Summary: This message was used the Sunday before Vacation Bible School, to impress the importance of children to Jesus.

“Jesus Loves The Little Children”

Matthew 18:1-6, 19:13-15, Mark 10:13-16

INTRODUCTION: Tonight, we begin our Vacation Bible School!

This week, our church will be filled with the sounds of CHILDREN … laughing, crying, yelling, eating, praying, singing …

V.B.S. is always an exciting time. It takes a lot of work, preparation, money, praying & sacrifice. Is it WORTH it?

What did Jesus think about children? Maybe that should act as an example in our preparation for V.B.S. this morning.

Let’s take a look at 2 examples of Jesus dealing with children: Matthew 18:1-6, 19:13-15 – all turn.

Let’s FIRST look closely at 19:13-15.

1.- Children Were Brought To Jesus - 19:13

NOTICE that it doesn’t specifically that they were brought by their PARENTS … although that may have been the case with SOME of the children.

Not every parent is interested in the spiritual well-being of their children. As CHRISTIANS, we are to be sensitive to the spiritual needs of ALL children … not just our own.

Some parents:

o Don’t know Jesus … aren’t raising their children in a Christian home.

o Don’t care about the spiritual condition of their children … will drop them off at V.B.S. so we can “baby-sit” them … so they can have a night “free”.

o Don’t understand the importance of teaching them about Jesus. They want them to wait until they are old enough to decide for themselves about spiritual things … or go to church. YET … they don’t let them wait until they are old enough to decide for themselves if they should go to school, visit the dentist, or clean their room.

ILL.: A preacher wanted to show off his garden to a man who wouldn’t let his children attend church … he wanted them to wait until they were old enough to decide for themselves. When they walked into he garden, it was full of weeds, which were choking out his squash, beans & okra. The man said: “This is a pitiful excuse for a garden!” To which the preacher replied: “I just wanted to wait until the vegetables had a chance to decide for themselves what they wanted to do!”.

The children were brought to Jesus. That’s what Jesus wants YOU to do this week … He wants YOU to bring them to Him. If YOU don’t bring them, they might never come.

2.- Jesus Wanted To Bless Them – 19:13

It was a common thing in Bible times for people to bring children to a prophet or priest for them to bless their children … like a “Child Dedication Service”.

As a prophet of God, they wanted Jesus to pray for the child, to tell them how much God loved them, and give them a special blessing from God. They knew that Jesus was anointed by God, and wanted their children to share in God’s anointing.

Jesus has a special blessing He wants to share with the children this year at V.B.S. For some it might be to let them hear for the FIRST TIME that Jesus loves them. For others it might be that to let them experience a Christian environment … around those who love them and love Jesus. For others it might be to plant the seed of the gospel, that later will be ripe unto harvest. For still others, it might be to touch their heart to trust Jesus as their personal Savior.

I don’t know HOW Jesus is going to bless His children this week. BUT – I DO KNOW, that Jesus WANTS to bless the children.

3.- There Were Hindrances To The Children – 19:13

The Disciples rebuked those who brought the children to Jesus! They thought that Jesus was too important to mess with little children. They thought that they were a bother, a nuisance, trouble. “Can’t you see that Jesus is busy with more important things than children? He’s got work to do … leave Him alone! He’s busy teaching US … He doesn’t have time to waste on little kids!”

The Disciple tried to keep the children away from Jesus.

Sometimes, WITHOUT REALIZING IT, we provide HINDRANCES to the little children.

1.- The Hindrance Of Neglect – Children often get overlooked in ministry.

We have a tendency to view children differently:

o Some people may not prepare themselves in teaching their lessons … like we would if we were teaching adults. (tho not HERE!)

o Some people might treat Sunday School, Wednesday Night Youth & Children’s Church like a time to “occupy” the children to keep them from interfering with “adult” worship. (tho not HERE!)

o Some people might ignore the children of our church because they can’t contribute to the church … they are a liability and not an asset … an expense and not a source of revenue. (tho not HERE!)

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