Summary: A sermon about the simplicity of salvation.
“The Kingdom Is for Kids!”
Mark 10:13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
It’s funny how things that you may have seen or heard in your childhood stick with us year after year. It’s a two-edged sword because some of our memories are both good and bad. It may be that the reason I remember what I’m about to relate is that I’m entering my second childhood! I remember a breakfast cereal commercial for “Trix” cereal the emphasized the idea the “Trix are for kids!” Jesus makes it very plain in this passage the kingdom is for kids too! With the Lord’s help this morning I hope that we can see this truth clearly with all its implications.
I. The Reaction of the Followers
a. The benediction that was sought
It was quite common to seek a blessing from someone who was considered to be a great prophet or teacher. We are not told whether the parents or adults sought this blessing.
b. The behavior of the servants
In Jesus day children were treated as if they had no value, as a matter of fact they had less than human status. Sounds much like the 21st century, doesn’t it! For the disciples these children were a nuisance and a distraction.
c. The Blessing of the Savior
The Lord’s attitude towards these children is far different than His own servants and He is very indignant at their behavior.
II. The Response in Focus
The disciples reaction is very revealing. Is indicates that even these men who had been with Jesus had very little idea about the Kingdom of God and how one gains entrance. They proved this in chapter 9 when even after hearing the Lord speak of his impending death 8:31-33, that they get in an argument about who was going to be the greatest in the kingdom. 9:33-37.
a. Salvation by subtraction
I will give up all my bad habits.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
b. Salvation by supplement
Like the rich young ruler in verses 17-22, men have always sought to add something to God’s plan. The question is always, “What must I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
ILL - Not many people enjoy going to the doctor, but according to Reuters, in 1994, one London accountant to that to an extreme. The 63-year-old man needed bladder surgery, but he couldn't overcome his fear of doctors and hospitals. So he self-reliantly did what had to be done. He tried to perform the surgery upon himself. Tragically he got an infection and died. The coroner said, "Unfortunately, his drastic remedy went wrong. A simple operation would have solved the problem."
Just as many don't trust doctors and hospitals, many people wont trust God. In their self-reliance, they destroy themselves.
c. Salvation by service
Still others believe that by serving their community to civic or social groups they can be good enough. It is interesting to read the obituary column, especially when some notable person has passed away and there is a long list of civic and social accomplishments and then almost as an afterthought there is a small mention about this persons church life if at all.
III. The Revelation We Find
Since Jesus said that we must become childlike (not childish) to enter the kingdom then it is important that we understand what He was taking about.
a. Children are truthful
Children have a straightforwardness that is absent in adults.
b. Children are trusting
"I CAN SEE YOU."
During the bombing of London during WW2, the Nazis would nightly bomb buildings and homes of civilians.
A father, holding his small son by the hand ran from a building that had been struck by a bomb. In the front yard was a shell hole. Seeking shelter as quickly as possible, the father jumped into this deep dark hole and held up his arms for his son to follow.
It was dark in the hole and the boy couldn't see his dad. Terrified, yet hearing his father's voice telling him to jump, the boy replied, "I can't see you!"