FELLOWSHIP GROUP NOTES: BRING THE CHILDREN TO ME
Luke 18:15-17 (NIV) | (also Mark 10:13-16)
The Little Children and Jesus
15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission.
Our Bible reading tells us something very important about how Jesus felt about little children. The problem was that the disciples – who were learning about Jesus, and who were also supposed to help him with his work – got in the way! People were bringing little babies and little children to Jesus so that he could bless them…instead of helping the people to get to Jesus, the disciples moaned at them and told them to “Go away…” (vs. 15).
When Jesus saw this, and heard what the Disciples were saying, he became angry! Then he told them to do something very important…
- Bring the children to me….
- Don’t get in their way….
- The Kingdom of God belongs to children too…
Why did he say these things?
Then he told the Disciples, the Pharisees, and all the grownups there…
- If you want to get into heaven …you better be like a little child!
What did he mean by that?
1. BRING THE CHILDREN
Jesus’ reaction is good news for all of us! It is good news for children, it tells them they are loved, and valued and treasured by God (precious in his sight)! It is also good news for all the grownups who feel that they don’t know enough in their faith; grownups who see themselves as young in their walk with the Lord or who still want to be taught about Jesus and about how God’s love works….
Has St. Thomas helped you to grow your faith?
Irrespective of that answer, are you committed to “keep on learning”?
There is more good news…people were bringing babies and children to him…There were people that day that believed Jesus could make a difference in the life of a little child and they faithfully, and in trust, brought children to him (vs. 15). The children weren’t sick, the people did not bring them to Jesus to be healed from a disease – they brought the children to Jesus for a blessing! They knew that Jesus could change the little child’s life – on the inside (in their soul)! The faithfulness of other people is good news – think about this – the children were too small to have faith in Jesus, yet Jesus could bless them because of the faithfulness of those people that brought the children to him.
Do you know faithful people at St. Thomas that bring other people to meet Jesus?
Are you one of them?
Is there someone you know, who needs you to use your faithfulness to bring them to meet Jesus?
2. DON’T GET IN THE WAY…
The Disciples thought they knew what Jesus was thinking! The people were bringing the children to Jesus, and instead of checking with Jesus first, the Disciples probably thought … “This is a waste of time…let’s get these people away from here so that Jesus can carry on teaching us….” Jesus got very angry with them. There are times we can be well meaning, excited about what we are learning, and we decide we know exactly what God wants for us…and by thinking like that “We get in the way of his ministry to someone else!”
Example: Read the story of Blind Bartimaeus- Mark 10:46-52.
Are you sometimes guilty of getting in the way of someone else’s walk with the Lord?
3. BE LIKE A CHILD!
Children have so many qualities that we could expound on to teach us spiritual life lessons. A few obvious examples:
Innocence / not cynicism;
Life for a child is a blank sheet of paper ready to be written on;
Trust / Faith in those around them / not suspicion and mistrust;
Imminently teachable – they want to learn;
Courage and perseverance even when they fall (think of a toddler learning to walk);
Children are going to grow – whether they like it or not! Growth and change for the child are inevitable life processes for them.
Jesus as a little baby was blessed too! Read Luke 2:28.
Simeon was in the Temple on the day Mary and Joseph brought the 8 days old little baby Jesus to the Temple; Simeon took the baby Jesus in his arms – and blessed him “My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared…”].
PRAYER THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK
Think prayerfully about your faith.
Is there a need for you to be more childlike in your walk with the Lord?
What would need to change, if anything?