THE BIG PICTURE
“…but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’” Matthew 19:14 (ESV)
In today’s world there are many reasons that keep children and youth from coming to God. Whether it is social media, mistreatment, socially accepted worldly norms, or having great wealth, these things can hinder or prevent young people from coming to Jesus. Interestingly enough, Jesus wasn’t speaking to the world and all of its distractions in this passage of scripture. He wasn’t even talking to the misguided religious leaders of that time. He was talking to the men that walked with Him, ate with Him, and were His followers. He was talking to his disciples. Luke 18:15 (ESV) says, “Now they [the people] were bringing even infants to him that He might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them.” I’m quite sure the disciples had a good reason, but with their good reason, they missed the big picture. Jesus says, “Let the children come to me….for such belongs to the kingdom of God.” No matter how young and seemingly insignificant, God sees, wants, and cares for the children. We all have a place with Him and no one has the right to hold back another (regardless of their size or age) from Jesus and His plan for their lives.
The disciples may have had good intentions, but they weren’t God’s intentions. Are our intentions just good or are they God? Are we helping or hindering others from getting close to Christ? What is best in the long run? Today’s world is a very different world to grow up in than a great many of us adults can even imagine. Let’s make sure we are letting the children come to Jesus through our interaction with them and encouragement towards them.
Practical Application: As adults, let’s not miss the big picture. How important do you make the children and youth in your life feel? Do you make them see that they are welcome in the kingdom of God? Tell them often, but also show them. What are their spiritual responsibilities in the home or at church? Are they leading a family prayer, conducting a home bible study, learning to tithe, involved in a ministry or given a Sunday to do it all? Let’s reach out and reach the youth!!