Who God says the child is and who Jesus says the child is. Remind yourself of key biblical perspectives on the child
This article is from the Max7 resource library. You can download it here
Throughout the history of mankind the natural progression of life has been a birth ultimately followed by death at some point in time, except for a few notable exceptions that are recorded in the Holy Scriptures. When we observe the wonder of the birth, we are immediately struck by the complete and utter helplessness of that newly born child. The life and the future of the child is in the hands of adults.
Research now shows that how a child is nurtured (or not nurtured) within the first five years of life will have a significant impact on how a child will behave and survive in society as he or she comes of age. As we survey the world scene we see that many children in developing countries do not even survive the first five years of life let alone reach their full potential. This is due to a range of medical problems including malnutrition and preventable diseases which can be bought about by natural or man-made disasters such as famines and wars.
The United Nations estimates that of the 12 million slaves in the world 87% of them are women and children. The children are sold by their families or kidnapped by ruthless people and then sold into slavery. They may find themselves in the sex industry or as child labourers working in sweat shops or farming communities. Some become child soldiers and learn how to kill to survive.
Professor Patrick Parkinson’s research on “Repairing the Social Environment for Australian Children and Young People” released in July 2011 has some very sobering and sad facts about our children. More than 25% of young people 16-24 years have a mental disorder. A further 24% of young people, while never having experienced a mental disorder are experiencing moderate to severe psychological distress.
Children are the most vulnerable of all human beings and are totally dependent on the adults around them for their physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. After contemplating these facts, one must ask the question “Who is the child?”
To find the answer to this question, there is no better place to go than to the Holy Scriptures to hear from the Creator himself.
The Child is made in His image.
Genesis 1:26 “Let US make man in our image”
The Child is wonderfully and fearfully made.
Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that well.”
The Child has eternity in his or her heart.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to the end”
The Child is a reward from God
Psalm 127:3 “Sons are a heritage from the Lord; children are a reward from Him”
The Child is to be instructed by his or her parents about God.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up”
The Child is to be instructed to tell his or her children about God.
Psalm 78:6 “so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born and they in turn would tell their children.”
The Child is precious in His eyes.
Matthew 18:5 “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.”
The Child is an example of how to enter the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 18:3 “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
The Child should not be regarded as inferior.
Matthew 18:10 “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”
The Kingdom of God belongs to little children.
Mark 10:14 “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
It is God’s will that none of the little ones should be lost.
Matthew 18:14 “In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.”
Death is preferable to causing a little child to sin against Jesus.
Matthew 18:6 “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
As one meditates upon these Scriptures there is no doubt that children are highly valued by God and the Lord Jesus. In response we should ask ourselves;
How much value do we place on children? What strategies have we as individuals and the church put in place to ensure their wellbeing? Are we doing our part in nurturing and protecting our children?
Who will stand up for the little children in our society and speak out against the attack on their moral, physical and spiritual wellbeing by governments, the media, schools and anti-Christian groups? Who will be their advocates when it comes to media and government intrusion?
The Bible exhorts us in the Book of Proverbs to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves”.You might also like
- God’s rescue plan for children
- Understanding Christian concepts of ‘human flourishing’ in relation to children
- Raising Samuel – Releasing Children to Discover Godʼs Purpose
- Children at the Heart of Mission
- Shalom – God’s heart for children
- Small Commitments, Big Faith
- Adventuring with Scripture – the Bible, children and discipleship
- Why Kids Need Systematic Theology
- Who is the Child? 12 Key Biblical Insights
- What is the context of child discipleship?
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