3 Teaching/Preaching Illustrations from Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road is so hot right now. The “Cult Classic” has matured, has found a much wider audience, and has been nominated for a ga-zillion awards.

No, seriously, it’s up for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Motion Picture of the Year, 2 Golden Globes, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, and it has been nominated for 7 BAFTA Film Awards.

y2ig4

This does not surprise me at all. Sure, Mad Max may not be a “Christian” movie, but it is, however, a Biblical one! So much so that you can use it to share God’s story.

Here are three ways to use Mad Max: Fury Road as teaching and/or preaching illustrations.

Power in the Blood

As important as water is in Max’s world, it is blood that truly saves.

Max’s blood saves the War Boy Nux. Max’s blood saves Furiosa. Max’s blood saves. Sound familiar?

universal-blood-donor

Indeed according to the law almost everything was purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (Hebrews 9:22)

Just like Max’s blood saves in his world, Jesus’ blood saves in ours.

Max, and his saving blood, is a picture of Jesus’ saving blood.

For this is my blood, the blood of the covenantthat is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:28)

In him we have redemption through his bloodthe forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. (Ephesians 1:7)

It is because of Max’s blood sacrifice that all the people at Joe’s Citadel are blessed.

Only after Max saved Furiosa (with his blood) did she unleashed the “living water” on everyone. Everyone who came to the water at Joe’s Citadel was blessed.

No Greater Love

Yes, Max gives his blood, but let’s not forget Nux! In many ways, Nux, the former War Boy, shows himself to be the true hero!

Why? Because he sacrificed himself to save Max, Furiosa, and his new community!

No one has greater love than this – that one lays down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

This is a great picture of what it means to love someone. Nux showed his love for his new group of friends by dying for them.

madmax-furyroad-gifs-28-26595

Jesus did the same for you.

But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Nux died to save them.

Jesus died to save you.

We Are Not Things

Why would Nux die for his new friends? Why would Jesus die for you? Because as Capable said, “we are not things.”

Nux-Mad-Max-Fury-Road-680x478

No, we are not simply things.

We are made in God’s image

God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

We are all God’s children

For in him we live and move about and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ (Acts 17:28)

We are all fearfully and wonderfully made

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; (Psalm 139:14a)

No, we are not just things. All of us are people who are fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image.

And all of us should be treated accordingly.

Mad Max Fury RoadSo there you go, three ways to share God’s story with Mad Max: Fury Road.

These are my three teaching or sermon illustrations, can you think of more?

Hey, do me a favor, if you haven’t already, will you please sign up for the Reel Parables email list?



Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also receive content that I occasionally only send to the Reel Parable’s community.

And be sure to check out our new Start Here and About pages!

Until next time – God bless.

Simon L Smith

Do You Want God’s Power or Do You Want God? What Indiana Jones Can Teach Us About God’s Story.

Hey, today’s post is for you, the reader. I know that I usually write about how to share God’s story with someone else, but today is a bit different. Sure, you may end up sharing it with others. But today know that this is for you.


I’m currently reading, and really enjoying, the Naked Gospel by Andrew Farley (affiliate link). It is a challenging read, not because it is a difficult book to read, it is actually quite readable and accessible, but because it’s making me think.

I like that.

the-naked-gospel

Indian Jones and the Quest for What?

At one point Andrew Farley discusses this quote from the Gospel of John. Continue reading “Do You Want God’s Power or Do You Want God? What Indiana Jones Can Teach Us About God’s Story.”

Music Monday: Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots

If you are like most of my readers, you’re probably not a huge fan of Twenty One Pilots. And to be honest, neither am I.

But, also like me, you probably know someone who likes, or even loves,  Twenty One Pilots. I first heard about Twenty One Pilots a few weeks ago from one of my 7th grade AWANA boys and didn’t even know it was them the first time I heard their new single, Stressed Out.

So why should you care about Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots? Because you can use this song to share God’s story.

Twenty_One_Pilots_Stressed_Out

There is Nothing New Under the Sun

Continue reading “Music Monday: Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots”

You Won’t Believe How Jim Carrey Shared God’s Story at the Golden Globes!

Regardless of what you think of Jim Carrey, his speech at the 2016 Golden Globes was pure gold. (See what I did there?) Yeah, he’s not  a preacher, but this is as good of a sermon on the meaning of Ecclesiastes as I’ve seen in a long time.

“Futile! Futile!” laments the Teacher“Absolutely futile! Everything is futile!” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

It’s funny… because it’s true…

This is sooooooooo the book of Ecclesiastes: “Futile! Futile!” laments the Teacher“Absolutely futile! Everything is futile!

Did you catch these two comments?

Because then I would be enough.

I could stop this terrible search for what I know ultimately won’t fulfill me.

Sure, he’s trying to be funny. And yes, he delivers the lines in a very deadpan way.

But it’s funny because it’s true and very, very biblical. In this short speech Jim Carrey basically summarizes life’s futility.

This world is futile. This world, this life, really is vanity.

Nothing we can do, nothing we can see, nothing we can get, nothing we can buy, nowhere we can go, no one we can love can truly bring us satisfaction.

Nothing.

That is because we are not for this world. We are made in God’s image and we are made for God’s world, not this fallen and broken world.

This is why only God can satisfy.

As C. S Lewis said:

If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world. (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

The bible agrees.

For to the one who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joybut to the sinner, he gives the task of amassing wealth – only to give it to the one who pleases GodThis task of the wicked is futile – like chasing the wind! (Ecclesiastes 2:26)

You lead me in the path of lifeI experience absolute joy in your presenceyou always give me sheer delight. (Psalm 16:11)

So what to do? Well, as the writer of Ecclesiastes says, fear God and obey him.

Having heard everything, I have reached this conclusionFear God and keep his commandments, because this is the whole duty of manFor God will evaluate every deedincluding every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

Thank you Jim Carrey for telling the world that this world really is vanity and the gifts it gives are futile.

May we all find peace and joy when we fear God and obey him.

If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world. (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

Hey, would you please do me a favor? Would you share this with someone you think would enjoy it? And If you haven’t already, will you please like us over at Facebook (click below) and sign up for the Reel Parables email list?

facebook-film-icon

Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also get my most popular downloads, including “How to See God’s Story in Movies.”

And be sure to check out our new Start Here and About pages!

Until next time, God bless.

Simon L Smith

The Past, Present, and Future of Reel Parables! (A look back at 2015 and what’s coming in 2016)

The Past (a look back at 2015)

Reel Parables had an awesome 2015! We reached 48 different countries and continued to support our favorite missionary. Here are the top 10 posts that made that possible!

  1. Sharing God’s story with Wreck it Ralph
  2. Sharing God’s Story with Frozen
  3. Sharing God’s Story with Disney’s Frozen – Beware the Frozen Heart
  4. Be Your Kid’s Spiritual Hero
  5. Sharing God’s Story with Disney’s Frozen – Sacrifice
  6. How to See God’s Story in Movies (Part 2)
  7. Sharing God’s Story with Disney’s Frozen – Caught in a Curse
  8. Sharing God’s Story with Disney’s Frozen – The Prodigal Sister
  9. Sharing God’s Story with Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride
  10. Sharing God’s Story with Finding Nemo

Wreck-it Ralph and Disney’s Frozen easily take the top spots accounting for 6 of my top 10 posts.

Also, I find it funny that only part 2 of a 3 part series made the top 10!

The Present (recent changes)

Because Wreck-it Ralph and Disney’s Frozen are still so popular, I’ve redesigned our Menus and gathered all their content onto one easy-to-find and use page.Movies

Just go to Movies and then select the movie from the drop-down menu. Going forward I will add all movies that get more than a few posts here so that they are easier to find.Categories

I’ve also added a Categories feature to the sidebar with some of the more popular or interesting Categories. Again, the idea is to make it easier for you to find what it is you are looking for.

The Future (what’s coming in 2016)

In addition to writing more about music, I also want to post more regularly. This will look like smaller/shorter, but far more purposeful and actionable, posts.

2016 Movie Awards

The Reel Parables Movie Awards

2016 will also be the first year of the Reel Parables Movie Awards! Like the Golden Globes and the Oscars, we will look at the year’s best movies. Unlike those awards, we will look at them through the eyes of Reel Parables and Sharing God’s Story.

I have wanted to do this for some time and am super excited!

Reel Parables TV

Possibly the thing I am most excited about…. 2016 will also see the launch of Reel Parables TV!

I enjoyed experimenting with the podcast, but we talk about movies, and movies are visual! (Besides, I always wanted to have my own TV show, not my own radio show!)

I will use the audio to feed the podcast, for those that prefer to listen, but plan to move it to a more visual presentation. I plan to interview Christian leaders in the entertainment space, and pastors and teachers who are currently using movies in their preaching and teaching.

Oh yea, I even got my favorite Christian musician and director (STEVE TAYLOR!) to record a brief into for it.

I am beyond excited.

New Devotionals

I was a bit surprised to see Finding Nemo cracking the top 10. I guess I shouldn’t be with Finding Dory coming soon. To get us ready for Finding Dory, I am finishing up my Sharing God’s Story with Finding Nemo devotional. I will let you all know when it is available. Until then check out our Store for our other movie based devotionals.

Along with Finding Nemo, I am also working on a few more Youth Group specific items and a Super Hero Summer series. I will keep you posted.

IMG_2882

Hey, would you please do me a favor? Would you share this with someone you think would enjoy it? And If you haven’t already, will you please like us over at Facebook (click below) and sign up for the Reel Parables email list?

facebook-film-icon

Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also get my most popular downloads, including “How to See God’s Story in Movies.”

And be sure to check out our new Start Here and About pages!

Until next time, God bless.

Simon L Smith

Wreck-it Ralph Christian Movie Review – Resurrection

The Good Bad Guy!

This is part 6 of a 6 part christian movie review of Wreck-it Ralph. You can find all of our Wreck-it Ralph content here.

Sharing God’s story with Wreck-it Ralph

It’s no secret that I love Wreck-it Ralph. The way that it shows us what the resurrection looks like is one big reason why! Not only do we get to the a “new heaven and a new earth,” but we also get to see a resurrected/glorified body AND our true identity!

Run the Race

Because of Ralph’s sacrifice Vanellope finished the race. She finished the race. That alone is quite biblical!

Continue reading “Wreck-it Ralph Christian Movie Review – Resurrection”