One of the members of our congregation calls the children’s message “the Spider Man message,” probably because the talk in the children’s message often turns to Spider Man. This thematic turn gets a frequent impetus from the youngest member of the congregation, who is exceptionally knowledgeable about Spider Man and also extremely forthcoming with that knowledge.

This morning the Spider Man message included perhaps the best illustration of that perennially difficult “faith without works is dead” passage I have ever heard.

The preacher of the day pointed out, as a commentary on James 2:14-26, that if Peter Parker, having been bitten by the radioactive spider, never actually made those spiderwebs and never actually used them to climb up the sides of buildings and never actually chased down bad guys, well … he wouldn’t actually be acting like a superhero.

He would be acting like not a superhero.

It can’t get a whole lot clearer than that.


Flemish Baroque peasants doing summer work in a field with a church in the background
“Summer” – Pieter Brueghel the Younger
“For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.”
James 2:26