SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME UNTO ME
Children are important to the Lord. Jesus treated them with great love and compassion.
Children are also spoken of in our text as representing simplicity and humility. Their hearts are tender and receptive to the Lord’s Word. Parents and those that care for children need to be aware of the great responsibility that God places on them regarding the spiritual welfare of those children.
Consider the following thoughts in regard to our text.
I. THOSE WHO CARED FOR THESE CHILDREN
A. They were concerned about their souls, v. 13.
1. Jesus used the simple faith of a child, Matthew 18:2-5, “And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.”
2. A child’s heart has not had the opportunity to harden itself through sin, Hebrews 3:13, “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
B. Those that cared for the children believed that Christ’s blessing would do their souls good, Isaiah 44:3, “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:”
1. They believed in God’s blessings, Psalm 3:8, “Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.”
2. They believed that they would receive His Blessing, Psalm 24:5, “He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
a. They believed God would bless them through forgive of sin, Psalm 32:1, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”
b. They believed that they were blessed because they trusted God, Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
II. THE DISCIPLES REBUKE THOSE THAT BROUGHT THE CHILDREN
A. They tried to keep them from going to Jesus thinking them unimportant, but Jesus had something to say to His disciples, Mark 9:36-37, “And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, 37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.”
B. “Let the little children come to Me,” v. 14.
1. Jesus wanted them to know about Him, Psalm 78:4, “We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.”
2. The Kingdom of God is made up of believers with child-like faith, Psalm 131:1-2, “LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. 2 Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.”
a. They are humble, Matthew 18:4, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
b. They are the greatest in the Kingdom of God because they are without guile or deceit, Revelation 14:5, “And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.”
III. BELIEVERS ARE REFERRED TO AS CHILDREN
A. They are called by the Lord “children of light,” Luke 16:8, “And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.”
B. They are said to be “children of the day,” by the Apostle Paul, 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6, “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”
C. They are called “obedient children,” by the Apostle Peter, 1 Peter 1:14, “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:”
IV. THIS GENERATION IS CALLED “IGNORANT CHILDREN”
A. Children of foolishness, Matthew 11:16-18, “But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, 17- And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. 18- For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.”
B. They are tossed back and forth by every religion because of their ignorance of the truth, Ephesians 4:14, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”
1. Some professed Christians find themselves in that situation because they are still on milk, Isaiah 28:9, “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.”
2. Or perhaps they have never been converted, Matthew 18:3, “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” These children are the future and need to be reached for Christ. Our world is in denial of the truth today because they are ignorant of the Word of God.