Yesterday, we had been cooped up in the house too long from the ice/snow storm so we ventured out and decided to watch a movie. After seeing Frozen more times that I want to admit, Bryan and I decided to take our nine year old and our 11 year old with us to see the movie, Son of God.
Ok, now remember this is a PG 13 movie! My son, Sam (who is nine), dramatically said more than once, “I cannot believe y’all are allowing me to watch a PG 13 move!” So, our reputations as parents were on the line.
Unlike the Passion of the Christ (which Mel Gibson directed years ago), Son of God is a depiction of the full ministry of Jesus, not just the hours leading up to the crucifixion. Son of God highlights stories such as His birth, when He walks on water, the healing of the paralytic and when He overturns the money-changers’ tables at the temple. Son of God focuses more on the love God has for mankind than the suffering of Jesus at the cross (although there was suffering and a gruesome view of the crucifixion process).
Before we went to watch the movie, I did an internet search and found good and bad reviews of the movie. I read many critics’ reviews discussing producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett and how they are “New Age” Christians. One blogger warned Christians not to go see this movie because the producers had embedded a skewed reality of the life of Christ from what the Bible teaches. I also read reviews that this was a movie Christians should support.
After watching the movie, here are my takes:
It’s a good movie. I’m glad I went to see it and I am glad I took my kids.
Some things I wish the producers would have done differently:
Context of Scripture: Some scripture is out of place. When Jesus is speaking, several times the verses used are not in their proper context. One example is on the road to Calvary. Jesus drops the cross and Mary runs out to help Him (which is not in scripture) and He says to her, “With God all things are possible”. Scripture from Matthew 19:26, but not used in its proper place and time.
Judas: There is some speculation about Judas’s motive. Judas is portrayed as someone who did not really mean to turn Jesus in to the authorities. Instead, he is seen as one who wants to work out issues between the religious leaders and Jesus. As if he is a peace-maker. The scene with Jesus and Judas at the Last Supper is not accurate and when Jesus is being sentenced, Judas dramatically throws the money back at the religious leaders for all to see.
Mary Magdalene: Now, we know she was with Jesus and his disciples a lot, but in the movie she appears to be with them most all of the time. She is present with them on the boat when Jesus walks on water and she is seen cooking for them at various times. If you did not know better, you may assume that she is included as one of the 12 disciples. As a side-note, I do not recall seeing her in the scene at the last supper. I would like to watch it again and look closely for that.
The tomb after the resurrection: In the movie, there were no guards at the scene and no angel. The movie shows the stone broken in two, not just rolled away. Also, only Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb on the third day, (scripture says the other Mary was also there, Matthew 28:1).
Some great stories were left out: It would be extremely difficult to shorten the life of Jesus to just over two hours, but my heart ached when I did not see Him washing the disciples’ feet at the Last Supper. They also cut short The Great Commission. In the movie, Jesus only said a portion of it. Leaving out particularly, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
If you choose to take your kids, talk with them beforehand about what they will see and explain that there are some things in the movie that are not found in scripture.
As far as the age limit goes, I think you have to judge your child’s maturity and their knowledge of the Bible. There are bloody flogging and crucifixion scenes, and they show the feet of Judas as he hangs himself from a tree.
Sam held on to Bryan’s coat during the movie. I saw him cover his eyes with it several times, especially during the crucifixion scenes. Ellie (who is 11) seemed to have no issues with those scenes.
One important point: This movie is no substitute for reading and studying God’s Holy Word!
If you take someone to see this movie who is not a Christian, bring along a Bible to give to them. Tell them this movie is just what it claims to be—a movie! It has flaws. It has inaccuracies. Tell them that the truth about Jesus is found in the pages of God’s Holy Word.
For what it’s worth, I liked the movie. I think they did a nice job. I wish the producers would have changed a few things to make it more Biblically accurate, but overall, the message of the Gospel is clear.
God sent His son Jesus into our broken world to die for our sins. He was crucified, buried and dead. He defeated death and rose up out of that tomb! He is the way, the truth and the life. He loves you and He wants you to know it!
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