Jesus Loves the Little Children
Dedicating our children to God
A Children's Bible
"Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:15-16 (NIV)
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I want to begin our lesson this morning by reading a couple of verses from the Bible to you. (Using a Children's Bible, open it to Mark 10:15-16, but with the Bible turned UPSIDE DOWN.) Hmmm, I seem to be having trouble reading this morning. I wonder what is wrong? Can any of you help me figure out why I am having trouble reading? (The children will, no doubt, recognize that your Bible is upside down and will tell you that you have your Bible upside down. If not, discover it yourself.) Oh, my goodness, I have my Bible turned upside down! No wonder I couldn't read it. Let's try again. (Turn the Bible upright and read Mark 10:15-16.)
My little mistake of having the Bible upside down reminds me of a mistake that the disciples of Jesus made on the day that we read about from the Bible this morning. Many people were bringing children to Jesus so that he could lay his hands on them and bless them. The disciples scolded the parents because they thought they were bothering Jesus. They thought that Jesus would be pleased, but he wasn't.
Rather than being pleased, Jesus was angry with his disciples and said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! The Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it." Then Jesus took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.
I imagine that the disciples thought that they were being helpful to Jesus. He had been working very hard teaching, healing the sick, and feeding the multitudes. Perhaps the disciples thought that Jesus needed some rest, or maybe they thought that the children might keep Jesus from doing something more important. But, just like my mistake of having the Bible upside down, the disciples had their thinking turned upside down. They thought that the little children were a bother to Jesus, when instead, Jesus wanted everyone to be me more like the little children. Jesus loves everyone — especially little children!
We all need to remember that Jesus would never want us to keep children away from him. In fact, Jesus said, "Let the children come to me."
Our Father, help us all to come to Jesus as little children. Trusting him and putting our faith in him. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.