Google+ 02/08/13 Hey Gatekeepers...Children Rock!

Luke 18:15-17

 

One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them.

But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him.

Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 

I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 

 

Children held such an important part in the life of Jesus.  Today, we may not understand what a departure this was in religious circles of the day.  Religious leaders were prone to ignore children and pay very little attention to them.  Our Scripture today shows concerned parents, bringing their children to Jesus for physical touch and blessings.  Jesus was fully aware of the Old Testament "laying on of hands" that was widely practiced in the temple.  Even in today's culture, we cherish and value this tradition.  It would have been such a blessing to have Jesus be the conduit for all of the prophet's lineage as it was bestowed on a precious child.  Unfortunately, the disciples didn't get it!  They were standing in front of Jesus like bodyguards, not allowing anyone to come near.  I want to give the disciples the benefit of the doubt.  As you know, there were many who wanted Jesus silenced.  Obviously, there were some that wanted Him dead!  But please, disciples, it wasn't the children.  The children simply recognized Jesus' love.  It was infectious and contagious.  Today, we all need and want this "disease," as opposed to all the other ones we can contract from each other.  Jesus gets stern with His disciples.  He interrupts them and tells them that the children NEED to come to Him.  Not only that, He makes it clear that the disciples should NEVER stop them.  Then Jesus utters the most important words in this passage.  God proclaims, through His only Son Jesus Christ, that His Kingdom belongs to the children,  Furthermore, He tells all the adults that if they don't accept Him as a child would, the Kingdom of God will pass them by.  Hello, is anyone listening?!  I am so blessed in our ministry to have incredible children.  I get to teach and watch them grow daily in the temple.  Their parents are learning that we must let the children come to Jesus, and not part time!  How many times do we put rules on children that prohibit them from serving and worshiping God in our churches?   I need for all of you to know that I have children (under the age of 13) playing in our adult praise band and singing in our chancel choir.  Why?  It is simple.  They want to, God has given them the ability,  and God loves them.  There are many "disciples" standing in front of Jesus in our local New Testament Churches, repeating the completely damaging statement we have all heard for years which is, "Children should be seen and not heard."  How tragic for all of us.  I lobby that all of our churches can gauge their success for Jesus and their healthy growth by counting the number of children in our worship services and the amount of "noise" they make all week long in our "sanctuaries."  If you never hear a baby cry or a child speak, at what appears to be an inopportune time, wake up and smell the coffee!  Your church is dying.  Recently, while leading musical worship in one of our Sunday morning services, a child spoke up, loudly, during communion.  There were some strange looks.  The problem was that those "lookers" were not accepting the Kingdom of God like a child.  At the quietest moment, this precious child said loudly "Jesus!"  You see, unlike the rest of us "adults,"  this child got the message.  Because of her parents and her Family of God, this child knows who Jesus is and calls Him by name well before the age of 5!  Wouldn't it be refreshing if, as we finished taking the sacrament of Holy Communion, everyone simply called to Jesus, out loud, by name?  That is the point of today's Scripture.  Jesus told us to remove "the gatekeepers" as it applies to children.  Don't ever get in the way of them learning about Jesus and calling Him by name.  Not only are we destroying their opportunity to serve Him and be accepted into God's Kingdom, we "adults" are about to be "disinherited!"  If Jesus was walking this earth today, He would look at all of us "gatekeepers" and say, "Get out of the way.  Don't you know that Children Rock?!"