Children have not always been treated very well. They have…
- Been Sacrificed; 2Kings 17:31; Eze 16:20-21
- Caused to pass through fire; 2Kings 16:3; Jer 32:35;
- Sold for debt; 2Kings 4:1.
- Eaten. 2King 6:28-29.
Even now children are used as pawns in failing relationships, in manipulating the news, and in politics. These things ought not be so.
What does the bible say about children? Better yet, what does Jesus say?
“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus uses the qualities of CHILREN as an illustration of those who desire to become CHILDREN of God. He makes it very clear, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” CONVERSION is the process of turning completely around. Comparing it to the CHILDREN, it speaks to our turning from trusting in our own abilities, and trusting fully in Christ, His sacrifice, His promises, His working through our faith. Without faith it’s impossible to please God.
Another quality of CHILDREN is seen in their HUNGER and their cries to be fed. Peter uses this quality to illustrate the need for the child of God to HUNGER for the word. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1Peter 2:2).
One of the things we learn from Jesus as He uses CHILDREN for our understanding, is that children are INNOCENT. They do not have sin IMPUTED to them. Some claim that children are born wicked and totally depraved. Jesus didn’t see it this way. When asked about inherited sin, Jesus said it didn’t happen. (see John 9:2-3) When David’s son died in infancy, he desired to “go to him” (2Sam 12:23). Did David want to go to heaven or hell? Clearly, he knew that children are INNOCENT.
One quality every parent has experienced from children is their capacity to LOVE and our capacity to LOVE them sacrificially. Jesus uses that quality when He looked on with tears over Jerusalem (Matt 23:37). In Solomon’s day, he used this capacity for a mother’s LOVE for her child to determine the true mother of a child (1King 3:24-27)
Little children are especially unique in their ability to be DEVOTED to their parents regardless of their qualities. Consider Hebrews 12:4-11. We revere our earthly parents when they disciplined us (maybe not at the time). God wants this level of DEVOTION for His children.
Children are used to REPRESENT the NEW BIRTH of becoming a Christian. Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). This is very similar language He uses when He placed a child in their midst. The new birth REPRESENTS baptism in water (John 3:5; cr. Rom 6:3-4).
Then there’s the EXPECTATION of parents for the growth of the child. The New Testament writers make this comparison in Hebrews 5. “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe” (5:12-6:2; cr. 1Cor 3:1; 13:11).
Lastly, while children desire to grow and mature, they know that they are unable to do many things for themselves. They recognize their NEED for help from their parents and are ready to ask without embarrassment. Oh, if this child of God could be better at this quality. Children can teach us so much about how to grow, mature, work, and try to do, while simultaneously knowing their complete NEED for the loving care of their parents for their basic needs. “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him” (Matt 7:9-11)?
Let us think on the words of Christ about the example of CHILDREN. Despite how the world sees children, let us see them through the eyes of our Lord and learn the lessons that He has taught us through them.