Date: 
Sunday, April 15, 2012 - 10:45am
Service: 
Sermon Series: 
Author: 
Bible Reference: 
Mark 10:13-16

HATCH 'EM
MARK 10:13-16

        This morning we begin a new sermon series dealing with the normal issues related to flow of human life.  First you are born, and wasn’t that a special day.  Then somewhere along the way, most of you were married.  After you get married, you were quickly informed that you are not as perfect as your momma said you were, so you began to allow God to work on our hearts and spiritual growth takes place.  And then finally, you will someday pass from this temporary life into the eternal one.  The death rate is still almost 100%.  Enoch and Elijah.  Those four stages in life are going to be the basis for the next four sermons. 

        This morning we start with the value and significance of children.  Next week we are going to talk about marriage.  Now I know you normally get married before you have kids.  We encourage that…strongly.  But I am following the order of life and as far as I know you were born before you got married…

        But anyway, we start with birth, with our children.

I read about this mom and dad who were sitting one evening and talking.  The mom was reading the newspaper and commented, “According to this article, parents should set limits where the children are concerned.”  The dad replied, “I agree, and my limit is two.” 

Children in a Sunday School class were asked to write down what they liked best about Sunday School.  One little boy, who happened to be the preachers kids, remembered all the songs they sung and decided that was his favorite part.  Unfortunately, his spelling was not as good as his memory and he wrote, “The thing I like best in Sunday School is all the sinning.” 

In one of our previous churches, Debbie taught 5 year old Sunday School.  One day the lesson was on going to church and she asked each of the children the question, “Where does Jesus like to go?” And the answer of course is to church.  Debbie went around the room and asked each child the question and each child gave the appropriate answer.  Until she got to Timmy.  Timmy was the minister of music’s kid.  When Debbie asked Timmy, “Where does Jesus like to go?”  Timmy replied, “Jesus likes to go to McDonalds.” 

        Read with me from Mark’s Gospel.

Mark 10:13-16    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 on them.

 

1.  THEY BROUGHT THE CHILDREN TO JESUS

        Scholars tell us that children had a very hard life in the first century.  They really did walk up hill, in the snow, both ways to school.  We know life was very hard because scholars tell us the average life span was only in the late 30’s.  Life was hard because children were simply a commodity needed for their labor.  They were needed to help with the farm and the live stock.  There was little room for sentimentality.  They possessed no intrinsic value.  They were worth only want they could contribute to the survival of the family.  It was a hard time to be a kid. 

        They were on the bottom rung of the pecking order.  There was no department of children’s services.  There was no foster care system, no welfare, no orphanages.  If something happened to your parents, you were on your own.  There were no free school lunch programs.  In fact the girls were not even allowed to go to school much less get a free lunch. 

        And along comes Jesus and turns the whole culture upside down.  In Jesus, people saw someone who valued children, who cared for little ones, who was willing to spend time and give of himself for their benefit.  And so people brought their kids to the Lord. 

2.  THE DISCIPLES REBUKED THEM

        But the disciples rebuked the children and turned them away.  Boy did they get it wrong.  Have you ever noticed how often the disciples got it wrong?  Read the Gospels, they mess up on every page.  One of the reasons I believe in the inerrancy of scripture is because if you were making this up, you wouldn’t keep pointing out how often you got it wrong.  You wouldn’t make yourself look so bad. 

        But the people are bringing their children to Jesus and the disciples jump out like secret service agents and run the people off.  It is like they formed some kind of perimeter around Jesus.  They have on the dark sunglasses, wires in the ears, microphones in their robes and they have Him surrounded and no child is getting close. 

        They stop the people.  “Sorry, He is too busy, too important, can’t be bothered with a group of kids.”  They are like a bunch of guard dogs.  And they do this because they don’t think kids are valuable or significant and worth His time.  They think they have to protect Christ from the unimportant interruptions. 

        The Gospel of Mark doesn’t tell us, but I bet Peter was the ring leader again.  I bet it was Peter’s idea.  His was trying to do the right thing, but boy did he get it wrong.  Doesn’t it make you want to ask him what he was thinking? 

3.  JESUS WAS INDIGNANT

        The Lord’s reaction to all this is very interesting.  The word scripture uses is the word “indignant”.  That is a really nice way of saying Jesus was really, really ticked off.  He was not happy at all.  The disciples had messed this up big time.

        You know what is interesting about anger?  Anger shows us what people really care about.   What a person gets angry about shows what really matters to them.   Something that is important to them has been violated and it makes them angry.  So we can easily see here that children mean a great deal to our Lord.

        When you look closely at the scripture you see that Jesus issues a double command here.   Command number 1, let the little children come to me.  “They are important, they are valuable, they are significant, they are worthy.  Let the little children come to me.”

        Command number 2, do not hinder them.  “You guys need to back off, get out of the way, stop messing things up, and get with the program.  Do not put any barriers between me and the children.  Do not make it any harder for them to come to me than it all ready is.”

(Alabaster Youth Night at the Revival)      

4.  JESUS HUGGED THE CHILDREN

        Final thing I want you to see is the Jesus took the children into His arms.  He hugged them.  He affirmed them.  He expressed love and affection for them.  He blessed them.  He laid hands on them. 

        His touch told them they were important, that they mattered, that they were special.  His touch was a physical affirmation of their value in the eyes of God the Father.  Like when He touched the leper who had not been touched since he first got sick.  Like when He laid hands on the eyes of the blind and brought healing to their lives.  He didn’t need to touch them.  He could have spoken and they would have been healed.  He could have thought it and they would have been healed.  But He reached out and touched them to affirm them and tell them that they mattered to Him.

        Now here is the point…are you ready?  If children matter to Jesus, they better matter to us. 

        To those who teach preschool and children Sunday School, thank you.  I know it isn’t always easy.  I know you have wanted to give up and let someone else do it.  I know you have thought often that it would be nice if someone else would step up and help out.  But thank you for you faithful service.  Jesus sees the sacrifice you make and Jesus will one day look you in the eye and say, “Well done good and faithful servant”. 

        To those who work with the children on Wednesday night, Sunday night, choir, VBS, WinShape Camp thank you for all you do.  I know the children can be a handful and the job gets overwhelming sometimes.  But Jesus sees the sacrifice you make and one day you will hear Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant”.

        To those who serve in Extended Session, you are my hero’s.  We would not be able to do what we do in here if you did not do all you do over there.  To give of your time and energy so that young couples can experience worship without worrying about they children is a huge service to Wall Highway Baptist Church.  Please know that Jesus sees your sacrifice of service and will reward you greatly someday. 

        We can never forget for even one moment that the children who attend this church are not really ours.  They belong to Him.  They are His’ kids.  We are simply stewards looking after them.  And since they are His kids we are going to want to look after them as best we possibly can.  If you really want to serve Jesus, you find a way to serve the spiritual needs of these children, training them in the way they should go, setting for them a godly example, encouraging them and praying for them.  You bless these children and watch and see if Jesus doesn’t bless you. 

        Look at this passage with me.

Matthew 18:3  And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Humility

Trust

        Have you humbled yourself as a little child and come to Jesus trusting Him to save you?