Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:3).
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20:31, NIV).
Our VBS theme verse shows us what we can expect the Bible to teach us about Jesus. No doubt there are many more things we would love to know about Jesus than the Bible reveals. We might wonder, for example, what did Jesus really look like? What was he doing between the time he was 12-years-old and 30-years-old? Yet John 20:30-31 teaches us the Gospels were not written to satisfy our curiosity. They were written for a specific purpose, namely, to convince us that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and to lead us to have eternal life. In other words, the Bible was written so that we might know Jesus firsthand, not merely know about him.
Day 1: Encounter at the Temple (Luke 2:41-52)
Jesus knew why he came.
Even as a 12-year-old boy, Jesus demonstrated an unparalleled grasp of God’s truth. Indeed, Jesus confessed to his parents that he knew he must be about his Father’s business. That business, moreover, would eventually lead him to suffer on the cross as the substitute for our sins. May we give thanks that Jesus knew why he came, as well as what it would cost him.
Day 2: Encounter at the River (Matthew 3:1-17)
Jesus is the Son of God.
Despite John the Baptist’s protestations, Jesus was fully committed to his Father’s plan. He underwent baptism as a sign of his identification with the plight of sinners. Consequently, Jesus—the incarnate Son of God—is uniquely able to make God known to us.
Day 3: Encounter on the Water (Matthew 14:22-33)
Jesus proved he is God’s Son.
Jesus didn’t just claim to be the Son of God, he proved it by his command over creation. He could still the waves and walk on the water because he was “in the beginning” with God and because he is God (John 1:1). We can trust Jesus, therefore, to be sovereign over everything in all of creation—no matter how stormy things may appear to us.
Day 4: Encounter at the Tomb (John 20:1-18)
Jesus rose from the dead.
Jesus’ sovereign power even extends to our fearsome enemy and the inevitable result of our sin—death. Because Jesus has conquered the grave, we can trust Jesus to give us eternal life in his name.
Day 5: Encounter on the Road (Luke 24:13-35)
The Bible was written so I can believe.
Like those confused travelers on the way to Emmaus, we can often find ourselves wondering where Jesus is and what Jesus is doing. But God has graciously given us his Word to shed the light of faith on our path. By trusting in Christ we can have everything we need and more.