This is such a wonderful film from Brad Bird. He also brought us Iron Giant and he was one of the key players that made The Simpsons a household name. I’m not sure if he’s a Christian or not, there seems to be speculation of that on the internet, but he has a knack for making a quality Gospel story. When I hear that he’s working on a movie, I get a smile on my face.

This film starts off with action and excitement. We get a glimpse of what it was like to be a hero in the golden age of super heroes. From the looks of things, it’s a great time to be a hero and an average citizen. But some citizens don’t like the idea of heroes getting into their business, and eventually being a hero is outlawed. All the heroes or relocated, given new identities and are forced to blend in, to pretend they are average.

Mr. Incredible’s alter ego is Bob Parr. “Par”, what a fitting name for someone pretending to be average. His job is just as average, insurance claim adjuster, but he’s not just an average claims adjuster, he’s a super claims adjuster who helps his customers. This gets him in trouble and ultimately leads to him losing his job.  We also learn that at night, he and his buddy Lucius (Frozone) are moonlighting as heroes. Even their wives don’t know this.

When we step back and summarize this, what we have is a bunch of really great people pretending they are average. The world is missing out on some really wonderful people who could be doing some really wonderful things. In God’s Kingdom, we have something similar going on. So many Christians with so many great talents are sitting on the sidelines, not using their skills to help the world. The greatest help we can be to the world is by sharing the Gospel and spreading out the Kingdom. Most of us, like the heroes in the movie, aren’t doing this, and the world is missing out.

Mr. Incredible is contacted by Mirage to do some super hero work and he jumps at the chance. He gets back into shape and even gets a new super suit. But he does it all in secret, without letting his family know. This is bad form and he ends up paying for it. Mrs. Incredible (Helen, Elastigirl) smells trouble and ends up going to find him, unknowingly with the kids in tow. Each of the family members gets their own new super suit the helps them to use their powers better, as well as identify themselves are members of the family.

He shouldn’t have been keeping secrets from his family; that always leads to trouble. Thankfully, in this situation, that mistake is redeemed and brings his family out of super hero hiding. They are given the chance to be what they were meant to be, super! Christians are super, too. We are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and each has received some form of Spiritual Gifts, with which to help save the world. Additionally, we all have special clothing, the full Armor of God, that equips us for battle, and identifies us as members of God’s Kingdom.

Syndrome is a person who wishes he were a super hero so much that he pretends to be one. He uses his inventing skills to make weapons, as well as tools that help him to play “dress-up” as a hero. His plan is to create a disaster so great the no super hero could stop it, and then come in and save the day. Too bad for him, the disaster ended up being too much for him to handle.

Syndrome was only pretending to be a hero, not because he didn’t have super powers, he actually DID, super intellect. He didn’t feel that was really a super power, so he faked it. But the reason he wasn’t a hero is actually because of his motivation.  His goal wasn’t to help people, he actually put people in harm’s way so that he could be praised for saving them. Real hero’s want to help people, Syndrome only wanted to be regarded as a hero.

I guess Syndrome is kind of like the Pharisees of Christ’s time on Earth. They wanted to be regarded as holy by the people, without doing what they were told to do by God, that is, to be a light to the nations.  As Christians, we need to make sure that our goals are in line with God before we go out to do our super work of sharing the Gospel. Do we want people to be saved so that we can put another notch on our belt? Do we do good things, or live a holy lifestyle, only so people will regard us as holy? Or do we put on our super suits, go out into the world and shine God’s light to the nations so that people will be saved?

Discussion Questions:

  1. When Mr. Incredible comes home after losing his job, a little boy is there staring at him. Mr. Incredible asks, “What are you waiting for?” and the boy says, “I dunno, something amazing, I guess.” Do you ever wish for something amazing to happen? Why? (Romans 8:19)
  2. Dash acts up in school because he doesn’t like having to keep his powers hidden. He says, “If everyone is special then no one is.” Later, Syndrome says something similar, are they right or wrong? (1 Corinthians 12)
  3. When Syndrome pressures Mr. Incredible to kill Mirage, she gets angry at Syndrome for risking her life like that. She tells him, “Valuing life is not weakness, and disregarding it is not strength.” The bible says that life is precious, how can we show that? (Isaiah 43:4, John 3:16)
  4. Everyone in the Incredible family received special costumes that help them better use their powers. Did you know that Christians have super suits, too? It’s called the Armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
  5. When all the heroes went into hiding, they were pretending not to be super, they are stealing from world. Syndrome pretends to be a super hero, but he isn’t; not because he doesn’t really have powers, his super intelligence is his super power. But real heroes do super work to help other people, but Syndrome did it to make people like him. As Christians, we are super heroes. We have the power to save the world, but too many of us are in hiding. We need to share the Gospel, not saving people so they will like us, but so they will love Jesus. (Matthew 5:13-16)