Blessing The Kids
When I received my doctorate in Old Testament from Dallas Seminary, Dr. John F. Walvoord was the president of our school. He was one of the world’s leading authorities on Eschatology, the doctrine of last things. After graduation, he and his wife took my parents, Mary and I, and our two young boys out to eat at a fancy restaurant high up in one of the buildings in downtown Dallas.
What a gracious gift. I especially remember that Dr. Walvoord took time to connect with our boys. He was quick to share that he actually began his career writing biblical lessons for children, and he never stopped loving those kids. He is one of the godliest men I’ve ever known, and the mark of a man who is close to Jesus is that he loves to bless children.
“Now parents were bringing their children so that Jesus could touch them, but his disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he got angry and said to them, ‘Let the children come to me. Don’t be hindering them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Count on it! I’m telling you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God as a child will not enter into it.’ Then he took them up into his arms and blessed them, placing his hands upon them.” Mark 10:13-16
Wow! Isn’t it awesome to follow a Savior who tenderly hugs kids and blesses them? We also need to take seriously what Jesus said about entering God’s kingdom and then think back over the characters Mark has introduced us to so far. For example the crowds who humbly came, confessing their sins and getting baptized by John the Baptist had childlike faith (Mark 1:5). Peter, Andrew, James, and John had this same childlike response to Jesus (Mark 1:18, 20).
The religious legal experts who responded to Jesus’ healing of the man lowered down from the roof with skeptical questioning did not have this childlike openness (Mark 2:6-7). In Jesus’ parable of the different kinds of ground and the seed, it’s the good ground that is soft and responsive to the seed of Jesus’ Word that receives his touch and blessing. In Mark’s John the Baptist episode neither Herod Antipas or Herodias or Salome had the necessary childlike quality to receive God’s kingdom (Mark 6:14-29). Instead, revenge and murder hardened their hearts.
LORD, place your hand of blessing today upon each of our grandkids. Generate this open, humble childlike spirit in my heart so that I can not only teach, but also learn from my brothers and sisters.
PS. If you are ever on a pastoral search committee and you want to know whether the candidate will have the Good Shepherd’s heart, put him in a room full of little kids and observe.
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