Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
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Listen while you read: "Standing On The Promises"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 19:13-14 – Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (NIV)

This passage is familiar to most of us who went to Sunday school. It is taught to children to instill in them the importance of children to both our heavenly Father and to Jesus. To me this passage is akin to learning the alphabet… just something you learn, but do not question. However, the other day, I was thinking, Why did Jesus say, "Do not hinder them"? Why were the disciples preventing the children from approaching Jesus? Have you ever thought about this? Were the disciples too focused on the religious leaders of the time, the Roman guards, or perhaps the politicians? Did they assume that children were too young to understand the teachings of Jesus? Was it because children, of this age, were to be seen and not heard?

The other day, I was just returning from my daily walk. I noticed a mother with two young children in front of me on the sidewalk. She was holding the hand of the younger child, clearly trying to steer him clear of the mud puddle that was calling to him. As I approached the trio, the other child, a boy of perhaps three years of age, started talking to me. He was holding two toys and was excitedly explaining to me that they were Transformers, that he loved Transformers, and on and on. At one point, I caught the eye of the young mother, who smiled and shrugged her shoulders, clearly apologetic for her son's long explanation. I smiled back and continued to listen. When the young lad seemed to have finished his discourse, I told him that his toys were "just awesome". I wished the young family a good day and began walking away. I halted completely a few steps later, pivoted, and asked the mother, "Did he just say that he loved me?" She nodded. I told the little boy that he had just made my day and chuckled as I thought how delightful it was that a complete stranger had just expressed his love for me. Then, I hit a kind of mental pause, as I realized that this child had reminded me about how we are all called to love one another — strangers or not.

Jesus knew the purity and innocence of children. He understood that things come out of their mouths unfiltered by social mores acquired later in life. He knew the importance of teaching children and explaining why things are right or wrong. Maybe most importantly, Jesus understood that while children comprehend things differently and perhaps more simply, their understanding is often very profound. Maybe, just maybe, Jesus was not calling the children to Him to receive instruction, but so that the children could teach His disciples a valuable lesson!

God spoke to me this day through a child. Have you been missing opportunities to hear His voice in children that you may encounter?

Prayer: Dear God, Your love calls to us, Your children, through all circumstances. Your love calls to us in joy as we praise and thank You. Your love calls to us in sorrow as Your Holy Spirit comes alongside us to comfort. Your love calls to us in sinful times as You call us to ask for Your forgiveness. We may feel or see displays of Your love through family, friends, strangers, or children. Help us, Father, always to remember that "the greatest of these is love". Amen.

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About the author:

Orlanda Drebit <orlandadrebit@hotmail.com>
Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks Orlanda for a good word.

    Oh my yes. What we learn from children! Thanks.

    Thanks Orlanda for reminding us how important youngsters are to the Lord. Blessings.

    A beautiful insight.
    Thank you for it.

    Thank you for your wonderful reminder of God’s love which is shown us through the mouths of children. They are always so honest.

    Our islands are many miles apart. Isn’t it wonderful how computers and the word of God can bring us together?
    More Cheers and Blessings from a 94 year old widower.

    I loved your Devotional today. Yesterday my 4 year old great-grand daughter visited with her grand mother, my daughter, what a wonderful time we had!!

    Thanks, Orlanda…a good reminder for me as I some times wonder why in the world as I approach 80 am I still teaching Sunday School for early elementary age children!
    Thank you,

    Dear Orlanda
    Beautifully written, thank you. It is so true what you say. Many, many times, I learn from my grandchildren.
    Phrases like, “Children should be seen, but not heard”, were man-made, not at all what Jesus would have said. We need to let go of quite a few more old teachings!

    Greetings Orlanda,
    Many thanks for your devotional this morning. I just love conversing with little ones. Their world as they see it is so interesting. Unfortunately in our church we presently have no children for Sunday school but I cherish the memories of when I taught Sunday school and listened to the little ones and their reflections on Bible stories.
    Blessings to you.

    Hi Orlanda,
    I just love that story of the little children coming to Jesus. I can picture Jesus sitting on a bench against a city wall and the children coming through the gate, being led by their parents or grandparents and Jesus motioning them all to come nearer to Him.
    Thank you for writing.

    Hi Orlanda, what amazing experience you had. Thanks for sharing such an important message. You are such a gifted person! I am so blessed to call you my friend.

    Hi Orlanda. What an amazing experience you had. Thanks for sharing such an important message.

    Very nicely done.

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