“They” brought little children and infants to Jesus (Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17). “They” believed Christ. Faith looks for ways to bring its loved ones to Christ. How? By prayer. By bringing them to hear Him in the preaching of the gospel: God was in Christ, reconciling His children, His sons, to Himself from all of the families of the earth (Genesis 12:3; Galatians 3:8; John 11:52). The gospel is about Christ, how He died, that He was buried and rose again, according to the scriptures.
“They” knew that their children needed a Savior. Children are conceived in iniquity (Psalm 51:3). Children need a Savior, One who is able and One who is willing to save little ones from sin. “They” knew the Savior and brought their children to Jesus, leaving them in His hands, entrusting them to His arms and committing them to His prayers. If Christ undertake for their children, all will be well. If Christ make their children His children, “they” want nothing more (Romans 9:3).
The disciples rebuked those bringing their infants and their children. This greatly displeased Jesus. He is Christ the Lord. He came to save valueless, diseased, impotent, helpless, sinners to the glory of His grace.
He was displeased that His own disciples would think that little ones were of no concern to Him, that He had higher priorities, that He came for something more important, that His teaching was for intellectuals and theologians. But Jesus never sought or taught to impress men. He did not come to please men. He came to honor His Father. He came to save sinners, to free captives, to preach to those who had nothing to contribute, nothing to bring; who needed to be bought, who must be sought and who must be brought.
There was no greater business than saving children for the One who came to finish the will of God. His chief business from eternity (Proverbs 8:31) was to reconcile sinners to His Father (2 Corinthians 5:19), to bring His many sons to glory (Hebrews 2:10). This end would end His life, but the end of His life would be the end of death, over which, by His resurrection, the grace of God would reign. Grace reigns through righteousness to seek His lost sheep, to bring them to Himself and to save them to the uttermost.
And, He was much displeased that His own disciples would turn away those who intently sought to bring their little ones to Jesus. It displeased Him that His own disciples would discourage those who brought their children to Him, and waited on Him to bless them. May we ever seek and bring little ones to Christ and never discourage or impede those who bring them!
Never think that Christ has more important business than children. Never impede the way of a child! May we have grace to speak the gospel so that a child can understand it. Spend what you have and be spent yourself in bringing little ones to the Shepherd of their souls! “Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people” (Isaiah 62:10).
“Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.” (John 21:15).
To the disciples, Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4).
How do we feed Christ’s lambs, His little ones? How do we, as Psalm 34:11 foretold of the Great Shepherd of the Sheep, teach children the fear of the LORD? We must teach them His goodness as Lord and Savior. We must teach them they are guilty. We must teach them they are without strength. We must teach them they are without hope in themselves. We must teach them that God sent Christ to save His people, that He accomplished their salvation as the Surety and Substitute for His people. We must teach them to look to Him who was lifted up, whom God made sin, whom God cursed, that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God. Don’t teach your children that you are good. They will see your failures and disbelieve your message. If you would humble yourself to your children, you must first humble yourself before God. Teach them what the apostle Paul taught the children of God to whom He ministered. “I am the least of the apostles” (1 Corinthians 15:9), unfit to be called an apostle. “I am the least of all saints” (Ephesians 3:8). Of himself he said, “O, wretched man that I am” (Romans 7:24): no goodness, only badness in myself. Among sinners, Paul said, “I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15). Yet, the grace of God worked mightily through him, more mightily than through all of the apostles.
What do we learn from this? To cease from pride, I must own my pride. To cease from self-righteousness, I must own my hypocrisies. To believe Christ, I must own that I am bound by unbelief, and that without the free, sovereign, omnipotent gift of faith in Christ crucified for me, I am lost.
Lord! make yourself known to me and my children! Dwell in our hearts by faith. Cause us to love you and serve others for your sake through the preaching of Christ. Make me to know your all-sufficiency to all, who like children, have nothing in themselves and are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:9-10; 1 Corinthians 1:30).