The Red Pill, the Blue Pill, and the Cost of Discipleship


This morning, Pastor Matt Kennedy pulled off perhaps the best movie-based sermon illustration I’ve ever heard. First of all: “Matt, you had me at ‘The Matrix.'”

Matt was preaching from Matthew 10, where Jesus warned the disciples about the cost of being a disciple–that there would be great opposition and persecution, and that “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” He was totally up-front with them about what lay ahead if they chose to follow him.

In “The Matrix,” Neo had been living in a fake world of harmony and peace and pleasure. Morpheus wanted to bring him into the real world–a world of danger, blood, discomfort, dirt, and constant struggle. Morpheus told Neo, “This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back.” Take the blue pill, and return to the fake world of comfort. Take the red pill, and everything changes.

That’s what Jesus was telling the disciples: “This is your last chance. If you want out, do it now. You can go back to your villages and families and fishing vessels and way of life. Just realize that if you follow me down the rabbit hole, things will never be the same.”

Now, Matthew 10 will always remind me of the Matrix. And the Matrix will always remind me of the cost of discipleship. It’s hooked into my mind. I love stuff like that.

As if that wasn’t enough, during our Sermon Sequel time in which we discuss the sermon, Matt used another great illustration from “The 300.” Definitely a banner day at the intersection of Christianity and pop culture.


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