Luke 18:15-17 (click to view Scripture below)
The reading today is one we often refer to when we think of Jesus’ deep concern for children. This is not some sentimental priority that Jesus is commanding us to follow. He is suggesting that it is those, like children, who are often bypassed by the world because they seem so insignificant. Jesus is saying that His focus is towards all people, like these children, who have been left by the side of the road.
Nearly two decades ago, ChildHope President Mary Mahon was pioneering our efforts in Venezuela. I went to visit and see firsthand what she was doing. This tough hillside barrio of El Pauji was not the most pleasant place, but God helped ChildHope with Mary’s hard work to establish a school there. On Sunday I preached at the church that was sponsoring the school. I remember praying for the sick. I was exhausted and dehydrating because the small church was hot, without any air-conditioning. A young mom brought her four-year-old to be prayed for. I enquired about the situation. The mom and her husband had adopted the girl several years before; the husband had suddenly died, leaving this mom alone with this small child. The child had developed a condition that depleted her immune system. She was getting steadily worse. Here was a widowed mom who had cared for a young child and now this child was about to die. I was tired, wanted to drink a gallon of water and be done with the service. I held that little girl in my arms and prayed a prayer that ended with the words, “God give this kid a break!” This little girl’s situation brought me to a point of desperation.
I went back to the US and several days later received a fax. It was a comparison of the blood test that showed the numbers before and after that Sunday prayer. The numbers clearly showed that this little girl’s blood had been washed clean. She is now a young adult and studying to be a teacher to return to the community she grew up in. I can’t help but believe that this a contemporary fulfillment of Jesus’ command to bring the little children — those whose life situations are desperate — to Him. God answered my prayer. He did give that little girl a break! “For to such belongs the Kingdom of God.”
Vice President, ChildHope
Prayer: Lord, may each child in a ChildHope school know that they are loved deeply by Jesus!
15 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.