The Matrix as Messiah Movie

The Matrix - A Cyberpunk Parable?

B. THE PARABLE

3. TRAINING: Conscription, Concepts, and Conditioning

3d. Combat Training (fighting by faith)

KEY:
M = The Matrix Story
S = Spiritual Parallels

 

M. Neo meets Tank, and learns that Tank was born in Zion, not the Matrix world.
S. Interesting – perhaps Tank could represent an angel? The duties of an angel include guarding and ministering to the saints, just as Tank will oversee Matrix missions from the hovercraft control center and administer training to Neo.
 
M. Tank describes Zion, the last city of mankind. "If the war was over tomorrow, Zion is where the party would be."
S. The old testament has well over 100 references to Zion that have a broad and often prophetic range of meaning. In the film, 'Zion' may collectively represent the new heaven, new earth, and new city of Jerusalem to be inherited by the saints. And it will indeed be a beautiful setting, full of victorious celebration – see Revelation chapter 21 for details.
 
M. Tank immediately gives Neo "combat training."
S. A new Christian should immediately begin training for his mission, including training for spiritual warfare (the 'armor of God' in Ephesians 6-20, the effects of prayer and fasting in Matthew 17:21, many more.)
 
M. Tank cybertrains Neo with a series of martial arts disks.
S. Perhaps the disks can be analogous to the scriptures, which are key to equipping the believer.
 
M. Neo says, "I know Kung Fu." Morpheus demands, "Show me!"
S. Knowledge is meaningless unless it is applied to daily life! It isn't enough to know – you must show by what you do. "Faith without works is dead." (James 2:26). Knowing how to do what is good is not the same as actually doing it! "If any man is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, and once he has…gone away, he has forgotten what kind of person he was. …But a [man who is not] a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer…shall be blessed in what he does." (James 1:23-25).
 
M. Morpheus spars with Neo in a simulated Matrix environment so that he may teach Neo to operate by the truth instead of what he sees according to the Matrix. Morpheus warns Neo, "Your weakness is not your technique," and asks him, "Do you believe that my being stronger or faster has anything to do with my muscles in this place?" The truth is that the Matrix is simply a simulation. Neo's ability in that simulation is limited merely by his belief, not by his simulated abilities.
S. A Christian must learn to "walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7). Just as this is Neo's challenge throughout the film, this is also a central scriptural theme for the life of a Christian. The physical senses lie, giving false limits because physical senses cannot account for spiritual beings and influences. A Christian's abundance or lack of natural abilities and assets - education, wealth, intelligence, looks, strength, wit, charm, influence, etc.- do not limit him. God can infinitely exceed these things, pouring His strength out where a Christian is weak (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
When the Apostles Peter and John, the simple fishermen, spoke boldly in public and showed great power, the people "marveled" because they realized that these were "unschooled and ordinary men" who had simply been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13). The Apostle Paul later said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13). God controls reality, therefore He can empower Christians to overcome any situation. A Christian's competence and confidence both come from God (2 Corinthians 3:4-5).
The difficulty for the Christian is to learn to trust in God, and not lean unto his own understanding. Interestingly, the natural abilities where a Christian is strongest are his greatest difficulty, because he tends to rely on them instead of God, and is therefore bounded by them until he walks by faith. After Tank trained him, Neo was a master of all martial arts, yet he lost to Morpheus because he trusted his perceived abilities according to the Matrix world. But when Neo walked by faith in the truth, he could effortlessly defeat even an Agent – with one hand behind his back!
 
M. Morpheus tells Neo, "You're faster than this. Don't think you are; know you are! Stop trying to hit me and hit me!"
S. The Christian must realize that God is not asking him to pretend ('think') he is changed and empowered by God, but to know it, and act accordingly. "Knowing that our old self was crucified with Christ…account yourselves as dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus…" (Romans 6:6). To 'account' without 'knowing' is 'pretending'. The Christian needs a deep revelation from God of the 'knowing', so that he may account it fully and live naturally out of that 'knowing' rather than a teeth-gritted 'pretending'. Salvation – including in this sense the constantly maturing walk of the Christian to be like his Master – results from the work of the Spirit and constant faith in the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2:13).
 
M. Morpheus tells Neo, "You have to let it all go - fear, doubt, and disbelief." Morpheus wants to free Neo's mind from the rules of the false Matrix that should not bind him.
S. Fear, doubt, and disbelief are the chains that cause a Christian to walk only by natural abilities, or give up altogether. A Christian must break these chains by the power of constant faith in God to have freedom in God's unlimited power over any obstacle.
M. When Neo is about to jump from tower to tower, Cypher scoffs, "Everybody falls the first time." Trinity says with whispered encouragement, "Come on!" Neo falls, but continues his training with Morpheus, going on to total victory at the end of the story. In contrast, Cypher will give up, betray others, and be killed.
S. A Christian will make mistakes as he matures. He must learn to keep trying, because God's grace has covered his mistakes through Christ's blood.
Neo fell, but he got up and kept going. The difference between a righteous man and a sinful man is not in that they fall down, but that only the righteous man gets up. "For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again; but the wicked stumble in time of calamity" (Proverbs 24:16). In a fascinating example, the apostle Peter betrayed (denied) Jesus just before the crucifixion. Judas also betrayed Jesus. Both men fell. The difference was that righteous Peter returned to Jesus (see John 21). Judas, the wicked man, went and hanged himself, even falling down from that rope and bursting in two (Acts 1:18). Both men 'fell down', but only Peter 'got up'. In The Matrix, Neo keeps on training even after his failed jump. Wicked Cypher gives up, betrays others, and is killed.
The unrighteous person mocks, the righteous person encourages. Note Cypher's cynical and faithless attitude. He does not even give Neo a possibility to succeed on his first try, in contrast to Trinity quietly encouraging, "Come on!"
Also note that Neo looks down before jumping, instead of fixing on Morpheus and the truth. This is another illustration of Peter looking at the stormy waves instead of walking on water by looking at Christ. Now compare this to the end of the film, where Neo looks UP - and flies!
 
M. When Neo exits the jump program, he touches inside his lip and finds blood. Morpheus tells him that the mind makes it real.
S. Satan's great weapon is the lie. If the Christian believes lies and acts accordingly, he can be hurt.
 
M. Morpheus tells Neo, "The body cannot live without the mind."
S. "Just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead." (James 1:26). Both statements apply. The body/spirit parallel is the truth about physical death. As to spiritual things, if faith does not act, it is simply dead (false). Faith will automatically produce victorious works, even as fire naturally produces heat. If faith dies away, the resulting works cease also. Without faith, a person cannot experience true life.

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