Today we conclude our series drawing parallels from the story of Aladdin and look at being set free.
In case you were unaware of the movie, Aladdin has been given three wishes. He clearly now sees being authentic in his public, personal and private life as the best way to behave. How do we know that? The movie makes it abundantly clear.
Aladdin has the chance to marry Jasmine for he has still one wish left. He can use it to become a real prince so he can marry Jasmine but instead, he shows his true heart. He uses his last wish to set free the genie from the bondage of the lamp. Even though he knows it means he can’t marry Jasmine he still chooses to free the genie.
The Bible calls this real love, agape love. Agape love is selfless and sacrificial love, setting someone else free, even when it comes at a cost to you. Agape love is to love as God loves.
In the Bible, there is a book entitled Philippians and in chapter two of that book the apostle Paul tells us about how Jesus demonstrated Agape love. This is what it says.
Being found in appearance as a man, [Jesus] humbled Himself and became obedient to death even death on a cross!Philippians 2:8
Jesus shows us what sacrificial love, agape love, really looks like. This is no fairy story. You see Jesus is a prince, in fact, a King. He could have had everything for Himself. Yet he chose to give it all up to free others. You and I are the ones Jesus freed and Jesus calls us to follow His example. We are to imitate the one we follow.
Many people idolise pop and movie stars. They follow them and some even dress like them or have their hair cut like them. They want to be very much like the person they follow.
Listen to what Jesus said to the Jews (and of course it means all people today) who had believed in Him. Jesus said
If you hold to my teaching you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.John 8:31
Jesus sets us free, free to live for Him, free to serve others.
When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honour to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.Philippians 2:3-4
- Do you live only for yourself?
- Is it all about you?
- Do you give up what you have for others?
If you use all your wishes for yourself, you are not really living in Agape love. When you give some away, then you are demonstrating Agape love.
For Aladdin, he gives sacrificially out of true love. And the sultan sees this and decides that the image of a prince is not really what is important and so he changes the law and lets Jasmine pick whoever she deems worthy.
God always does this. He makes things work out. He rewards us. Our lives are blessed, not necessarily in worldly blessings, not always like in this movie but in God’s way.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”Ephesians 1:3
Stay safe and Blessed.