77 Why nothing is bigger than Ben Hur

ben hur christian


The 1959 Ben Hur is epic not only in scale, but also in spiritual depth. Follow the exile and redemption of Judah Ben Hur, and feel the tension between faithfulness and idolatry, vengeance and forgiveness.

Excerpt from episode

… “As you noticed, what Messala and Judah has chosen to worship ultimately shapes everything else, and the divide becomes clearer and clearer as the movie goes on. Jesus tells us, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other.” So let’s turn the attention back to ourselves now – which master do you worship? God, or the world? Bishop Robert Barron is famous for saying that you can tell a lot about a person by simply asking them one question – what do you worship? While most of us listeners would say ‘Jesus’, the reality might unsettle us when we probe deeper with peculiar question: If an alien from outer space were to observe the way I live for a week, what would he conclude was the ultimate goal of my life? This is a telling questions, for it exposes the possibility of idolatry – the worshipping of some other thing instead of God. You can recognise what you worship by what you are most willing to defend when attacked. If Masala had come and threatened Judah’s property or his title, I think Judah would be upset, but he wouldn’t be willing to die to defend it. But because Masala attacked God himself, he was willing to put everything on the line.

Judah is such an attractive role model precisely because he was willing to defend the highest good, even to the point of great personal cost. This is inspiring for us today, because many Christians in our culture are facing, or will soon face such a similar choice. It may not be the literal Rome that is an affront to God today, but yet the spirit of Rome still exists – worldly values, earthly power, idol worship, political ideology, the dehumanising of dignity. Where might Rome be battering our very church doors, and the doors of our heart?” … 

Jesus offers water to Ben Hur