Summary: Children and Jesus (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Matthew chapter 19 verses 13-16:
Quote: The Message:
“One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus intervened: "Let the children alone, don't prevent them from coming to me. God's kingdom is made up of people like these." After laying hands on them, he left”.
There is a well-known saying:
• “Never work with children or animals”.
• The reason being both are unpredictable and don’t always respond they way you expect.
• Peel Common – heaven story.
• Xmas quiz talk – “Who gives the best gifts?”
• Chickerall, Weymouth - No-one has ever seen Jesus.
3 things to note from this Bible reading:
(1). A Welcoming (vs 14a).
“Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me”.
• During his days as president,
• Thomas Jefferson & a group of companions were travelling across the country on horseback.
• They came to a river which had left its banks because of a recent downpour.
• The swollen river had washed the bridge away.
• Each rider was forced to ford the river on horseback,
• Fighting for his life against the rapid currents.
• The very real possibility of death threatened each rider,
• Which caused a traveller who was not part of their group to step aside and watch.
• After several had plunged in and made it to the other side,
• The stranger asked President Jefferson if he would ferry him across the river.
• The president agreed without hesitation.
• The man climbed on, and shortly thereafter the two of them made it safely to the other side.
• As the stranger slid off the back of the saddle onto dry ground,
• One in the group asked him,
• “Tell me, why did you select the president to ask this favour of?”
• The man was shocked, admitting he had no idea it was the president who had helped him.
• “All I know,” he said,
• “Is that on some of your faces was written the answer ‘No,’
• And on some of them was the answer ‘yes.’
• His was a ‘Yes’ face.”
Jesus had a ‘yes’ face regarding children:
• At the time of Jesus, children were thought of as very incidental in ancient society:
• They very much lived by the motto: “Children are to be seen and not heard”.
• All though the Jews saw their children as a blessing from God & valued them.
• In public life children did not have a role to play.
• Men ruled the roost.
• Women were secondary – and a very distant second at that!
• And children were way, way below that.
• “Children were to be seen and not heard”.
The disciples probably thought they were doing Jesus a favour by their actions;
• After all they were allowing him to conserve his strength;
• And to protect his voluble time.