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Josh Gad and Luke Evans from Beauty and the Beast, photo courtesy Disney
Josh Gad and Luke Evans from Beauty and the Beast, photo courtesy Disney

3.  Gaston reminds us not to trust in our own morality

I’ll make one final note here, about Gaston—the movie’s main villain. If we’ve seen the original Disney film, we well know that Gaston (Luke Evans) is the real beast of the story. And yet in his own eyes, he’s practically perfect in every way. And he can’t understand why Belle isn’t just smitten with him. And when he realizes that Belle prefers Beast to him—well, he flies into a mob-leading rage.

It reminds me a little of the Gospels, where Jesus often seemed to prefer the company of lowly fishermen and tax collectors to Judea’s respectable society. He spoke to Samaritans, ate with sinners. He showered His love on people who were considered to be, at the time, little more than beasts. “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs,” Jesus tells one Canaanite woman. “Yes, Lord,” she answers. “Yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

Gaston feels, to me, a bit like the Pharisees in Jesus’ day—appalled at Jesus’ behavior, furious at Jesus’ condemnation of them and offended, perhaps, that He seemed to hold them in low regard while loving society’s outcasts so dearly.

And maybe it reminds me a bit of us today, too. Sometimes, I think, we Christians can be too eager to pick up a torch.

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