Summary: Whether it is with Jesus feeding the five thousand through the help of a young boy, or Jesus as we see in this passage encouraging the children to come to him, it is evident that Jesus loved children and wanted to share with them what Grace is all about.
Story told about a mother who was walking upstairs to put her children to bed and as she walked by the upstairs bathroom she saw her daughter leaning over the bathtub and she was running water in it. Had six dolls lined up on floor and decided dolls needed to be baptized. Been to baptismal service week before needed to be baptized. Girl doing it the best she could remember. Put first doll in water and said I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son and in the hole you go. That’s what she thought the pastor had said.
Today, as we share in this special occasion of a baby dedication, I think it is important to understand that this subject of Grace is not just for adults but it is for all people.
And the power of Grace is not just for adults but it is also for children as well. I am so thankful for the children that we have here at CBC. Seeing their enthusiasm for wanting to come to church and for studying and talking about Jesus gives me great joy. But it also is a reminder for us of the importance of getting our children involved in church. Not only will it help them to have a closer relationship with God but it will also compel in us the desire to learn a thing or two about grace when it comes to Jesus and his relationship with children. Jesus loved children and that is found all throughout the New Testament. Whether it is with Jesus feeding the five thousand through the help of a young boy, or Jesus as we see in this passage encouraging the children to come to him, it is evident that Jesus loved children and wanted to share with them what Grace is all about.
Let’s see how Jesus extends grace to children and how we should do it as well.
The first thing we see is that
1. Jesus Encourages Children To Come to Him
As our story starts off, we see that people are following Jesus and they are doing something that is common. In verse 13, the people brought their children to Jesus. This was not a one time thing, but it seems that it happened all the time. Whenever Jesus was in town, parent’s made sure that their children had the opportunity to see Jesus. It was a major attraction even more so than kids toay have around Christmas as Santa comes to town. This was more than just some jolly older man coming for once a year. No this was Jesus, the very Son of God, the one who could do all things. And parents wanted to make sure that their children were able to spend quality time with Jesus. Because they knew that Jesus cared strongly for children and that he wanted and enjoyed praying and blessing these children.
But not everyone that day was all happy about these parents bringing their children to Jesus for some quality time with Jesus. No the group that seemed to have the ost problems were the disciples although at this point in our story they don’t act like disciples, rather they act like bodyguards. You know the type. Though they were not big they were still burly and they did not like the interruption of the parents trying to get a few moments with the savior. The disciples were just hoping the kids would want to play hide and go seek. They did not need to waste the Savior’s team. He had other things to take care of. Or maybe the disciples were jealous. Maybe they saw these parents and children as another intrusion and a drain of Jesus energy and time. Maybe they were like Look people, we are his disciples. He is teaching us he does not have time for you.” Yet they completely missed Jesus mission and why he had come to this earth.
These bodyguards (I don’t think disciple’s is a good word to use here because of their actions) were so upset about these parents and children taking up their time with Jesus that the NIV says that they rebuked them. Now the word “rebuke” is a very strong word. It’s the same word that Jesus used when he rebuked the wind and the sea to stop. What the definition means is to seriously tell someone off, to reprimand someone sharply. It’s kind of like this. As the parents bring the kids I can picture the bodyguards or disciples saying Come on, get out of here. Can’t you see that this is Jesus? He doesn’t have time for little brats like yours. He’s busy with us -- would you quit bothering Him? Why don’t you take your kids to the Burger King Playland? They’re not welcome here! Go find someone who really cares...