Episode two of Supergirl aired on Monday and, of course, there are a ton of biblical parallels (some of which I’ll list at the end of this post), but I want to talk about the main “lesson” of this episode: Better Together.
When people see that red cape, they expect to see a certain someone. Someone they know. But this isn’t his story. ~ Supergirl
Better Together focuses on the differences between Kara and her cousin, Clark Kent (Kal). Kal is a lone operator who seems to have the whole superhero thing figured out. Kara is more of an interdependent person who, when on her own, tends to blunder things. The media wonders very loudly if she is a hero or a menace? Her boss refers to her as #TerribleGirl. And even Kara begins to wonder if she didn’t put on the cape too soon.
One Christian parallel I see right away is that Christ, though he had his 12 disciples, largely worked on his own while training them. He is Lord. He has it all figured out. All he needed, really, was God. But the Bible teaches us that Christians (little-Christs) are different. We are interdependent. We need each other for us to be the best little-Christs we can be. Without support from fellow Christ followers, we may get a few things right but soon we will blunder and fall—and we certainly can’t complete the mission he left us on our own.
Jesus, praying for all those who would ever believe in him, says, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20-21 ESV)
Since our saving-people power resides in our telling others about Christ so that they too may believe and be saved, this verse makes clear that the best way we can do that is together—with Christ and with other believers.
The idea that we are better together is not a new concept and didn’t originate in Jesus’s time. In the Old Testament (before the birth of Christ), it says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV)
Even Kara’s “evil” aunt, General Astra says, “We are stronger together.”
Unity is very important to success. Kara eventually gets that and begins to see her superhero efforts being more effective because she’s not operating alone anymore. She’s got James, Winn, and Alex. And, when James feels as if he’ll never shake off being valued for his connections, Kara teaches him something from her planet that Clark (who left as an infant) cannot…
Growing up I was taught to accept help from people is not a shame, it’s an honor. ~ Kara
She goes on to explain the meaning of the “S.” It means El Mayhara, stronger together. Jesus says, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.” (Luke 11:17 ESV)
We are stronger together. Life is not a solo act, it is a group project—especially for those of us who live in and for Christ.
Some other biblical parallels I noticed:
- Like I said last week, the popular opinion around Supergirl sways with each of her acts—something Jesus had to face.
- In a flashback of Kara speaking with her mom, Kara says she wants to help people someday like her mom. Her mom assures Kara that she will. Kara asks how her mom knows this. “Because you have the heart of a hero,” her mom replies. This implies that the heart of a hero is a servant’s heart. A heart that seeks to serve others. Jesus said himself that he came to serve and not to be served, and that his followers are to do the same. We are not saved to live as if we are above others. We are saved and set free to serve others.
- In Kara’s defense after the oil spill, James says, “At least she’s saving lives.” Jesus also defends a man who is casting out demons, but not one of the twelve disciples, telling his disciples that anyone who is not against them is for them. (Mark 40). Jesus tells them not to stop the man and gives an interesting explanation that I won’t go into here.
- Alex tells Kara, “We many not always know who are enemies are, so we need to be prepared to face anyone.” A similar sentiment is voiced by Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18, where he speaks of putting on the Armor of God so that we may be prepared to withstand our spiritual enemies.
- James and Winn are Kara’s right-hand men (along with Alex toward the end of the episode). Jesus, though he had 12 disciples, had three right-hand men: Peter, James, and John.
- Kara carries her boss in her car to the top of a mountain to speak to her. Jesus goes to the top of a mountain (with Peter, James, and John), where they witness him speaking to his Father. Moses also ascends a mountain to confer with God.
- “El Mayarah” ~ The “El” they use in their language is reminiscent of Hebrew references to many names of God. El meaning God.
- General Astra says she isn’t on Earth to kill people but to save them. Clearly this is a twist of the truth and reminiscent of Satan who uses twisted truths to deceive. But watch out for another Satan figure to be revealed soon; one who pins Astra against Supergirl and vice versa.
- Kara asks Alex to train her to be as good a fighter as Alex is. Alex vows to make her better. To me, this reflects a biblical truth in that when we teach others, we are teaching them in hopes they will go on to do bigger and greater things than we did. Even Jesus left telling his disciples they will do greater things than him. (John 14:12)
- “You never let that loss diminish your light…” ~ Jesus uses the analogy of light to explain his followers. That we are to let our light shine and not to hide it.
- Kara’s mother’s memory has been preserved and programed to help Kara. Similarly, Jesus didn’t just leave us and say, “Good luck,” he left us his Spirit to guide us.
Phew. That’s all I’ve got for now. If you’ve spotted anything I’ve missed, please do share. 🙂