Sunday, March 04, 2007

Jesus Loves Children

Jesus Loves Children

Intro.: One of the things that I discovered as I worked on my counseling degree a number of years ago was that I had lost the memory of a great deal of my childhood.

  1. Yet every so often something pops to the surface.

  2. Do you remember of the first poems you may have learned?

  3. I can remember two of the first poems I ever heard – I expect that they may be in your memory as well

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails,
And puppy dog tails,
That's what little boys are made of. 1

What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice,
And everything nice,
That's what little girls are made of. 2

  1. Somehow, what we learn in childhood sticks with us.

  2. Today we recognize that Jesus loved children – even though others missed that point. I want to look at the four major people or groups of people in Mark 10:13-16.

Read: Mark 10:13-16


Trans: Our passage today is written as Jesus begins His final journey to Jerusalem.

  1. Jerusalem was a central point of Jesus life – both as a child, as we saw last week, and as an adult.

  2. The next chapter begins with the Triumphal Entry in Jerusalem – the major event of Palm Sunday.

  3. But even as Jesus moves toward the worst week of His life, He keeps his focus on ministry.

    We need to look at four people of note in Mark 10:13-16.

  1. Look at the children

(Ill.) Friday nights I usually eat dinner alone. On Fridays Sandra works till 9 and I will stop and get something to eat. This past Friday was no different – I decided to eat at the small Chinese restaurant in North Chili. Sandra and I have gotten to know the owners. Though they are from China, they now make their home in the Rochester area.

They have two very active kids – I would guess 2nd grade and Kindergarten. As I entered the owner was waiting on another customer, but I waved to the kids – who waved back.

After placing my order, I took my seat. The two kids came up to the table. The older asked me if they could sing me a song. The younger one asked me to tie his shoelace. As I finished tying the shoelace, the older boy came back with a book – they were going to sing "Skip to My Lou" to me. First the older one sang a verse, then the younger one, then the older one, and then the younger one. And then the most amazing thing happened, the older one pointed to me and said "your turn." So we sat there and sang four more verses of "Skip to My Lou." We finished about the time my food arrived and they were told to let me eat in peace. Though I was able to eat without any direct disruption of my dinner, the kids did play dodgeball with a crumbled menu for the next 30 minutes.

    1. I found the evening's entertainment to be a stress reliever. The kids were rambunctious. But they were being normal kids.

    2. Probably no different than the kids around Jesus that day.

    3. Children are dependent on their parents. Children are in need of our care.

(Appl.) In some ways, we all are like those children. We are weak. We will fail. We can begin to grow when when we are able to recognize those weaknesses. As long as we see our strength, it becomes difficult to trust God. Once we see our own weaknesses, we are ready to trust God.

  1. Look at the people

    1. While scripture tells us that it was children (Luke says babies) that were being brought to Jesus, it tell us nothing about the people.

(Ill.) The Greek only says "brought children" – the ending of the verb forces us to read the text as "They brought children .." - it was of course people who did it, but we are given no details about who they are.

    1. These children would not have seen Jesus if someone had not taken them to Jesus – and though we do not know who they are, they were the vehicle by which these children would come to Christ.

  1. Look at the disciples

    1. But there is someone else there as well – the disciples.

    2. They have now been with Jesus for most of three years – you would think that they would have a pretty good idea about what was important to Jesus.

    3. But, even though they should have known, they did not. I don't know why they took this stance.

      1. It may be that they saw their goal as protecting Jesus from these abusive children.

      2. Or it could be that they saw Jesus' time as too valuable – and they did not have the time.

      3. Or it could be that they were using that classical excuse, "We did it that way before."

      4. I don't know why they decided to interfere.

    4. But as I studied this passage, I was amazed that it was not the apostles who got it; it was the very anonymous "people" that brought the Children.

(Ill.) Perhaps they saw life like the poet Billie Crawford:

Some would gather money

Along the path of life;

Some would gather roses

And rest from worldly strife.

But I would gather children

From among the thorns of sin;

I would seek a golden curl

And a freckled, toothless grin.

For money cannot enter

In that land of endless day,

And the roses that are gathered

Soon will wilt along the way.

But, oh, the laughing children,

As I cross the Sunset Sea;

As the gates swing wide to Heaven,

I can take them in with me!3

    1. Are we willing to bring people to Jesus? As an individual are you willing to bring people to Jesus? As a church are we willing to bring people to Jesus?

  1. Look at Jesus

    1. Having said all this, it is important to note that the real focus of this passage is on Jesus.

    2. Jesus makes three key statements:

      1. He wants children to be part of His church. "Let the little children come to me."

      2. The kingdom of God was designed for children. "do not hinder the children, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."

      3. We must understand ourselves as children – "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child, will never enter it."

    3. Today has been about children – from the beach balls, to my encounter with two children at the Chinese restaurant, and our encounter with Jesus

    4. Jesus wants to meet you – he wants to meet you as a child.

    5. Are you willing to meet him today.

Conclusion: Sing Jesus Loves Me




3Green, M. P. (1989). Illustrations for Bilical Preaching : Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor's illustration file.). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

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