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Sunday School is a vital part of any ministry. In it one is able to experience a deeper knowledge of God’s Word. We here at “Word For Life Says” want to help you help others. Below you will find resources to help you prepare for your upcoming lessons. May God bless you!
“Jesus Blesses the Children”
Luke 18:15-17; Mark 10:16 (compare to parallel verses found in Mark 10:13-16)
PDF Lesson Print Out is now Located at the Bottom of the Lesson. Please Scroll Down, Click and Enjoy! Blessings.
There is a familiar scene that plays out in many families between dad, mom, and the little ones. It’s the one where the father, playing with his children, tosses them into the air and catches them on a band of giggles coming from the child while the mother stands on the sidelines holding her breath.
The father with a sure grip and a steady hand has no qualms playing this innocent game. The child, often really young, just thinks it’s absolutely hilarious to go for this free ride. The child never worries about being caught. The child never worries about being hurt. The child only sees daddy. Daddy loves me, daddy cares for me, I trust daddy and daddy will never let me fall. Therefore, I will enjoy playing with daddy.
From the time that children are born they have an innate capacity to trust. They are literally at the whim of their caretakers and can do nothing for themselves. Their dependency is constantly on others to feed, care for, and love them in their most vulnerable state. In their innocence they don’t judge by anything outwardly but only by the love they receive inwardly.
Children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). Children are our future. These little ones will be the next carriers of God’s word. They will be the conduits through which generations after them will find their way to the Lord and His salvation. At the same time, children can teach us so many things and one of the things they teach us is how to have faith.
Faith gets over complicated in the adult way of thinking while children just simply receive, remain dependent, trust and believe. And, that’s all God asks from all His children.
Luke 18:15 “And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.”
Prior to these verses Jesus taught a parable concerning the Pharisee and the publican, exhibiting through that what true humility looks like to God. Immediately following His teaching, parents “brought unto him also infants.” The desires of the parents in question are to have Jesus “touch” their children thereby blessing them. This was not an uncommon practice in this ancient culture.
The truth is parents always want what’s best for their children. If they find a good thing naturally they would want their children exposed to it as much as possible. Many modern day parents spend millions each year on giving their children the best clothes, education, housing . . . the best start in life, if they are able.
The parents in today’s lesson saw Jesus teaching and healing and showing compassion to many people, many times over. He was (and, still is) the best thing they could give to their children. Why would they not want their child exposed to Him? Why would they not seek a “touch” from Jesus if they could?
A child’s faith often start with their parents (or guardian), and in the home. It’s where God gave the command of responsibility to Moses for the parents to “teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thing house . . .” (Deuteronomy 6:7; see also Deut. 11:19). There was a poem I learned a long time ago that has stuck with me down through the years titled, Children Learn What They Live by Dorothy Law Nolte (go online and check it out). In it, it gives many variables if a child is raised this way or that, than the outcome would be this or that. It really gives parents pause to think and calculate what they expose their children to on a daily basis and is it beneficial or not to their physical and spiritual upbringing.
Those in today’s lesson wanted to expose their children to Jesus. They wanted Him to touch them with a blessing. They brought their children near to where Jesus was giving them the opportunity to hear of His teaching and wisdom on life and the kingdom of God. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” (Proverbs 22:6). This stands, in my opinion, as a strong lesson that if you want your children to be exposed to Jesus, parents have to take that responsibility and not depend on others to do it for you. When it comes to your child’s faith there can be no complacent parenting.
“But when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.” The disciples didn’t have the same vision for the children as the parents did. The Bible doesn’t exactly state why their rebuke was so strong (although many speculate). They prohibited the parents from bringing the children nearer to where Jesus was and made no attempts to hide their displeasure at the intrusion.
Did they think the children were unworthy of the Master’s time and consideration? Maybe they believed Jesus was just too busy and important to deal with the likes of these. Who knows? Perhaps it would have been prudent for them to ask Jesus first instead of thinking to act on His behalf. The fact of the matter is they stood in between Jesus and the children. Something Jesus highly disapproved of.
Luke 18:16 “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”
Jesus intervened. Jesus has never turned away a desiring soul. He has never told a mom or dad no who sought for physical healing. And, He was not going to turn down those who desired a spiritual blessing or touch for their children.
One of the most precious things I love about our Lord is His ability to see value in everybody. Those whom society thinks are the lesser, non-important are magnificent in the eyes of our God. The Bible teaches us, “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows,” (Luke 12:7).
To Him, it doesn’t matter where you live, your social status in life, or anything else like that. It doesn’t matter if you are aged with wisdom or new and in the innocence of your years. He that knows the days then, the days now, and the days to come sees beyond all of that and straight down to the soul He loves. With that He invites or allows (“suffer” as this lesson puts it) them to come to Him.
Previously I wrote, “The feet of faith walk forward believing God is, “and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,” (Hebrews 11:6). Faith in its highest form removes all worldly shackles and just rests in the truth that if it is His will, there is nothing that can hinder God from performing a miracle in one’s life. Ethnicity, background, and prestige all fall away in the eyes of our Savior whose only view is that of an opened heart filled with belief,” (Word For Life Says/The Centurion’s Great Faith). All are welcomed before Him; man, woman, or child.
“Forbid them not,” Jesus commanded. Don’t prevent people, no matter who they are, from drawing nearer to Christ. The constraints that society then and now that some may put on people are not recognized by God.
Youths especially come packed with potential. For example, Samuel was dedicated to God as a very young child (1 Sam. 1:21-28) and became a righteous judge of God’s people; Josiah, a king at the tender age of 8, made great reformations for God’s people in turning them back to true worship in his youth (2 Chr. 34-35); Timothy learned from his grandmother and mother of true faith and helped the apostle Paul during his missionary journeys and in establishing new churches (2 Tim. 1:5); and let’s not forget our Lord Jesus Christ who was found at the age of 12 in the temple with the teachers, amazing all who saw Him (Luke 2:41-52). It is far better that potential be tapped in young people for the glory of God than the things of this world.
I’m sure the disciples thought they were doing their best in providing protection and care for their Master. Yet, Jesus has always had an open door policy when it comes to people. People matter to our Savior, even the littlest people, the kiddos. Jesus always had a heart that burned for drawing people near and exposing to them kingdom of God. He loves people. He loves children. And, He loves you, too!
“For such is the kingdom of God.” God’s kingdom is made of those who trust Him with total abandon and are dependent without inhibitions; that have faith and just believe as through the eyes of an innocent child. Too many adults are hindered in their faith due to life experiences. But children just accept and believe and love and trust. They are prime examples of how His sheep come to the Shepherd and humbly follow His lead.
Luke 18:17 “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”
Continuing His line of teaching on the kingdom of God, Jesus reiterates the one who wishes to enter in must “receive” it “as a little child.” Those who choose not, forfeit their right to “enter in.”
Why? Because the same characteristics that made the childlike faith acceptable in heaven are not found in those who refuse to receive it. In fact, the exact opposite is usually what is present. Instead of trusting we may see self-sufficiency and instead of a heart surrendered in faith we may see one lifted up in pride. Of course one doesn’t have to go far in realizing these are things God opposes. They are not found in His children, the accessors of that heavenly kingdom, therefore access is denied.
The promise of heaven waits for any and all who will humble themselves as these children do and put on those same traits. Walking in a lifestyle that opposes the fruit of the Spirit often found in these little ones is to oppose the working of the Spirit in that life. Flesh wins and carnality overtakes that individual prohibiting them an opened door into the heavenly realm.
Don’t be like the children of Israel. God led them through the wilderness and they fell short of the promise that lay ahead of them. Losing out on the spiritual blessings of entering heaven would be far worse with more significant eternal consequences than that of an earthly promised land. Therefore, it is prudent that one takes on this childlike faith that they may enter in.
Mark 10:16 “And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.”
After His lesson on the benefits of childlike faith, Jesus granted the parents request and “blessed them.”
Looks at Jesus’ actions really close. He didn’t speak a word over them as He could have. He didn’t send one of the disciples to relay the blessings. No. He got personally involved with each child there in showing them the compassion of the Savior. He lifted “them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.”
So, when we hear that old Sunday School song that says,
“Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children
Of the world” (Jesus Love the Little Children/Words by C. Herbert Woolston, music by George F. Root – Lyrics from childbiblesongs.com)
we know His compassion and love for them is real as is seen in the verses above. We get the impression that He took the time to lay hands on each individually as any good father or spiritual leader would and speak a word of encouragement over each one of them.
Remember our introduction: “The child never worries about being caught. The child never worries about being hurt. The child only sees daddy. Daddy loves me, daddy cares for me, I trust daddy and daddy will never let me fall. Therefore, I will enjoy playing with daddy.” Jesus is calling for all of us to turn to Him with that same childlike, trusting faith. Your heavenly Daddy loves you! Turn to Him.
Please Note: if you are following verses covered in Luke 18:18-27 regarding the rich young ruler along with this lesson, please refer to my previous lesson titled, With God All Things Are Possible, coming from Mark 10:17-31 where these parallel verses are found in detail.
(Click here for PDF: Jesus Blesses the Children Sunday School Lesson, or simply click the print button below. Enjoy!)
Below are activities to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
Draw the Scene: Jesus Blesses the Children Draw the Scene
Memory Verse: Jesus Blesses the Children Memory Verse
“I Am a Child of Faith” Necklace Craft: I Am a Child of Faith Necklace Craft (Use this PDF for accurate printing) Simply have the student draw their portrait on the necklace, bead any way they want and there you go. Enjoy! (Below is an example from a previous lesson)
Below are additional Activities/Links/Resources to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
“Let the Children Come” (Activities and printables including a group activity called “Children At Jesus’ Feet Game.” Enjoy!)
“Jesus and the Children” (Printable activity and coloring sheets. Enjoy!)
“Jesus Blesses the Children” (Helpful ideas for presenting the lesson along with craft and activity ideas. Enjoy!)
“Let the Little Children Come to Me” (Lesson preps as well as a printable hearts and arrow craft activity for kids. Enjoy!)
“Jesus Loves Children” (Coloring pages and several, wonderful printable activities including a mobile craft. Enjoy!)
“Jesus Blesses the Children” (Teacher’s guide)