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Why Japan Needs The Jesus Storybook Bible

September 25, 2008 

Rev. Shinichi Hirohashi, Japan Presbyterian MissionI

In the past many Bible storybooks have been printed in Japan.  The aim of most of those has been to represent the Bible faithfully, so that through that, children can become familiar with the Bible.  In addition, a lot of Bible storybooks endeavor to draw out moralistic lessons from the Bible stories.  For example, “Let’s follow the example of the disciples who left everything to follow Jesus,” or “Listen carefully to Jesus’ teaching and become good children.”

The adults realize that they actually cannot live by the morals presented in those lessons, and aren’t living like Jesus.  They realize they live one way on the outside, putting on a good front before people, but another way behind the scenes, for example, talking badly about others.  And the children realize that in their own strength, they cannot live like Jesus or the disciples. When they realize that the adults aren’t living like that either, they begin to stop feeling attracted to faith, and gradually they drift away from faith.

According to data that came out about 10 years ago on the Presbyterian Church in Japan, only 60% of children growing up in Christian homes keep the faith. That means that 40% of the children raised in Christian homes are not walking with the Lord. The reality is that they are not in church.

For many years, living in this reality, I have longed for a children’s Bible storybook that would be profitable in child-raising and Christian education. The Jesus Storybook Bible depicts all the stories from the viewpoint of God’s plan throughout the history of fallen man to send Jesus Christ to this earth as the Rescuer. The stories of the Bible are not long ago and far away and unrelated to me. These stories point to Christ, and through them, I can feel that in my daily life now, as the Savior of my sin, He walks with me through the process of growing me more into the image of Himself.

I pray that through this book being published in Japan, a great number of children and their parents will read it, see the Gospel as being for them personally, repent before the Lord when they commit sin, and be able to clearly confess a faith that looks to the Lord. I strongly desire that children will follow in the faith of their parents, and be able to live as the light of the world and salt of the earth.

More than that, I hope that many children who do not know Jesus Christ will come to know the real message of the Bible through reading this book.