What if the second coming of Jesus was today? How would people react? Who would believe it? Netflix recently came out with a show with this exact scenario, letting the viewer decide for themselves if they truly believe that this man is who He says He is: Messiah.
The opening scene is young Jibril with his mother talking about God and how a family member had recently passed. He asks why, and his mother responds that God loved him so much, that He wanted him home with Him. When Jibril asks if God loves him as much, she says yes, but He has another plan for Jibril. The scene shifts to the attack on Jibirls’ town, Damascus, Syria, his mother is killed in the midst of the attack from Isil, which a viewer can assume is supposed to represent Isis.
During the attack, a man stands on the steps of an ancient building telling the crowd that “[they] pretend to preach God’s word but all [they] do is twist its meaning.” This the viewer can tell is supposed to be Jesus, with His powerful words, and His speech. He continues to preach saying, “Believe me when I say God will defeat your enemies,” through a dust storm that lasts 43 days and drives Isil away. From this day on, the locals begin to call him ‘Al-Masih’, or “the Messiah”.
The CIA then gets involved when a video hits their radar, when a Muslim looking man has about two-thousand followers actively following him into the desert, governments begin to assume he is a leader of a terrorist group, a rebel group, maybe from al-Qaeda and is worth being interrogated. The show follows a specific CIA agent named Eva Geller, who we first see in the hospital. From what is shown, she is attempting to become artificially inseminated. She has a rocky relationship with her father at this point, who calls her every day, but she is short with him. She is one of the main CIA agents that is keeping tabs on the ‘Jesus’ Character, and communicates with other governments like the Isreali, or Palestinian. This leads us to the character called Avrim Dahan.
Avrim is a problematic character, a drunkard father, divorced from his wife, and works too much. He is brought into the case of the Messiah from the Israeli intelligence. Eventually at the Israeli border, the Messiah is arrested when trying to bring his refugees across, and Avrim is his interrogator. The Messiah brings up a child from Avrim’s past, clearly having to do something with that child either being beaten or killed, and Avrim feels guilty for it. No one should know about this because it was not in the incident report. This is how the Messiah attempts to show Avrim who He really is.
The story seems to be using these characters to show what the Messiah can do. He will impact them in ways the characters need or want. But he could also be a false God (hints a lower case ‘h’ here). There are points where the viewer could be mislead, like a scene where a child is shot and the Messiah heals the child, but no one knows who shot the gun. Was it a hoax? Or was it the Messiah creating this image of this child being shot. Considering it is a TV show, how will the writers continue this story after one season? There is so much that happens within each episode, and more characters that the Messiah interacts with, reflecting the actions He makes in the Bible.Personally, I love this show. It is real, honest, and brings new perspectives to stories as old as the Bible itself. Messiah also presents possible interactions between countries and ‘Jesus’; considering what would happen if He were to actually come back. In reality, people would not know whether to believe it was Him. Historically, Jesus was a Middle Eastern man. Today, He would likely be assumed as an Islamic man, and the sad truth of that matter is that some people might perceive Him as a threat if he gained a religious following very quickly. The world would not be open and accepting as some seem to believe. The show opens people’s eyes to what is really happening in our world, all while trying to show a better version of this world, and how it could change if the son of God came back to end all suffering.