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Summary: Children and Jesus (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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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.

Ill:

• 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”.

Ill:

• 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.

Ill:

• 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.

• Yet, Jesus did not drive them away,

• For him this was a good use of his time and strength.

• He was irresistibly attractive to children.

• And the children knew it!

Ill:

• D.L. Moody

• “How many converts?” He answered; “Two and a half”

ill:

• One of the very first Church Fathers was a man called Polycarp;

• He was said to have known the Apostle John and to have been taught by him.

• Polycarp was Bishop of Smyrna (today known as Izmir),

• A city on the west coast of Turkey.

• He was martyred for his faith

• But just before his martyrdom at the age of 95 he said,

• "For eight and sixty years I have served my king and he has done for me no harm".

• Thereby declaring that he had been converted at the age of 9.

• Ill: Mathew Henry was brought to Christ when he was 11.

• Ill: Richard Baxter when he was 6.

• Ill: Robert Moffat was only a young boy;

• Ill: Helen Cadbury, (the founder of the Pocket Testament League) was 12.

• Ill: Rosalind Goforth was 11.

• Ill: Isaac Watts only 9.

• Ill: All Catherine Booth's 8 children had been led to Christ before they were 10 years old.

• Ill: Jonathan Edwards and Mary Slessor were converted at 7.

• Ill: Amy Carmichael at 9,

• Ill: Jim Elliot at 6.

The disciples probably thought they were doing Jesus a favour by their actions;

• After all they were allowing him to conserve his strength and protect his time.

• Yet, Jesus did not drive them away, this was a good use of his time and strength.

• He was irresistibly attractive to children.

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