What You’re Missing By Missing The Reference

I know a few serial movie memorizers. It’s kind of a generational thing. Our parents didn’t have the chance to watch and rewatch their favorite movies on demand like we do.

Since now anyone can watch the Austin Powers Trilogy every night before they go to bed, movie quotes have become their own sort of lexicon. To twenty-somethings (especially males), learning to quote movies is an essential foreign language.

I don’t memorize movies well. I watch a lot of movies. I enjoy them. But I don’t rewatch a lot of them. And I don’t ingrain the dialogue to my brain. (Not judging those who do – in fact I’m often jealous of them.)

I’ve got a handful of go to movie quotes. But they’re not that original. I usually end up sounding like the recent slew of news anchors profiled on Conan who all thought they were being quite clever covering the news of Mike Myers’ new addition:

When my friends quote Super Troopers and Spaceballs, I smile and nod, pretending I get the joke.

I used to think I was the odd man out for missing so many references my friends make. But reading the Bible the other day made me feel like I’m not alone.

In Matthew 16, the disciples are traveling with Jesus when they realize they had forgotten to bring any bread for their meal. Since this occurred before the advent of Lunchables, the boys had every reason to panic.

Except they didn’t.

The scene in Matthew 16 takes place only hours after Jesus turned seven loaves and a pair of fish into enough food for thousands. The disciples had just seen Jesus stretch a meager lunch into a massive feast. They should have played it cool realizing what their leader was capable of.

When they announced their lack of bread, Jesus didn’t flinch. He elbowed his friends in the ribs and told them they should be more worried about the infectious yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees than a lack of lunch.

The disciples didn’t get the reference. Their hands had just touched the loaves Jesus turned into a feast. Yet when Jesus made a joke they smiled, nodded, and went back to worrying about what they would eat.

They missed the reference to the movie they had front row seats for – the miracle they had been a part of!

How did the disciples blow it so badly, forgetting a script they had just written?


I think sometimes the stories of Jesus with His disciples are more cautionary tales than they are inspirational ones. We get to read about the people closest to Jesus and see just how much they blew it on a daily basis. We are warned not to do the same.

Just like Jesus referenced the miracle of the feast to the disciples, He references us to his glory everyday.

In Matthew 6 Jesus references the birds and the flowers we see every morning and how God’s splendor is revealed in them. The point: if God takes care of nature so well, won’t He take care of us, His most precious creation, even more so?

The birds. The flowers. Our scars. Our stories. All daily references to the comforting power and presence of God. And all references we miss on a regular basis.

How can we be so forgetful? Why aren’t memories of God’s faithfulness embedded into our brains? At least we’re not alone in our inability to recognize the references.

When you miss out on movie references you miss out on a laugh. When you miss the references of God you miss out on the reminders you need most to stay faithful in the toughest of trials.

Open your eyes. Don’t just smile and nod. Be aware of the references around you. Let them speak to you when you doubt and question what God is really able to do.

What are some of the references you see and hear from God on a daily basis? 


One thought on “What You’re Missing By Missing The Reference

  1. Pingback: How SNL Made Me A Better Youth Minister | POP GOD

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