TEXT: Mark 10:13-16; Matthew 18:1-14
ONE day Jesus was very, very busy teaching the people how to love God. Wherever Jesus went many people always came to talk to Him. Jesus was kind and good and helped them if they were in trouble.
On this day, a big crowd gathered around Jesus. Some of them had walked a long, long way to see and hear Him. They wanted every minute of the time they could have to talk to Jesus because they would have to walk a long way home again.
Some of the mothers and fathers had brought their little boys and girls to see Jesus, too. It was a happy day for those boys and girls. They were going to see Jesus after all. They were going to hear Him talk.
The friends who were with Jesus tried to keep the people away. They wanted Jesus to have a little time to rest. Jesus saw all those mothers, fathers, boys and girls and He didn’t want to rest. He loved to talk with them.
Jesus began to talk. How the children liked His kind, soft voice, but they were just not close enough to see Him very well. Some of the mothers tried to get through the big crowd so the little ones would be closer to Him and could hear and see Him better. Some of the mothers had little babies. They wanted Jesus to bless their little babies.
Jesus’ helpers, the disciples, did not like this one little bit. No they did not. They thought Jesus was too busy to bother with children when there was so many big people there. The disciples scolded the mothers and fathers for bringing their children up to Jesus, but Jesus scolded the disciples, His helpers, for trying to push the children out of the way.
Jesus loved those little boys and girls. Yes He did. He told His helpers to let all the little children come up to Him who wanted to. They were never to say No, when a little boy or girl wanted to talk to Him. He thought little boys and girls were the sweetest things on earth and some day they will be the sweetest things in Heaven.
Jesus stopped talking to the big people and said, “Let the children come here to me.”
Then the big people stepped back and let the little children move in close to Jesus. Oh, how happy the children were! How they loved the kind look Jesus had. Some of them leaned hard against Him. Jesus picked up some of them. Jesus loved them all so much. He reached out and patted them on the head. He blessed them all, every one. All the mothers and fathers were happy that day.
Jesus loves you, too, just as much as He loved the children that day, a long time ago.
Jesus’ friends liked to hear Him tell all about Heaven. They knew it was such a happy place. Lots of times they would ask questions about Heaven and what it was like.
One time His friends wanted to know who would be the greatest or best in Heaven. Jesus called a little child over to Him. The friends looked at Jesus. They looked at the little child. They did not know why Jesus had called the child.
Jesus put His arms around the little child and told His friends that if they would be as loving and sweet as a little child, they would be sure of going to Heaven, for “of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14).
Children can be taught how to pray and ask God to make their heart pure and clean. A little boy or girl knows and believes that God will take all the sin away from their heart. Sometimes big, grown-up people think too much about working to make money, or having pretty clothes or a big house and things like that instead of asking God to give them a clean heart. Little boys and girls don’t care about those things.
Jesus said to His friends that those who love God the way a little child does are the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.
We cannot see Jesus now. He has gone back into Heaven to be with His Father, God, but Jesus can see us. He still loves the little boys and girls just as much as He did when He was here on earth. He still talks to boys and girls in their hearts. Not out loud like we do. Jesus whispers in the hearts of all of us, little or big, and lets us know what is good and what is bad for us to do. He lets us know when we have done something that makes Him feel bad. He wants us to ask Him to forgive us. To ask to forgive is to tell Jesus we are sorry.
Jesus loves every boy and girl all over the world. God made them all. Some may look different from us, have a different colored face and body, but Jesus loves them, too, and wants us to love them. God made them that way because He wanted them that color. They are Jesus’ friends just like we are.
Remember, wherever you go Jesus is with you. He is watching from Heaven and He loves you. He wants you to love Him, too.