I was talking about how impartial Jesus was, and the other area that impressed itself upon me was His attitude to children. In Matthew 19. 13-15 it says that they brought children to Jesus for Him to bless them. It doesn’t say who ‘they’ were but it’s my guess that it was mothers and grandmothers, who, discerning just a little of whom Jesus was, wanted their little ones to benefit and be blessed. Now it’s not that the disciples simply told these women that Jesus was too busy or something similar, the Bible says the disciples ‘rebuked’ them! They got a telling off for wanting their children to be blessed! The disciples’ response indicates the norm, but the response of Jesus turns this completely around and reveals His heart for children, how special and precious they are. Several times in the gospels He speaks of children.
In Matthew 10.42 He promises a reward for kindness to children.
Matthew 18.2 He uses a child as an example.
Matt 18 3-4 He declares a childlike spirit is essential in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matt 18.10 He warns against despising children.
Mark 9.37 He commands us to receive children.
John 21.15 He commanded they receive spiritual food. Etc!
I just want to encourage every children and youth worker and just emphasise here that you are about Gods business, you are displaying His heart, His priorities. Children’s work can have delayed satisfaction and the fruit may not be fully and clearly seen for many years, but you are sowing seed for the kingdom of heaven that I assure you, will indeed bear fruit.
I began to search for God around the age of 8 years and when I was 11, I was introduced to a Pentecostal Church in Strelley Nottingham, where for several years two unmarried women fed this little girl spiritual food. They had no idea what the fruit of their labour would be, but they were faithful. They did not despise my childhood but displayed the heart of Jesus.
When we teach and feed a child, the results are similar to throwing a pebble in a pond and the ripples spread out, reaching and touching lives we never dreamed we personally could touch.
It’s also very similar for parents. Parenthood can be incredibly rewarding, exciting, adventurous and fun, but it can also be hard work, confusing, scary, expensive and exhausting! None of us truly know if we’re getting it right. But who are we raising for Jesus? What potential has He entrusted into our hands? Who might our ‘babies’ become?
‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.’