I was in my office, trying to crawl out of an avalanche of papers on my desk. Suddenly, there was a knock on my door and in came one of our team members with his wife and their bright-eyed eight-month-old little boy, Zachary. My wife joined our little Zachary party back then and proceeded to plop this animated little bundle right in the middle of my desk, in the middle of a mountain of paperwork, right where I couldn’t ignore him. Oh, great! And you know something, I didn’t actually mind. Little Zachary and I had a great conversation, which means I did all the talking. We played, we laughed, and Zachary creatively reorganized (shall we say) the project I was working on. It was one of the best things that happened that day. It took me a while to reconstruct my project, but it was sure fun having that little guy right in the middle of everything!
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “The Big Little People.”
Jesus had a pretty radical view of who the VIPs in the world are. Our word for today from the Word of God, Matthew 19:13-14 – “Then little children were brought to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them and pray for them.” Now, Jesus didn’t have a desk, but this is sort of the equivalent of plopping the children right down in the middle of Jesus’ work. Another account suggests that Jesus was meeting with some of the “big shots” from Jerusalem at this time. So, it’s no wonder that “the disciples rebuked those who had brought them.” Don’t bother Jesus! He’s with the important people.
Okay, then “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ When He had placed His hands on them, He went on from there.” You see, Jesus drops everything for the children. We should too. Children don’t have money, they don’t have votes, they don’t have influence to give you, but they are numero uno to Jesus.
That day in my office, little Zachary was right in the middle where I couldn’t ignore him. Well, that’s exactly where God intends for us to put the children in our world, right in the middle. It could be that a child in your world has been pushed to the edge by all your work. All your work should be pushed to the edge for that child.
Churches need to focus on the children and the young people. After all, three-fourths of the people who ever come to Christ do it by the age of 18. We don’t have anything more important to do than to reach them. But too many churches allow the kids to be pushed to the back for the “important” people – the adults. Jesus would probably put the children right back in the middle of everything.
Maybe some child or some children in your world have become more of a nuisance to you, an interruption, a problem. Interestingly enough, if you don’t put a child where he or she belongs – where they’re not ignored – that child will do whatever it takes to not be ignored by you; even if it drives you crazy or breaks your heart. They shouldn’t have to fight for your attention.
A Jesus-heart puts the children and the young people first. They’re His little big people. Do you notice that whenever a child came to Jesus they were blessed by being in His presence? Whenever a child or a young person is in your presence, if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, I hope you’ll have that same impact. I hope they’ll be blessed by being with you.
One grandmother summed it up in a prayer that she has on a plaque on her wall. It really emphasizes why the children must be where we do not ignore them in our lives. Here’s the prayer. I think you’ll like it. “It is my greatest prayer that on that resurrection day, I may stand before my Savior and say, ‘Here am I and the children You gave me.'”