The Weekly Word: Let the kids come to Jesus
Pastor Isaac Johnson, New Hope Lutheran Church
Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’ And he laid his hands on them and went away.
— Matthew 19:14-15
We have a high calling at church. It’s not all about “me” or my preferences. It’s not about being pridefully curved in on ourselves and asking, “what can this church do for me?”
In this verse from Matthew, it’s about someone else: the kids – their relationship with Jesus, their eternal life.
Really, our job for getting kids to heaven is easy. We don’t need to crucify ourselves for the kids, Jesus already did that. We need to do two things: 1) Let the kids come to Jesus and 2) don’t hinder them.
It’s so encouraging what Jesus says here. We don’t need to drag the kids kicking and screaming, we just need to let them come to Jesus. God has made them with soft hearts, ready for the message of salvation. Of course they are sinners too, and it can be really challenging sometimes, but most of the time, if we just pave the way to God’s Word in Jesus Christ, the kids will walk down it.
The second thing Jesus says is so true: “don’t hinder them”, or “Let them come, and don’t get in the way.” How many times have our children been perfectly willing to hear the Word of salvation either at church or in the living room, or on the sidewalk, and we just thought, “Nah, not today.” I’m guilty of this at times, too! In so many ways we all stand in between Jesus and the kids when we ought to be the ones bringing them to Him.
And if you get discouraged, or if you fail, or if you are an obstacle to the kids’ faith for whatever reason, remember: through faith in Jesus Christ, you are a child of God, too. As much as Jesus wants to receive the children and bless them, he wants to receive you, lay his hands on you and bless you.
He is there to give you refreshment in his Holy Spirit so that you can wake up tomorrow and feed those kids the Bread of Life, so that they can live forever.
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You are warmly invited to Sunday services at 9 a.m. at New Hope Lutheran Church.