By Elizabeth Prata
I work with 5 to 8 year old children for my job at a public elementary school. I love children and I contend that I have the best job in the world.
Sometimes it’s a little disheartening, though. I just want the best for every kid, and some kids never get the best.
The Lord is THE most sensitive about children. He spoke much about them and this is recorded in the Bible. We know one of the most famous verses about children:
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127:3-5)
“Whenever a woman is in labor she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the suffering because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.” (John 16:21).
Therefore you can guess what the Lord thinks of abortion. (Molech)
“Grandchildren are the crown of old men, And the beauty of sons is their fathers.” (Proverbs 17:6)
Look at the scene here in Mark 9:35-37–
“And sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” And taking a child, He set him before them. And taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.”’
Not just what He said but the scene. Picture it in your mind. Jesus had been teaching The Twelve all day and then they came to the house at Capernaum where they stayed. He continued teaching. And to illustrate His point, “He took a child”. So I ask, what child? Where did the child come from? Luke 9:47 says the child “was by His side.” Usually didn’t the children remain outside the adults’ purview, especially when important matters were being discussed? Yet Jesus hadn’t dismissed the child when He continued teaching the Twelve inside the house.
The idea in the verse was that children are weak, powerless and innocent. You come to the Kingdom like that, with no achievements, no portfolio of awards, nothing to commend one’s self. Like a child.
Susannah Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley, raised seventeen children and had these words to say about raising children:
“The parent who studies to subdue [self–will] in his child works together with God in the renewing and saving a soul. The parent who indulges it does the devil’s work, makes religion impracticable, salvation unattainable, and does all that in him lies to damn his child, soul and body forever” (cited in The Journal of John Wesley [Chicago: Moody, n.d.], p. 106).
In other words, children are important to Jesus.
O, come, Lord Jesus, remove us, and the children from the world. Its sinful effects are so towering and so devastating, and wear down the most on those least powerful or able to comprehend.