Gold Rush VBS Day 3: Follow Jesus
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. 1 Peter 2:21
Imagine your brother had been hanging around a real oddball, spending time in the wilderness, and talking about the coming kingdom. One day he came to your home and announced he had found the one everyone was waiting for—the one would bring freedom from those who oppressed you. What would you think? Disbelief? Hope?
Imagine you decided to take a chance on this man and joined your brother in following him. You spend a few days with the man, listening to what he has to say. A few days later, you attend the wedding of a mutual friend, and somehow this man changes the water you’d just sipped from the container into the best wine you’d ever tasted. Who was this man? Could he really be the one? The Messiah who had been promised for hundreds of years?
His teachings were so astounding—to turn the other cheek when the oppressors struck? To give them all you had when they asked? To love them after years of ingrained hatred? Perfection was the standard set by God in order to gain heaven? He claimed to be . . . God?
Would the promised one really say these things?
His displays of power were amazing—like nothing that had been seen before. At a word from him, the waves calmed immediately. He knew things about people he’d never met. At his touch, food multiplied by the thousands. He healed people—men who had been lame from birth were now walking, those who had been blind could now see. And, perhaps most astonishing—he raised people from the dead. Right before your eyes.
The child was dead one minute, alive the next. Who is this man? Could he really be who he claimed to be? Has my Deliverer come? . . . My Deliverer has come!
As you study the passages that relate Jesus’s teachings and acts, meditate on the differences between what He taught and did, and what other religions teach and claim. Superior doesn’t even begin to describe Jesus compared to everyone else. And yet, this Creator-Redeemer has called us to learn from Him, to imitate Him, to follow Him.
As you share with the children today, try to convey the sense of wonder and awe that He inspires in what He teaches and does, encouraging them to follow after this God-Man, Jesus Christ.
May we pray as the Puritans did:
I bless thee that thou hast made me capable of
knowing thee, the author of all being,
Of resembling thee, the perfection of all excellency,
Of enjoying thee, the source of all happiness.
Let my religion be more obvious to my conscience,
more perceptible to those around.
While Jesus is representing me in heaven, may I
reflect him on earth,
While he pleads my cause, may I show forth his
Continue the gentleness of thy goodness towards
And whether I was or sleep, let thy presence go with
me, thy blessing attend me.
Thou hast led me on and I have found thy promises
Thy vows are ever upon me, and I praise thee, O God.
—Arthur Bennet, The Valley of Vision (The Banner of Truth Trust: 2005), p. 11.