JESUS BLESSES LITTLE CHILDREN

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    [Mark:10:13-16] [Matthew:18:1-14]

    Lesson No.: 
    98
    Class: 
    Elementary
    Memory Verse: 

    “Blessed are they that do his commandments" ([Revelation:22:14]).

    Notes: 

    “I think, when I read that sweet story of old,
    When Jesus was here among men,
    How He called little children as lambs to His fold,
    I should like to have been with them then.

    “I wish that His hands had been placed on my head,
    That His arm had been thrown around me,
    And that I might have seen His kind look when He said,
    ‘Let the little ones come unto me.’"

    Long Ago
    Every child who sings this song feels that the children who lived when Jesus was upon earth were indeed blessed. When we think of those who walked and talked with Jesus, those who listened to His sermons, and those who felt His hand upon them, we remember that Jesus said to His disciples one day that many had wished to see what they saw and to hear what they heard. How we would have loved to have been one of the great crowd that followed Jesus to the mountain, by the seashore, or to the Temple. Wherever the people gathered around Him, He talked to them and taught them about Heaven.

    Teaching the People
    In this lesson we find Jesus by the side of the River Jordan, and again the people gathered around him; again He taught them. They asked Him many questions and He always had the right answer. He talked to them that day about fathers and mothers and the home. He said that a mother should never go away and leave the father and children, to live in another man’s house; neither should a father leave his family, to live in another home. They should all stay together and be a happy family, and God could be with them in that home.

    Children Brought to Jesus
    The parents brought their children to see Jesus that day. Cannot we imagine the excitement in the home as the mother dresses each child in his best clothes? They are going to see Jesus! They are going to hear Him talk! Did your parents ever take you to see a great man, perhaps the President, who was coming to town? For blocks and blocks the streets were crowded with grownups and children, all eager to get a glimpse of him. But a far greater than the President was Jesus! He was born in a manger. His father was a carpenter. He had no home. But He was the Son of God. He was the Saviour of the world.

    More and more people heard about Jesus and what He did; more and more people came to Him for help. Every day Jesus was very busy. There were sick people to be healed, and many, many needed to be taught how to do right. No doubt the parents who came to see Jesus that day had heard much about Him. They perhaps thought that if Jesus could just put His hand upon the heads of their little ones and pray for them, the children would grow up to be good boys and girls.

    Jesus’ friends, the disciples, scolded the parents for bringing the children to Him. They thought Jesus was too busy to bother with children. But Jesus was displeased with the disciples for trying to send the boys and girls away, for He loved them. He knew that the children believed in Him, and that the children could help older people to love Jesus, too. Some of the older people often wondered whether Jesus really was the Christ, but the children loved Him and drew close to Him that day. Jesus said to the disciples, “Forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."

    His Blessing upon Them
    As Jesus opened His arms for the children, how gladly they went to Him! Oh, the thrill that must have come to the mothers of those little children whom He took up in His arms! Then, as the mothers watched, they saw Him place His hands upon the children and bless them. The parents had the desire of their heart: Jesus had blessed their little children. No doubt Jesus blessed all the children around Him that day. Not a single boy, girl, or parent went home disappointed. We, too, “should like to have been with Him then."

    Although Jesus has gone back to His Home in Heaven, and we cannot see Him now, yet He loves the boys and girls of today just as much as He loved those children who lived so long ago. He is with those who love and serve Him today. He is still saying, “Suffer (or let) little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me." If we will listen, He will still talk to us, too. Not in a loud voice, but He will whisper in our heart, and tell us what is right and what is wrong and that He loves us.

    A Little Child
    One day Jesus’ disciples asked Him who was the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. In order to answer their question Jesus called a little child and set him in the midst of them and said that unless the people are saved and like little children, they cannot enter Heaven. He said that those who would be gentle and willing to be taught, like the little boy that stood before them, would be the greatest in Heaven. As they stood there around the little boy that day, Jesus said that if they helped a little child in Jesus’ name, they were helping Jesus.
    Jesus told the people to be careful not to do anything to wrong or harm a little child. Sometimes people who are not saved are cruel and unkind to children. Of course, children who are disobedient and naughty must be punished, but Jesus is not pleased with people who mistreat little children.

    The Lost Sheep
    Jesus is like a kind shepherd who faithfully watches over his sheep. The shepherd may have a hundred sheep to look after. At the close of each day he counts them carefully to make sure that all are safe for the night. If there are only 99 in the fold, or pen, when there should be 100, he goes out into the mountains and calls and searches for the lost one. When he finds the one that has wandered away he puts it upon his shoulder and brings it back home safe. How happy the shepherd is over the one that was found! He rejoices more over that sheep than over the others that did not wander away. If a man, or a little child is saved, Jesus said there is more joy in Heaven over that one than over ninety and nine persons who thought they did not need to repent. Just as the heart of the shepherd rejoices over the little lamb that was found, so Jesus, the Good Shepherd, rejoices over a sinner that returns to Him.

    When Jesus had finished telling the story about the little sheep that had wandered away, He said, “Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish." He wants children to come to Him and be saved today. He will make them very happy.

    “Come unto Me"
    A very little girl loved Jesus and tried to be good every day. Whenever she did something that was naughty, her mother told the child to go and ask Jesus to forgive her. The girl would go to her room and pray and ask Jesus to forgive her. Soon she would come back to her mother, singing a song, because Jesus had again made her a happy child.

    We sing a song sometimes that Jesus loves all the children of the world; it matters not whether their skin is red, yellow, black, or white; they are all precious in His sight. His arms are still outstretched to the children today, and He bids them all to come to Him. The younger a child is when he is saved, the longer time he will have in which to work for Jesus.

    Questions: 

    1. When the disciples rebuked those that brought the children to Jesus, what did Jesus say? [Mark:10:14]. 2. What did Jesus do for the children? [Mark:10:16]. 3. What did the man do when he found the lost sheep? [Matthew:18:13]. 4. Is Jesus willing that one little one should perish? [Matthew:18:14]. 5. Who shall be called the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? [Matthew:18:4].