Twins is a wonderful little PG-13 comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito. In the movie, they are twin brothers. That’s right. Twins. Tall, muscular Julius Benedict (played by Arnold) and short, stocky Vincent Benedict (played by Danny). They are actually products of a genetic experiment. The purpose of the experiment was to create a super-human. Scientists isolated the best traits out of six gifted men and a mother was chosen whose name was Mary. So Julius and Vincent have seven parents in total. However, while only one baby was expected, two were born. The one deemed the fittest (Julius) was sent with one of the scientists to a beautiful island paradise. The other one (Vincent), deemed unfit, was sent to an orphanage in Los Angeles. When Julius is 35, he is told about his brother. Sensing his brother is in trouble, he goes to Los Angeles to find him. Fun ensues.
So I was two years old when this movie came out. However, I do remember watching this movie as a kid. A couple months ago, it was on Netflix so I decided to relive some old times and watch it. Mostly, I wanted to see if it was funny to adult me as well as toddler me. However, this movie turned out to be far more profound than I ever imagined. You see, God is rather impolite and likes to talk during movies. As he was talking to me, I began to see a wonderful spiritual allegory taking place.
The first thing that stood out to me was the mother. The mother’s name is Mary Ann Benedict. Benedict means “blessed”. So, at the start, you have a girl named “blessed” Mary who is impregnated, not through sexual intercourse, but by in vitro fertilization. A virgin birth, if you will. As such, she gives birth to Julius Benedict who is strong physically, mentally, and spiritually. She is promptly told that her baby died. She is not even told about Vincent.
A little farther along in the movie, Julius is told about his brother and immediately runs off to see if he is alright. So Julius gives up his island paradise to go find his brother out in the real world. Consider the passage in Philippians 2:6-7 which says, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” So just like Julius leaves his paradise to go find his brother, Christ left his paradise to come find us. Julius, upon entering the US, immediately goes to the orphanage to find out what happened to his brother. He is told by the nuns that he is better off without his brother. How like the religious system to reject those who aren’t already perfect. Julius is told to look for his brother in jail so that’s his next step.
It just so happens that Vincent was picked up the night before for unpaid parking tickets. So the first time Julius and Vincent meet is at the jail house. How awesome! Why? How does Jesus find us? He finds us when we are in bondage to our sinful nature. What does Julius do? He pays Vincent fines so he can be released and asks for nothing in return. So it is with Jesus. He paid our price so we can live free and asks for nothing in return. Moving on… While Vincent is thankful to be released, he does not believe that he and Julius are related so he ditches Julius at the impound lot. It is only when Julius saves him from the loan sharks that Vincent keeps him around. It is like our own spiritual journey. At first, we are only interested in what Jesus can do for us. Does Jesus care? NO! He loves to show us what he can do! Ultimately, he is interested in a relationship with us and he loves to get our attention.
Julius convinces Vincent to search for their biological parents while Vincent has a secret plan of dropping off some stolen merchandise. Their first stop is at a geneticist’s lab who was involved with the experiment. At first, the scientist denies any involvement but after some prodding comes clean. He calls Vincent by name and asks if he escaped from prison. He later explains that the experiment was a success but there was a byproduct. Vincent was “the crap left over”. It is one of the most heartbreaking moments of the film. Because, throughout the movie, it is shown that Julius and Vincent are quite alike. They have the same mannerisms, preferences, etc. They even something of a psychic link. They really are twins. So it is with our relationship to Jesus Christ. Being born again, we share the same DNA as Jesus Christ. We are twins. But, we aren’t “the junk left over”. The “church” will try to tell you that you’re missing something. You need to strive to be like God. We need to climb that ladder. We need to clean ourselves up. In reality, we aren’t missing anything. We have the DNA of the creator in our blood. We are just as strong and smart and beautiful as He is. Jesus gave us his entire self. We have his entire Holy Spirit within us. We don’t just have what was left over, we have it all.
Throughout the rest of the movie, Julius proves to be a good example to Vincent and their relationship develops. After collecting the fee for dropping off the stolen merchandise, Julius convinces Vincent to turn himself in. They end up getting a healthy reward and starting their own legitimate business. They both get married and have twins of their own.
Like any analogy, you can’t think about it too hard or it falls apart. For example, the scientists are like God but God would never lie to us or separate us from Jesus. Also, I don’t see Jesus engaging in pre-marital sex. So you got to be careful how far you take this analogy. However, it is useful in some ways. I think it would be a good conversation starter with the men in your life. Men can have a hard time relating to bride-of-Christ allegories or even father/son allegories. However, Jesus as a twin brother should be easy enough to relate to.