12 Ways Superman is NOT like Jesus

By Paul Ellis

Another Superman movie has just opened. I’ll probably go see it. I like Superman. What’s not to like? He’s a cool guy.

But what puzzles me is how some churches are using Superman to promote Jesus. I kid you not.

I read in the paper this morning that the new Man of Steel movie sold a gazillion tickets on opening weekend partly because US mega-churches “encouraged congregations to see the film by likening the superhero to Jesus.”

Now I love dissecting movies to see how they convey timeless messages of love, redemption, and grace. It’s one of my favorite past-times. But I don’t know that I would tell my kids to go to a Superman movie to learn about Jesus.

That’s like going to a Justin Bieber concert to learn about Mozart.

Fact is, Jesus is infinitely bigger, better, and greater than Superman and every other “god” we may create out of our imagination. Indeed, this is what makes Jesus so cool. He’s more magnificent than we can comprehend. He’s beautiful beyond words.

So rather than using a lesser to describe a greater, it might be more fun to consider some of the ways the greater is superior to the lesser. So here are…

12 ways Jesus is better than Superman

1. Jesus is human. He’s one of us. He gets us. He became one of us so that we might be as he is (1 John 4:17). There will only ever be one Superman but Jesus makes everyone awesome. The Son of God became the son of man so the sons of men might become the sons of God.

2. Jesus is God with us (Mat 1:23). He’s not remote and unapproachable and he doesn’t live at the North Pole. He lives in the House of Grace, not the Fortress of Solitude, and his home is open to all.

3. Jesus has a better Dad. God vs Jor-El = no contest. Jor-El couldn’t even save his own family of three; God saves billions.

4. Jesus is fun. He has friends of all stripes. He’s not aloof and unrelatable. He doesn’t fly in and fly out. He abides. He sticks around (John 14:23). He’s the life of your party.

5. Jesus isn’t a glorified boy scout. He’s got better things to do than play policeman, like give strength to the weary, heal the sick, and do away with the sins of the world (Heb 9:26).

6. Jesus can raise the dead without flying dizzy loops around the world and messing up time for everybody.

7. Jesus isn’t conflicted. He doesn’t sweat the whole “how can I save everybody when there’s only one of me?” dilemma. He can save everyone.

8. Jesus is himself all the time. He doesn’t hide behind a weeny alter ego. He’s Jesus 24/7. When you need him, you can find him – anywhere, anytime.

9. Jesus doesn’t treat wrongdoers as their sins deserve (Ps 103:10). He doesn’t combat sin with violence but grace. He doesn’t fill prisons, he empties them. He turns enemies into friends, haters into lovers, critics into converts. How cool is that?

10. Jesus couldn’t care two-hoots about defending the American dream. He has a better dream, a kingdom-sized dream, and everyone gets to be in it (Rev 5:9).

11. Jesus can’t be defeated. Not ever. He’s not vulnerable to green rocks or rogue scientists. Not even death can touch him.

12. Jesus is better than anything we could’ve come up with. His love is immeasurable and his grace is abundant (Eph 2:7, 3:18). He’s already done so much that if they told his story in comic books, you could never collect the whole set (John 21:25).

And finally, a bonus point…

13. Jesus is real. His story can intersect your story. And when that happens you’ll see that it’s no contest. Jesus is the best!


That’s my list. Feel free to use it in youth group this Friday night. And feel free to write in below and tell me what I missed.

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