Matthew 18:1-6, 14
Last week: SLIDE CONFIDENCE & ABILITY coming from CONTINUAL DEPENDENCE (LIKE A CHILD)
This week: More training regarding FAITH > This is about (1) our posture toward God and “Oh by the way” (2)
Treatment of children.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
1 About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” 2 Jesus called a
little child to him and put the child among them. 3 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and
become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 So anyone who becomes as humble as this
little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. 5 “And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is
welcoming me. 6 But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to
have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.
14 In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.
SLIDE Treatment of Children
1) How were children treated in biblical times?
Valued and Vulnerable
Children were seen as a great blessing in Old Testament times. Israel did not view children as a burden or a nuisance, but
rather as a great blessing from the Lord. Psalm 127:3 says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward
from him.” This Psalm also tells us that blessed is the man who has many children (Psalm 127:4-5).
God shared His own view of children with the Israelites. He commanded them to honor their children, take care of them,
and teach them about Him. But sadly, due to sin, not everyone obeyed God’s commands and treated children as less than
human. The Israelites drifted far away from the Lord and even would offer their children in sacrifice to false gods
(Jeremiah 7:31). Many Israelites would offer their children to demons (Psalm 106:37-38). The Lord rebuked Israel for
these actions (Deuteronomy 12:31).
Molek was a popular Canaanite false god that the Israelites would worship by sacrificing their sons and daughters in the
fire. God rebuked them for their actions and commands them, “Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek,
for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 18:21).
God always has had a high view of children and He will always love each child dearly. In God’s eyes, each individual is
a unique, beautiful, and important person (Psalm 139:13-16). Even though God saw Israel and their children this way,
some of the people of Israel did not. This was because of sin in the world.
2) V1-3 What did Jesus tell the adults to do?
SLIDE Become like a child.
This was a bit of a shock. (We just talked about how God taught the Israelites to view children.) Children in this day
were regarded as inferior until they became adults. And don’t we tell children to watch how grownups do things to learn
how to believe. Now he turns the tables and definitely had their (and hopefully our) attention.
SLIDE Becoming like a child This is the upside down world Jesus was bringing!
3) V4 And if we do this what character trait will be evident in our lives? And where does this place the adults that do
this in the Kingdom of Heaven?
SLIDE We are great in the Kingdom of Heaven if we are humble like a child!
That what it says. This tests our true beliefs. Do we believe that we will be in God’s eternal Kingdom, and that we really
will receive a reward/a status for this?
QUESTION: List some traits that show children as humble: unable to feed themselves, unable to make money, unable to
distinguish good and bad at times, no sense of time. This all boils down to: dependence and trust.
A king’s child will play with a child of a servant and think nothing of it. Because they don’t know yet that their status is
different. That’s the attitude we should have.
SLIDE Dependence and trust is what God is looking for from us. This should be our posture.
What about the disciples? They had done many miracles when sent out before they knew much. Because they had simple
faith then. Later, they lost that ability because they got away from depending on Jesus.
4) V5 What else are we supposed to do to children?
SLIDE Welcome the children
How do people treat children today? Many go over the top with their own. A different issue for another day.
How do we treat children we don’t know nor have any real reason to treat them in a certain manner?
Actually, we do have a reason to treat them well and welcome them!
We have a manpower issue at Garage Church regarding little children. Let’s pray about it!
Also, This is also regarding spiritual children. New believers. We have a responsibility to welcome them and “parent”
5) V6 What does Jesus say about treating children bad?
Strong words – millstone tied and thrown into the sea. SLIDE Don’t mistreat children!
Cowboy and Ava
SLIDE Who wishes you could have do-overs with your children?
I can make a long list of things I wish I could take back/do differently. Take more responsibility. Do better. There’s
good books but no complete manual. Every child is different. It about decision making. It’s about wosdom.
Or if you are the child that got mistreated ……
I have a gospel announcement for you – good news
SLIDE Go to God like a child. Give it to God. He’s dependable. You can trust Him.
Karen: Some things that occur rank as a "tragedy"
1. Sins we have committed
2. Sins that have been committed against us
3. Living in a fallen world (i.e. parent with cancer, mental illness…)
The sin if Childhood abuse sin is a tragedy …God created all of us for innocence. When a child is sinned against in such
a horrendous way…God hates it. It is tragedy…children are vulnerable…
Imagine a baby or a toddler or even a teenager and remember when you were that age and the level of dependence on the
adult. Some of us were cared for more than others….some experienced abuse…and some sinned against other children.
The bottom line is humbling ourselves, before God and asking forgiveness for acts/sins against children. It’s the only way
to be free from this sin.
Remember this, Mark 10:16 says "And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them."
Entrusting our children to a God who loves like that is the way we can release ourselves.
Amy: “Choosing sobriety looks like loving our children. Choosing a relationship with God is a step in loving our
children. Carrying the guilt and shame of past failures will only serve to hold us locked in regret. Accepting Christ's
forgiveness and reconciliation allows us to intentionally move forward towards a life that eventually could lead to
restoration of relationships.”
Fathered by God – Children want their parents – to be their parents.