I’ve never been a big fan of overly religious movies or TV shows that attempt to sway my beliefs and conform them into something straight out of some religious text, but when I watched the trailer for a new Netflix show titled Messiah, I became curious and decided to check it out the day it debuted, which was January 1st.
Simply put, the storyline of this show is what might happen if someone suddenly showed up on our planet claiming to be the Messiah and actually began demonstrating various acts of faith that seemed to support that claim. Would people start believing him? Who would follow him? Is he sent from God or is he a fraud who has some underlying self-serving agenda? These are all the questions the show tries to answer and does so in a very good way in my personal opinion.
Starring Mehdi Dehbi as Al-Masih (Messiah) and Michelle Monaghan as Eva Geller (a CIA agent who’s convinced he must be a fake and quite possibly a terrorist), the show handles some very touchy subjects that will most definitely spark some great watercooler talk amongst anyone of faith.
Without spoiling too much, there is a second storyline in the first season of this new series that I found extremely thought provoking as well. It involves a boy named Jibril Medina (played by Sayyid El Alami) who is one of the first followers of Al-Masih. Jibril’s faith really moved me incredibly and honestly, I was more drawn to his story and spiritual journey for the humility he showed throughout it all.
Nevertheless, the return of Christ has always been a hot topic of discussion amongst persons of faith and something I’ve usually done my best to steer clear away from talking about. There are too many people who believe the Bible is the only true word of God and this show doesn’t exactly follow that to a “T’, which I was actually pretty thankful it didn’t, and the very reason why I liked it as much as I did.
The fact is, I stopped believing the Bible was the only true word of God long ago when it started to be used as a weapon of judgment and separation towards me and many others on this planet. “Messiah” does a great job dealing with some of those sensitive subjects and also involves other religions and their beliefs as well, something I feel Christ studied long ago and accepted on His own journey of faith, but something that purposely was left out of the Bible when it was being put together, most likely for self-serving reasons.
Regardless, the main question that stayed at the forefront of my mind throughout the entire 10 episodes of the first season was…Would I follow a person who claimed to be the Messiah and showed various demonstrations of faith?
The answer really is I don’t know. My faith has been shaken quite a bit over the past few years with the ever-mounting losses of friends, loved ones, and countless days of physical pain. There were moments during the show that I cried and felt my Spirit long to have a Messiah return and would probably have dropped everything to go be wherever this person was in the world, while there were plenty of other moments where I felt a lot like the CIA agent and a few others she worked with, who kept feeling like Al-Masih was a fake, where I absolutely would have watched it all play out from a distance. Either way, I think it’s safe to say, the show accomplished what it was probably set out to do for anyone who ends up watching it like it did for me, as it totally pulled me in, made me question my faith, and on some level, possibly even deepened it, as I found myself talking to my Higher Power both during and after each episode.
In the end, the show clearly left the door open for another season, and purposely left many questions unanswered as well, something I ended up actually being glad for, because that indeed is what I prefer when it comes to my spiritual journey. Now, I look forward to hopefully another season of this on Netflix in the future, and, to continuing to deepen my faith by watching shows like this that challenge the stereotypical religious beliefs that exist out there by leaving it to us to ask, as in this case, what would we do if the Messiah supposedly had finally returned?
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson