During this Season of Lent, I am clearing out the cobwebs, ignoring the distractions, and preparing my heart for Easter Sunday by diving into God’s Word. I have accepted the #LentChallenge of reading the New Testament in 40 days. You can accept the challenge and use this easy-to-follow READING GUIDE too.
* Let The Children Come to Me *
Three of the Gospels — Matthew, Mark, and Luke — mention Jesus praying for and blessing young children. In the Gospel of Luke, children are identified as infants. To reiterate their importance not only in society but for God’s kingdom, Jesus used children as sermon/parable illustrations when teaching the people, including his disciples.
- Matthew 19:13-14 The little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them: but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”
- Mark 10:13-16 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not stop them; for it is such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
- Luke 18:15-17 People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it. But Jesus called for them and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belong. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”
Jesus, in simplistic terms, was not bothered or annoyed by young children, as is often the case, even in modern times. Rather, he welcomed them. He invited them to his side. He encouraged them to be active participants in worship and fellowship. Jesus brings attention to the children because they have an important lesson to teach adults. Children, especially babies, are completely dependent on their parents or caregivers. Their complete trust of a parent to feed, clothe, and nurture mirrors the total dependence all of us, no matter our age, should have for our Heavenly Father. Followers of Christ should be like an innocent child: rely on faith instead of impressive knowledge, accomplishments, social status, or worldly possessions. If we accept Christ and follow Him with reckless abandon like the little children, we become humble servants, followers, and believers of The One who says the first will be last and the last will be first.
Lord of Heaven and Earth, make me an instrument of your grace, a beacon of light for your truth, and place in me the trust of babes. When I try to complicate life, give me childlike faith to trust you, your words, your deeds, and your perfect promise. May I be reminded every day of your faithfulness through the eyes of my own child, who depends on me to provide his physical and emotional needs. May I also recognize my role in his spiritual formation and the responsibility I have as his parent to lead by example and wholly trust you. Amen.
It is my heart’s desire to raise Kamden in the church, amongst a community of believers who love God and submit themselves to His will. I believe in God and His mighty works to bring all children to himself. As such, I want to be part of the solution — not a hinderance — to raising up a new generation of disciples who put their faith in the Lord.
An excellent article on the importance of children in church and the church’s responsibility to make them feel welcome.