Why are children so important to Jesus? What can we do about it? And is there something about children we need to learn in order to be all we can be?
Often we overlook children, assuming, in their immaturity, they don’t have much to offer. Yet, Jesus held them up as an example for everyone.
And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. Mark 10:13–16 (ESV)
Jesus’ Attitude Towards Children
To Jesus and to God, those who seem unimportant are vitally important. Notice that Jesus was indignant about how the children were being treated!
He valued them immensely. In fact, there is no one else in recorded scripture that Jesus blessed in this way!
He also viewed children as an example to be followed. We’ll explore that in a little while.
Our Attitude Towards Children
Over the years, attitudes towards children have changed.
“They should been seen and not heard,” was pretty common two or three generations ago. Today, we have gone the other direction, often treating our children like they run the family! I am sure neither extreme is right.
We need to treat our children with respect and care. We need to encourage and correct them. We need to bring them to Jesus and allow them to experience his power in their lives.
The Example of Children
Jesus said, “for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” Children are an example to us.
Children have simple faith. They believe without qualification. Sometimes we take that kind of faith as silly, after all most children believe in Santa Claus! But it is this kind of faith that is consistently commended in scripture.
As we get older, we become more cynical, lest trusting and more reliant on verifiable evidence. Some of these things are marks of maturity but when it comes to God’s kingdom, child-like faith is required.
Two Things To Do
Encourage the children to come to Jesus. Children have their whole life ahead of them. They don’t need to make foolish and destructive choices that take years to undo. They can be saved from unproductive and frustrating decisions.
Jesus still promises and delivers eternal, abundant life. There is no better time to start this life than as a child.
Cultivate a child-like faith in your own life. God’s word informs us and allows us to exercise a faith that we can be confident in. Instead of fussing over every little thing, decide you will trust and depend on God, knowing he is always true to his word.
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