Geekmas 2021has begun and we are having a “Very Spidey Christmas!” In this week’s episode, Dallas takes a look at Miles Morales (originally of Earth 1610) and the how and why that Peter Parker spends time training in him the PlayStation games. Miles and Peter are fantastic examples of mentorship and leaving and a legacy; but how so?
We have officially begun Geekmas 2021, and all month long, we are having a “Very Spidey Christmas.” Our first devotion of the month is actually inspired by a conversation that took place in our Twitch chat while playing “Marvel’s Spiderman: Miles Morales. The chat brought up an interesting discussion about why Peter was intentionally training up young Miles. What’s the motive? Why not let him learn the same way he did, through the school of hard Knox?
The short answer is this; Peter wanted something better for Miles. In the original game, Marvel’s Spiderman. You hear a conversation between Peter and Aunt May about how she had inspired him. When he was in his time of need, she was there for him. Beyond that, she modeled for him the concept of encouraging other people and helping those less fortunate and teaching others that they can be better. He was inspired by Aunt May and intentionally passed on the legacy she had given him to a young man who needed it.
Miles has become a fantastic Spiderman, but his greatness didn’t start with Peter. It actually came from his home life. He had a loving father who was also passionate about respecting the law and protecting the innocent. In addition, he has a mother who is active in the pollical landscape of Harlem and sees beyond the situation to what the people of her neighborhood can be. So you see what Peter saw in Miles, not just that he had the talent… granted to him by a radioactive spider… but the groundwork and foundation of what is truly at the heart of Spiderman.
I love this story because it’s a fantastic illustration of the relationship between the Apostle Paul and Timothy. Paul first met Timothy in Acts 16:1-3. The scriptures tell us that Timothy was well spoken of by other believers in the area and saw his potential. So Paul took Timothy with him to help serve in the ministry. Traveling around, Timothy learned firsthand what it meant to be a servant of Jesus. He learned how to preach the gospel, disciple, and live the Christian walk in real-time. As a result, Paul grew to consider Timothy a spiritual son. (1 Timothy 1:2) Timothy went on to be a fantastic leader in the early church.
Paul wasn’t out to create a new version of him. He sought to raise this young man help him to become what God wanted him to be. While Miles is very similar to Peter in the comics and in the game, we discover that he’s not a carbon copy. In the game, Peter recognizes this and helps Miles by making his personal life ceiling the floor for Miles to grow. Peter teaches him the basics like web-slinging, wall-crawling, and how to serve the public. But Miles has his own unique attributes. Miles can become invisible and use Bio-electricity to power up his punches. Peter can’t teach him how to use those, but he can help him grow and encourage him to use his own unique gifts.
But like Miles, his greatness didn’t start with Paul; it began with his family. 2 Timothy 1:5 tells us that his “sincere faith” started first with the teachings of his grandmother Lois and his mother, Eunice. His home life was a life filled with opportunities to encounter the Lord and serve him faithfully. They didn’t wait for Paul to come along and teach young Timothy; they understood that they were responsible for leading this young man.
My encouragement for you is twofold…
- The key to a great new generation begins at home. Parents, Aunts, Uncles, Grandfathers, and grandmothers. You are responsible for this next generation. It’s not your pastor’s job, your youth pastor’s job, or the TV Preacher’s. The world is happy to present an example of how to live, but you need to show, not just tell, your children how to live for Christ. You need to show them how to love others. You need to show them how to serve.
- We all need to be on the lookout for those God wants us to help disciple and grow. We need to recognize the calling and anointing on people’s lives and help them to foster it and grow. That doesn’t mean making a mini version of you. It means disicpling them in the basics and allowing them to walk out what God has for them, not what you have for them. We need to help them to avoid the struggles we had so that our ceiling of life knowledge becomes the base floor for them to spring forward.