Jesus and the Little Children
“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
With VBS just behind us we have focused, and rightfully so, on our children and lessons we can learn from them. However, I would like for us to consider the above verses from a different perspective. At the very beginning of the passage it says, “they were bringing children to him.” Please do not take this part of the account lightly. They brought their children to Jesus because they understood who he was and knew that their children needed him as much as they did.
No one today can take their children to physically see Jesus, so what does the application of this account look like for us? I would like to suggest three ways that we can bring our children to Jesus.
First, share your testimony. This is a great way for children to get to know who Jesus is and what he can do for them. Paul used this approach to bring others to Jesus. In Acts 26 he shared his conversion story with King Agrippa. We should be unashamed of what Jesus has done for us. We should desire to share our new life with Jesus not only with strangers, but with our children. As the song says, “hide it under a bushel, NO. I’m going to let it shine.” Our children should know Jesus from the change he has made in our lives.
The second way is to routinely expose children to the church. Jesus is the cornerstone on which the church is built (Ephesians 2:20), and the church is the body of Christ (Colossians 1:18). What an awesome opportunity to expose our children to “living stones being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” – 1 Peter 2:5. This experience is not something that happens on just Sunday and Wednesday night, but in our daily commitment to fulfill the purpose of the church. If we want to bring our children to Jesus, we must expose them to the church.
Thirdly is to teach them theology (the study of God). “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” - John 14:6. When we study the truth of God’s word, we are bringing our children to Jesus. Children should learn and develop the skills to be “a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” – 2 Timothy 2:15. This is something that should be taught daily when you are eating a meal together, going for a walk, or watching TV. Could you say that your words and actions bring our children to Jesus?
To me, the best part of the account can be found at the end when we are told “he took them in his arms and blessed them.” Jesus is waiting for all of his children with open arms and is wanting to bless them. What a great opportunity and responsibility we all have to bring our children to Jesus. We sometimes sing this prayer in the hymn “Father, Help Us Raise Our Children.”
When our time to go draws near,
We may leave our children here;
To the new land, far away,
Father, bring them home someday.
May God bless us as we strive to help our children see Jesus.