THOR! – Protector of Mankind

(Photo by Selma Komisky)

(Photo by Selma Komisky)

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THOR! – Protector of Mankind

By Patrick Herman

A test conducted on a busy New York City street a few years ago may shed light on the way we’re wired. In this psychological test, a good-looking Chris Hemsworth kind-of-man with strapping muscles brimming from under his business suit was sent across a busy street with a briefcase in hand. The city street was clear but the light was red. Against the law and a danger to self, the strongman left the sidewalk and jaywalked.  What did the huge hoard of people do behind him? They followed. They saw this man as a leader and followed. But then the test was changed. Researchers dressed that same man in squalor clothing and made him look haggard like a homeless man. This same man stepped from the sidewalk and jaywalked across the clear street but this time no one followed. Not even one. The test’s conclusion? We follow what looks good and most beneficial to us

“You people are so petty, …and tiny!” -Thor (2012 Avengers)

Let’s face it, we are petty and tiny. Maybe that’s why we long for a protector! We long for someone that can vanquish our foes, crush our enemies, and protect us from evil. Our longing for protection, salvation, and redemption are instinctual.  

Right or wrong we seek a mighty hand like a King Saul to lead us. Remember the Hebrews as they cried to their theocratic leader Samuel saying, “We don’t want you or God as our leader, we want a king!” (1 Samuel 8). We follow after those, like a marvel superhero, that appear larger than life. A strong arm to keep us from failing, falling, and fretting. A popular personality that will make us proud to be a part of the winning team! 

Naturally, we’re made to look up to those we want to emulate. We have a propensity to follow those that look good, smell good, and have charisma. We also long to be protected, rescued, and watched over. Truly Chris Hemsworth makes an amazing Thor. His muscle and good looks fit the bill perfectly.  

Now enter Jesus—some would call Him ugly. God of the world? He likely would never be cast to play that role. Possibly no one would even dare follow Him off the sidewalk.   

Isaiah 53:2 says, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (NIV).

Although we have no idea what He looked like, we do know that Jesus wasn’t physically attractive. I believe there is a deep spiritual significance in that fact alone.   But, as a Christian, you might be saying, “But we ARE attracted to this amazing God!” and it’s true. We love Jesus. We long to be with Him. For those that have listened to His words and followed after His voice, He has become the most beautiful. He is the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45).  

Thor is right. We are petty and tiny. But no matter the superhero abilities of Thor, or the entire Avenger troop, they could never save mankind. In fact, they can’t even seem to keep New York from being demolished.  

But Jesus can and does save mankind.

Jesus a superhero? You bet AND with muscle to spare. And consider (just for fun) that Jesus too wielded a hammer. In fact, He was the son of a carpenter! Through His 20s young Jesus would have likely worked as a carpenter. But Jesus’ superpowers don’t stop there: He walks on water, passes through walls, calms storms, and most importantly, died on the cross AND rose from the dead conquering death for all of mankind. What’s more is that Jesus’ actions weren’t for just one person or generation but for all people, for all time; past, present, and future. What an amazing Savior.  

The “Thor” Connection

A fun description of God’s mighty power is found tucked away in Jeremiah 23 and verse 29.  It says, “Is not my Word like fire?,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” (NIV). Isn’t that a great passage! THOR AIN’T GOT NOTHIN’ ON OUR JESUS! 

I believe that our God places passages like Jeremiah 23 into His Word because He knew we would find ourselves infatuated, or at least influenced, with following after the strong arm of man instead of the mighty and true arm of a Savior. He knew that we follow after those that potentially could lead us away from Him.  

Jesus proclaimed His mission in His very first lesson of His ministry. He said in so many words, “I have come to set the captives free.” In so doing, Jesus has become the greatest and undisputed superhero of all time and throughout all ages.  

We’re still petty and tiny but we are loved, protected, and saved by a mighty God.  

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