Christian Themes In The Giver | Finding Christ In Cinema

In the 2014 film adaptation of THE GIVER, we find that Gabriel will be given a heart to love God and that Jonas can “see beyond” by living by faith.

This image shows the official text logo for the 2014 film, The Giver featuring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep

A Heart To Love God

Baby Gabriel faces being released into Elsewhere alongside other newborn who haven’t met certain standards for living and growing up in the Community. We as the audience didn’t know Elsewhere was a bad thing until it’s revealed through Jonas’s training as the Receiver of Memory that “Elsewhere” actually means death. In other words, Baby Gabriel has been exiled to death, and if it weren’t for Jonas efforts to save him, that fate would have befallen him.

In Jeremiah 24, the titular prophet receives a vision of a basket of good figs and a basket of bad figs. When asked what this vision means, God explains that the basket of good figs represents those recently exiled from Babylon. In God’s eyes, it is good that these figs were exiled because it is in their exile that God will take care of them, provide for them, and protect them. Here’s the key text in verse 7: “I will give them hearts that recognize me as the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.” This is the hope that Gabriel has now, and it is like the hope we can have once we’ve left our sinful lives.

Parable Of The Lamp

Jonas’s capacity for love, of course, is strengthened by his faith – something the Elders call “the ability to see beyond.” No one else in the Community has this ability except for the only other Receiver of Memory, who now goes by the Giver. Jonas was born with this capacity and has struggled with it his whole life until his meetings with the Giver, who has indeed given him more of this ability. Once Jonas has fully actualized his faith this way, he is able to start saving other people around him from the lies of the Elders. With this in mind, we can read Mark 4:25 in a new way: “Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”

Finding Christian Themes In The Giver

In Finding Christ In Cinema we dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. We take a closer look at the stories they tell and see if we find the face of Jesus looking back. Together we explore the deeper meanings of these films; their plots and their twists; the characters and their choices; and see how we can relate them to the gospel of salvation and ultimately our Christian walk.

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QUESTION: What Christian themes did you find in THE GIVER? Let us know below.


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