A few weeks ago I traveled on a short-term mission trip to share the story of Jesus to the kids in a small, rural village. The theme of the week was, “Jesus is the Ultimate Super Hero.” The story of Jesus, simply told.
Is the Gospel so simple that we’ve made it hard to believe?
Quietly. Unexpectedly. Jesus arrives on the scene. Born in a manger. Nothing to His name. His earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, had traveled from afar. From Nazareth to Bethlehem, a long trek for a census to occur.
When they arrive, there was no room for them in the inn. The only place to lay their head was on some stinky hay. Next to cows and lambs and horses that went, “Neigh.”
A baby? Really? How could this be? It sure didn’t look like the King of Kings had arrived on that special day.
The roosters were crowing.
The donkeys were hee-hawing.
The pigs were hollering oink-oink.
And in a stall next to the animals lay “Emmanuel,” which means “God has come to live with us.” Jesus would be His name.
Then some visitors arrived who had followed a bright star. It had led them all of the way. Lighting the night sky. Making it clear…Jesus was who they were looking for.
God was telling the world, “This is my Son, in Him, I am well pleased.” But not many could see it as truth. Very few would believe. And open their eyes. It didn’t seem like this little boy could be God’s beloved son.
He grew up. Perfect. Never sinning.
He was baptized by his cousin John Baptist and announced He had come to save the world.
Now…this made some angry. To be honest, quite furious. They didn’t like Jesus stealing center stage. Their names were the Pharisees and the Sadducees and they didn’t think Jesus was the real.
Who was He? Seriously?
Could He be God’s very own son? Born as a carpenter. Part of the lower class. Many did not think it could be true.
This story is surprisingly simple, so simple that I wonder if we have a difficult time believing it to be true. The King of Kings born in a manger, come to save mankind. Could this be so? It is tempting for us to want to add something to it. Maybe jazz up the storyline. We want to turn it into something we have to strive for. Possibly making it into something fancier, more difficult, or a bit watered down. After all, this is what the Pharisees and Sadducees attempted…they tried to make everyone become rule-followers.
Truly, truly, I tell you, he who believes has eternal life.” John 6:47
The question becomes..will we believe?
Why do we find it so difficult to believe in the story of Jesus? Do we trust in the greatest Super Hero of all times?