precious in his sight

Read: Mark 10:13-16

Reflect: With Christmas break approaching, and the parties with friends exchanging gifts, the kids were excited…..okay, they were “crazy”. Most teachers were looking forward to the break just to get their classes back to normalcy!  I substituted the last day of school before break and witnessed the enthusiasm of the students (and yes, the excitement of the teachers too!). But those feelings of joy suddenly ended with a few of my pupils.

the young offender

One of my students came up and complained about another student who was being mean, both in his actions as well as in his use of words. I thanked the child for informing me and told him I would speak the offender. During a break in the morning, I took the boy aside and told him his speech was inappropriate, especially since the student he said it to was supposed to be his friend. He listened and agreed to apologize, but beyond that there wasn’t much contrition. I did my job and that was it; at least that’s what I thought!

his trauma of loss

Later that day, I told another teacher what had happened, thinking maybe he would want to follow up with the child. It was then I found out there was more to the story.  That 10-year-old boy had lost his mother last year and his actions were very much a result of the trauma of losing someone he loved so very much. Those words caused my heart to break. I wanted to take that child in my arms and tell him how sorry I was. I can’t imagine being that young and losing someone who you loved, but more importantly, someone who loved you.

how far jesus’ love extends

And so, when I learned that I was the one to write on Mark10:13-16, I was thrilled. This passage of scripture has a twofold lesson: Jesus used it to let the adults know that they needed childlike faith to enter the Kingdom of God. Secondly, Jesus’ love extends to every age group, from the very, very young to the grandpas and grandmas of the world. Jesus said: Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. (Mark 10:13-16)

jesus’ desire for the young

Jesus embraced these little ones because He has a deep profound love for them, and desires that each would come to know Him as their personal Savior. Can young children come to know and understand who Jesus is? They sure can! If you doubt me, just ask any worker at “Bible Adventure” that meets every Thursday at New Providence Church of God, or some of the folks who run “Bible to School” or any of the workers at the “Good News Club” at the local schools and around the country.

Try investigating the Old Testament where you’ll find young King Joash. He was only seven years old when he was crowned King of Judah, yet he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. (2 Kings 11:21) Other examples are the boy Samuel who was very sensitive to the Lord,  (I Samuel 3:1-20) and Josiah, who began his reign at age 8. Like Joash, Josiah also followed the Lord. (I Samuel 22:1-2).

no one is too young for jesus

Apply: Roy Zuck made the statement “Jesus underscored the ability of children to comprehend spiritual matters when He praised God the Father for revealing such truths to little children.” (from the book “Precious In His Sight”) Be sure to take the opportunity to speak to children about spiritual matters. Possible questions are: What does God want us to say when we pray to Him? How does He know everybody? What is heaven like?

short and simple

Keep it short, keep it simple, but always keep Jesus at the center of your discussions. And if it is appropriate, sometimes the child simply needs a hug. We all desire to know we are loved, just as I found with that motherless little boy.

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