At the Movies: Tarzan | Sermon Notes
Everyone has heard of the Tarzan story. The original story was written in 1912. Tarzan is one of the best known literary characters in the world. There are 25 sequel Tarzan books and over 200 movies Tarzan in the name. This latest installment takes actual history from the Congo in the 19th Century and blends it nicely with fiction.
(****spoiler warning****) We find John Clayton III crying as an 8month old baby in a basonette. His parents have died. He is alone in a remote part of the Congo region of Central Africa. A nurturing mother gorilla named Kala, scampers into the small cabin and scoops up the frightened infant into her capable, safe arms. Immediately, little John, feels secure and from that moment is raised by Kala and her sons.
Kala feeds him, teaches him to crawl, protects him from the other creatures of the jungle. Finally, grows up to be a strong man and is discovered by explorers. His name is now Tarzan. He meets up and marries a beautiful American teacher named Jane. They move to England where he tries his hardest to fit in.
Meanwhile, in Congo, leaders from Belgium have infiltrated tribal areas and are ravaging the land of it’s resources. They are taking many of the Congolese as slaves and shipping them around the world. There is one last section of diamonds that the Belgiums need in order to complete their domination of Congo. However, it is controlled by a powerful native tribe that is impossible to defeat. The tribe chief (Mbongo) tells the Belgium leader, “If you bring me Tarzan, I will give you the diamonds you need.”
Why would he want Tarzan? Years ago, this chief’s son unknowingly killed Kala, Tarzan’s mother gorilla. In a fit of rage and revenge, Tarzan killed the chief’s son. As a result, the chief has been hunting Tarzan for years. He wants Justice served for the loss of his son’s life. He is willing to trade his diamonds for a chance to kill Tarzan himself. Not only that, if this deal goes through, he is putting his tribe and the entire rest of the country into the hands of the slave traders. Mbongo is not only trading his diamonds but he is enslaving his whole country just so that he can execute Justice for his son.
There is a chilling scene where Tarzan and Mbongo finally meet and have a knife at each other’s throat. “You killed my son!” “He killed my mother!” “Where was your honor?!” “I didn’t have any!”
At the point of Tarzan’s humility, the tide begins to turn for the natives of Congo, their possessions, and their sovereignty.
MURDER VENGEANCE REVENGE RACISM FEAR HATE
Are all central to Tarzan’s story.
These are all a central part of our story. The Human Story is filled with separation, selfishness, bitterness.
When we look at America and what we going through right now as a nation, we are marred with the ugly wounds and scars of Murder, Vengeance, Revenge, Racism, Fear
We have the DESIRE FOR JUSTICE! Justice is to be treated fairly. To be treated right. To be morally and ethically right. Just treatment. Fair dealings. The devil is trying to divide us. The devil thrives when we are separated and ostracized from each other! From the garden of Eden, he has tried to divide humanity.
Through JESUS CHRIST, God provides Efficient Justice and Freedom.
However, when we are focused on exacting revenge and establishing our own justice, we end up being blinded by the devil and used as a pawn for his good. We are putting at risk our own sanity, peace, and future by being sucked into the lie of the enemy. We allow fear to dictate our future.
So many people want to know what they can do in a situation like this. Here are 3 things!
Allow Faith To Dictate Your Future
Not fear. Allow the Word of God to stir up your faith. FEAR is rampant in our society right now. Everyone is afraid. Blacks are afraid for their sons. Police are afraid. People in Europe are being terrorized with deadly events.
Instead of being paralyzed by our FEAR…We are going to allow FAITH to dictate our future!
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
One of the best things you can do is stop watching so much of the news. Instead, go meet someone in your office or neighborhood that is different from you.
The media’s main purpose is to make money. Not report truth. They take morsels of truth and package it in a way to stir up more conflict and controversy. Do you understand why Donald Trump got so much news coverage? He was making them a ton of money! The media is trying to make money and sell advertisements. The more people that watch their station the more money they can charge for their ads. People like watching things that are controversial. The media is seeking out controversial things and feeding you and your family a load of mess.
They want police to be violent, They want whites to be violent, they want Black Lives Matter rallies to be violent. They won’t show you the thousands of people at the Trump rally that are peaceful or the tens of thousands at a Black Lives Matter rally that are peacefully marching. They want everyone pitted against everyone so that everyone is riled up. IT MAKES THEM MONEY. It sells ads, it sells books, it makes reports and anchors famous.
The media along with other things we read, experience, hear, study, watch, talk about, people we hang out with work with, all feed us information and points of view ALL CAST FEAR IN OUR LIVES. That FEAR is dictating your future!
WHERE ARE WE PUTTING OUR HOPE FOR THE FUTURE?
Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. 2 Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. 3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.
When you have issues in your life that are causing fear and anxiety, you can continue to be lost in that fear of the future OR you can yield to God who has the power to turn your situation around!
II Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Here is another way to say it:
Allow God to Set Your Narrative
All great stories or narratives have 4 parts: a Purpose, a Problem, a Solution, and a Resolution. YOU are living out a story with a purpose, a problem, a solution, and a resolution. Most of us spend our whole lives trying to figure our life out. We think we know what is going on and when we don’t, we are burdened with so much grief and distress.
THERE IS A BETTER WAY.
Instead of YOU setting the narrative and determining the plot: (who the good guys are and the bad guys.) ALLOW the “author and finisher” of our faith to set the tone for your life.
Hebrews 12:22 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
You aren’t able to conquer your demons. Jesus can. You aren’t able to exact revenge to right the wrongs. Jesus can. You can’t write a chapter like God can write a chapter. Put it in his hands and allow the master craftsman to create a masterpiece in you that no man or woman can ever contaminate or destroy!
I want to close with this:
Allow God to Make us One
1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you.
There were divisions in Corinth between sects of people in the church saying: “I’m from Apollos.” “I’m from Cephas” and the real religious one: “Well, I’m from Christ” I can just hear Paul saying now. “I hear that some of you are thinking you are better than the other because of where you were born or what skin color you have or where you went to school.” Don’t you know that we are all equal at the foot of the cross. We are all brothers and sisters. In fact, he says in verse 17, the Gospel of Jesus is ALL ABOUT second chances for everyone. When we choose to ostracize and segregate, we are neutering the cross!
Jesus was addressing the disciples and told them that there would be troubling times ahead.
Luke 21: 25 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken…. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
He tells them they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Don’t spend your life trying to vindicate your past or your family’s name. TRUST GOD with your future. Allow God to take your blinders off. See the truth that your pursuit is probably hemming you in or possibly enslaving you.
I see people all the time enslaved by their own self consciousness, fear. On the outside I see people with so much potential, gifting, flavor, and favor, but they can’t even see it because they are choosing to believe the lie that the devil has brought on them. They will never amount to anything. They are always a victim. Their future has been sealed.
I was just talking with a Father the other day who is separated from his adult son. They haven’t talked in months. I am friends with both of them. They are wasting their time. Valuable precious time that they will never get back on this earth. Stop allowing your situation to block you from the BRILLIANT plan God has for you in the future.
Just as Tarzan’s redemption and victory didn’t come from his strength or stamina, it came from his confession and humility, so we find our turn-around when we humbly submit to God!