How can we connect all we’ve learned through the Old Testament to the Good News of Jesus for our kids?
I think my kiddos did a happy dance when I told them we were starting the New Testament this month and learning about Jesus. Though we enjoyed our walk through the Old Testament, it doesn’t surprise me that they connect even more to the idea of following the life of Jesus. To children, Jesus is accessible, he’s a friend, he’s someone they will want to know on a personal level if we guide them in relationship with him.
Phil explains in the beginning of Volume 10: Jesus is the Good News! that the Old Testament is like a story without an ending. No wonder my kids got excited at the thought of continuing this epic tale and finally getting to the really good part!
We learn in the first episode of Volume 10 that there were 400 years between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament. Our What’s in the Bible? friends pose a really good question…Why did God wait so long before revealing his rescue plan?
The discussion that follows surrounding God’s perfect timing is an important one in helping children to understand God’s ways. The truth we can apply to all of our lives no matter what our age is this: God waits to act until the time is right.
This portion of our journey truly begins to connect the dots as we see how the Old and New Testaments are two partial pictures of the whole Story. Each period in the history of our faith doesn’t make sense until we put them together.
The Old Testament is filled with promises. The New Testament is the fulfillment of those promises. In Jesus, all of God’s promises come true. His life gave us the ability to turn to God to live the way he originally designed us to live.
What is Jesus is the Good News! all about?
- God’s Perfect Timing
- The Trinity
- The Kingdom of God
- The Gospel
- Period between Old and New Testaments
- Alexander the Great / The Roman Empire
- Jewish Groups
- The Dead Sea Scrolls
- John the Baptist
- Jesus’ Miracles, Healings and Teachings
- The Last Supper
- Jesus’ Death and Resurrection
What can we learn from the gospels in Jesus is the Good News?
Each detail comes together in Volume 10 to create a picture that is the Gospel. Everything we’ve learned up until this moment has pointed to Jesus. And he enters the story as someone our kids may already know and love. Yet now, they can connect the dots to grow in understanding of how they fit into the tale, or better yet, how they fit into the kingdom.
Jesus is the Good News. He is the blessing promised to Abraham thousands of years ago. Young children may still have a hard time grasping the connection so we’re focusing our attention on Jesus as the rescuer God sent to teach us how to live, love and follow God.
And not only does he teach us as we follow him, he invites us to be a part of the club. . .the kingdom. When we choose to join him, we become his disciple. A disciple is a follower of Jesus. During his ministry on earth, Jesus picked 12 men to be his disciples. They went with Jesus everywhere he went to teach others about God, heal the sick and perform miracles. As we learn about these faithful men in the gospels, we will encourage our children to likewise, join Jesus in loving others.
Talking to our kids about the Gospel and 4 more conversation starters:
1. God’s Perfect Timing – Even though the world was a mess and needed to be rescued, God did not rush the process. He could have fixed everything as quickly as he wanted to. But he chose to fulfill his promises and his plan in the fullness of time. God’s timing is always perfect. We can trust that he knows what’s best for us in every situation. When we wait patiently for God’s leading, we enjoy the blessing of his all-knowing plan.
2. The Gospels – The first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are called The Gospels. The word Gospel means, God’s good story. This is where we get the term, “The Good News.” The Gospels are the story of Jesus and his life and ministry. They tell an important message that the kingdom of God is coming and the good news is, we are all invited to be a part of it.
3. Baptism – One of the most important moments in the Gospels is the introduction of the prophet, John the Baptist and his announcement that everything God promised was about to be true. John the Baptist told the people to prepare the way of the Lord. He baptized them as I sign of their repentance. Baptism is a symbol of being cleansed of our old self and made new or clean. When Jesus came to John to be baptized, he did so not because he needed to be cleansed but as an example for others. As he was lifted out of the water, the sky opened up and God’s spirit came down confirming John the Baptist’s message, “I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
4. The Passover Lamb – Just as God saved his people through the first Passover, Jesus gave his life so we could be saved too. His sacrifice took away sin and death for everyone. The blood of Jesus is the new covenant or promise that we can have new life. It’s God’s rescue plan fulfilled. The whole entire Bible points to this moment; the coming of the Messiah.
5. The Kingdom of God – Jesus’ teaching and miracles gave people glimpses of what the world was supposed to be like before sin entered the picture. Jesus showed he had the authority to set things right. God brought his kingdom here to earth through Jesus but his kingdom is not yet fully-grown. In God’s perfect timing, the kingdom will burst forth like a flower in full bloom. Because of what Jesus did when he died on the cross and took on the stain and punishment of our sin, we can be a part of the kingdom. We can invite others to be a part of God’s kingdom, too, when we share his love with those around us.
Jesus invites us to be a part of the kingdom of God. He wants us to experience life as a child of the King. But he doesn’t make us or force us to follow him. He simply invites us, giving us a choice to join him and live a life filled with freedom. I want this life for my children and I am so thankful to have this resource to help us share the Story and help them find their place in the kingdom of God.
Have you watched What’s In The Bible? Volume 10 with your family? What have you been learning or discussing about the life of Jesus and the Gospel?
Note: Did you know that each What’s In The Bible? DVD comes with a family discussion guide inside? Use the discussion starters in this post and in the DVD to begin faith-building conversations in your home.
Jessica Wolstenholm is co-founder of Grace for Moms. After 15 years in the music and publishing industries, Jessica came home to be with her two small children. Although the transition from the corporate world to the playground has been an adjustment, she is learning every day to access the grace available to us through Christ as she navigates the full time job of motherhood. She is the co-author of The Pregnancy Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey to Motherhood and The Baby Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey Through Baby’s First Year. Jessica lives in Nolensville, TN with her husband, Dave and two miracle babies, Hope (6) and Joshua (3).