his glasses and pulls his face about. Suddenly he cries out, “Oh, there you are, Peter!” The others come running and crowd round him. They have to come close and study him carefully. When they do they see the old Peter Pan is still in there.
Life ravages us, doesn’t it? It’s merciless sometimes. People, mistakes, family, friends, enemies… they all take their toll. And that world of wonder and joy that most of us experience in our early days gets so easily eroded. Time punishes us, and we need Jesus to come along, look us in the eyes and say, I know you’re still in there.
He sees the potential, the talents, the character, the personality, the passions and the dreams that lie dormant within us. And sometimes, like the lost boys, he pulls us about a bit to get a better view, to encourage us to unleash some of it. Disappointments often damage us so badly that we’re afraid to be ourselves. We’re afraid to let out the real us.
But Jesus won’t let us get away with that. He looked at Simon and saw Peter. He looked at Nathaniel and saw a man of integrity. Which was bizarre, because Nathaniel on the face of it is pretty impressionable, and rather fickle, one moment doubting that any good thing could come from Jesus’s hometown, the next hailing Jesus as the Son of God. Fortunately Jesus sees through this shallow religious façade, but there’s no denying he also sees the real man of honour tucked away inside.
What does he see when he looks at you. If you’re like me you immediately fear the worst – God – the unseeing eye who heartlessly picks out your faults and your dreadful sins. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the God who looks at you and sees the many good things tucked away in there.
He should know about them – he put them in there.
1. Think back, what inspired you when you were younger?
2. What inspired you when you were first converted?
3. Are there things bubbling away inside of you that you would love to do?
4. God wired you up very carefully – that means we’re all different. How can we best encourage those differences in church life, and also cope with the friction that comes from them?
5. Did the clip make you think about anything else?