Thursday, 21 October 2021
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How Jesus’ words about children demonstrate the importance of the life-affirming mission Victoria Borodinova/Pexels

How Jesus’ words about children demonstrate the importance of the life-affirming mission

Ever read through your Bible passage for the day and get stopped in your tracks by a certain verse? 

The other day, I’m reading in Luke 10 about the 72 disciples of Jesus returning to Him after a successful ministry trip. They’re all jacked that even the demons submit to them in Jesus’ name. 

Jesus responds by confirming the authority he’s given them over the enemy. Then he turns the disciples’ focus—the reason for their joy shouldn’t be their ministry success, he says, but the fact that their names are written in heaven.

(That’s enough to chew on right there. How often have I celebrated ministry success over and above the glorious truth that my name is recorded in God’s book of life?)

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But wait, there’s more.

“At that time (Jesus) rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, because this was your good pleasure…” –Luke 10:21

Get this: Jesus is saying the Father reveals things to babies which wise and intelligent adults who don’t know His ways cannot comprehend.

What’s hidden from the intellectual, God makes known to infants.

I’ve been convinced for many years that children experience important spiritual events while in the womb and as newborns—things we tend to forget and lose touch with as we grow older.

My reasons for this belief are two-fold:

First, Scripture gives a specific example of how preborn children pick up on spiritual truth.

Luke describes a time when Mary, the mother of Jesus, visits her cousin Elizabeth while both women are pregnant:

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed!  How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me…’”

Prenatal John leaped for joy because he sensed that the Messiah, also preborn, was present! He was already privy to key information concerning salvation history—wisdom which the spiritual leaders of his day would largely reject.

(Interesting side note: this incident of prenatal activity is recorded by a physician.)

The second reason I believe children already possess spiritual sensitivity and wisdom in the womb and as newborns is simple observations of my grandchildren.

When my first grandson was just a few days old, he lay asleep on my bed one afternoon. I lay next to him, staring at his perfect little face, when suddenly he opened his eyes, looked right at me, and broke into a huge grin.

Reuel was too young to smile voluntarily yet—but as I looked into his open eyes while he grinned in his sleep, I began to weep.

I could sense Reu was experiencing sheer delight in the presence of God. Long before he had words, he seemed to be saying, “Come and play with us! Come taste of our joy!”

How I wanted to experience things from my grandbaby’s perspective in that holy moment!

Jesus’ words and actions in the Gospels make it clear how much He values children.

He said we will never enter the kingdom of heaven unless we become like little children (Matt. 8:13).

He rebuked his disciples for trying to keep children away from him, taking the time to bless them and reiterating that the kingdom of heaven belongs to them (Matt. 19:13-14).

Our culture, by contrast, often sees children as being a burden. 

Tweet This: Jesus’ words & actions in the Gospels make it clear how much He values children. Our culture, by contrast, often sees children as a burden

Abortion advocates want to convince women facing unplanned pregnancies that the best solution for them is to end the life of their preborn child.  

A baby is viewed as an obstacle in the way of a woman’s dreams and aspirations, or the cause of her stress and difficulty.

A baby whose conception is unexpected is not viewed as a fully human person, but rather, a “pregnancy” and a “problem” to be solved.

Yet God creates and loves every image-bearer, regardless of the circumstances of their conception. 

Who knows what rich spiritual experiences your clients’ preborn babies are having even now? Who knows what mysteries they are privy to in the womb, and will be in the cradle?

Who knows what blessings Jesus has in store for them—Jesus, who gathered children to Himself even as His own disciples tried to shoo them away?

In this, as in many other areas, Christians must swim upstream against culture. We must allow God and the Scriptures to define human value for us.

We must see children, born and preborn, the way Jesus does.

Only then do we correctly assess their worth.

Susanne Maynes

Susanne Maynes is an author, speaker, and biblical counselor who served at a pregnancy help center for ten years. She blogs about church & culture and spiritual growth at SusanneMaynes.comHer educational devotional, Unleashing Your Courageous Compassion: 40 Reflections on Rescuing the Unborn, uplifts and strengthens the pregnancy help community. Susanne is currently pursuing a Master of Theological Studies degree at Regent University.

Website: www.susannemaynes.com

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