The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
Every year, save one over the last nine years my wife and I have had the privilege of going to a very special Christmas concert at the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Andrew Peterson, a folk Christian artist, presents the retelling of the coming of Christ in a 2-1/2 hour presentation that ushers in the Christmas season for us in the most spectacular way. To begin the retelling of that story, usually author Sally Lloyd Jones reads from a passage in her book the Jesus Storybook Bible. As she is reading along, at just the right time she says the words: “there is a baby”. At just that moment the band kicks into a downbeat that sets the entire rest of the show in motion and it is powerful.
Peterson had been doing this particular performance in this manner for as many years as I can remember. It made sense to us that when we had children we should look into this Bible since it seemed so interesting. What we found was more than a children’s story. The idea of the Jesus Storybook Bible is that the Bible was written and comprised in such a way that every story within the Bible whispers the name of Jesus. It is the idea that from Genesis until the birth narrative, God was saying: “look at what I’m doing to point to my Son”. After the cross, everything looks back at the cross. Even unto Revelation.
From the Jesus Storybook Bible:
“[This is] the story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them. It takes the whole Bible to tell the story and at the center of the story there is a baby.”
When you read the Bible in this manner looking for Jesus in the midst of every story you find a cohesiveness in the words of scripture that may not have been as obvious as before. There is great power in this. It puts even greater meaning to the verse that says “all Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). While I imagine most of us would agree that the Bible is an amazing book seeing it from this perspective adds a fresh insight.
One of my favorite quotes from my pastor is that “God knows how to get his people home”. As you begin to read the stories of Noah, Abraham, David, Esther, Isaiah, The Gospels and certainly Revelation through the eyes of this children’s Bible it is plain to see that God knows how to get his people home. He knows how to get to bring his people back to him. Just like a hen gathering her chicks, God gathers us.
While this may be a children’s Bible, you and I have stand a lot to gain by reading it. You can do it under the guise of reading it to your own children, but there is certainly going to be some takeaways for yourself. I imagine that not one of us has seen the underpinnings of Jesus when reading the story of the Tower of Babel. He is there though.
I am glad to spend time reading the Bible to my kids every evening. Doing my best to lead them towards Jesus in every story is is important. Train a child in the way they should go and they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). Whether you have kids of your own or are just a kid at heart I recommend trying to find Jesus in the midst of every story within the Bible. Every story whispers His name.
May God go before you today and may you see Jesus at work in the midst of your jobs, schooling or just plain daily life. God knows how to get you home and I pray today it’s a wonderful journey!