Summary: Today in our passage in Mark chapter 10, we will discover 2 things, 2 important, crucial, life-changing things Jesus wants us to learn from children.
CHILDREN AND JESUS
You can learn a lot from children
Read emails of things children said and did
Today in our passage in Mark chapter 10, we will discover 2 things, 2 important, crucial, life-changing things Jesus wants us to learn from children. Its all found in Mark chapter 10, beginning in verse 10.
A. Children are precious
People are bringing children to Jesus in order to be blessed.
The disciples rebuked them.
They had a low view of children: they weren’t worth the Master’s time. He had more important things to do!
They were assigning position based on worldly values again. Cf. 9:33-35.
The disciples had an organizational chart of the Kingdom of God. It had them at the top, kids at the bottom…
Jesus was “indignant” – only recorded time in Gospels.
This comes from the Greek word for “really mad.”
He responds sharply to them with staccato statements:
“Let them come.” “Do not hinder them.”
Have you ever been so mad, so frustrated that all you could do was sputter? That’s where Jesus is right here.
B. The kingdom of God belongs to them
The reason for this sharp, indignant response is:
“The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
This is a value statement, far higher than theirs.
“These” as in “as opposed to you.”
“Guys, there are two groups of people here, one of whom I’m sure is in the kingdom…
Children have a place in the kingdom, its given to them.
Children have value, are able to take part in the spiritual. They can have faith, belong to the kingdom of God.
What is it that makes the kingdom especially theirs?
C. Children humbly receive the Kingdom of God
This isn’t an “all kids go to heaven” statement.
In v. 15, Jesus explains why the kingdom can belong to, is offered to children: They receive it!
The distinguishing characteristic of children referred to is their humble acceptance of this gift.
Kids know how to receive, accept gifts!
This week was DJ’s birthday party.
I got home and asked them about the skate park…
He wanted to open gifts! He gratefully accepted them!
That’s what makes these kids special: they receive Jesus!
In fact, they receive Jesus far more readily than other people: Barna’s research: a 32% chance that a person 12 or under will accept Christ. Teens: 4%. Adults 6%.
“Don’t turn away these ones who receive me so simply.”
Illus: Teaching during VBS in the past, I noticed how readily kids accepted teaching about Jesus. They don’t say “Hmm,. I don’t know about this…”
I. WE MUST MAKE ROOM FOR CHILDREN TO RECEIVE THE KINGDOM OF GOD
We Have to make room for kids to come to Jesus. Children have value to God, they matter to Him. They show a remarkable acceptance of His kingdom. They can, and do, respond genuinely. God accepts this, values this. They are just as important as “big people.” In fact, they are the most strategic age group to reach for the kingdom…
We must make room for, enable kids (not just ours) to come to Jesus.
Boy, this would have been a really good message 2 weeks ago…
In addition, there’s more. Not only are children precious because they humbly accept the kingdom of God. Jesus tells us that kids are pictures, examples of how we are to receive the kingdom of God.
Jesus said the kingdom belongs “to such as these.”
Not just children, but those like children.
Notice this as I read v. 15.
In other words,
A. Children are pictures of faith
Children picture for us the kind of response required to enter the Kingdom of God, to be one of God’s people.
B. We must become like children to enter the Kingdom of God
This is a radical statement!
What is childlike faith? How do we receive the kingdom like children?
Remember, the point of comparison is their willingness to receive. They receive the kingdom of God as a gift.
Adults have trouble accepting a gift. They don’t want anything given to them.
I had lunch with Tim Anderson, and forgot my wallet unintentionally (this time). I felt terrible. Ever do the wallet dance when you go out to lunch with someone?
Ever get a gift, and wish you hadn’t, because now you have to get them a gift?
We want to have earned, deserved what we get. We don’t want to be “charity cases.”
But with God, that’s how it is. To get into the Kingdom, you have to realize you are utterly helpless to get in, unable to do it on your own, you have no merit. Nothing you do makes you worthy of God’s kingdom.
The Kingdom is something God gives, we receive.
Its not like a promotion or raise that you worked for or earned or deserved