As a kid I always wanted to be a Bible super-hero… I wanted to grow up to be like Moses, Paul or Elijah. Or at least, that’s what I thought I wanted.
I don’t know where I ever got the idea that these men were super-heroes, or where I got the idea that I could be great, like them. But somewhere along the lines I grabbed on to this idea that I too, could be like them. Over time, and by God’s grace and work in my life, I began to read my Bible with the eyes of an adult and not those of a child. What I read shocked me, I came to see that my super-heroes weren’t all that super and they actually weren’t heroes, in fact, they were all in need of a hero themselves. They were all in need of God’s saving grace and the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
I was reminded of this over the past few weeks as I’ve been reading through I & II Kings, preparing to teach these stories to our children at TAC Kids. As I’ve been reading through the life of Elijah, one of my “super-heroes”, I came to realize that, though I had watched some of my heroes fall, I was still holding on to others. I’ve even had the name Elijah on my list of names for boy #2, should God ever bless us with another son. But as I read, I suddenly found myself thinking: “Why would I want to name my son after this man!?!” I realized I was still holding on to the wrong hero.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. I know the right answer, I know Jesus is the only super-hero, and yet I continue to find myself reaching for others, and surprised when they let me down. If I feel like this as an adult, how much more will our children struggle with this if we make the men and women of the Bible into super-heroes? The day will come when they will read the whole story, and they will be shocked and disappointed as they watch their heroes fall.
To this end, we need to work hard to accurately tell the stories, while keeping Jesus the real hero. It’s true, these men had great faith, and I want our children to have faith like that too. But we also need them to hold fast to Jesus as their hero, recognizing that it’s faith in him that saves, not faith in Moses, Elijah, Paul or the many others that could be listed.
This week, as you go over the stories of Elijah and Elisha with your children, remember to point them back to Jesus. Share with your kids the need both of these men had for a Saviour themselves, our real-life super-hero: Jesus.