Matthew 19:13-15

A recent article concerning the future fell right in line with what I needed to do with this text this morning; and it stimulated me (as reading good literature always does) to think the thoughts of God after Him rather than to suffer the limitations of my own sight, reasoning and emotions!

The very essence of faith and hope and trust is to live in the Truth and Reality of God and His Word instead of being dead and existing by sight!  After all, if we lived purely by our own senses, reason and emotions, things wouldn’t look too good to us right now, would they?

The approaching times look very threatening.  It would seem that, with the passing of each day, the interval of time between each mini-threat (mini-crisis) becomes shorter and shorter; and the sound of the approaching thunder of judgment comes closer and closer.  The situation appears to be grim.  With varying degrees of perverted leadership, the society looks to be on the path of deconstruction rather than reconstruction.  Seemingly, without reversing the course, the economy is rushing toward collapse.  We are going to see (barring national repentance) increases in epidemics and “natural” disasters, and social chaos.

And the most absurd thing of all is that most of the Church community (although not cheered by the situation) somehow sees this course we’re on as its millennial salvation!  Great threats, upon their realization, promise the second coming!  Evil must prevail in time, according to these seers and diviners, because without doomsday and world-wide destruction Christ won’t return!

But we Christians must not see the future as ominous.  You can’t be Biblical and a doomsday prophet at the same time!  The things that are happening now are examples of Christ’s Sovereign rule.  He has promised to put all His enemies under His feet and to put down everything (every thought) that lifts itself up against Him!  He is a consuming fire Who is fashioning the Kingdom in His Own way and in His Own time!  And although we may be shaken in the process, along with the rest, the future is not ominous.  It does not portend evil.  The evidences of God’s rule (mini-threats) and the advance of Christ’s Kingdom are all around us!  We are more than conquerors through Him Who loves us.

But God does, and will, bring sanctions in history against any and all who pridefully lift themselves up against Him and His Kingdom.

And as we observe, with Biblical insight and foresight, all that’s going on, we see the absurdity of the anti-Christ mindset.  It wishes, for example, to rehabilitate the murderer and pay for the abortion, while spending billions for the protection and preservation of species of animals!  And it seeks to prohibit tobacco and food additives; and promote sodomy!

And what’s even more absurd is that this “new age” anti-Christian world order thinks that it, rather than God, owns the land and the children, and that it controls and manipulates the money supply – all in the best interests of society!  These three things are very important to those who raise themselves up in defiance of God and His Christ.  The land, the money, and the children.

Already, under the laws now on the books, all land reverts back to the control of the state ultimately; and already, real money has been eliminated so that paper can be tracked and controlled and taxed.  And now, third, the process is well under way for the control of the children.  Up until recently the state school has been the most important tool to achieve that goal; but now the strategy has entered into a new phase.  Motivated by organizations such as the “children’s defense fund”, more and more laws are being proposed whereby the world order takes over the spiritual, physical and emotional well-being of all the children!  Its interest, of course, is to raise children after its own kind.  Parents and a home simply provide a “location” for those children while their ultimate control is outside the family.  Children are becoming citizens of the “state”; and the state is usurping the role of the parent – the goal being a positive, final demonstration of sovereignty.  If the land and the money and the children are all under control of a new age state, then ultimate sovereignty has been established.  You see, in defiant anti-christianity there cannot be the three spheres of human government under God (Church, home, state).  There can only be one (human) government – the state.  And anti-Christ “new ageism” provides the “spiritual” component so badly needed in order for the state to invade the government of the home.  And that “spiritual” component is the protection of the “innocent”!  (It doesn’t matter that abortion is the killing of the most helpless members of the human race – but, of course, new ageism has never been known as logical!)

A one-world government cannot occur.  At least not now.  But a one-government world order can in this country!  And the home, and a man’s sovereign rule over that home under God, is the “target”.  Strong men are going to have to stand against it in the Kingdom of Christ, because this one is going to be the new battleground.

But the protection of the “innocent” is the spiritual guise for the inception of the one-government world order (eliminating the other two – church and home).  And the Church has already become impotent to do anything about it, because its theology is similar to new-ageism!  It also professes the innocence of children!  So how can it object too strenuously when the state moves against the family to protect the children and to solidify its one-government world order?  And how can the people stand strong against the new age theology of child innocence, when its own ministers have taught the same thing?

So when the new-age state exercises its self-proclaimed, one-government authority over the family, the resistance to it has already been dissolved.  The Church has done its teaching for the state!  Many now believe that the state has the right and the obligation to move into the government realm of the family in order to protect the rights of these who are “innocent”.  So the state then, seeing the entrance already set up for it, moves right in and it expands the definition of “abuse of the innocent”.  And that expanded definition now includes physical, emotional and religion abuse.  It will soon come to the point that when it is perceived that an “innocent” child is brutalized in any of these three ways, the new age state will step in and exercise its already proclaimed sovereignty.  And thereafter a man will no longer rule in his home under God.

Now the answer to the state and its one-government authority is, as it has always been, the preaching of the Truth.  Ungodly men and women, with new age philosophy as their presupposition, cannot overcome the Spirit of Christ when the Word is preached and heard!

But when passages such as this one this morning are encountered by Churches, and pulpiteers proclaim the inherent goodness and guiltlessness and virtue of children, the gates of the home are opened wide for the invasion of hell.  Because the state then has the sanction of the Church to go right in and protect these precious possessions of the state from their “bully” fathers!  And as soon as it happens, the authority of the home, established by God with a male ruler, has been assumed by another authority!

And it is no accident that “new ageism” is feminine in character.  God’s authority is male – in the Church, in the home, and in the state (all three governments)!  But anti-God, anti-Christ, new age authority is feminine!  (Maybe we’ll have some time at a later date to explore that some.)

But back to my original point, there is no menace (threat) in the future!  Even though we see these things going on around us, they are signs of our deliverance – not our doom!  The Church is not abandoned by Christ, the Word will always be preached, and the Kingdom of Christ will reign victorious over the earth.  Godless “new ageism” is laughable to God; and His Word, from this passage and others similar to it, will go out from the mouths of faithful preachers of the Gospel; and the Spirit of Christ will convert His people to the Truth.  The immediate threat is a real one; but there is no place for fear and dejection and discouragement over the future.  It is safe and secure in the Kingdom of our crucified and resurrected Savior.

Now let’s see what this passage is all about.  Listen as I read it one more time:


“Then were brought to Him children that He might place the hands on them and pray.  But the disciples reprimanded them.  But Jesus says, ‘Suffer the children, and do not hinder them to come to Me, for of such like is the Kingdom of the Heavens’.  And having placed the hands on them He went away from there.”


As usual I have some comments about the text and the context; and then we will try to determine what’s going on here with the “hands” and with the children.

After Jesus addresses the issues of divorce and remarriage, which the hypocrite Pharisees have used to send the created order into chaos and disintegration, it should be no surprise that the next event in Matthew’s Gospel is the state of the children in that chaotic order.  Since the nation is in a state of ruin, then the children, being in that condition, are greatly affected!  So the people have not only brought their sick to Jesus, but they have also brought their children.

Now, the other two Gospels, in the parallel passages, both use a word which further clarifies this situation.  These are “little children”.  Babes.  Sucklings.  And they are brought by their parents and grandparents – the promised elect (remnant) of this generation:  The helpless sick and the newborns of a demonized, blind, sick and imprisoned people.

And even after the events of chapter eighteen, where jealousy and envy arose among the disciples, they still didn’t understand the significance of the children!  There Jesus told them, holding in infant in front of them, that they each had to be born anew – as the suckling was newborn!

But here in this event, they prove that they still don’t understand that!  They are stern in their disallowance of so many people crowding around Jesus with their babies!  There were far too many blind and deaf and crooked and leprous demanding His attention without all the crying infants!

This scene always comes to my mind, for example, when I look at children’s books to see what’s in them.  And I see the pictures there of some prosperous people standing before Jesus; and He has some well-fed, well-mannered children around Him (maybe one or two in His lap), and He is blessing them.  And that always angers me, because that’s an absolutely false portrayal of everything about this event!  The real scene is a people ravaged by a millennium of apostasy!  All the curses of God’s covenant have been brought against them, and thousands of people have brought their sick and dying on litters – strewn all over the rocks and grasses of the hillsides.  With haunted faces, and blind eyes, and bodies showing the wasted effects of lifetimes under corruption, it was a distressing and sickening scene – mitigated only by the possibility of getting close enough to Jesus to hear Him and be touched by Him.  With some hope in their eyes they were thrusting their babies at Him; because if this were the Promised Messiah, then here was the anticipation of deliverance for their babes!  God had promised a Deliverer for His elect remnant!  “Here’s my baby – please place Your hand on him!”

And in the crush of it all, the disciples were doing their best to control the situation by strongly rebuking and reprimanding the crowd.  And that’s when Jesus reprimands them and tells them to “suffer” the children to be brought to Him.

Why?  Because God did have thousands of His elect lost sheep in Israel.  He came to find them!  And they were in a pathetic and deplorable condition, in bondage to sin and the curse of God upon this nation!  And as Jesus had told His disciples, they had to be born anew – released from bondage and delivered into the Kingdom!  And the baby was the sign of that rebirth!  “Suffer the children and do not hinder them from coming to Me, for of such like is the Kingdom of the Heavens!”  Not that they are the essence of the Kingdom, but that those who are of the Kingdom are “like” them, in that they are born anew!  Rebirthed!

In the rebirth, one becomes brand new – with a new Genesis, a new beginning, a new name.  He is freed from the curse of depravity and the ravages of sin, for the New Adam releases him from the bondage to the first Adam!

Israel, under the ravenous wolves, had become Babylon – and Egypt.  Whatever was evil and ruinous in both of those places was personified in Israel as the nation left its people desolate.  They were fornicating with the natives, and leaving the children as bastards.  They were being held in captivity to the curse which had come upon them from God – His sanctions.  But the children were allowed to come to Jesus, signifying that release from enslavement was coming for God’s people!  A new Exodus from captivity; and new beginning; a new “birth” was about to occur!  And “of such like” was this Kingdom.  The children were covenantally included!

On the other side of the Jordan the people came in multitudes; and Jesus healed them.  And He put His hands on the babes.  Not because they were innocent, but because the Kingdom was of those reborn like them.  And when the Church preaches the innocence of babies, it preaches new age philosophy!!!  And, at the same time, (beyond the preaching of the false doctrine), the Church never hears the fullness of Biblical Truth concerning the rebirth!

But this event ought to recall for you your own baptism, when the sign of God’s covenant was placed on you as a newborn babe.  And it ought to cause you to reflect upon the fact that the Spirit of Christ has laid hold of you and rebirthed you from death unto life.  “For of such like is the Kingdom of the Heavens.”  And then your children ought to receive that same sign!

Now, the people were clamoring for Jesus to “put the hands” on their babies.  Why were they doing that?  What were they anticipating?  What did they know that we’re unaware of?  What’s the significance of the “hands”?

Well, to start with, all through the Scriptures the “hand” or the “hands” of God is the anthropomorphic expression of His Power to create and to save – deliver.  By His mighty hand He does many things, including the salvation of Israel from bondage in Egypt.  It is also by His hand that He brings judgment upon His people and upon nations.  All things and all individuals are in His hand.  The Psalmist, in chapter thirty-one, verse fifteen says:


“My times are in Thy hand.  Deliver me from the hands of my enemies….”


And in Psalm ninety-five he says;


“O come, let us worship and bow down.  Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.  For He is our God; and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand….”


The lost sheep of the house Israel were in His hand.

Skipping over dozens of very good references, we have to go quickly to two of them in Isaiah which have direct and specific reference to the people who are crowded around Jesus in our text.  The first one is chapter eleven and verse eleven.  Listen:


“And it shall come to pass in that day (that is, the day of the coming of Christ), that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time (the first one being Egypt) to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left from Assyria, and from Egypt…” (and from other places).


And then listen to this from the great Isaiah chapter fifty-three:


“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief.  When thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His Hand…”!


This is the Messiah!  This is the “Hand” of Messiah!

So not only are the great crowds striving to get to Jesus for healing of their bodies, but they are also anticipating that He might be God’s Messiah!  And that the hand of God is established the second time, in Him, for the recovery of God’s remnant, the promised elect of God!

So, in hope that He is Messiah, the people want, for themselves and for their children, to be touched by the hand of God as prophesied!  (Isaiah fifty-three)  For Him to put His hands on them for release from captivity; to touch them that they and their children might be saved from their grievous condition – deliverance!  And please note that there was no baptistic hesitancy to thrust the babies before Jesus, although there was not yet a mythological “age of accountability”!  Covenant salvation for the people of God was what they needed.  The great hand that He stretched forth against the Egyptians before, to release them from bondage would now be stretched forth again a second time for the remnant of God – to recover them.  To free them.  To save them.  To do away with their depraved condition.  God has sent His Son to search out the sheep of His “hands”.  He has not forgotten them.  And by His mighty hand they shall be saved.  He is the Good Shepherd.

And so it shall be for us.  The Mighty King Whom God has established on His Throne is now Risen.  And we will anticipate the future fullness of that Kingdom.  We are blessed far beyond the remnant of Israel, for now He has already died for us.  And His Sword is proceeding to establish His rule.

He has raised up numbers of those who are against Him during this two thousand years of the Church; and He has dashed them into pieces for their rebellion.  We are in one more opportunity to witness the destruction of His enemies as He puts down every rebellion against His Sovereignty.  By His hand, God destroyed the harlot mother, Israel, and all her children – except for His elect remnant in darkness and chaos and prison.  And He is bringing new children now from the nations.  That’s us!  It’s time for hope and anticipation – not morose discouragement.

As this new-age world order moves to establish itself against God’s order in Church, home and state, Christ the King will exercise His rule over kings and nations.  He will put down all who magnify themselves against Him.  The plagues and epidemics and natural disasters are evidences of that!  They are signs of deliverance – not doom!

And they are warnings to repent (mini-judgments).  Warnings to the state to remain within the bounds of its authority.  Warnings to the Church to preach the Gospel of God – not new age philosophy.  Warnings to men to rule their households with the mind of Christ.  Warnings to women and children to submit to God’s male authority in the home.

“Brothers, what shall we do?” they said.  “Repent,” said Peter, “for the remission of sin.”  Be baptized – with your children – bring your home under the authority of Christ the King.  Celebrate the death, burial and resurrection – and ascension – of Jesus Christ – with the entire Church.  It is the sign and seal of the new covenant.  In union with Him, we eat His body and drink His blood because the bread and the wine signify our union with Him!  We no longer belong to Adam – we belong to Christ!  He bought us, and we are removed from the realm of death and given life!  And we are now to be faithful in living life in Him.