Summary: Jesus tells us to lead children to Him.
A Messiah's Love For Children
Text: Matt. 19:13-15
1. Illustration: Children can have an incredible impact on adults. There is not doubt that the children of this church have had a major impact on me, and I look upon all of them as if they were my own. Recently, when Tina and I went on vacation, I was going through Kyran withdrawal. I kept tickling Tina under the armpits and saying "I got your mousy hole!" Even more recently when I bought my new Apple computer and turned it on for the first time and saw the large Apple on the front light up I said, "Oh, pretty, lights!" So there is little doubt that children have an impact on adults.
2. The real question is what kind of an impact are we having on them? Is it positive or negative?
3. Jesus tells us that...
a. Adults Can Be Roadblocks For Children
b. Adults Can Be Magnets For Children
c. Adults Need to Minister To Children
4. Read Matt. 19:13-15
Proposition: Jesus tells us to lead children to Him.
Transition: Jesus tells us...
I. Adults Can Be Roadblocks to Children (13).
A. The Disciples Scolded
1. You have heard me say many times that our children our the future of our church.
a. That future can be bright or dim depending on what they see in us.
b. If they see the love of Christ in a way that they want to emulate us, our future will be bright.
c. If they see in us meanness, pettiness, and hypocrisy our future is very dim.
2. This can be seen in our text which says, "One day some parents brought their children to Jesus..."
a. Children were customarily brought to the elders and scribes of the synagogue for their blessing.
b. Therefore, these parents must have held Jesus in high esteem.
c. The children were very young, so much so that they had to be carried.
d. The Greek word used here for children is paidia, it is a term referring to young children from infancy through perhaps toddler age.
e. Both Mark and Luke in their accounts of this story use the imperfect tense ("they were bringing"), indicating a continuing process and likely an extended period of time.
f. When word spread that Jesus was in the area, parents were drawn to this Teacher whose love of children had become known throughout Palestine (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew 16-23).
3. They brought their children to Jesus "so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them."
a. Children were socially powerless and dependent. Some people in the Old Testament would lay hands on others to bestow a blessing in prayer (Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament).
b. The parents cared for their children, cared enough that they wanted the very best for them.
c. Jesus Christ was claiming to be the Messiah, the very Son of God; so they wanted their children to be blessed by Him instead of an ordinary religious leader.
d. The parents believed in Jesus, in His love and power to bless.
e. They believed that Jesus' blessing was meaningful to their children—very, very meaningful.
f. They also believed that He cared and loved enough that He would bless them.
4. However, the disciples, once again showing their lack of spiritual insight, "scolded the parents for bothering him."
a. The disciples, very self-importantly, rebuked these little ones and their parents very harshly, without understanding them or Jesus.
b. Perhaps they saw their coming to Jesus as an interruption to His teaching, or that Jesus was too important to be bothered by such a trivial thing.
c. Although children in Judaism of the time were deeply cherished, they were thought in some ways to be negligible members of society: their place was to learn, to be respectful, to listen.
d. Children serve as models for humility, patterns for Jesus' "little ones"; yet Jesus' disciples, his "little ones," show little humility here (Carson, Expositor's Bible Commentary).
e. However, Jesus would teach them that to Him children are vitally important (Horton, 403-405).
1. Illustration: Once I was ministering to a young family that lived not far from the church I was pastoring. I gained their trust and respect, and was even given the honor of marrying the young couple that had lived together for a number of years. They had a four-year-old son and one on the way. After much effort, and numerous visits to their home, I was able to get the Mom and her young son to come to church. However, I was never able to get the Dad to come. Once I asked him why he wouldn't come to church. After stating that I was not the reason, he told me that when he was a little boy he was treated in an un-Christ-like manner by one the adults at the church he attended. He said he never went back and never would because of the way he was treated. It wasn't Jesus he had a problem with; it was some of the people in His church.