One of our favorite aspects of the Bible is how much love and respect Jesus showed to the children who were around him. While there are other parts of the Bible that show that children can be beneficial to God’s work (Samuel comes to mind), Jesus made no bones about it: children are closer to living the way God wants us to than most adults are!
While even Christians largely forgot about this aspect of Jesus’ teaching for some time — children were mostly used as a ready source of labor on the farm or even in mines — we’ve returned to Jesus’ ideas of how important and precious little ones are. Today we’re going to turn to Jesus’ teaching about children and how we use them to guide our actions at our Christian preschool.
Let’s start with Matthew 18: 1-5
“[Jesus] called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.’”
This is an excellent parallel to Matthew 20:16, when Jesus said “So the last will be first; and the first will be last.” As we said before, children were the lowest position in a family for most of history. Notice that Jesus says that we need we need to take “the lowly position of this child” and not “this lowly child.” The child has been placed in a lowly position, but the child is not lowly. Still, we must humble ourselves to others as children would have done, as children were in the most humble position at the time.
What can we learn from this in our Christian preschool? As adults, we still need to be in charge. But being in charge needs to come from a place of love, and of protection. We need to serve the children by keeping them safe and teaching them how to best serve God and others.
Okay, now on to Mark 10: 13-16.
“People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.”
There’s a good reason the phrase “out of the mouths of babes” exists in our society. Kids are often able to say things in the most simple way, and what they say is often so true when it comes to their understanding of God. We’re wise to listen to them, because they are able to accept God’s existence and blessings in the most pure way, a way that we should obviously emulate according to Jesus himself
As adults, we’re constantly trying to overthink, to justify, to explain our faith to ourselves and to others. While there’s a place for that, simple belief can be inspiring. Watching the way children accept God is certainly something wonderful that we experience every day of the week.
Jesus was always a friend to everyone, especially to those who were seen as the lowest of the low. Thankfully most of society’s attitudes toward children have changed considerably over the past couple of millennia, and we are able to show children the love and respect that Jesus wants us to.
If you’re ready for your child to be taught (and teach us!) in our Christian daycare, we’d love to talk with you about it. Contact us today to learn more about Children’s Ark Academy!