Several of you have asked about the children’s Bible that I’ve referenced in the Jonah sermon series. It’s The Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones and illustrated by Jago. I love it. Whether or not you’ve got a kid in your life, I heartily recommend trying to get your hands on a copy.
What’s so great about it? For one thing, it’s funny. (“Jonah went ahead with his not-very-good plan. ‘One ticket to NOT Ninevah, please!'”) If your kids — or you — tend to think the Bible is dry and boring, this book is a great reminder of what a good sense of humor God has and of how ridiculous we humans can sometimes be!
The illustrations are gorgeous. Full of color and expression, they bring new dimension to familiar (and not-so-familiar) stories. I also appreciate that the people in these illustrations actually look like they could come from Palestine: no blond-haired, blue-eyed Jesuses here.
Most of all, I like that this Bible really traces the story of God’s redemption of his people throughout all the many different stories that are included. As the introduction says,
There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them. It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle — the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.
That’s a reminder that we all need from time to time, as it really is the key to how we study and understand scripture. Even as I read through it, I had a few “aha” moments where I saw connections between Old Testament stories and Jesus’ story that I hadn’t considered before. So The Jesus Storybook Bible doesn’t just get kids (or grownups) to read the Bible; it also teaches us how to read the Bible. And that’s a pretty valuable thing, no matter how old you are.