“On Your Mark”
Early Learning (Chapter 10 Verses 13-16)
What was in the mind of the disciples in preventing the children being brought, coming to Jesus (v13)? Did they think he was too important, too busy for them. One thing it does teach us, is the importance of our children to Jesus, their right to be in his presence when we worship together. The need for us to bring them to Jesus prayerfully, and to teach the word of God to them. Now we know that first and foremost this a parental responsibility, but amongst God’s people we do not all have the same gifts and abilities, and perhaps some parents would feel inadequate to teach their children to the standard they would desire? Therefore, surely a well run Catechism Class, with teaching as its main objective. It should be a requirement in most if not all Churches. And of course we could raise the question about day schools too. In our own day and generation, giving our children to the State school is more than handing them over to the world in many instances, it is handing them over to Satan to teach. So I do not wonder that many Christian parents are turning to home education, where their children are taught from a Biblical, a Christian perspective. But does not the Church have responsibility here too?
But once again not every parent feels qualified, or capable of doing such a job. What about them? How are we to help them? Is it time we started to think more seriously about Christian schooling? Some Churches without their own building, would not have the premises, or perhaps the resources. But, what if four or five Churches in a fairly close locality were to pool their resources? Could not more be done? We do need to start thinking about these children the Lord has given us. He wants them to come to him (v14), is that really taking place in our family, Church and Sunday School situations? I know there are for’s and against’s, but that does not stop us thinking. The child is the model for the kingdom (v15), not adults. Because there is humility, trustfulness, an eager willingness to learn there. The years have not as yet produced pride, cynicism, and bitterness. The grace of God in Christ is received as a gift (Romans 6.23), with humble trust like a child, it is the very essence of saving faith. Jesus goes on to bless the children brought to him (v16). That Jewish children had been embraced by the Church through the Old Testament covenant is irrefutable. And there is nothing in the New Testament to signify that that had changed, on the contrary (Acts 2:39). Today, the children of believers are embraced by the covenant, the sign of which is baptism, but all that is of no avail if we do not educate them properly. Ultimately of course the New Covenant is written in Jesus blood, and he is the way back to God, for children, and for adults.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)