People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Mark 10:13-14.
Parents of today focus more on the social, material and intellectual needs of children while they are indifferent when it comes to the spiritual needs. During the time of Jesus, the parents of the time sought the blessings of Jesus through impartation. Spiritual needs of children are essential because it helps to reinforce other needs.
THE MINISTRY OF JESUS TO THE CHILDREN
Jesus did not leave out the little children during his earthly ministry: His ministry gave attention to them. The following are some of the importance Jesus attached to children to show that he loves them.
(a). He promised a reward for kindness towards children. Matt. 10:42.
(b). He used a child as an example in His teaching Matt. 18:2.
(c). He declared that a child-like spirit is absolutely essential in faith and religion. Matt. 18:3-4.
(d). Jesus commanded reception for children wherever they represent Him – Mark 9:37.
(e). He warned against despising children in whatever form – Matt. 18:10.
(f). Jesus out of no time observed little children while playing. Matt. 11:16.
(g). Jesus demanded they be fed spiritually and physically – John 21:15.
(h). Jesus recognized their place in ministry. He accepted the offer of a child’s meal and multiplied it to feed five thousand – John 6:9.
The message that can be inferred from the passages and incidents above revealed Jesus’ love for children and He wants His disciples to follow suit. He had passion for children. He rebuked His close associate for them. Jesus met the needs of children to the level of touching every child brought to Him. He revealed their innocence and charged all who aspire to be kingdom people to possess the heart of children.
IMPLICATIONS OF CHRIST’S LOVE FOR CHILDREN
The way Jesus revealed His love for children communicate a lot of messages to us as a church, parent or guardian.
(2). We must be ready to resist hindrances against their growth in godliness.
(3). We must be ready to meet their needs always and make them comfortable within the limit of our resources.
(4). We must sacrifice time and resources to train them in the way of God.
(5). We must be gentle with them even when they need corrections.
(6). We must complement their innocence by not exposing them to harmful materials.
Today’s parents must distinguish between showing love to children and spoiling them. The goal of Christian parenting is not to make your child happy but godly. Parents must inculcate godliness in their children at tender age (Prov. 22:6). They must be taught to seek God while they are young and that life in itself is transient. Teach them to know they are stewards of God on the planet earth who will account for how they use their life.
Jesus loves all the children of the world, red or yellow, black or white, they are precious in His sight. We also must do same.
Happy Children’s Day.