READ: JUDGES 13:2-5, 16:26-30; LUKE 1:26-33; PHILIPPIANS 2:5-11
The story of Samson’s life is really fascinating, and it contains many parallels to the story of Jesus’s life. Let’s take a closer look.
In Judges 13, we see God visiting Manoah’s wife through His angel to proclaim to her that she would have a child! The angel also told her what her child’s purpose would be. In this way, Samson’s birth was similar to that of Jesus; before His birth the angel Gabriel visited Mary to tell her she would have a child, and he told her what the child’s purpose would be. Manoah’s wife was barren, and Mary was a virgin, so the conception of both these babies was miraculous. Samson grew and was blessed by the Lord (Judges 13:24), similar to how Jesus grew in the Lord’s favor (Luke 2:52). Both Samson and Jesus were sent to deliver Israel from their enemy; Samson, through his sacrificial death, delivered Israel from the Philistines, and Jesus came to deliver Israel and the whole world from sin and death, also through sacrificing His own life.
However, unlike Jesus, Samson allowed himself to be overshadowed by the power he thought he had, and that made him crumble. He gave in to temptation and misused the strength the Lord gave him. He also mistreated women, and all of this led to his downfall, when he died with his enemies. Jesus was also tempted by the devil, but He resisted every temptation (Luke 4:1-13). Instead of grasping at power, Jesus laid down His life. But when He died, He defeated death and resurrected back to life.
Humans—even strong, talented humans—will fail us. We’ve all been broken by sin, and we all give in to temptation. But Jesus is worthy of our trust. Fully God and fully human, He is the One who has the power to save us from our own brokenness, and His love for us will never fail. Instead of relying on faulty human strength, we can rest in Him. • Shadrach Goni
• When we are tempted to put our trust in powerful humans or in our own strength, how can remembering Jesus’s love for us help us turn back to Him?
Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. Psalm 146:3-5 (NIV)