Summary: Follow-up message to "Jesus Likes Kids!" about how to model Christlikeness.
Being Like Jesus to Your Kids
February 3, 2008
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT USED IN MY MESSAGES IS BORROWED FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."
Three men waiting in the room for expectant fathers waited for word on the arrival of their infants.
Some while later a nurse comes in and announces to one of the men that his wife had just given birth to twins. “That’s amazing he said - I play for the Minnesota Twins!”
About twenty minutes later another nurse comes in and announces to the second gentleman that his wife had given birth to triplets. “WOW” - he stated, “I work for the 3M company!”
Upon hearing that the third man fell off his chair and fainted - after those who were present were able to revive him, they all inquired as to why he had fainted. He said, “I work for the 7-UP!” (Sermoncentral.com. Contributed by Joseph Plata)
Me: I mentioned last week that I like kids, and even love a few of them.
And we talked last week about the fact that God loves kids, and that kids were God’s idea in the first place, because one of the first commands we find in all of Scripture was for Adam and Eve to have children.
But being a parent now for going on 18 years, I find that one of the biggest concerns I have is that I will be someone who points his kids to Jesus by both word and by example.
Will they see Jesus in me? Will they look at me and see the love and acceptance that Jesus has for them, reflected in me?
Because in this passage we’re looking at, Jesus tells his people that they are to let the children come to Him and to not get in their way.
How am I doing in those regards? Only time will tell, of course, but in the meantime I need to be intentional about reflecting Jesus accurately to them.
We: If I were to take a poll, my guess is that all of us who claim to be Christians want our children to grow up to love and serve Jesus in whatever occupation they find themselves, right?
Well the key to seeing that happen is them seeing Jesus in you and seeing you act and talk like Jesus toward them.
I also believe that no matter how old your kids are, you can take what we learn from Jesus here and put them into practice.
God: Last week I mentioned that access to Jesus is all-important for your children.
And the idea was that we should make opportunities available for children to gain access to Jesus and that shouldn’t do anything that stands in the way of that access.
Matthew 19:13-15 (p. 696) –
Most of my comments will be geared toward parents, but they are applicable to anyone around children.
13 Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
It was a common practice back in Jesus’ day for children to be brought to the rabbis and elders to be blessed, usually by the placing of hands on the child (Expositor’s Bible Commentary).
As we mentioned last week, Jesus was a busy guy. He was traveling, teaching, preaching, healing, feeding crowds, driving out demons, and all sorts of stuff.
He hardly had a moment to Himself, and my guess here is that the disciples were just trying to get Jesus away so He could either rest or deal with people who were really important – you know, like grown-ups.
You see, kids were deeply cherished in Judaism, but in some ways they were second-class citizens. Their job was to listen, learn, and be respectful, not be in the way of the grown-ups.
That doubtless had something to do with the attitude of the disciples’.
And so the disciples were getting after the grown-ups who were bringing more distractions to Jesus.
But what was Jesus’ attitude? “Bring ‘em, on, guys! I love kids. I have time for them and I want to bless them. You just bring them right on over, okay?”
One of the most important words in the Christian vocabulary is this one: Christlikeness.
If you call yourself a Christian, then you are called to be Christlike – like Jesus in every area of our lives, through the working of the Holy Spirit using the Word of God in our lives.
Christlikeness impacts those around us, and it especially impacts the children around us.