Jesus Christ is a more powerful super hero than anything Hollywood can dream up. Jesus can fly up into the clouds like Superman. Jesus can slip though crowds undetected and even be in conversation with close friends without revealing his identity like the invisible man. Jesus can raise himself and others from the dead. He can instantly heal sick people of incurable diseases. Jesus is the ultimate defender of the underdog. He has penetrated the enemy’s headquarters and returned untouched. And, he is REAL, while other super heroes are cartoon creations or Hollywood make-believe.
So why isn’t Jesus a super hero to our kids? Why do many kids seem to dread hearing about Jesus but will watch the same super hero shows on TV for hours and hours?hero
Consider the following three possibilities:
- Our Learning Experience
Perhaps your experience in learning about Jesus is similar to mine. Stories of Jesus were sterilized. Even though He actually performed miracles, we somehow lost the excitement of those moments in our descriptions of those miracles. What pictures come to mind when you think of Jesus? Is He always wearing a white sheet, looking squeaky clean, serenely calm and quietly benevolent? In other words, boring?
Now what pictures come to mind when you think of Harriet Tubman, John Wayne, Martin Luther King, Jr., or John Glen? Aren’t they portrayed as bold and courageous pioneers who dared to go places and do things that others had never done before? Yet Jesus, who did things no humans ever will do, is portrayed as boring! We elevate humans to hero status while presenting Jesus as merely meek and mild.
When you describe Jesus Christ to your children, portray the entire spectrum of His life on earth, from His humble and merciful spirit to His bold and courageous spirit. Use activities designed to convey the excitement and passion deserving of the life and miracles of Jesus. The goal is to create vivid mental pictures for children of Jesus who is more exciting, more loving, more awe inspiring, and more real than any Hollywood cartoon or historical hero.
- Method of Teaching
My parents, doing the best they knew how, would gather us around the table and read to us from the Bible. In Sunday school, we occasionally did some fun craft projects, but for the most part they were quickly forgotten.
Incorporate different learning styles using “hands-on” object lessons. The lessons will be more memorable, and kids will look forward to the fun. For example, consider the many fun activities of role-playing the stories of Jesus. Lazarus, wrapped in toilet paper, breaks free as Jesus raises him from the dead. A parent, playing Jesus, carries children upstairs, which represents heaven. Jesus, played by a parent, sacrifices himself by lying down in the mud so the kids can walk across safely. Jesus pays the price for our sins before God the judge. Kids love the drama of acting out a story, and the stories become more memorable for children as they become more involved.
- Where is the Villain? It’s become politically incorrect in many places to talk about the evil side of spiritual warfare. It is okay to talk about a forgiving God of grace, a loving and merciful Jesus and a wonderful Heaven, but what have we done with evil, sin and the consequences of Hell? We have sterilized God’s love story and the role of Jesus as the fearless leader of good in the spiritual battle against evil.
One measure of a super hero is the size of the villain. Jesus is the ultimate warrior in the battle against pure evil, Satan. It’s a heated, dramatic battle with tragic consequences, but we know how the story ends — Jesus is victorious!
The most basic children’s movies and stories are built on the tension between good and evil. Princesses, brave children and good kings must overcome evil characters and perilous situations. Consider the wicked queen from Snow White, Stromboli from Pinocchio, and Scar from The Lion King. The reality of our children’s lives is that they see the battle between good and evil every day in the stories they read and the news they hear. When we edit out sin, Satan and the consequences of Hell, we only tell part of the story.
As parents, we can teach about the most courageous real life super hero who ever lived, Jesus. We can tell about a love so pure and amazing that Jesus, our Savior, would suffer pain and humiliation by dying on a cross to save us from eternal suffering. We get to explain how Jesus left so that the Holy Spirit could come to assist us in the ongoing battle against evil, and that Jesus is coming back to take us home, to defeat Satan in the battle to end all battles.
As you seek to teach your children, tell the whole story of Jesus the Super Hero. Teach as a whole: Jesus from loving and merciful to valiant and all-powerful. Tell about Jesus who cries over the death of his friend Lazarus, Jesus who attracts and comforts children, Jesus who even the wind and water obey, Jesus who gets angry at injustice, and Jesus who is the leader of a massive spiritual army that eliminates evil once and for all. h
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee,
and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country.
Luke 4:14 ESV
How do you tell your kids about the amazing power of Jesus?
By Kirk Weaver
Husband to Trudi
Dad to two
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder and Executive Director of Family Time Training