Jesus Loves the Little Children
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - June 9, 2013
*You have surely heard the tune.
It was first written as a marching song for the Union Army, during the Civil War: "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching."
*Later this tune became one of the all-time favorite Christian songs for children.
And we have sung it many times:
-"Jesus loves the little children,
-All the children of the world.
-Red and yellow, black and white,
-They are precious in His sight.
-Jesus loves the little children of the world."
1. Jesus loves the little children.
-- He loves them so much that He wants us to carry children to Him.
*This is the message to us in vs.13, where God's Word says: "Then they brought young children to Him, that He might touch them. .
The parents in vs. 13 are a great example for us, because they brought their children to Jesus.
And the Lord wants us to do everything we can to bring children to Him.
*And we are not just talking about our own children.
Jesus wants us to reach out many more children.
Think about extended family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, teammates, and more.
*Jesus wants us to carry children to Him.
One reason why is because children are teachable and reachable.
Children are almost always open to spiritual truth.
Most children, especially little children, love to come to church.
So God wants us to do everything we can to get them to Jesus.
*Jesus wants us to help children come to know Him in a personal way.
He also wants us to help them grow into devoted followers of Christ.
This is why things like Vacation Bible School, Upward Football and Sunday School are so important.
Wonderful things can happen when we bring children to Jesus Christ.
*By the time I met Mr. G.A. Neal he was a good man and a Godly senior adult.
He and Mrs. Neal were married for 57 years before he passed away.
Mr. Neal helped start a new church as mission, and he served as a deacon.
But in his younger years, Mr. Neal was as lost as can be, and he had a terrible drinking problem.
*One night G.A. drank so much that he passed out in a pasture near their house.
But they had a little dog named Fannie.
And she kept going out to the pasture to check on Mr. Neal.
When G.A. sobered up the next day, he said that if a little dog thought that much of him, if a little dog could love him that much, then he needed to do something about his life.
*It was a real turning point in Mr. Neal's life.
But two more years passed before he and Mrs. Neal got saved.
It happened one night after Vacation Bible School, on the same day that their little girl got saved in that VBS.
*I think it's great that God used a little dog to help Mr. Neal.
But it took God's people serving in VBS to help lead the Neal's daughter to the Lord.
And it took somebody going to that home to help lead her parents to the Lord.
*Amazing things can happen when we bring children to VBS, because we are really bringing them to Jesus!
Some of those children will get saved.
And sometimes even their parents can get saved through VBS.
*That matters to God more than we can measure!
On a scale of 1 to 10, how important would you say children are to their parents and grandparents?
Ten, of course!
We would do anything we could to help our children and grandchildren.
*But how important do you think children are to church?
-- Also a ten.
A church without children is a dying church.
*Now, how important do you think children are to God? -- Ten times ten times ten!
Children are infinitely more important to God than they are to the best of us.
*In Matthew 18, Jesus said this to His followers:
10. "Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.
What do you think?
If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?
And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.
Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
*Nobody cares more about children than God, so He wants all of us to do everything we can to carry them to Jesus.
-Jesus loves little children so much that He wants us to carry them to Him.
2. And He criticizes people who get in their way.
*In vs. 13&14:
Then they brought young children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.
*Jesus loves children so much that He wants to touch their lives.
And He rebukes those who get in the way.
In vs. 13, the Lord's own disciples got in the way.
They rebuked the parents who brought their children to Jesus.
But then in vs. 14, Jesus rebuked His disciples.
This verse also says that Jesus was greatly displeased with His disciples when they got in the way.
*Why in the world did the disciples try to block these children from getting to Jesus?
One possible reason is that they were extremely busy.
Earlier in Mark's Gospel, the disciples were sent out to preach the gospel and heal the sick.
*When they reported back to Jesus, Mark 6:31 tells us: . . .
He said to them, "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.''
For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.
The disciples were incredibly busy.
So maybe they just didn't want to be interrupted by the children.
*But maybe the disciples could see the strain of the cross begin to wear on Jesus.
This was only a few weeks or months before the Lord died on that cross for us.
Maybe the disciples were concerned about Jesus.
*But there is never a good reason to keep children away from Jesus!
-He is never too burdened or busy for them.
-And, by the way, He is never too busy for you!
*The Lord was greatly upset when His disciples tried to keep the children from Him. Don't ever think you have a good reason for keeping children from the Lord.
*And don't let anything in your life be a barrier between children and the Lord.
-Not your busyness or your burdens.
-Not your hobbies or your habits.
*In Matthew 18:5&6, Jesus gives us this urgent news:
5. "Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
6. Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea."
*Jesus loves little children so much that He criticizes people who get in their way.
And He calls children to come to Him.
*In vs. 14, Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of Heaven."
Luke 18:16 says: . . .