Discipleship And The Resurrection

Those of us with responsibility for discipling kids either as parents or leaders feel the pressure of this great responsibility. We know from experience the value of a life lived for Jesus and the strength and hope that brings us. We want our children to grow to know it as well. But it’s not just our own personal experience that drives us to teach the Bible to kids. The Bible provides a LOT of encouragement to parents and the people of God to educate our children in His ways. Luke’s account of the resurrection and the events that followed on the famous “road to Emmaus” (Luke 24:13-35) help underscore the need for discipleship in the church and home. This story reveals people with a mix of hopes, just like people today. And, just like many of the kids in your life, possibly in your own family.

Broken Hope

Even children can understand the pain of broken hopes. For many it’s simply the disappointment of not getting the desired toy (or toys) for Christmas. For others, the broken hopes include the loss of a parent or something as practical as the hope for a warm place to sleep and a warm meal. Luke 24:21 articulates the hope these disciples had that was broken by the crucifixion…

We were hoping that He was the One who was about to redeem Israel.

All of us know what it is to live with broken hopes; hopes that have been crushed because they were unreasonable, ungodly, or uninformed. These particular disciples had hopes based on Old Testament promises, but they were uninformed. They weren’t sinful, they just needed to be informed with a proper understanding of Scripture. So it is that we and our children often carry hopes that are crushed and broken because they are uninformed. We can help our kids by teaching them the truth of God’s Word and His wonderful unfolding story!

Uncertain Hope

Earlier that morning, some of Jesus’ followers had visited the tomb and found it empty (Luke 24:1-12). What had happened? Could it be? Jesus has spoken of His death and resurrection, but they hadn’t fully understood. They wanted to believe, but their uninformed expectation stood in the way of embracing the possibility that Jesus was alive. These disciples had an uncertain hope. They wanted to think something miraculous had happened, but it was hard to believe. They had faith that God COULD perform a miracle, but weren’t yet convinced He would or had!

All of us, including our children, live with uncertain hopes. We have aspirations, dreams, and ambitions. Some of them are good while others are, frankly, selfish. But apart from the hopes driven by selfish desires, we have a heart for God’s Kingdom. Even children (sometimes ESPECIALLY children) want to see Jesus honored, lives redeemed, and the church strengthened. But again, our uncertain hopes need to be informed by the truth of Scripture. The good news is that God is not stingy with His revelation. He WANTS us to learn and grow as His disciples, and that includes our kids!

Victorious Hope

Jesus begins to show us in this fascinating story just what it means to have victorious hope. As Jesus fellowships with these two, He begins to reveal Himself and inform their uncertain hope of the resurrection with the Scriptures. Notice what He says to them in Luke 24:25-27…

How unwise and slow you are to believe in your hearts all that the prophets have spoken! Didn’t the Messiah have to suffer these things and enter into His glory? Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted for them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

Then he did the same when he appeared to the Eleven in Luke 24:44-46. If the hope generated by the resurrection is not informed by Scripture, then it will likely just renew our broken hopes and give us uncertain hope rather than give us a victorious hope that is based on what God has revealed of His plan in the Bible.

As parents and educators in the church, we have a responsibility to teach the Bible in such a way that people believe in the resurrection AND understand it in the light of the Scripture. Those of us at Sunday School Zone want to help you do that!

Rick Edwards
Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher

See a list of other articles by Rick Edwards.

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