13 And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.
Meditation: Do you seek to help others draw near to the
Lord Jesus? The parents who brought their children to Jesus wanted
Jesus to lay his hands upon them. They knew of the healing power,
both physical and spiritual, which came from Jesus' touch. Jesus,
in turn, rebuked his disciples for hindering the children from
coming. No doubt the disciples wanted to shield Jesus from the
nuisance of noisy children. But Jesus delighted in the children
and demonstrated that God's love has ample room for everyone.
Pray for the young to grow strong in faith
No one is unimportant to God. He comes to each person individually that he might touch them with his healing love and power. Do you show kindness, interest, and care for the youth you encounter in your neighborhood, home, and church? And do you pray for young people that they may come to know the love of Jesus Christ and grow in wisdom and maturity as his disciples?
Why does Jesus say that we must receive the kingdom of God like a child (Mark 10:15)? In the ancient world children were at the bottom of the social ladder. They had no rights or privileges of their own and they had no means or resources to care for themselves. They were totally dependent on their parents for everything they needed. Scripture teaches us that we are totally dependent on God as our eternal Father and Provider. We owe our very existence to him because he is the Creator, Author, and Sustainer of life. We could not find our way to God if he did not first seek us out and draw us to himself. That is why the Father in heaven sent his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus, to show us the way to the Father.
The Lord Jesus came to set us free from slavery to sin, Satan, and death, and to adopt us as children of God - his beloved sons and daughters. Jesus taught his disciples to not only honor and respect God as our eternal Father, but to trust in him with great confidence for everything we need - just as children naturally trust in their parents for all that they need. God gives generously to those who put their trust in him, who approach him with child-like simplicity and humility, and with expectant faith that he will treat them as a loving and merciful Father rather than a cold and stern judge or tyrant. Do you trust your heavenly Father to give you what you need to live as his son or daughter?
Do you seek to help others draw near to the Lord?
Our great privilege and responsibility is to live as true and faithful sons and daughters of God and as loyal citizens and ambassadors of his heavenly kingdom. And our chief responsibility is to pass on the faith, wisdom, and gifts which we have received from God to our young people and to those who do not yet know God that they may find true joy and everlasting life in the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you ready and eager to pass on your faith and experience of God's action in your life to others, especially to the young who need guidance, encouragement, and the godly example and witness of those who have discovered the true source of happiness in knowing, loving, and serving God?
1 I call upon you, O LORD; make haste to me! Give ear to my voice, when I call to you!
2 Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice!
3 Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD, keep watch over the door of my lips!
8 But my eyes are toward you, O LORD God; in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!
Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers: When the reception of grace begins, by Basil the Great, 329-379 A.D.
"The apostle praised one [Timothy] who had known the holy
Scripture from infancy (2 Timothy 3:15). He also instructed that
children be reared 'in the discipline and correction of the Lord'
(Ephesians 6:4). So we consider every time of life, even the very
earliest, suitable for receiving persons into the community of
faith."(excerpt from THE LONG RULES 15)