Matthew 19:13-15 (Jesus Blesses the Little Children)

Why were the children being brought to Jesus?  See Mat 19:13; cf. Mar 10:13.  Why would people want Jesus to touch their children?  See Mar 10:16.  Throughout history god-fearing parents have sought the blessing of God upon their children through His righteous servants; what does the decreasing incidence of this today indicate about 1) the number of god-fearing parents, and 2) the number of God’s righteous servants?  How old were these children?  Note: the Greek word paidi,a that is used may refer to any child from a newborn (Luk 1:59) up to the age of 12 or 13 (Mar 5:41-42).  What age children does Luke emphasize were being brought to Jesus?  See Luk 18:15.  Whereas it is completely natural for parents to want to bring their little children to Jesus for His blessing, is the blessing described here the same as baptism?  Where was Jesus at when this took place, and why does that make it particularly significant that it doesn’t say the children were being brought to Him for baptism?  See Mat 19:1 and cf. Joh 10:40, 3:22-23.  What is the significance of baptism that makes it inappropriate for children?  See Act 22:16, Mat 18:3.  Consider too that baptism is the sign of the new covenant, performed after spiritual birth, as the New Testament counterpart to circumcision, the sign of the Abrahamic covenant, performed after physical birth; think: do children, being innocent, have a need yet to be born again?

What was the reaction of the disciples?  Were they rebuking the children themselves, or those who brought them to Jesus?  For what reasons might they have been rebuking and hindering them from coming to Jesus?  Consider that little children can be noisy and disruptive, and even bothersome; did Jesus perceive them as such?  Who were the children really bothering?  Consider too that Jesus likely wearied Himself in ministry and had many important things to attend to, so that the disciples did not want Him to be bothered with things of lesser importance.  Did Jesus consider blessing the little children to be of lesser importance?  What does this teach us about the importance of ministry to children and the important ministry mothers have?  Is it any less important than that of men?  Consider the attitude in many if not most churches today that establishes separate activities for children so they don’t disrupt the “adult” worship service, and that looks with disfavor upon parents who want to keep their children with them during the worship service; is this attitude more like the disciples’ or more like Jesus’?

What does Mar 10:14 say was Jesus’ response to the disciples’ hindering the children from coming to Him?  Cf. Mat 20:24, 21:15, and 26:8 for instances of others who became indignant.  What had Jesus only recently taught the disciples in regard to children that would have caused Him to be so indignant?  See Mat 18:3-6.  Are we like that in forgetting important lessons the Lord has taught us?  How are we to guard against this weakness of our human nature?  See Deut 4:9, 6:6-12, Jos 1:8.

What does the KJV “suffer” mean in Mat 19:14?  What does this English word connote was required on the part of the disciples in permitting the children to come to Jesus?  How has the same often been required of churches throughout history in regard to children, or even little ones in the faith of any age, who may be disruptive or bothersome to those who are more mature?  Cf. Rom 15:1, Gal 6:2.

Why did Jesus tell His disciples to permit the children to come to Him and not hinder them?  See Mat 19:14.  What did He mean that the kingdom of God belongs to such as these?  See Mar 10:15; cf. Mat 18:3.  In regard to what present circumstance did the disciples have need to be converted and become like little children?  Think: are little children bothered by the disruptions of other little children in the same way adults are?  Do we have need of being converted to become like children in this same way?  Is this to say that God’s people should allow disorder and confusion to reign in their assemblies?  See 1Co 14:40.  How does Mark describe the way Jesus blessed the children?  See Mar 10:16.  What does this teach us about how He receives us as we humble ourselves to become like little children?

Is it significant that this event follows Jesus’ teaching on divorce?  Think: Is it possible for children to receive the fullness of God’s blessings apart from the institution of marriage that He gave as the environment wherein they might be blessed?  In what ways does divorce curse children?  Cf. Deut 28:30-32,41.  From this perspective, what is the great danger of divorce?  See Mat 18:6.

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