I already wrote about why Genos (from One Punch Man) is totally adorable…but he’s more than that.
He’s given me a mental image of what a true Christ-follower should be. Here’s why I want to be a Christian the way Genos is a “Saitaman.”
ALERT: Spoilers for One Punch Man Season 1
ONE “Sign” Makes Genos a “True Believer”
Genos and Saitama meet under rather unusual circumstances. Genos is in a heated battle with Mosquito-Girl, when Saitama makes an un-stately entrance and saves his bacon…with one slap.
And from that moment – from the moment Saitama splatters the bad gal over the landscape with a single hit – Genos is sold.
Taken. A “true believer.” Totally devoted and completely determined.
One single display of Saitama’s prowess is enough to convince Genos that whoever this weirdo is, whatever he is, this is the teacher he needs.
And Saitama isn’t even God!
I’m reminded of an incident in Mark 5, where a man is so full of demons that they call themselves “Legion.” Well, Jesus deals with them with about as much effort as Saitama giving Mosquito-Girl the “bad girl” smack…and the freed man begs to go with him.
Jesus tells him “no,” and orders him to spread the word to his friends and family.
The rescued man…wait for it…ACTUALLY OBEYS.
All he saw was one amazing act. And since he was possessed by demons in the middle of it, one could argue about how much of the performance he actually witnessed.
But that was enough. He was sold…taken…blown away…totally devoted.
Devoted enough to obey.
I can also think of a more uncomfortable parallel.
It’s when the disciples are crossing the lake with Jesus, and a terrible storm blows up. They freak out until Jesus wakes up and tells the elements to shush…whereupon they really freak out.
And Jesus says:
“Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:40 ESV)
Still? You still have no faith?
After all the disciples had seen – the blind receive sight, the deaf hear, the lame walk, the demons banished – they still don’t see…they still don’t trust.
And that hits pretty close to home.
He Knows Saitama Is On a Different Level
Genos says so in so many words after he and Saitama have a training bout.
Genos can obliterate cliffs and skyscrapers with his firepower.
Saitama pulls his punch…and the air-blast flattens a section of coastal cliff.
Genos knows he will never reach Saitama’s level…ever. But he’s okay with that, and still wants to be around him.
How easily we forget this about God!
Even in the church, we can sometimes act like God is just a “big guy.” Sure, He’s the biggest grown-up in a room of little kids…but deep down, He’s just stronger than we are –
Nope! His defining feature is His very nature is fundamentally different from us. We are created — He is un-created. We exist in time — He invented time. We are spirit tied to matter — He is spirit…but in the person of Jesus He “put on” matter to better interact with us.
Gah! God is just so amazing! And so different from me – thank goodness. But don’t take my word for it…passages like Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 1, and Revelation 1 & 4-5 will give a good picture of how “different” He really is!
Genos Enters Saitama’s Life and Won’t Leave
Saitama is kind of put off by this, to be honest. He finds Genos’ stalking to be a little creepy.
But Genos’ perseverance is inspiring. He’s so determined to get the strength Saitama has that he humbles himself, puts himself under Saitama’s authority, and throws himself into studying Saitama.
He won’t let anything or anyone get in the way of him getting closer to Saitama…which sounds kinda creepy when you say it like that, but think of it in the context of Phil. 3:12-14.
God calls us to perseverance, too.
Great chunks of the New Testament are spent telling Christians, “Be strong! Stand firm! Keep at it!”
It’s hard. There are many enemies. In fact, we carry our own enemy around with us – called the Old Man.
But Jesus is worth it! Run to win the prize. Don’t settle for a participation trophy…throw yourself into God’s hands 100%, do what He asked you to do, and focus on drinking up more of Him.
With God, the prize is way, way better than superhuman strength. It’s eternal life!
Genos Hangs on His Master’s Every Word
Genos spends his free time writing down what Saitama has taught him and sketching out his master’s “training regime.” (He also washes the dishes and cleans the bathroom and stuff like that. Matt. 20:26, eh?)
No matter what Saitama says – even if he’s just making it up on the fly – Genos hangs on his every word and trusts him implicitly.
Now compare that to how we treat God!
I’m reminded of Paul of Tarsus, whose personal correspondence with his protégé Timothy is included in Scripture…because he just couldn’t keep himself from bursting out in these theological ecstasies.
And because all of his life, his work, and everything he wanted to say to his dear friend was wrapped up in their “mutual Friend” and Master – Jesus Christ the Promised Servant-King.
*resolves to read Bible more*
Do you still have no faith?
How many times has God come through for me? How many prayers has He answered?
Remember the broken washing machines He’s paid for…the friends He has protected…the hate and fear He has removed from my heart.
How many times must He hold my hand while I walk past the lions before I will remember He will never leave me? That He is stronger than my enemies?
When will I get to the place where He says it – and that is enough for me? Where I treat His word like gravity…unassailable, inevitable, steadfast, self-evident?
Genos Wants His Master “Built Up”—Not Himself
The public doesn’t really understand or appreciate Saitama (sound familiar?). But while the Hero Association and the public have promoted Genos and praised him and assigned him a place of standing, that’s never important to Genos.
Not as important as building up his master.
Heh – when Saitama gets hate-mail, Genos goes full-on “I will find whoever did this” mode!
But it’s not just that he wants to defend his master’s name…he actually likes to see Saitama succeed.
When Genos is defeated by the giant meteor – and by the monster the Deep Sea King – then Saitama shows up. And even though Genos is lying in a pool of his own melted parts, missing his arms (it’s okay – he’s a cyborg), Genos gets this tiny little smile.
As though to say:
Wait ’til you see this…that’s my master!
Yes! I never get tired of seeing him at work!
It’s all going to be okay now…that’s the boss-man!
And Saitama isn’t even God!
Do I go out of my way to defend my Master’s honor? True, He doesn’t need my help, and He told me to “speak the truth with all gentleness” – but do I bother to worry about it?
When I meet someone who doesn’t know Him…or when my washing machine breaks…or when I find something in myself that shouldn’t be there…I should say:
Yes! Now I get to watch Master at work.
All right, Master. Make me Your tool and do Your work!
Breathe. Master is here. I wonder what amazing thing He’s going to make out of this?
And I should definitely remember Mark 8:33 – don’t correct the Master (unless you want to get called “Satan”).
He Wants To Be Like His Master
In the beginning, Genos follows Saitama around because he’s strong, and Genos wants to be strong, too.
(Maybe like a new Christian who’s just here because Hell sounded really bad.)
But the more he hangs out with Saitama, the more determined he is to be like him. Even when he realizes he will never reach Saitama’s level, he sticks around. He wants to be near Saitama’s awesome-ness.
And when Saitama demonstrates his heroism – helping out just because people need help – Genos recognizes that this self-sacrificial quality is something he wants to cultivate in himself, as well.
I want to be like Jesus!
I know I will never be all-knowing, un-created, and eternal like my Sensei…but He told be to “be perfect,” like He is perfect (Matt. 5:48), and so I embrace the working of His Holy Spirit that makes me more like Him!
He is patient, and kind, and forgiving, and merciful, and just, and wise, and self-sacrificial, and humble, and generous, and –
And I want to be all those things, too. (See Luke 6:39-40)
BECAUSE JESUS IS SO AWESOME I JUST WANT SOME OF HIS AWESOME ON ME.
From Now On, I Want To Be a Genos-Christian
I hope that, now you know what it means, you want to be one, too!
Genos is not perfect – and Saitama is not God – but I’m grateful to have one more illustration to refer back to.
Maybe it seems like a child’s drawing, but it reminds me who I want to be when I grow up.
“Imitate me as I imitate Christ.”
She currently lives somewhere in the American Midwest with her family – including the brother people mistake for her boyfriend…bracing for the collapse of society by baking, knitting, writing, hobby-farming, and reading as much Twitter as possible before the web goes dark.