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"Show Them Jesus" - Thoughts on Chapters 5 & 6
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Submitted by Bobette Hatteberg, Childrens' Ministry Director

 

Chapter 5: The Mom in Queen Esther’s Bedroom
 
How often as teachers or parents have we been a little uncomfortable to delve deep into a Bible story with our children because of the blatant and rather scandalous sin portrayed there?  I remember feeling like many Bible stories I read to my children focused on one immoral, imperfect character after another.  I’ll even admit leaving out parts of the story because of that.  Jack Klumpenhower does a marvelous job of teaching us how to take the stories just as God has given  them to us, not white-washing them, but to instead use the very sin portrayed there to point children to the King who is like no other.  I was challenged by all of the connections made to our great King Jesus in his lesson about Queen Esther: (Pg. 85)

  • The king of Persia ruled an empire.  But King Jesus rules all heaven and earth.
  • King Jesus can’t be duped by a gift to his treasury.  He owns all things and freely shares them with us.
  • King Jesus won’t love us for a night, use us for His pleasure, and then let us go. He gives us a costly love that’s faithful forever.
  • King Jesus doesn’t execute all traitors.  Every one of us has been unfaithful to Him.  We’ve plotted against Him and deserve to die.  But He has gone to the gallows in our place, shedding his blood.

Klumpenhower's lesson on Esther for older elementary students certainly contained some moral lessons, a challenge to be wise and brave like Esther.  But more importantly it left them challenged to trust Jesus and to remember who they serve .  He challenged students to look at the people and places in their lives (school, sports teams, friends) and look at how they are seduced by the promise of happiness if they will only conform.  

As we teach our children about the characters in God’s Word it is imperative that we focus on their responses to what GOD is doing.  We must follow the pattern in Scripture of God’s laws pointing to how He saves us and frees us from the power and curse of sin.  We must follow the pattern in the New Testament of first telling the Good News, then showing how to live in response.  After all, the Good News is the motivator of good behavior. 

Chapter 6: The Talking Donkey and Jesus  (Teaching the good news from the Old Testament)

This chapter really challenged my teaching of the Old Testament!  We were given some simple questions to help us develop our lessons: (Pg. 102)

  • What is God doing for his people in this story? Or what does this teach us about who God is? (Don’t just look for a moral lesson about a human character.  Look for the worth and work of the main character, God!)
  • Good news!  How does God do the same for us – only better – in Jesus? Or how is the aspect of God’s character revealed – most fully - in Jesus?
  • Believe it!  How does believing this good news change how we live? 

Show Them Jesus has challenged me to pour more of my own study into each lesson, even when the curriculum is already solid and points to Christ.  I need to understand the context of what I’m teaching, how it fits into the big picture of the cross.  Are you being challenged?  Are your lessons and family discussions starting to look a little different?  Leave a comment below!



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