The fourth message in our series of sermons under the general heading of – “the outstretched hand of Jesus”.
Ordinary people like to touch the hands of the great and the good, but here the situation is reversed, as Jesus (the great & good) touched the ordinary (the children) that had been brought to him by their mothers.
The placement of the story in Mark’s Gospel is highly significant in that it is sandwiched between two of the greatest threats to the well being of children, namely marriage break up (v 1- 12) and materialism (v 17 – 31.) The actual story itself, the filling in the sandwich, offers us two attitudes towards children, as well as using the example of children to teach us adults an important spiritual lesson.
1 – Intrusive (v 13 – the disciples.)
The disciple, who probably had Jesus’ best interests at heart, viewed the children as an intrusive nuisance; they rebuked the mothers for bringing them and sought to bar them from the presence of Jesus.
Challenge – Do you view children as intrusive and seek to stand between them and Jesus?
2 – Important (v 14 & 16 – Jesus.)
Perhaps the disciples expected Jesus to praise them for their stance, but instead he was “indignant,” an emotion that he did experience from time to time (Mark 3 v 5.) He insisted that these important children be brought to him, and taking them into his arms he blessed them while saying – “the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Imagine how valued and significant this would have made the children feel.
Challenge – Do you regard children as important enough to do all that you can to enable them to enter the Kingdom of God?
3 – Illustrative (v 15.)
Jesus used children as an illustration of how people enter the Kingdom of God – “Anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” So what can children teach adults about how to enter the Kingdom of God? Children are trusting and accept things at face value, whereas adults tend to question and complicate matters! So if a person is to enter the Kingdom of God, they need to demonstrate not childish, but childlike trust (Acts 16 v 31.)
Challenge – Will you exercise that childlike trust in order to enter the Kingdom as a child of God?
Morning Service 10:30a.m
Theme: “It’s a Kid’s Kingdom!”
Reading: Mark 10 v 13 – 16
Led by: Richard Sills
Preacher: Chris Hughes