If I’m honest, I’ve never really understood how the Turtles ever became so popular, but they have. And while friends my age are flocking to see it for nostalgia’s sake, younger generations are flocking for curiosity’s sake. I personally thought it was mildly entertaining and forgettable, but what transforms it into something noteworthy is when you connect it to the gospel. You can use the TMNT movie as a witnessing opportunity…and if someone comes to know Jesus because of a conversation with you about TMNT, I guarantee you they’ll never forget it, and neither will you.
How can the TMNT’s be a witnessing tool, you ask? Good question! The parallels aren’t exactly perfect, but they are strong enough to give you an open door, so stick with me…
- There’s a battle between good and evil. Shredder, whose “soul has been poisoned by the influence of a dark master” is evil. The turtles, and their “father”, Splinter, are good.
- The turtles bear a similarity to the trinity. The trinity is three distinct persons in one. The turtles are 4 distinct persons, but are also very much one.
- God the Father sent Jesus to earth as a baby. Jesus began to preach in the synagogue as a young boy, but his time had not yet come to begin his public ministry, so he returned to his family until he was thirty. The turtles were anxious to enter the public as well, but Splinter wanted them to wait. “You’re not yet ready to go above ground, but when that day comes and you rise, you are going to be responsible for amazing things.” He told them.
- Jesus was extraordinary. Unlike anything the world had ever known. Fully God and fully man, he was going to free the captives, heal the sick, raise the dead, and free the world from sin. He was destined to save the world…the world’s only The turtles had a similar calling. They too were unusual—fully turtles, and yet radically more because of their scientific enhancements. Splinter told them, “You are extraordinary, my sons. Unlike anything the world has ever seen…. Destined to protect the people of New York… The people of New York will look upon you as their only hope.”
- Jesus gave his life to save the world. Splinter gave his life to save his sons so that they might save the world. The turtles didn’t give their lives, but they certainly risked them in order to save the world.
I know, it sounds a little strange to think of comparing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, BUT, the point isn’t to elevate the turtles, but rather to use the turtles as an opportunity to point to Jesus. It’s kind of a fun opportunity. Pretty sure you’ll surprise people and find them willing to engage if you simply ask, “Hey, did you know the turtles are kind of like Jesus? … Any ideas how?!”
Questions for Discussion:
- What parallels do you see between the turtles and Jesus?
- Do you see any parallels between the turtles and the Trinity?
- Splinter gave his life so that the turtles might live. How might you feel if someone gave their life for you? Do you know that Jesus gave his life for you?
- The turtles were in the middle of a war between good and evil. Do you ever feel like you are in the middle of a battle between good and evil? Do you know that the Bible says that you are?
- How might it change your life to realize life isn’t just chance and luck, but that you are in the middle of an actual battle between good and evil? How might that change the way you look at the bad things that happen in your life?