Spiderman 3 – Revenge is Poison
Main Point: Revenge not only costs those it’s directed at, but ourselves, as well.
The Movie Clip: Peter Parker Learns a Lesson about Revenge
Spiderman 3 is the final movie in the Spiderman franchise starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. But in this film, Peter Parker/Spiderman has to battle more bad guys than ever, plus navigate the troubled waters in his relationship with Mary Jane. He’ll not only battle his past demons associated with the death of his Uncle Ben, but he’ll also battle against his best friend who becomes the New Goblin, and Flint Marko, who is The Sandman. This is an action-packed ride through New York City, as Spiderman tries to learn that “with great power comes great responsibility.”
Introducing the Clip:
By now, you’ve probably all seen Spiderman 3. It served as the conclusion of the Spiderman movie series until the summer of 2012 when The Amazing Spiderman comes out. But in this clip I’m going to show you, Spiderman faces the man who killed his beloved Uncle Ben, the dreaded Sandman, aka, Flint Marko. After a pretty cool battle scene, Peter walks away feeling pretty good about his actions…until he talks with his Aunt May. Let’s watch and listen and see if we can learn the lesson Peter Parker learned.
Begin Clip at 1 hour 08 minutes 03 seconds (in Chapter 26)
NOTE: You can start this scene at this mark (above) to include the fight scene, or just skip ahead to the conversation between Peter and his aunt. However, the context of the fight with Sandman, and even the argument in the hallway with his landlord, really show the bad change that Peter is giving in to. Regardless, there is one swear word (damn) in this clip.
(The opening portion of this entire clip begins with a fight between Spiderman and Flint Marko, a two bit crook who has not only gained a supernatural strength enabling him to be The Sandman, but also a co-conspirator in the death of Peter Parker’s beloved Uncle Ben. The first couple minutes of this clip show them fighting, and The Sandman losing. Peter Parker thinks he’s finally killed the man who killed his uncle. Then the scene changes to Peter’s apartment complex.)
Peter: Not now!
Landlord: This is a free country. It’s not a rent free country.
Peter: Leave me alone.
Landlord: Give me rent.
Peter: You’ll get your rent when you fix this damn door!
Landlord’s Daughter: That wasn’t cool.
Landlord: He is a good boy. He must be in some kind of trouble.
(The scene changes again to a private conversation between Peter and his Aunt May. This is the key dialogue.)
Peter: Flint Marko, the man who killed Uncle Ben was, he was killed last night.
Aunt May: Oh my. What happened?
Peter: Spiderman killed him.
Aunt May: Spiderman? I don’t understand. Spiderman doesn’t kill people. What happened?
Peter: I…uh…he…he was…. I thought that you’d feel…. He deserved it, didn’t he?
Aunt May: I don’t think it’s for us to say whether a person deserves to live or die.
Peter: But Aunt May, he killed Uncle Ben.
Aunt May: Uncle Ben meant the world to us. But he wouldn’t want us living one second with revenge in our hearts. It’s like a poison. It can take you over. Before you know it, it can turn us into something ugly.
End clip at 1 hour 13 minutes and 44 seconds
Man, don’t you wish you had an Aunt May? She just tells it like it is, doesn’t she? I hope you heard what she said to Peter. When Peter reported to her the news that Flint Marko was dead – in fact, by Peter’s own hand – he thought she would rejoice with him that revenge had been served. Instead, she called Peter to live like his loving Uncle Ben who always avoided revenge. Aunt May rightly called revenge a poison; she warned that it can consume us. But that’s the truth. If we give in to revenge, what we find is that it doesn’t just affect those we give it to, it also harms us.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and our favorite super hero.
- ASK A FEW: What did you notice about Peter Parker’s character throughout this scene? Did he seem to be himself, or not? Why?
- ASK A FEW: How do you think you would have reacted to the news that the murderer of someone you loved just died? Be honest!
- ASK A FEW: Aunt May said that it shouldn’t be up to us whether or not someone dies. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
- ASK A FEW: What did Aunt May warn Peter revenge could do to him? Do you agree?
- ASK A FEW: Do you know anyone who has ever been driven by revenge? If so, what kind of changes did they go through?
- ASK A FEW: Have you ever tried to get even with someone? What happened?
Read the following passage:
Judges 15:1-8 (NIV)
Later on, at the time of wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat and went to visit his wife. He said, “I’m going to my wife’s room.” But her father would not let him go in. 2 “I was so sure you thoroughly hated her,” he said, “that I gave her to your friend. Isn’t her younger sister more attractive? Take her instead.” 3 Samson said to them, “This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines; I will really harm them.” 4 So he went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torch to every pair of tails, 5 lit the torches and let the foxes loose in the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the shocks and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves. 6 When the Philistines asked, “Who did this?” they were told, “Samson, the Timnite’s son-in-law, because his wife was given to his friend.” So the Philistines went up and burned her and her father to death. 7 Samson said to them, “Since you’ve acted like this, I won’t stop until I get my revenge on you.” 8 He attacked them viciously and slaughtered many of them. Then he went down and stayed in a cave in the rock of Etam.
(Explain that not long after this, things go really sour for Samson. He falls in love with a wicked woman named Delilah, who lies to him and turns him over to his enemies. Now resume reading the story.)
Continue the story:
Judges 16:21-31 (NIV)
Then the Philistines seized him [Samson], gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison. 22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved. 23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.” 24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain.” 25 While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars, 26 Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” 27 Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. 28 Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived. 31 Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led Israel twenty years.
Tonight, we watched a killer clip from Spiderman 3, and saw how revenge began to transform Peter Parker from this mild-mannered college student into a blood-hungry killer. That’s not the kind of super heroes we need in this world!
But, we also explored how revenge played out in the life of Samson, a biblical character. What we saw was even sadder than Spiderman’s story. Samson’s revenge cost lots of people their lives, including his own.
At the end of our discussion, what we realized is that revenge not only negatively affects those we direct it at, but it also hurts us, too. At the very least, revenge becomes our focus instead of Jesus. That’s never gonna be a good thing. But revenge begins to change us. When we act out of revenge, we begin to take the place of God. According to the Bible, He is the beginning and the end, not us! But revenge tells us that this misplaced hatred is OK.
Just like Aunt May said, revenge begins to take over us. It changes us.
Let’s not let that happen. Let’s spend a few moments in prayer, asking God to soften our hearts toward those that have hurt us or wronged us. Let’s ask Him to help us forgive them, instead of lashing out at them with gossip, or our fists.
I know that some of us have faced some serious hurt in the past, and you’ve plotted some really hurtful revenge. If you need a little extra prayer or help in saying no to revenge, then hang around after we’re done praying. We’d LOVE to talk with you.
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.