Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Commands of Christ - Matthew 19:14

"Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." -Matthew 19:13-14

To whom is this command spoken?

The disciples

What does this command require?

Let the little children come to Jesus.

What truths do we learn here?

Jesus is interested in ministering to little children. He desires to be near them and to allow them to come near to Him. Jesus wanted to lay hands on them and pray for them. The disciples were wrong to rebuke those who were bringing the children to Jesus.

Children's ministries are often neglected in churches. Children are left to themselves, or given some second-rate ministry to attend. We ought to be investing in children and discipling them in the way of the Lord. Children can teach us something about ministry. I am a firm believer that if you can't teach and minister to children, you probably won't be very effective teaching and ministering to adults. I knew a young man that wanted some opportunities to teach. We had a need in one of our children's ministries, so we offered him those opportunities. He told us that he didn't want to teach children, he wanted to teach adults, and he passed up this chance to minister. Children could have taught him a lot as a young man starting out in ministry. But he passed it up because he wanted that greater sphere of influence with adults.

Jesus says something significant here. He says, "of such is the kingdom of heaven." I don't think this means that there are only little children in the kingdom of heaven. I believe Jesus was talking of the faith of the little children, just has He had in another place. Those who enter the kingdom of heaven must have the faith of a little child. Children don't question the truth, they just accept it. Children don't try and find a better way, they just take the way that is shown them. We must have this sort of faith to enter the kingdom of heaven.

What are the consequences for disobedience?

Failure to see what the kingdom of heaven is really like.

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