Christmas Is for Kids
Good Morning and welcome to Friendship Church this morning. I see some new faces with us today so let me introduce myself, my name is Dan and I am the Senior Pastor here at Friendship and I trust that you here to experience a beautiful proclamation of the Good News of Jesus from our Children this morning.
You know in different times in the history of man there has been this horrible doctrine that says that “Children should be seen, but not heard”. I am not sure where that comes from, but you would be hard pressed to get that kind of thing from the words of Jesus. That was the common teaching of Jesus’ day though, in fact his disciples even seemed to believe this. They believed that the presence and problems of Children were really not important enough for someone like Jesus to bother with. Jesus had a very different perspective on this, we see this in it says
I see some new faces with us and I trust that you are anticipating as I am a beautiful proclaimation of the Good News of Jesus from our Children. You know in different times in the history of man there has been this horrible doctrine that says that “Children should be seen, but not heard”. I am not sure where that comes from, but you would be hard pressed to get that kind of thing from the words of Jesus. That was the common teaching of Jesus’ day though, in fact his disciples even seemed to believe this. They believed that the presence and the needs of Children were really not important enough for someone like Jesus to bother with. Jesus had a very different perspective on this. in it says
13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
The kingdom of heaven, the very thing that every disciple of Jesus is after belongs to children. And why is this? Because children seem to come to faith so much quicker than we adults do. When you teach a child about the wonderful things that Jesus did they believe it and want to exclaim it, we believe it only after we have analysed it.
13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And he laid his hands on them and went away.
This past week we had some Christmas music playing and one of the songs that came up was the popular Christmas song, “Mary did you know”. You probably know what song I am talking about, it keeps asking all these questions of Mary - wondering if she could possibly know all that her little baby was and everything that he would do. It is a beautiful song that really makes us you think… I wonder how much Mary really knew about this baby that would come from her?
My daughter Chara, however, heard the song and then said to me: “Daddy, I don’t get this song. Why do they keep asking Mary if she knew about Jesus. Of course she knew, the angel told her.” I love that answer. It shows an uncomplicated belief in the truth of the story of Jesus.
That is what we are all about to experience as we are led in worship this morning by our Children. They are going to be telling us things that they know are true. Not because they have analyzed all the facts and feelings surrounding every aspect of the story…but because it is the story of Jesus the Christ, and that makes it true.
The kingdom of heaven belongs to those of us who have a faith like this.
So let’s pray together, and then be led into worship by our children.
Thanks you kids for such a great testimony of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
In closing our service this morning I wanted us to look at another time when Jesus interacted with Children. This is closer to the end of his time on earth and the disciples must have learned about how much Jesus loved children because they were not the ones who were complaining about the children. This time it was the religious leader, the ones that we in charge of THEE Church in Jesus’ day.
I am talking about the leaders of the Temple. There were a lot of smaller synagogues in the various cities in this time, but only one Temple and Jesus had arrived at the Temple. When he arrived he did three things that are really helpful for us to look at.
We find this story in staring in verse 12
12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
So the first thing that Jesus does when he enters “Thee Church” is recognize that the place is full of people who are there for the wrong reasons. They were not there to meet with God. They were not there to Worship God or the be encouraged with the Word of God. They were there for various types of selfish gain. The people in “Thee Church” the Temple were lying, cheating and stealing from people and the leadership was allowing this to happen. So Jesus tore the place apart. He wanted to get everyone’s attention. This is not ok. This is never ok. You are doing this all wrong. In response to this we need to check our hearts. Why do we we go to Church. Is it to accomplish some sort of selfish gain, or is it to worship God, learn from his Word and fellowship with His people.
Secondly, Jesus looked around and saw that there was only one kind of people represented in “Thee Church” but he welcomed in others.
14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.
Now you and I might not think much of this verse today, but if this verse was a headline in the local papers of Jesus’ day it would be scandalous. They fervently believed that if you were suffering from any ailments or handicaps then that had to be a curse from God. So no one with any illness or handicap would ever be allowed near the Temple. There were no ramps or handicap parking signs at “Thee Church”.
But when Jesus entered “Thee Church” it changed everything. Now the source of healing and wholeness for our sin can be met at “Thee Church” so people who never would have ever thought that they would be good enough to Worship God in “Thee Church” could not enter in and find their healing.
That is what a “Christian Church” always should be. A place where any of us who know that we are not worthy to worship God, can worship God because Jesus is in this Church. None of us have any right on our own to enter into the Kingdom of God, but Jesus has made a way for us. He has healed us, not necesarily from all of our physical limitations but from the power of Sin, Satan and Death. We are healed from that when we trust in Jesus as our Savior and Lord.
Well you can imagine that the leaders of “Thee Church” the Temple, were not Ok with Jesus coming in and messing up their tidy little scam of a religion. So they decided that they would let Jesus know about it:
15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “ ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”
“Wonderful” things: Narrator, not the Religious Leaders
The Children are declaring Jesus to be the “Son of David” which means that they are declaring Jesus to be a King like King David was King. Not only that, but the title of “son of David” was the one that was resevered for the King of all Kings. These kids were calling Jesus the Messiah. They believed that Jesus was who He said that He was, way before the adults in the room would accept it.
“Do you hear what they are saying?”
“Maybe you don’t understand what that means,
“Maybe don’t understand how significant this is, cause if you did then certainly stop these kids from declaring these things about you."
Listen to Jesus’ answer
16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “ ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”
Not only did Jesus understand the significance of this moment, He declares it to be a moment that was ordained by God the Father long ago.
It’s like Jesus is saying, “I know exactly how important this moment is, these children are declaring the truth about me. The only thing I don’t understand is why you are not joining them.”
Maybe you don’t undersatnd what
We have heard that truth about Jesus from our Children this morning. Have you accepted these wonderful things about Jesus as being true? If you missed anything that they said, we have provided the poem in your bulletin. If you have any questions about what was declared here this morning then please come talk to me, or the person who invited you today or someone else that you trust understands these things.
Jesus said that the “Kingdom of Heaven” belongs to those who come to him with the uncomplicated faith of a child. Does this describe you? Have you ever had a time in your life when you have declared along with these children that Jesus is the King of your life. If you haven’t then today would be a great day. Your place in the “Kingdom of Heaven” is not something to take lightly.
If you have done this, then let me challenge you to take some time after the service today to thank these children for leading us well. Not just for their skills and talents, but for declaring Jesus well. I trust that in doing this we will encourage them toward a lifetime of making much of of Jesus Christ. Plus, it might bring you and I to point of conviction. When was the last time we publically declared Jesus to be our King.