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Scripture

Luke 18:15-17; Luke 9:43-48

Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.


Spend some time in worship.

 

 

Observation

Luke 18:15-17
It was a custom at the time of Jesus for mothers to take their children to a Rabbi on their first birthday so he could bless them. Jesus understood the little ones would respond to touch, even if they could not understand His words. He knew how He could communicate with them by placing His hands on them and blessing them.

Jesus made it clear that no one should stop a child from coming to Him. When a child did come to Him, He blessed them unreservedly. They made no effort to be worthy of His blessing or being falsely modest before Him. Jesus welcomed them and lifted them up as examples of how everyone can become members of the Kingdom of God. Every person should trust and love just as the children did.

Luke 9:43-48
Whilst the disciples were amazed at the wonderful things they were witnessing as they travelled with Jesus. They did not understand all that was going on, in spite of His continual reminders of what His future (and their own) held. They were still thinking in human terms. The question of who was the most important amongst them was a question they often discussed. It is possible, on this occasion that the matter arose again because Jesus had just taken Peter, James and John up the mountain with Him where they had witnessed His transfiguration.

Jesus gave them an illustration about what being a member of the kingdom of God looked like, once again using a child as an example. He pointed out that it was the humble, small child who met the brief of who was the greatest amongst them. At that time children were not seen as important. In the Kingdom of Heaven, unlike in the world, children were no threat to success or ambition, nor were they concerned about their position in society or what people thought of them.

As a result, how people treat children is an indication of how they think about and treat Jesus Himself. Jesus then challenged adults to adopt low opinions of their importance. They were not to seek recognition for following Christ, but were to step aside so others could be first.

 

Icebreaker:

A common say goes: Children should be seen but not heard. Was this part of your growing up experience? How did it affect you? Do you think this saying is still valid in today’s society? Why/why not?

Application

  • How do you feel about other people’s children? Do you love all children, or only some of them? How do children respond to you? In the light of these readings, are you at peace about your relationship with the children you know (especially any children who are not your own)?
  • Three headings were given in the sermon in regard to our response to children:
    • Service
    • How do you serve the children in your world? What part does faith play in your role as a parent or adult in their lives? What opportunities can you give to the children you know to learn about and meet Jesus? How important is it to you that the children around you grow in their faith journey?
    • Salvation
    • Have you ever heard the testimony of a child about their relationship with Jesus? Share such testimonies with one another (without breaking confidence with the child). Children accept profound things and they believe what they are told. How does the faith of the children you know compare with your own faith – do you also believe, trust and depend on Jesus as children do on Him and on the adults in their lives?
    • Saviour
    • Children hold a special place in the heart of Jesus. He did not expect them to do anything to earn salvation but spent time with them showing them pure grace. What does this say to you about how Jesus feels about you? Can you accept that He shows you the same pure grace as your own Saviour? Why/why not?
  • How can you offer the children in your life the service, salvation and the presence of your Saviour so that they grow in their own faith?
  • How can the group help you with the struggles you have mentioned during this session?

Prayer
Pray for one another in regard to the issues that have been raised during your discussion time, and in regard to other needs of the group.

Service
What can you do this week to open the door for children to meet Jesus in a new way? How do you feel as a group with the idea of offering to visit a children’s program to offer the Gospel to them through a skit, song or story? Contact info@gracepoint.co.za to discover when/where and how you could do this. Plan to do this if you can.

Bibliography

Luke Chapter 9

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