Pass it on
By Chris Rathbone
Jesus really loves children! Let me write that again and you read it again: JESUS REALLY LOVES CHILDREN! Matter of fact, when even His disciples tried to keep them from “bothering” Jesus, they were rebuked by Him. “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.” Mark 10:14. I’ve always pictured children around Jesus whenever the crowds would gather to see and hear Him. Mark goes on to write in 10:14 “And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.” For a child to follow after someone to the point of pushing through the adults in the crowds just to be close to Jesus, they must have really been drawn to Jesus.
The next time you’re at a family gathering, pay attention to whom children are drawn. One thing is for sure, it won’t be the old hateful grump in the crowd! They will be drawn to the one who acknowledges them. The person who is willing to get down and talk to them face to face. They’ll be drawn to the one who asks them questions about things children love to do. Children know the ones who will play the games with them. Is there anything better than a child running to you and putting their little arms around you just because they know you care about them?
This must have been how children felt about Jesus. Certainly, they were excited to see or hear Jesus. He would have looked at them, smiled at them, talked to them, hugged them, and shown them, unconditional love. Children get to know people better than we often realize and they are not drawn to the old hateful grumps in the crowd, they are drawn to the ones who show them, love. Some of y’all are thinking right now, “Children don’t seem to have much to do with me.” There may be a reason!
Jesus says in that same chapter in Mark 10:15 “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” Jesus even uses the example of a child to how we must receive and believe in Him and His kingdom, as a little child! Completely trusting, believing without doubt or wavering, receiving and embracing His gift of salvation without pride or arrogance, just simply receiving and believing like a trusting child.
Jesus taught in Matthew 18:1-6 “At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 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.”
Jesus gives a grave warning in those verses. First, we must humble ourselves and simply receive His kingdom and offer of salvation like a trusting, believing, accepting child with no pride or confidence in ourselves. Secondly, we must not offend or hinder a little child who believes in Jesus. If anything, as parents, as family, as friends, as pastors, and as church families, we must point the children God has placed in our lives to Jesus! It is our responsibility to lead our children to a saving relationship in Christ. For if we don’t, you better believe the world will lead them straight to a devil’s hell. The eternity of our children is at stake! We have to do anything and everything we can to point children to Jesus! Pass it on church, Pass it on!
Preacher Chris Rathbone serves as Pastor at Mine Creek Baptist Church.
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