Blog Devotionals

The Kingdom of Heaven Belongs to Children

May 6, 2024 | Sam Rainer

Children are a blessing, so we must make them a priority. What God gives as blessings should be our priorities! In Matthew 19:13-15, Jesus is near the peak of His ministry. Everyone seems to want something from Him. As Jesus teaches, a group of children and their parents swarm Him.

How were children treated at the time? They were at the same level as slaves. Often, children would be abandoned or abused. Some of them ended up being slaves if their parents did not want to take care of them.

Here, people bring many kids to Jesus so He could “lay hands” on them. They wanted these children to be blessed. Some of them probably had physical problems or were sick. Through this interaction, Jesus reveals how the children are the blessing. As God, Jesus gives these kids value, even though others in the culture did not.

Why did Jesus believe children were so important? He was once a kid! Jesus taught often that following Him was difficult, but it could also be fun. There is a reason why Jesus got invited to all the parties. God gives us so much to enjoy in this world. A fun church reflects the nature and character of God!

But the disciples miss this one. The disciples “scolded” the parents in the Matthew 19 passage. They fall into the trap of believing children are less significant than adults. In the church, adult ministry can take priority. Why? Children don’t serve on committees or in leadership roles. Their “voice” is muted. You must be intentional to make children a priority in a church.

As you read Matthew 19:13-15, you will notice the phrase “childlike faith” is absent. The Bible doesn’t contain the phrase “childlike faith.” But the concept is clearly present. Take a moment and also read Matthew 18:1-4. In a future sermon, we will dive deeper into the idea of a childlike faith. For now, consider this question. Who are the greatest, according to Jesus? Children! But also those who have faith like children.