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The instruction of Jesus

Last week in our blog we saw how Jesus was offended by His disciple's actions in stopping the children from coming to Him in order to be blessed by Him. We continue with Jesus’ words of instruction in Mark 10, “Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them,” (Mark 10:13-16 NKJV). The words, “Assuredly, I say to you,” is a solemn announcement where Jesus is expanding on what He has just said in verse 14 about the kingdom of God belonging to children. It is when we manifest a childlike faith that we enter into the kingdom of God. Being child-like refers to recognizing that we’ve done nothing to achieve what God has given to us. Jesus is a friend of children, and He delights in their love and confidence and esteems them as His friends. They are good examples of the subjects for the kingdom of God because they tend to be humble and receptive to teaching, dependent on others, and filled with potential. They’re very trustful and can be taken advantage of easily by those who would take advantage of them. This takes us back to Jesus’s early statement about the judgment that would fall on those who take advantage of children or cause them to stumble.

The kingdom of God is not for those who are secure in their riches. We must come to the kingdom with helpless dependence on the Lord Jesus Christ. We see this demonstrated with Zacchaeus and the man hanging on the cross next to Jesus who requested, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom”. When we get to heaven we will be singing, “nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling”, not “I did it my way”. There needs to be a childlike reception of Jesus. What does a child do when he or she is hurt or has a problem? They take it to their mommy or their daddy, what an example that is for us to follow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father! Yes, God wants us to be childlike, not childish. Children accept their position in life, and we need to accept what God has done for us in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We should not be trusting in anything else, but to have a humble dependence on the Lord Jesus Christ, just as children depend on their parents. God’s kingdom is not gained by great accomplishment or merit, it must be received as a gift from God through simple trust and acknowledgment of our inability to earn it based on our own merit or works.

In verse 16 Jesus took the children in His arms or laid His hands on them and blessed them. This was an amazing moment for each child and parent. Jesus took time for each one of them. We can trust our children to God’s love that is so clearly revealed in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It was Jesus alone who raised the social standing and worth of women, as well as children. Jesus took these precious ones in His loving arms and blessed them and what a blessing it must’ve been. Safely in the arms of Jesus, think of the sufficiency of His tender touch. This is no empty, hollow touch, but it is Jesus imparting divine grace. Mark is the only gospel writer who adds Jesus’ beautiful touch to this scene. It is the touch of Jesus we need in our memories. Memories of our children being baptized or dedicated to the Lord. In the Greek “blessed them” is an intensive compound, which emphasizes the warmhearted fervor with which the Lord Jesus blessed each child who came to Him. I picture this in my mind as Jesus being so joy-filled at this moment in which these parents and children are being blessed by Him and it was delighting His heart so very much.

I believe it delights the heart of the Lord Jesus when we ask Him to bless our obedience and our desire to serve Him in our daily lives. Let us have hearts that are open to the Lord’s leading and His will. In our world, we judge success by strength, wisdom, and wealth, but the greatest attraction to our Lord Jesus Christ and the fountain of true blessing is a simple heart with faith that believes that Jesus keeps His Word. Are you trusting in Him with a childlike faith this day?

Resting in the Savior,

Pastor Rich Sivo

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