Jesus has a plan for the kids
The Bible is very clear that Jesus has a plan for the kids. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14). This story always reminds me ofthat famous picture of the white, bearded Jesus holding a child in his lap, with lots of children and sheep strategically placed around him. This picture is usually hung in the church nursery and may be made out of cross stitching. Several times in the New Testament, the writers reveal that there were men, women, and children following Jesus. Families were following Jesus! When Jesus fed the thousands, the Bible says that there were 5,000 men, not including women and children. Jesus healed kids and raised a young girl from the dead. My point is: Scripture proves how important kids are to Jesus.
Imagine this picture: Jesus and the disciples have just arrived in Judea and they are being followed by a large crowd (Matt19:2). The large crowd included men, women, children, Pharisees, sick people, a rich man, and more. The Pharisees were asking Jesus tricky questions about divorce and all of the sudden people started bringing their kids to Jesus to get him to lay his hands on them and pray for them (verse 13). The disciples started “rebuking” the people, even though a few days ago in Capernaum Jesus had told them how they needed to change and become like little children to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 18:2). This time Jesus just said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew19:14) Then, he placed his hands on them and prayed for them.
What is Jesus saying in this moment, just days away from his death on the cross? I believe there are two points to consider. 1. Jesus wants the kids! He is setting up a value system here. He is saying, kids are important to me and they can get to me anytime they want. 2. Also, Jesus is saying (twice) that little children possess the kingdom of heaven. The kids get it! The kids are encouraged to come to Jesus and access the Kingdom of heaven, possess it, and then carry it to others.
In a culture where women and children were not even counted by numbers of who attended an event, Jesus was placing a value on kids. In Matthew 18:5, Jesus said that “whoever welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me.” What are we doing with the kids in our churches? Do we share Jesus' value system for kids? Do we welcome the children and appreciate their input of the Kingdom of Heaven in our culture? I want to continually partner with the Holy Spirit to release His heart to children and work His plan for the kids.