Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Sunday, February 15, 2004  

Must See Movie!

With all the attacks against Mel Gibson's upcoming, The Passion of the Christ, a small, low budget Christian movie has been overlooked -- The Gospel of John.

Despite containing the same material as The Passion regarding the trial of Jesus, no ADL or Jewish group has attacked it. Why not? Because the fear among the leftist Jews is that Gibson's film will draw many more people to Jesus and Christianity. The hate campaign against Gibson is not about fear of anti-semitism, but a desire to prevent souls from salvation and hope, or a restitution of respect for Christ in America as the greatest hero of all.

But The Gospel of John is a magnificent achievement which faithfully brings that gospel to life with many effective and moving scenes. John has always been the most difficult of the Gospels with its theological edge, dialectical dialogues, repetitiveness in rhetoric, and stylized manner of storytelling.

Yet, this movie manages to make the Christ come alive as both God and man in a way never quite seen before. Vignettes like the Woman at the Well are superbly presented. The acting of the entire cast is powerful and sympathetic. I was brought to tears in scenes as when Mary washes Jesus' feet in preparation for his Passion, for the anticipation of his death is heartwrenching.

It is a long movie, three hours, and attention will flag from time to time as it did for me during the Last Supper Discourses, but you will watch and drift, but then return without trouble since much is reiterated in that Gospel.

During the movie I kept telling myself, "If only my brothers and sister could see this movie. If only others would watch this story - they would be moved if they had any heart at all for truth and grace."

Gibson's movie will make a quarter billion dollars at least, but it's efforts like The Gospel of John which need our support. Gibson will move on to other entertainment projects, but these filmmakers seem devoted to spreading the Gospel through art again and again. At least I hope so.

As I watched, a mantra went through me - "People need to see this! People need to know about this!" It resurrected the excitement I've previously felt about the Gospel story, and made me want to evangelize.

One aspect which is noticeable is the way John hammers at us with the word -- Truth. We don't hear much regarding Truth anymore. People have no confidence in Truth as both a person and the nature of being. I'm the only fool I know acting like a modern Diogenes who goes around asking people directly - What is Truth?

Well, John's insistence about Truth and the way he presents it is demanding and challenging as the movie drives it home. Truth is the hero of this story. Not faith, not belief, not wishing, but absolute certainty that there is Truth and his name is God, and Jesus is part and parcel of him is overpowering, yet deftly done.

Don't wait for this movie to come to DVD. See it in the theater. Tired of politics and the wickedness of human beings? See this movie! You will be refreshed. Tired of the triumph of the perverse and twisted? See this movie! You will be encouraged.

As I watched the movie, I also thought, how wonderful that we are able to depict Jesus and represent him however we like or need to, whereas Islam cripples itself with its iconoclastic truncations of their story. It makes their religion as much fun to learn about as reading a telephone book married to a criminal code.

The genius of John, the beauty of Truth, the power of The Word all come together and make you think that this work of art is a true miracle.

See this movie!

posted by Mark Butterworth | 10:32 AM |