This movie is full of Biblical imagery; particularly relating to the account of King David. Rafiki the shaman is like Samuel the prophet. Scar is like King Saul, Simba like David. But we’re not going to look at that kind of thing here. Hopefully they’ll catch things like that in Sunday school or family Bible study time. We’ll look at this Masterpiece in a different way and see a glimpse at how King Jesus rules His Kingdom.
The story opens up right as King Mufasa’s son, Simba, is born. He is hailed and regarded as the future King by all the animals of the Pridelands. That is, all the animals except for Scar, the former next-in-line for the throne. Simba’s Uncle Scar had his eye on the position and he’s not too keen on giving up the goal because of a “little hairball”. Scar knows that Mufasa is the True King and Simba the heir, but he doesn’t want to accept that he’ll never be King.
In a similar way, Satan has desired to rule Heaven and Earth, but he knows that it is Christ who is the True King. Satan knows that, but he doesn’t accept it. From his perspective, everything would be much better if he were King. There wouldn’t be so many rules and limitations on himself. When Scar succeeds in killing Mufasa, Simba instantly becomes the True King, but instead of coming into his role, he runs away into the wilderness. Scar, believing Simba to be dead, claims the role and introduces a new kind of rule to the Pridelands; and he brings his legion of hyena subjects in to ravage the land.
While in the wilderness, Simba meets a pair of slackers. Timon and Pumba are a couple of outcasts who say, “When the world turns its back on you, you turn your back on the world!” They teach Simba to live by the mantra, “hakuna matata”, and to leave his past behind him. While Simba is away, the Pridelands fall into a terrible situation. There’s no food, no water and the herds have moved on. The lions and the hyenas are all starving to death. The once rich and fertile landscape is a dried out wasteland and it is all accredited to Scar’s mis-management.
We have to be careful now, as unlike Simba, Jesus has not turned His back on the World, but we do see in Scripture that Satan has positioned himself in the role of King of the World. And Jesus allows people to follow that false King, like the hyenas follow Scar, and at the same time, those who are loyal to Jesus suffer from the side-effects of Satan’s mismanagement of the world, much like the lions who are still loyal to Mufasa/Simba (The True King).
When Simba finally returns and reclaims his rightful place as the True King, the Kingdom is restored to its former glory; the rains and herds return to the Pridelands and there is peace once more. Timon and Pumba have also come into the Kingdom, no longer outcasts, they are accepted for who they are, even though Pumba stinks.
- When Scar was acting as king of the Pridelands, what was it like? Do you see problems in the world we live in that are like that? Who is the false king of the world? (Luke 4:5-7)
- Hakuna Matata means “No worries”. Timon and Pumba live a life where they don’t show responsibility for anything. Jesus also tells us not to worry about anything, but when he says it, He doesn’t mean for us to ignore our responsibilities. He says we shouldn’t worry because God is in control and He will always be with us. Even if something bad happens, eventually God will make it into something good. What is the difference between ignoring our responsibilities and trusting God to be with us? (Matthew 6:25-34, Matthew 28:20, Romans 8:28)
- When Simba, the One True King of the Pridelands returns to his rightful place, what happens to the Pridelands? How do they change from when Scar was king? What will it be like when Jesus, the One True King returns? (Revelation 21)