4. People Can Change
At its heart, Les Miserables is a war of worldviews between law and grace.
Javert represents the former, believing criminals can never change and the law always must be followed. His goal is to hunt and find such people. That includes Valjean, a prisoner he formerly guarded but doesn’t recognize. Valjean stole a coin from a child upon release and – technically – could be placed back in prison, despite the good he has done.
Valjean argues for grace, believing people can change. The bishop’s words impacted him. Valjean is living a new life.
Javert cannot comprehend an evil man changing his life for the better. He wonders: How is that possible?
Yet the grace displayed in PBS’ Les Miserables is the grace of Scripture. It’s the grace that Jesus gave to the woman caught in adultery, to the woman at the well, and to Apostle Paul. It’s also the grace extended to you and me. Without grace, there is no gospel. Without grace, there is no hope. Les Miserables isn’t a faith-based program, but its story of redemption can inspire all of us.
Content warnings: Crosswalk screened the first two episodes, which contained some violence, no nudity and only minor language. Due to adult themes, Les Miserables may not be appropriate for children.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: PBS