The Bible is full of children. Some are named and some are not. I’ve written a camp curriculum that highlights various kids in the Bible and what we can learn from their lives. Here are my favorite 5. What are your favorite kids in the Bible?
5. David (1 Samuel 17) – The Bible talks at length about King David, including his life as a “lad”. When he fought Goliath, he was not yet old enough to go to war with his brothers (that’s why he stayed home with the sheep), so he was probably 17 or younger. King Saul called him “just a boy.” And as we all know, he faced and killed the giant that made men twice David’s age whimper like children. Just don’t teach your kids to violently decapitate their bullies, as aptly illustrated here.
4. The Bread/Fish Kid (John 6) – It’s a shame this kid goes unnamed. He sets an example of selfless generosity. I mean, how would you feel if some stranger came up to to you and asked for your lunch so he could feed 15,000-20,000 hungry people (there were only 5,000 men, so add the women and children)? The kid did not argue with Jesus’ math abilities (as the disciples did). He silently handed over his bread and fish. And that nameless boy’s act of faith now goes down in history.
3. Mary (Matthew 1-2) – So we don’t know exactly how old she was. But taking a cue from the typical marriage age of 1st Century middle eastern culture, it is likely she could have been just 13 or 14. Think about how terrible this is. She is betrothed (engaged) to Joseph and then she finds out she’s pregnant, even though she remained chaste! This was a recipe for humiliation. Thankfully, big strong angels are good at calming you down and explaining the issue to your fiance. Mary obeyed God throughout and goes down as one of the most amazing women in history.
2. Samuel (1 Samuel 3) – I love the story of Samuel because his faith in God was so pure. He was essentially a ward of the temple. His mother had dedicated him to live and grow up under the care and tutelage of Eli the priest. So one night when he was still a boy, he’s sleeping in the temple (in the days when “the word of the Lord was rare”) and hears a voice. Thinking it is Eli, he awakes his caretaker. But Eli sends him back to bed. Twice more this happens and finally Eli figures it could be God and instructs Samuel to listen as God’s servant. God spoke to Samuel that night (not a very positive message towards Eli’s sons, but that’s for another day). Samuel exemplifies obedience, trust, and most importantly how to hear God’s voice.
1. Kid Jesus (Luke 2) – The greatest kid of all time. Jesus got lost when his family returned home from a holy-day trek to Jerusalem. They probably traveled in large family groups for these festivals, so you can’t fully blame Mary and Joseph. They likely trusted that Jesus was with a cousin or uncle. But you have to be careful with the Son of God. You see, Jesus was so enamored with learning and discussing in the temple that he got caught up in his “Father’s house” going about his “Father’s business.” While I love my own daughter and hope she always loves me as Daddy, this story reminds me that she has another Daddy who far out-trumps me on her allegiance scale.
So…who are your favorite kids in the Bible and why?