I just figured that I would post my exegesis of Corinthians 13, it is also a interpretation of the movie the mission. Looking at both main characters in the light of the love taught in Corinthians 13, and whether or not they faced their issues with the the lesson taught in Corinthians 13.
1 Corinthians, 13 The Way of Love
Paul saw a problem with how the people of Corinth lived their lives as Christians. Paul thought they practiced Christianity in an uncharacteristic manner. Paul wanted the people of Corinth to understand what Christianity were, and how a Christian should life his life. Paul thought that the leaders in the Christian churches of Corinth were teaching their followers certain aspects of Christianity that were different from that original teaching. The problem Paul saw was based around the city having different sections of Christianity. Instead of following Christ’s teachings, they followed the teachings of their church leaders. Different church leaders taught different aspects of Christianity and therefore the people of Corinth became divided into different segments of Christianity. Paul wrote his letters to Corinthians in order to end this segregation and unite them all under one teaching of Christianity.
In the lines 13:1-13:4, Paul creates an argument for how important love is by mentioning characteristics that the people of Corinth live by. Paul ends this paragraph by saying these characteristics mean nothing without love. Paul mentions faith that is strong enough to move mountains, knowledge above all, and speaking multiple languages, are all aspects of the people of Corinth. However, Paul argues that without love, these characteristics count for nothing.
Paul goes on in 13:4-13:11 and explains exactly what love is. Gathered from the situation between the different religious leaders in Corinth, and Paul himself, there were certain aspects between them all that came in the way of their common love for God and what they actually taught. Paul writes that love is not jealous, rude or inflated. He does so in order to show them what aspects of their behavior will make them lose love. If we continue to live and have our life influenced by those feelings, we will not have love, and without love our other characteristics count for nothing. Paul continues to bring forward aspects of the Corinthians’ behavior that are wrong. In 13:11-13:13, Paul does so by calling them all childish, and explaining their behavior as something he himself has grown apart from: “when I became a man, I put aside childish things.” However, Paul ends by celebrating the people of Corinth. Paul celebrates their hope and faith, but he also says that without love to tie them together, they count for nothing.
This letter was written to the church of God in Corinth, but also for the people of Corinth. Corinth is a city filled with mostly Gentiles but also Jews. They were wealthy people. The city of Corinth’s location was advantageous for port trade as well as trade by land. However, the Christians in the city were not popular, and at that time all Christians were seen as strange. The Christians of Corinth were divided and following different church leaders; therefore, portraying Christianity in different ways.
Paul is the author of this passage and the whole two letters to Corinthians. The whole first letter shifts in tone, but the 13th passage, “the way of love”, is filled with a tone of certainty. This certainty that also involves an attitude of flaws in Paul’s own behavior, but even more in the behavior of the church and people of Corinth. However, the main point is a declaration of what love is, and what love is not. Paul writes a harsh but honest description of what love is meant to be.
Word repetition and meaning:
The word that is used most often in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians passage 13 is love; Paul uses that word so often because this passage is solely about the importance of love. Paul describes love for all that it is, and he also describes all other aspects of belief and how they are meaningless without love.
The second most used word is nothing. It is used often because after every aspect Paul brings up about being a Christian, he ends it with saying without love you are or will have nothing. Due to the extensive use of those two words the meaning behind this passage focuses on the importance of love. Love is so important that without it no amount of faith, knowledge or hope we have in our belief will matter.
This passage is simply about love and without it we are nothing. Without love we cannot elevate as humans, not even if our faith and hope is the greatest in the world. Love is the key within Christian belief and faith, and Paul provides an explanation of what love is.
Gabriel shows throughout the movie that he is a man that strongly believes the only way to reach God’s kingdom of heaven is through love. That is love for thy neighbor, love for thy enemies and love for all who walks this earth. Gabriel does not fight evil with any material weapons, and he does not fight injustice with manipulation. Gabriel fights all who are wrong with love and forgiveness, and he believes that any mistake or fault that someone has committed can be cured with love. What Gabriel does could be defended from a Christian stand point by the commandment that we shall love our neighbor, as well as we shall not murder. In order to stand up to those who engage in violence, as well as those who only care for their own power and might, there is a strong possibility violence would be needed to stop it. Gabriel chooses to die a righteous man, instead of disbanding his beliefs and fighting back. Gabriel took the path of love to try and convince the violence makers to stop. However, that failed, resulting in Gabriel’s death.
Mendoza is a complex personality. In the beginning he is a man that rents himself out as a mercenary and he is capturing natives and selling them as slaves. He is in love with a girl but unfortunately that girl chooses his brother over him. Anger blinds Mendoza, and his love for the girl turns into quick-tempered anger. This emotion makes Mendoza kill his own brother, and he is left with nothing except an empty hole in his chest. Mendoza discovered true love in the village up in the jungle. He realized that what he had felt before was not real love, it was what he thought was love. Now he has found true love in all its senses and because of this, he knows that his feelings echo true love. Therefore he is not fighting the people who want to hurt the village because of quick temper, or by pursuing his own war glory. The objective of this fight is for Mendoza to stand up for those/what he loves; Mendoza is not doing this out of anger; he is fighting out of love. When the wolf comes, the shepherd has to fight the wolf.
I do not believe that either man is executing the love that is taught in Corinthians 13 in a perfect manner, I believe they are both living out those lessons of love equally. However, they are completely different people and due to that, the actions they take to live out love varies. Gabriel is a man that is fascinated by music; therefore he believes music is a way of showing the love that is taught in Corinthians 13. Gabriel believes that he can stop any wrong doers with his music, just as he did in the beginning of the movie when he first met the natives. Mendoza on the other hand, is not a man of music; he is a man with a history of violence. Mendoza is skilled with weapons, and therefore he chooses this route to try and protect his loved ones. They both strive to protect their loved ones, but they choose to do so with tools that they are familiar with. I am more familiar with weapons and fighting, and therefore I would have chosen to fight with weapons instead of fighting with music.