Why We Love Jack Bauer

I’ve never missed an episode of “24.”

From the very first season, I’ve been a fan of Jack Bauer.

After the gut-wrenching four hour premiere earlier this week I’ve been meditating on exactly what it is that makes Jack Bauer so compelling to me and to so many of my friends. Especially surprising to me is how many pastors and paid minister-types are Jackaholics. What’s the attraction? Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

1. Jack Bauer is always on mission. He has a purpose. He knows what it is and he let’s NOTHING get in his way.

2. Every minute of Jack’s life matters. Everything he does connects to a larger story. Jack can’t afford to waste even a minute of his day. His time is too important.

3. Jack is willing to make and has repeatedly made sacrifices for the mission. Jack’s therapist should be a millionaire by now after having helped him work through what can only be described as PTSD on steroids. Such is the cost of saving the world.

4. Jack gets to say and do things that in the deepest part of hearts we wish we could say and do. Jack’s best line from the premiere: The only reason you’re still conscious is because I don’t want to carry you. What preacher/pastor hasn’t wanted to say that at an elders/board meeting at one time or another?

Jack Bauer, 24


  1. good stuff. We all want to save the world.

  2. Nailed it! Please, please write something called “The Gospel ASccording to Jack Bauer.”

  3. I’m just a girl, but he is my hero too! I get tired thinking about having a 24 hour day like that….. but man it must be great to be able to get so much done without always following the rules…

  4. I am a Jack fan too, but I can’t help but wonder, at times like these, why I like a guy who tortures prisoners to justify “saving the world”. Makes me slightly uncomfortable.

    That being said, I haven’t (and won’t) miss an episode either.


  5. Who’s Jack Bauer? Is he the Ford Expedition trim level guy?

    Seriously, I wish I’d gotten in at the beginning. I don’t have time to get the dvd’s and catch up, so I’m kind of jealous, it seems that to everyone, this is the show I SHOULD have Tivo’d.

  6. Who cares if he tortures people to save the world. He saves the world, far more important than platitudes I think.

    On another note… I’ve never seen 24. But the attraction sounds like something out of John Eldridge’s book “Wild at Heart.” It would go something like this, “every man desires an adventure. So most men turn to vicariously living theirs out through fictional characters portrayed in a TV show.” Whatever, I plan on renting the DVDs this summer and watching it from start to finish. What can I say, I love vicarious living!

  7. I read an interesting review of this season’s premiere (which I haven’t seen) that said the show is great, but made the point that JB is almost totally void of personality, that he’s simply a greater-good-at-any-cost automaton, and that any color or personality must be supplied by the supporting cast. The show throws in periodic reminders of his humanity, but he is essentially robot-like. He is not really so much of an eratic loose cannon as he is someone who consistently refuses to play by society’s or the government’s rules that impede his mission. His superiors should really be able to predict his behavior much better than they do, but they can’t because they have no ability to think outside the restrictions their organization puts on them.

    I think deep down many ministers and Christians in general feel boxed in by unneccesary, even unspoken, rules and regulations of our particular organization (the church). Most of us would secretly love to shed those expectations and time-consuming destractions and recklessly pursue something bigger. But we can’t because our organizations would kick us to the curb, so we follow JB instead.

    Long Live Jack Bauer!

  8. Great! Thanks for the “24” comments. I’ll start my sermon with “the following takes place . . .” if you will!

  9. Eddie Shoebang says:

    Hey man. Nice to see I’m not the only crazy one out there who loves 24. I have a blog as well where I comment on the episodes of the show, kind of in the vein of Television without pity. Anyway, here it is. Check it out if you have the time.


  10. Unlike you I miss every episode on purpose then watch them in about three nights when they come out on DVD. I hate commmercials. Even though it is said that because people watch movies at home and tv shows at home on DVD that we are in the process of damaging our economy.

  11. I don’t watch network TV (except news and a few sports), so I don’t know Jack.

    Is this really a show that’s deeper than “say, that blowed up real good”? Because that’s what the promos look like.

    I’m willing to be persuaded that network TV entertainment is worthy of being reconsidered. I just have so little free time.

  12. I also noted that if you date Jack Bauer you have as much chance as Little Joe’s fiance to make it without getting in danger.

  13. 24 rules!!!

  14. Sam Middlebrook says:

    Seriously… You’ve done “Gospel According to George Codstanza” (or something like that) – I’m anxious to buy and hear the teaching series on Jack Bauer. I think there’s a lot “trampling out the vineyards where the grapes of wrath are stored” lessons to be learned.


  15. Lucas said: “Who cares if he tortures people to save the world. He saves the world, far more important than platitudes I think.”


    Care to elaborate? For my part, the end does not justify the means. Besides, what platitudes are you referring to?


  16. Michael Taylor says:

    Arent we all inspired by a man with a noble heart, a hunger for defending the cause of righteousness, able to drop quotable lines, who is inteligent AND wise, who understands that evil can not be reasoned with and must be delt with, and who has really cool toys! sounds like Jesus to me.

  17. We’re comparing JB to JC? Oh no.

  18. Brad,

    Oh no indeed.

  19. The only person who turns to God for help is the bug-eyed President Logan, who is universally disliked. Did that “bug” anyone else besides me?

  20. Al: Boy, if Pres. Logan praying bugged you last week, I can’t imagine how you feel after last night’s episode! I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen 4/3’s show, but with a little work I’m sure we could pull a little Sunday School Lesson from there too.

    Luke 13:27 comes to mind!
    “I tell you, I don’t know you or where you’re from. Get away from Me, all you workers of unrighteousness!”

    Good stuff, that devotional of yours Mr. Wade Hodges. Cracked me up! and made me a bit sad that it sounded all too familiar at the same time. How easy it is for us Christians to get over zealous and run out ahead of God. Great intentions, but I wonder about some procedures at times (cue intense music, close-up of ominous brief case opening to reveal disturbing assortment of medical-looking instruments…)

  21. Oops! too many simultaneous blogs going on…
    Wade, my apologies. Wasn’t your devotional I was commenting on there @ 11:20. Can someone pass me a napkin to wipe this egg off my face.

    Now that I?m paying attention to where I am, may I agree with Neal W’s possible 5th reason we love Jack Bauer…

    He answers to a “higher calling;” thus the lack of hesitation to work outside of the restrictions placed on him by his organization. If the rules (traditions?) won?t allow it, who cares? There?s something at work, driving him to act without hesitation, regardless of what some rule says.

  22. My family has just finished the first season, and just started the second…
    Jack is quite amazing, i have to admit…
    i think we all wish we could be like him…

  23. 24 is 60 minutes of pulse-pounding as-real-as-it-gets geopolitical, counter-terrorist drama. It is the only TV fare (besides some news and a few sports teams) that gets my nod. Jack Bauer shames 99.9% of the pols in DC.

  24. How cool! My daughter’s comment number on JB/24 is #24. We’re now, 27 days later, almost done with the 3rd season. WE ARE HOPELESSLY HOOKED! We are ice-trapped in the house today, and our homemade church service today will be “24 and the Bible.”
    Oh to have even the itsy-bitsiest chance to be as cool, tough, smart, intuitive, and immediately decisive as JB.

  25. You have to start at the beginning to get in, don’t you?

    I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to watch a full episode of 24 and simply could not follow it well enough to stay interested.

    I suppose it doen’t help that we don’t have cable or dish so the dark scenes (maybe 92% of them all) are just fuzzy darkness. That’s it!! The GOOD stuff happens in the dark! I only see the boring stuff…

    8 in. of snow forecast tonight, maybe we should rent season 1….

  26. Some random facts about Jack Bauer:

    If you wake up in the morning, it’s because Jack Bauer spared your life.
    If Jack Bauer was in a room with Hitler, Stalin, and Nina Meyers, and he had a gun with 2 bullets, he’d shoot Nina twice.
    Upon hearing that he was played by Kiefer Sutherland, Jack Bauer killed Sutherland. Jack Bauer gets played by no man.

    Jack Bauer’s favorite color is severe terror alert red. His second favorite color is violet, but just because it sounds like violent.

    Jack Bauer once forgot where he put his keys. He then spent the next half-hour torturing himself until he gave up the location of the keys.

    Jack Bauer got Hellen Keller to talk.

    Jack Bauer killed 93 people in just 4 days time. Wait, that is a real fact.

    Jack Bauer was never addicted to heroin. Heroin was addicted to Jack Bauer.

    1.6 billion Chinese are angry with Jack Bauer. Sounds like a fair fight.

    Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas.

    Jack Bauer doesn’t miss. If he didn’t hit you it’s because he was shooting at another terrorist twelve miles away.

    Let’s get one thing straight, the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

    When you open a can of whoop-ass, Jack Bauer jumps out.

    If Jack says “I just want to talk to him/her” and that him/her is you — well amigo, you’re f****d.

    Killing Jack Bauer doesn’t make him dead. It just makes him angry.

    When life gave Jack Bauer lemons, he used them to kill terrorists. Jack Bauer f*****g hates lemonade.

    In grade school, a little boy punched Kimberly Bauer, and Kimberly ran home to tell her dad. That little boy’s name? Stephen Hawking.

    Jack Bauer does not sleep. The only rest he needs is what he gets when he’s knocked out or temporarily killed.

    No man has ever used the phrase, “Jack Bauer is a p***y” in a sentence and lived to tel-

    In kindergarten, Jack Bauer killed a terrorist for Show and Tell.

    Jack Bauer literally died for his country, and lived to tell about it.

    As a child, Jack Bauer’s first words were “There’s no time!”

    Jack Bauer’s family threw him a surprise birthday party when he was a child. Once.

    If you are still conscious, it is because Jack Bauer doesn”t want to carry you.

    If you get 7 stars on your wanted level on Grand Theft Auto, Jack Bauer comes after you. You don’t want to get 7 stars.

    Guns don’t kill people, Jack Bauer kills people.

    Everytime Jack Bauer yells “NOW!” at the end of a sentence, a terrorist dies.

    Jesus died and rose from the dead in 3 days. It took Jack Bauer less than an hour. And he’s done it twice.

    If you send someone to kill Jack Bauer, the only thing you accomplish is supplying him a fresh set of weapons to kill you with.

    Jack Bauer could get off the Lost island in 24 hours.

    If Jack Bauer was gay, his name would be Chuck Norris.

    After arguing over what was the better show, 24 or Walker Texas Ranger, Chuck Norris went to attack Jack Bauer with his trademark roundhouse kick. Jack Bauer caught it.


  1. […] Good stuff. Blogger Wade Hodges is on the same track, wondering why the show seems so popular with pastors and ministers he knows. He lists four reasons that people love Jack Bauer: 1) Bauer has a mission, 2) he makes the most of every minute of the day, 3) he’s willing to make sacrifices for the sake of his mission, and (my personal favorite of the list): […]

  2. Weekend Perusing….

    —-Let’s start with the fun stuff, before the serious stuff. On the continued tangent of all things Jack Bauer, I want to list some of the things floating around the “Christian blogosphere” regarding him. –Last week I wondered what Jack…