Tonight was the last night of my Old Testament Prophetic Literature class. For an hour and a half of it we watched the movie Jeremiah, which covered his life. Clearly there had been some speculative licenses taken for the purposes of film making, but in general, it was pretty good. It followed the Biblical account pretty well and of the films we’ve seen in these classes, I’d say this one was the best. Patrick Dempsey played the role of Jeremiah, and he was great – the only problem I had was that I kept thinking of him from his other role in the movie “Can’t Buy me Love.” He plays the part of a teen boy who would do anything to serve his own desires for popularity. In Jeremiah, his role is completely the opposite – he would still do anything, but this time it’s not for his desires, but for God’s. Anyway, in spite of my own problems with seeing him as the teen movie star, I’d say his performance made the whole movie work.
I especially liked the scene from Jeremiah 27, where he breaks in wearing a yoke around his neck, declaring that the yoke of slavery was coming to them as they would serve Babylon.
In the film, it becomes clear how difficult the life of a prophet really was. God had even told him that the people would attack him (1:19), and yet he still spoke as God had commanded him. No matter what they did to him, he still continued the speak what God told him to. I must admit that my own weaknesses would have probably caused me to quit pretty early on in the process.
In Jeremiah 38, he is thrown into a cistern. He has already been hit, knocked to the ground, held in a cage, and repeatedly mocked. How much should a man of God suffer? How often does the Word of God bring suffering? It’s also interesting that he suffers for the message that God gives him even though sometimes the message is one of restoration and peace for the people. (Jer 31:31)
Another powerful scene occurs at the very end when Jeremiah looks on the ruins of the temple and declares that it will one day be rebuilt again.