A Holy Permissiveness for Children
O God, Your Almighty power is made known chiefly in showing mercy and pity, grant us the fullness of Your grace that we may be partakers of Your heavenly treasures; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.
Notice what Jesus is asking in our text for this morning – Jesus asks parents to permit their children to come to Him. Though parents may not deliberately neglect their children nor physically abuse their child, they may be cruel to them by neglecting them by failing to bring to the Savior.
Which parent among us wants nothing but the best for their child?
When we consider our children, we include words such as bigger, better best; bigger opportunities better schools, the best opportunities possible.
If children are our future, why not afford them those occasions, which produce success. If they are to be shining stars, we want to place them in those circumstances where they will succeed and prosper.
This morning the Savior invites you to bring your children and permit them –
I To be blessed by Jesus – Vs. 16 And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
He embraced them – He took them up into His arms putting His hands on them. While the disciples refused them – Jesus accepted and welcomed them.
Children are in a place where often all they can do is receive. They don’t refuse gifts out of self-sufficient pride. So you also must receive the kingdom of God as a child – because we surely will by no means enter it by what we do or earn.
He blessed them. What is the biggest blessing we can receive from the Lord? Is it not the gift of faith? Notice that the faith is something that is given to us. It’s not earned. We certainly do not deserve it. It is received freely by God’s gift and favor.
The writer to the Hebrews teaches; “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith, we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things, which are seen, were not made of things, which do appear. (Hebrews 11:1-3, KJV)
When we have faith, then we can trust that everything we hope for and dreaming of. We have confidence it will eventually come true. Even though we cannot see the path ahead of us, faith tells us that the road will lead to something great.
Transition: We bring our children to Jesus to be blessed by Him. But how will they know Him?
To enter the kingdom a person enters the kingdom, “like a child.” There is an innocence, an openness, and receptivity on the part of a child. That a person wanting to enter the kingdom of God must have.
Only by receiving the Kingdom, as would a child can our connection with God be changed. This happens through the gift of faith in Christ as our Savior.
A child is ready to believe and trust what an adult says. They take things literally. They have a literal mind. They readily obey without questioning. This is why we give our youth truths that transform. – The clear teachings of Christ and His Word.
Transition: To know the Savior is to trust Him. The Savior in the waters of Holy Baptism initiated all that trust.
III. You come to Jesus through baptism – Vs. 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.
Mark tells us, “He was indignant”. Indignation does not mean, “flying off the handle,” displaying publicly a fit of temper, or expressing an irrational rage.
It means a “holy” displeasure, a disposition, which will act with displeasure every time it is affected. Jesus certainly was no “pushover,” and indignation is absolutely not a vice.
Jesus was indignant toward the scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites. (Matthew 23) Jesus was indignant toward the moneychangers. (Matthew 21) Jesus was indignant toward the disciples who refused children to come to him.
When the disciples kept the children from being brought to Jesus He was indignant. Jesus always took time for children. He was never too busy, and was indignant with those who would not. He rebuked the disciples sternly in one breath; and in the next, He spoke kindly to these little ones.
We must not hinder them. Rather they are to come – for the kingdom belongs to such as these. The Savior invites children to come to Him.
Children are helpless...they bring nothing... And that sounds exactly like…you. Thus, St. Paul teaches, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) Sin condemn us. We are powerless to save ourselves. Every day we sin against God with terrible thoughts, wicked words, and evil actions.
Even the good that we ought and do not perform is also sin. In spite of all of this, the Savior loves and forgives. Isaiah of old would teach; "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6).
Graciously our loving Lord does not keep a record of our sins. The fact is that the Lord God Almighty sees sin as sin. In His eye, all sins are the same. Only in man’s thinking are there different degrees of sin. Big sins, small sins, worse sins, and not so bad sins are terms we prefer and favor to describe sin.
The LORD’s term for missing the mark is simply sin. Christ’s forgiveness for your sins is simply complete.
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." (1 John 1:7). Only by the blood of Jesus is there forgiveness. This holy blood of Jesus forgives all sin: not a few, some, or many but ALL sin. This is how the LORD shows us his great love.
You are now the shining lights in today’s darkness. We do not deserve the Father’s great love. We cannot earn His mercy. It is only by the free grace of Christ that we are saved. We are sinners, always.
True. We are sinners, forgiven of all sins. This is The LORD’s great love to us and for us. This is also His great love to and for all humankind.
The difference for believers is that we know we are sinners; sinners who have been freely forgiven purely out of the Father’s divine love, mercy, and grace.
“…in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” -2 Corinthians 5:19
You are helpless - Never hopeless. Remember the LORD’s promise recorded by the Prophet Isaiah thousands of years ago – “I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.” –Isaiah 44:22
In Christ, you are free; free to love God and serve your neighbor.
Passive Sentences –7
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Reading level – 5.3
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