The Young Messiah (2016) Movie Review

The Young Messiah is a 2016 movie ​directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh and  based on Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt by Anne Rice. 

The movie tries to imagine several events in the seventh year of Jesus. It begins with an episode where Jesus raises a young Jewish boy from the dead after a religious crowd surrounds His house accusing Jesus of witchcraft. The family is forced to leave Egypt, and Joseph is willing to leave because he knows through a dream that Herod is dead. Meanwhile, the new Herod comes to know of this miracle in Egypt and commissions a centurion to find and kill the seven year old Young Messiah. The devil is shown throughout the movie trying to incite people against Jesus.

The movie aims to show the development of the Messianic consciousness in Jesus at this age. Perhaps, age 7 is chosen with some symbolic significance, bearing on the theology of numbers. James, Jesus's cousin, begins to break the untold tales of the Magi and events surrounding the birth of Jesus. Jesus is shown as heading towards the temple in search for answers regarding who He was and why He had such power to heal and raise the dead.

The storyline raises several questions. Of course, the plot attempts to cram in a lot of theological supposition and historical data into a one year span. And, the storyline betrays a lot of apocryphal influence. The objective seems to grant a glimpse into speculations about the early silent years of the Christ.

Interestingly, the storyline depicts a Roman centurion as subservient to Herod who commissions him to finish the job assigned to him by his father, Herod the great, of slaying Jesus. The movie suggests that Roman centurions worked for Herod.

With regard to the divine consciousness of Jesus as the Incarnate Son of God, the movie suggests that He grew in His awareness of His Person and Mission. While this is an interesting interpretation that emphasizes the human side of the Messiah in His incarnation, there is no canonical or Biblical evidence to support the idea that Christ worked miracles without being aware of His Messianic identity and Mission.