Well, I’m at it again. I saw the State Farm commercial in the video below and something said to me, “Pay attention this is a parable about the Kingdom.” And upon further reflection, Indeed it is. You will call me crazy, but please add that I was crazy for Christ. I am also aware that I am reading into the commercial what the creators did not likely intend. But there’s just something about the way biblical archetypes still find their way into our culture. Let’s look more closely at this commercial.
Perhaps we do well to look at it by analyzing the dramatis personae (cast of characters) and weaving in the plot.
As the scene opens there are three women who come upon a car belonging to one of them. The car has been damaged. The three women may be likened to three different kinds of Christian and there is also a Christ figure who makes appearance:
- There is the sensible Christian, the woman in the center. She owns the car and, upon seeing the damage, is unfazed. She knows exactly what to do. She summons her State Farm agent who appears as if out of nowhere. She trusts him to handle everything and even encourages her friends to call on him.
- Her State Farm agent is a Christ figure. He wears a red tie, reminding us of the blood that was shed for us. He has a book in his hand, wherein everything is recorded. He arrives not only to bring help, but also to make a judgement, and thus he consults his book and goes to work (cf Rev 20:12ff). His name is “Rich” (cf 2 Cor 8:9). Later, in the ad, he will rebuke the darkness.
- A second woman to the left is a worldly Christian. Though the Christ figure stands in her midst, she ignores him and wants to see if she can come up with her own State Farm agent, an agent of her own making. For, it would seem the one standing there does not please her. She wants one who is cute and more “warm and sensitive.” Creature comforts, and an unchallenging agent, is what she wants, one who will be more soothing and surely not one who is dressed in a business suit (as is the Christ figure with the red tie, for he means business).
- A third woman to the right is a carnal Christian. She is lustful, impetuous, daring and wants a man who is the same. She hardly makes notice of the Christ figure, except to powerfully reject him with a sneer. She calls for her “agent” and he appears. He is rouge, a thug really, lustful, arrogant, irresponsible, and immature. He is the perfect projection of her carnal, lustful and fallen nature, and you can see it in the glint of her eye. She calls him “Darkside.” If she is Christian at all, it is in name only.
In the background the Christ figure just keeps working as if to say, My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working (Jn 5:17).
But now the carnal thug is sitting on the car, sitting on the kingdom if you will. And so the Christ figure says to him: Hey Darkside! Get your feet off the car! As if to say, Begone, Satan.
Yes, there it is, the Light rebuking the darkness, scattering it. Scripture says of Jesus:
- The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (Jn 1:5)
- I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (Jn 8:12)
- For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (Jn 3:16-21)
In this parable, who are you: The Worldly Christian, the Carnal Christian or the Sensible Christian?