Jesus Loves the Little Children
Wreck-Less Love Week 2
Pastor Kris Freeman
August 19, 2018
Scripture: Luke 18:15-17 (NLT)
15 One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him.
16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
Jesus is about to deliver one of the most simple and foundational teachings of the New Testament, and the disciples are really close to mess it up.
In week one of the series Wreck-Less Love, we asked how the church could do a better job of not making a mess to those around us in which we are called to love.
Today, we see the nature of God exhibited in how a child loves and accepts others.
This same passage is recorded in the book of Matthew 19.
13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.
14 But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” 15 And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.
It’s interesting that this passage happens just before Jesus teaches the rich man about how to inherit eternal life. Did he actually give the secret answer to everything in his handling of the children?
Five principles of this passage:
- Teach our kids and take our kids to Jesus
- Pray for our children
- Remember, they are just kids (and let them be kids!)
- The key to Heaven is in the mindset of a child
- Bless our children and set an example for them
What is the mindset of a child which we all need to practice? The key to love others is hidden deeply in this mentality.
- Children love to sing and play and experience joy
Matthew 21:15-16 (NLT)
15 The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.”
But the leaders were indignant. 16 They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?”
“Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’”
2. Children are fully accepting of others and love with all their heart.
Matthew 18:2-3 (NLT)
2 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. 3 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.
3. Children see differences the way adults classify division.
Acts 10:34-36 (NLT)
34 Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. 35 In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. 36 This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.
4. Children rarely analyze God. They are in awe of Him and his creation.
1 Peter 2:2-3 (NLT)
2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.
Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)
Train up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will not depart from it.
5. Children have a teachable spirit.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (NLT)
5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Isn’t it amazing, that in the very verse where we are reminded to teach principles to our children and lead our homes with this foundation, is also the first recording of what would become the new commandment of love in the New Testament.
Maybe, God had this thing figured out from the very beginning.