I hope you were able to watch the movie version of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader over the Christmas holidays. Among the many adventures of the Dawn Treader, there is one that powerfully sums up C.S. Lewis’ understanding of how one becomes a follower of Jesus and how the gospel transforms us.
While on a deserted island, Eustace, whose modern, scientific education has left him spiritually crippled, sees a dying dragon. He enters the dragon’s cave and sleeps on top of his hidden treasure.
He wakes up the next morning to discover he has been transformed into a dragon. This turns out to serve as a horrible but healing experience that convinces the selfish Eustace of his egocentric behavior and impels him to use his new dragon powers to help the crew.
After many weeks as a dragon, Eustace is visited by Aslan. Aslan tells him to undress. More obedient now, Eustace pulls off his scaly exterior like a snake slugging off its skin. However, he only finds a second, deeper layer of scales. He is powerless to undragon himself. All of us can testify to how impossible it is to undragon ourselves.
After several unsuccessful attempts to “undragon” himself, Aslan tells Eustace that he must let him rip off the dragon skin; Eustace humbly agrees. The process is painful, because Aslan’s claws pierce deep, but when it is over, Eustace feels clean and refreshed; his physical and spiritual rebirth (John 3:3) is followed by a literal baptism in a river and a redressing by Aslan himself.
Here is another interesting observation that should challenge all of us who profess loyalty to Jesus. Who is there to welcome the undragoned Eustace back into the community of the redeemed? Edmund, the former traitor, turned King! Again, Jesus’ word rings true: He who has been forgiven much loves much (Luke 7:47).
We serve and worship a Savior who transforms dragons into saints. He did it for me. He can do it for you. He can also do it for those that may be fraying your nerves and wearing your patience thin with their dragon-like behavior. May the King come among your family, your friends, and your work associate and do his undragoning work!