I recently watched the movie The Bourne Ultimatum with some friends and we couldn’t help but realize how much Jesus is like Jason Bourne. For those of you not familiar with the Bourne series, here’s a very brief recap. A man wakes up one day with no memory of who he is, but realizes that he knows how to fight, has multiple passports from countries around the world, can speak several languages, and a group of trained gunmen is trying to kill him. He soon discovers that he’s one of the best CIA field agents the world has ever known and that he works for an evil organization doing the U.S.’s dirty work and then proceeds to single-handedly embarrass every assassin that tries to take him down.
But almost everything Jason Bourne does in this movie reminds me of Jesus. There’s one scene in particular that pretty much sums up what I believe it’s like to walk in the Spirit. Bourne has found a journalist named Simon Ross who has answers about his identity. So he arranges to meet Ross at the London Waterloo Station. Unbeknownst to Ross, the bad guys have been watching him so that they can reel him in and catch Bourne. But of course, Bourne is privy to their tactics.
Bourne slips past Ross in the crowd, drops a phone in his pocket then walks away and proceeds to give him instructions on how they’re going to evade the killers coming after them. And this is where my preacher friends and I had a field day…
The beauty of the scene is that this man is at the mercy of Bourne’s instructions. He has no idea what’s really happening—just that people want to kill him and that Bourne wants to help him. He’s paranoid and wants to run for cover, but Bourne gives him clear instructions on what to do in order to stay alive. When he tries to do his own thing, Bourne reminds him, “Follow my instructions. Do not deviate.” and smoothly guides him through the crowded station to escape the hands of well-trained assassins.
Everything’s going well for them until Bourne guides Ross into a stairwell and tells him to wait for further instructions. The plan is for Ross to wait for Bourne’s signal to walk out, cross the crowded station, and leave through the exit on the other side.
But as Bourne is walking through the crowd, he notices something is off. He tells Ross, “Wait. Something is wrong.” Ross replies, “I can see the exit from here! I can make it!”
“No!” Bourne answers. “Do no deviate!”
But it’s too late. Ross busts out of the door and within seconds, a hidden sniper takes him out.
How often does God give us instructions and we do our own thing, only to get hurt in the process? God told Abraham to wait for the promised child. But he got impatient and had a baby with Hagar. God told Saul to wait for Samuel to offer the sacrifice. But Saul panicked and offered the sacrifice himself. And today God tells us to wait for the spouse He has for us. But we jump at the first guy who smiles. He tells us to be faithful in this small ministry, but we leave the church for a bigger one.
Or how often have you prepared a sermon or a teaching, only to have the Holy Spirit tell you the day of, “Something’s wrong. Change of plans.” and make you do something entirely different? Any preacher can testify that in those moments, going with the flow will always save you, but sticking to your own plan will always embarrass you.
When it comes to Jesus, trying to save your life can cost you your life.
What directions has God given you today?
Follow His instructions. Do not deviate.
Here’s the clip for you to enjoy the blood-pumping action in all its glory. This is, in my opinion, a gold-mine for preachers. But be advised, there is violence and some mild language…