Friday, May 20, 2016

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday May 22, 2016

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(JESUS blesses the children)
(Mark 10: 13-16)
   The healthy attitude of a child toward his or her parents should be one of trust and dependence upon them for their daily needs, their needs for, at least, the near future, their protection from hurt and harm, and, their teaching and training in those things that are right and pleasing to GOD. JESUS says that it is that same trust and attitude of faith that any responsible adult must have toward GOD, if, they are to be able to make their way into the Kingdom of Heaven.  For Scripture says that, “without faith, it is impossible to please GOD”, and that, “GOD will keep in perfect peace the mind that stays on HIM, because it trusts in HIM”, and that holds true, even while one still exists in this life, here on earth.
    In Mark chapter 10, verses 13-16, sandwiched between JESUS’ teachings on divorce and marriage, and HIS encounter with the rich young ruler, we find the account of when several parents were bringing their children (paidia) to JESUS so that HE could lay hands on them and bless them.
    JESUS, not being one who endorses a “boy’s club mentality” was indignant when HIS disciples, who were obviously feeling that children weren’t important enough to merit personal attention from HIM, tried to impede, or block the little ones from receiving their blessings from the LORD. We can also recall on another occasion (Luke 9:49-50) when these same disciples wanted to stop others, who weren’t in their “imagined clique” (boy’s club), from casting out demons in the name of JESUS. There JESUS reminded them that anyone who is not against you is for you.
     In other words, JESUS was trying to communicate that Christianity is not meant to be “exclusive”, but rather, it must be “all inclusive”, and anyone who chooses, of his or her own free will, to leave behind, the temporal things and attitude of this world, and partake in the eternal things of GOD, are indeed welcome to enter into the true family of CHRIST JESUS.
    In verse 14b JESUS tells HIS mistaken band of men to “allow the children to come to ME. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of GOD belongs to such as these. I assure you, anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of GOD.” Here JESUS is saying that, if a person does not divest themselves of “the pride of life” that has so separated them from GOD, and repent, and humble themselves back to the state of what a child exists in, which is one of total dependence and trust (come to the end of “self” where JESUS is waiting), one can’t possibly enter into the greater life, which is in Heaven, where GOD can take us into HIS arms and bless us, just as JESUS does with the children in this passage (v.16), forevermore.  
    It is the humble ones who are in position to be received by GOD into Heaven. It is foolish to place our emphasis on people who seem to be most important, and are well received by the world that they try so hard to be like and impress, and then totally ignore the “little ones” (those who are meek and humble) who are important to GOD, and take pride only in their dependence on, and faith in, GOD.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

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