Jesus Loves Litle Children
We can be assured that our infant children are saved because of the way Jesus loved little children during his earthly ministry. You cannot read the gospel accounts of Jesus with little children without coming away knowing that Jesus loves and adores little children.
In each of the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke, we are told that Jesus and His disciples were inundated with the requests of little children and their parents who wanted to see Jesus. Jesus’ response to these children was remarkable given the views of infants in his culture. In the Roman society of the day, children were viewed as insignificant; infanticide and child abandonment were common. Similarly, the Jewish society of the day had little regard for children. Since children could have done nothing in their early years of life to “earn” their salvation by keeping the law, they were viewed with contempt. It is not surprising that when the children when they came to Jesus, clamoring for his attention, the disciples rebuked the children. In the mind of the disciples, Jesus had more important things to do than deal with inconsequential little children.
But to everyone’s astonishment, Jesus beckons the children to come to him. Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:4; Luke 18:16. Jesus told his disciples, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Luke 18:16-17. More than merely welcoming and blessing the little children, He called all of us, His followers, to become more like these little children. In doing so, Jesus was clearly contrasting the attitude of these little children with the attitude of the religious leaders of the day. Like so many of us who have an elevated sense of self-importance today, these leaders felt that they merited the affection of God and the attention of other men because of their actions, either religious and otherwise. But rather than calling us to become like these religious leaders, Jesus called us to develop the same levels of trust and dependency in God that are found in these little children.
Jesus’ statement in Luke 18 has a double meaning. Jesus is clearly calling us to become like little children in the sense of developing a spirit of dependency, trust, humility, and obedience to God. But more than just using little children as an example of how adults should develop a child-like dependency on God, and thereby become members of the kingdom of Heaven, Jesus is also stating that little children are, in fact, members of the kingdom of heaven. Not only does the kingdom of God include those adults who become like little children, but it also includes those little children who have the very heart attitude required of his disciples but who die before reaching adulthood. Since Jesus calls us adults to develop a heart like a child, it seems only right that children die while still possessing the attributes of the heart that God call us to—namely, a humble, gentle, dependent heart—should become members of the Kingdom of Heaven. If we can only become members of the kingdom of Heaven if we develop a “childlike” heart like a child, doesn’t it also stand to reason that God will make all children, who died while still possessing their “childlike” heart, members of his Kingdom?
When Jesus multiplied and leaves and the fish to feed the five thousand, Jesus ministered to the physical needs of hundreds, if not thousands, of little children. If Jesus was that concerned with the physical needs of the children, would he not be infinitely more concerned about their eternal spiritual well-being? Given the Gospel accounts of how Jesus treated these young children, we can rest assured that our own young children are saved.
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