01 May Watered-down Jesus – May 14
By Poppy Ivone
Have you ever wondered what kind of Jesus are we painting to our children? I have sometimes. Are we offering a shallow, me-first faith for our children to buy
into? Are we guilty of replacing who Jesus really is with a more palatable version? Of one that is an indulgent, always lenient, forever smiling figure, not much different from a Santa Claus in the sky?
Jonathan Edwards believed in not holding back the terrors of hell from his children. ‘As innocent as children seem to us,’ he wrote, ‘if they are out of Christ, they are not so in God’s sight, but are young vipers….’ At judgment day, unrepentant children would hardly thank their parents for sentimental tenderness that protected them from knowing the real dangers of taking God’s love, grace and mercy for granted.
The truth is Jesus was gentle and loving but he certainly was not tame nor timid. During Jesus’ lifetime, he created many controversies. He wasn’t compliant and flexible. His words are sharper than two-edged swords, separating bone from marrow. The Bible describes Jesus as a great authority figure, one that is not to be taken lightly, one who does not mince His words to please people. And we know how one Sabbath, he threw the Temple in an uproar when upturned money-changing tables and chased out all the people who worked them.
Are we talking about this Jesus to our little ones? Because a watered-down, toothless, people-pleasing Jesus offering ‘cheap grace’ does not save anyone! Our children need to know Jesus if they are to really, biblically, personally, follow him. David Platt from his video “Follow Me” said that scores of men, women and children culturally identify themselves as Christians today who biblically are NOT followers of Christ. Jesus said at the end of his most famous sermon, “Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?” And I will tell them, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
Let us make use of the prime opportunities afforded to our parental positions by painting a picture of Jesus through our words and deeds that is true to the Bible. So lay it all out on the table. Would they still follow Jesus when He asks them to lose their lives for Him? When the price is to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow him?!
Let them count the cost.
“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” -Matthew 7:14