Obi-Wan and John the Baptist

Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope. Obi-Wan Kenobi and John the Baptist

Obi-Wan Kenobi came to prepare the way for Luke Skywalker’s rise as a Jedi Knight. He waited patiently for years for his future pupil to make contact. He had even saved Luke’s father’s lightsaber for Luke’s inheritance.

Once Luke met Obi-Wan, the pupil received a brief but intense training in the basics of the Force. That ended on the Death Star when Darth Vader struck down Obi-Wan—or did it? Obi-Wan had spent the years since Luke’s birth learning how to become a Force “ghost” so he could tutor Luke if he died. (That nugget of information was provided toward the end of the last prequel movie.)

Obi-Wan warned Vader, “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

Obi-Wan proved true to his word as he continued to instruct Luke in his ghost-like form. Not only did he help Luke escape the Death Star, but he also guided Luke in destroying the Empire’s “technological terror” as Vader called the station in derision.

Obi-Wan had earned great accolades during the Clone Wars. He was a powerful Jedi. But as great a Jedi as he was, he knew Luke would be even greater: Luke would be the one to defeat both the Emperor and Vader.

In a way, John the Baptist was like Obi-Wan Kenobi. Matthew 3 tells us about John. He was humble despite having earned great accolades and a huge following. As a prophet, he admonished those who tried to elevate his importance. He pointed people back to the coming Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. John told his followers, “he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear” (Matthew 3:11).

John and Obi-Wan were both outdoorsmen who lived a spartan life. Obi-Wan lived in a simple shack in the desert and could make a convincing kryat dragon call. He dressed in simple Jedi robes. John the Baptist lived in the desert and wore clothes made from camel hair and ate locusts and wild honey.

Both men could be cantankerous as well. One moment Obi-Wan would speak of more civilized times, and the next he was lopping off some thug’s arm in a bar brawl. I would have loved to have seen the religious leaders’ reactions when John called them a brood of vipers (Matthew 3:7). King Herod Antipas killed John for daring to speak out against his marriage to his brother’s wife, Herodias (Matthew 14). Herod made a foolish promise to Herodias’s daughter, promising to give her anything she desired if she would dance for him. She asked for John’s head on a platter. But John had accomplished his mission of preparing the way for the Lord.

Scripture

Matthew 3:3—For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias (Isaiah), saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Questions

  • Do you think that sometimes Christians feel pressure to “act all nice?” If so, why? Are there times that Christians are allowed to show anger?
  • Did John’s and Obi-Wan’s humility add to or subtract from their accomplishments? Should a Christian ever brag about his or her accomplishments?

(Editor’s note: This is one of a number of devotions I wrote for a book proposal that never took off. I will share a few of the devotions on this blog. The book was to have been a devotional that shared a biblical insight from a sci-fi or fantasy movie, TV show or book. This devotion is an excerpt from my chapter on the movie, Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope.)

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