Author: Ian Miller (Youth Leader)
In the ‘70s, American film-goers were introduced to Luke Skywalker, a teenaged moisture farmer living on a desert planet and dreaming of getting away to see the galaxy and fight the Galactic Empire. His story doesn’t go the way he expects, but he ends up getting his wish and he begins to learn about the Force, a mystical energy field that is created by life.
His journey soon takes him to see Yoda on the world of Dagobah, where he is tested both in body and mind. Luke struggles hardest when it comes to matters of faith. Yoda challenges him to lift his X-wing out of the swamp where he crash landed. In order to succeed, the Jedi Master tells him that he must “unlearn what he has learned” about the physical world.
In the Bible, Jesus gives several lessons about faith where he challenges us to think the same way. Matthew 19:23-26 states:
- And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Jesus created a situation that was impossible based on the experience that the disciples had in their lives to that point, just as Yoda asked Luke to move an entire space ship with only his mind. Just when the disciples began to despair, however, he quickly pointed out that passing a camel through the eye of a needle is no great challenge for God.
Matters of faith seem to come more easily to Rey, the lead protagonist in The Force Awakens. As she discovers her ability to tap into the Force and puts her faith in that power, she is able to manifest the powers she needs to resist the interrogation of Kylo Ren and escape her captivity within Starkiller Base. She takes a major risk by doing so, but her risk is rewarded.
Jesus promises us throughout the gospels that our own faith will not go unrewarded.
- The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea’, and it would obey you.” Luke 17:5.
In numerous situations where Jesus heals the sick who come to him, he states that it is their faith that has healed them (Mark 5:34, Mark 10:52, Luke 8:48, Luke 17:19).
So often in our lives we struggle like Luke Skywalker! Even when Yoda demonstrated his ability to lift the X-wing from the bog, Luke expressed his disbelief. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, he appeared to many, but the disciple Thomas refused to believe until he saw Jesus for himself. Although Jesus did appear to him, he admonished him when he did so, saying, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
I urge you to be like those who do not need to see in order to believe, so that we are worthy of the blessing that Jesus has promised us! This week, try to look for ways to put your trust in Christ, and have faith that you matter deeply to him. Maybe you’re stressed about upcoming tests or dealing with drama among your friends. Maybe you see an opportunity to show Christ-like love in a situation at school, but you’re nervous about taking a step and acting on it. Maybe all your work is piling up and it seems impossible to get it all done. But remember, if God can get a camel through an eye of a needle, he can also help you through these situations.
In the end, Luke Skywalker found his faith and confidence in the Force when he went to face Vader and the Emperor aboard the Death Star. By the time he left, he had redeemed his father and defeated the Sith. Your struggles might not seem like they hold the fate of the galaxy in the balance, but they are important to you and they are important to God. And he will reward a faithful heart.
Text: © 2017 LCC- F.R.O.G. Youth Ministry * Image: © Disney