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R-Rated: The Bible's Flawed Superman

God takes sinful people and turns them into true heroes.
This sermon is part of the sermon series R-Rated.See series.


There are a lot of heroes in the Bible, but there's really only one superhero, and that's Samson. If you think about it, Samson is a lot like Superman. He's got an amazing power, namely his incredible strength. He fights for the little guy, the downtrodden people of Israel. And, like Superman and his kryptonite, Samson has a weakness as well, namely losing his hair.

As similar as Samson and Superman may seem superficially, there is one key difference between the two of them. Superman is known as the Big Blue Boy Scout due to his upstanding moral behavior. Since Samson is a judge and a Biblical hero, it's tempting to paint him with the same brush as Superman, especially if all we look at are the stories that we tell our kids. But when we take a deeper look at Samson's story, we find a much more complex individual, one who has a bigger weakness than just the barber's chair. But to understand why, we need to talk about the lifestyle Samson was supposed to live.

A Nazirite for life

In Judges 13, we read how Samson's parents were unable to have children until they were visited by the angel of the Lord. The angel told them that not only were they going to be parents, but that their child was to be a Nazirite from the moment he was born (Judges 13:5).

The Nazirite vow is outlined in Numbers 6:1-21. It was essentially a vow Israelites could take to thank God for a specific blessing in their lives. Most Nazirite vows were temporary (a good example of this is in Acts 21:17-26), but there are a few instances of people who took the vow for life, the most prominent example aside from Samson being Samuel (1 Samuel 1:11). People who took Nazirite vows basically promised to avoid three ...

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John W. Otte is a husband, father, author, Lutheran pastor, and geek (although not always in that order).

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Sermon Outline:


I. A Nazirite for life

II. No foreign women

III. Samson, the ladies' man

IV. Fairy tale vs. reality