You remember this one, right? Charlie is a young boy, the only survivor of a terrible wreck. He grew up all alone and is very weird. Once on the Enterprise, he demonstrates bizarre powers and a tendency to inappropriately approach women.
The crew really just puts up with him until a mysterious alien race appears. The Thasians claim to have given Charlie his powers and regret doing so, as he is now quite human. Of course, Charlie prefers to stay among his own kind. But he’s just too powerful, so he’s dragged away screaming to live among the Thasians, and he “…can’t even touch them!!”
At the end he’s shown to be a stranger among humans and among Thasians. He has the desires and appearance of a human, but the powers of a Thasian. And he isn’t at home with either.
The power of a god. In the form of a man.
I see a great similarity to Jesus Christ here.
Obviously, Charlie is an ill-tempered, immature, reckless, and selfish god-in-a-man. And Christ is, well, perfect. I guess Charlie resembles the old pagan gods more than anything. He’s capricious. He pursues his own interests and passions. And he can’t be reasoned with. Maybe if the crew had offered obeisance and walked on eggshells, they could have lived somewhat comfortably with him as their own shipboard god.
Kirk corrects Charlie, “There’s no right way to hit a woman,” after he slapped Yeoman Rand’s behind. Charlie is truly a boy in a man’s body, as Kirk suggests. But he’s also got the power of a god. The body of a man with the mind of a pubescent boy and the ability of a god.
Comparing Charlie with Christ might seem pointless at best, and sacrilegious at worst. But what it does for is remind me of the importance of Christ’s sinless life. With a figure like Charlie, who shares quite a bit with the gods of Ancient Rome that Christianity had to contend with, we see how obvious it would be to misuse power. Jesus was a teenager once (at least by number). And we know he wasn’t slapping girls’ butts or mocking his elders as Charlie did with Spock. Yet it would have been easy to do whatever he wanted.
“He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.” 1 Peter 2:22
And looking at what a boy like Charlie did with his abilities, and then looking back at Jesus, I probably won’t take the sinless life of Christ for granted again anytime soon.