Mature Class Study, teacher Danny Sanders.
Can you remember how it felt to be a little child?
Mark 10:13-16 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
Young children are very free like they have no cares. They don’t worry about things or carry a lot of cares around.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
They are very sociable. They’re compatible. They don’t have any social economic status. They don’t worry about designer clothes. They don’t see skin color or race. They have no political party or religious affiliation. They laugh a lot and are full of energy so they never stop moving. It seems they grow up too fast in our day. With technology of our today, kids are exposed to things long before they should be. Jesus said to suffer little children for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 19:13-14 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus said the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
Matthew 19:13-14 (Amplified Classic) Then little children were brought to Jesus, that He might put His hands on them and pray; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But He said, Leave the children alone! Allow the little ones to come to Me, and do not forbid or restrain or hinder them, for of such [as these] is the kingdom of heaven composed.
Why did Jesus say little children and why not receive the kingdom of God as a mature adult. Why not someone who’s been around for a while with a lot of wisdom and knowledge? Well, when was the last time you met an adult who had no worries, was very sociable, had zero compatibility issues, was mindless of social economics, without any political party affiliation, always laughing and having a good time, and full of lots of energy? We don’t find many adults like that.
Luke 18:15-17 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.
Jesus was saying that our model or pattern is to be like a little child. They haven’t learned to doubt. If you tell a little child something, they take it for what you said at face value because they don’t know to not believe.
Luke 18:17 (Amplified Classic)…Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.
Characteristics of a little child that we can model ourselves after:
1. Innocence – freedom from guilt or sin through being unacquainted with evil; blameless.
When we become as little children, we’re not engaging in things where we’d find ourselves guilty of sin. A little child is unacquainted with evil. They’re blameless and without sin because they’re innocent. If something happens that a small child loses its life, that child goes to heaven because they’re innocent. We need to be innocent and have clean hands if we want to make heaven our home. God provided a way for us as adults to return to that place of innocence so we could again be in that childlike state. It requires that we’re willing to embrace where we stand in the humility of a child and to seek the Lord while he is near. We have to forsake our way.
Psalm 24:1-5 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
A young child usually just wants to please their parents. They aren’t trying to protect their image because of what people might think about them. Adults have a hard time humbling down and try to protect their image. If a message is preached and God shows an adult that they have a need, right away the enemy jumps on their shoulder to whisper in their ear. What will people think? There’s this protection mode about what people think and pride enters in. If we don’t seek the Lord when he is dealing with us, other things can get in the way so we don’t take care of our need.
Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
If we don’t take care of things “before the sun goes down,” we’re providing an opportunity for the devil. But if we just humble down and take care of it, and then we’re clear. That’s needed regardless of how long we’ve been saved.
Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
2. Little children have complete dependence. They run to mommy or daddy to it all better when they’re in trouble. God wants us to run into the arms of our Savior like a child runs to their parent.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
3. They don’t grudge, hold attitudes, blame others, or have pride. Their anger lasts only as long as their attention span.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
4. They’re humble when they get corrected. Correction is part of growing up and being in a family. What do we do when God corrects us? As adults we have to humble down and take correction when given.
Hebrews 12:5-7 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
5. They trust when they’re in trouble. If a child climbs too high, they will jump into your arms when they trust you. God wants us to trust him that way when we get into trouble.
Isaiah 41:10-13 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
We can trust God like children trust good parents. God is taking care of every need.
Isaiah 41:17-18 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.
Does the kingdom of God reside within you? If not, become as a little child.
Luke 17:20-21…he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he…said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!…behold, the kingdom of God is within you.