Who is your favorite superhero of all-time? My son loves superheroes! He has capes, masks, swords, shields…anything associated with his favorite superheroes. Sometimes, I’ll dress up as one and he’ll dress up as another. One night he was running around the house as fast as he could with his Flash costume on. Another time he got in trouble after punching his sisters with his Hulk hands. Although he has a lot of superhero stuff, his favorite is probably Batman (mine too). Now, as much as I love the superheroes, they are all fake heroes. Don’t get mad at me, but here’s a little well-known secret…Bruce Wayne really isn’t Batman, it’s the actor Christian Bale…I mean, George Clooney…well, Michael Keaton…uh, Adam West…ok, you get my point. Superheroes are all fictional. If they aren’t real, then who are the real superheroes?
I’m a fan of celebrating unsung heroes like our policemen, firemen, and military personnel. It’s these who usually don’t get much credit for all they do. These are the costumes our kids should be wearing to remind them of the importance of these true heroes in society. When we see one of these in public, we make a big deal about them. We talk to them at the restaurants, pray for them when they pass us with the siren on, and serve those families who have a loved one away serving us in the military.
There are a lot of heroes in Scripture I want him to remember as well. Some of these like Moses, David, and Paul are more prominent than others. Others are like “sidekicks” and sometimes get overlooked. But these sidekicks played HUGE parts in the lives of the more well-known Bible characters. Have you ever heard of Tychicus? He was a faithful friend, preacher, messenger of Paul’s. Although only mentioned five times in Scripture, Tychicus filled in for Timothy and Titus as pastors. He didn’t get a book of the Bible named after him but his role of a huge encourager was possibly what kept others going. Where would Moses be without Aaron, who spoke on his behalf and lifted up his hands during battle? Or Jonathan, who was a true friend to David. John the Baptist faded away as his only mission was to prepare the way for Jesus.
I don’t know any kids with sidekick costumes. And outside of Robin, I can’t really name any other sidekicks. But sidekicks tend to play important behind-the-scenes roles. Let’s try this: can you name all the disciples? Most people can name Peter, James, and John but what about Andrew? It was Andrew that introduced his brother Peter to Jesus. Think about it…without Andrew, we may not have had the Peter we know in Scripture. No “walking on water” story. No “preaching and 3,000 people saved” story. Maybe you aren’t a main character or superhero like Peter, Paul, or Moses but God needs the unsung, ordinary heroes of the faith.
Hebrews 11:1-32 names the “heroes of the faith”. But the final verses of that chapter sum up how important the nameless “sidekicks” were. They were those, “Who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength and became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning, sawed in two, and killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated, THE WORLD WAS NOT WORTHY OF THEM.”