“Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
— Mark 4:41
Superheroes have superpowers: X-ray vision, shapeshifting, mind control. Sometimes we think of Jesus as a superhero. He does seem to have superpowers: multiplying loaves, stilling storms, even raising the dead.
Jesus also seems to have special knowledge: about Nathanael sitting under a fig tree (John 1:50), about a Samaritan woman’s relationships (John 4), about Peter’s upcoming denials (Mark 14:30). All of this is far beyond our abilities. So we figure that Jesus’ divine nature must poke through his human nature from time to time.
But I wonder. Could it be that Jesus is able to do all of these things not because he is God but because he is a human being filled with the Holy Spirit?
When Nathanael calls Jesus “the Son of God . . . the king of Israel,” he means Jesus is the Messiah. The Samaritan woman reaches the same conclusion. Messiah means “anointed one.” And the anointing is by the Holy Spirit of God. The same Spirit anointed prophets who multiplied food supplies and even raised the dead (1 Kings 17; 2 Kings 4).
Jesus is not a superhero. He is a person, God and human, who has a full measure of the Holy Spirit empowering his mission. As he tells the people from his hometown: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me . . .” (Luke 4:18). That’s super enough.
Jesus, we don’t need superheroes. We have you. You save us from evil powers and even from our own sin. Thank you. Amen.