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Finding similarities between Biblical figures and characters in our favorite stories can help us grow in our understanding of Scripture and ourselves.
I’m pleased to be able to introduce you to a friend of mine, Lacey Rene. Lacey is a pastor’s wife and serves at a summer youth camp that we also attend. She taught a class a few years ago on this topic, and it was a big hit. Welcome, Lacey!
My family loves Disney! Honestly a day doesn’t go by without a Disney song being sung or a Disney movie quote being shouted in unison. But our first and true love is God. My family loves serving God and we take joy in daily studying His word.
These two loves inspired me to see if there were any similarities between my favorite Bible characters and my favorite Disney characters. I was blown away with just how many similarities I found!
To some the Bible may seem dry and outdated but I assure you it is not. It is completely relevant to our modern lives and it will change your life if you let it.
Join me as we dive into a comparison of Peter and Merida.
My hope is that as we compare Merida and Peter that you would see not only their successes and failures but that you would also see a little bit of yourself in them.
How can you make changes to succeed where they didn’t or to grow as they did?
How can you find restoration and hope and as you continue on this journey called life?
Peter and Merida Were Courageous
To get us started, I recommend you read Matthew 14:22-31. Especially check out what verses 28 -29 say,
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. (Matthew 14: 28-29)
If you have read the full story you know that Peter almost drowned because he lost his focus on Christ but let’s stop and consider something. Peter was brave enough to get out of the boat! Did you read that? Peter got out of the boat!
Peter gets a ton of flack for not having faith but did you read about any of the other disciples offering to get out of the boat? I certainly didn’t.
Peter had new buds of faith growing in his heart which gave him the courage to step out of the boat and onto a stormy sea.
We can see a similar instance of Merida having courage when she steps up to fight Mor’du in one of the last scenes of the movie. Merida steps up to fight the beast even when others had run away in fear.
How often do we courageously step up in the face of adversity? Would our lives change if we chose to be brave?
Merida and Peter Were Rash in Their Actions
It’s not hard to find instances of Merida being rash but let’s focus on when she decided to shoot in the archery tournament.
As you may remember, Merida was the eldest child of King Fergus.
To keep peace with the clans, Merida was expected to follow tradition and marry one of the sons of the other three clans. None of these choices were appealing to her and she had no desire to marry. This inspired her to take matters into her own hands.
She donned a cape and out-shot all three of the perspective suitors all while being scolded by her mother, Elenor. Merida’s actions caused uneasiness between the clans bringing them to the brink of war.
Although Merida showed intelligence in finding what seemed like a way out of her betrothal, her rash actions almost caused the ruin or her family and her people.
Peter also has a laundry list of rash behavior but let’s look at John 18:3-11. Here we read about Peter known as, “Simon Peter” pulling out his sword to cut off the priest’s servant’s right ear.
Peter’s thoughts were noble in that he wanted to protect his Savior but he didn’t understand what was at stake. Had Christ not been a willing sacrifice we would not have salvation or the hope of God’s Kingdom.
Both Peter and Merida had good intentions but their actions could have caused disaster if left unchecked.
What words have you rashly spoken that either could have or did result in disaster? Did you have someone who loved you come along side you to help you see a better solution?
Peter and Merida Were in Denial
I have no doubt that Peter truly believed that he would stick with Jesus until the bitter end. In Matthew 26:31-35, Peter promises Jesus that…
“Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
“Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” (Matthew 26:33&35a)
In between these two passionate statements, Jesus tells Peter that he will deny Him but Peter doesn’t listen. Later in Matthew 26 Peter denies Jesus not only once, but three times in verses 69-75 fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy.
Peter overestimated His faith and courage. He was a zealous follower of Christ and one of Jesus’ closest companions yet, when the time came to stand up for his friend and Savior, Peter failed.
Like Peter, we as Christians may find it easy to verbally commit to following Jesus but when tragedy strikes, are we still committed? Do we still stand up and claim that Jesus is our Savior?
Let’s now turn our attention to Merida
Because her archery ploy wasn’t well received, Merida decided to force her mom to comply with her wishes by serving her a magical cake conjured up by a witch. Raise your hand if you think this was a great idea… …. ….
After serving her mom the cake her mom turns into a huge bear. When Elenor, gives her quizzical look, Merida’s first response it to say, “It’s not my fault” and she continues to profess innocence throughout most of the story.
It’s easy for us to see that Merida was at fault but, how often do we do this in our own lives?
How often do we make a mistake but refuse to take ownership of it? Just like in Merida’s case, with time the problem will only grows until we own up to our mistake.
Merida and Peter Were Devoted & Restored
In Brave, after the final battle with Mor’du the sun began to ominously rise. Merida knew that she only had until sunrise to, “Mend the bond.”
She soon realized that mending the tapestry wasn’t the answer to her problems.
When all hope seemed lost she finally admitted that it was all her fault and told her mother that she loved her. By admitting her wrongdoing and showing her mother love, Merida was able to mend the broken relationship with her mom which in turn, made her human again.
Peter also had a bond to mend.
After hearing of Christ’s resurrection, Peter was one of the disciples who ran to the empty tomb to see it for himself in John 20:4. Later, when Jesus comes to the sea where Peter is fishing he jumps out of the boat and swims like a mad-man to be with Jesus in John 21:4-7. The rest of chapter 21 details how Peter’s relationship with Jesus was restored.
After everything that both Peter and Merida had done, they remained devoted to those they loved. Because of this love and devotion, both of them were able to mend and restore their relationships.
Life is far too short to give up on a broken relationship when you have the power to help heal it. Not every bond can be mended but take inspiration from Peter and Merida and try to find restoration.
Are you like Peter and Merida?
Peter and Merida were hot-headed, rebellious, stubborn and impetuous.
Yet, they were also bold, courageous, devoted, loving and humble.
I freely admit that I share many of Peter and Merida’s qualities, both good and not so good.
God did not create us with the expectation that we would be perfect in every way. He created us knowing that we would fall on our faces and mess up time and again. Yet, He does expect us to learn from our mistakes and grow.
My hope is that you grow like Peter and Merida did. Be courageous, learn from your mistakes, and find restoration. Who knows how much your life and the lives of others could change if you were brave enough to change your fate.
Want more Disney?
Lacey Rene is a wife, mom, and homeschooler who blogs at Uplifted Simplicity. Living simply instead of stressed is her goal and she’s all about helping you keep things simple in your heart, home and travels.