News broke yesterday that Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen are reprising their roles as Professor Xavier and Magneto in the upcoming sequel to X-Men: First Class. I’m excited to see Stewart and McKellen once again entering the X-Men universe, even though I love Stewart as Picard and McKellen as Gandalf. It’s amazing that these two men have had the opportunity to portray four of the most epic roles in nerdom. It takes a lot of range to play Picard and Xavier, Magneto and Gandalf.
Below are some Bible characters that didn’t play two roles, but definitely lived some of the most epic lives ever.
Moses is one of the most epic Bible characters ever, and that’s only partially because Charlton Heston overacted his robe off in The Ten Commandments. Moses’ life was filled with excitement from the very beginning and it didn’t let up until he took his last breath on Mount Nebo. Moses was a prince, he talked to a burning bush, he brought plagues on Egypt, he led the Israelites through the Red Sea, he met with God face-to-face and he led the Israelites through the wilderness for 40 years. If I had done any one of those things I’d be ready to retire and spend my days eating manna and hunting quail. Moses was truly an epic man and he lived a truly epic life. None of which is captured in the video below, but it still makes me laugh.
I’ve always wanted to see a really great movie about David; it would be a mix of Gladiator, Braveheart and Fatal Attraction. If Moses was one of the Bible’s first epic leaders, David was one of its first epic action heroes. David’s life before he was king was filled with lions, giants and battles that would put Helm’s Deep to shame. David’s life after he became king was also filled with action, though a lot of that happened in the bedroom. We like the focus on the violence in David’s life but, like Gladiator and Braveheart, David’s life was also full of political intrigue. David definitely lived an epic life, which was marked by epic failures but an even more epic, wholehearted pursuit of God.
I really like Paul because, from his writings, it seems like he wasn’t that nice of a guy. He was more than willing to step on some toes and say what was on his mind. He also had a thorough understanding of God’s grace and wouldn’t let anything stand in the way of people coming to that grace. Again, like Moses and David, Paul led an epic life. Not only did he go on epic missionary journeys but before he was saved, Paul had already led an epic life. Paul was a Pharisee among Pharisees and was well on the road to respectability among the Jewish elite. As the Supertones told us, though:
Paul was walking on the road to Damascus
Big bright light and the Lord cam and asked him
Darkness to light, come follow me
And after he was blinded he could finally see
Paul’s life was not only epic, but it also had an influence. I’m not Jewish so I’m very grateful that Paul took the gospel to Gentiles. And I’m sure all the uncircumcised men in the world who come to Jesus are also grateful for Paul.
Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen have played some epic roles in their lives. We may never get to play nerd icons in Hollywood movies, but we can still live lives of influence and significance. Bearing God’s Kingdom and influencing those around us may not seem that epic to us, but it brings a smile to our Heavenly Father’s face.
And nothing is more epic than that.
What other Bible characters lived epic lives?