Bringing Children to Jesus

August 11, 2021

Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." And He laid His hands on them and departed from there (Matthew 19:13-15).

This was not a new thing in Israel. For generations the elders of Israel encouraged parents to bring their children to the Temple or the local synagogue so that the Rabbis would pray for them and bless them in the name of the Lord. In many churches today we honor that same ministry by dedicating our parents and their babies to the ‘nurture and admonition of the Lord’. It doesn’t save the child. It simply acknowledges that children are a gift from God and we dedicate ourselves to intentionally raising our children under His love and authority.

Upon leaving Galilee, Jesus and the disciples walked to a region of Judea that lay East of the Jordan River. This region was called Perea. It would be His last stop on the way to Jerusalem to celebrate His last Passover before being crucified. It is fitting that in this last stop Jesus would focus His attention on the need for children to come to Him for His blessing.

In the 3 years of His public ministry Jesus had become controversial, popular, beloved, and hated. When people met Jesus they were never the same - their either loved Him or hated Him. It is a striking thing that those who should have loved and accepted Him (the religious leaders of Israel) hated and rejected Him, and those who would have otherwise ignored Him (the common people of Israel) loved and flocked to Him. Even more striking is the testimony of Scripture that the children who came to Jesus loved Him and wanted to be around Him. Jesus loved and welcomed them. He did not rebuke the parents for bringing them to Him. He knew their motives were pure, even though many probably did not believe in Him as the Son of God and the Messiah of Israel. They wanted their children to know Jesus, and they wanted Jesus to bless their children.

Jesus was not naive or sentimental about children. He knew they were the product of fallen and sinful parents, making them fallen and sinful even though there is a certain innocence about them. Jesus was not ignorant of their potential as they grew to adulthood; He was aware of the leaven of sin in a person’s life. However, because of their natural openness, honesty, and trusting nature, Jesus looked upon them with compassion and a desire to bless them and use them as an example to adults of what His Kingdom is all about (Matthew 18:1-6).

“Lord Jesus, may we not forsake the children of our generation by ignoring them or rebuking them for their interest in spiritual matters. May we intentionally welcome children to talk to us about You and faith in You. May we realize the potential of sin in their lives if the matters of Your Kingdom go unheeded. May we see their potential in Your Kingdom and take the necessary steps to bring these little ones to You. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”


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