Mark 10:14- “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” NKJV
Sometimes, as adults, we can miss it! Such was the case with the disciples. In chapter 9, Jesus demonstrated His love and willingness to interact with children:
Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”Mark 9:36-37 NKJV
Jesus held the child in His arms and told His disciples that whoever receives a child in His name receives Him. You would think that the disciples would understand that Jesus loved kids and didn’t mind having them around. As a matter of fact, He made them sound pretty important to Him, when He said that to receive them, was to receive Him.
Yet, here in chapter 10, we can clearly see that those words went right over their head!
Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.Mark 9:13 NKJV
The people are starting to bring their children to Jesus, wanting Him to touch them, and the disciples rebuked the parents! It makes no sense! Jesus had just finished saying that if anyone would cause a child to stumble or fall, it would be better if they had drowned in the sea, and they are trying to keep children from Him!
Mark lets us know that Jesus wasn’t happy with His disciples. Not only was He not happy, but He was also greatly displeased! Can you imagine His displeasure? Their embarrassment?
But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.Mark 10:14 NKJV
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me.” I mentioned in my previous blog that my mother-in-law was involved in child evangelism. My husband and his siblings speak of how they came to the Lord at an early age, along with all of their friends and the kids in the neighborhood. What a legacy! Every Saturday, their mom would host child evangelism classes in their basement as kids came to hear about Jesus. For years!
I remember being in church as a kid and sharing my “determination” that Jesus would be my Savior and heaven would be my home. Everyone thought that this was “cuteness”, but I was very serious. Many people share their testimonies of backsliding and then coming back to Jesus. I can genuinely state that I have never walked away from Jesus, I have never “laid down my religion”, and I have never wanted to. I just needed Him so desperately, I realized at an early age, I couldn’t do life without Him.
Jesus understood the heart of a child and was trying to help His disciples to also understand.
“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.Mark 10:14 NKJV
Children are important to Jesus. Their open spirit is waiting to be written upon, and as adults, we need to make sure the right message is written in their hearts. No child is too young to genuinely open their heart to the savior. While they might not understand theology 101, they understand how He makes them feel loved and protected. I’m a witness!
There are parents who choose to not see the value of bringing their children to Jesus while they are young. They were made to go to church so they won’t make their children go. It’s their only time to sleep in. The kids don’t want to get up because they stayed up late playing video games. It doesn’t take all of that! I’ll let them decide when they are older.
But when we take this position or have this attitude, we are forbidding them to come to Jesus. If Jesus was displeased with the disciples for trying to keep the children away, how do we think He feels when we keep our children away?
For such is the kingdom of God. Prayer is communicating with God. Children may not be able to throw bible verses into a prayer, but their hearts of trust and faith make their prayers just as powerful as an adult. Maybe more! Worship may be something they cannot articulate, but when they lift their hands in praise and worship with all of their heart, it’s magnifying. When they tell others about their Savior, they may not be able to explain the four spiritual laws, but they understand the One Who loves them.
I’ve worked with children most of my life and I know they can come to Jesus and be sincere as they come. Especially since that is what happened to me. I’ve also seen them come to Jesus, want to really learn of Him, and had to watch their parents snatch them away. It’s heartbreaking!
I’ve watched children serve the Lord with all of their hearts. They get involved in children’s choir, dance, playing instruments, praying, evangelism, and they are serious about Jesus. If nurtured and trained by godly adults, they will grow into godly teens, and later godly adults. If children are tolerated in a church, and not allowed to be a part, they will drift away feeling irrelevant and unimportant. Forbid them not!
What if I did all of that, and they walked away from Him? When I think of wayward children I think of this verse in Isaiah:
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth.Isaiah 43:6 NKJV
Some of us need to become mediators for our children. Instead of giving up, we need to tell the devil, the drugs, the sin in their life to give them up! This is your baby, not the devil’s baby, and the devil shouldn’t be allowed to have free access in their life! Fight the good fight of faith for them, especially if they had a heart for Jesus in their youth! Trust God to bring them back to Him!
Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.Mark 10:15-16 NKJV
If you follow me, you know that I believe that the kingdom of God is real. The kingdom of God is accessed and experienced through faith! Jesus said that if we don’t receive the kingdom of God as a little child, we won’t enter it! Children are trusting until you teach them not to trust. They just accept what they are told as truth. This is how we operate in the kingdom. If we are to experience it, we are going to have to trust that what Jesus taught about the kingdom is true. And to access it, we must believe. Plain and simple!
This isn’t talking about going to heaven, per se! But that’s for another blog on another day! Wonderful Jesus!