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                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                Jesus Blesses Little Children (10:13-16)

INTRODUCTION

1. Jesus had just finished His teachings on the sanctity of marriage...
   a. As an institution ordained of God
   b. As a bond that should not be broken

2. When parents brought their little children...
   a. To be touched by Him - Mk 10:13
   b. To lay His hands on them and pray - cf. Mt 19:13

[It begins with frustration and indignation, but ends with valuable
teaching regarding discipleship and a touching scene of the Lord holding
and blessing the little children.  Let's begin by considering...]

I. THE NARRATIVE

   A. PARENTS BRING THEIR INFANTS...
      1. The verb tense suggest the parents' persistence ("kept on
         bringing") - Mk 10:13
      2. Mark uses a word (paidia) that can mean children up to twelve,
         while Luke uses a word (brephos) that indicates infants - Lk
         18:15
      3. Mark later says Jesus "took them up in His arms", suggestive of
         infants - Mk 10:15
      -- The parents desperately wanted Jesus to touch and pray for
         their babies

   B. DISCIPLES REBUKE THE PARENTS...
      1. The disciples rebuke those who were bringing the children - Mk
         10:13
      2. Perhaps they believed Jesus too important to be disturbed, the
         infants too insignificant
      -- The disciples again show mistaken zeal, as we are all wont to
         do

   C. JESUS REBUKES HIS DISCPLES...
      1. When Jesus saw what His disciples were doing, He was indignant
         - Mk 10:14
      2. The infants were to be allowed, "for of such is the kingdom of
         God" - ibid.
      3. In fact, one must receive the kingdom "as a little child" to
         enter it - Mk 10:15
      -- Jesus was angry with His disciples, but He used the opportunity
         to teach them

   D. JESUS BLESSES THE INFANTS...
      1. He first took them up into His arms, laid His hands on them
         - Mk 10:16
      2. He then blessed them, likely in the form of praying for them
         - cf. Mt 19:13
      -- While busy in His ministry, Jesus took time to pray for these
         babies

[The scene of Jesus blessing the little children is a touching one.
What applications might we draw from this episode in the ministry of
Jesus...?]

II. THE APPLICATION

   A. BASED ON EISEGESIS...
      1. Some use this passage to support infant baptism
         a. Though the earliest mention of infant baptism is around 200
            A.D.
         b. It began only after the doctrine of original sin developed,
            that infants are born in sin
         c. The practice increased as baptism became viewed as a sign or
            seal of the covenant God has with His people, akin to
            circumcision - cf. Gen 17:10-12
         d. This connection is further assumed from Paul's mention of
            baptism as a spiritual circumcision - cf. Col 2:11-12
         e. Yet both here and in Colossians, it is reading into the text
            (eisegesis) what is not there
      2. Contrary to Biblical evidence regarding baptism and the new
         covenant
         a. There is no real evidence of infant baptism in the
            scriptures
         b. The guilt of sin is not inherited - Eze 18:20
         c. Baptism requires faith and repentance, of which infants are
            incapable - Mk 16:16; Ac 8:37; 2:38
         d. In the new covenant, no one has to be taught to know the
            Lord; unlike the old covenant where infants had to be taught
            to know the Lord (infant baptism would make that distinction
            of the new covenant meaningless) - cf. He 8:6-13
         e. Paul's comparison of baptism to circumcision pertains to the
            act of cutting away, not of being a seal or sign of the
            covenant - Col 2:11-12
      -- Reading cherished views into the Scriptures is tempting, but is
         it rightly handling the Word of God? - cf. 2Ti 2:15

   B. BASED ON EXEGESIS...
      1. Receiving the kingdom
         a. Jesus used the children to teach qualities necessary to
            enter the kingdom of God
         b. Childlike virtues like trustful simplicity, unassuming
            humility - cf. Psa 131:1-2
         c. To receive the kingdom, we must be poor in spirit, meek
            - cf. Mt 5:3,5; Mt 18:3-4
      2. Receiving the children
         a. Jesus demonstrates His love for children, willingness to
            take time for them
         b. His disciples should show similar concern for little
            children
         c. Are we willing to make time for children?  Be good role
            models? - cf. Mt 18:6,10
      3. Praying for the children
         a. All children need our prayers, just as the parents requested
            for their infants
         b. Even though infants may not be in a state of sin, their time
            will come soon enough
         c. Especially in this day and age, where children are bombarded
            with so much evil
      -- Others may read into the scriptures, let's to read out of them
         what the Lord intended

CONCLUSION

1. Have we taken to heart the lessons Jesus intended for His
   disciples...?
   a. To receive the kingdom of God with a childlike trust and humility?
   b. To show an appreciation and love for little children?
   c. To pray for them and their parents?

2. May we as disciples of Christ never be too busy...
   a. To take time for the littlest of children
   b. To learn from them as to how we should be in the kingdom of God
   c. To pray for them, to encourage them in both word and deed

         "...for of such is the kingdom of God." - Mk 10:14
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