Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to be a small group leader for some third graders. I like being able to do this because it allows me to get to know the kids. We talked about, and the kids journaled their thoughts about, Jesus being fully God. Here’s an interesting comment that I received as we were talking: “My teacher at school says that Jesus is half God and half man.” My first instinct was to think that that was a nice way to help a child get it. But I couldn’t leave it there.
I told the kids that next week (this Sunday!) we would talk about Jesus being fully man, in addition to being fully God. I shared that we can believe that Jesus is fully God and fully man. I pointed out that Jesus, as far as we know, had all of this toes and fingers, had two legs and two arms, had his lungs, and stomach, and blood pumping through his veins. We know he was born as a baby, and circumcised as was the custom. We even know he was a preteen. He grew, just like we do. It says so in Luke 2:52: “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” If he was only half man, he would probably be missing some essential parts!
I had, during our teaching time, used a pitcher of red water to illustrate God. I reminded the kids that God is love (which is why I chose the color red) and that all we know about God…we can know about Jesus. As I poured clear water into Jesus’ pitcher, it turned red too! I wanted them to see that Jesus is fully God.
So in this discussion with the third graders, I told them that God also cannot change; he cannot be less than he already is. In Malachi 3:6, God makes this comment: “I the LORD do not change.” If God cannot be less than he already is – and Jesus is fully God – then Jesus cannot be half God.
The one who asked the question looked at me and said, “Ok.” I love this age because they still believe everything you tell them. I hope that these kids went home believing this truth that Jesus is fully God and fully man. I am praying this morning that this sticks. That they, and the others who dive into this on Sunday morning in our Portrait of Jesus series, have a new perspective on the “real” Jesus.
I hope that as you walk out of Clay Church, or on the drive home, or over dinner, you take the time to discuss this with your family. Each of these weeks during Lent, we are pointing out to the elementary kids some simple, yet profound, aspects of Jesus. (If you have a preschooler or Kindergartener, then ask them what the story about Zacchaeus taught them about Jesus). We can talk about it for about 30-45 minutes and plant a seed. You have the opportunity to water it and help it grow!