We had been reading a passage out of the New Testament and discussing a simple-yet-profound concept that is taught repeatedly throughout Scripture: God sending His Son to the Earth in the form of a tiny baby.
My blue-eyed, curly-haired son knows the story about Mary, Joseph and the Christ child by heart. He even can tell you all about Easter. But on this night He was getting hung up on the roles of God the Father and God the Son – and the differences.
Finally, William spit it out: “So, Dad, are there two Jesuses?”
For much of his short life, William has been the king of crazy questions. When learned that his yet-to-be-born baby brother would not immediately be able to crawl or walk, he asked: “So, he won’t have legs?” When I told him that Noah was 600 when he built the ark, William asked, innocently, “Is that older than grandpa?”
But as much as I wanted to toss his theological question into the “kids-say-the-darndest-things” category, I couldn’t. That’s because for weeks and weeks, I had been teaching him that Jesus is God, but on this night I was telling him that Jesus was being sent by God. Let’s be honest: Unless you’ve been in church culture your entire life, that concept certainly sounds confusing.
So is Jesus God, or was He sent by God? Or to put it into the 4-year-old vernacular, are there two Jesuses?
The Bible is full of hard-to-understand concepts – for preschoolers and adults. For example, it teaches that Jesus was 100 percent God and 100 percent man. Here’s another one: Jesus, as a child, simultaneously knew nothing and everything. Huh?
You see, parents aren’t all that much different from my 4-year-old son. We, too, are struggling to grasp some of Scripture’s most incredible concepts. We want God to be explained to us, in detail, and preferably in the next five minutes by PowerPoint. But if God could be so easily explained, He wouldn’t be God, would He?
The good news, though, is that Christian parents don’t have to be theologians in order to teach their children about the Trinity – or any other hard-to-understand concepts. All we have to do is teach what the Bible teaches, and go no further.
In fact, as I have learned, children are far more accepting of difficult-to-understand truths than are adults. That night, I told my 4-year-old son the same thing I would tell a 44-year-old co-worker, or any other adult. Here’s what I said: Continue reading