Q: Does The Young Messiah effectively address the issue of spiritual warfare?
PJH: Absolutely. Spiritual warfare is real because we have an enemy, the devil. Oswald Chambers said of the devil, “…so long as he keeps firing at us you may depend he thinks that we are worth watching.” In the movie The Young Messiah, the devil is placed in real life, which to me, is a great reminder that there is a battle raging.
Q: What spiritual warfare example from The Young Messiah most resonated with you?
PJH: I deeply appreciated the part in the movie when Jesus said, “Don’t ever touch me” to Satan. This showed us that, as is what we are taught throughout the Bible, the sword of the Spirit – God’s Word – is the weapon of choice against all evil. It works every time when mixed with faith.
Q: How can believers apply what is exhibited in the character of the boy Jesus in The Young Messiah when they are battling spiritual warfare?
PJH: Although this film is historical fiction, what struck me was how the filmmakers stayed true to the character of Jesus as we know Him in New Testament Scripture. In The Young Messiah, the boy Jesus was relentlessly targeted by spiritual warfare in several forms. Yet, regardless of the way spiritual warfare revealed itself, He was consistent in His response: quietly confident in His Father, assertive, certain of His victorious outcome and without sin. Every believer should employ this response to any attack of the enemy.
Q: What can the un-churched learn about spiritual warfare from The Young Messiah?
PJH: That, whether or not it is acknowledged, no one is exempt from spiritual warfare and the best thing they can do is receive the finished works of Jesus Christ - which includes divine protection, healing, restoration and much more. The devil, while a defeated foe, does not discriminate, and he knows his time is running out. Eternal salvation is the ultimate gift, but Jesus also provided victory from spiritual warfare right here on earth.
Johnny M. Hunt is the former President of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the senior pastor of First Baptist Church Woodstock, in Woodstock, Georgia. He has earned degrees from Gardner-Webb College and the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and received honorary doctorates from Immanuel Baptist Theological Seminary, Covington Theological Seminary and Tennessee Temple University. Pastor Johnny was named the President of SBC Pastor’s Conference in 1996. The Johnny Hunt Chair of Biblical Preaching was established at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1997.
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