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Jesus and the Children

“And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:13, 14).

This text has a lot to tell about the tender side of Jesus. Who is not touched with the picture portrayed here! One of the great hallmarks of Christ's ministry is the tender attention given to children. There's a lot of good counsel in this passage of Scripture. I'd like to emphasize several important points.

First, parents have a responsibility of bringing their children to the Lord

A child grows up not knowing who Jesus is and what Jesus did. The home is the child's “first world,” and the parents' “first work” is to teach their children the gospel of salvation. Not to teach children about Jesus is surely courting disaster. If parents fail to bring their children to Jesus, they are bringing them to the devil.

Notice that our text says that “they brought young children to him, that he would touch them… “The best time to acquaint children about God is when they are still young. The malleable years of the child are the most crucial. To miss this time is to make difficult the impression of truth in their minds.

How are we to bring our children to Jesus for Him to touch them since He is now in heaven? Parents do this by creating a religious atmosphere at home. Bringing children to church services. Telling children Bible stories. Providing children with character-building books. Above all, by precept and example parents are “touching the lives” of their children for God and for good.

Second, Jesus is displeased when we rebuff the little ones

Jesus loved children, He never considered them an interruption in His work. When the disciples tried to hinder children from coming to Jesus, they were sternly rebuked. There are people who don't believe on these things. There are people who have a low regard for children. There are people who regard children as secondary citizens. The many incidents of child abuse should be cause for concern. However, child abuse takes other forms that are often ignored. Depriving children of the best because it is expensive is one. There are parents who have money to pay for their wants yet cannot share money for their children's needs.

There are parents who luxuriously satisfy their own desires, but are too selfish to invest for the characters of their children. The Bib le says, “but when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased.” Jesus sees what is being done “unto the least” of His children. He marks the selfishness, the self-centeredness. Every mistreatment done to the young is recorded. Every offense against a child is taken seriously by Christ. To hurt the little ones is to hurt Jesus.

Third, we are to receive God's kingdom as a little child

What does verse 16 mean? In a way it means that anyone who is proud, selfish, and self-sufficient cannot enter the kingdom of God. By contrast, children are quick to believe, honest in their simplicity, and unquestioning in their trust. Totally helpless, they recognize their dependence on adults. It is this spirit that makes them come first into the kingdom of God. And it is this attitude that God enjoins us - parents and adults - to follow.

Blessed are the parents who make their home the first center for the salvation of their children. Blessed are the parents who would regard their children as Jesus would regard them. Blessed are the parents who will purposely bring their children to church and provide a religious atmosphere at home. Blessed are the parents who are willing to invest for their children, providing them spiritual materials for character formation. Blessed are the parents who would sacrifice to personally care for their children. Blessed are the parents whose hands and arms are strong, yet tender and firm in providing discipline for their children. Blessed are the parents who serve as models to their children. Blessed is the home of Christian parents and Christ-like children.

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