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GOD LOVES AND CARES FOR YOU (John 3:16)!
May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace. Numbers 6:24-26
Brothers and sisters . . . Be joyful and happy. Grow to maturity in Christ. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet each other warmly with Christian love. . . . May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
2 Corinthians 13:11-12, 14
13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so He could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering Him. 14 When Jesus saw what was happening, He was angry with His disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to Me. Do not stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 15Itell you the truth, anyone who does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 16 Then He took the children in His arms and placed His hands on their heads and blessed them (children). Mark 10:13-16 (NLT)
After Jesus’ teaching on the priority of marriage (Matthew 19:1-9; Mark 10:1-12), some parents brought their children to Jesus so He might touch and bless them (Mark 10:13; see also Matthew 19:13; Luke 18:15). How fitting that Jesus’ teaching about marriage and divorce is followed by His blessing of the children (see Matthew 19:1-9; Mark 10:1-12). Children are the greatest sufferers from divorce. During Jesus’ public ministry, people commonly brought their sick friends and relatives to Jesus for healing, but on this occasion, some brought their young children. Some children were infants in arms (Luke 18:15) while others were young children able to walk.
However, Jesus’ disciples rebuked the parents and push the children away, telling them not to bother Jesus (Mark 10:13; see also Matthew 19:13; Luke 18:15). Obviously, the disciples thought the children were unimportant and unworthy of Jesus’ time. When Jesus saw what was happening, He became outraged, indignant, and extremely angry with His disciples (Mark 10:14). Jesus’ indignant response shows the disciples were demonstrating the wrong attitude toward children (see also Matthew 18:5-6, 10). Children are God’s gift (Psalm 127:3; see also Genesis 1:28). Jesus did not look on children as a curse or a burden. Instead, Jesus welcomed the children and considered children important (see also Mark 9:36; see also Matthew 18:2; Luke 9:47). The Gospels previously revealed Jesus’ love and concern children (e.g., see Matthew 18:1-5; Mark 5:41-43; Mark 9:33-37, 42; Luke 9:46-48). No one is too unimportant for the loving attention of Jesus.
Then, Jesus said to His disciples, “Let the children come to Me, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as they. Do not send them away!” (Mark 10:14, TLB; see also Matthew 19:14; Luke 18:16). Jesus welcomed the children because the children had the kind of faith and trust needed to enter God's Kingdom. According to Jesus, “anyone who refuses to come to God as a little child will never be allowed into His Kingdom” (Mark 10:15, TLB; see also Matthew 19:14; Luke 18:17). Jesus did not mean that heaven is only for children, but that people need childlike attitudes of trust, obedience, and dependence upon God to enter God’s Kingdom. Then, Jesus took the precious children into His loving arms, laid His caring hands on their heads, and He blessed the children (Mark 10:16; Matthew 19:15).
Unspoiled children are humble, trusting, and dependent upon their parents. Jesus wants all God’s people to possess childlike attitudes of wholehearted acceptance, unwavering faith, and total trust in God for all their needs, help, and protection (Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:15, Luke 18:17; see also Proverbs 3:5-6). God’s people are to live by faith in Him and not by sight (Habakkuk 2:4; see also Romans 1:16-17; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:37-38). God’s Kingdom belongs to everyone who, like children, are prepared to receive the Kingdom as a gift of God (see Matthew 18:4-6; Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16). To receive God’s goodness and grace, we must receive God’s Kingdom with childlike faith – total trust, full dependence, humbleness and complete sincerity upon God’s mercy and grace (Matthew 11:25; Matthew 18:3; 1 Peter 2:2). We receive all God’s good promises by wholeheartedly trusting, obeying, and believing in Him!
In this passage, Jesus was not teaching gullibility and naivety to enter Gods’ Kingdom, as if Christians must be unwise, fools, or reckless. Instead, Jesus was teaching an attitude of dependence, obedience, and faith in God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God and receive God’s blessings and salvation (Hebrews 11:6). Sin is fundamentally independence from God’s total authority and reign over our daily lives. The right attitude for approaching God is child's simplicity, meekness, and receptivity (see Psalm 37:11; Luke 18:9-14). Entrance into God’s Kingdom requires childlike faith, obedience, love, humility, and dependence on God. The meek (humble) will inherit God’s peace and blessings (Matthew 5:5; see also Psalm 37:11; Romans 4:13). Jesus’ model for discipleship is total dependence on God and self-emptying. Nevertheless, God wants us to be childlike – dependent, teachable, and humble, but not childish – immature, stubborn and selfish!
The Holy Scriptures provide many examples of the importance of faith and obedience in God to receive His good blessings (e.g., Hebrews 11). In the Old Testament book of Numbers, some ancient Israelites did not receive God’s full promises of a good land flowing with milk and honey because they simply failed to believe and trust that God was with them and would protect them. The ancient Israelites became fearful when they heard about the giants living in the land God had promised. Due to their lack of trust and dependence on God’s protection and grace, the ancient Israelites age 20 and older lived in the wilderness outside the Promised Land for 40 long years (read Numbers 14)! In New Testament book of Romans, the Apostle Paul stressed to the early church the importance of faith to receive eternal life and all God’s good promises (Romans 1:16-17; Romans 4). God is real, and He wants everyone to trust Him and never lose faith in His goodness, mercy, and protection.
Life Application Study Bible (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub., 2005).
NLT Study Bible (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub., 2008).
Ryrie Study Bible (Chicago, IL: Moody, 1995).
The Apologetics Study Bible: Understanding Why You Believe (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2012).
Zondervan NIV Study Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).
Loyd, Melton, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament. Due West Campus: Erskine Theological Seminary, 2015.
Wiersbe, Warren W. Bible Exposition Commentary – New Testament (Victor Books, 1989).