Main Point: God does not want for us to take revenge on those who offend us.
TV Series Clip – 24, Season Three, Episode 15 (3:00AM), 20th Century Fox
is a very intense and entertaining series about a man named Jack Bauer working for CTU (Counter-Terrorist Unit) in Los Angeles. Season Three is about the threat of a weaponized virus being introduced to the main population of the US. The series is very well-written and unpredictable. However, there are a few “mild” swear words and some mild violence. This particular film clip may be more suitable for a high school group rather than a junior high group.
Clip: “I just didn’t think I was going to feel this way.”
This particular clip is a wonderful illustration of how useless revenge really is. The scene takes place right after Nina Myers, a terrorist and the murderer of Jack Bauer’s wife, has just been killed by Jack Bauer. Jack’s daughter Kim also works at CTU, and is now trying to process the death of her mother’s killer. She explains that she has always wanted her mother’s killer dead, but it didn’t turn out to feel as great as she’d hoped. The scene begins right at 2:46, when Jack says, “Nina tried to escape.” This follows a question which includes the word “Hell,” so I decided to start the scene just past it. If you don’t have a problem with the word, then you’re more than welcome to start at the beginning of the scene. In this case, avoiding it doesn’t seem to me to take away from the scene. Jack explains to Chapelle (Jack’s superior) what happened and the two leave together. Kim is now left alone with her boyfriend (and Jack’s partner) Chase. Kim and Chase discuss the event of Nina’s death. The scene ends when Chase and Kim exit together, at approximately 4:23.
Has anyone made you so angry that you wished that they would just die? Has anyone done something to you that made you want nothing more than to get back at them? What goes around comes around, right? We’re going to watch a scene from the series 24
right now, that deals with revenge. In the scene, Jack Bauer has just killed his wife’s murderer. His daughter works at the office where it all went down, and now the daughter discusses her feelings about revenge and the fact that the lady who killed her mother has just died. Let’s listen to how Kim feels, now that her mother’s killer is dead.
Nina tried to escape.
Yeah, I know she tried to escape. How did she get shot?
She pulled her gun. I pulled mine in self-defense.
Just like that?
Just like that.
Nina was our best chance at locating this virus. She was a material witness in an ongoing investigation.
(stepping close to CHAPELLE) I know exactly what she was, Ryan.
Division’s going to want me to certify this shooting.
Then do it.
You have to come with me and look at security playback.
(JACK and CHAPELLE begin to leave, and the camera focuses on KIM in the background. CHASE enters.)
Kim, you alright?
Yeah, I’m okay.
I got here as soon as I heard.
JACK: (walking past KIM)
Sweetheart, I’ve gotta go with Chapelle for a moment. I’ll be back as soon as I can.
I’ll stay with her, Jack.
KIM: (to JACK)
It’s okay, I’m fine.
(JACK exits, and now CHASE and KIM are alone.)
She tried to kill me.
It’s over now, okay? Your father stopped her.
Yeah, except I don’t know what happened.
What do you mean?
He told me to leave the room, and I heard shots.
Kim, you’re safe, okay? That’s all that matters.
I don’t know. Ever since she killed my mother, I’ve been wanting Nina dead. And now that she is, it’s not gonna bring my mother back. And I just didn’t think I was going to feel this way.
How do you feel?
I’m not sure.
It’s okay. Come on.
(CHASE and KIM exit.)Transition Statement:
I love 24
because it shows a lot of truth in the way God made people. This clip is a prime example. All throughout watching 24,
I totally identified with Kim Bauer; I just wanted Nina dead. Watching the series, I saw that she was evil and dangerous and that she deserved death. But in watching Kim’s reaction to Nina’s death, I found very quickly that Kim was right: revenge is worthless. As you’ll see in a little while, the Bible makes it very clear that revenge is not our job. When we want revenge, we have a serious problem in our hearts.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s split up into our discussion groups and discuss God’s view and our own views on revenge. 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.
Quick Illustration: Tell your students that you’re going to start the discussion in just a moment. But first, you kind of want to do something. Then take a piece of paper, crumple it up, and throw it at one of the members of your small group. Then wait. Don’t say anything. Naturally the student should take the piece of paper and throw it right back at you. If they don’t, take another piece of paper (or the same one if the student will hand it back to you) and throw it at another student. If the students in your group are normal, they’ll throw the paper back at you. If you’ve got a group of boys, it’ll probably happen much faster than with girls. But let them overstep their boundaries for a moment. Be sure to stop the students before they get out of hand. Without explaining why you threw the paper at your students, tell them you want to pray. Pray for the Lord to give your group focus and for Him to speak through His Word to their hearts. Now you are ready for the questions.
- ASK SOMEONE: So what happened when I threw that piece of paper at you guys?
- ASK SOMEONE: Why did you throw it back?
- ASK SOMEONE: Would you agree that it is pretty natural for people to want revenge?
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think people are so quick to desire revenge? (This question isn’t pointed at all. It’s only designed to make the students think deeply.)
- ASK A COUPLE: What do people normally believe revenge will accomplish?
- ASK A FEW: Has anyone done something to you that made you desire to have revenge? Tell us about it. Did you actually carry out revenge? If so, do you identify with Kim Bauer in not being as satisfied as you’d hoped you would?
ASK SOMEONE: What does Paul say in this passage about us taking revenge?
ASK SOMEONE: What does it mean when Paul says to “leave room for God’s wrath”?
ASK A FEW: Why do you suppose that God would rather take revenge than have us do it?
Read Romans 12:17-19
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
ASK A FEW: Does this Scripture surprise you about God’s attitude toward the wicked? Why or why not?
ASK A FEW: How is God’s attitude toward our enemies different than our attitude toward them?
If we don’t wish revenge on our enemies, then what should our response be when they offend us?
ASK SOMEONE: According to this passage in Ezekiel, if we were to try to be like Christ, what should we desire for our enemies?
“Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?’”
Let’s read the rest of the passage, and see how Paul suggests that we treat those who offend us.
ASK A FEW: Would you agree that it is more difficult to forgive our enemies than to take revenge?
ASK SOMEONE: Instead of taking revenge on our enemies, how does God’s Word say we should treat them?
“On the contrary:
‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Take a moment and think of someone who has offended you in some way lately. Think about the answers to these two questions, and don’t answer out loud. 1.) What have your thoughts been toward them? 2.) Does your attitude align to God’s attitude toward them?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: Now it’s time to share with the group. What are you going to do this week to have the right attitude toward your “enemy?” Are you going to forgive them? Pray for them? (This would be a great time for the leader to share about their own experience, and possibly about changes he/she needs to make.)
Kim Bauer learned a very important lesson about revenge: It’s simply not worth it. As long as we take revenge into our own hands, we will never be satisfied. Revenge fixes nothing. We need to understand that God Himself
does not want to have revenge on the wicked people. God wants to see the wicked repent and turn toward the Lord. He wants to forgive them and see them changed. For us to live a life of peace and for us to truly experience the peace of God in our lives, we must learn to forgive those who hurt us and to desire that God changes
them rather than punishes
them. In your discussion groups, pray for each other, that God can teach you a right attitude about your enemies. Revenge will never help anything. Remember God’s words in Ezekiel: “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.”
Pray that God can give you this same desire for those who offend you.
Written by Matt Furby