The Gospel According to Luke: Part 48 :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard

An Exposition

Luke 18:15-17: “Jesus’ Love for the Children”

“And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He might touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. But Jesus called for them, saying, ‘Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all” (Luke 18:15-17, NASB).

Which group of people have been the most targeted for destruction, abuse, neglect, murder, theft, abandonment, abduction, and sacrifice to appease deities and dictators throughout the annals of history? There are some who would argue that it currently refers to the increasing persecution and murder of Christians throughout the world and of which the sparks of hate and destruction are forming in the United States on a regular basis, fanned by skeptics, politicians, other religious groups, media figures, and progressive attitudes in those so-called “churches” that have abandoned the essentials of the faith in order to gain the world’s favor. People of different faiths and nationalities have been targets for prejudice, enslavement, hatred, and the targets of depraved individuals throughout the course of history.

However, attention is starting to turn towards the despicable and perverted ways in which people and organizations have treated what should be a treasured and protected part of the social fabric, namely that of children. Modern society, as have other periods of history, sees children as either a burden or blessing. While many precious young lives are treasured, loved, and protected, others have been the subjects of unspeakable abuse and neglect and often left to fend for themselves.

There are over sixty million children who never had a chance to live since the passing of Roe v. Wade in 1973, legalizing abortion procedures in the United States in the name of “choice” and “convenience” or other excuses that have ended with the unborn child torn to pieces in the womb and either tossed in a garbage bag or its parts sold to the highest bidder for the purpose of “research” and varied uses that make Nazi Germany’s brutality pale in comparison. At the time of this article, a new U.S. Supreme Court justice has been nominated by the president who fits his conservative, pro-life position. If the nominee is affirmed by the Senate, it will place a theoretical 6-3 conservative majority on the nation’s highest court and with it a possible case coming before them that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

The progressives in the government and the “mainstream” media, along with abortion providing agencies such as Planned Parenthood, are screaming and protesting this possibility. We will have to see if such an opportunity comes into play. This is a time for prayer for the soul of this nation like no other time in our existence.

The mistreatment of children was an underhanded part of the ancient world as well, so this is nothing new. Greek civilization gave the world science, philosophy, political theory, and the arts such as sculptures and frescoes. It also allowed the teachers of their sons to have their way with them in a sexual manner as part of the social fabric. The Romans gave the fathers of families the absolute authority to cast children out of the home, and in some cases, leave their newborns outside to die of exposure or to be snatched by slave traders to rear and sell to other families or institutes such as brothels.

The vice and immoral lifestyles of Roman civilization placed little value on the poor and weak. The Scriptures tell of the sacrifice of infants to the pagan god of the Ammonites, named Moloch (Leviticus 18:21; 1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:10). It is best not to describe the horrid practice here. I will leave it to you to do the research and find out yourself.

What does the Bible teach concerning how we are to care and watch over these precious young lives? If you are a parent and want sound advice on rearing your children in the way of the LORD and have them be civilized, godly, moral, and ethical people in the face of a world that has seemed to abandon any sense of civility and a fear of God, then consider the steps that His Word presents.

  • Parents have the exclusive responsibility to teach their children about the things of God (Deuteronomy 6:7, 20).
  • Parents are to train their children to behave and live in a goldy manner (Proverbs 22:6; Isaiah 38:19).
  • Parents are to provide for their children (2 Corinthians 12:14).
  • Parents are to nurture their children in love and sound direction (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21).
  • Parents are to control and discipline their children (1 Timothy 3:4, 12) and give them constant affection as well (Titus 2:4).

What did the Lord Jesus say concerning children?

  • Children are very precious to Him. He warned that anyone who harmed a child should be killed by drowning, which is a rebuke and warning against abuses of every type.
  • Jesus loves them, and while He was in the world, desired that parents bring their children to Him to be blessed and shown the love that God has for them.
  • Children are a treasure of faith, and He could care less about regulations and religious rituals like the Pharisees did, thinking that these actions would guarantee them a place of honor in heaven. A child’s faith is based on loving and trusting God as taught and practiced by their parents and relations, and it is our God-given duty to show and tell them that Jesus will always love them and that they can come to Him in prayer anytime.
  • Children were always welcomed by Jesus. He never turned anyone away, whether child or adult. Children can spot a phony from afar off, and they knew that Jesus’ love and concern for them was genuine. No other figure of faith in history shows this kind of love and compassion for His children or is concerned with their well-being. Only Jesus fits this description.

I know that there are some of you parents and guardians who feel that they let their children down in not being a godly example to them, or didn’t give them the time and attention you believe they needed, or failed to prepare them for the harsh realities of life, and stumbled in your faith, or other thoughts and concerns that are coming to you. We all fall short of the standards and glory of God. Scripture affirms that. We make mistakes in our treatment and expectation of our children, and it has cost you in terms of a relationship or that your children may have become prodigal and walked away from the faith you tried to instill within them.

I have been down that road more often than I care to admit, but I also know that nothing is too hard for the LORD to correct and make new. He can and does overpower the wiles of the flesh and the devil and to bring them back into His arms. Take the time to go to the LORD in prayer and ask Him to forgive your mistakes, give you wisdom and counsel, and to bring your family together in Him. He will make all things new, and I pray that your family will be as one in the new heaven and the new Earth when Jesus comes back to take us home. Hold on to Him. He never lets go.