Sunday, June 1, 2008

Jesus Blesses the Little Children

The Great Commission

Part 21 – Jesus Blesses the Children

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


WHERE WE ARE AT

Disciples argue about who is Greatest?

Jesus speaks to them about offenses and followers.

Attacking Children of God

Jesus Speaks on Divorce

Jesus Blesses the Children

SCRIPTURE READING

Mark 10:13-16

13 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.

14 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.

15 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

16 And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

I. People came to Jesus

Again we see people putting forth the effort to get to Jesus.

Story of 2 Farmers from the movie last night at Family Movie Night.

We saw ‘Facing the Giants’.

Two farmers prayed for the rains to come, but only one prepared his field believing God would answer. The rain came, who was the one who received a harvest from God? Obviously, the one who prepared his field believing God would answer.

We need to make an effort and do our part in having a relationship with the Lord.

The man at the water did not receive his healing because he would not get off his mat and get down to the waters edge.

a. They brought their little children to be touched and blessed by Jesus.

The description of the children here is ‘little’, this implies very young children, perhaps toddlers and younger.

Their parents wanted Jesus to touch them, and bless them.

b. The Blessing.

This custom is recorded in;

Genesis 48:8 – 20 where Joseph took Ephraim and Manasseh to be blessed by Israel (Jacob).

A blessing with hands laid upon them.

Genesis 48:8 – 20

8 When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, "Who are these?"

9 "They are the sons God has given me here," Joseph said to his father.
Then
Israel said, "Bring them to me so I may bless them."

10 Now Israel's eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.

11 Israel said to Joseph, "I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too."

12 Then Joseph removed them from Israel's knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. 13 And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel's left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel's right hand, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim's head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh's head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.

15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,
"May the God before whom my fathers
Abraham and Isaac walked,
the God who has been my shepherd
all my life to this day,

16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm
—may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they increase greatly
upon the earth."

17 When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim's head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. 18 Joseph said to him, "No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head."

19 But his father refused and said, "I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations." 20 He blessed them that day and said,
"In your name will
Israel pronounce this blessing:
'May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.' "
So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

c. Today we have child dedication.

Today we continue this with Child Dedication.

This IS NOT a Child baptism. A child can not have an understanding to make a choice for Jesus Christ.

But rather a dedication, dedicating your child to the hand of God to determine His path in life.

This is still no guarantee that the child wont grow and depart from that path, but a blessing from God that states you are submitting your child to God.

II. The Disciples rebuked them.

The Disciples were strongly rebuking people for bringing their children to Jesus at the same time Jesus was strongly blessing the children being brought to Him.

When Jesus saw the Disciples were preventing some from coming to Him, He was angered.

a. Don’t stand in a child’s way when they are trying to find the Lord.

We are commanded in the scripture to start a child out right.

Proverbs 22:6

Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.

It is our responsibility to teach our children the right way, and to start them off right in life.

Child dedication, or the blessing as we read about it here, is part of that.

Submitting our child to the Lord’s Will for their life.

b. Don’t stand in anyone’s way of finding the Lord.

We must NEVER stand between a person (even a child) and God!

God will move you!

c. The Sadducees and Pharisees did this.

They caused separation, division, distance between man and God.

They placed themselves between man and God, then made it impossible for man to reach God.

God moved them.

We are to never stand in another’s way.

d. We are not even to stand in the way of a sinner!

Psalm 1:1

1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.

We are not supposed to stop people from sinning…it is not our job.

We are supposed to spread the Word of God.

We are supposed to love other’s more than ourselves.

People have been given a free will by God…and it is their right to make choices whether they be right or wrong.

III. Jesus was angry when He saw the Disciples do this.

a. Jesus says, “Do not hinder them!”

Jesus is saying, DO NOT STAND IN THEIR WAY!

b. I tell you the truth…

c. Anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will not enter it.

The simplicity of the little child is our model and the rule for everyone who desires by the Grace of Christ, to obtain the Kingdom of God.

The statement “Anyone who WILL NOT receive the Kingdom of God like a little child WILL NOT enter it.”

In the Greek, which the New Testament is written in, a double negative in a sentence such as this is a compassionate denial.

The point of the comparison between a child and those who will enter the Kingdom of God is this…

Children are open, trusting and receptive to instruction.

Although they may fail at times, their hearts are aimed at pleasing their father.

CONCLUSION

Jesus took the little children in His arms, laid His hands upon them and blessed them.

Lessons from today’s scripture.

  1. We must do our part in approaching Jesus, whether it be for prayer, praise, healing, blessing or salvation. We must make an effort to approach Him. He has made Himself openly available to all, but not all come to Him.
  2. We should not stand in the way of those trying to reach Jesus. Whether they are young or old, if someone is trying to reach the Lord, we should help them, not hider them.
  3. For us to enter the Kingdom of God, we must receive it as a child. That is the ONLY way to receive it. It must be received as a gift; it can not be achieved by human effort. It may only be entered by those who know they are helpless without claim or merit apart from Christ Jesus.

If you have a child who has never been dedicated to the Lord, you may being them up now, and I will lay hands on them and pray for God’s blessing on them in their life.

If you have any other prayer concern or would like to receive a healing from God, come up during the closing song and I will lay hands on you and pray for you.

James 5 says that if any among you are sick, to come to the Elders of the church, and let them lay hands on you, anoint your head with oil and pray for you and the sick will become well.

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