The Firstborn of Many – The Man of Steel as a Messianic Metaphor


So what’s the big deal?  What can I possibly say that would spoil this movie and even possibly your life?  Well the title should make it obvious.  I am about to draw parallels between the new Man of Steel movie and Jesus or Messianic figures in general since we Christians don’t own the rights on Messiah figures since Jews, Muslims, and even some Buddhists (waiting for the Maitreya) are all waiting for some type of figure that will usher in a better world.  But for the most part, I’m sticking with Jesus since he’s who I know the most and the parallels are obvious in the movie.  And just in case you think I’m making the parallels up, I’d just like to let you know that the makers of this film actually hired a Christian marketing company, Grace Hill Media, to help them in promoting the film and making the parallels obvious for believers and non-believers alike.  They even had previews shown at megachurches and had Superman sermon kits created.

Some parallels that you might see as obvious or that you can find in other articles if you google Superman and Jesus are the idea of a super powerful only son of El (think Elohim, a Hebrew name for God) coming down to earth, being raised by mortals, and living in obscurity until he reveals himself at thirty.  Those are easy.  Then there’s the whole Superman resurrection story line if you’ve heard of the Death and Life of Superman series.  But wait, there’s more.  With this version of the film they go the extra mile to draw the parallels.  There is even a scene where Clark goes to a church when he is in a dilemma about whether or not he should turn himself over to the authorities.  There’s even that famous Jesus in the garden stained glass window right over his shoulder as he talks to the pastor.  Ultimately Clark lets himself be taken.  Who else let himself get arrested?  Uh.  I’ll give you a clue.  I was just talking about him and the name we have given him rhymes with Jeebus.  OK. I’ll tell you.  It’s Jesus.  What more could they add?  Well, in this version, when Clark encounters his real dad, Jor-El, he reveals that he is pure consciousness not just a video projected on some crystals like in the old school Christopher Reeves Superman.  I didn’t see that coming.  Having Superman guided by a father that is pure consciousness is a big one.  Another less obvious parallel is when it looks like Jes, uhm I mean Superman is defeated, he is seen sinking in a big old pile of skulls.  Where did Superman…dangit…I mean Jesus get crucified?  Golgotha, which means place of the skulls.  Oh and it doesn’t stop there.  There is the crucifixion pose seen above, the deliberate statement that he is 33 years old, and even their version of the miracle birth. All this and I didn’t even bring up the sayings about the Son of Man being seen in the clouds and coming with power. The last thing Jor-El says to Superman before he descends through the clouds back to Earth to save everyone is something to the effect of, “We wanted you to know what it was like to be a human first.  You can save Lois now.  Go save Earth.” Google it if you think I’m lying.  As I said, many of  those parallels are pretty plain to see.  But there’s one that I think is the most powerful and the one if understood might put us in an interesting position. And ironically, it is the only one that I haven’t seen anyone writing about.

If you haven’t seen the movie, then this might not make sense, but there was this skull that had codes for all of the different Kryptonians that were bred on the planet.  Natural childbirth was outlawed on Krypton.  Instead, people were harvested in Matrix like pods and encoded to perform certain functions like the caste system in India.  The miracle of Kal-El’s birth was that he was created by love–natural birth–which was blasphemy to the Kryptonians.  Without being encoded Clark could become anything he chose.  But what is really interesting is that right before the escape, Jor-El embeds all of the codes required to make billions of Kryptonians in baby Kal-El’s DNA, which essentially made Kal-El Abrahamic.  So what you ask?  Well, think about it.  Why was Jesus sent to Earth according to Christian tradition?  Well here is a Bible clue from Romans 8:29:

“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

and Romans 9:25,26:

“I will call them My people, who were not My people,
And her beloved, who was not beloved.”
“And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not My people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living God.

Ta-da.  You get it?  Superman is supposed to fall in love with a human woman and have some superbabies and then in Abrahamic style become a father of a great nation.  His lineage will have no end.  It is pretty clear when you think about the big deal they made about Kal-El being the first natural birth in googobs of years and when you consider that Jor-El assures Kal-El that one day the human race will “join him in the Sun” and that he intended Kal-El to be a bridge between Earth and Krypton.  Jor-El wanted Kal-El to infect our race with superness just like, according to the Christian tradition, Jesus was supposed to be the one that ushered humanity into the awareness of their own place in the sun. And that is the part that I think just might spoil some of your lives.  That is, if you are one of those people who believe that the only function of messianic figures is to save us from messes we create for ourselves.

The way I see it and the way I interpret the Bible, Jesus did not come just to show us who he was, but to also to show us what the intention and destiny of humanity is.  But in my experience most of us don’t even consider this. We always say crazy things like, “I’m only human.” as excuses for why we can’t strive for our place in the sun. We ignore the thought that messiahs don’t just come to make our lives better; they come to make us better by using their lives to reveal the potential that resides within us all–coded perhaps in our very DNA.

Romans 8:16-18

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him,that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. See more…

John 14:12

 “Most assuredly, I say to you, [those] who believe in Me, the works that I do [they] will do also; and greater works than these [they] will do, because I go to My Father.

So is your life spoiled by the idea that you are potentially more than “only human”? Would you rather someone swoop in to save you or would you let them teach you how to fly?  For all of the Jesus parallels, this is the ultimate question I left the movie with.  And it is the question I’m leaving you with.

10 replies »

  1. I love this post! I didn’t see this movie and it is not on my list to see but I agree with your assessment of the mission of Jesus, and the most important thing I feel most Christians and Christian churches miss, is that Jesus said…Of what I do, you will do better”..or something like that, showing us that we are here to do what he did and more. That puts us in power, calls us to our power and divinity, but most Christians seem to get stuck in the savior thing, which I feel is disempowering. So thanks for pointing this out!.


    • Yes. I’ve noticed that many of us skip all over John 14:12
      which says “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. If you point it out, you might get kicked out of some churches.


  2. Great post! The messiah we’re all waiting for… surely it must be us. We ourselves are the second coming. When Jesus says, “Believe in me,” I feel what he is saying is “understand the example of my life” not as a so-called superman but rather as a human coming to the awareness of his own consciousness as God consciousness.


    • I won’t elaborate on my take here. I will just say that if we are One as Jesus taught, then that awareness comes with responsibility. I think he took responsibility for Oneness. IMHO, we will never receive him until we commit to doing the same. When we get him we get us too.

      1 John 3:2
      Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.


  3. Excellent post. I haven’t seen the recent movie but I’ve always thought the original Superman films have many parallels with Christianity although they are obviously ‘hero’ orientated rather than ‘we are all One’ as I believe Jesus actually taught. There’s a lot of Divine truth in movies and Tv as someone commented on my own blog today. I see it in my favourite show The X Files. It just takes one to be open to it.


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