What Jesus Did! 'Let Them Come to Me!' — Matthew 19:13-15

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

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One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children." And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.

— Matthew 19:13-15 NLT

Key Thought

In a world that was dangerous to children, loving parents wanted to bring their children to Jesus. If he would bless them, pray for them, place his hands on them, then surely those children would be protected, healed, and blessed. Who could blame the parents? They had seen the amazing things Jesus had done for others. They loved their children. Jesus himself had talked about letting children come to him. Why would the disciples stop them?

Maybe it's the same reason we do. We get distracted by other things and let them take us, and our children, away from the Lord. We let problems with our spouse destroy our home and crush our children's hearts. We get involved in important religious things and forget to involve our children in our spiritual journey.

No matter what, Jesus' message is clear: "Quit! Quit getting in the way of the children coming to me!" Let's not only hear his words, but let's also respond to them, especially in the context they are uttered here: divorce!* Let's acknowledge that so many children are kept from Jesus because of the sin and rebellion of parents who are selfish and involved in sexual sin rather than honoring their marriage covenant.

* In this instance, other translations better preserve the context of today's events which are directly connected to the previous verses and their the teaching about divorce (Matthew 19:13 NIV).

Today's Prayer

Holy Father, please make me aware of the children you have put around me that you want me to help bring to Jesus. Help me see them. Help me bring them to Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 18:1-5
  • Ephesians 6:1-4
  • Malachi 2:15-16


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Illustration of Matthew 19:13-15 NLT — "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.