“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. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in is arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.” (Mark 10:13-16)
In this passage, many people were coming to see Jesus. Some could have come from far away. Maybe they heard of His miracles, teaching, and love for people, and they wanted to see Him for themselves. They knew that Jesus was someone special come from God. Many were sure that He was Israel’s long-awaited Messiah. Parents brought their kids, but when they tried to get close to Jesus, the disciples turned them away! “Hey, take these kids away! Jesus is doing some important teaching right now! He’s too busy for a bunch of kids!” No doubt the kids were disappointed—as well as the parents—at not being able to see Jesus.
Jesus heard what His disciples were doing, and was “much displeased.” Maybe the disciples didn’t think the kids were worth Jesus’ time, but they were. Jesus stopped what He was doing, checked his disciples’ error, and put whatever He was doing on hold while He spent a little time with kids.
Jesus loves everyone, but He has a special affection for kids. He knows how innocent and vulnerable they are to bad influences. He said, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). That’s a serious warning for anyone who would corrupt a child. Jesus not only endorses the death penalty, but even said that it’s better for the offender—not better for society but for the OFFENDER to suffer this fate. How could it be better for him? The biggest reason would be that he’d have a chance to receive Jesus as Saviour before the execution. The worst thing that could happen to anyone is not death, but death without Christ, and God is “not willing that any [not even those who’d entice children to sin] should perish [go to hell for eternity], but that all [even them] should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Unfortunately, kids can grow up in sinful environments. Two officers on patrol rolled past a group of kids one evening. As they passed, they heard a high-pitched child’s voice swear at them. They stopped the car, got out and approached the group. They weren’t going to take official action—what were they going to do, arrest a little kid for swearing? They asked who’d said that. A small kid said that he had. When they asked him if he knew what the words meant, he looked straight at them and shrugged his shoulders in exaggerated, little-kid fashion. He had no idea. An older kid had probably told him to say that as the police passed, and the older kid had probably heard it from people older than him.
If you know Jesus as Saviour, never write off kids. Never look at kids in a bad environment and think there’s no hope. They have souls, and Jesus loves them just as much as He loved the kids in the story. They may have plenty of bad influences, but 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Anything you do to reach them for Christ is never a waste. So if you can touch a kid’s life, even with a small kind word or deed, do it. God can take that little bit you do and turn it into a chance to share the gospel of Christ.
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Brian Miller 8/31/2017
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822