Ant-Man is kind of the more serious, super-hero version of Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and it’s kind of fun. It also has a couple of easy opportunities for discussions…a couple of object lessons, if you will.
Hank spends a lot of time telling Scott about all the ants can do. They are amazing, but, “They are ants!” As Hank puts it, “Ants can do a lot of things, but they still need a leader.” The reality is, we are all in need of leadership. The Bible says that we are “like sheep without a shepherd, each of us has turned to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). This is why Jesus came to be the good shepherd—to give us the leadership we needed.
- Do you ever feel a need for leadership in your life? How do you respond to the Lord’s leadership in your life?
Ants in the Bible
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. 7 Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, 8 she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest (Proverbs 6:6-8)
The Bible uses the ant as a standard for our lives and work ethic.
- Would you say you are more like an ant or a sluggard in your work ethic?
Hank challenges Scott that the reason he should get involved is for future generations. “It’s not about saving our world. It’s about saving theirs [our children’s].” Legacy is a powerful motivator. The idea that we are doing something not only for ourselves, but for future generations as well. Scott got involved because he cared about his daughter’s future. The reality is, Gladiator had it right, the things we do now echo in eternity, and they echo for eternity.
- If you knew your actions would impact the future, how might it change what you did?
Small but Mighty
It’s easy to think that if you’re small (whether literally or figuratively—maybe you are small in financial status or education or …) then you can’t make a difference. Part of what made Ant-Man so powerful was his small size. People overlooked him. He was the unsuspected hero. Sometimes there is an advantage to flying under the radar. Not to mention that, when he was small, he had super powers. He was faster and denser and stronger. The same is true for us when we walk with Jesus. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. In a sense, we get His superpowers in our area of weakness—hear what Paul said: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). The power of Christ rests in our weaknesses—we get superpower!
- What are your weaknesses? How do you feel about them? How might you learn to look for God to be mighty in your weaknesses?
Strength in Numbers
The ants greatly magnified their power by working together in numbers. They functioned together, as one. This is what Jesus envisioned for the “body of Christ” – we are many members, but collectively we are a body that is supposed to function as one.
- How might the body of Christ become stronger by learning to work together better?
Hank and his daughter Hope had some communication issues. Hank refused to send Hope into the field. Hope assumed it was because he didn’t think she was capable. Scott saw it another way, however. “Hope, look at me—I’m expendable. That’s why I’m here. He’d rather lose this fight than lose you.” What Hope saw as an insult, Scott saw as evidence of love. There are almost always at least two ways to interpret things. One assumes love, the other assumes hurt. If Hope had been able to see her Dad’s actions from a place of love, she (and he) would have been spared a lot of pain. Sometimes we need to set aside our assumptions and be willing to communicate and to receive. Scott told her the truth, but she had to set aside her hurt and receive the hope, promise and truth that her dad was operating out of love for her. Frankly, receiving love where once there was hurt is often a very difficult thing to do.
- Do you have any relationships that are marked by hurt, where maybe you could learn to see things from a more loving perspective?
Redeeming the Past
Hank asked Scott, “Are you ready to redeem yourself?” Scott was excited about a new chance and eager to prove himself, “My days of breaking into places and stealing s*** are over. What do you want me to do?!” He assumed that Hank would be looking for him to be a new man, following in a new way of life. And he was, but Hank also wanted to redeem Hank’s past, not just ignore it. He saw that Scott had used his skills for harm, but wanted to use those same skills now for good—“I want you to break into a place and steal some s***.” Scott wasn’t a hard sell; “Fair enough,” was Scott’s quick reply. It’s been said that God never wastes your background. Perhaps the prime example of that in the Bible is Moses—raised by Pharoah’s daughter in the palace, he later returned to set the Israelites free. God used both his time in the palace (where he learned the ins and outs, was educated, equipped and prepared) and his heritage as an Israelite (his mother had instilled his heritage into his life, and it motivated him to act against the injustices he saw) to set the Israelites free. The same was true in Ant-Man. Hank put Scott’s particular skill set to good use, saving mankind.
- What might God use from your past? How might he redirect it?